KITCHENER, Ont. - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he's disappointed that the aging nuclear reactor that produces most of Canada's medical isotopes won't be operating for at least eight more months.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. says its reactor at Chalk River, Ontario won't be back up and running until the spring of 2010.

In a statement, AECL said a detailed analysis has found nine sites at the reactor needing repair.

Harper, speaking in Kitchener, Ont., calls the announcement disappointing but adds Ottawa will continue to encourage the agency to supply isotopes as soon as possible.

Harper adds the government is working with provincial and international partners to manage the supply of isotopes.

In its statement, AECL said "high resolution scanning data available recently has identified both wall thinning and localized pitting that suggests different corrosion effects."

AECL say they're consulting corrosion experts, adding they're also working closely with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission whose safety inspectors are directly involved at the Chalk River site.

AECL added the repairs are not a public safety issue, adding there is no threat to workers on site or the environment.

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