With support of the British Closed Nuclear Centres Programme (CNCP) Isotope Technologies has developed technology of additional encapsulation of Cs-137 radioactive sources. Sealed Cs-137 sources are used for a wide range of medical and industrial applications all over the world.
The design of a sealed radioactive source generally consists of a cylindrical stainless steel capsule with the radioactive core inside. Some sources are manufactured with a double capsule design for safety purpose. Because of the long half-life of Cs-137 (30 y), many customers use these sources for a longer period than the lifetime as specified by the manufacturer. However some radiation accidents due to leaking of Cs-137 sources have taken place even with sources of double capsule design, and these have resulted in the decommissioning of equipment, premises and even buildings. Such accidents will clearly become more frequent as the number of such sources grows, and this is causing serious concern to radiation protection authorities in a number of countries.
Moreover the increasing cost of new Cs-137 sources and their long manufacturing period is forcing customers to re-certify old sources for their needs. Since for many customers, the dose rate of their old Cs-137 sources is quite sufficient, the real issue is to increase their leak tightness. To solve this problem Isotope Technologies has developed the technology of additional encapsulation of Cs-137 radioactive sources.
This technology allows:
- to prolong, the lifetime of a sealed Cs-137 radioactive source with an extended leaktightness warranty;
- to decrease the charge for used radioactive source disposal;
- to mimnimize the ecological duty cycle on the radioactive waste disposals;
- besides the encapsulation activity Isotope Technologies can provide the transportation, export and import operations of radioactive materials.