Information on the Radioisotope: Cobalt 60 Used in Medicine and in Industry
There are many benefits associated with using cobalt-60. Up to 95% of its emitted energy is available for use. Cobalt-60 reverts back to non-radioactive nickel when its energy has been utilised and therefore considered to pose low risk to the environment. In industrial radiography, it can be used to inspect metal parts and welds for defects. It is also insoluble in water and does not present a risk of ground water contamination. In the process of food irradiation cobalt 60 kills bacteria and other pathogens, without damaging the product and is also cheap and easy to manufacture. In medicine, cobalt-60 destroys cancerous cells and is used in the sterilisation of medical equipment.
However there are some problems associated with cobalt-60. Cobalt 60's 5.24 years half-life offers disadvantages, for example cobalt-60 pencils require frequent replenishment at a substantial cost due to the extensive time spent in the reactor.
- Information on the Radioisotope: Cobalt 60 Used in Medicine and in Industry
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