Gamma Radiography Radiation Safety Handbook

Amersham Corporation 40 North Avenue Burlington, Mass. 01803

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Section, I General Information " .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1

Section It Structure of Matter '. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3

Section III Radiation and Radioactivity : "," ~ . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. .. . 5

Section IV Measurement of Radiation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . • • . . . . • . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . 9

Section V Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation ............•. ; ; . . . . . . . • . . . . • • . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 17

SecUon VI Control 01 Radiation Exposure 23

Section VII Federal Standards for Radiation Protection .......................................•.. 27

Section VIII Radiographic Equipment ; ; .. 33

section IX Emergencles 41

Section XTransportatlon '" ., ,' , 43

Section XI Case Histories of Radiography Incidents 47

Appendix A Tables ...............................................•...............•....•..... 49

Appendix B Figures " , .....•............. 53

Appendix C Glossary , 65

INTRODUCTION

Section I Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Radiography today is a very important tool in industrial inspection and testing. This application of ionizing radiation in nondestructive testing has played a vital role in ensuring product reliability, Integrity and quality. It has been Important in the development of better production techniques and improved products.

Since the first industrial radiograph was made in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, countless thousands of people have become involved with radiography the world over. The number is growing each year. The properties of ionizing radiation which make radiography such a valuable Industrial tool also make it potentially Injurious to man. For radiation in industry to remain an effective tool, measures must be taken-to protect individuals from its harmful effects."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, through Its rules and regulations, and your company, through its operating and emergency procedures, help you to use radiation safely. But you, the radiographer, have the ultimate responsibility. You must be knowledgeable and safety-conscious.

This course is designed to present information necessary for this endeavor. It will, hopefully, assist you in gaining the knowledge you will need to be a safe radiographer. It is for your safety and well being, and that of the general public, that this course is presented.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

2

STRUCTURE OF MATTER

.< STRUCTURE OF MATTER

In ancient days, Greek philosophers considered the universe comprised of only four "elements", earth, fire, water and air. Everything in the universe was made up of combinations of these four basic entities. This phJlosophy was predominant unIII late In the eighteenth century.

At that time, some remarkable discoveries were made. A French chemist, Antoine lavoisier, proved in 1774 that air was not an "element", but was comprised of two simpler substances, oxygen and nitrogen. In 1789, an English chemist, Henry Cavendish, discovered that another basic "element", water, was really a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

It was these discoveries that led scientists to the fundamental chemical substances and properties. An element was determined to be a substance which could not be chemically divided into simpler substances. Examples of elements are iron, cobalt, nitrogen, etc. Substances which could be separated into simpler substances by chemical means were called compounds. Water is a compound since it Is a chemical cornbination of the elements oxygen and hydrogen.

Scientists turned their energies to discovering more elements, and these discoveries led to a finding which was to revolutionize chemistry. During the 1860's a Russian scientist named Dmitri Mendeleev learned that when the elements were arranged In order of their unit weights, a repetition, or perlodlclty, of chemical properties existed. He formed a table Illustrating his discovery, and It Is now known as the Periodic Table of the Elements. Through vacancies which existed In his table, Mendeleev was able to predict, with great certainty, the properties of elements which had not yet been discovered. His pradlctions were later proved by discoveries of these missing elements.

Ninety elements have been found to exist in nature. In addition, fifteen additional elements have been artificially produced. As many different elements were being discovered, scientists began to wonder how elements differed from each other. John Dalton, an Englishman, learned that an element was comprised of tiny, submlcrosoplc building blocks known as atoms and that aU atoms of a particular element had like properties. An atom Is the basic part of an element which has all the properties of that element Scientists knew that different elements contained atoms with different properties; the question became "How do atoms differ from one another?" And to learn this, scientists had to team of what an atom was comprised.

One discovery which led to the development of atomIc theory was the emission of "cathode rays." It is a well-known occurrence that when electricity passes through a gas at low pressure, light Is emitted. Fluorescent lamps and neon sIgns are good examples of thIs phenomenon.

An English physicist named Joseph Thompson discovered that these "cathode rays" were really particles carrying a negative

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section II Siructu re of Matter

An+~od' (j-:= =- -=--_-~l--+-CathOde

Cathode Rays

GEISSLER TUBE

electric charge. These particles are always identical regardless of the cathode material or type of gas used. Thompson later learned that these same particles with the same electric charge are produced In various other ways, such as shining ultraviolet light on certain metals (the principle of the electric eye).

These particles became known as electrons and carry the elementary electric charge. From his discoveries, Thompson believed that all atoms contain electrons but in different numbers. And because atoms are electrically neutral, they must contain a positive charge equal to the net negative charge of their particular number of electrons. Although Thompson's model of the atom was erroneous, his concept of electrons in combination with positive charges In an atom was correct, and It led tofurther discoveries of the structure of atoms.

In 1906 Ernest Rutherford conducted experiments by "shooting:' alpha particles at a thin gold fall. (Alpha particles are emitted from certain naturally occurrinq-radloisotopes: this will be discussed further in subsequent chapters). He found that the majority of particles passed right through the foil in their original direction. However, some particles were deflected, even back in the direction from which they came.

/Gold Foil

... Beam

This led Rutherford to two important discoveries about the structure of the atom; most of matter consists of empty space and the positive charge of the atom Is not spread throughout the atom, but is concentrated In a very small volume. This led to the development of the atomic mode! which is accepted today. An atom consists of a nucleus with a diameter of 1/10,CXlOof the diameter of the atom. The nucleus contains the positive charge of the atom. Around the nucleus revolve a number of electrons. The electrons contain the negative charge of the atom.

3

STRUCTURE OF MATTER

The electrons occupy particular energy levels or shells, and the spacing of these levels causes the vast size of the atom in cornpsnsonwltb the size of the nucleus,

Since the basic charge is that of the electron, and the charge of the nucleus Is equal to the absolute value of the sum of the electronic charges contained In the shells, scientists began to look for a particle having a unit positive charge In the nucleus. It was found that the lightest element, hydrogen, contains only one electron In its shell. The nucleus, thus, has a charge of plus one. It was determined that the hydrogen nucleus ls the fundarnental nuclear particle, and It was called the proton.

The mass of the proton was found to be much greater than the mass of the electron (1836 times as great). Atoms of all elements contain protons. Elements differ In the number of protons contained In their atoms.

Each element was assigned an atomic number based upon the number of protons In the nucleus. The ordar of the elements was found to be the 'same as the order In Mendeleev's periodic table. In describing atoms, the atomic number was written as a subscript precedlnq the chemIcal symbol (e.g. ,H, .He, "Co,

'"I~. . . . ..

Scientists now knew. that an atom conslsts.ot a nucleus containing a particular number of protons and an electron cloud cOn~istlng of a like number of electrons. They were puzzled, hoW:ev~r, by the fact that a helium atom (atornlc number 2) weighed four times as much as a hydrogen atom rather than twice as much.lrregularlties in weight persisted throughout the periodic table. Scientists predicted many theories to account

for this, but the puzzle ended In 1932 when James Chadwick, an English physlcist, discovered a particle called the neutron. This particle has a mass almost equal to that of a proton, but has no charge. The mass !regularities vanished when it was learned thstthe nucleus contained neutrons, Todescribethis new property, scientists devised the mass number, the nurn-

............................................ bElr .. (Jf.parti.qIElll.(pr()t(JnlltlQ~ '.' nelltr()r1sJ.il1an~c:IElus: ln .. ~Els~ .

.......... ·crl bingatoms;ffiiirmass· ii urn oei'wasWritteii as'a sDpefscflpr·

to the chemical symbol (e.g. H', He', Co~·, Ir192).

Further measurements determined that all atoms of a particular element did not have the same mass number. Atoms with the same atomic number but different numbers of neutrons are known as Isotopes (e.g. Ir1O', IT'"', lr1.', lr'·'.) The Isotopes of a particular element may have very different nuclear properties as we shall see In subsequent chapters.

4

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVITY

RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVITY

in 1896 a French physicist named Henri 8ecquerel discovered, quite accidentally, that a uranium compound caused a cornpletely wrapped photographic plate to become exposed. This occurrence led to the discovery that some isotopes, without any external stimulus, will change themselves into isotopes of different elements by emitting particles. Isotopes which undergo these changes are known to be radioactive, and the process is known as radioactive decay or disintegration. Most disintegrations are accompanied by the emission of electromagnetic radiation, and it was this radiation which caused the exposure of 8ecquerel's photographic film.

PRINCIPLES OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY

Isotopes which undergo radioactlve decay by._ emitting particles from the nucleus are known as radlolsotopss, Each radioisotope has a definite probability of disintegrating 'as a function of time. The rate of decay (A) is proportional to this decay probabillty constant ( A)and also the. number of atoms of this radlolsotope that are present (N):

A= AN.

From this decay constant, a term known as the radioactive half life can be mathematically determined. The half life Is defined as the time required for half of the atoms of a radlolsotope in a sample to decay or diSintegrate. For example, a certain sample contains one thousand atoms of iridiumi•2 today. The half Hfe of this Isotope is approximately seventy-four days. In seventy-four days, only 500 atoms of iridlum,02 wfll remain In the sample. One hundred forty-eighl days from today, only 250 atoms of Irldlum'•2 will remain. After a period of eight to ten half lives, the amount of radioisotope remaining Is negligible in comparison to the Initial sample.

The unit of activity Is the Curie (Ci) and Is defined as 3.7 x10,n disintegrations per second. Hence, a ten curie source of Iridium'" would undergo 370 billion disintegrations in a second. A sample containing this activity would be on the order of 1.6 millimeters in diameter and 0.8 millimeter high.

It is difficult to obtain a sample of a pure Isotope for many' reasons. Therefore, another unit is used to describe the specific activity of a radioactive source. This is the ratio of the activity of the sample to its weight and is expressed in units of curies per gram. Typical iridium 192 sources used In industrial radiography have specific activities on the order of 500 curies per gram.

MODES OF RADIOACTIVE DECAY

It has been shown that radioisotopes change form by undergoing radioactive decay or disintegration. in general, radioactive decay Involves the emission of a particle from the nucleus which causes the nucleus to change form. and this is usually accompanied by the emission of one or several gamma rays.

Alpha Alpha decay occurs principally with heavy elements such as uranium and plutonium. An alpha particle is the nucleus of a helium atom. It consists of two protons and two

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section III Radiation and Radioactivity

neutrons. Consequently, Ihe nucleus which remains after an alpha emission has a mass number which Is four units less than the original nucleus and an atomic number which is two units less. Alpha particles do not penetrate very far. Alpha particles will only travel several inches in air and can be effectively stopped by a few sheets of paper. They will not penetrate the skin.

Beta. 8eta decay is the emission of an electron from the nucleus. The process may be thought of as a neutron changing Into a proton and the emitted electron (beta particle). The mass number for the daughter nucleus will remain the same but the atomic number will increase by one unit. Beta particles can be effectively stopped by a thin piece of sheet metal. Beta particles which reach the human body will generally penetrate the skin but not much further.

Electron Capture Electron capture Is the process in which a nucleus absorbs an orbital electron. (I may be thought of as an electron joining a proton to form a neutron. The mass number remains unchanged but the atomic number decreases by one unit. Accompanying electron capture is the emission of X-rays which are generated by an external electron filling the vacancy

left by the captured electron. .

Positron Aprocess which competes with eiectron capture is positron emission. A posltron is a particle of the same mass as an electron but with positive charge:The daughter nucleus will have the same mass number as the parent but the atomic number wlll decrease by one unit. Positrons readily annihilate themselves upon collision with an electron and the result Is two gamma rays.

Gamma Decay by anyof these processes may leave the atom in an energetically excited state, Immediately relieved by ernlssion of electromagnetic radiation known as gamma radiation. Gamma rays are the most penetrating of the above mentioned types of radiation. It Is this property Ihat makes them desirable for use in radiography. It is also for this reason that gamma

" radiation Is of great concern In the area of radiation protection.

