Nordion Acquires Technology to Expand Future Global Cobalt-60 Supply

Feb 27, 2019

OTTAWA, CANADA – February 27, 2019 – Nordion (Canada) Inc., a Sotera Health Company, announces the acquisition of technology patents related to the production of Cobalt-60 in Light Water Reactors (LWRs) from GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Americas LLC (GEH).

Nordion plays a significant role in safeguarding global health by supplying Cobalt-60 to sterilize single-use medical devices, to reduce pathogens in food and other products, and to treat certain cancers.  As the world’s leading supplier of Cobalt-60, Nordion maintains the most geographically and technologically diverse supply network and plans to further diversify production in the future. 

To meet the growing demand for this critical isotope, Nordion has pursued the development of new reactor technology for expanded supply. The intellectual property that Nordion has acquired enables Cobalt-60 to be made in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) and Boiling Water Reactors (BWR’s), which represent the majority of the world’s 400 nuclear reactors and the 100 reactors in the United States. The technology’s viability has already been demonstrated in a pilot program that successfully produced approximately one million Curries of Cobalt-60 at two U.S. reactors.

“Ensuring a reliable, long-term supply of Cobalt-60 is critical to Nordion’s mission of Safeguarding Global HealthTM,” said company President, Kevin Brooks. “These patents will significantly increase our sourcing options for expanding the world’s Cobalt-60 supply to keep pace with market demand.”

Cobalt-60 is produced by inserting naturally-occurring Cobalt-59 into a nuclear reactor, which then converts it into Cobalt-60 during normal operations.  The converted product is then removed from the reactor and shipped to Nordion, where it is used to manufacture sealed sources and shipped to customers in over 40 countries.

About Nordion: Nordion, a Sotera Health company, is a leading provider of medical gamma technologies used for the prevention and treatment of disease and infection.  Nordion’s products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion supplies products to more than 40 countries around the world, and is committed to their mission, Safeguarding Global Health™ with every critical isotope they supply.  Learn more at


# # #


For more information:

Paul Monlezun