Role and objectives

The radioisotope laboratory is a category-two radioactive facility as authorized by the Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines (IR/M-83/74-B).

These facilities report to the Radiation Protection Service of the Fundación Jiménez Díaz (SPR/M-0007/96) as authorized by the Nuclear Safety Council.

The facilities are authorized to use unsealed radioactive material for research purposes.

The main role of the laboratory is to ensure that all activities using ionizing radiation in the IIS-FJD are subjected to proper radioactivity monitoring.

Its primary aim is to plan activities so that they are carried out in adherence with the ALARA principle, that is, by optimizing techniques, minimizing doses, and upholding all applicable regulations.

Assessments and reports

  • Activity planning
  • Advisory services for building and remodeling radiation facilities
  • Estimation of radiologic impact during normal operations and in case of accident
  • Evaluation of radiologic risk caused by the facilities
  • Drafting and revision of compulsory documentation
  • Daily entries in the operations log
  • Design of radiation-protection regulations when handling and using equipment that emits ionizing radiation and radioactive products
  • Use of X-ray-emitting equipment for research purposes
  • Compulsory annual reporting following inspection by the Nuclear Safety Council
  • Monitoring of radioactive material: ordering and receipt
  • Monitoring of proper encapsulation of sealed radioactive sources for the FJD
  • Checks of detection systems and radiation measurements: contamination and excess radiation

Radioactive material

Regulation and monitoring procedures have been put in place for ordering and receiving radioactive material. Procurement monitored by the radiation protection service in adherence of the specific procedure in place (P.E.02).

Isotopes and authorized activities:

  • Hydrogen-3: 555 MBq (15 mCi)
  • Carbon-14: 370 MBq (10 mCi)
  • Phosphorus-32: 740 MBq (20 mCi)
  • Phosphorus-33: 740 MBq (20 mCi)
  • Sulfur-35: 370 MBq (10 mCi)
  • Calcium-45: 74 MBq (2 mCi)
  • Chrome-51: 185 MBq (85 mCi)
  • Iodine-125: 555 MBq (15 mCi)

Wholesale management of the radioactive waste generated by these services (P.E.08).

Technical support for accessory equipment needed to perform techniques with radioactive material (meters, refrigerators, heaters, security cameras, protective screens, other protective material, etc.).

Equipment that emits ionizing radiation: advisory services on proper use and safety.

Operational radiation protection (p.e.07)

Daily monitoring of the contamination and radiation levels in the different work areas, using:

  • Verification of the absence of contamination/radiation following each period of use
  • Dose control for employees exposed
  • Area dose assessment
  • Classification and signposting of different areas

For radiation incidents:

  • Use of the action procedures contained in the Radiation Protection Service manual
  • Use of emergency plans contained in the manual
  • Decontamination according to the indications of the manual

Training initiatives on radiation protection

The radiation protection service conducts training courses as often as required by its stakeholders. Courses are normally held once a year.

Participants: compulsory for all new hires who do not have documented prior training in other centers (course for operators of radioactive facilities).

The course consists of at least six hours of classroom-based training and four hours of hands-on learning. Certificates are provided at the conclusion of the course.

From 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, the facility supervisor provides continuous advisory on radioactive procedures to be performed.



Fundación Jiménez Díaz RadiologyProtectionService

Service head

Dr. Julio Valverde (biologist)


  • Mar González García-Parreño
    • BSc, biology
    • Specialist technician in nuclear medicine
    • This technician oversees the operations of the isotope laboratory, having all credentials and qualifications necessary for the position as stipulated in point 10 of the authorization document granting permission to open the facility.
    • Licensed supervisor of radioactive facilities within the field of laboratories with unsealed sources (license 7477367).
    • Ms. González has been a full-time staff member of the Fundación Jiménez Díaz since 1992 and has formed part of the radiation protection service since 1998.
    • In addition, Ms. González has been the supervisor of the confocal microscope since it was installed in 2002.


The isotope laboratory contains the following:

Refrigeration room (4º C) for storage of radioactive material with all the appropriate safety measures.

Laboratory for handling gamma-emitting isotopes

Equipped with:

  • HPLC equipment
  • Electrophoresis equipment
  • Protective screens with proper shielding for iodine-125
  • Extraction pumps leading to proper waste-storage facilities

Laboratory for handling beta-emitting isotopes
Instrument room

Equipped with:

  • Four protective screens with proper shielding for phosphorus-32
  • Two hybridization ovens
  • Five trays with electrodes and power sources for techniques using P-32 (e.g., EMSA, Southern blot)
  • Platforms for agitation
  • Thermoblock
  • Baths
  • Appropriate receptacles to dispose of liquid and solid waste products

Room for handling of low-energy beta emitters and metabolic studies:

This space has all the equipment necessary to work with low-energy beta emitters with long half-lives (hydrogen-3 and carbon-14). The room is outfitted with surfaces that are easy to decontaminate.

The room contains all the necessary equipment to carry out metabolic studies in cell cultures with radioisotopes:

  • Biosafety cabinet
  • Heat source
  • Centrifuge
  • Shaking water bath
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Beta counter
  • Fume hood with filter
  • Two semi-automatic cell harvesters with vacuum pumps
  • Appropriate receptacles to dispose of liquid and solid waste products

Thermocycler area:

There are four PCR thermocyclers.

Counter rooms, which contain:

  • Gamma counter
  • Densitometer for small animals (mice)
  • Gel dryers, with vacuum pump
  • Hybridization ovens

Radioactive waste storage room:

Only the facility supervisor—who manages the entire process of storage, logging, and evacuation—may access this room during the periods established by applicable regulations.


2nd floor of the IIS-FJD

Rules for access

The laboratory will be open under the oversight of the supervisor from Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Those wishing to use the laboratory outside of this period must ask for the key from FJD security, who will request to see and make note of the individual's name and identification and supply this information to the radiation protection service.

Safety rules

To work with radioactive isotopes in this facility, the following rules must be followed:

  • Prior successful completion of the course instructed by the radiation protection service or, alternatively, be a certified operator of radioactive facilities

This requires knowledge of the basic and essential rules for working with radioactive isotopes:

  • Use the minimum dose possible to carry out the experiment
  • Keep maximum distance from the radiation-emitting source
  • Minimize exposure time
  • Use automatic pipettes
  • Refrain from smoking, eating, and drinking
  • Use appropriate protective clothing
  • Use proper shielding methods
  • Survey the work area before and after the experiment is carried out
  • Consult with the facility supervisor before beginning all experiments and if any questions arise

In case of incident or emergency:

  • From 8:00 am to 3:00 pm:
    • Talk to the laboratory supervisor
    • Call the radiation protection service
  • Workdays from 3:00 pm to 8:00 am and holidays:
    • Call Fundación Jiménez Díaz security