THUNDER BAY -- The city's research institute expects the $4-million cyclotron to be installed this fall.
The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute's director of research and cyclotron operations Michael Campbell said Thursday that construction on the hospital's medical sciences building on Oliver Road is well underway and the walls of the bunker that will house the cyclotron should be going up by the end of June.
They expect the machine itself to be lowered into the bunker in September; the cyclotron should be operational a few months after that.
"Part of the process we have to go through is we have to make sure all the safety systems that we've designed and put in place are working properly and also make sure the machine is performing up to specs," said Campbell.
The cyclotron will be used for medical imaging and research and Campbell said it will give the institute access to isotopes that can sometimes be delayed by flight cancellations. It will also be an asset when the Chalk River reactor is closed in 2016.
"It's very important both for us at the research institute from a research perspective, but I think it's also important for people in Northwestern Ontario from a health-care perspective," he said.
At startup, the cyclotron will create five jobs and it could eventually create 10 positions.
The total cost of the project is about $10 million with $4 million provided by the federal government, $3.9 million from the province and $1.5 million from the city.