Photo: Cobalt-60 source at a sterilization facility (Credit: Framatome)Framatome and Exelon Generation on 23 December announced the signature of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop solutions to produce Cobalt-60 in pressurised water reactors (PWRs) operated by Exelon Generation.

“With a decades-long commitment to radioisotope production for cancer treatment, we understand the need for diversified, reliable and sustainable supply chains to deliver market and society expectations,” said François Gauché, director of Framatome Healthcare. “With this partnership we want to expand our support for critical surgical equipment sterilisation and cancer treatment at medical facilities globally.”

Under the MOU, the two companies will cooperate on technology development and assess the feasibility and economics of Cobalt-60 production in PWR reactors for industrial and medical purposes as long-term demand continues to grow.

“Exelon Generation and Framatome have been long-standing partners and we are proud to continue to bring together cost-efficient and reliable solutions from the nuclear industry to also support the development of critical supplies in the healthcare sector,” said Frédéric Lelièvre, senior executive vice president of Sales, Regional Platforms and I&C Business Unit at Framatome.

Framatome Healthcare, the new member of the Framatome brand family, is committed to developing products and services for the healthcare industry. Framatome said its team supports the value chain for the radioisotopes used in radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic purposes, supplies special alloys for the development of surgical implants and prostheses, and provides advanced solutions for complex sterilization facilities essential for the use of medical materials. Framatome Healthcare's experts advance cancer-fighting treatments and medical applications of nuclear technology.

Exelon Generation operates the largest US fleet of zero-carbon nuclear plants from 21 reactors at 12 facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. 

Photo: Cobalt-60 source at a sterilization facility (Credit: Framatome)