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The transport of radioactive materials requires the respect of challenging safety (radioprotection…) and security (physical protection, terrorism…) procedures. When medical isotopes are involved, an extra challenge is added: time. Indeed, due to the sometimes very short half-life of medical isotopes (Tc-99m: 6h; F-18: 110 min), transport can be a race against time. Every minute lost may impact patient care. It is essential therefore to establish streamlined administrative procedures with authorities and customs at national and international levels.
Among the companies, some are more specialized in bulk transport of irradiated or refined products, others for the delivery of generators or labelled radiopharmaceuticals to the end users.
Transport interconnects the successive links in the value chain from irradiation and refinement to the end-users or hospitals. It requires the respect of challenging safety and security procedures. A challenge is time as every minute lost may impact patient care.