Canada’s Bruce Power has completed its final shipments of Cobalt-60 for the first half of 2020.
Ottawa-based Nordion will process the Cobalt-60 and distribute it to medical facilities across Canada and throughout the rest of the world.
Access to Cobalt-60 has taken on urgency with the COVID-19 outbreak because of its effectiveness and reliability in sterilising drapes, gowns, surgical gloves, scalpels and other single-use medical devices cleaned by radiation.
Cobalt-60 helps to sterilise 40% of the world’s medical devices, and treat complex forms of cancer through non-invasive procedures.
Twenty-four cobalt rods from Bruce 6, a nuclear power plant – including four bundles of medical-grade Cobalt-60 – were involved in the February harvest. After being processed by Ottawa-based Nordion this Cobalt-60 will be made available to the world’s medical community.
Bruce 6 was taken offline in January for a Major Component Replacement project. The MCR is expected to take 46 months to complete and is expected to extend the operating life of the PHWR by at least 30 years.
Lower electricity rates for Ontario
Meanwhile, on 24 March, Bruce Power president and CEO Mike Rencheck welcomed a statement from the Ontario government that the province will lower electricity rates for at least 45 days. The measure has been taken to to offset higher consumption as more people work from home or remain in self-isolation.
The Ontario Energy Board is also extending the ban on electricity disconnection for households and small business that are unable to pay their utility bills until the end of July.
“As a company based in rural Ontario, we applaud today’s announcement by Premier Ford, Minister Rickford and Associate Minister Walker, and appreciate how much this will mean for residents, farmers and owners of small businesses in our communities,” said Rencheck.
“At this time, it is crucial for all of us to do what we can to ease the burden felt by Ontarians in these trying times. We are a proud partner of business and the government and will continue to do all that we can to continue to power more for less.”
Photo: A crew at Bruce B pose for a photo with the final shipment of Cobalt-60 for the first half of 2020 (Credit: Bruce Power)