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Cobalt-60

Information on a common radioisotope.
by

Pavithra Hariharan

on 1 May 2014

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Transcript of Cobalt-60

What is it?
Cobalt-60 is just another one of your common radioisotopes.

It is used both for medical (sterilize surgical instruments) and industrial (preservation of food) purposes.
Cobalt-60
Production.
Produced by neutron bombardment.
When pellets of Co-59 are placed inside a nuclear reactor they are bombarded with neutrons.
Co-60 is radioactive and begins to decay with the release of beta and gamma radiation.
Food Irradiation.
Also known as food preservation.
Used to extend shell life of food
The gamma radiation produced by cobalt-60 kills bacteria, moulds and yeasts, which prolongs the food life.
Medical Uses.
Sterilisation of surgical instruments
As cobalt-60 kills bacteria, moulds and yeast, it is used to sterilise medical supplies such as bandages, dressings and surgical equipment
The production of gamma radiation in cobalt-60 can be used to kill cancer cells
Since cobalt-60 has low emission levels it provides a safer environment for doctors treating cancer and workers at industrial sites.
Detecting flaws in metal casting.
Gamma radiation(which is produced by cobalt-60) has a penetrating property, which allows it to pass through metals.
Through gamma radiography poor welding, metal fatigue and hairline cracks can be detected.
Small sample of Cobalt-60 is easy to transport as it is chemically inert (inside a sealed titanium capsule), therefore gamma radiography is useful in isolated areas.

Thickness gauges.
A radioactive source and a detector arranged can be used to monitor and control the thickness of materials such as steel sheets, paper, aluminium foil and plastic film in factories.
Introduction.
Cobalt-60 has a half life of 5.3 years
It does not require high maintenance cost, therefore it can be used for a few years before being replaced.
Properties and
their uses
Abiy, Pavithra, Prakhavi & Vishwa.
Full transcript