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Sterigenics LLC, A Sotera Health company

2015 Spring Rd., Suite 650, 60302 Oak Brook, IL
Telephone +1 630 9281700
Fax +1 630 9381701

Company news




Oct 20, 2020

Interview with Richard Wiens, Director, Strategic Supply, Nordion on Cobalt Supply

Nordion is one of the pioneers in using Cobalt-60 for gamma sterilization. The company has been building irradiators and shipping Cobalt sources around the world for more than 50 years and continues to be a leader in the space. Today, its customers include both contract sterilizers and medical device manufacturers. Nordion also makes specialized Cobalt-60 sources for use in the treatment of cancer. To find out more about Cobalt-60, MDB recently spoke with Richard Wiens, who leads a team dedicated to maintaining a reliable supply of Cobalt-60 for the long term. His team manages existing supply relationships and builds new ones and currently has more than a dozen projects under way.

MDB: Why has gamma irradiation been so successful as a sterilization modality?
Richard Wiens: The heart of gamma is its simplicity. You really only have to worry about one variable, which is the time the product is exposed to the Cobalt source. Given gamma’s long history, it is well understood in the industry and this knowledge is embodied in the standards and their application. Add to this a large network of sterilization providers and you have a robust, cost effective modality that is responsible for sterilizing nearly 40 percent of all single use medical devices.

MDB: I understand there is growing interest in x-ray as an alternative to gamma. Why would someone switch from gamma to x-ray?
Wiens: I think everyone in the industry supports the idea of using the appropriate sterilization modality for the job. As such, you would only consider switching modalities if you have a compelling reason to do so. The challenge with x-ray as a sterilization modality is that there is so little real-world experience and limited commercial scale, so any advantages that exist on paper have not yet been proven out. As commercial x-ray facilities are constructed and operated, we’ll see how they perform. A lot of the talk around x-ray in the marketplace today is the result of unfounded fear around the long-term availability of Cobalt, based on some inaccurate information.

MDB: Tell me more about Cobalt supply. Is there a shortage? What are the long-term prospects?
Wiens: Well, the first thing to know is that there are about 22 reactors producing Cobalt today, which is approximately a 20 percent increase from just five years ago, and five companies, including Nordion, that ship finished Cobalt sources to customers. As with Nordion, much of the supply chain has been around for a long time and is well established.

With regards to the current supply situation — we estimate that there is about 5 percent less Cobalt globally today than the market wants, which is the result of some events that took place starting in 2014. Part of the global supply chain — not Nordion’s — was disrupted and created a short-term shortage. In addition, one of the reactors that produces Cobalt was shut down temporarily for refurbishment, although it will begin producing Cobalt again in 2021. All of this had the effect of reducing supply capacity. At the same time, market growth outpaced its historic rate, meaning higher than expected demand.

The good news is that Nordion has always operated with the philosophy that we will manage inventory and invest in supply to meet long-term demand, and we were able to fill the majority of this gap. Over time, the balance of the global supply chain has started to recover.

Nordion also helped redirect Cobalt-60 from suppliers in India and China, who generally serve regional markets and did not need the Co-60 locally, to the broader global market where it was needed. The result of this is that we expect the industry to only be slightly under supplied for the coming years.

Over the long term, some existing Cobalt-producing reactors will reach the end of their working lives, but Nordion has always been planning to replace that supply. Nordion will continue to invest significant money and resources in not only replacing that supply but also supporting industry growth as we have continually done for decades.

MDB: Can you provide some examples of those investments?
Wiens: In 2017, our Russian suppliers expanded production capacity, an initiative that will begin to increase supply starting in 2022. In addition, Nordion acquired IP around the production of Cobalt in Light Water Reactors, which comprise more than 80 percent of all operating reactors. We have an ongoing project with one of these reactor companies to develop technology for commercial deployment, starting in the U.S. Furthermore, we have a conversion project under way at the Darlington reactors in Ontario, and a feasibility study taking place with SNN in Romania for the Cernavoda reactors. All in all, we are looking at more than $100 million of investment across these projects over the next several years.

MDB: Given everything you have told me, what would your advice be to device manufacturers and other users of gamma who are looking at their sterilization options?
Wiens: I’ll go back to what I said earlier: pick the best modality for your product, but do so on the basis of real science, economics, and experience, and consider the risks associated with unproven technology. For me, the fact that companies continue to invest in gamma capacity by building new irradiators tells me that the industry has confidence in the modality, and that gamma will continue to be the workhorse of radiation sterilization for the healthcare industry for many years to come.

Nordion is a leading global provider of Cobalt-60, used in the sterilization and irradiation processes for the medical device, pharmaceutical, food safety, and high-performance materials industries, as well as in the treatment of cancer. Nordion supplies products to more than 40 countries around the world. Together with its sister companies, Sterigenics and Nelson Labs, Nordion is committed to its’ mission, Safeguarding Global Health®, with every critical Cobalt source and service it supplies.

