Bruce Power To Harvest Isotopes In March - Canadian Nuclear Association


Bruce Power To Harvest Isotopes In March

January 22, 2019

Bruce Power is expanding its role in health care in the form of increasing its production of medicals isotopes.

For years Bruce Power has been a global supplier of medical isotopes, but this March the nuclear giant is taking it one step further.

Executive Vice President James Scongack says in March, Bruce Power will begin to harvest Cobalt 60, a medical grade of cobalt specifically designed for the treatment of brain tumors.

This treatment involves utilizing a technology called the gamma knife, a radio beam therapy that replaces the need of a physical incision.

Scongack says the medical world has experienced great outcomes with gamma knife technology, the challenge however has been a shortage of the medical grade cobalt used in this technique following the closure of the NRU reactor in Chalk River in March of 2018.

In anticipation of this shortage, Bruce Power has been ‘cooking’ the isotopes needed for Cobalt 60 for the last three years.

Scongack says one of the untold stories about the nuclear industry in Ontario is its contribution to health care both here in Canada and around the world.

He says Bruce Power is already a global supplier of lifesaving isotopes.

This latest batch however is the first time the nuclear giant has ever harvested isotopes specifically designed to treat brain tumors.

Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Chief Executive Officer Susan Marshall is very excited about the role Bruce Power will play in the supply of Cobolt 60 to the medical community.

She says brain tumors are the number one cause of cancer death among children, adding that at least 27 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumor every day.

In the case of brain tumors treatment is often very limited, Marshall says the gama knife technology provides patients with one more option.