Gallium Target Quality Control

The irradiation of gallium targets is part of a production process that is used to manufacture 68Ge/68Ga generators for detection of neuroendocrine tumours. The generators account for 30% of the annual radioisotopes sales. In 2018, multiple problems were experienced which related to gallium target ruptures during irradiation. A thorough investigation began to fully understand the cause of the target ruptures. X-ray Computed Tomography scanning of the gallium targets with resolution of 30 mm, revealed inner defects that are the most likely cause of the occasional ruptures. These interventions were completed in March 2019 and together with the systematic scanning of the gallium targets, have enabled the drastic reduction in the gallium target failure rate. The slice presented in the photo, obtained from micro CT scanning, is used to evaluate the cleanliness of the weld. This critical evaluation process now forms part of the quality control assessment of the gallium target before irradiation.