December 31, 2019
Darlington to Become New Source of Life-saving Medical Isotope
TORONTO & OTTAWA – Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Nordion (Canada) Inc. have signed an agreement to expand production of Cobalt-60 to the Darlington Nuclear Station. Currently, approximately 50% of the world’s Cobalt-60 is produced in Ontario.
Cobalt-60 is a life-saving isotope responsible for sterilizing approximately 40% of the world’s single-use medical devices, including syringes, gloves, implants and surgical instruments. It is also used to treat a variety of food and consumer products for the reduction of harmful pathogens.
“OPG has been producing Cobalt-60 at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station since the 1970s and is proud to be a world leader in the production of this important medical isotope,” said Ken Hartwick, President & CEO of OPG. “Expanding our production to Darlington will provide the world with a stable and reliable supply of Cobalt-60 for years to come.”
“Cobalt-60 is one of the key lines of defence in global efforts to safeguard public health,” said Kevin Brooks, President of Nordion. “Expanding our long relationship with OPG will ensure that we meet growing global demand for this critical isotope, which benefits millions of people around the world.”
“The world depends on Ontario-produced Cobalt-60 to stay healthy and safe,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “The collaboration between OPG and Nordion to expand production of this key medical isotope to Darlington Nuclear Generating Station will benefit people in our province and around the world today and in the future. This further cements Ontario’s stellar reputation as a leader in the medical isotope field.”
“We need to maintain a high degree of vigilance to prevent infections caused by bacteria and viruses adapting to survive,” says Dr. Alon Vaisman, Infection Prevention and Control Physician at University Health Network. “Sterilization of medical equipment and instruments are an important part of our ongoing efforts to reduce health care-associated infections, prevent transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms, and ensure our patients are safe and well cared for in our hospitals.”
To learn more about how OPG produces Cobalt-60 at its nuclear facilities, please visit: https://www.opg.com/innovating-for-tomorrow/knowledge-is-power/news/cobalt-60-what-does-it-have-to-do-with-healthcare
OPG is the largest electricity generator in the province, providing almost half the power Ontarians rely on every day. It is also one of the most diverse generators in North America with expertise in nuclear, hydro, biomass, solar and gas.
Currently, Cobalt-60 is extracted from reactors at Pickering Nuclear every 24 to 30 months. Implementing Cobalt-60 production at Darlington Nuclear will replace the capacity lost when Pickering nuclear ceases operations, and provide increased production to meet global demand.
Nordion, a Sotera Health company, is a leading provider of medical gamma technologies used for the prevention and treatment of disease and infection. Nordion’s products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion supplies products to more than 40 countries around the world, and is committed to their mission, Safeguarding Global Health™ with every critical isotope they supply. Learn more at www.nordion.com.
For further information, please contact:
Ontario Power Generation
416-592-4008 or 1-877-592-4008
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