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Nordion's First Medical Isotope Sample Shipped from Russian Federation

OTTAWA, Dec 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Nordion to Initiate Evaluation Process for Russian Supplied Molybdenum-99

Nordion Inc., a leading provider of products and services to the global health science market, today announced that its first sample of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) has been shipped from its Russian Federation partner, The Open Joint Stock Company "Isotope" (Isotope).

In September 2010, Nordion entered into a supply agreement with Isotope for a supplemental supply of Mo-99 until 2020.  This recent sample of Mo-99 will be evaluated at the processing facility in Ottawa, Canada. The qualification part of the process is necessary to obtain the product registration and regulatory approvals before the Company can begin receiving supply for licensed distribution. 

"The shipment of this first sample of Mo-99 marks a key milestone in our supply agreement with Isotope.  In collaboration with Isotope, we look forward to completing the evaluation and moving forward on providing our customers with greater stability in their supply chain," said Jill Chitra, Senior Vice-President Quality and Regulatory Affairs, Nordion.  "We expect to receive supply for shipment in the first half of fiscal 2011, which is anticipated to arrive in time to help alleviate the impact of the planned National Research Universal (NRU) reactor shutdown currently intended for mid-May 2011." 

Nordion's Mo-99 supply agreement with Isotope provides back up supply for the Company's customer base and is expected to improve the Company's supply chain reliability.

In preparation for this first sample shipment, the Russian Federation Government and Rosatom State Corporation have invested in both new and existing infrastructure.  On December 18, 2010, the first line of production for Mo-99 was started at the Atomic Reactors Research Institute in Dimitrovgrad, Russia. 

"The launch of this production complex is an important event.  The combination of modern radiochemical production with several reactors at one site should provide an uninterrupted supply of isotopes for the future," said Andrey Silkin, General Director, Isotope. "With the aging population and growing demand for diagnostics, the timing of our supply to the market is well matched to global needs." 

Medical isotopes are used by physicians to better diagnose and treat a number of diseases, including cardiac and neurological conditions, and several types of cancer. According to the World Nuclear Association, over 10,000 hospitals worldwide use radioisotopes in medicine, and about 90 per cent of the procedures are for diagnosis. The most common radioisotope used in diagnosis is technetium-99m, a derivative of Mo-99, which is utilized in approximately 80 per cent of nuclear medical procedures worldwide - up to 70,000 every day.

About Nordion Inc. 

Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN; NYSE: NDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products and services used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of innovative technologies for use in medical imaging and radiotherapeutics, and sterilization technologies benefiting the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Our products and services are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion has more than 600 highly skilled employees in four locations. Find out more at http://www.nordion.com/.

Backgrounder

Rosatom and Isotope

About Rosatom

Rosatom, the State Atomic Energy Corporation, is Russia's largest utility, producing more than 40% of the electricity in Western Russia. Rosatom ranks first in worldwide nuclear reactor construction, second in uranium reserves, and fourth in nuclear power generation, while providing 40% of the world's uranium enrichment services and 17% of global nuclear fuel fabrication. Rosatom became a state corporation in 2007 and today is made up of more than 250 enterprises and scientific institutions throughout Russia, including civil nuclear companies, research organizations and the world's only nuclear naval fleet. English-language website: www.rosatom.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosatom/rosatomsite.eng/

About The Open Joint Stock Company "Isotope" (Isotope or JSC Isotope)

Isotope serves as the link between Rosatom's isotope producers and end users in both the Russian and international markets. Isotope's main areas of activity include: supplying isotopes to domestic and overseas markets; sales and marketing of products, instruments and devices for medical and commercial use; radiation safety issues; and development of isotope technology. English-language website: http://www.isotop.ru/en/company/

CONTACTS:
MEDIA:
Shelley Maclean
(613) 592-3400 x. 2414
shelley.maclean@nordion.com

INVESTORS:
Ana Raman
(613) 595-4580
investor.relations@nordion.com

SOURCES: Rosatom, Isotope, Nordion