1996 San Juan de Dios radiotherapy accident

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Cobalt-60 Teletherapy Capsule Teletherapy Capsule.jpg
Cobalt-60 Teletherapy Capsule

The radiotherapy accident in Costa Rica occurred with the Alcyon II radiotherapy unit at San Juan de Dios Hospital in San José, Costa Rica. It was related to a cobalt-60 source that was being used for radiotherapy in 1996. An accidental overexposure of radiotherapy patients treated during August and September 1996 was detected. During the calibration process done after the change of 60Co source on 22 August 1996, a mistake was made in calculating the dose rate, leading to severe overexposure of patients. The error of calibration was detected on 27 December 1997. In the course of the accident, 114 patients received an overdose of radiation and 13 died of radiation-related injuries. [1] [2]

San José, Costa Rica City and municipality in San José, Costa Rica

San José is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Located in the mid-west of the Central Valley, San José is the seat of national government, the focal point of political and economic activity, and the major transportation hub of this Central American nation. The population of San José Canton was 288,054 in 2011, and San José’s municipal land area measures 44.2 square kilometers, and an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. The metropolitan area stretches beyond the canton limits and has an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.

Cobalt-60 isotope of cobalt

Cobalt-60 (60Co), is a synthetic radioactive isotope of cobalt with a half-life of 5.2747 years. It is produced artificially in nuclear reactors. Deliberate industrial production depends on neutron activation of bulk samples of the monoisotopic and mononuclidic cobalt isotope 59
. Measurable quantities are also produced as a by-product of typical nuclear power plant operation and may be detected externally when leaks occur. In the latter case the incidentally produced 60
is largely the result of multiple stages of neutron activation of iron isotopes in the reactor's steel structures via the creation of 59
precursor. The simplest case of the latter would result from the activation of 58
. 60
decays by beta decay to the stable isotope nickel-60. The activated nickel nucleus emits two gamma rays with energies of 1.17 and 1.33 MeV, hence the overall nuclear equation of the reaction is 59
+ n → 60
+ e +
+ gamma rays.

See also

Goiânia accident radioactive contamination accident in Brazil

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1962 Mexico City radiation accident

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X-rays make up X-radiation, a form of electromagnetic radiation. Most X-rays have a wavelength ranging from 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz (3×1016 Hz to 3×1019 Hz) and energies in the range 100 eV to 100 keV. X-ray wavelengths are shorter than those of UV rays and typically longer than those of gamma rays. In many languages, X-radiation is referred to with terms meaning Röntgen radiation, after the German scientist Wilhelm Röntgen who discovered these on November 8, 1895, who usually is credited as its discoverer, and who named it X-radiation to signify an unknown type of radiation. Spelling of X-ray(s) in the English language includes the variants x-ray(s), xray(s), and X ray(s).

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Coordinates: 9°55′57″N84°5′5″W / 9.93250°N 84.08472°W / 9.93250; -84.08472

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.