Bruce Power is poised to place medical-grade Cobalt into its Unit 8 reactor, meaning all four Bruce B units will now produce High Specific Activity (HSA) Cobalt, which is used to treat brain tumours worldwide.
This milestone coincides with special recognition for the company’s role in the fight against childhood cancer at the opening of the Toronto Stock Exchange. Mike Rencheck, Bruce Power’s President and CEO, and James Scongack, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Environment, were on hand Aug. 31 for the ceremonial activation of the market opening siren at the invitation of the Advocacy for Canadian Childhood Oncology Research Network (Ac2orn).
“Bruce Power is 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,” said Neal Rourke, a member of Ac2orn. “More than 10,000 Canadian children 19 years of age and under have been diagnosed with cancer this decade, and childhood brain tumours have recently passed leukemia as the most deadly form of childhood cancer in North America.”
Unit 8 enters a planned maintenance inspection program today (Sept. 1) when HSA Cobalt rods are being installed.
“HSA 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,” Rencheck 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 HSA Cobalt, we will have a greater impact on human health across the globe.”
HSA Cobalt is used worldwide for alternative treatments to traditional brain surgery and radiation therapy for the treatment of complex brain conditions through a specialized, non-invasive knife. This innovative tool uses gamma radiation to focus 200 microscopic beams of radiation on a tumour or other target. Although each individual beam has little effect on the brain tissue surrounding the tumour, where the beam intersects, a strong dose of radiation is delivered to the site, minimizing damage to healthy tissue and lowering side effects compared to traditional therapy in some cases.
“Bruce Power’s role in delivering a long-term supply of HSA Cobalt-60 is saving lives and boosting Ontario’s economy,” said Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “Our government recognizes all of Ontario’s nuclear operators for their successes at creating and sustaining quality jobs across the province, for being a key source of low-cost electricity and making Ontario a world leader in supplying life-saving medical isotopes.”
The maintenance inspection program on Unit 8 is part of Bruce Power’s Life-Extension Program, which will allow the site to operate through to 2064. The Life-Extension Program, which began Jan. 1, 2016, remains on time and on budget, and includes the Major Component Replacement Projects, which begin in Unit 6 in 2020 and will see major investment upgrades to Units 3-8
Learn more about how Bruce Power is positively impacting the medical industry and keeping hospitals safe across the world by downloading the publication ‘Clean Nuclear Power. Safe Hospitals.’ or visit www.cleannuclearpowersafehospitals.com .
About Bruce Power
Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.