Missing Tc-99m Generator

Print View Posted on: 10 April 2019

Event Date: 18 December 2018 Event Type: Radiation Source
Event Location: Switzerland, Sion, nuclear medicine institute INES Rating: 1 (Final)

On 18th December 2018, a Tc-99m generator was reported missing after delivery early in the morning by a nuclear medicine institute in Sion (Switzerland). The generator (Manufacturer: BE Imaging AG, dimensions of the device are approx. 15cm x 30cm) contains 35.4 GBq Mo-99.
On the 15th of January, the thief was arrested, based on material evidence. The enquiry showed that the generator was discarded in a container for collection of used glass shortly after the theft, because the thief did not know what he had stolen and could not open it. The generator could be traced back along with the used glass, which was sent abroad for recycling. Based on the course of events and the decay of the source it can be estimated that nobody was exposed to an elevated radiation dose due to this incident.

INES Rating: 1 - Anomaly (Final) as per 05 March 2019
Release beyond authorized limits? No
Overexposure of a member of the public? No
Overexposure of a worker? No

Contamination spread within the facility? No
Damage to radiological barriers (incl. fuel damage) within the facility? No

Degradation of Defence In-Depth Yes

Person injured physically or casualty? No
Is there a continuing problem? No

Nicolas Stritt
Federal Office of Public Health

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