Westinghouse, EDF, Sign Cobalt-60 MOU

Westinghouse Electric Company said Wednesday, it had signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with French utility EDF paving the way for Cobalt-60 radioisotope production in select Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) owned and operated by EDF in France.

Westinghouse, EDF, sign MOUCobalt-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.

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.

 “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.

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