PREPARATION OF PROTACTINIUM GENERATOR
These quantities make a total volume of 40 ml, and are suitable for a 60ml
Polypropylene bottle.
Preparation
1.
To reduce contamination the Protactinium Generator will only be prepared in
the fume cupboard in A51, by the Laboratory Manager.
2.
A tissue should be held in a gloved hand to turn the balance on/off, so that it
is not contaminated.
3.
All items touched by radioactive materials must be either discarded or
decontaminated and then checked for residual radioactivity.
4.
Prepare a spill kit and have it nearby. (see below for contents)
5.
Line the fume cupboard floor with Benchkote ®
6.
The following should be placed into the fume cupboard (the fume cupboard is
to remain off):
 a small rubbish bin lined with a garbag (for all contaminated waste)
 box of tissues
 box Nitrile gloves
 electronic balance (to weigh to at least 2 decimal places)
 popstick
 stirring rod
 50 ml Beaker
 Plastic tray lined with Benchkote ®
 distilled water wash bottle
 10 ml measuring cylinder
 2 X 25 ml measuring cylinder
 2 disposable plastic pipette
 1 glass pipette and teat
 Dropper bottle of fresh Hydrochloric Acid
 500ml Bottle of Methyl iso-Butyl Ketone (4-methyl-penta-2-one)
7.
Put on appropriate PPE. eg Nitrile gloves, goggles and lab coat/apron.
NB: Nitrile provides only minimal protection against Methyl iso-Butyl Ketone
and gloves should be immediately replaced if contamination occurs.
8.
Collect Uranyl Nitrate from the Radioactive cupboard in A53, carrying the
container in a bucket rather than your hand, to reduce exposure.
Method:
1. Using a popstick, weigh 2 g of Uranyl Nitrate in a 50 ml beaker.
2.
Place the beaker on the plastic tray. The remaining instructions must be
carried out over this tray.
3.
Turn fume cupboard on.
4.
Using a 10ml measuring cylinder and a plastic pipette, measure 6 ml of
distilled water. Add to the beaker and dissolve the Uranyl Nitrate.
5.
Using a 25ml measuring cylinder, measure 14 ml of concentrated
Hydrochloric Acid. Add to the beaker. Stir.
6.
Using a 25ml measuring cylinder and a glass pipette, measure 20 ml of
Methyl iso-Butyl Ketone (4-methyl-penta-2-one). Add to the beaker. Stir.
7.
Pour the liquid into a 60 ml Polypropylene bottle and firmly screw down the
cap, tightly.
8.
Shake the mixture together for about five minutes.
9.
Label the bottom half of the bottle with appropriate label (see below).
10.
Place the Protactinium Generator in a labelled 500ml plastic container and
place this container in the Radioactive Cupboard.
11.
Return the unused Uranyl Nitrate to the Radioactive Cupboard in A53.
12.
Wash beaker well with warm soapy water. Check for residual contamination.
13.
Remove gloves and wash hands thoroughly.
14.
Place all place, tissues, dust mask, gloves etc in a strong, unlabelled plastic
bag, which is tied for disposal in the refuse; and place the bag directly into a
main waste bin outside the building, which will be emptied by a refuse
contractor.
15.
Record the amount of radiochemical used and the date that the Protactinium
Generator was prepared on the relevant records.
CONTAINMENT, CLEARING UP AND CONTAMINATION TESTING
Spill Kit Contents
Whenever the Protactinium Generator is used or being prepared a spill kits
containing the following items, should be at hand:
 Box of Nitrile Gloves
 25mm paint brush
 Forceps
 Box Tissues
 Box of Filter Papers (~9am dia)
 500g Bottle of Ausorb
 500g Bottle of Sodium Carbonate
 500ml bottle of Dilute Detergent Solution
 Garbag
 Radiation Sign
 Geiger Muller Tube and Scaler Timer
PPE
Lab coat/apron, Nitrile gloves, safety glasses/goggles
Containment
The most important and immediate action after a spill is to stop the radioactive
material (and any other hazardous material) from spreading any further. The action
taken will depend on the type of spill. The following actions are recommended:
• Small amounts of crystalline materials (such as Uranyl Nitrate): brush this
carefully on to filter paper using a tissue and return it to an appropriate
container.
