Availability and Use of Medical Isotopes in Canada – Performed as Part of a Radiological Terrorism Risk Assessment


  1. Larsson, C.L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Ottawa, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
An assessment of the availability of radioactive material used for medical applications in Canada has been performed as part of the CBRN Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI) Project CRTI-02-0024RD (Probabilistic Risk Assessment Tool for Radiological Dispersal Devices). A general list of medical radioisotopes used worldwide was compiled via literature searches and Internet investigations. This list was then compared to all isotopes licenced to healthcare facilities in Canada. Sources of lesser concern for this study, such as noble gases, short-lived isotopes, and radioisotopes not licenced for medical applications in Canada, were eliminated. The remaining sources were then analysed for frequency of use and maximum licenced activity to assess which materials would be of highest concern in relation to radiological terrorism. A detailed description of the application, typical administered activity, and other relevant information for these most common and highest licenced activity medical sources was assembled to feed directly into the risk assessment database. A general discussion of security in healthcare facilities is also given. Due to the constant advances made in medicine, the information relating to licenced isotopes is dynamic and thus requires updating to ensure the database is kept current.

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CRTI (CBRN Research and Technology Initiative);Medical isotopes;Radioactive source security;Risk assessment;RDD (Radiological Dispersion Device);Medical applications
Report Number
DRDC-OTTAWA-TM-2004-218 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Dec 2004
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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