Bruce Power is set to place medical-grade cobalt into unit 8 of its nuclear power plant in Ontario, meaning all four Bruce B units will now produce high specific activity (HAS) cobalt, which is used to treat brain tumours worldwide.
HAS cobalt is used as an alternative to traditional brain surgery and radiation therapy for the treatment of complex brain conditions through a specialized, non-invasive knife, which uses gamma radiation to focus 200 microscopic beams of radiations on a tumour or other target. It minimizes damage to healthy tissue and lowers side-effects compared to traditional therapy in some cases.
ruce Power-8 entered a planned maintenance inspection programme on 1 September, during which HAS cobalt rods will be installed
According to World Nuclear News, Bruce Power-8 entered a planned maintenance inspection programme on 1 September, during which HAS cobalt rods will be installed.
"HAS cobalt is at the forefront of innovative new medical technologies, and we're proud of the part we play in delivering this life-saving radiation therapy", Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power's president and CEO, said. "As a long-time supplier of cobalt-60, we have been helping to keep our hospitals safe for decades, and now, with production of HAS cobalt, we will have a greater impact on human health across the globe".
The company said the milestone at unit 8, which it announced on 31 August, coincided with recognition of its role in the fight against childhood cancer at the opening of the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Neal Rourke, a member of Advocacy for Canadian Childhood Oncology Research Network (Ac2orn) said Bruce Power was to be commended for the role it plays in providing isotopes used to treat childhood and adolescent cancer, and for the leadership shown in helping form the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council, which is exploring further medical isotope development.
The maintenance inspection programme on unit 8 is part of Bruce Power's Life-Extension Program, which will allow the site to operate through to 2064.