Considerations for Radioactive Shipping Pigs and Systems

When designing radioactive shipping packages, there are several key elements that need to be considered. There are many considerations when developing a shipping pig and transport system for that pig. Oftentimes the entire scope of the needs and design are not considered even though they are critical to ensure that the pig and over pack function as needed both in your site as a manufacturer / pharmacy and in your customer's site (pharmacy / hospital).

Below are some of the most common key elements to consider for radioactive shipping packages.

    How do you want to ship; Yellow II or at another radiation level?

    What isotope are you shipping? What is the maximum activity that you will be shipping?

    What is the maximum weight you want to handle and what is the ideal weight?

    What is the maximum and minimum size of your over pack?

    Do you require the shipment to be transported at a specific temperature?

    What are the weight, size, and handling limitations or concerns of the site receiving the package?

    What vial or syringe will you be shipping?

    How will the user connect with the package and shipping pig?

    Is this a one-way pig or will you reuse it? (The answer to this question determines the best materials to use in the pig and over pack.)

    How will the receiver of the package return the used system if it is being sent back? What will you do when you receive the system back?

    How many packages will you need in rotation to serve your customer base?

    What type of ergonomic issues should you be aware of both at your site and at your customer's site?

    What interface issues should you consider in your hood or hot cell?

    Are you buying a shipping pig or the complete shipping system? Who will handle the DOT and IATA certifications?

In addition, you should consider whether you want to purchase the pig only or source out a completely certified shipping system. The system can easily be broken into two portions; the pig and the over pack. You need to consider if you have the resources to develop both portions, one portion or none. If you have limited experience in this area, you may be surprised by the amount of time and consideration needed to develop the best shipping system.

Vulcan GMS designs and develops shipping pigs and shipping systems. We can help you through the entire process. We designed and built many different pigs and shipping systems for our customers and we can help you through every step either as the a build to specification supplier for your design or for your design partner to develop a pig or system that fits your needs. If you have any questions or if we can be of assistance simply contact us to talk further.

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