Experts visit Kimba

22 May 2017

Experts with extensive knowledge of nuclear medicine production and radioactive waste management visited Kimba in May.

While in town, the experts did two presentations at the Kimba School, as well as meeting community members in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science project team’s shopfront.

Mark Moore, General Manager of ANSTO Nuclear Medicine, said he enjoyed talking with the community about how nuclear medicine is made, and what it’s like to live near a nuclear facility.

“While of course this is a discussion the community is having about waste, it should also be one about the different things that waste has enabled, and benefits it has brought,” Mr Moore said.

“We send 10,000 doses of nuclear medicine to more than 250 hospitals and medical facilities around Australia each week, and the vast majority of our waste is linked to making medicine.”

Mark was also keen to share his personal experience of living and working very near a nuclear facility.

“My house is about three kilometres from ANSTO – I’ve pretty much got a reactor in my backyard, and I’ll be able to share first-hand what it is like to be a neighbour to a nuclear facility,” Mr Moore said.

“My kids attend the Lucas Heights Community School just down the road from the campus, and I’ve worked at ANSTO for around 27 years.”

Hef Griffiths, Head of Nuclear Services at ANSTO, will also be in town to talk about radioactive waste handling and management techniques.

“Like any industrial by-product, radioactive waste is safe if properly managed, and what is being proposed by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is in line with international best practice.” 

Hef and Mark will bring a demonstration example of ANSTO nuclear medicine Gentech© Generator with them, the tailor-made device that transports nuclear medicine to hospitals and clinics around the country almost every day.

“The Generators leave ANSTO with a week’s nuclear medicine,” explained Dr Geoff Currie, Associate Professor in Medical Radiation Science at Charles Sturt University.

“At ANSTO they put Molybdenum-99 into the generator, which slowly decays to Technitium-99m over time, and that is the product used for nuclear medicine procedures.

"For those who listen to our talks, they'll have the opportunity to see and feel the Generator, and to get the medicine out - we call it milking the cow.”