NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC – PART I

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NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY AMIDST THE COVID 19 PANDEMIC – PART I

In the midst of the outbreak of COVID-19, all around the world, the nuclear industry is doing its best to keep lights on by providing populations and industries with a stable and secure supply of low-carbon electricity where and when it’s needed. However, operators of the world’s nuclear reactors are doing more than just keeping lights on during this pandemic. Besides taking the necessary steps to protect workforces and having plans to keep facilities running at a critical time like this, they are also using nuclear technologies to detect and fight COVID-19.

在新冠疫情全球爆发期间,核工业界也一直尽着最大努力,为人们和工业机构提供稳定和安全的低碳电力供应。然而,世界上核反应堆的运营商所做的不仅仅是在这场大流行期间保持照明。除了采取必要措施保护工人,并计划在这样的关键时刻保持设施运转,他们还利用核技术探索和对抗着新冠病毒。

Cobalt – 60 Production

From Canada to China, from the United States to the Netherlands, reactor operators are continuously working to produce medical isotopes to sterilise medical equipment and produce solutions to battle the coronavirus. Nuclear medicine has helped the medical community for years, with practices such as imaging, using small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose, evaluate or treat diseases from cancers to heart diseases to neurological disorders. The pandemic is now highlighting the role the nuclear power community is playing in battling the worldwide spread of the corona virus.

The senior communications manager for the World Nuclear Association, Jonathan Cobb mentioned that, they are ensuring that the production of Cobalt-60 and other radio isotopic sources are in constant supply so that they can continue to be available to the medical community. Bruce Power, Canada’s only private sector nuclear generator and with 2.4GW of generating capacity is now focusing its attention on maintaining electricity supplies in Ontario along with its production of cobalt-60.

从加拿大到中国,从美国到荷兰,反应堆运营商一直致力于生产医用同位素,对医疗设备进行消毒,并提出基于核技术应用的新冠病毒研究方案。多年来,核医学一直在医学界中扮演着必不可少的角色,核医学成像,使用少量放射性物质来诊断、评估或治疗从癌症到心脏病到神经系统的一系列疾病,这些核医学的应用对现代临床医学的作用是不可或缺的。在与新冠疫情的这场战斗中,核能界的重要性正一步步被凸显出来。

世界核协会高级通讯经理乔纳森科布(Jonathan Cobb)提到,他们正在确保钴-60和其他放射性同位素源的生产,以便继续向医疗界提供。Bruce Power是加拿大唯一的私营核能发电机,拥有2.4GW的发电能力,目前正集中精力维持安大略省的电力供应以及钴-60的生产。

Mapping covid-19 proteins

At the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) research centre, the facility’s synchrotron—a cyclic particle accelerator is being used to help determine the structure of proteins on the COVID-19 coronavirus. Many proteins in COVID 19 virus have already been mapped, and by understanding the positions of important components of these proteins, researchers can develop drugs that bind to these proteins and prevent or treat the disease.

Andrew Peele, director and professor of the Australian Synchrotron said “Using our technology, within five minutes you can understand why a drug does or doesn’t work in attaching to a COVID-19 protein. We are currently receiving samples by mail to be analysed and shared back with researchers from across Australia and Asia. By working together, utilizing all the different techniques and infrastructure at our disposal today, we can win this fight and much quicker than previous generations could have. The work is vitally important to finding a solution to combat this virus and saving lives around the world.”

在澳大利亚核科学技术组织(ANSTO)的研究中心,该设施的同步加速器—循环粒子加速器正被用来帮助确定COVID-19冠状病毒的蛋白质结构。COVID 19病毒中的许多蛋白质结构已经被绘制出来,通过了解这些蛋白质的关键构件的位置,研究人员可以开发出与这些蛋白质结合的药物,从而预防或治疗这种疾病。

澳大利亚同步加速器的主任和教授安德鲁皮尔(Andrew Peele)说:“利用我们的技术,在五分钟内,你就能知晓为什么一种药物能或不能与COVID-19蛋白结合。我们目前收到的邮递样本将被分析并与来自澳大利亚和亚洲的研究人员共享。通过共同努力,利用我们今天掌握的所有不同的技术和基础设施,我们可以赢得这场战斗,比上一代人更快。这项工作对于在全世界寻找抗击这种病毒和拯救生命的解决方案至关重要。”

Irradiation Sterilization

Meanwhile, China General Nuclear, one of the biggest nuclear power operators in the world , has donated time on its electronic beam irradiation sterilization site for the sterilization of medical supplies such as syringes, surgical sutures, gloves, and masks, saying “Controlled medical equipment provides priority and efficient anti-virus sterilization services until the epidemic situation can be controlled.”

The workers of the above mentioned company have helped Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus where the first case was reported to disinfect the hospitals, markets, public toilets and communities. The group in a news release said, “Now, the disinfection and sterilization progress bar in the city of Wuhan has been officially opened, and our nuclear industry personnel have been professional in sterilizing with radiation.”

同时,中广核集团—世界最大的核电运营商之一,利用其电子束辐照灭菌场,给注射器、外科缝线、手套、口罩等医疗用品提供消毒灭菌。“在疫情得到控制之前,我们将为受控医疗设备提供优先和高效的抗病毒消毒服务。”

上述公司的工作人员也对武汉提供了一系列帮助,在病毒爆发初期,中广核的工作人员就自愿赶赴一线对医院、市场、公厕和社区进行消毒。该集团在一份新闻稿中说到,“现在,武汉市的消毒灭菌进度条已经正式开通,我们的核工业从业人员一直都是使用辐射消毒的专家。”

Source: www.powermag.com, World Nuclear Association
Writer: Yvonne Sefakor Dzovor
Editor: Priscilla Oforiwaa Obeng
Designers: Zhang Jing & Zhang Chao
Translation : Zhang Chao
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