Tech-1: Cobalt-60 supply chain

Tuesday November 08, 2022 from 08:30 to 10:00

Room: Lunar

Tech-1.2 A new reactor platform for Cobalt-60 production

Kris R Paserba, United States

Market Development Manager
Westinghouse Electric Company LLC


A New Reactor Platform for Cobalt-60 Production

Richard Wiens1, Eddie Saab2, Kris Paserba3.

1Nordion (Canada) Inc., Ottawa, ON, Canada; 2Westinghouse Electric Canada, Inc., Toronto, ON, Canada; 3Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Cranberry Township, PA, United States

Cobalt-60 is a life-saving isotope responsible for sterilizing approximately 40% of the world’s single-use medical devices, including syringes, gloves, implants and surgical instruments. It is also used to treat a variety of food and consumer products for the reduction of harmful pathogens.  Currently, almost all of the world’s Cobalt-60 is produced in CANDU Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and RBMK Light Water Graphite-moderated Reactors (LWGRs).  There are a limited number of these reactors available, and increasing global demand has led to a search for other reactor platforms capable of efficient and economical production of Cobalt-60.  Of the roughly 440 commercial nuclear reactors operating today, more than 300 are Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), making this design a natural area of focus.  Westinghouse Electric Company (Westinghouse) has partnered with Nordion to develop technologies and processes that would allow for large-scale production of Cobalt-60 in PWRs, leveraging Nordion’s intellectual property and experience in target design and Westinghouse’s advanced fuel technology and broad market access.  This presentation will describe key differences between Cobalt-60 production in PWRs and production in PHWRs and LWGRs, identify some of the engineering and physics challenges associated with the project, and provide an update on utility engagement and implementation.

Presentations by Kris R Paserba

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