MOBILE HOT CELL
application of sealed radioactive sources is widespread with sources of
different types and activities used for a very wide range of applications. The
activities of such sources range from very low activities for sources such as
reference sources to Spent High Activity Radioactive Sources (SHARS) with
activities in excess of 10kCi. During the earlier years mainly Radium sources
were used in mostly medical applications. Since the early 1950’s, however, a
greater variety of isotopes became available for use in medical as well in
industrial applications. Today thousands of sources are used all over the world
in developed as well as in developing countries.
and proper management of disused sealed radioactive sources and in particular
disused high activity sources has become a high priority for many safety and
security reasons over the past decade. In
many countries there is a lack of proper management due to a poor or absent
accounting infrastructure. Some countries do not have legislation in place to
regulate the control over spent sources. The problem exists in both developing
and developed countries with some differences:
Developing Countries many sources are lost due to inadequate accounting systems
or as a result of a lack of expertise or funds.
Developed countries large numbers of sources are normally found in these
countries which make record keeping and accountability very difficult.
designed and manufactured (under contract with the IAEA) a mobile hot cell
specifically for the handling and conditioning of disused high activity sealed
radioactive sources. This unit, a first in the world, is used worldwide in
countries without the required infrastructure to handle these high activity
sources. The unit, which fits into two ISO shipping containers, is shipped to a
country where it is assembled, operated and dismantled again after all the
sources have been made safe. The sources are removed from the working units
(teletherapy heads and dry irradiators), placed into stainless steel capsules
and welded into “special form” again and then either stored in a long
term storage shield (provided by Necsa) in a waste storage facility in the
country, or the sources are being repatriated back to its country of origin.
The use of the
mobile hot cell allows not only for the safe handling of disused high activity
radioactive sealed sources but it also provide a safe and secure storage
configuration for the sources in a country and a unique mechanism for the
repatriation of sources back to its countries of origin.
SHARS Operations successfully completed in:
Hot Cell proved itself as a very useful tool for the management of disused
sealed sources and proved itself under various conditions.