Contamination with germanium-68
When transporting waste, which contained the radioactive germanium-68, employees of the company isotope technology Garching (itg) lost a small amount of fluid through a leaky lid of the transport container at the site of the FRM II in the evening of July 25. All affected areas of the transportation route were blocked off for security reasons, staff and vehicles were checked when leaving the premises for contamination. So far, no contamination outside the contaminated area were noted.
The company ITG provides as tenant in the Industrial Applications Centre on the premises of the neutron source among others gallium generators for positron emission tomography (PET) for the diagnosis of cancers. These include germanium-68, which converts to gallium-68. For this purpose, the company itg owns its own radiation protection licenses, the activities are not related to the operation of the FRM II, the radioactive source material is not produced by the FRM II, but purchased externally. Nevertheless, the radiation protection of the FRM II has immediately taken all necessary measures to determine the contaminated area and to prevent any further spread of contamination with its staff and extensive metrological equipment.
The immediately informed Environment Agency (Landesamt für Umwelt) came to measure at the affected surface a contamination of up to 15 becquerels per square centimeter, corresponding to a total activity of about 500 kilobecquerel.
The operation of the FRM II is not affected by this incident of the company itg, there is no danger for the staff or environment.
More information (in German) on the website of itg.
Andrea Voit and Christine Kortenbruck
Press & Public Relations
Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II)
Phone: +49.(0)89.289.12141, – 13893
Mark Harfensteller (+49.(0)89.289-13923)
Richard Henkelmann (+49.(0)89.289-13946)
Nicola Scharrer (+49.(0)89.329898616)