Radioactive decay is illustrated through the use of standard decay schemes. Shown here Is the decay scheme for xsnon=,

Xe 133 (5.3dl Il-

E{I~ 0.428

0.081

The top line with Xe133 Illustrates the ground state of xenon133. The bottom line with Cs133 Illustrates the ground state of ceslum133. The diagonal line illustrates a beta transition or decay to an excited state of cesiurn=. The intermediate line

,5

RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVITY

illustrates an excited state of cesiurn=, The beta energy is shown to be 0.428 MeV. The half life of xenon '3J is shown as 5.3 days. The vertical line indicates that this excited state decays by gamma emission of 0.081 MeV 10 the ground state.

This simple decay scheme provides most of the Information necessary to understand the decay process of a particular Isotope. The decay schemes of the principal isotopes used In radiography are presented in the appendix.

ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION (GAMMA RAYS) Electromagnetic radiation consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields. It is generally pictured as a single sinusoidal Wave.

It Is characterized by its wavelength (the distance from a point on one cycle to the point on the next cycle) or its frequency (the number of oscillations 'per second). All electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed, the speed of light (c). The wavelength ( A ) and the frequency ( u ) are related by the equation:

AU ::::C

This is true for all electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic radiation Is known by various names, depending on lis energy. The energy of these waves is related to the frequency and the wavelength by the relationship:

E

Where: h is a constant known as Planck's Constant.

THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM

ElM",)

'uP

The type of electromagnetic radiation of most Interest to radiography Is gamma radlatlon. As can be. seen from the table, this radiation Is much more energetic than the more familiar types such as radio waves and visible light. It Is this relatively high energy that makes gamma rays useful In radiography and potential hazards In radiation protection.

6

INTERACTION OF ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION

WITH MA TIER .)

Gamma rays are Indirectly ionizing radiation. A gamma fay passes through matter untllit undergoes an interaction with an atomic particle, usually an electron. During this interaction, energy is transferred from the gamma ray to the electron, which is a directly ionizing particle. As a result of this energy transfer, the electron Is liberated from the atom and proceeds to Ionize matter by colliding with other electrons along its path.

For the range of energies commonly used In radiography, the interaction between gamma rays and electrons occurs in two ways. One effect takes place where all the gamma ray's energy Is transmitted to an entire atom. The gamma ray no longer exists and an electron emerges from the atom with kinetic energy almost equal to the gamma ray energy. This effect Is

. predominant at low gamma energies and is known as the photoelectric effect. The other major effect occurs when a gamma ray Interacts with an atomic electron, freeing it from the atom and Imparting to It only a fraction of the gamma ray's kinetic energy. A secondary gamma ray with less energy (hence lower frequency) also emerges from the interaction. This effect predominates at higher gamma energies and is known as the compton effect.

vaG

..

PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT

COMPTON EFFECT

In both these effects the emergent electrons lose their kinetic energy by Ionizing surrounding atoms. The density of ions so generated is a measure of the energy delivered to the material by the gamma rays.

QUANTITIES OF RADIATION

Because gamma rays produce Ionized molecules and thereby deposit energy in matter, It Is Important to know how the interaction of radiation with matter is quantified.

Gamma and X-ray exposures are measured in unitscalJed roentgens (R), named after the German physicist, Wilhelm Roentgen, the discoverer of X-rays. It Is a measure of the density of lonization which occurs. It is defined as the amount of gamma or X-radiation required to produce 1 e.s.u. of charge (2.09 x 10' electron-Ion pairs) In a cubic centimeter of air at standard

(0° C) and pressure (760mmHg), or 1.293

Some problems arise with the use of a roentgen to measure radiation dose. That unit Is based upon IoniZation of air. However, gamma rays Interact differently with different absorbers such as tissue. In addition, the roentgen does not apply to other types of radiation such as 0: and {3 • Thus, a new unit named "radiation absorbed dose", or simply rad, was developed. A dose of 1 rad represents the absorption of 100 ergs of energy per gram of absorber. This unit applies to all types of radiation: a , f3 ,1' ,X, p, etc.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIATION AND RADIOACTIVITY.

The roentgen and the rad are nearly equivalent (it is generally assumed that 1 R = 0.869 rad), However, for the purposes of this course, as well as in using the NRG rules and regulations, the units of roentgen and rad will be considered equivalent.

The next important unit of radiation is the absorbed dose equivalent or rem. This unit of radiation dose for human beings is determined by multiplying the absorbed dose, in roentgens or rads, by the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE). The RBE for X-rays, gamma rays and beta particles is unity. Therefore, an absorbed dose of 1 rad or an exposure of 1 R will cause an absorbed dose equivalent of 1 rem. Alpha rays and neutrons have different values of relative biological eflectlveness.

The RBE for neutrons is assumed to be 10 and for high energy alpha particles is 20. Therefore, an absorbed dose of 1 rad of alpha particles would cause a dose equivalent of 20 rem.

The unit of the rem is too large for ordinary situations, and therefore, a smaller unit known as the mililrem (mrem) Is used. This is equIvalent to 1/1000 rem.'

Another useful quantity in radiation safety is the time rate at which ionization occurs. This is generally expressed in units of roentgens per hour (R/hr) or mllliroentgens per hour (mAlhr) and describes the radiation Intenslty.

A roentgen is a measure of the amount of Ionization produced by gamma radiation. This depends upon the number and energy of the gamma rays. We have seen that decaying radioactive atoms may emit different numbers of gamma rays at different energies. It is therefore not possible to have a simple, general mathematical relationship between radiation intensity and disintegration rate which would apply to all radlolsotopes. However, tables do exist which relate Intenslty (AIM at a particular distance and activity (Gi) for particular isotopes. These values are Important in calculating radiation leve!s in the Vicinity of radiographic sources. A table of these relationships for certain radioisotopes is presented In the Appendix.

O'n 1975 the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements recommended the foregOing units be gradually abandoned over the following 10 years in favor of a new set of standard international (SI) units as follows:

Old Unit New Unit

Exposure (X): 1 roentgen (R)::::: 2.58 X 104 coulomb/kilogram air Absorbed Dose (D): 1 fad = 10.2 gray (g) = 10.2 joule/kilogram Dose Equivalent (H): 1 rern > 10.2 sievert (Sv) :::10·2joule/kilogram

Activity (A): 1 cune « 3.7 x 1010 becquerels (Bq) == 3.7 x 1010fsecond

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

7

8

AMERSHAM ~ RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION,

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION

The methods through which radiation interacts with matter were discussed in an earlier chapter. This chapter describes how this interaction is measured.

Instruments used for radiation measurement fall into two broad categories: personal dose measuring instruments and rate measuring instruments. Dose measuring instruments are those that measure the total amount of exposure received duringlhe measuring period. The dose measuring instruments, or integrating dosimeters, that are commonly used in industrial radiography are small devices which are designed to be worn by an individual to measure the exposure of the individual. They are called personnel monitoring devices. Rate measuring instruments are those that measure the time rate at which exposure Is received, l.e. the radiation intensity. Survey meters, audible alarms and area monitors fall into this category. Each of the radiation measuring instruments common to industrial

radiography Is described below. .

POCKET DOSIMETER

Adirect reading pocket ionization dosimeter is used to measure external radiation exposure due to gamma and x-rays. The dosimeter is generally of the size and shape of a fountain pen.

The dosimeter contains a small ionization

chamber with a volume of approximately 2 milliliters. Inside the ionization chamber is a central wire anode, and attached to this wire anode is a meta! coated quartz fiber.

When the anode is charged to a positive potential, the charge is distributed between the wire

anode and the quartz fiber. Electrostatic repulsion tends to deflect the quartz fiber, and its natural elasticity tends to force it back to lis original position. The greater the charge, the greater the deflection of the quartz fiber.

Aadiation incident on the chamber produces ionization inside the active volume of the chamber. The electrons produced by ionization are attracted to and collected by the positively charged central anode. This collection of electrons reduces the net positive charge and allows the quartz fiber to return in the direction

of the original position. The amount of

movement is directly proportional to the

amount of Ionization which occurs (hence,

directly propo~ional to the quantity of radiation).

By pointing the instrument at a light source, one may observe the position of the fiber through a system of lenses built into the dosimeter. The image of the fiber is viewed on a translucent scale which is graduated in units of exposure.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section IV Measurement of Radiation

The pocket dosimeter is initially charged by Inserting the device Into a specially designed charging unit. The charging contacts operate by means of mechanical pressure.

Typical pocket dosimeters have a full scale reading of 200 milliroentgens. Others are designed to read as high as 1000 roentgens.

Charge leakage, also referred to as drift, affects the pertor-: mance of the dosimeter. The leakage rate should be no greater than 2 percent of the full scale reading in a 24 hour period. For this reason, it is necessary to use high quality Insulators and seal the volume of the chamber against moisture and dust.

The principal advantage of a pocket dosimeter is its ability to provide the wearer an immediate reading of his radiation exposure. It also has the advantage of being reusable.

One of its principal disadvantages is that it has a limlted range. Another disadvantage is that dropping or bumping the dosimeter can cause it to discharge, thereby losing the reading. The pocket dosimeter does not provide a permanent record. Recharging the dosimeter causes the reading to be lost.

9

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION

The second type of direct reading pocket dosimeter is the Digital Electronic Dosimeter. The operating principle of this device is similar to that of a pocket audible alarm which is described in a later section. In these dosimeters, the output of the radiation detector (usually a gelger·mUller counter) is collected and, when a predetermined exposure (usually 1 mR) has been reached, the collected charge is discharged 10 trigger an electronic counter. The counter displays the accumulated exposure in digital form. This minimizes the reading errors associated' with direct reading pocket lonlzatlon chamber dosimeters and allows the instrument to achieve a higher rnaximum readout before resetting is necessary.

Digital Ele~tronic Dosimeters generally include an audible alarm feature. They emit an audible signal (or chirp) with each recorded increment of exposure. They can also be set to provide a continuous audible signal when a preset exposure has been reached. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the use of direct reading pocket dosimeters by all Industrial radiographers. The dosimeters should be recharged at the start of each working shift.

During the shift, the dosimeter reading should be checked frequently. The measured exposure should be recorded at the end

of each shift. If a dosimeter becomes discharged beyond its a: 1.60 I-

C~""""""":~~~~:~E~\;S::~~:g~!~:~~~~J~~:~~~~~:;E:~;;i;" """l:;: t ""CO /O~\

FILM BADGES t O.BO j, /_0,\\

PhotographiC films are used to measure radiation exposure due ~ 0 /0 w 0.60

to gamma rays, x-rays and beta particles. 0

I- 0.40 II~

Personnel dosimetry films consist of photographiC emulsions ~ 0.20 ~

coated on both sides of a transparent plastic base. The ernul- 0, L/D I ~*-~-Q-;:,::~~"" ~A-

sion consists of silver bromide crystals (grains) suspended in a 0 ~L1.51..Li.LLilOlL:::__t20~:C:~5=O~~1=O::O:::i~20t:D:::;:==50LO:;:::::t10~OO

gelatinous substance. A thin layer (approximately 40 micrometers KILOVOLTS EFFECTIVE

thick) of the silver bromide suspension is uniformly coated onto

10

the plastic base. The silver bromide content is high and the grains

are spherical. .)

Radiation Interacts with the film by ionizing the silver bromide molecules. Radiation disrupts the electron bonds between the silver atoms and the bromine atoms. This results in ions of silver and bromine remaining in the gelatin suspension. This Is called the latent image.

During the development process, the metallic silver produced by ionization causes the remaining silver bromide molecules in til at particular grain to be chemically converted to metallic sliver, This metallic silver remains deposited on the film. During the fixation process, the unconverted silver bromide on the film is removed leaving a real image due only to the metallic silver remaining on the film.

The speed or sensitivity of the film is a function of the silver bromide grain size. Larger grains result in more sensitive or faster films; that is, a greater degree of darkening Is produced for a given quantity of exposure. Developing time, temperature and the chemical purity of the developing solution also affect the degree of darkening.

The degree of darkening of a film exposed to a fixed quantity of radiation (roentgens) is strongly dependent upon the energy of the radiatlon.

