Abatement of xenon and iodine emissions from medical isotope production facilities

J Environ Radioact. 2014 Apr;130:33-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2013.12.006. Epub 2014 Jan 11.


The capability of the International Monitoring System (IMS) to detect xenon from underground nuclear explosions is dependent on the radioactive xenon background. Adding to the background, medical isotope production (MIP) by fission releases several important xenon isotopes including xenon-133 and iodine-133 that decays to xenon-133. The amount of xenon released from these facilities may be equivalent to or exceed that released from an underground nuclear explosion. Thus the release of gaseous fission products within days of irradiation makes it difficult to distinguish MIP emissions from a nuclear explosion. In addition, recent shortages in molybdenum-99 have created interest and investment opportunities to design and build new MIP facilities in the United States and throughout the world. Due to the potential increase in the number of MIP facilities, a discussion of abatement technologies provides insight into how the problem of emission control from MIP facilities can be tackled. A review of practices is provided to delineate methods useful for abatement of medical isotopes.

Keywords: Abatement; Iodine; Medical isotope production; Molybdenum-99; Noble gas; Xenon-133.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Radioactive / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / analysis*
  • Xenon Radioisotopes / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Xenon Radioisotopes