ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper is to assess the activation phenomena and to evaluate the risk of external exposure and intake doses for the maintenance staff of two medical cyclotrons. Two self-shielded cyclotrons are currently operating in the facility for the routine production of (11)C and (18)F. Four radiochemistry laboratories are linked to the cyclotrons by means of shielded radioisotope delivery lines. Radiopharmaceuticals are prepared both for the PET Diagnostic Department, where four CT-PET scanners are operating with a mean patient workload of 40 d(-1) and for [(18)F]FDG external distribution, to provide radiopharmaceuticals for other institutions. In spite of the fact that air contamination inside the radiochemistry laboratories during the synthesis represents the largest 'slice of the pie' in the evaluation of annual intake dose, potential contamination due to the activated particulate, generated during cyclotron irradiation by micro-corrosion of targets and other components potentially struck by the proton beam and generated neutrons, should be considered. In this regard, the most plausible long-lived (T(1/2) > 30 d) radioisotopes formed are: (97)Tc, (56)Co, (57)Co, (58)Co, (60)Co, (49)V, (55)Fe, (109)Cd, (65)Zn and (22)Na. The results for the operating personnel survey has revealed only low-level contamination for (65)Zn in one test, together with minor (18)F intake, probably due to the environmental dispersion of the radioisotope during the [(18)F]FDG synthesis.
Radiation Protection Dosimetry 12/2009; 139(4):477-82. · 0.82 Impact Factor