This dependence is illustrated below for Dupont 502 Personnel Monltoring Film. This energy dependence is typical of all films.

o - BARE PACKET ~ - 1mm CADMIUM

D - 1/16 in. ALUMINUM ~ - 1/16 in. LEAD

n - 1fl fi In LI JClTE

Photon energy rueponsu of iii m (Du Pont 502) in bodge.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION.

For this reason, film badge suppliers use a series of filters to distinguish between various energies of radiation in order to compute the dose more accurately.

Actual film badges for personnel monitoring use a film which is coated with two different emulsions. One side is coated with a large grain, fast emulsion which is sensitive to low levels of exposure. The other side of the film is coated with a fine grain, slow emulsion which Is less sensitive, If the exposure to radiation causes the fast emulsion in the processed film to be darkened to a degree that it cannot be interpreted, the fast emulsion is removed and the dose is computed using the slow emulsion.

The film Is packaged in a light proof, vapor proof envelope. This prevents light, moisture or chemical vapors from affecting the film.

The film is worn inside a film holder or badge. The badge incorporates a series of filters to determine the quality of the radiation.

Radiation of any given energy is attenuated to a different extent by various types of absorbers. Therefore the same quantity of radiation incident on the badge will produce a different degree of darkening under each filter. By comparing these results, the energy of the radiation can be determined. Hence the dose can be computed knowing the film response for that energy.

OPEN WINDOW

.~--H-t--LEAD/T!N ALLOY FILTER

The badge holder also contains an open widow. This is used to determine radiation exposure due to beta particles. As beta particles are effectively shielded by small thicknesses of materials, badge manufacturers take great care to minimize the amount of material In front of the film at the open window.

Film badge suppliers calibrate their badges by exposing them to known quantities of radiation and compare the processed photographic densities (degree of darkness) to those of the film of interest.

The major advantages of a film badge as a personnel monitoring device are that it is readily avallable, it provides a permanent

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

record, it is able to distinguish between dllferent energies of photons, It can measure doses due to different types of radlatton, it is quite accurate for exposures greater than 100 rnllllrern, and there is little image fading as a function of aging.

The major disadvantages are that it must be developed and read by a processor which is time consuming, it can be affected by light, moisture and chemical vapors if the packet ruptures, prolonged exposure to heat can affect the film, and exposures of less than 20 millirem of gamma radiation cannot be accurately measured.

THERMOLUM1NESCENT DOSIMETER

Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD) are used to measure external radiation expo~ure due to gamma rays arid x-rays.

A TLD is a phosphor in a solid crystal structure. When the phosphor is exposed to Ionizing radiation at ordinary temperatures, many of the electrons which are released are trapped in lattice defects in the crystal structure. This produces a lonq-llved metastable state. The electrons

remain trapped for long periods of time. '

When the phosphor is heated, energy is gained by these trapped electrons. With sufficient heating, -the electrons can escape the traps and return to their original ground state. In doing so, they cause the emission of light, hence the name thermoluminescence.

The number of electrons raised to a trapped state in the crystal tattles is proportional to the'quantlty "of radiation

incident on the phosphor. .

The Integrated amount of light emltled from :th~.Ph. o. spnor is pro"/ portlonal to the number of electrons .111. thafrapped state. Therefore, the quantity of rad latlon or the exposure tan be ctl rect Iy related to the amount of light emitted by the phosphorwheh heated. This Is the prlnclple by which the thermoluminescent material can be used for dosimetry.

The principal thermoJuminescent phorphors used as TLDsare lithium fluoride (UF) and calcium fluoride (eaF). However, phosphors such as alumino phosphate glass, calcium sulfate and lithium borate have been used in special applications.

All TLDs exhibit nearly linear dose response and some materials have nearly constant energy response. The following figure shows the energy responses for various TLD materials:

o

~

a:

10.1 '--_-::'::-- __ ..L- -'- _'

10 30 102 103 104 (keV!

Energy dependence of different TLD materials: 1. CuF2; 2.C8S04;

3. alumonophosphate 91a5s; 4. aluminosilicate glass; 5. LiF; 6. U2 0.282°3

11 J

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION

Geiger-Mliller counter rate meters are used principally to detect gamma rays, x-rays and beta particles.

A Geiger-MUlier tube consists of an envelope with two electrodes and a filling gas. Geiger-MUlier tubes are normally cylindrical. The center electrode, the anode, is

generally fabricated from fine tungsten wire. The other electrode, the cathode, is plated onto thewall of the tube and Is normally fabricated from stainless steel. The filling

...........•.•.. ······~······~gasls·normaHyhel·lum;argOn·OrWeOnWlfha····smaiiperCeh:·············

tage of halogen gas added for quenching purposes.

Thermoluminescenl dosimeters have a precision of approximateIy 15% for low doses. This precision improves to approximately 3% for high doses. TLDs can measure doses as low as 1 mHlirem, but under routine conditions their low-dose capability is approx-

imately the same as for film badges.

Commercial devices are available for reading TLDs.

The advantages of a TLD over other personnel monitors is its linearity of response to dose, its relative energy independence, and its sensitivity to low doses.

However, no permanent record or rereadability is available and an immediate, on the job, readout is not possible.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the use of either a TLD or a film badge, In addition to a direct reading pocket dosimeter, by all Industrial radiographers.

IONIZATION CHAMBER SURVEY METERS

Ionization chamber survey meters are used to measure the lntenslty of radiation exposure due 10 gamma and X-rays.

The Ionization chamber survey meter utilizes an air filled, hermetically sealed chamber. A typical ionization chamber has a chamber volume of approximately 300 milliliters. The chamber consists of a central electrode, the anode, and the outer wall of the cylinder which serves as the cathode. A voltage is supplied across these electrodes. Ions produced by the interaction of radiation are attracted to the anode and the cathode. This flow of positive and negative ions is an electrical current which is . amplified and displayed on a current meter. A functional block diagram of an ionization chamber survey Instrument Is illustrated

below:

I I
L _______ _______ .J
f-o
D.C.
INPUT AMPLIFIER 0
f-o UTPUT

The current measured on the meter is proportional to the number of ions produced which Is proportional to the quantity of radiation incident on the chamber.

An ionization chamber instrument Is designed to amplify the Ionization current, typically 10'13 to 10'11 ampere, to levels permitting the meter to display its output In terms of radiation lntenslty. Instruments are often designed to allow range switching over several decades.

12

Because Ionization chambers can easily be made nearly independent of gamma ray energy, such instruments are more accurate for measuring the lntenslty of radiation than other types of rate Instruments. However, the chambers are large In comparison to other detectors, especially for low intanslty measurements.

GEIGER-MULLER COUNTER SURVEY METERS

The G.M. counter essentially detects Individual particles or interactions. Electrons produced by ionization are accelerated by the electrical potential between the electrodes. The electrons achieve sufficient energy to produce additional Ionizations before reaching the anode. The process continues until the counter is saturated with ions, with the result that an electrical current pulse of constant size is collected at the anode, Independent of the size of the event that produced It. This effect is known as gas multiplication or amplification.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION

"',- , '.

The~fectr()nicdrcuit ora G.M. counter 60unts and records the output pulses and the display is normally presented in

counts per minute. ..

Because ihey can display individual Ionizing events, G.M. counters are generally more sensitive to low levels of radiation than ionization chamber Instruments.

G.M. counters are used for measurement of radiation ex" posure rates under certain circumstances. Their principal advantage is ruggedness and small volume, only a few milliliters. By means of calibration, the count rate can be displayed as exposure rate over a specified energy range. However, G.M. counter rate meters are more energy dependent than ionization chamber rate meters. A typical energy response curve for a G.M. counter Is shown below;

1.20

1.10

J '" ~
IPI' ""'"
I A l'
YI
II I
J 1000 I

1.00

.90

.80 50

100

500

keV EFFECTIVE

137Cs 60Co

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the use of survey meters by all radiographers. The survey meters used must have a range such that intensities from 2 mil Ii roentgens per hour through 1000 millirqentgens per hour can be measured.

AUDIBLE ALARMS

Audible alarms are devices which emit a short "beep" or "chirp" when a predetermined exposure has been received. These are electronic devices, battery powered, which are designed to be worn by an individual.

Most audlblealarrns use a geiger"mUlIer detector. This type of detector has been .described In an earlier section. The output of the detector is collected, and when a predetermined exposure has been reached, this collected charge is discharged through a speaker. Hence, an' audible "chirp" is emitted. Consequently, the frequency or chirp rate of the alarm is proportional to the radiation intensity.

The chirp rate varies among different alarms from one chirp per milliroentgen to more than 100 chirps per milliroentgen.

Although the use of audible alarms is not required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, these devices may reduce the likelihood of accidental exposures in industrial radiography. It is important to note that audible alarms are not Intended to be and should not be used as replacements for survey meters. They should be used only as supplementary devices.'

AREA MONITORS

Area monitors are devices which are designed to provide an indication that a predetermined radiation intensity is being exceeded. These devices are generally used in permanent radiographic facilities. Area monitors generally employ a geiger -rnilller tube as the radiation detector.

The monitor displays a green Ught when the radiation Intensity Is below a preset threshold. When the threshold Is exceeded, the monitor displays a red light. Thus, the area monitor can provide an indication that a radiography source is unshielded, It is important to note, however, that the area monitor should not be used as a replacement for a survey meter.

Oornrnerclally available area monitors are designed to be cornpatlble with a number of optional accessories. Remote indicators are available that permit the condition of the monitor (red or green) located In a radiographic room to be observed by

13

MEASUREMENT OF RADIATION

an operator external to the facility. The area monitor can be interlocked to the door of a permanent radiographic facility so that personnel are prevented from entering the facility when the monitor is in the energized (red) condillon. Audible alarms can also be interconnected to area monitors so that an audible signal wil! be given if access to the facility occurs while the monitor Is energized.

calibration source at which these intensities occur. TMh the instrument is located with its detector at the appropriate distances from the source and the Instrument readings are compared to the actual radiation Intensities.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that each perrnanent radiographic facility be equipped with an area monitor with the appropriate visual and audible alarm signals.

CALIBRATION

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires survey in· struments used in radiographic operations to be calibrated at intervals not to exceed three months and after each instrument servicing.

In order to calibrate a survey meter properly, the response of the

.~:; ~:~'.'.:'.'.; ::~'.'~':;::~'~:~'.::~'.~:" ::;; . .j.n~Jr.u.rp-l3,nt~,:::~mVI~if.~:.J)R;.J:;_p~:ck_~.d.~,at.JWQ.,;_-p.QJoJ~,,::.Qn,~J~~F,.b.~,;::9J~,::~h~::,. instrument's ranges by exposing the instrument to a known radiation intensityof appropriate energy. Thetwo points must be separated by at least 50% of the full scale reading. To be in proper calibration, the Instrument's response must be within ± 20% of the actual radiation Intensity.

Radiographic sources are not generally used to calibrate survey instruments because of their high radiation lntenslty. Small calibration sources in the range of 10 to 30 rnllllcurles of cobaJtoo or 100 to 200 millicuries of cesium 137 are generally used.

To calibrate a radiography survey instrument, one first determines the Intensities at which the Instrument's responses are to be checked. Next, one computes the distances from the

14

Hthe survey instrument does not respond within ± 20% of the

actual radiation intensity, the response must be adjusted. If adjustment does not correct the response sufficiently, the Instrument should be repaired and recallbrated.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission also requires that direct reading pocket dosimeters be calibrated at intervals not to exceed one year. The pocket dosimeter must respond within ±30% of the actual exposure to be In proper calibration. The procedure for properly calibrating a pocket dosimeter Is similar to that for calibrating survey Instruments as described above.

Records of survey meter and pocket dosimeter calibration must be maintained for inspection by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.1t Is generally advisable to label the survey meters and dosimeters with the date of calibration and the date that the next calibration is due. Thus, operators can assure themselves

'·'fhaf·fheiymonlfOHfigaiidmeas\:irlngequlpmen(lsWlfhlnpfOper . "c,.,', •••. ·.c .• · .••. ·· ..

calibration.

SURVEY TECHNIQUES

The regulations of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission require radiographers to make certain radiation surveys while performing radiographic operations. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure that the radiographer knows the location of the radioactive source at all times. The proper use of a radiation survey meter will accomplish this objective.

