Kurian George
Peter Mac Cancer Centre
Medical Physicist

Introduction: There has been tremendous effort made to set up the new HDR brachytherapy suites in Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PeterMac), the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC). The main challenges were to set up shielding in operating theatres on the 6th floor of the integrated cancer centre building. There has been heightened concern about the security of radioactive sources which is reflected in a requirement for establishing a security plan in addition to radiation safety measures before being able to obtain a license for use of a high activity radioactive source. We are describing the new brachy department design and development of a security plan for a high dose rate (HDR) 192-Ir source.

Methods: In June 2016 the main campus of PeterMac moved from East Melbourne to Parkville at VCCC as part of Melbourne Health District. A new brachytherapy facility was to be established using a newly purchased Nucletron Flexitron HDR brachytherapy afterloading unit. The unit operates with a 370GBq 192-Ir source which is classified as a high consequence source for security purposes. The shielding design has been conducted by a group called Radiation Services Group. An in-built stainless steel cabinet with padlock, heavily shielded sliding doors are some of many unique features in the brachytherapy suite. Shielding calculation was verified by local physicists and radiation survey was performed to confirm its final shielding and radiation safety. Immense time has to be spent for documentation part as it is completely a new shielding design with a new machine in a new building.

Results: As no security assessors were accredited for work in Victoria at the time of the move, an interstate consultant was engaged. A security plan was developed addressing (amongst others) the following issues:

• Facility and Source Characterisation

• Site Security and Threat Assessments

• Security Accountability and Responsibilities

• Communication Strategy – Security Breach

• Incident Response,

• Escalation of Threat

• Implementation of Protective Security Measures

• Protective Security Measures Review

Conclusion: The implementation of a complex brachytherapy suite design was challenging. The development of brachytherapy contingency plan helped us effectively implement brachytherapy program and establish collaboration between the clinical staff and radiation safety as well as security personnel in the new hospital.

Tomas Kron1,2, Siva Sarasanandarajah1 , Adam Yeo1, Ray Budd1, Peter Bourke3

(1 Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne VIC 3000

2 University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Institute of Oncology, Parkville VIC 3000

3 AECOM Australia Pty Ltd, Canberra ACT 2600)


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