• Spilt liquids: cover these with a mineral absorbent (or tissues for very small
quantities).
Cleaning up and disposal
The area should initially be cleaned with soft paper towels or tissues (held by forceps
or tongs) moistened with water or a very dilute detergent solution. The cleaning
process should always commence from the outer extent of the spill and proceed
towards the centre.
You should place used paper, gloves, dust masks and small amounts of mineral
absorbent, whether or not likely to be contaminated, in a strong plastic bag and
dispose of these in a bin that will be emptied directly by a waste contractor.
You should scoop larger quantities of mineral absorbent into a bucket and wash in
water. If the mineral absorbent contained acid, add sodium carbonate. If it contained
a solvent, add detergent. Pour the resulting liquid down an appropriate sink (eg A51
fume cupboard) with copious amounts of water.
Checking for contamination
After a spill has occurred and has been cleaned up, you will need to check the
affected area for contamination. Contamination may not be visible, so a check will
need to be made for radioactivity. You should very slowly scan the radiation detector
over the area, keeping the end window within 5 mm of the affected surface without
touching it. You should investigate any regions of apparently increased count rate
over background in more detail. The radiation detector could be supported close to
the surface, using a clamp and stand (resting the base on an uncontaminated
surface). If a 2 minute reading of the activity of a suspect area reveals a count of
more than 1.5 times background, more cleaning will be required using tissues and a
detergent solution. If contamination persists, or the radiation supervisor has any
doubt about the success of the clean-up, you should protect the area, restrict access
and put appropriate warning notices in place. Contact the radiation regulatory
authority for advice.
Report
RPS1 (ARPANSA 2002) requires that all incidents or accidents, for example a spill
involving radioactive material, are reported to the radiation regulatory authority
without delay.
Checking for Residual Contamination
All items that have come into contact with a radioactive substance and are not being
discarded must also be checked for residual contamination using the method
described above.
Protactinium Generator
WARNING RADIOACTIVE
MATERIAL
PROTACTINIUM GENERATOR
FIRST AID:
Swallowed:
Give Water (if conscious). URGENT
MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Eye:
Wash with running water. (15 mins). Seek
medical attention.
Skin:
Flood body with water. Remove
contaminated clothing. Wash with water
and soap. MEDICAL ATTENTION.
Inhaled:
Fresh air. Rest, keep warm. If breathing
shallow, give oxygen. Medical attention.
Warning Radioactive Material
INGREDIENTS
2g Uranyl Nitrate, 6ml water, 14ml conc
Hydrochloric Acid and 20ml methyl isoButyl
Ketone (4 methy-penta-2-one)
RISK PHRASES:
Highly flammable, Harmful by Inhalation. Causes severe burns.
Risk of serious damage to eyes. Irritating to eyes and respiratory
system. Harmful – may cause lung damage if swallowed.
Repeated exposure may cause skin dryness and cracking.
SAFETY PHRASES:
Keep away from combustible materials. Avoid contact with eyes.
Wear suitable protective clothing. In case of insufficient
ventilation, wear suitable respiratory equipment. This material
and its container must be disposed of in a safe way.
PERSONAL PROTECTION:
Glasses:
Chemical goggles
Respirator:
Gloves: PVA or Teflon.
Nitrile for splash protection.
SPILLS-DISPOSAL:
Evacuate area. Refer to special
instructions.
FIRE-EXPLOSION
Flammable. Vapours/gas
heavier than air. Toxic
smoke/fumes in a fire.
Additional Information is listed in the Material Safety Data Sheets.