Tag Archives: Framatome

CNA2020

New partnerships mean more medical isotope production

Image of Westinghouse and Nordion executives signing a letter of intent.
Westinghouse and Nordion signed a letter of intent to develop innovative isotope production technology that will allow cobalt-60 to be produced in pressurized water reactors.

According to the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council, the global isotope market was estimated to be US$9.6 billion. It is projected to grow to more than US$17.1 billion by 2023. Canada’s position in that market recently got stronger with two new partnership agreements.

Framatome and Kinectrics Launch Joint Venture to Produce Medical Isotopes for Lifesaving Cancer Treatment

At CNA2020 on Feb. 28, Framatome and Kinectrics announced the launch of Isogen. The joint venture will provide and support isotope production systems for Bruce Power’s nuclear reactors to begin the production of lutetium-177.

Lutetium-177 is used as a gamma emitter for imaging. It is also a beta emitter used for targeted radiotherapy for the treatment of a growing number of cancers, including prostate cancer, neuroendocrine tumours and bone metastases.

“We are proud to have established a new Ontario-based company, Isogen, with our partner, Framatome,” said David Harris, Kinectrics president and CEO. “Together, we will work with Bruce Power to produce life-saving medical isotopes, specifically lutetium-177, which will help to advance the global fight against cancer.”

“Partnering with Kinectrics to launch Isogen marks our commitment to advance isotope development as we continue to work with the team at Bruce Power in the fight against cancer,” said Bernard Fontana, CEO at Framatome. “Together, we are working with Bruce Power to maximize existing infrastructure, already known for producing reliable, low-carbon electricity, and making important, life-saving medical treatments available to patients around the world.”

The partnership will leverage the scale, redundancy and longevity of the eight-unit facility to anchor a new, global supply of isotopes. Following regulatory and other approvals, the plan is to begin isotope production in 2022. The goal is to allow scaling based on demands for lutetium-177 and other isotopes.

“As home to Ontario’s largest private-sector infrastructure project, we are not only extending our assets to provide low-cost, clean electricity for our families and business but are also ensuring that we are playing a leadership role in providing the global health community with access to isotopes that are critical to a modern health-care system and in the fight against cancer,” said Michael Rencheck, president and CEO of Bruce Power.

Westinghouse Partners with Nordion to Increase Future Supply of Life-Saving Cobalt-60

Two days before the Isogen announcement, Westinghouse Electric Company and Nordion (Canada) Inc. announced they signed a letter of intent to develop innovative isotope production technology that will allow cobalt-60 to be produced in pressurized water reactors (PWRs).

Cobalt-60 is the most common radioisotope used in radiation therapy. Hospitals also use cobalt-60 to sterilize medical equipment, such as gowns, gloves, masks, syringes and implants.

“Westinghouse, a leader in nuclear technology throughout the world, brings a strong set of operational experience, engineering skills and a robust safety culture to this collaboration. We look forward to contributing to the health and well-being of people around the world,” said Patrick Fragman, president and CEO of Westinghouse.

“This partnership will substantially expand future supply options for life-saving cobalt-60,” said Kevin Brooks, president of Nordion, a leading supplier of cobalt-60 globally. “Cobalt-60 is critical to our mission of Safeguarding Global Health, and we continue to invest heavily in maintaining a reliable, long-term supply.”

According to the World Nuclear Association, almost all the world’s supply of the radioisotope is produced in Candu reactors, mostly in Canada.

Expanding production to PWRs — of which there are nearly 100 in North America alone — will strengthen the diversity of the global supply chain.