Westinghouse and EDF To Collaborate To Produce Cobalt-60 Radioisotope

During the last World Nuclear Exhibition, Westinghouse Electric Company and EDF (both ENS Corporate Members) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to produce Cobalt-60 radioisotope in select Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) owned and operated by EDF in France.

Cobalt-60 plays a critical role in the safety of medical devices and reduces pathogens in other products, as well as in the treatment of certain brain cancers. This document marks the first step for production in Europe of Cobalt-60 for medical uses.

Cobalt-60 is produced by exposing Cobalt-59, a stable isotope, with neutrons. In the memorandum, 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 commercialization of the Cobalt-60.

EDF and Westinghouse 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.

Read the full Westinghouse Press Release.