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American Opinion: On medical isotopes

Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

By The Associated Press

On medical isotopes:

A poor decision made years ago based on the assumption that our neighbors would have our backs has returned to haunt us.

In 2000, the U.S. Department of Energy scrubbed a project to produce nuclear medicines us-ing a small reactor at Sandia National Laboratories after spending $30 million researching it in the 1990s. At the time, two new nuclear reactors were expected to come on line in Canada. They didn't. Now, the shutdown of two aging Canadian nuclear reactors has led to a shortage of cer-tain medical isotopes for the United States.

So what does this mean to you?

It could mean the doctor diagnosing your Aunt Sally's breast cancer might not be able to as quickly or as precisely locate a tumorous lymph node. ...

Few of the medical isotopes used to diagnose or treat bone cancer, abdominal bleeding, blood clots in the lungs and other conditions are made domestically. Twelve years ago, 90 percent were made here. Now 90 percent are made outside of the United States. ...

Nuclear medicine is an essential component of health care for our citizens and protecting the medical infrastructure is exactly the kind of federal involvement everyone should agree is appropriate for the government to pursue. ...

-- Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal