(TORONTO – November 26, 2020) – The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC), in partnership with the International Irradiation Association (IIA), has released a new report highlighting the economic, social and environmental benefits that arise from radiation processing around the world.
Though largely unknown by the public, radiation processing or “irradiation” touches everyone’s life. If you suffer an injury or illness, then it is highly likely that you will be treated with wound care products or other medical supplies that have been sterilized by irradiation. Research into radiation processing continues to develop applications that will provide more benefits for future generations.
“Radiation processing is critical to our healthcare industries and to the well-being of millions of North Americans” said Martin Comben, General Manager of IIA. “The contribution to multi-billion-dollar economic sectors will continue; the competitive position of North America’s highly regarded medical device companies will be maintained; and innovation, international trade and employment numbers will all grow.”
The report summarizes the uses and importance of radiation processing, and highlights how these technologies have a positive impact on the daily lives of the world’s population.
The report reveals that:
- The United States and Canada are the world’s largest user and supplier of irradiation technology.
- Irradiation supports multi-billion-dollar industries and sectors in North America.
- The need for sterile and safe medical devices will continue to grow in the U.S. and Canada; as the population increases, there is earlier detection of disease and life expectancy is extended. By 2023, the U.S. medical device market is expected to grow to a value of USD $208 billion.
- More than 50 per cent of the world’s Cobalt-60 is produced in reactors in Canada and up to 80 per cent of the world’s Cobalt-60 sealed sources are manufactured in Canada.
“Through its wide range of applications, radiation processing helps to keep us safe and healthy, supports our economies and helps to protect the global environment,” said James Scongack, Chair of the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council. “During the COVID-19 pandemic the need for sterile medical equipment has continued to grow, which is why the Cobalt-60 provided by Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation, which makes up over 50 per cent of the world’s supply, is more critical now than ever before.”
The report also provides valuable information and regional summaries on the uses of irradiation technology and its potential across the globe. This includes detailing the current market and possible market potential for each of these international markets.
The CNIC has been a strong advocate for Canada to enable investment in its isotope infrastructure and ensure the building blocks are in place for this sector to remain a global leader, specifically in irradiation technologies. Such investments would exhibit a commitment to Canada’s role as a leader in nuclear medicine, and dramatically bolster the country’s capacity to innovate while delivering substantial economic and societal benefits to both Canadians and patients around the globe.
This year, the CNIC is focused on bridging these public and private coalitions into demonstrable results for Canadians searching for new life-saving cancer treatments.
Heading into 2021, the CNIC will continue to promote public awareness about the use and benefits of medical/industrial isotopes and radiation technologies, and work with government stakeholders to ensure that the public policy landscape promotes innovation and supports the increased proliferation of medical and industrial isotope uses.
For more information please contact:
Director, Strategic Initiatives
Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
About the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) is an independent organization consisting of representatives from various levels within the Canadian health sector, nuclear industry and research bodies, convened specifically to advocate for our country’s role in the production of the world’s isotope supply.