F. Jan, A. Wahid, E. U. Haq, S. S. Ahmad, M. Aslam, M. Hussain


Disused Sealed Radiation Sources (DSRSs) pose radiological threat and concern globally to both public and the environment. The sources may get mislaid or lost if not properly managed due to their small physical size and therefore, need to be managed with an adequate nuclear waste management infrastructure and legal framework. Management of such moieties from upper half of the country has been entrusted to Radioactive Waste Management Group of Health Physics Division at Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology, Islamabad. Various types of DSRSs having a total activity of 91360 GBq have been collected from various end users such as nuclear medical centres and industries in the eastern and north-western parts of Pakistan. A conditioning procedure has been optimized and a few sources have been conditioned which are being studied. The procedure has yet to be approved from the regulatory authority. The results are promising. Satisfactory management parameters, reduced radiation risks and improved security of the sources have shown the viability of the procedure. The possibility of using DSRS as a radiological dispersal device, risk of improper handling, or loss of control, etc. has been reduced considerably and control over the spent SRS is facilitated. This paper briefly describes management parameters like legal infrastructure and control, collection, conditioning and on-site interim storage, radiation safety and contamination control, quality assurance, documentation and inventory of DSRS in the country.

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