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Oct 20, 2020

Sotera Health’s Sterigenics Announces Acquisition of Iotron Industries

Additional Electron Beam capacity enhances Sterigenics’ global leadership in sterilization solutions

CLEVELAND, Ohio – August 3, 2020 – Sotera Health, the world’s leading, fully integrated protector of global health, announced today that it has acquired Canadian-based Iotron Industries. The acquisition expands the company’s electron beam (EBeam) footprint and adds new expertise to its Sterigenics business. Iotron Industries is a leading outsourced provider of EBeam sterilization in North America.

With facilities in Columbia City (Indiana), Port Coquitlam (British Columbia), and Edmonton (Alberta), Iotron Industries has an outstanding reputation for customer service, technical expertise and quality performance. Iotron is well regarded for its proprietary IMPELA® accelerators, which provide high powered EBeam processing for the sterilization of medical devices and a wide range of industrial applications.

“Iotron Industries is a well-respected provider of electron beam sterilization known for its strong customer relationships and the expertise of its employees,” said Michael B. Petras Jr., CEO of Sotera Health. “While this acquisition expands our overall sterilization footprint, it also enhances our EBeam capabilities and the strength of our offering to the market.  We welcome Iotron’s management and strong team as they join our mission of Safeguarding Global Health®.”

“I am exceedingly proud of the thriving business and expert team that we have built together at Iotron, and we all look forward to accelerating our growth as part of a global leader,” said Tino Pereira, President and CEO of Iotron Industries.“ Iotron and Sotera Health share common values around safety, customer focus, integrity, people and a commitment to excellence. We look forward to a brighter future together.”

The addition of Iotron will complement Sotera Health’s Sterigenics business and enhance Sterigenics’ existing global, technology-agnostic sterilization platform.


About Sotera Health: Sotera Health, along with its business entities, is the world’s leading, fully integrated protector of global health. With over 500 years of combined scientific expertise, the company ensures the safety of healthcare by providing mission-critical services to the medical device, pharmaceutical, tissue and food industries.

Sotera Health operates 61 facilities in 13 countries. The company has over 2,600 employees globally and touches the lives of more than 180 million people around the world each year. Sotera Health serves more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including 75 of the top 100 medical device manufacturers.

Sotera Health goes to market through its three best-in-class companies – Nelson Labs®, Nordion® and Sterigenics® – with the mission of ensuring the safety of health care each and every day. Nelson Labs offers microbiological and analytical testing and expert advisory services to assist customers in developing and maintaining sterilization solutions in medical devices, tissue/implantable products, and the pharmaceutical and biologics fields. Nordion is the world’s largest provider of Cobalt-60 used in the gamma sterilization process, and Sterigenics provides comprehensive contract sterilization and ionization solutions for the medical device, pharmaceutical, food safety and high-performance materials industries.

Sotera Health Holdings, LLC is owned by private equity firms Warburg Pincus and GTCR. Learn more about Sotera Health at, Nelson Labs at, Nordion at and Sterigenics at

About Sterigenics: Sterigenics, is a global leader in comprehensive sterilization solutions and advisory services. Sterigenics has over 1600 engineers, scientists and safety specialists with deep expertise across Gamma, EtO, NO2, E-Beam and X-Ray sterilization. With operations that span 45 facilities in 13 countries, Sterigenics is the “point of safe” for customers. Sterigenics is committed to Safeguarding Global Health® – with every product they sterilize.

About Iotron Industries: Iotron Industries Canada/USA Inc. are leaders in Electron Beam processing services and equipment, with locations in Indiana, USA and British Columbia and Edmonton, Canada. Iotron’s IMPELA® Electron Beam Accelerators harness technology to modify the physical, chemical, molecular and biological properties of materials and products, improving their usefulness and enhancing their value. Iotron has supplied quality service to a diverse array of customers for more than 20 years. To learn more, visit

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About us

Company details

Sterigenics is a global leader in comprehensive sterilization solutions and advisory services serving customers across the medical device, pharmaceutical, advanced applications, food and commercial industries.

We have over 1,600 engineers, scientists and safety specialists with deep expertise across Ethylene Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Gamma, E-Beam and X-Ray sterilization.

Our operations span 48 facilities in 13 countries, to ensure we are the “point of safe” for our customers.

We have been providing mission-critical and government-mandated sterilization services since 1925.

We are a business unit of Sotera Health, along with Nordion® and Nelson Labs®. With a combined tenure across our businesses of nearly 200 years and our industry-recognized scientific and technological expertise, we help to ensure the safety of over 190 million patients and healthcare practitioners around the world every year.

Safeguarding Global Health® - with every product we sterilize.

Laboratory Testing Services
Nelson Labs, a Sotera Health company, is an industry-leading, global provider of laboratory testing and expert advisory services. Nelson Labs offers more than 800 rigorous microbiological and analytical laboratory tests across the medical device, pharmaceutical, and tissue industries and employs more than 500 scientists and staff in state-of-the-art facilities.

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