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Westinghouse And EDF Collaborate In Life-Saving Nuclear Medical Applications

Companies mark European first to produce Cobalt-60 radioisotope in EDF reactors

At the World Nuclear Exhibition, Westinghouse Electric Company and EDF signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to produce Cobalt-60 radioisotope in select Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) owned and operated by EDF in France.

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

Cédric Lewandowski, EDF Group Senior Executive Vice-President, Nuclear and Thermal explained that: “Production of Cobalt-60 in EDF nuclear power plants shows that, in addition to its role of production of carbon-free electricity, nuclear energy can also help on global health, this is part of our contribution to the general interest.

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

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“We are delighted to partner with EDF in this key agreement that will expand and strengthen the global Cobalt-60 supply chain,” said Patrick Fragman, Westinghouse President & CEO. “We are fully committed to leverage nuclear energy to improve global health.”

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.

Westinghouse Electric Company is shaping the future of carbon-free energy by providing safe, innovative nuclear technologies to utilities globally. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first commercial pressurized water reactor in 1957 and the company’s technology is the basis for nearly one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. For over 130 years, innovation makes Westinghouse the preferred partner for technologies covering the complete nuclear energy life cycle. For more information, visit www.westinghousenuclear.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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As a major player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: generation, transmission, distribution, energy trading, energy sales and energy services. EDF group is a world leader in low-carbon energy, having developed a diverse production mix based mainly on nuclear and renewable energy (including hydropower). It is also investing in new technologies to support energy transition. EDF’s raison d’être is to build a net zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions and services, to help save the planet and drive well-being and economic development. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.9 million customers (1), of whom 28.7 million in France (2). It generated consolidated sales of €69.0 billion in 2020. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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