Cobalt-60 Sterilization Market by Product (Implants, Devices, Instruments, Accessories, and Other Supplies) and by End-Users (Hospitals & Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals, Food & Beverage, Cosmetics & Personal Care, Aerospace, Electronics & Semiconductor, and Others) – Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast 2023-2030

Cobalt-60 Sterilization Market

Industry:  Life Sciences & Healthcare | Publish Date: Sep 2023 | No of Pages:  N/A | No. Tables:  N/A | No. Figures:  N/A

Market Definition

The global Cobalt-60 Sterilization Market was valued at USD 4.40 billion in 2022 and is predicted to reach USD 8.58 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 9.0% from 2023-2030. Cobalt-60 sterilization, also known as gamma irradiation sterilization, is a very effective and popular way to kill germs, pathogens, and other contaminants on a variety of materials and products. It involves exposing items to ionizing gamma rays from Cobalt-60, a radioactive isotope.

This process damages the DNA and cell structure of germs, making them unable to reproduce or cause harm. Cobalt-60 sterilization is used in many industries, including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, food processing, cosmetics, and electronics. It is used to ensure the safety, quality, and regulatory compliance of a wide range of products, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, packaging materials, and consumables. This method is a reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly way to sterilize things. It is an important part of modern quality control and safety practices.

Market Dynamics and Trends

The growing healthcare industry, including hospitals, clinics, and medical device companies, needs sterilization solutions to make sure that medical procedures are safe and free of contamination, which in turn fuels the adoption of Cobalt-60 sterilization. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the value of medical goods imported and exported worldwide increased from USD 2,028 billion in 2019 to USD 2,654 billion in 2021, at a yearly growth rate of 14.4%. This shows a significant growth opportunity in the cobalt-60 sterilization market.

Moreover, the food & beverage industry focuses on hygiene and safety and encourages the use of cobalt-60 sterilization to make sure that perishable food is safe and last longer. This demands the growth of the cobalt-60 sterilization market. 

In addition, governments around the world are taking initiatives towards the sterilization process, to meet very high standards. This means that companies need to use advanced and reliable sterilization methods including cobalt-60, thus, further driving the market growth.

The radioactive nature of cobalt-60 along with the lengthy licensing process are factors that are expected to restrain the growth of the market during the forecast period. On the contrary, electronics companies are looking for improved sterilization processes for components, including circuit boards, transistors, and other semiconductors to prevent contamination This shows that there is a significant opportunity for the cobalt-60 sterilization industry in the coming years. 


Market Segmentation and Scope of the Study

The Cobalt-60 sterilization market share is segmented on the basis of product, end-user, and region. On the basis of product, the market is classified into implants, devices, instruments, accessories, and other supplies.

On the basis of end-users, the market is categorized into hospitals & medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food & beverage, cosmetics & personal care, aerospace, electronics & semiconductor, and others. Regional breakdown and analysis of each of the aforesaid segments include regions comprising North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of World (RoW).


Geographical Analysis

North America held the predominant share of the cobalt-60 sterilization market in 2022. This is attributed to factors such as the increasing adoption of cobalt-60 sterilization in healthcare applications such as fighting cancer and shrinking tumor cells with the assistance of radiation therapy. For instance, in July 2022, Bruce Power used cobalt-60 to play a pivotal role in the global fight against COVID-19, cancer, and other complex medical conditions.

Moreover, the market for cobalt-60 in the treatment of food items is growing rapidly due to its benefits in exposing and eliminating parasites through irradiation. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), cobalt-60 is used to kill pests and microbes in food using low-energy electron beams (LEEBs) or low-energy X-rays. This process is known as food irradiation, which can be done inside a food factory or packing house that helps to maintain its quality.

Asia-Pacific is expected to show a steady rise in the cobalt-60 sterilization market during the forecast period, owing to the significant use of cobalt-60 sterilization by end-users such as the agriculture industry, mostly in countries such as China, India, and others. It is used in the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), a useful technique for controlling the pepper weevil, which is a devastating pest problem for farmers in this region.

