Medical Isotopes

A pioneer in nuclear medicine, NRU continued to make an important contribution to the world’s medical isotopes used in both the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases. Isotopes from NRU benefitted thousands of people each day, millions of people internationally each year – an amazing contribution to world health. 

One of the NRU reactor's most important contributions to health is without a doubt the cobalt-60 it produced. Cobalt-60 accounts for 10 million cancer therapy treatments each year and was originally produced in the NRX reactor through which Canada launched the modern field of nuclear medicine. The first cancer treatments using cobalt-60 were delivered at hospitals in Ontario and Saskatchewan in 1951. Cobalt-60 from NRU treated cancer patients in countries all over the world.

Canada has made impressive contributions to world health care, and Canadian scientists continue to research nuclear medicine techniques and explore the vastly refined techniques of medical science.