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NUEN 309 - Radiological Safety

Study Sheet for Test No. 3 Fall 2014

1. List and explain the three concepts that form the basis for radiation protection. Give the one
word associated with each.
1. For any exposure, the expected benefits exceed the overall societal costs (Justification)
2. The total societal detriment is maintained as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA)
3. Individual dose limits are applied to ensure that acceptable risk levels are not exceeded
2. Explain the difference between regulatory limits and administrative limits. What is the purpose
of administrative limits?
Regulatory limits are radiation dose limits set by the law, while administrative limits are
radiation dose limits set by workers at a particular facility and are always lower than the federal
3. Explain the acronym and the concept of ALARA.
a. What is the scientific basis for ALARA?
a. The assertion is that every radiation dose of any magnitude can produce some level of
detrimental effects which may be manifested as an increased risk of genetic mutations and
cancer. Thus, the NCSU radiation safety program attempts to lower doses received by radiation
workers by utilizing practical, cost effective measures. In other words as low as reasonably
achievable; meaning that the total societal detriment is maintained reasonably low. As long as we
keep ourselves below the limits we wont see any of the stochastic effects.
b. Does it have a numerical valve? Explain.
b. no, there is no value you have to consider each opportunity for exposure.
c. Can ALARA be calculated? Explain.
c. no
d. Can ALARA be measured? Explain.
d. no
instead we take other precautions based on, time of exposure, people exposed, safety
risks,how quickly the job needs to get done
4. List the three simple methods of dose control and explain how each can influence the
total dose a worker receives.
Time-minimizing the time of exposure directly reduces radiation dose.
Distance the distance between your body and the radiation source. Doubling the
distance between you and the source will divide the radiation exposure by a factor of 4.
Shielding- using absorbing materials like Plexiglas for beta particles and lead for X-rays
and gamma rays to reduce radiation exposures.
5. Explain the roles proper training and practice play in dose control.
They increase efficiency and therefore decrease the time around radioactive material
reducing exposure
6. Explain the function of a radiation work permit? What information is required to be

Radiation work permit authorizes specific work or tasks, describes special radiation
safety controls, describes potential hazards associated with the work. Information required
includes actions to be taken in an emergency, work time limits, dose limitations, conditions
which make the RWP void. Fords words set of form describing what the job is, requirements of
the job, what the dos rates are, places you need to avoid, also used for record keeping.
7. Define the terms half-value layer and tenth-value layer. If the linear attenuation
coefficient is known, how are these two parameters calculated?
HVL: layer of material at which the intensity of photon beam is decreased by a factor of
one-half after going through it
TVL: Intensity of photon beam is decreased by a factor of 10
Linear attenuation coefficient (): =(.693)/(x1/2) so HVL is .693/ and TVL is ln(10)/
8. Define the term build-up factor and relaxation length.
Build up factor: the ratio of total flux to uncollided flux
Relaxation Length: distance or thickness of a material that it takes to reduce the original
beam intensity by a factor of 1/e.
9. What are the three principal uses of x-ray machines?
Diagnostic , radiation therapy, non destructive testing
10. For x-ray shielding, explain the difference between the primary beam, the scattered beam,
and the leakage radiation.
Primary beam is the beam you intend to use, or the photons that leave the source and
reach a point unscattered, scattered beam is radiation of primary beam that gets scattered when it
strikes a surface, and leakage radiation is radiation that comes out through the shield.
11. What assumptions are made for the intensity of the scattered beam relative that of the
primary beam?
It is less, energy is much lower due to attenuation
12. What are the effective dose limits outside an x-ray room for controlled areas and
uncontrolled areas? Be sure to give your answers in mSv/week.
Controlled is 1 mSv/week
Uncontrolled is .1 mSv/week
13. Define the following terms important in x-ray room shielding:
a. occupancy factor
fraction of the time that an area outside the barrier is likely to be occupied by a given
b. workload
weekly amount of use of the x-ray machine
c. use factor
fraction of the workload during which the useful beam is pointed in a direction under
14. Define the term internal dose assessment.
A process of measurement and calculation which results in an estimate of the dose to
tissues of the body from the intake of radioactive material
15. What is the annual limit, in SI units, for the committed effective dose equivalent?

