Examples of assistance through RANET
In January 2012 the IAEA received a request for assistance from Cambodia in regard to a situation at a hospital in Phnom Penh. The sources of a brachytherapy device could not be returned to their safe position, inside the device. The room was evacuated and locked. An IAEA Assistance Mission with involvement of National Assistance Capabilities of Australia registered in RANET was deployed and successfully recovered the sources, returning them into the storage container inside the brachytherapy device. Dose reconstruction performed by the mission team determined that the staff and public had been safe during the entire period when the sources were outside of the device.
A radiological accident occurred in June 2011 at an irradiation facility in Bulgaria. During the preparation process for recharging the gamma-irradiation facility with Cobalt-60 sources, a radioactive source holder already recharged with Cobalt-60 sources was removed instead of an empty one. As a result, five workers were exposed to a high gamma-radiation field for approximately five to ten minutes. Within 9 hours of the receipt of the request for assistance, an IAEA Assistance Mission with involvement of National Assistance Capabilities of France travelled to Bulgaria to provide advice on the possible medical treatment for the patients. The recommendation of the Assistance Mission was taken by the Bulgarian authorities and the patients were transferred to the Department of Haematology of HIA Percy Military Hospital in Paris, France for treatment.
Following the detection of elevated dose rates Honduras sent a request for assistance in October 2010. The IAEA Assistance Mission with involvement of National Assistance Capabilities of Mexico assessed the situation, recovered a Cs-137 brachytherapy source from a depth of approximately 2cm below the ground and returned it to a safe and secure storage. They also performed dose reconstruction on the possible exposure of the public to the source and determined that the public had been safe under all possible exposure scenarios.
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