The Importance of properly using a survey meter cannot be overemphasized. As will become evident in a later section deal· ing with case histories of radiographic Incidents, the vast

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

MEASURMENT OF RADJATION.

majority of radiation overexposures occurring in industrial radiography are theresultof the radiographer not knowing the location of the source because he failed to make a proper radiation survey.

It is most important for the radiographer to understand how to make a proper survey. An initial survey of the radiographic exposure device should be made upon removing the exposure device from storage.

Most radiographic exposure devices have surface radiation levels on the order of 100mR/hr when loaded to capacity. This initial survey will verify that the source is in its proper storage position in the exposure device and that the survey instrument is working properly. It will also provide a baseline value of intensity for comparison with later radiation survey results. Abnormally high or low Instrument readings during the initial survey could indicate that the source is not properly stored or that the survey instrument is not functioning properly. Either case warrants further investigation .

. ' The radiographer should also observe his survey meter while exposing the source during a radiographic operatlon.when the source first emerges from the exposure device, there should be a drastic Increase in the radiation intensity. As the source Is moved through the guide tube, the radiation Intensity should gradually decrease. If a collimator is being used at the source stop, there should be a marked decrease In the radiation Intensity as the source enters the collimator.

While the source is exposed, the operator should survey the boundary of the Restricted Area to assure that il has been properly established. A survey of the High Radiation Area boundary should not be made as this would lead to unnecessary radiation exposure to the operator.

While retracting the source, the operator should also observe his survey meter. When the source emerges from the collimator, there should be a considerable increase In the radiation Intensity. The intensity should then gradually Increase as the source moves toward the exposure device. As the source enters the exposure device, the radiation intensity should greatly decrease.

The operator should then approach the exposure device while observing the survey meter. He should survey the device on all sides, paying special attention to the front of the device (if the source were only partially shielded, radiation intensities on the sides and rear of the device may be nearly normal, but there would be a high intensity in the vicinity of the exit port). The radiation intensity on the surface ofthe exposure device should be approximately the same as that observed during the initial survey. The operator should then survey the entire length of the guide lube to the source stop or collimator toassure thai the source is properly shielded.

Without making a proper radiation survey, the operator cannot be sure of the actual location of the radioactive source. Cursory surveys will lead to problems. Only through the proper use of a survey meter can the radiographer avoid an accidental radiation exposure.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

I

15

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

. Radioactive sources used fn radiography, such as iridium'" and cobalt", emil gamma and beta radiation. The gamma rays are high energy electromagnetic radiation that have the ability to remove electrons from the atoms with which they collide. When the number of electrons in an atom is altered, then the chemical properties of the atom will be changed.

In the normal states of matter, two or more atoms can bond together to form molecules. The type of chemical changes that can occur to the atom as a result of radiation damage can also become evident in the molecules. Chemical changes in the Irradiated molecules take place primarily by ionlzatlon.

In the ionization process, a small fraction of the gamma ray energy Is given up to the molecule after a collision. Electrons are then forced out and atomic bonds may be broken. This results In the formation of fragments of the molecule that are very reactive. These fragments of damaged molecules, which can react chemically with other molecules that have not been Ionized by the radiation, are called free radicals and are significant factors in the development of cellular damage.

As an example of molecular damage, we shall discuss the effects of ionizing radiation on the most abundant molecule on earth, water. The water molecule is biologically very important because approximately two-thirds of the mass of a human being is composed of water. The molecular structure of water consists of two atoms of the element hydrogen (H) bonded to one atom of the element oxygen (0) which fbrms the chemical compound H,O. A large numberof studies have been conducted on the effects of ionizing radiation on water.

As early as 1901, researchers have known that Irradlated water will give off some free hydrogen gas (H,) and free oxygen gas (0,). In addition, it was discovered that the·lrradiated water was highly reactive with other chemical compounds. Some of this reactivity was attributed to the formation, from the water,of an oxidizing ~chemlcal known as hydrogen peroxide (H20,), However, a greater source of reactivity was determined to be due to the formation of two types of free radicals, a hydrogen Ion (H +) and hydroxyl Ion (OH -0). Irradiated water that contains these reactive fragments is termed "activated water" and is irnportant in the creation of molecular damage in the biological environment.

The water molecule Is relatively simple compared to the large macromolecules that exist in all biological systems, especially in complex systems such as human beings. Most radiation' biologists believe that the tangible radiation damage to a person after an acute or chronlc radiation exposure occurs in the macromolecules that play an important role In metabolism (process utilizing chemical reactions to produce energy) or in genetic inheritance. The macromolecules, composed of

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section V Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation

thousands of atoms bonded together, perform a variety of structural and functional roles. The biologically most important of these macromolecules are proteins, enzymes and nucleic acids.

Of these, proteins comprise the largest category. Proteins make up biological structures such as hair, tendons, muscle, skin and cartilage. Also many of the chemica! hormones are various types of proteins. Enzymes are catalysts that are produced by living cells and are important in starting and malntaining chemical reactions in the cell. These chemical reactions are necessary for the proper functioning of the cell. Nucleic acids are long chain macromolecules that are vital for cell reproduc-

tion and protein synthesis. r ,

When exposed to ionizing radiation, each of these three types of macromolecules can be altered. For example, properties of the proteins in the cell may be changed by varying degrees. Proteins can become denatured and lose the shape they require for

a particular cellular function, either structural or hormonal. For enzymes exposed to radiation, their catalytic activity within the living cells can be altered, which ultimately affects the functioning of the cell, Finally, nucleic acids exposed to ionizing radiation have been the- most studied of all the macromolecules due to their importance in cell duplication. These molecules are madeofverylong chains linked together in a precise pattern. The pattern comprises a genetiC coding system that cells use when reproducing. Genetic damagel occu.rs when ionizing radiati?~ breaks bonds withi~ the chai~n causing the fragments to rsjom at unrelated locations. This alters the molecular structure, thus upsetting the normal coding pattern and resulting in genetic defects in future generations of cells.

Damage to biological systems as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation follows a speclflc sequence of events. First the radlatlon-accelerated electron produces ionized molecules along its track. The molecules then undergo a change that results in highly reactive ions which combine with one another to form new molecules. These new molecules may go on to . react with other molecules or may be chemically inert. The cell

must cope with these new chemicals and may show signs of visible change in structure or function. On a larger scale this cellular Injury may become apparent as damage to !Issues or organs of the individual exposed. The magnitude of these biological effects depends on several factors, the most significant being the accumulated dose and the dose rate.

The biological cell Is the basic structural and functional unit of all living organisms. Every human being consists of billions of cells each having a specific function. Examples of types of cells within the body are nerve cells, muscle cells, blood celfs, and hair cells. Structures present In the cell are comprised of macromolecules that enable the cell to carry out its purpose.

17

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

Various proteins assure the structural integrity of the cell, enzymes initiate and carry out the chemical workings of the cell, and the nucleic acids combine to form structures called genes. The genes are the basic pan of chromosomes, long structures important for storing the cell's bank of genetic lniormation.

Most of the cells in a biological system undergo a process of reproduction to continually replace themselves and maintain the life cycle. This process Is known as mitosis. It has been determined that a cell's sensitivity to radiation damage depends on its reproduction rate and degree of differentiation. This sensitivity is apparent in the cells of a fetus which are much more susceptible to radiation damage than the more lonp-tlved nerve cells.

After a cell is exposed to ionizing radiation certain immediate changes will appear. These changes can be categorized as follows:

1) A delay In mitosis after which the cell undergoes normal mitosis and leaves no permanent injury.

2) Mitosis Is completely stopped. The cell continues to live but

is unable to reproduce itself.

3) The cell dies after one or two divisions of itself.

4) The cell dies without any division taking place.

5) Instant death of the cell where many of the proteins in the cell are damaged and become coagulated.

6) Breaking of the chromosomes.

7) Interference with the function of the cell which may be

temporary or permanent.

The types of cellular damage mentioned can be grouped into two general categories. One category of damage Is called Somatic Ef· fects and the other is called Genetic Effects. Somatic effects are effects that result from damage to the cells and are evident in the exposed lndlvldual, Genetic effects are effects to the cell which result in more subtle damage that shows up only in the offspring of the exposed Individual.

Somatic effects can be further subdivided Into early somatic effects and late somatic effects. An early somatic effect is radiation damage that occurs within a relatively short period of time after an acute exposure. A late somatic effect Is latent damage that does not become apparent until some time has elapsed.

Early somatic effects occur when a large number 01 Irradiated

•• · •. · •••• · •.• · ••••• · ••.• · ••. ·c .•• (;.§lt§PaooQtrep!ac.e .. tl1ern$§IYI;'!?jn<.l.§b()[tpl:!rjgcl.·.QLt.!f!I.~.~.JlJltJl§ •...•• situation the process of mitosis has been stopped. The occurrence of this early damage Is usually a result of an acute ovarexposure to ionizing radiation (an exposure received over a short period of time). Much published data exists on early somatic etfects from atomic explosion victims and radiation accident victims.

The early somatic effects depend on the length of time of the radiation exposure, the level of the exposure, and on the location of the exposure. When a large number of cells of an organ Of tissue are Irradiated over a short period of time, the body has a more difficult problem of repairing the damage. If the

18

exposure is more local and a smaller number of c~ are damaged, then the body can repair and maintain most of the normal functions of the cells. This forms the difference between the effects of an acute whole body exposure and the effects of an acute extremity radiation exposure. A chart listing acute radiation exposures to the whole body and the expected early somatic effects is given in Table 5.1.Asummaryof clinical symptoms of radiation sickness is presented in Table 5.2.

Table 5.1

EXPECTED EFFECTS OF ACUTE WHOLE·BODY RADIATION DOSES'

Acute dose (rem) Ot050

Probable effect

No obvious effect, except possibly minor blood changes.

Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day in 5 to 10 percent of exposed personnel. Fatigue but no serious disability.

Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day, followed by other symptoms of radiation slclmess In about 25 percent of personnel. No deaths anticipated. Vomiting and nausea for about 1 day, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness in about 50 percent of personnel. No deaths antlclpated. Vomiting and nausea In nearly all personnel on first day, followed by other symptoms 01 radiation sickness. About 20 percent deaths within 2 to 6 weeks after exposure; survivors convalescent for about 3 months.

Vomiting and nausea in all personnel on first day, followed by other symptoms of radiation sickness. About 50 percent deaths within 1 month; survivors convalescent forabout 6 months.

Vomiting and nausea in all personnel wlthln 4 hours from exposure, followed by other syrnptoms of radiation sickness. Up to 100 percent deaths; few survivors convalescent for about 6months.

Vomiting and nausea In all personnel within 1 to 2 hours. Probably no survivors from radiation sickness.

Incapacitation almost Immediately. All personnel will be fatalities within 1 week.

80to 120

130 to 170

180 to 220

270t0330

400 to 500

550to 750

1000

5000

61\hg_LJgh,g?cn.§19~I@~1~95.t§hBY~,R~f:ns()I)~pJE1sI()D~5.rt~"".,',., somatic effects, relatively little lnlorrnatlon can be Iourid on

when to expect late somatic effects. Certain types of radiation

Injury are detectable only a long time (sometimes several years)

after an exposure and after a long latent period during which

time no radiation damage is apparent. Some types of latent radla-

. tion damage that have been studied are shortening of life-span, induction of leukemia, formation of cataracts, and sterility.

As with other types of somatic effects, late somatic effects de-

pend on whether the exposure was given in a single dose or distributed over a long period of time. Effects will not beas severe

if the exposure occurs only to a small portion of the body.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

TABLE 5.2

SUMMARY OF CLINICAL SYMPTOMS OF RADIATION SICKNESS"

;

Timea/ter . exposure

Surviya,! improbable· (700 rem or more)

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in first

few hours.

1st week

No definite syrnptoms in some cases (latent period). Diarrhea Hemorrhage Purpura

lnflarnation of mouth and throat.

Fever

,."

2nd week

Rapid emaciation Death (mortality probably 100 percent).

