Bruce Power, the utility in Ontario, Canada, and health-care company Nordion announced that they are working to increase the production of cobalt-60 to meet increasing world market demands. The companies said they will increase the amount of Co-60 Bruce Power is able to produce in its reactors “by innovating a new adjuster component configuration.”
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Bruce Power announced on October 22 that it has completed its second harvest of cobalt-60 this year during an outage of Unit 8 of the Bruce nuclear power plant in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada. The company said that with this latest harvest, it will have provided the world enough of the medical isotope to sterilize 20 billion–25 billion pairs of gloves or COVID-19 swabs.
The Co-60 will be sent to Ottawa-based Nordion for processing and distribution over the next several weeks, according to Bruce Power. From there, the isotope will be shipped around the world for use in gamma irradiation to sterilize medical devices such as single-use gowns, surgical gloves, scalpels, syringes, and other critical health care equipment.