Bruce Power operations staff have safely and successfully harvested 24 Cobalt-60 rods during the Unit 7 planned maintenance outage, to the benefit of countless hospital patients across the world.
The Cobalt-60 will be sent to Nordion, an Ottawa-based company which produces radioactive sources that are used to sterilize 40 per cent of the world’s single-use medical devices such as gowns, gloves, masks and syringes, as well as certain food products. Cobalt-60 is also used to stop the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses such as the Zika and West Nile Viruses, as well as dengue, through the innovative Sterile Insect Technique.
“Bruce Power is proud of the role clean nuclear power plays in keeping hospitals safe,” said Len Clewett, Chief Nuclear Officer. “By fulfilling our long-term agreement with Nordion to harvest Cobalt-60 from our Bruce B reactors, we continue to harness the incredible power of nuclear energy for more than just clean, affordable electricity.”
Bruce Power recently signed an agreement to begin supplying Nordion with ‘High Specific Activity’ (HSA) Cobalt, which is used in the treatment of brain-related cancers. For 60 years, Nordion’s supply of medical-grade Cobalt has come primarily from the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, ON, which is slated to reach its end-of-life in 2018, creating the possibility of an international shortage of medical-grade Cobalt – a gap Bruce Power will now help fill.
The first HSA Cobalt will be loaded into Unit 7 during this planned maintenance outage, and will be harvested and sent to Nordion for processing in about two years.
“HSA Cobalt is at the forefront of innovative new medical technologies, so we’re excited to be part of the supply chain for this radiation therapy,” Clewett said. “As a long-time supplier of Cobalt-60, we’re helping to keep our hospitals safe for patients. Now, with HSA Cobalt, we will have a greater benefit to human health across the globe.”
Learn more about how Cobalt-60 keeps hospitals safe for at www.cleannuclearpowersafehospitals.com.