version ISSN 0864-084X
LLANES RODRIGUEZ, Marisleidys et al. Decommissioning of the self-contained irradiator Gammacell 500. Nucleus [online]. 2011, n.50, pp. 36-40. ISSN 0864-084X.
ABSTRACT The National Center for Animal and Plant Health used a Gammacell 500 irradiator, with twelve cobalt 60 sealed sources, for sterilization and decontamination of medical devices, pharmaceuticals and several raw materials. As the equipmenty had been in operation for 25 years, the decision was taken to dismantle the equipment and decommission the facility. For dismantling the equipment, a methodology was developed taking into account the current national regulations in force, the recommendations of the Atomic International Energy Agency, the instructions manual and equipment maintenance as well as its operational history. The design and implementation of the procedure for dismantling the irradiator are described. The Institutional Irradiator Decommissioning License was obtained, awarded by the National Center for Nuclear Safety. The dismantling operations involved the extraction and separation of radioactive sources in the container and packaging to be transported. All dismantling as well as transport operations were performed under radiological security conditions, keeping control of the dose and superfi cial contamination rate during the whole process. After completing the works, permission for the no-longer inclusion of the facility in the nuclear safety control programme was granted by the national regulatory body.
Keywords : decommissioning; radiation protection; gamma sources; sealed sources; cobalt 60; licensing procedures.