CCHEN bets on greater sustainability in the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals

CCHEN bets on greater sustainability in the production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals

With the objective of reviewing and advising the implementation of cyclotron update projects and the adaptation of new areas for the production of PET radiopharmaceuticals (Positron Emission Tomography), the Chilean Nuclear Energy Commission (CCHEN) ) was visited by the expert of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Miguel Ángel Ávila.

While in Chile, the expert met with professionals from the Division of Production and Services, and from the Radiation Protection Section of CCHEN, with whom he reviewed the work scenarios of the cyclotron and the evaluations of Occupational Radiological Protection (ORPAS).

“With the update of the cyclotron, we are looking to increase the production capacity of fluorine 18,” said Miguel Ángel Ávila, adding that “by increasing the current in a new nuclear target, radiation levels will increase during the operation of the cyclotron and the production of FDG (Fluorodeoxyglucose) in the cells “. Likewise – he continued- “with respect to the cells and the transfer lines, it was verified that the radiation levels are below the limits allowed for the Operationally Exposed Personnel (SOP)”.

Regarding the cyclotron bunker, the recommendation is to make a survey of the neutron and gamma radiation levels, using Thermoluminescent Dosimetry, to verify that the shielding is sufficient after the updating process.

Finally, with the adaptation of the new cell areas, new chemical synthesis modules will be put into operation, which will allow the production of radiopharmaceuticals different from the FDG and a continuous improvement in the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) audits.

“Both projects are in charge of a multidisciplinary team, which will increase their production capacity in a safe manner and whose final beneficiary will be the patients who need a PET study to better treat the diseases that afflict them”, concluded Ávila.

It should be noted that the expert’s visit was part of the project “Upgrading Cyclotron and Reactor for the Sustainable Production of Radioisotopes and Radiopharmaceuticals” (Modernization of the Cyclotron and the Reactor for the sustainable production of radioisotopes and radiopharmaceuticals “), developed by the Production Division and Services of CCHEN, with support from the IAEA.

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Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.