5 rem/year = .05 Sievert

16. What is the annual limit, in SI units, for the committed dose equivalent to a single organ
or tissue?
50 rem/year = .5 Sievert
17. What is the annual dose limit, in SI units, for dose to the lens of the eye?
15 rem/year = .15 Sievert
18. Define the term annual limit on intake.
The activity of a radionuclide which taken in alone would irradiate an individual to the
limit set of the ICRP for each year of occupational exposure
19. Define or provide an equation to demonstrate how the derived air concentration is
calculated. Is there a rule-of-thumb that is useful in using the DAC to estimate the
committed effective dose equivalent? If so, please explain this rule.
DAC = [ALI] / [ ( 1.2 m^3/hr)*(2000 hr/yr)] ALI has units of Bq/ yr overall units for
DAC are Bq/m^(3)
Yes the derived air concentration for any radionuclide is that concentration in air which, if
breathed by reference man for a working year, would result in the annual limit on intake by
Rule of thumb- 5rem/yr divided by the DAC hrs
20. What are the four pathways by which radioactive material can enter the body? Which of
these are of interest in terms of controlling intakes of radioactive materials?
Ingestion, Inhalation, Injection, Absorption through skin. We are mostly interested in
inhalation because its the most likely route for allowing radioactive material into the body.
21. What are the four pathways by which radioactive material can be removed or excreted
from the body? Which of these are of interest in terms of monitoring intakes of
radioactive materials?
Exhaling, sweating, urine, feces. We monitor urine and feces
22. Define or provide an equation to demonstrate how to calculate the effective half-life of a
radioactive material. Teff = [TR * TB] / [TR+ TB] where TR = radiological half life
TB = biological half life
23. Calculate the effective half-life for the following organs and radionuclides:
a. I-131 in the thyroid gland; TR = 8 d and TB = 138 d. a = 7.56d
b. Pu-239 in the skeleton; TR = 24,600 y and TB = 100 y. a = 99.60y
c. Pu-239 in the liver; TR = 24,600 y and TB = 40 y. a = 39.94y
d. Cs-137 in the muscle; TR = 30 y and TB = 90 d. a = 89.27d
24. Is the effective half-life always shorter, longer or the same as the shortest half-life of the
radionuclide? Explain your answer.
Always shorter since Teff = [TR * TB] / [TR+ TB] so you are multiplying by less than 1
TR = radiological half life
TB = biological half life
25. Define the term nonstochastic (or deterministic) effects of radiation. Give two examples
of a nonstochastic effect of radiation.
Non-stocastic: severity increases with dose (cataracts, birth defects)
26. What is the difference between symptoms and a syndrome?

Symptoms: subjective evidence of a disease or physical disturbance, something that

indicates the presence of a bodily disorder
Syndrome: a group of signs or symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular
27. Explain the difference between undifferentiated and differentiated cells. Provide an
example of each type.
Undifferentiated: those cells that divide on a regular basis producing an exact copy of
Differentiated: those cells that perform specific functions in the body (example=blood
cells, cells in GI tract)
28. State and explain the Law of Bergonie and Tribondeau, as it related to the radiosensitivity
of cells.
Says that cells are least sensitive in the S Phase, then the G1 phase, then G2, and most
sensitive in M phase of cell cycle
Radiosensitivity depends on:
1. the number of undifferentiated cells in that particular organ
2. the fraction of these that are dividing
3. how quickly they are dividing
Dont really know if you need that top part but whatever
29. Provide an approximate ranking of cells based on the Law of Bergonie and Tribondeau
with the most sensitive cells listed first.
Epidermal stem cells
GI stem cells
Cells in other tissues and organs
Nerve Cells
Muscle Fibers
30. Explain the term LD50/30 and provide an approximate value for humans. Is it possible to
raise the LD50/30 to a higher value? Explain your answer.
The dose of radiation at which 50 percent of the exposed population die within 30 days
About 400 rem. Yes if you add medical attention or use of drugs.
31. Define the term tetratogenesis and give two examples of radiation effects.
Tetratogenesis: effects on unborn children
Examples: microcephaly, mental retardation, deformities
32. Define the term acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
An acute illness caused by a dose greated than 50-70 rads of penetrating radiation to most
or all of body in a short time, usually a matter of minutes
33. Explain the following periods or syndromes of the ARS and give a general discussion as
to the symptoms each entails:
a. prodromal stage
0-48 hours post exposure, GI distress (nausea, vomiting)
b. latent stage
48 hours-2 or 3 weeks, free of symptoms, general feeling of wellbeing
c. bone marrow syndrome

