The AHS Class II license for the PET Cyclotron operates under an operating license issued by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. Communication with our community is a key part of our operation. AHS uses a public disclosure protocol to relate information to the public on the issues relevant to licensed activities in the facility including:
The PET Cyclotron is currently operational.
The Cyclotron facility reported an unplanned release of carbon dioxide gas on January 9, 2017. The amount released equalled less than 0.1% of the annual dose limit to the public allowed under CNSC regulations.
There is no risk to the public.
An investigation into the event identified that brief equipment issues caused a leak of C-11, a radioisotope used for radiopharmaceuticals in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging. The leaked isotope was in the form of carbon dioxide gas. The cause of the leak was located, replaced, tested and returned to service.
Patient care was not affected and no one suffered any negative repercussions as a result of the event.
This was an unfortunate and isolated incident. Improvements have already been made to minimize the possibility of such an event occurring again and ensure all safety requirements are met and exceeded. Once the incident was realized, a report was immediately submitted to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Updates to this notice will be provided as more information becomes available.
There are currently two cyclotron facilities in Edmonton that produce radiopharmaceuticals for medical use: the Edmonton PET Centre at the Cross Cancer Institute (AHS) and the Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility (MICF) at Balmoral (U of A). These cyclotrons are similar devices but can produce different radioisotopes, offering a more diverse suite of radiopharmaceuticals for medical diagnosis and research. The Edmonton PET Centre’s primary focus is on the development of new radiopharmaceuticals and clinical imaging tracers for diagnostic imaging. The basis of MICF will be to produce large quantities of Tc-99m, the classic isotope used in Nuclear Medicine imaging studies. The facilities do collaborate, as demonstrated by the efforts of the Edmonton PET Centre in conducting the proof-of-concept tests for the production of Tc-99m prior to the MICF installation.