Also, growing consumer acceptance and widespread use of cobalt-60 in killing bactericides mostly in food items such as potatoes, onions, and poultry paired with spices and fresh fruits are expected to drive the cobalt-60 sterilization market growth in this region.


Competitive Landscape

The cobalt-60 sterilization industry comprises various market players such as Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Nordion Inc., Bruce Power, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, China National Nuclear Corporation, Steris, Tuttnauer USA, Sterigenics U.S., LLC, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and StarFish Product Engineering Inc., among others. These market players are adopting various strategies such as partnerships to maintain their dominance in the Cobalt-60 sterilization market.

For instance, in April 2023, Bruce Power partnered with Nordion to increase production of cobalt-60 to support global healthcare. Moreover, in February 2020, Westinghouse partnered with Nordion to develop innovative isotope production technology that allows cobalt-60 to be produced in Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) to further increase the supply of life-saving cobalt-60.

Key Benefits

  • The cobalt-60 sterilization market report provides a quantitative analysis of the current market and estimations through 2023-2030 that assist in identifying the prevailing market opportunities to capitalize on.

  • The study comprises a deep dive analysis of the current and future cobalt-60 sterilization market, for depicting the prevalent investment pockets in the market.

  • The information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities and their impact on the cobalt-60 sterilization market is provided in the report.

  • The competitive analysis of the market players along with their market share in the cobalt-60 sterilization market is provided in the report.

  • The SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces model are elaborated in the study.

  • Value chain analysis in the market study provides a clear picture of the stakeholders’ roles.

Cobalt-60 Sterilization Market Segments

By Product

  • Implants

  • Devices

  • Instruments

  • Accessories

  • Other Supplies

By End-User

  • Hospitals & Medical Devices

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Food & Beverage

  • Cosmetics & Personal Care

  • Aerospace

  • Electronics & Semiconductor

  • Others

By Region

  • North America

    • The U.S

    • Canada

    • Mexico

  • Europe

    • The UK

    • Germany

    • France    

    • Italy

    • Spain

    • Denmark

    • Netherlands

    • Finland

    • Sweden

    • Norway

    • Russia

    • Rest of Europe 

  • Asia-Pacific

    • China

    • Japan

    • India

    • South Korea

    • Australia

    • Indonesia

    • Singapore

    • Taiwan

    • Thailand

    • Rest of Asia-Pacific 

  • RoW

    • Latin America

    • Middle East

    • Africa




Market Size in 2022

USD 4.40 billion

Revenue Forecast in 2030

USD 8.58 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 9.0% from 2023 to 2030

Analysis Period


Base Year Considered


Forecast Period


Market Size Estimation

billion (USD)

Growth Factors

Growing need of sterilization solutions in healthcare industries.

Food and beverage industry using cobalt-60 sterilization to ensure safety of perishable foods.

Countries Covered


Companies Profiled


Market Share

Available for 10 companies

Customization Scope

Free customization (equivalent up to 80 working hours of analysts) after purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional, and segment scope.

Pricing and Purchase Options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs.



  • Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

  • Nordion Inc.

  • Bruce Power

  • Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation

  • China National Nuclear Corporation

  • Steris

  • Tuttnauer USA

  • Sterigenics U.S., LLC

  • Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

  • StarFish Product Engineering Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the size of the Cobalt-60 sterilization market in 2022?

The size of the Cobalt-60 sterilization market is recorded at USD 4.40 billion in 2022.

Which region holds the dominant share of the Cobalt-60 sterilization market?

North America holds the dominant share of the Cobalt-60 sterilization market.

What are the major players in the Cobalt-60 sterilization market?

Major companies in the Cobalt-60 sterilization market includes Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Nordion Inc., Bruce Power, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation, China National Nuclear Corporation, Steris, Tuttnauer USA, Sterigenics U.S., LLC, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and StarFish Product Engineering Inc., among others.

What challenges does the Cobalt-60 sterilization market faces?

Radioactive nature of cobalt-60 along with the lengthy licensing process are some challenges faced by Cobalt-60 sterilization market.

What is a factor contributing to the market growth?

Growing need of sterilization solutions in healthcare industries is a factor contributing to the market growth.