The national nuclear regulator’s instruction to shut down production at the NTP radiochemicals complex has pushed up the costs and paperwork involved in providing medical radioisotopes for diagnostic imaging and treatment, it has emerged. This stands in contrast to the assurances given by NTP acting MD Thabo Tselane that the shutdown had no cost implications for customers. NTP is a subsidiary of the state-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and is one of a handful of companies around the world that supply technetium-99 and radioactive iodine-131 to nuclear medicine specialists for diagnosing and treating cancer. With local production at a standstill, NTP has had to source products for its customers from its competitors.

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