The Netherlands' NRG Foundation and the Foundation Preparation Pallas-reactor have agreed to share the same executive board and supervisory board to assist with the development of medical isotopes at Petten and the realisation of the new Pallas reactor.
Bertholt Leeftink has been appointed CEO of both NRG and Pallas, while former Dutch finance minister Gerrit Zalm was elected president of their joint supervisory board. The sharing of personnel was announced by both NRG and Pallas in late May.
Leeftink noted: “Together with national and international partners, NRG and Pallas cooperate in the field of nuclear research development and the health of millions of patients every year. The formation of the new organisational structure will be a significant boost for the establishment of a shared future strategy pertaining to the further development and production of medical isotopes. The public interest of multiyear guaranteed supply of medical isotopes is key.”
The two organisations will continue to work separately. In 2012, the Dutch government and the province of Noord-Holland concluded that the High Flux Reactor in Petten needed to be replaced to ensure the guaranteed supply of medical isotopes and continued nuclear research. The process of development of the new reactor was assigned to a new entity, the Foundation Preparation Pallas-reactor (Pallas).
Pallas said substantial progress had been made: the Foundation has been designing the reactor together with the Dutch-Argentinian construction consortium ICHOS. In March, the Council of State approved the zoning scheme and construction of the new reactor is expected to start mid-2021.
Since 2012, NRG said it had become a market leader in the field of development and production of medical isotopes. In European hospitals, 70% of the isotopes used for diagnoses were produced in Petten. The global percentage is at 30%. NRG and Pallas will also focus on the sharply increasing demand for therapeutic isotopes.
The installation of the new organisational structure in the form of a “personele unie” is the prelude to a situation in which some NRG activities and some Pallas activities will be combined at an organisational level.
In related news, on 8 June PALLAS submitted the building permit application for the Nuclear Health Centre (NHC), a production facility that will play an important part in the production and development of nuclear medicines, to the Schagen municipality. The NHC is expected to open its doors in 2022.
Photo: Petten site (Credit: NRG)