ANSTO operates a range of cobalt-60 gamma irradiators, providing the Australian community with a range of irradiation services for medical, health, industry, agriculture and research purposes.
Gamma rays, a form of electromagnetic radiation like X-rays, ionise atoms and in doing so create chemical changes in the material. For example, in living organisms this can result in damage to cells and the breakdown of DNA making it a useful way of killing bacteria, insects and other biological contaminants. For more information view the benefits of nuclear science.
Applications of gamma irradiation can include:
Research sample irradiation
Medical product dose verifications
Sterilisation of medical products and devices, including donated human tissue
ANSTO's unique gamma irradiation facilities enable the delivery of high doses of radiation with a high level of precision not achievable in industrial-scale irradiators.
0.001 to 30 Gy.min-1
10 mGy to 1 MGy
–78 °C (under dry ice) up to room temperature
Up to 1 m3
High dose dosimetry
ANSTO manufactures and calibrates radiation dosimeters for use in monitoring doses in high dose irradiation applications. The dosimeter measurements are traceable to the Australian standard for absorbed dose.
These reference standard dosimeters can provide traceable calibrations for routine dosimeters used by any provider of gamma irradiation services worldwide.
Our dosimeters can be used to calibrate any gamma radiation field from small blood irradiators to large industrial pallet or tote irradiators. Manufacturers of sterile medical products may conduct quality control checks on the dose delivered to their products in industrial irradiators.
Dosimeters are manufactured following international best practice for dosimetry in radiation processing (ISO 17025 and ISO/ASTM standards). ANSTO provides a supply and measurement service as well as supplying calibrated dosimeters to customers for irradiation and, upon return, report dosimeter readings. Download the factsheet for more information on our high dose dosimetry service.
Uncertainty (95% confidence)
50 – 350 Gy
Ceric Cerous (Low dose)
1 – 12 kGy
Ceric Cerous (High dose)
10 – 50 kGy
Operating within a highly regulated environment, ANSTO maintains a quality management system that complies with the following licences, standards and guidelines.
For the radiation treatment of therapeutic goods
For the radiation treatment of goods subject to Australian quarantine
For the safe operation of radiation facilities
Provision of sterilisation services by gamma irradiation of therapeutic goods
Quality management system requirements
ANSTO also adheres to the principles of the following standards and guidelines:
Substantiation of the sterilising dose for medical devices.
International best practice for dosimetry in radiation processing.