EDF and Westinghouse sign MOU on Co-60

2 December 2021

Westinghouse Electric Company and EDF have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to produce Cobalt-60 radioisotope in select pressurised water reactors (PWR) owned and operated by EDF in France. This MoU marks the first step for production in Europe of Cobalt-60 for medical uses.

“We are delighted to partner with EDF in this key agreement that will expand and strengthen the global Cobalt-60 supply chain,” said Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse President & CEO during the signing ceremony at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris. “We are fully committed to leverage nuclear energy to improve global health.”

Cobalt-60 plays a critical role in the safety of medical devices and reduces pathogens in other products. It is also used in the treatment of certain brain cancers.

“Production of Cobalt-60 in EDF nuclear power plants shows that, in addition to its role of production of carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy can also help on global health, this is part of our contribution to the general interest," said Cédric Lewandowski, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President, Nuclear and Thermal.

Cobalt-60 is produced by exposing Cobalt-59, a stable isotope, to neutrons. Under the MoU, Westinghouse would manufacture Cobalt-59 capsule fuel assembly inserts (COBAs) for EDF to manage in its PWRs to generate activated Cobalt-60. Westinghouse would manage commercialisation of the Cobalt-60. 

EDF and Westinghouse said they will initiate a Feasibility Assessment and target an anticipated Cobalt-59 load date in the late 2020s with the first Cobalt-60 harvest in the early 2030s.

Photo: Cédric Lewandowski, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice- President, Nuclear and Thermal (LEFT) and Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse President & CEO (Photo: Business Wire)

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.