Radioactive Isotope Procurement and Handel
Special features are needed to handle radioactivity and to shield the radiation transmitted. These special features are also required to prevent contamination of the environment by the radioactive materials that are released during handling and processing. The processed activities in production laboratories are high and thus the needs for shielded facilities are greater with well controlled ventilation and remote handling devices. Over the years, various versions of shielded hot cells and remote handling devices have been created and used in major radioisotope production centers.
There are some recent developments that you will see in the use of radioisotopes when it comes to medical field. These developments have majorly impacted the evolution of handling facilities.
The developments in radioisotope handling technology hold considerable practical value to radioisotope production laboratories.
Facilities for Handling Radioisotopes
The radionuclides emit some radiation that risks the radioactive contamination that makes the radioactive materials dangerous for the environment. Hence, the construction of handling and processing facilities are constructed to lessen radiation exposure. The radioisotope production facilities should be designed for the safe handling of radioactivity while keeping the personal and surroundings safety intact. This consideration must include safety interlock system of the building, surveillance equipment and radiation monitoring.
It is preferably built as a single storey building to eradicate any doubt if the top floor can carry the weight of shielding. The general finish of such laboratories should be smooth. Doors and windows should be designed to offer increased sealing.
The centers of radioisotope handling and processing are not build near or within the big cities or industrial areas. Therefore, the air is so pure that it can be used to feed into the laboratory via inexpensive, low grade filters. A warning system should be there in case there’s some failure in the ventilation system.
Also, there should be a hot cell to prevent the uncontrolled spread of radioactive contamination. These hot cells must be prepared in the production laboratory in the form of series, or blocks or individually.
While producing radioactive materials, one should keep in mind that they should be prepared in small batch sizes utilizing materials in small quantities. There should be heavy lead containers that are to be used for protection from radiation and this raises the need of crane to commute these containers within the space. The main attention here should be on radioactive waste disposal. The liquid waste that is discharged needs to be monitored and treated whereas the solid disposed waste should be at authorized radioactive waste repositories.
Most of the operations are done at the floor of the containment box. Some of the large items like autoclaves, ion-chambers, etc are majorly better placed under the floor. The floor can be a shield for these items or alternatively the box can be shielded from them. The conventional radiochemical laboratories that include hot cells have lately not undergone dramatic changes. Some of the major new developments include installation of aseptic production areas within radioactive laboratory for the production and testing of pharmaceutical grade radioactive products.