Technical Experts from the CNSC conducted a Type II Inspection at the facility on November 14/15, 2018. The CNSC will summarize the results of the Inspection in a formal report and provide it to the University in the next few weeks.
McMaster University has applied to the CNSC for a license to use, ship and store the radio isotope Zirconium 89. Zr-89 is a short lived positron emitting isotope used for the diagnosis and treatment of various illnesses.
On Tuesday July 31, 2018, McMaster University was informed that the outer container of a package containing medical isotopes used to treat prostate cancer was found to be damaged upon arrival at the Lufthansa warehouse at Pearson Airport in Toronto, ON. The medical isotope was securely and safely packaged within 5 separate layers of containment; the final one being the shipping box which was noted to be damaged.
McMaster staff responded to the warehouse, inspected and performed radiological surveys of the package. We determined that there was no safety impact associated with the incident. The package was repackaged and is currently in transit to the customer.
There was no release of radiation from this shipment and no threat to the public, environment or safety as a result of this incident.
On July 15, 2018, McMaster University was informed that the outer container of a package containing the medical isotope, Lu-177 for medical use, was found damaged upon arrival at the airport in Australia.
Prior to leaving the MUCF, medical isotopes are securely and safely packaged within multiple layers of containment; the final one being a shipping box. Packages are closely monitored and inspected before they leave the facility. In this case, it was this final layer of shipping box which was noted to be damaged. Australian authorities inspected the package and determined that there was no safety impact associated with the incident. The package was repacked and sent to the medical facility later that day.
There were no radiological consequences to the public or environment, as a result of this event. No activity was released from the package.
McMaster University has reported the incident to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and is working with the transportation company to investigate the cause of the damage.
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