Where is cobalt-60 produced?

nuclear reactors
WHERE DOES COBALT-60 COME FROM AND WHERE IS IT FOUND? Cobalt-60 is artificially produced by bombarding a target material, either cobalt-59 or nickel-60, with neutrons. This reaction is produced by nuclear weapons detonations and in nuclear reactors.

Why is cobalt-60 not medically anymore?

Because it decays by gamma radiation, external exposure to large sources of Co-60 can cause skin burns, acute radiation sickness, or death.

Is cobalt-60 used in nuclear medicine?

It is produced by irradiating the stable isotope cobalt-59 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. Cobalt-60 is used in the inspection of materials to reveal internal structure, flaws, or foreign objects and in the sterilization of food. In medicine, it is used to treat cancer and to sterilize medical equipment.

How is cobalt-60 produced in reactor?

Cobalt-60 is produced by neutron bombardment of stable cobalt in a nuclear reactor. Small nickel-plated slugs of the radioactive metal are loaded into a sealed alloy cylinder typically 10 × 450 mm and doubly encapsulated in a corrosion-resistant steel pencil.

Is cobalt used in nuclear reactors?

Cobalt-60 is a neutron activation product formed from structural materials in nuclear reactors. It can also be produced industrially through neutron activation of stable cobalt. It is used in nuclear medicine. Radiocobalts (the radioactive isotopes of cobalt) are found in nuclear power reactors.

Where is cobalt found?

Cobalt is found in the minerals cobaltite, skutterudite and erythrite. Important ore deposits are found in DR Congo, Canada, Australia, Zambia and Brazil. Most cobalt is formed as a by-product of nickel refining.

Is cobalt-60 man made or natural?

Cobalt-60 is not found in nature. It is a synthetic radioactive isotope made by neutron activation of Cobalt-59. Cobalt-60 is produced off site in nuclear reactors and transported in special shipping containers (casks) to the sterilization facility.

Where is cobalt-60 used?

Cobalt-60 is used as a radiation source in many common industrial applications, such as in leveling devices and thickness gauges. It is also used for radiation therapy in hospitals. Accidental exposures may occur as the result of loss or improper disposal of medical and industrial radiation sources.