3rdweek

4th week

The development of late somatic effects has been the subject of much research and controversy. All the studies are conducted on animals and then an extrapolation to man is atternpted. An acceleration of the aging process has been demonstrated in mice and rats that received 1 OOrem delivered as a sub-lethal dose of x-rays to the whole body. Their lifespan was determined to be shortened by2%to.5%.lnduction of leukemia, a cancer involving a dramatic increase in the number of white blood cells, was determined to be caused by somatic mutation as a result of whole body exposure to ionizing radiation. The level of radiation required to induce this cancer cannot be accurately determined for man,

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Survival possible (550rem to 300rem)

Nausea; vomiting and diarrhea in first

few hours.

No definite syrnp toms (latent perlod),

Epilation'

Loss of appetite and general malaise. Fever

Hemorrhage . Purpura Petechiae' Nosebleeds Pallor Inflammation of

mouth and throat Diarrhea Emaciation' 'I Moderate emaciation.

Death In 'most serious Cases. (M?rtallty 50 percent for 450 rem),

Survival probable (250rem to 100rem)

Possibly nausea, vomiting and diarrhea on first day.

No definitesYmp.· toms (latent period);

. "I. •

. Fpilatici~' . .': j,

·'Loss of appetite' and .. , .ir : " . malaise

Sore throat

Hernorrh age . . I

-Purpura . . ...

Petechiae Pallor Diarrhea

, .... ;./

.1'

Recovery likely in '. about 3 months unless complicated by poor previous health or '. superimposed injuries or infections.

' .. /

especially since the period of induction in man is ten to twenty or more years. The formation of cataracts, opacity of the lens of the eye, has been' seen to occur in 'man at doses of about: 600rem.Sterility is also a delayed effect that occurs at high: exposure levels. From records of overexposures, permanent \ sterility seems tooccurin man at about 600rem and temporary , sterility occurs at about 250rem.

It is very difficult if not Impossible for researchers 10 determine when to expect latent somatic effects as a result of an exposure to ionizing radiation. Life shortening and the induction of leukemia are two expected effects, but how much exposure is required to cause this damage Is a subject of controversy. However, if care is

19

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

taken to maintain radiation exposures as small as possible, then lonq-terrn somatic risks are very small.

The other type of damage of which little of dose and effect Is understood is the genetic effects. Genetic effects deal with a certain type of radiation damage that occurs to the genes. Genes are the basic subunit of chromosomes and are arranged in specific locations, the sequence of Which is important for inheritance. The chromosomes and genes are particularly sensitive to the effects of ionizing radiation. Radiation exposure in· creases the natural frequency of changes in the genetic coding of the genes. The changes are referred to as mutations.

The genetic changes that are studied are only those that can be observed readily, either by microscope or by biochemical analysis, and are considered important to the organism. Ururnportant genetic mutations that cannot be readily evaluated are

set aside until new techniques are devised. However, most ge- .. , netic mutations are harmful. Some mutations can be lethal to a cell and ultimately Iheentire organism. The organisms in which such mutations occur are less equipped than normal and consequently are eliminated by natural selection. This process has been determined to be one of the mechanisms of evolution.

Genetic effects are usually studied on organisms that have a very short life-span and multiply in great numbers. 'Therefore, many of the mutations caused by radiation have been observed

in mice, plants and fruit flies. The natural rate of occurrence of a particular mutation doubles when a dose of 30rem is given to mice, 30 to 60rem to plants, and 50 to 400rem to fruit flies. Additionally it has been determined that the frequency of mutation depends not only on the dose but also on the dose rate. When a given dose is given over a period of weeks or months, the mutation rate is two to three times less than if the same dose is given within a short period of time.

Again, it is very difficult to extrapolate animal data to man. Howeve(Jt is beHeved that the doubling dose for mice approximates that for man. In an individual exposed to ionizing radiation Over several years, the mutations of the chromosomes do not readily repair themselves. Instead the mutation is duplicated through generations of cells. Thus, genetic effects are cumulative. For this reason it is very important that radiation workers keep below the cumulative radiation exposure limit to the whole body as set by regulations. These limits for occupational exposure, as listed in Section 7, are set at such a level that the probability of observable genetiC effects is kept very small. Furthermore, radiation workers must keep all

Radiography requires the use of a very penetrating type of lonlzing radiation. Therefore, radiographers must be continually aware of the potential radiation hazard during all radiographic operations. As already indicated, an overexposure may become apparent in the form of visible biological damage. Some examples are erythema (reddening of the skin), ulcerations, nausea and vomiting. The occurrence of each of these effects depends on the dose, the dose rate and on how large an area of the body was exposed.

Erythema and ulcerations are primarily effects to the skin of a ' specific portion of the body such as the extremities (hands

20

and feet). The incidence of these effects depends on thl'dose, usually greater than 500rem, and on the period of time over which it had been received. This type of exposure is rarely lethal to the exposed individual. By contrast. when an individual is exposed to a large amount of ionizing radiation (such as gamma rays) resulting in a dose of greater than 250rem to their whole body, nausea and vomiting results along with other evidence of radiation sickness, and death may be the final effect. Table 5.3 lists the expected effects to the skin as a result of various levels of radiation exposure.

During a radiographic operation the operator could get a lethal whole body dose by being present for several hours at arms length from an unshielded radiography source (LD.,-30 days = 400rem to SOOrem). While this situation may be difficult to Imagine, such extreme exposures have been received by individuals who unknowingly handled an unshielded source over an extended period of time. Also, in a few seconds the radiographer could receive a dose to his hands of 3000rem to 10000rem. It is very dangerous to handle a radiography source even for a second. This should never bedone. DUring all radiographic operations the radiographer must have with him at all times an operating and calibrated survey meter which when properly used will always indicate the position of the radiography source.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION..

TABLE 5.3

SKIN EFFECTS, SINGLE EXPOSURE·

Exposure Early Effect

Chronic Effect

50 R Chromosomal changes only.

500 R Transitory erythema. Transltory epilation.

2500 R Temporary ulceration.

Permanent epilation. 5000 R Permanent ulceration (unless area very smail).

50,000 R Ordinarily necroUsing, but reo covery possible when radiation has extremely low pene-

tration. .

None. (Possible slight risk of neoplastic alterations.) Usually none. Risk of altered function increased.

Atrophy, telangiectasis.' Altered piqmsntatlon. Chronic ulcer, substantial

risk of carcinogenesis. Permanent destruction 10 a depth dependent upon radiation energy.

'The skin is tissue that has been studied extensively, and the observed chronic and late effects. exemplify what may happen in other tissues. Again, the exposure numbers are representative, rather than precise.

TABLE 5.4

SUMMARY OF ESTlMATES OF ANNUAL WHOLEBODY DOSE RATES IN THE UNITED STATES (1970)

Average Dose Rate' Annual Petson-Bems
Source (mremlyr) (in millions)
Environmental /
Natural 102 20.91
Global Fallout 4 0;82
Nuclear Power 0.003 0.0007
Subtotal 106 21.73
Medical
Diagnostic 72" 14.8
Radiopharmaceuticals 0.2
Subtotal 73 15.0
Occupational 0.8 0.16
Miscellaneous 2 0.5
Tot a I 182 37.4 "Note: The numbers shown are average values only. For given segments of the population, dose rates considerably greater than these may be experienced.

"Based on the abdominal dose.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

21

BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF IONIZING RADIATION

TABLE 5.5

ESTIMATED LOSS OF LIFE EXPECTANCY FROM HEALTH RISKS

Health Risk

Smoking 20 cigarettes/day Overweight (by 20%)

All accidents combined Auto accidents

Alcohol consumption (U.S. average) Home accidents

Drowning

Safest jobs (such as teaching) . Natural background radiation, calculated Medical X-rays (U_S. average), calculated All catastrophes (earthquake, etc.)

1 rem occupatlonal radiation dose,

calculated (industry average is 0.34 rem/yr) 1 rem/yr for 30 years, calculated

·5 rem Iyr for 3D years, calculated

Estimates of

Days of Life Expectancy Lost, Average

2370 (6.5 years) 985 (2.7 years) 435 (1.2 years)

200 130 95 41 30 8 6

3.5

1 3D 150

These estimates indicate that the health risk from occupational radiation . exposure are not greater than risk associated with many other events or activities we encounter In normal day-to-day activities.

22

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

CONTROL OF RADIATION EXPOSURE,

"

CONTROL OF RADIATION EXPOSURE

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the methods for reducing and minimizing radiation exposure to individuals. The three principal methods used to control radiation exposure are TIME, DISTANCE and SHIELDING.

TIME

The exposure received by an individual working in an area where there exists a particular radiation intensity is directly proportional to the amount of time that the individual spends In the area, The individual's exposure will be equal 10 the product of the radiation intensity and the amount of time spent in that radiation Intensity. This can be mathematically expressed as:

Exposure = IntensityxTime or Exp = I x t

Example A: If an individual spends two hours in a radiation intensity of 20 mRlhr, what would his exposure be?

Exp =1 xt

Exp "" (20mRlh~ x (2 M Exp =40mrem

Example B: If an individual spends five hours in a radlation intensity of 20 mRlhr, what would his exposure be?

Exp == I x t

Exp "" (20mRlh~ x (5 hI) Exp = 100 mrem

TIME

"'

LESS TIME= LESS EXPOSURE

As can be readily seen from the examples, less time spent In a particular radiation intensity results in less radiation exposure. It is important to note, when solving any problem, that the units used must be consistent. If the radiation intensity is expressed In units of mRlhr, then the time must be expressed in units of hours.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section VI Control of Radiation Exposure

ExampleC:

If an individual spends fifteen minutes In a radiation intensity of 20 mRlhr, what would his exposure be?

Exp = lx t

Exp = (20 mRlhr) x (15 min)

Noting that we must be consistent with units: 15

15min = -hr:= O.25hr

60

Therefore:

Exp = (20mR/hr)x(O.25hr) Exp =: 5mrem

The time formula can also be used to determine the amount of time required to receive a specific exposure in a particular radiation intensity.

Example 0: An individual is required to perform an operation in a radiation Intensity of 100 mRlhr. He wants to limit his exposure to 20 mRem. What is the maximum amount of time he can spend performing this operation?

Exp = l x t

(20 mrem) = (100mRlh~ x t

(20mrem) t

(100mRlhQ

0.2hr =: t or12min =: t

SeriOUS consideration must be given to the use of tiiTi'eln minimizing radiation exposure. Work performed in a radiation area should be well planned in advance to minimize the time ' spent In the area. LESS TIME = LESS EXPOSURE.

DISTANCE

The second method used to control radiation exposure is distance. Sources used in radiography can be considered as

.. point sources of radiation. The radiation from these sources is emitted uniformly in all directions. It can be mathematically demonstrated that the radiation intensity from these sources is Inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source. This is known as the inverse square law.

23

CONTROL OF RADIATION EXPOSURE

':(los can be seen from Examples E and F, the radiation intens(ty is Jowerat the greater distance from the source.

The above relationship requires that one know the radiation intensity at one distance ·flom the source in order to compute the radiation intensity at another distance. In order\tocompute the radiation intensity at the first distance from a known. source, the specific gamma ray

constant is used.' .....

The speCif'lCgamma ray constant ['}represents the radiation intensity froriia one curie source at a unit distance, usually one foot or one meier. To determine Hie radlatlon Intens_ity for qth.~.r activity sources, one simply multiplies the specific gamma ray constant for the radioisotope of interest by the activity in curies. The specific gamma ray constants for radioisotopes commonly used in industrial

radiography can be. found in the appendL>;.· .

Example G: What Is the radiation lntenslty at one foot from a 64 curie iridium'·' source?

1,= .I'A

Th~··;a'di~t[~~lflt~·~~ltY'~t··ten· feet' frbrTi"'~'" ",:~n~:~~;fFJddiJJm,_?~JS5;9Rlhrper"curie""""", ...

source Is 1440 mR/hr. What Is the Intensi-

ty at 30 feet? I, '" (5.9 R/hr per Ol) (64 Gi) I, "" 377.6 R/hr

We can incorporate this relationship into the inverse

square law: .