the cells in mitosis in bone marrow decrease rapidly, results in anemia,

breakdown of the walls of capillaries, and increased in infection
d. gastrointestinal tract syndrome
Loss of cells lining GI tract, loss of the renewal system of the red bone marrow
e. cardiovascular /central nervous system syndrome
Agitation alternating with apathy, disorientation and upset on equilibrium, loss of
coordination, ataxia, nausea, vomiting, seizures, coma, death
34. What are the five stages of mitosis (list these in the order they occur)?
Prophase, Prometaphase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, Cytokinesis
35. Why is the study of radiation effects in water a good surrogate for the radiation effects in
human tissue?
Tissues have a lot of water in them so range that particles travel through both are similar
36. What are a ring chromosome and a dicentric chromosome?
Ring: a chromosome whose arms have fused together to form a ring radiation breaks
chromosome into pieces and during repair two ends of a piece fuse together to create a ring,
unstable chromosome type aberration with acentric fragments
Dicentric: chromosome with 2 centromeres or chromosomes broken and rejoined
incorrectly, unstable chromosome type with acentric fragments
37. What is a deletion and an inversion as these terms pertain to radiation effects in
Deletion: a mutation in which a part of the chromosome is missing does not get rejoined
properly, making it unstable and you also lose genetic material
Inversion: a chromosome rearrangement in which a segment of a chromosome is reversed
end to end however it is stable
38. Define the following terms:
a. Direct action of radiation
it is the dominant process if radiations with high linear energy transfer (LET), such as
neutrons or-particles, are considered
b. Indirect action of radiation
the radiation may interact with other atoms or molecules in the cell (particularly water)
to produce free radicals that are able to diffuse far enough to reach and
the critical targets
c. Oxygen effect
the fact that low LET radiation such as gamma or x rays are much more effective at
causing biological effects in the presence of oxygen
d. Oxygen enhancement ratio
refers to the enhancement of therapeutic or detrimental effect of ionizing radiation due to
the presence of oxygen. The effect is most notable in ionizing
radiation dose
e. Chronic effects of radiation
Cancer, burns, genetic effects
f. Acute effects of radiation
Cataracts, birth defects
g. Immediate effects of radiation
things that happen to you within 2 to 4 weeks after exposure

h. Chronic exposure
dose delivered over a long period of time, typically at a low dose rate
i. Acute exposure
dose delivered over a short period of time
j. Threshold effects of radiation
effects that occur when levels of radiation exposure are tens, hundreds, or
thousands of times higher than background, and usually when the exposure is over
a very short time

k. Latent period
period of time between the time of exposure and the onset of the effect
l. Mitosis
replication of cells that are not gonads
m. Meiosis
replication of cells that are gonads
n. Radiolysis of water
radiation to break the molecular bonds of water to get hydroxide ion OH^(-)and a proton
o. Free radicals
is an atom or molecule carrying an unpaired orbital electron in the outer shell
p. Diploid
two sets of chromosomes
q. Haploid
one set of chromosomes
r. Homologous
a set of one maternal and one paternal chromosome
s. Somatic effects of radiation
non-inheritable, only in the cells of the exposed individual
t. Genetic effects of radiation
-inheritable genetic effects due to alteration of reproductive cells
u. Stochastic effects of radiation
probability of occurrence is a function of dose, severity is not. Observed only at high
v. Nonstochastic effects of radiation
Severity increases with dose, may have a threshold below which no effect is seen