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Ongoing research, advancements in new technology, and improvements in existing technology have made many alternatives to radioactive sources attractive and cost effective. In some cases, there has been a strong movement toward alternative technologies; in other cases, however, no viable alternative yet exists.
It is important for stakeholders to remain current on the research, innovations and new technology that is being developed so they can continue to make the best decisions about whether, when and how to convert to a non-radioactive alternative.
This is why we are committed to keeping our members informed by organising workshops, creating special events, and publishing white papers and more on this topic.
Between 2020 and 2022, WINS organised a series of roundtables aimed at strengthening the coordination of international stakeholders involved in the adoption of alternative technologies to radioactive sources. These roundtables demonstrated the diversity of international stakeholders involved in the development, procurement, commissioning, and disposal of radiation-generating equipment, but participants noted that information regarding their activities is fragmented and not easily accessible.
Therefore, with the support of Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) and the DOE Office of Radiological Security (ORS), WINS initiated a project to map out the international stakeholders involved in the manufacture, procurement, and development (outside of manufacturer development) of non-radioisotopic or alternative technologies; capacity-building initiatives; and end-of-life management of disused sources. For practical reasons, these efforts were focused on medical applications.
The final report from PNNL, International Stakeholders Involved in the Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Radioactive Sources within the Medical Sector, is available here.
WINS' final report, Strengthening the Coordination of International Organisations and Programmes involved in the Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Radioactive Sources, may be accessed here.Back to Radioactive Source Security Collection
In this special report, we describe the advantages and disadvantages of alternative technologies to some of the most commonly used radioactive source applications in medicine, industry and research.
Our goal is not to take a particular stance on the issue or to make specific recommendations; rather, it is to help you consider whether it would be appropriate to replace some or all of the radioactive source technologies that you currently use with alternatives, particularly if a replacement is equally effective, less burdensome and has comparable costs.
As part of our efforts to provide Members of the WINS community with up-to-date information on the adoption of alternative technologies, we have created a page to highlight success stories and lessons learned. These stories - which range from the medical sector to the national perspective and beyond - shine a light on challenges in implementing alternative technologies and how these obstacles were overcome. This page also offers further resources to assist those who are either considering or in the process of transitioning to these technologies.Go to Success Stories and Lessons Learned
This section provides background information for anyone who is considering working with or transitioning to alternative technologies.
Radioactive Sources: Applications and Alternative Technologies (2021)
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
This assessment takes a deep dive into both domestic and international developments in radioactive source applications and feasible alternative technologies. Moreover, the assessment of alternative technologies evaluates their attractiveness and practicality to organisations in consideration of adopting or transitioning to them.
Radiotherapy in Cancer Care: Facing the Global Challenge
The fact that there is limited or nonexistent access to radiation treatment depending on the country highlights the disparity in health care provision among States. This publication published by the IAEA paints a clear picture of the main topics and issues to take into account when addressing this problem, particularly for low and middle-income countries.
Non-Radioisotopic Alternative Technologies White Paper
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
This white paper is a technology assessment of current radioisotope-based technologies and their non-radioisotopic alternatives in eight technology areas. This document is aimed at users of radioisotopic technology who are attempting to determine if and when it may be beneficial to voluntarily transition to non-radioisotopic alternative technologies.