I,(d,)' ::;;: Il(d,)'

but I, '" I'A

and (d,)' :::; (1)2 :::; 1

Therefore I' A:::: I,(d,)' or I'A= [d'

171

o o

Considertwo locations, point ~ and point 2. The radiation intensities at these points 'can be mathematically relaled to the d i~tances f rom the source to the~: poi nts by:

(Intensity,) :::: (dlstance,F (IntenSity;) (distance,)'

. . I, _ (dil' .

Ta - (d,)'

This expression can be mathematically simplifed as:

I,(d,)' :::: 1,(d1l"

Example E:

I,(d,)' (1440mR/hr)(10ft)' (1440m R/hr)(1 Oft)(10ft) (144000) (144000)

900 160mR/hr

:::;; I,(d,)'

:::: 1,(30ft)'

:::: 1,(30ft)(30ft) :.:: I, (900)

24

Example F:

The radiation intensity at ten feet from a source is 1440 mR/hr. What is th\ lnlenslty at 40 feet?

I, (d ,)' = !,(d,), (1440mR/hr)(10ft)2 :::: l,(40ft)' (1440)(100) :::;; (1600) I, (144000) :::: (1600) I, (144000) :::: I,

(1600)

90mR/hr :::: I,

DISTANCE

GREATER DISTANCE=LESS EXPOSURE

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

CONTROL OF RADIATION EXPOSURE

This relationship can be mathematically rewritten to yield

the quantity of interest: '

ExampJeH:

I =rA or'd" =fA

d' I

What is. the intensity at eight feet from a 64 curie lrlclurn'" source?

I =fA

d'

1= (5.9X64) (8)2

1= 377.6

64

1= 5.9 R/hr

At what distance from a 64 curie iridium'" source will the intensity be 23.6 Rlhr?

d' ""fA .

I

d' = (5.9X64) (23.6)

d' = 16

d =v'f6 "" 4ft

Example I:

Distance Is an important consideration in minimizing one's radiation exposure. When planning work to be performed In a radiation area, one should attempt to maximize one's distance from the source. GREATER DISTANCE = LESS EXPOSURE.

SHIELDING

The third method used to control radiation exposure Is shielding. As was discussed in an earlier section, gamma rays Interact with atomic electrons through the photoelectric and compton effects. By having a greater number of electrons In the path of the radiation, a greater number of gamma rays wUl interact. Hence, fewer gamma rays will emerge.

The shielding effectiveness of a material Is dependent on the atomic number (number of electrons per atom), the density of the material and the thickness of the material. The shielding efficiency is also dependent on the energy of the gamma rays. Higher energy gamma rays are less likely to interact with electrans. Thus, they are more penetrating. A greater amount of shielding Is required to attenuate higher energy gamma rays.

A mathematical expression of the shielding process is fairly complicated and beyond the scope of this program. tn order to simplify the calculation of shleldlnq problems, we will use a quantity called the transmission factor.

The transmission factor ( T) Is simply the fraction of the radlation Intensity which passes through a given thickness of shielding material. Graphs of the transmlsslon factor as a function of shielding thickness for various radioisotopes and various shielding materials can be found in the appendix.

To compute the radiation Intensity behind a certain thickness of shielding material, one simply rnultlplles the radiation intensity that would exist at the point of interest in the absence of any shielding, by the transmission factor for the thickness of shielding used. This can be mathematically described as:

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

ExampleJ:

(intenslty), = (lntenslty), x (Transmission Factor) or 10 = lor

At a certain distance from an iridium'" source, the radiation i ntensily is 800 mRlhr. What would the radiation intensity be if two inches of steel were placed between that poi n t and the source?

10 = loT

z
0
tn
~ 0.1
2 0.09
U) 0.08
z
<t 0.07
a:
I- 0.06
0,05
0,04
0.03
0.02 o

2.0

3.0

1.0

THICKNESS OF STEEL {INCHES]

From the graph, it is determined that the transmission factor for two Inches of steel for Irldlum'192 is 0.076. thus

I. = (800 mRlhr) (0.076)

10 = 60.8 mRlhr

25

CONTROL OF RADIATION EXPOSURE

Another useful concept for estimating shielding efficiency is the half-thickness or half-value layer, The half-thicKness is defined as the thickness of shielding material required to reduce the radiation intensity to one half its original value, A table of half-thickness values for radiographic radioisotopes and common shielding materials Is Included in the appendix, It is important to note that this half-thickness concept is only useful for providing approximations of shielding efficiency, For more precise results, the graphs of transmission factors should be used.

SHIELDING
~~ ~y~~ '.

MORE SHIELDING::::: LESS EXPOSURE Shielding can greatly reduce radiation exposure and any avallable shielding should be used to advantage. It may be POSSible to work behind a concrete structure which would provide shielding from the source. In field applications, many items are available for use as a shield. MORE SHIELOIN!3 = LESS EXPOSURE

The constant goal of all radiation workers should be the minimization of radiation exposure. The conscientious appllcatlon of the principles of lime, distance and shielding can greatly aid In the;;achlevement of this goal.

26

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION.

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

To assure that-the handling or use of radioactive material does not harm any individual, the UnIted States Nuclear Regulatory CommIssIon has established rules and regulations under Title 10 Chapter 1 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These rules and regulations set forth the requirements which must be met before a radioactive material license is issued. Once a license is obtained, the regulations specify how the licensee must meet requirements for the safe handling and use of the licensed radioactive material.

The secllons of the USNRC Rules and Regulations that have specific applications to radiography are parts 10CFR19, 10CFR20, 10CFR21, 10CFR30 and 10CFR34. Radtographers operating under a radioactive material, license are required to be

, familiar with the rules and reguJationsspeci fled in these parts. It is imperative that radiographers thoroughly understand these rules and regulations In order to operate efficiently and safely.

The following outline is a summary of the rules and regulations applicable to radlopraphy, The rules and regulations are listed under theIr respective part ..

The following regulations compose a brief summary of the mao [or regulatory requirements that apply to radiography. In this chapter, the regulations have been summarized and are used only as a guide for referring back to the actual USNRC rules and regulations. Therefore, this summary is not to be used in place of the actual USNRC rules and regulations as written in the Code of Federal Regulations TItle 10 Chapter 1.

I 10CFR20 Standards for Protection Against Radiation

20.101 Radiation Dose Standards for Individuals in a Restricted Area. (10CFR20.101)

(a) 1) Whole body, head and trunk blood form-

ing organs, lens of the eye on gonads -1.25 rem per calendar quarter.

2) Hands and forearms, feet and ankles-18.75 rem per calendar quarter,

3) The dose to the whole body when added to the accumulated occupational exposure will not exceed 5(N·18 rem) where N is the individual's age at his last birthday.

20.105 PermissIble Levels of Radiation in Unrestricted Areas

(a) The licensee must ensure that radiation levels are not likely to cause any Individual in an unrestricted area to receive more than 500 millirem In one calendar year.

(b) In addition, no licensee shall possess, use or transfer licensed material in such a way that creates:

1) Radiation levels such that If an individual were continuously present In the area

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section VII Federal Standards for Radiation Protection

could result In his receiving a dose in excess of 2 mlllirem in anyone hour.

2) Radlatlqn levels such that if an Individual were continuously present In the area could result in his receiving a dose in excess of 100 mililrem in any seven consecu tive days,

20.201 Surveys (b)

Each licensee shall make surveys necessary to comply with the regulations. Surveys are defined as an evaluation of radiation hazards, including a physical survey of the location of radioactive materials' and measurements of levels of radiation. (Also see 10CFR34.43.)

, ' . .

20.202 Personnel Monitoring

(a) Each llcensae Is requi,red to supply personnel monitoring equipment to and require their

use by: .

1) Each Individual. who enters a restricted area and receives or Is likely to receive 25% of his whole ,boqy exposure limit as

listed in 20.101 .. ,. .

2) Each lndlvldual "".ho enter.s a High Radia.\ tion Area. (~ee10GFR34.33)

(b) 1) Radiation Area means any area accessible to personnel In which there exists radlation at such levels that a major portion of the body could receive, In any period of one hour, a dose In excess of 5 millirem or in any 5 consecutive days a dose in excess of 1OOmlillrem.

2) High Radiation Area means any area accessible to personnel in which there exists radiation at such levels that a major portion of the body could receive In any period of one hour a dose In excess of 100 millirem.

20.203 Caution Signs, Labels, Signals and Controls

(a) Each radiation area shall be conspicuously posted with a sign or signs bearing the radiation caution symbol and the words, Caution (or Danger!. Radiation Area.

(b) Each high radiation area shall be conspicuously posted with a sign or signs bearing the radiation caution symbol and the words, Caution (or Danger), High Radiation Area.

27

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

A j

(e) Each area or room in which licensed material is used or stored and which contains any radioactive material in an amount exceeding 10 times the quantity of such material listed in Appendix C of this part (i.e. 1 0 pCi cobalt- 60, 100pCi iridium-192, 100pCi cesium-137) shalf be conspicuously posted with a sign or signs bearing the radiation caution symbol and the words, Caution (or Danger), Radioactive Materials.

(I) 1) Each container of licensed material shall

bear a durable, clearly visible label identifying the radioactive contents.

2) The Jabel shalf bear the radiation caution symbol and the words, Caution (or Danger) Radioactive Material. It shall also provide. sufficient information to permit individuals handling or using the containers, or working in the vicinity thereof, to take precautions to avoid or minimize exposures.

20.205 Receipt of Radioactive Material

(a) 1} The licensee must make arrangements to

receive a transport package containing radioactive materials when it is offered for delivery and must make arrangements for notlflcatton it the package is to be picked up at the carrier's terminaL

. 2) The licensee must pick up the package expeditiously upon receipt of notification of its arrival at the carrier's terminaL

(b) 1) Upon receipt of a radioactlve material package, the licensee shall monitor the external radiation levels no later than three hours if received during normal working hours or no more than eighteen hours if received after normal working hours.

2) If the external radiation levels exceed 200 mlilirem per hour at the surface or 10 mll II rem per hour at 3 feet from the surface, the licensee shall Immediately notify the NRC and the final delivering carrier.

20.401 Records (a)

The licensee shall maintain records showing radiation exposure of all individuals where personnel monltoring is required. These exposures shall be recorded on form NRC-5. Records of surveys and personnel monitoring shaH be preserved for two years after cornpletion of the survey.

(c)

20.402 Reports

(a) Reports of theft or loss of Ilcensed radioactive material shall be reported to the Director of the appropriate NRC regional office lmmediately after its occurrence becomes known to the licensee.

20.403 Notifications of Incidents

(a) Each licensee shall Immediately notify the director of the appropriate NRC regional otflce of any Incident In which an Individual received or may have received an exposure of 25 rem or more to the whole body, 375 rem or more to the extremities, or 150rem or more to the skin of the whole body.

(b) Each licensee shall notify within 24 hours the director of the appropriate NRC regional office of any Incident In which an Individual received or may have received an exposure of 5 rem or more to the whole body, 75 rem or more to the extremities, or 30 rem or more to the skin of the whale body .

20.405 Reports of overexposures and excessive levels.

(a) A report must be made In writing within 30 days to the appropriate NRC regional office of each exposure to an Individual in excess of the limits specified in 20.101 orwhen levels of radiation In unrestricted areas have exceeded 10tlmes the limits specified In 20.105.

It 10CFR30 Rules of General Applicability to Domestic Licensing of Byproduct Material

30.3 All persons who manufacture, produce, transfer, receive, acquire, own, possess, use, Import or export byproduct material must be licensed under the provisions of this chapter.

..............•........•• . ·26.207Storage~~d~~~tr~I·· of '112enied radio~ctiv~·matElrial·lh· ··················30.51· ···················Ea~h·p;~;~n who re~~iv;;~·bY~~~d~'(;t·········

unrestricted areas. material shall keep records showing receipt,

(a) Licensed radioactive material stored In an transfer, export or disposal of such material.

unrestricted area shall be secured against III 10CFR34Licenses for Radiography and RadialionSafety

unauthorlzed removal. ReqUirements for Radiographic Operations

(b) When the Ilclten~elldbradt loadctdlve mdatetfhlal diS] nott 34.3 Applications for specific licenses for use of

In storage, WI e en e un er e rec sealed sources shall be filed on form NRC-

surveillance of the licensee. 313R, "Application for Byproduct Material

License-Use of Sealed Sources In

Radiography."

