Nordion extends Cobalt-60 agreement with Bruce Power

Ottawa-based Nordion announced Friday it is extending its partnership with Bruce Power, in a deal that will see the company’s nuclear facility provide Nordion with Cobalt-60 for up to 14 more years.

Once cobalt is mined, it is processed into Cobalt-59 powder, compressed into slugs and coated with nickel. Bruce Power then uses it in the adjuster rods that control the reactors at its Bruce Nuclear Generating Station by absorbing neutrons.

That process turns the Cobalt-59 into Cobalt-60. Bruce Power then harvests the rods and ships them to Nordion. Ultimately, Nordion customers use the Cobalt-60 in their irradiators to sterilize a wide range of disposable medical supplies.

“In today’s world, where spread of disease is discussed daily, we are reminded how critical it is to have sterile medical products to mitigate risk to patients and the health care community,” Scott McIntosh, Nordion’s president, gamma technologies and corporate services, said in a statement.