Radiation protection - working with radiation sources
If you use radiation sources for your work at NTNU, you should make every effort to minimize any risks to health, safety and the environment.
Norsk versjon - Arbeid med strålekilder
Tasks and responsibility delegation #
Anyone working with a radiation source should:
- Learn about and follow the rules and regulations for the use of radiation sources.
- Be aware of the responsibilities line leaders and academic supervisors have in terms of radiation protection. You should also familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the central and local radiation protection coordinators.
- Inform the academic supervisor or the local radiation protection coordinator about alterations in the use of radiation sources (for instance new sources, damaged sources, new projects).
- Learn about the radiation source you are using.
- Go through specific information on the radiation source before you start using it
- Learn emergency procedures.
- Work so as to minimize the radiation activity and avoid risking yourself and others' health, safety and environment.
- Log your use of the source as per the requirements. For example, the use of non-ionizing sources should be noted in the log book kept next to the source.
- Test your workplace for contamination and, when the regulations specify it, yourself (for example after working with open or unshielded radioactive sources).
NTNU uses several types of radiation sources in non-medical research and teaching. All radiation sources and their uses have been approved by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA). Nevertheless, many of these radiation sources can potentially be harmful to people and equipment. The use and handling of radiation is regulated by laws, national and international standards, and NTNU's own radiation source regulations and guidelines.
Before you start working #
- Before you start working with a radiation source, you should learn how to store it and dispose of waste responsibly.
- Collect information on local guidelines and handbooks, the use of measurement and protective equipment, waste disposal and local emergency preparedness plans.
- Any accidents with a radiation source should be immediately reported to your leader, your local radiation protection coordinator, the central radiation protection coordinator, reported as a discrepancy and possibly reported to Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA). Also see the emergency preparedness plan and Radiation protection - preparedness.
Health concerns #
Medical examinations #
You should have a medical examination if:
- You may have been exposed to an effective dose of more than 6 mSv/year.
- If the radiation you have received may correspond to an equivalent dose of more than 3/10 of the limit designated in § 31 in the regulation on radiation protection and the use of radiation.
- You have been exposed to artificial optical radiation exceeding the limit given in § 4-2 in the Regulations concerning Action and Limit values (also see § 16-7 in the regulations concerning the Performance of Work, in Norwegian).
- You have an illness that stems from exposure to artificial optical radiation.
- The exposure to electromagnetic fields exceed the limit values given in § 4-3 in the Regulations concerning Action and Limit values.
- A risk assessment determines that your health is at risk.
The medical examination will determine if there are medical reasons hindering you from working with ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, or if special precautions should to be taken.
Pregnant employees #
If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, you should inform your academic supervisor and your local radiation protection coordinator as soon as possible, so that the necessary precautions can be taken.
In some cases, pregnant employees will be given work without exposure to ionizing radiation. This means work that doesn't expose the foetus to a total dose of more than 1 mSv for the rest of the pregnancy.
After you find out you are pregnant, the dose to be received by the foetus for the rest of the pregnancy needs to be evaluated. Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) gives the following advice:
- If the dose is certain to be less than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee can continue her work without special precautions.
- If the dose is most probably less than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee can continue her work, but the amount of radiation could be reduced.
- If the dose is likely larger than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee should be given other work with smaller radiation doses, or without exposure to ionizing radiation at all.
- The dose to the foetus as measured with an RIA kit should be less than 1 mSv.
For a more detailed description of dose limits, see chapter 4.2: Dose limits in Guidelines on the use of radioactive sources in the laboratory (PDF in Norwegian) by DSA.
Radiation sources at NTNU #
The types of radiation sources at NTNU can be divided into two main categories:
- Ionizing: Radioactive substances, x-ray equipment and electron microscopesIoniserende: Radioaktive stoffer, røntgenapparater, elektronmikroskoper
- Non-ionizing: Lasers, short-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVC), sources with potentially damaging electromagnetic radiation and similar.
The main radiation sources found at NTNU are:
- Radioactive sources
- X-ray equipment
- UVC sources
- Electron microscopes
- Strong optical radiation sources (link coming)
- Dosimetry - Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) (Information in Norwegian)
- Radiation and health - a popular science book by the Biophysics group at the University of Oslo
- Rules on recording employees who have been exposed to radiation - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Norwegian only)
- Pregnancy and work environment - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Norwegian only)
- Pregnancy and working with radiation - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Norwegian only)
- Pregnancy and adaptations in the workplace - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Norwegian only)
- Laboratories, safety and work environment – The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Norwegian only)
- ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection)
- IFE (Institute for energy technology, Kjeller)
- IRPA (International Radiation Protection Association)
- Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) – website with supervisors and other information
- University of Bergen – radiation protection (Norwegian only)
- University of Oslo – radiation protection
- University of Tromsø – radiation protection (Norwegian only)
NTNU regulations #
- Laboratory and workshop handbook
- Radiation protection - lasers
- Radiation protection - radioactive sources
- Radiation protection - radioactive waste
- Radiation protection - responsibility and task delegation
- Radiation protection - x-ray equipment
- Radiation protection - UVC sources
- Radiation protection - electron microscopes
- Optical radiation sources and eye examinations
- Emergency preparedness plan
- Medical examination
- HSE rounds
- Report problems and discrepancies
- Risk assessments
- Room cards
- The Work Environment act §§1-1, 1-2, 1-5, 4-4, 5-3, 18-1, 19-1, 20-1
- Radiation protection and use of radiation – The radiation protection law
- Pollution Control Act
- Regulation on radiation protection and the use of radiation – Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA)
- Regulation concerning Organization, Management and Employee participation - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Workplace regulations - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Regulations concerning the Performance of work, chapters 15, 16 and 16 A - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Regulation concerning Action and Limit values, chapter 4 - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Regulation on administrative systems - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (in Norwegian)
- Regulation on waste – Climate and Pollution Agency (in Norwegian)
- Regulations concerning Pollution – Climate and Pollution Agency
- Use on the pollution law in the case of radioactive pollution and radioactive waste (in Norwegian)
Contact information #
- The central radiation protection coordinator: Ann Kristin Sjaastad
- Occupational Health Services
- Ann Kristin Sjaastad, occupational hygienist
- Bjørg Aadahl, Occupational Physician
- Local radiation protection coordinators
Approved by Director of HSE - December 18th 2015 - HMSRV3201E - ePhorte 2016/3901