20.301

Disposal of Radioactive Material (a) No licensee shall dispose of licensed radioactive material except by transfer to an authorized recipient.

28

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

Applications for a specific license for use of sealed sources in radiography will be approved if:

(a) Th~:L applicant satllies the requirements of

·3Ml .

(b) The applicant will have an adequate program lor training radiographers and radiographers' assistants and submits a schedule or:

1) .lnltial training,

2) Periodic training

3) On-the-job training

A) Means to determine the radiographer's qualifications.

5) Means to determine the radiographer's assistant's qualifications.

(c) The applicant has established and submits , to the NAC satisfactory written operating and emergency procedures.

(d) The applicant will have an adequate internal inspection system to assure that regulations and operating and emergency procedures are followed by the radiographers and radiographers' assistants. The inspection system shaH include the performance of internal inspections at intervals not to exceed 3 months. The records are to be retained for 2 years.

(e) The applicant must.submlt a description of its overall organizational structure.

(t) The applicant who desires to do his own leak tests must provide a description of;

1) The instrumentation to be used

2) The method of performing the test

3) The pertinent experience of the person who will perform the test.

34.21 Radiographic exposure devices measuring less than 4 Inches from the sealed source storage position to any exterior surface shall have no radiation level in excess of 50 millirem per hour at 6 inches.

Radiographic exposure devices measuring a minimum of 4 Inches from the sealed source storage position to all exterior surfaces shall " have no radiation level in excess of 200 millirem per hour at the surface or 10 miJlirem per hour at 3 feet from the surface.

34.11

34.22 Locking of radioqraptuc.exposure devices, storage containers and source changers.

(a) The exposuredevice or Its container shall be kept locked when not under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant. In addition, during radiographic operations, the sealed source assembly shall be secured in the shielded position each time the source is returned to that position.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

(b) Storage containers and source changers shall be kept locked when containing sealed sources except when under the direct surveillance of a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant.

Locked exposure devices and storage containers shall be ptiystcallysecurad to prevent tampering or removal by unauthorized personneL

Radiation surxey . iQ;iruir:ients shall be calibrated at Intt;l'JY!3ls not to exceed 3 mono ths and after sach Instrument servicing. The records shall be mainlainedfor 2 years after the date of calibration. Instruments shall havea:rangesuch that 2mRlhr througll1Rfhr

can baf!)easured. .

34.25 Leak testing: and-rreplacement of,.sealed

sources." .... ,fi ... ':'~I,,'~,.i, ... , ,.

. (a) :"ReplacemenLOf ,sealed sources fastened to

, . or tcontamed. 'in a JJadiographlc exposure , ' device shall be performed only by persons specifically authorized by the NRC to do so. (b) .; Each sealed source, shall be tested for leakage at intervalsnotto exceed 6 months.

_, (c) .: The leak test shall be capable of detecting the presence of 0.005).((;1' of removable contamination on the sealed source. (records shall be kept-In units' of rnlcjocurles and maintained for Inspection by the NRC for 6

t months alter the next required test)

(d) If the O.005).(Ci 'Is exceeded, Immediately withdraw the equipment from use and causa It to be decontamiriafed and repaired. A report Shall. blil filed with the NRC within I' days o( the test, . i' f

34.26 Quarterly Inventory' '.' .: : .

Each licensee sha.112'qnduct a quarterly Inventory to. account for all sealed sources received and possessed untier his license. These records shall be maintained for 2 years from the date of the inventory.

34.23

34.24

.,

31.27 Utilization Logs

Each licensee shall maintain current logs that are kept avauable for 2 years from the date of the event showing the following lnformation for each sealed source:

(a) A description (make and model number) of the radiographic exposure device or storage con. tainer in which the sealed source Is located.

(b) The Identity of the radiographer to whom assigned.

(c) The pi an t orstte where used and dates of use.

34.28 Inspection and maintenance of radIographic

exposure devices, storage containers and

source changers. "

29

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

(a) The licensee shall check for obvious defects in radiographic exposure devices, storage containers and source changers prior to use each day the equipment is used.

(b) The licensee shall conduct a program for in· spection and maintenance of radiographic exposure devices, storage containers and source changers at intervals not to exceed 3 months or prior to the first use thereafter to assure proper functioning of components important to safety. These records shall be kept for2years.

34.29 Permanent Radiographic Installations

(b) Each entrance for personnel access to the high radiation area in a permanent", radiographic installation shall have both visibleand audible warning signals to warn of the presence of radiation. The visible signal shall

be actuated by radiation whenever the source

Is exposed. The audible signal shall be actuated when an attempt Is made to enter the installation while the source is exposed.

(c) The alarm system shall be tested at intervals not to exceed 3 months. The records shall be kept for two years.

34.31 Training (a)

The Itcensee shall not permit any Individual to act as a radiographer until such individual:

1) has been instructed In the subjects outllned in Appendix A of this part.

2) has received copies of and lnstrucllon in NRC regulations contained in parts 19, 20, 21 and 34 of this chapter.

3) has demonstrated competence to use the radiographic exposure devices, sealed sources, related handling tools and survey instruments.

4) has demonstrated understanding of lnstruction by successful completion of a written test.

The licensee shall not permit any indivldual to act as a radiographer's asslstant until such individual:

(b)

;:','~::::;:::~.,'.: .,'.;.,'.;;;;.:::::';:~.~:; ~:.;; ~;., .. ;., .. ; ~:; ~:;., .. ;; '. .. :.:~:" :;., .. ; ~:~. ;.;:~. ;.;~·~:;,;·~··:.1J :.-h as:·.:J8Ce ived.::.co.p.j-es~:,_of:~_8:Drj.~·)JlS.t.[u.cJ.i.qJl,:,:~'.

in the licensee's operating and emergency procedures.

2) has demonstrated competence to use, under the personal supervision of the radiographer, the radiographic exposure devices, sealed sources, related handling tools, and radiation survey In· struments that the assistant will use.

3) has demonstrated understanding of the instructions In this paragraph (b) by successfully completing a written Or oral test and a field examination on the subjects covered.

30

(c) The examination results shall be maintained for 3years.

34.32 Operating and emergency procedures

The licensee's operating and emergency procedures shall include instructions in at least the following:

(a) Handling and use of sealed sources and radiographic exposure devices so that no person Is likely to be exposed to levels in excess of the limits set in Part 20.

(b) Methods and occasions for conducting radiation surveys.

(c) Methods for controllinq access to radiographic areas.

(d) Methods and occasions for locking and securing radiographic exposure devices, storage containers and sealed sources.

(e) Personnel monitoring and use of personnel monitoring equipment.

(f) Transporting sealed sources to field locations, including packing of radiographic exposure devices and storage containers In the vehicles, posting of vehicles and control of the sealed sources during transportation.

(g) Minimizing exposure of persons in the event of an accident.

(h) The procedure for noti1ylng proper persons In the e .... ent of an accident.

(i) Maintenance of records.

Ol Inspection and maintenance of

radiographic exposure devices and storage containers.

(k) steps that must be taken Immediately by radiography personnel in the event a pocket dosimeter' is found to be off-scale,

34,33 Personnel monitoring

(a) The Ilcensee shall not permit any individual to act as a radiographer unless such individual wears a direct reading pocket dosimeter and either a film badge oraTlD.

Pocket dosimeters shall have a range from zero to at least 200 millirem and shall

,·",·"".",.·",·""""".""""".""".,,, .. 0J:l""r.~r:::J:1.fArg,~.(j.",",~.L.,! .. t\.El:"~!.!'IT~.",qf",,,Elfj:sb,."::;,~HJ,·,.""",.""."."".,,

Each film badge and TlD shall be assign·

ed to and worn by only one individual.

(b) Pocket dosimeters shall be read and exposures recorded daily,

(c) Pocket dosimeters shall be checked at least once per year for an accuracy of ±30%.

(d) If an individual's pocket dosimeter is discharged beyond its range, his film badge or TLD shall be immediately sent for processing.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

(e) Reports received from the film badge or TLD processor shall be kept for inspection until the Commission authorizes their disposal. Records of daily pocket dosimeter readings shall be kept for two years.

34,41 Security

During radiographic operations, the radiographer or radiographer's assistant shall maintain direct surveillance of the operation to protect against unauthorized entry into the High Radiation Area, except when the area is equipped with a control device or is locked.

34.43 Radiation Surveys

(a) At least one calibrated and operable survey meter is to be available.

(b) A survey shall be made after each radiographic exposure. The entire circumference is to be checked and Ihesource guide tube, if present, is also to be checked.

(c) A record of the survey required in paragraph (b) shall be maintained for two years when the survey is the last survey prior to !ocklng the radiographic device and ending direct surveillance of the operation.

IV 10CFR19 Notices, Instructions and Reports to Workers, Inspections

19.11 Posting of notices to workers

(a) The licensee shall post current copies of:

1) The regulations of 10CFR19 and 10CFR20

2) The license

3) The operating procedures

4) Any notice of violation

(b) If the posting of these documents is not practicable, tne licensee may post a notice which describes where the documents may be examined.

(c) Form NRC-3 "Notice to Employees", shall be posted by each licensee where individualswork in orfrequent any portion of a restricted area.

19.12 Instructions to workers

Individuals shall be kept informed of the following;

1) The storage, transfer or use of radioactive material in restricted areas.

2) The health protection problems involved with radiation exposure and in the precautions or procedures used to minimize exposure.

3) The applicable provisions of NRC regulations

4) The responsibility to report promptly any condition which may lead to a violation of Commission regulations.

5) Warnings of unusual occurrences or mal functions.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

19.13 Notifications and reports to individuals

(a) Radiation exposure data and the results of measurements, analysis, and calculations, shall be reported to the individual as specified in the following sections.

(b) At the worker's request, the licensee will advise Ihe worker annually of his exposure to radiation or radioactive material.

(c) At the request of a worker formerly engaged in licensed activities, a report of his exposure to radiation and radioactive material shall be provided to him within 30 days from the time of the request.

(d) The licensee is to submit a report to the worker at the same time a report has to be filed with the NRC.

(e) At the request of a worker who is terminating employment in a given calendar quarter from work Involving exposure 10 radiation, each licensee shall provide to each such worker, at termination, a written report regarding the radiation dose received by that worker from operations of the licensee during that

specifically identified calendar quarter,

A workers' representative may accompany the NRC representative during an inspection.

The NRC inspectors can consult privately with workers concerning matters of occupalional radiation protection and NRC regulations and licenses.

19.14

19.15

19.16

Any worker who believes that a violation hat occurred with regard to radiological workin

conditions may request in writing an NR inspection.

No licensee shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against any worker because

such worker has filed or caused to be filed any proceeding against the licensee.

V 10CFR21 Reporting of Defects and Noncompliance 21.6 Posting requirements

Current copies of the following documents must be posted in a conspicuous location,

1) The regulations in Part 21.

2) Section 206 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974.

3) Procedures adopted pursuant to this part.

(a)

(b)

21.21

(a) The individual, corporation, partnership or firm shall adopt procedures to provide for:

1) Evaluating Deviations

2) Informing the licensee or purchaser of the deviation in order that the licensee or purchaser may cause the deviation to be evaluated.

31

FEDERAL STANDARDS FOR RADIATION PROTECTION

In addition assurance must be made that a director Or responsible officer is informed if the construction or operation of a facility, or activity, or a basic component:

1) Fails \0 comply with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 or any rule, regulation, order or license of the Commission relating to a substantial safety hazard.

2) Contains a defect

32

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

This section of the handbook provides a description of gamma radiographic equipment, its operation and maintenance. The principal components of a gamma radiography system are the

. radioactive source assembly, the radiographic exposure device andahe control unit.

SOURCEASSEMBLY

The radioactive material used as the source of radiation in a gamma radiography system is encased in a source capsule. The source capsule is fabricated from stainless steel and is welded to torrna hermetic seal, This is the principal containment for the radioactive material. The source capsule integrity prevents the dispersion of radioactive contamination.

