Ontario legislature supports motion on province’s production of Cobalt-60
by CM Staff
About half of the world's Cobalt-60 comes from Ontario nuclear plants. The isotope has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic for a variety of uses, including sterilization of gloves and testing swabs.
TORONTO— A recent private member’s motion introduced by the Member of Provincial Parliament for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Bill Walker, recognizing Ontario’s role in supplying isotopes, received unanimous support from the Ontario Legislature, according to a statement from the Ontario Power Generation Inc.
The motion acknowledges the role of Ontario’s nuclear power plants and supply chain play in production of a variety of isotopes used for a range of critical functions, including:
- Treatment of cancer and other diseases
- Sterilization of medical devices
- Medical imaging
- New drug development
- Food preservation
About half of the world’s Cobalt-60 comes from Ontario nuclear plants. The isotope has been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic for a variety of uses, including sterilization of gloves and testing swabs.
Both Pickering and Darlington nuclear generating stations play a role in ensuring a steady supply of isotopes. Co-60 is currently produced at Pickering and will be produced at the Darlington facility after modifications.
OPG subsidiary, Laurentis Energy Partners, plans to produce and extract both Molybdenum-99 and Helium-3 at Darlington.
“The world relies on Ontario’s nuclear fleet for a steady supply of isotopes, and OPG takes this responsibility seriously,” said Steve Gregoris, Senior Vice President, Darlington Nuclear in a company statement.
“As we continue to innovate, we will continue to find ways to build capacity and develop uses for much-needed isotopes,” said Gregoris.
Jason Van Wart, Laurentis Energy Partners Vice President also stated in a press release that millions of people enjoy a healthier and a safer quality of life because of the isotopes generated from Ontario’s CANDU nuclear power plants.
“Laurentis is proud to be a vital partner and leader in the production of various isotopes for Ontario, Canada, and the world, ” said Van Wart.