Bruce Power and Nordion have announced a new agreement to help secure a long-term supply of Cobalt-60, an isotope used to treat cancer.

The isotope, produced in some nuclear reactors, is used in radiation-based treatement for cancer and other diseases in Canada and globally.

Nordion's Scott McIntosh said in a statement, "With limited supply available for the market...Securing a new supply is a key milestone for both companies. We’re using promising new technology in Bruce Power’s reactors.”

For more than 60 years, Nordion's supply has come from the nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ont., but that reactor is expected to reach the end of its life in in 2018.

The new agreement with Bruce Power is expected to allow for the develpment of a new method of supplying Cobalt-60, based on existing technology.

Bruce Power President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne said in a statement, “From our Bruce B facility, we currently supply Nordion with Cobalt-60 that is used to sterilize medical supplies, keeping hospitals around the world clean and safe. This [agreement] builds on our strong relationship and recognizes our shared desire to develop a stable, additional supply source for this important isotope.”

Both companies are expected to complete a number of steps through 2016 to further develop the supply capability and carry out technical, commercial and regulatory due diligence.