Nordion and Bruce Power have entered into an agreement to secure the long-term supply of Cobalt-60 up to 2064.
The agreement extends a previous supply arrangement that would have expired at the end of 2028 and now covers the life of the four Bruce B reactors, which will operate up to 2064 once life-extension maintenance programs are completed over the next two decades. The agreement also includes the supply of medical-grade ‘High Specific Activity’ (HSA) Cobalt.
The new supply agreement is the longest and most comprehensive in Nordion’s history and demonstrates the shared commitment of Nordion and Bruce Power to ensuring a reliable, stable supply of Cobalt-60 for customers and medical patients around the world. Cobalt-60 is a mainstay of the global health care system, used as a radiation source to sterilize medical devices and supplies, in the decontamination of spices and consumer goods, and as a phytosanitary measure for reduction of pests on produce for import and export.
“This agreement guarantees our customers and health care providers will have a stable, secure Cobalt-60 supply they can count on for the next half century,” said Ian Downie, Nordion’s Vice President and General Manager, Gamma Technologies. “The exceptional duration of this arrangement is a testament to the strong working relationship that Nordion and Bruce Power have built.”
Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO, said his company has always placed enormous value on the production of Cobalt for medical device sterilization and other applications.
“With this long-term agreement, we are demonstrating our commitment to, and confidence in, the use of clean nuclear power to provide safe hospitals for patients in Ontario and around the world.”
Bruce Power’s ability to guarantee the Cobalt-60 supply so far into the future was made possible through the long-term electricity supply agreement signed in December 2015 with the Province of Ontario. This agreement provides for life-extension and Major Component Replacement programs to be conducted on Units 3-8. The life-extension programs got underway on Jan. 1, 2016, and the program is currently on time and on budget. Bruce Power previously refurbished Units 1 and 2 and will use that experience to extend the life of the eight-unit site up to 2064.
The Bruce nuclear site has produced Cobalt-60 since the 1980s and is currently the world’s largest supplier.
Bruce Power and Nordion also recently announced a partnership for the production of medical-grade Cobalt, which is covered within the scope of the new agreement. For over six decades, Nordion’s supply of medical-grade Cobalt has come from the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, ON, which will reach its end-of-life by March 31, 2018. The first medical-grade Cobalt targets were inserted into the Unit 7 reactor at Bruce Power this past October.
Nordion is a leading provider of medical isotopes and gamma technologies used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease and infection. Nordion’s products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion supplies products to approximately 500 customers across more than 40 countries around the globe, and is a standalone business within Sterigenics International LLC, the global leader in outsourced contract sterilization services, gamma technologies and medical isotopes, and the only vertically integrated sterilization company in the world. Learn more about Nordion at nordion.com and follow us on Twitter at @NordionInc.
About Bruce Power
Bruce Power operates the world’s largest operating nuclear generating facility and is the source of about 30 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. The company’s site in Tiverton, Ontario, is home to eight CANDU reactors. Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an all-Canadian partnership among Borealis Infrastructure Trust Management (a division of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System), TransCanada, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals. A majority of Bruce Power’s employees are also owners in the business. Learn more about the company at www.brucepower.com or Cobalt-60 at www.cleannuclearpowersafehospitals.com.
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Bruce Power Duty Media