The short-term demand for ionizing energy will increase rapidly due to developing irradiation markets in sludge irradiation, medical product sterilization, biological toxic waste sterilization, exhaust gas treatment, and the much larger area of food disinfestation. Incentives for the increase are due not only to inherent positive characteristics of ionizing radiation, but to the worldwide concern and increased awareness of currently used fumigants, such as methyl bromide, ethylene dibromide, and ethylene oxide. Cobalt-60 is a gamma-emitting isotope, produced primarily by the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, which can help satisfy these developing market demands. As an alternative to cobalt-60, the US Department of Energy is promoting cesium-137, a gamma emitter obtained from reprocessed nuclear waste. However, the supply of these two isotopes is limited and unable to meet the projected ionizing energy demands. Utilization of accelerator technology is therefore critical to the development of various product irradiation programs. It will not only meet the demand which is in excess of that covered by the isotopes, but it will also release the limited quantities of isotope for better use in roles for which they are especially suited. The accelerator and isotope roles in the irradiation markets need to be more finely focused in the future to benefit the growth of both systems.