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Bruce Power, a valued member of the Huron Chamber of Commerce and a strong supporter of business leadership in Huron County, will be installing a second production line for the medical isotope lutetium-177. This expansion will double Bruce Power’s capacity to produce this crucial isotope, which is used in cancer treatments for prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors. The new production line is expected to be operational by the end of 2024.

This project is part of an expanded partnership between Bruce Power and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). The partnership, named Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin, translates to “We are teaming up to fight the sickness” and aims to make significant impacts on cancer treatment worldwide while creating new economic opportunities within SON territory.

James Scongack, Bruce Power’s Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice-President, emphasized the importance of this collaboration. “Bruce Power and Saugeen Ojibway Nation have been committed to setting ourselves down a path together, working in collaboration and uniting on a project to help fight cancer globally through the production of short-lived medical isotopes,” Scongack said. “We are stronger when we work together. Bruce Power is proud of our continued partnership with Saugeen Ojibway Nation, supporting the global fight against cancer while creating new economic opportunities and advancing economic reconciliation.”

Chief Greg Nadjiwon of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Chief Conrad Ritchie of the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation have both expressed pride in this innovative project. They highlight the partnership’s role in providing leadership in the global fight against cancer and building economic opportunities for their communities. “The expansion of the Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin partnership is a result of the increasing demand for cancer-fighting lutetium-177, and the increased production will ensure our partnership will continue to provide a reliable source of these isotopes for patients around the world,” Chief Ritchie stated.

The Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin partnership began in 2019 with the marketing of isotopes produced through the Isotope Production System (IPS) installed at Bruce Power in 2022. The IPS, developed in collaboration with Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company), ITM Isotope Technologies Munich, and SON, produces lutetium-177 for cancer patients, doctors, and researchers globally.

For the local economy, this expansion means more than just increased production of a life-saving medical resource. It heralds a wave of economic activity, bringing new jobs and heightened demand for local services and supplies, thereby strengthening our businesses and overall economic vitality. Bruce Power’s expanded role in medical isotope production also positions the region as a significant player in the global healthcare sector. With this development, the reputation of both Bruce and Huron counties is enhanced, making the area an attractive destination for further investments and innovations in healthcare.

Premier Ford and Minister of Energy Todd Smith have both expressed strong support for this project, emphasizing its importance for Ontario’s energy and healthcare sectors. Their statements highlight the dual role of nuclear power in providing both reliable electricity and advancements in medical treatments, underlining the strategic value of such investments.

The announcement of Bruce Power’s expanded isotope production capabilities marks a significant milestone. It not only enhances our region’s economic prospects but also positions Bruce and Huron counties as leaders in innovative cancer treatment solutions. The Huron Chamber of Commerce will continue to support and promote initiatives that drive growth and prosperity in our community.