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Industrial radiographers - the unsung heroes of modern society

Up coming training course: Radiation safety in Industrial Radiography..

NORM: Radioisotopes in the backyard

Every now and then at Safe Radiation, we receive a phone call...

Ionising Radiation, are we safe?
Radiation instruments..

Modern radiation safety protection principles are based on a no threshold...


  • What are radiation detection devices?
    • Instruments that can identify the presence of radiation
    • There are many types of radiation detection devices.
      • No single device can detect all kinds of radiation.
      • No one device is useful in all situations.
  • What can specific radiation detection devices detect and measure?
    • Specific types of radiation, (e.g., alpha, beta, gamma, neutron).
    • Specific levels (or ranges) of radiation energy (in kV, MV).
    • "Counts" per unit time (minute or second)
    • Roentgens (R) per unit time (e.g., milliRoentgen per hour [mR/hr])
    • Accumulated dose (in units of gray or rad)
    • Current dose rate (in units of gray or rad per unit time)
  • Do all radiation detection devices provide radiation information in real time?
    • Radiation survey meters (e.g., Geiger Muller and similar devices) detect radiation in real time
    • Personal dosimeters
      • Film badges do not provide information in real time, but they can detect prior radiation exposure if the device was worn at the time of exposure.
      • Self reading personal dosimeters can provide real time information about exposure
  • Who administers a radiation safety program including the use of personal dosimeters?
    • The radiation safety officer (RSO) will
      • Specify the types of survey meters and personal dosimeters required for given tasks
      • Supervise storage, maintenance and calibration of survey meters
      • Specify training and proper use of survey meters and personal dosimeters
      • Supervise proper issuance and collection of all equipment
      • Supervise reporting of dose registered on personal dosimeters
  • See Selected References section below.

Selection of Radiation Detection Systems

  • The table below is from Planning Guidance for Response to a Nuclear Detonation, 2nd Edition, 6/2010, Table 2.2, page 62.
  • Selected comments in the Planning Guidance document about Table 2.2
    • All radiation detection systems should be used within their functional limits and design specifications. Also, responders may need additional training to use systems with which they are familiar in new situations.
    • The list of radiation detection systems and uses is not exhaustive and is subject to change as technologies improve, but it covers common systems and missions/functions.
    • The table is organized based on key mission areas and activities according to a zoned approach consistent with this guidance. It lists the main categories of radiation detection systems that can be used during the response and whether each is useful, marginal, or not useful to support each mission area.
  • Explanation and graphic describing the 0.01 R/hour line is found on page 31 of the Planning Guidance document
  • Incident managers and responders will deploy radiation monitoring equipment appropriate for
    • What is actually available and calibrated for a given incident at the time it is needed
    • What the responders are trained to use
    • The nature and size of the incident (e.g., IND, RDD, transportation incident, other)
    • The task assigned (activity)
Tags: radiation