by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | October 07, 2019
Xstrahl has teamed up with Washington, D.C.’s C&C Irradiator Service to replace aging X-ray irradiator systems across the U.S. that utilize Cesium-137.
Known as the Cesium Irradiator Replacement Project (CIRP), the aim is to provide safer alternatives in place of older generation radiotherapy systems and irradiators that rely on the radioactive isotope, which is potentially dangerous and difficult to dispose of safely and responsibly.
“The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Radiological Security (ORS) is working with domestic users of cesium-based irradiators who are interested in converting to viable non-radioisotopic alternatives to prevent high-activity radiological materials from being used in acts of terrorism,” Chad Gunther, COO and QA director, told HCB News. “Cesium-137 possesses a relatively long half-life of 30+ years, and dispersal of these devices would have a long-lasting negative impact in the affected areas, up to several city blocks.”
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Manufacturers in recent years have unveiled safe and effective alternative X-ray solutions that rely on no radioactive substances and have been approved for use by the FDA. Their installation in place of cesium-137 irradiators requires less security and is lower in cost to dispose of at the end of its life cycle.
Among Xstrahl’s offerings are cabinet irradiators such as the CIX2, CIX3 and CIXD, as well as more technologically advanced image-guided models such as the SARRP and XENX. C&C Irradiator Service can provide Xstrahl clients with commissioning services that meet their specific needs.
Interested, qualified sites will receive a financial incentive to help in the purchase of their new, non-radioactive device, and the removal and disposal of their cesium irradiator.
“There have been several studies translating the differences in energies these new X-ray devices produce in order to continue the vital and excellent research of our nation's facilities,” said Gunther. “These X-ray systems are direct replacements for cesium-based devices and they offer a safer technology, as X-rays are no longer produced once the machine is shut down. Cesium-based devices decay, but they are always producing gamma rays and cannot be shut off.”
CIRP is offered by ORS.