Radiation Applications

Cancer Control / IAEA Opens New Linear Acceleration Facility At Seibersdorf Laboratories

By David Dalton
11 June 2019

IAEA Opens New Linear Acceleration Facility At Seibersdorf Laboratories
Opening ceremony for the new linear accelerator facility. Photo: D. Calma/IAEA.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has opened a new linear accelerator facility that will significantly increase its capacity to provide dosimetry services and support cancer control worldwide.

The new facility will also contribute to strengthened procedures in radiation safety and support research in new codes of practice in radiotherapy, the agency said.

The opening of the facility marks a milestone in a project to modernise the IAEA’s eight nuclear laboratories in Seibersdorf, near Vienna.

The upgrades to the laboratories will improve the agency’s capacity to support member states in the use of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture, human health and the environment, and in the use of new nuclear scientific instruments.

The laboratories opened in 1962, but had not undergone any renovations or received major equipment upgrades until the project began in 2014.

As of January 2018 cash contributions from member states had amounted to more than €32m. The IAEA has also received equipment under various partnerships.

The IAEA said close to 50% of cancer patients require radiation treatment. Too much radiation would damage healthy tissue, while too little will not effectively eliminate cancer cells. “Quality assurance in dosimetry is essential and helps ensure accurate radiation doses,” said May Abdel-Wahab, director of human health at the IAEA.

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