Week 6 – Further Processing and Manufacture

Might South Australia increase the manufacture of products containing radioactive materials, such as those used in nuclear medicine?


  1. Radiopharmaceuticals are used in Medicine as tracers in imaging studies as part of therapy.

    The element, Technetium (Tc-99m), is commonly used to make several radiodrugs to provide trace images using the gamma radiation emitted for imaging studies of the brain, thyroid, lungs, heart, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, as well as blood circulation, and the skeleton.

    Radioactive Fluorine (F-18), Gallium (Ga-67 & G-68) compounds are also used for imaging.

    Compounds containing Radioactive Iodine (I-131) provides both gamma radiation for imaging, and beta radiation, which is used for killing cancerous tissue, eg in the Thyroid.

    Nuclear reactors are used for producing medical radioisotopes which are classified as Proton-deficient, ie those having more Neutrons in the atomic nucleus than is required for stability; and cyclotrons are used for producing radioisotopes which are classified as Neutron-deficient, ie those having less Neutrons in the atomic nucleus than is required for stability, and so these radioisotopes do not use a nuclear reactor for their production.

  2. South Australia already has a GE Medical Cyclotron at SAHMRI, which may have the capability of manufacturing additional radiopharmaceuticals (depending on current demands). However the tendency is to manufacture these products locally, near the medical facility where they are used, and to not transport them because of their generally short half-life, and the radiation hazards associated with these materials. The topic of radio pharmaceuticals perhaps should be excluded from the purview of this Royal Commission and left to SAHMRI.

    However the suggestion by alans to consider producing radioisotopes for the industrial sector in minerals processing, and also fabricated steel and concrete structure quality verification, eg to verify lack of voids may be worthy of consideration.

  3. Increasing radioactive load on the planet is not constructive. The costs are too high.

    The planet has an excess of radiation and waste at present.
    Do not generate any further load.

    If you must work with these materials do so in a way which reduces existing radiation and damage as a resource on site rather than generating further toxic systems.

    Support for local communities to have safe food, water, relocation, safe employment, and healthcare would not resolve existing damage but should be a bare minimum of responsobility of the nuclear industry to the communities already impacted by these technologies.

    When will the first litigation address generations of irreversible genetic destruction of all species in the region of a plant? As the Chernobyl impact leaks to the Black Sea and Fukushima takes on the Pacific which community will react first?

    Need smarter safer investments.