bruce power

Bruce Power has completed a harvest of medical-grade Cobalt-60, which will diagnose and treat brain and breast cancers.

In a Bruce Power media release, the medical-grade Cobalt-60 has spent nearly two years in Bruce Power’s Unit 7 reactor and will now be processed by Ottawa-based Nordion before being made available to the world’s medical community as it develops new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. One such way is Xcision’s GammaPod, which is a new solution that is designed to provide non-invasive treatments to patients with the potential to shorten the course of radiotherapy and limit doses to the surrounding healthy tissue, including the whole breast, heart and lungs.

Medical-grade Cobalt-60 also powers the Gamma Knife, which is a non-invasive treatment for brain tumours. It focuses 200 beams of radiation on the site of the tumour, reducing impact to the healthy tissue that surrounds the site.

“When it was announced the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River was going to be retired in 2018, the medical community was worried there would be a shortage of life-saving medical isotopes,” said Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO. “Bruce Power quickly developed a process to produce medical-grade Cobalt-60 in order to prevent a shortage of this cancer-fighting isotope. By doing so we are ensuring a long-term, stable supply of medical isotopes, advancing human health and saving lives.”

Bruce Power remains committed to finding new medical isotopes to produce in its reactors, to help ensure a steady supply of life-saving isotopes for the world’s medical community, Rencheck added.

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