Radiological study of a wastewater treatment plant associated with radioiodine therapy at a hospital in West Java, Indonesia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nuclear medicine (NM) services in Indonesia have rapidly developed due to the increasing number of patients, and this growth has been supported by standardized regulations in the field, including the management of solid waste generated. However, multiple reports indicate that licensing control does not regulate liquid waste disposal from patient excretions to protect personnel and the community from radiopharmaceutical exposure. One of the radiopharmaceuticals commonly used in NM and having the longest half-life among the radiopharmaceuticals used in NM is iodine 131(I-131). Thus, this study used a high-purity germanium detector to measure iodine-131 (I-131) activity in liquid waste from decay tanks, temporary collection channels, the hospital’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outlet, and six points around the NM service and liquid waste treatment unit. Concentration measurements in three decay tanks were carried out sequentially every 12 h for 3 d, corresponding to the therapy period. The results showed that the I-131 activity levels in the decay tanks and temporary collection channels, before being mixed with liquid waste from other units, were 95.9 × 106 ± 4.4 × 106 Bq m−3. At the point where the liquid waste from other units was mixed, the activity level decreased significantly to 472 680 ± 22 160 Bq m−3, which was below the clearance level of 107 Bq m−3. However, the recorded concentration exceeded the standard for environmental radioactivity at the hospital’s WWTP outlet, namely 37 670 ± 2040 Bq m−3. The measurement results for I-131 in the air in the open space for two nuclear buildings was above the standard at 1.3 ± 0.27 Bq m−3. According to the RESRAD simulation, based on the initial dose taken from the liquid waste treatment outlet point, the accumulation of doses and the risk of cancer among workers and the community decreased within 3 months after the maximum exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number031506
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • clearance level
  • decay tanks
  • environmental radioactivity
  • iodine-131 (I-131)
  • NM (nuclear medicine)


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiological study of a wastewater treatment plant associated with radioiodine therapy at a hospital in West Java, Indonesia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this