The source capsule must maintain its integrity and laaktightness when subjected to certain test conditions in order to be approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for transportation or use as an industrial radiography source. These test conditions are specified by the International Organization for Standardization, the American National Stan-' dards Institute and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Summaries of these test conditions are presented in Table B.1 and B.2.

TABLE8.1

Summary of Tests for Source Capsules as Specified by American National Standards Institute (ANSI N542) and tntsrnational Organization for Standardization (IS02919) .

Classification C43515

Temperature: (Class4)

The source capsule must be subjected to a thermal environment of 400°C for one hour and a thermal environment of -40oC for twenty minutes. Additionally, the source capsule must be subjected to a thermal shock from 400°C to 20°C.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

External Pressure: (Class 3)

Impact: (Class 5)

Vibration: (Class 1)

Puncture: (Class 5)

Section VIII Radiographic Equipment

The source capsule must be subjected to a reduced pressure of 25kN/m~ (3.6psi, O.25atm). The source capsule must be subjected to an external pressure of 2MN/m2 (290psi, 20atm)

The source capsule must be sub-

[acted to the impact of a 5kg steel hammer failIng freely from a height of one meter.

No Test

The.source capsule must be subjected to the impact of a pin rigidly at-

. tached to a hammer with a mass of 300 ,grams freely falling from a height of one meter.

TABLE 8.2

Summary of Tests for Special Form Radioactive Material as Specified by the

International Atomic Energy Agency

Free Drop:

Percussion:

Heating:

The source. capsule mustbe subjected' to a free drop through a distance of . nine meters onto a flat, essentially

unyieldi~g surface.. .

The source capsule must be subjected to the impact of the flat circular end of a 25mm diameter steel rod wiih a mass of 1.4kg dropped through a distance of one meter.

The source capsule must be subjected to a thermal environment of BOO°C for ten minutes.

Immersion: The source capsule must be immersed In water at 200C with a pH between 7.0 and B.O and a maximum conductivity of 10 rnlcrornho-crn for 24 hours.

The source capsule is generally attached to a source holder assembly (or source pigtail assembly). The source holder assembly generally includes a source connector. The source connector allows coupling and removal of the control unit to' the source holder assembly.

33

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has published specifications for source holder assemblies which include requ'rernents that the connection of the source capsule and source connector to the source holder withstand a tensile load of 200 pounds and that the source connector must be designed to prevent other than deliberate disconnection of the driving cable from the source holder assembly. A number of ernergency situations have occurred as a result of the source holder assembly becoming unintentionally disconnected from the driving cable. Some of these emergency situations have resulted in radiation overexposures. Two such situations are described in the "Case Histories of Radiography Accidents" section of this handbook. Regulatory authorities have attributed a principal cause of these accidents to the design of the source connector. As a result, the use of certain types of source connectors has been prohibited.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that sealed sources used In Industrial radiography be tested for leakage at intervals not exceeding six months. The purpose of this requirement Is to periodically assure that the integrity of the source . capsule is maintained and that no significant amount of radioactive contamination is emerging from the capsule. For the leak test to be satisfactory, It must reveal less than 0.005 mIcrocurie 01 removable radioactive contamination. An acceptable leak test Is to wipe the nearest accessible point to the source capsule storage position in an exposure device with a moistened cloth (or gun patch). This cloth is then analyzed to determine the presence of any radioactive contamination. Mos! equipment manufacturers have specially designed kits to perform this wipe test and provide analysis services to radiography users. Records of these leak tests must be maintained for the

US Nuclear.Regulatory Commission.

34

RADIOGRAPHIC EXPOSURE DEVICES

Radiographic exposure devices are designed to house and secure the radioactive source and source holder assembly, provide appropriate shielding around the source and provide a ineans for manipulating the source holder assembly from a shielded position to an exposing position and back, There are two general categories of radiographic exposure devices: directional exposure devices and panoramic exposure devices.

Directional exposure devices are devices in which the sealed source Is moved from its shielded storage position to a pain! at which the radiation from the source can emerge in a limited dlrectlon. In the exposing pcsition, the source is located in a built-in collimator or beam limiter. In a directional exposure device, the source never leaves the device. The principal advantage of a directional exposure device is that the size and shape of the radiation beam is limited, thereby reducing the size of the restricted area and minimizing operator exposure. Its principal disadvantage is that because of the limited beam size and shape, it cannot be used to perform certain radiographic tachnlques, Most directional exposure devices are operated by

exposure device while exposing the source. The radiatlon exposure of the operator is generally higher when using local controls due to scattered radiation intensities In the vicinity of the exposure device. The use of local controls is not recommended.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

i

Panoramic exposure devices are devices in which the sealed source Is moved from its shielded storage position to a fully exposed position outside the exposure device. The full panoramic jadlatlon pattern is useful for circumferential exposi.Jre.tec~niques or multiple specimen work. Conduits are generallyusedwftli~J<lnoramk exposure devices to guide the

source hplperass?mbly from the exposure device to the radiographic' foca'lpOsitlon. These conduits are called source guide tubes. Source guide tubes are fitted.wilh a mechanical stop on one end tQpmvide for positioning of 'the radioactive source vatvthe" appropriate focal position.· When the full panoramlc;".radiaUonpcft,tern 'is not required 'for particular radiographiciech~jques, collimators orbeam limiters can be fitted over the.source stop. to provide sh!elding to reduce the size of the restricted area and reduce operatorexposure,

. . -

Projector

Source Stop (Radiographic Focal Point)

Source

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

There are two principal design concepts for exposure devices:

"S" tube devices have an "S'' shaped channel through the shielding material. This concept utilizes the principle that radiation travels in straight lines from its point of origin. The configuration of the channel is such that there is no direct path for the radiation to emerge from the shield. When the device Is operated, the source holder assembly moves along the "S" shaped channel to emerge from the exposure device.

Straight tube exposure devices have a straight channel through the shield. To provide shielding in the direction of the channel this design concept employs either a shutter made from shielding material or shielded segments attached to the source holder assembly.

Straight tube exposure devices are generally lighter than "S" tube devices due to the lesser volume of shielding materia! required to surround the source. However, straight tube devices are generally more complex mechanically. Both concepts have gained wide acceptanceand are used world-wide.

'.. I: .'

35

RADIOGR,ApHIC EQUIPMENT 1

Radiographic exposure devices must withstand certain tests in Of?er. to be approved for use by the US Nuclear Regulatory Cornrmssron These tests are speclfled by the -lntematlonal Organization for Standardization and the American National Standards Institute, and are summarized in Table 8.3. Addltionally,.if the exposure device is used as a transport package, it must WIthstand the test conditions for Type A and Type 8 packages speCified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. These tests are summarized in Tables 6.4 and 6.5.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has also published some additional specillcatlons for radiographic exposure devices. The device must have a Jock which is not easily

', removable with readily available tools. It must not be possible to unlock the device with any easily available substitute for the key. The Jock must secure the source in a shielded position. The lock must not prevent the return of the source to a shielded posltlcn.f] must not be possible to operate the lock unless the source is in th!,! fully shielded position. 11 must not be possible to remove the source holder through the rear of the exposure device' even when the device is unlocked. It must not be possible to expose the source unless the source holder has been properly connected to the driving cable. A reliable, positive source position indicator must be provided. The source position indicator must tie of a tail-sale type.

Horizontal Shocl<: The device must withstand the horizontal impact onto a 50mm diameter target by swinging in a pendulum fashion from a height of 100mm. This test must be performed 20 times.

Vertical Shock: The device must withstand a free fall from a height of 150mm onto a flal rigid target. This lest must be performed 100 times.

Endurance: The device must withstand 50,000 complete operational cycles.

Kinking: The control housing must be pulled slraight from a one meIer diameter loop without allowing the housing to rotate. This test must be performed 100 times.

Crushing: The control housing must withstand the impact of a steel punch with a mass of 15kg dropped from the height of

300mm. This test must be performed 10 times.

Tensile: Fillings attached to the control housing must withstand a tensile load of 500N (112 pounds) repeated 10 times. The drive cable connector must withstand a tensile load of 1000N (224 pounds) repeated 10 times.

TABLE8A Summary of Tests for Type A Radioactive Material Packages

Heat: The device shall withstand a thermal environment of 54°C inslill air and direct sunlight.

The device shall withstand an environment of -40°C in slill air and shade.

The device shall withstand a reduced pressure of 50kN/m' (O.5atm).

Water Spray: The device shall withstand a water

spray sufficient to keep the entire exposed surface of the device continuously wet for a period o"f thirty minutes.

TABLE8.3

Summary of Tests for Radiographic Exposure Devices as Specified by the

AhleriCt:\nj'liltibhalSi<lhdaidsl (fsliluTeiAi'l SI'N 432) ...............•.............•...... ," .; .; EreeQmp;, .•. ·Ib§cggyiG§,§JJ~UIlYHbsJ~tJgJ?Jr§eJ:lrQP ·c".,.,.,",.,.,."., .. ','"

and the International Organization for from a height of 1.2 meters ontoa flat·

Standardization (ISO 3999) essentially unyielding surface.

Shielding The radiation levels from a portable Penetration: The device shall withstand the impact

Efficiency: exposure device shall not exceed of the hemispherical end of a vertical

200mA/hr at the surface or 50mR/hr at steel cylinder with a diameter of 32mm

50mm from the surface and shall and a mass of 6 kg dropped from a

not exceed 2mR/hr at one meter from height of one meter.

the surface of the device. Compression: The device must withstand a corn-

Vibration: The device must withstand vibration at pressive load equal to five times the

its main inherent frequency for eight weigh! of the device applied to the top

hours with a maximum acceleration equal and bottom of the device for a period of

to 9.6m/s2. 24 hours.

36

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

TABLE8.5 Summary ofTests for Type B Radioactive Material Packages

Free Drop: The device must withstand a free fall from a height of nine meters onto a flat, essentially unyielding surface.

Puncture: The device must withstand a free drop from a height of one meter onto a steel anvil with a diameter of 150mm and a length of 200mm.

Thermal: The device must withstand a thermal environment of 800"C for thirty minutes.

Water Immersion: The device must withstand immersion under at least 15 meters of water for eight hours.

CONTROL UNITS

The control unit is the device which is used to move the radloaclive source from its shielded storage position inside the exposure device to an exposing position and back. Most panoramic exposure devices use a driving cable to push the source holder out of the exposure. device and pull it back. The driving cable is moved by means of a crank. The driving cable is housed inside a conduit to provide protection and rigidity to ihe driving cable. Most drive cables are equipped with a cable stop to prevent driving the cable beyond the crank and losing control of the source. Directional exposure devices can be operated with a driving cable but pneumatic control systems are also widely used.

Most control units are designed to be manually operated. However, automated control systems are also available. These automated systems are used principally in permanent radiographic facilities. In addition to automatically exposing and retracting the source, the exposure time can be preprogrammed. They can also be interlocked with the radiographic facility to provide certain safety features such as preventing exposure of the source if the door to the facility is open, preventing access to the facility if the source is exposed, and automatically retracting the source if the security of the

facility has been breached. .

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Most control units provide an odometer or other position indicator to provide an indication of the location of the source. Although these devices provide useful information, they are only accurate when the source capsule and source holder are properly connected to the driving cable or control unit. They should not be relied upon as a positive, fail-safe indication of the source's location.

OPERATION OF EXPOSURE DEVICES

A gamma radiography system may be operated only by a qualified radiographer or radiographer's assistant. If the system is to be operated by a radiographer's assistant, the radiographer must be physically present and watching Ihe assistant. .

Each radiographer and radiographer's assistant must be wearing a direct reading pocket dosimeter and either a film badge or a thermoluminescent dosimeter, Additionally, each should have a properly calibrated and operable survey instrument.

Prior to beginning radiographic operations, survey the radiographic exposure device on all sides. This wifl verify that the source is in the proper storage position, verify that the survey instrument is working properly and provide a baseline radiation intensity in the vicinity of the exposure device for comparison with future measurements. Also prior to beginning operations, the radiographer should check for obvious defects and damage in the exposure device, control unit and guide tubes.

Position the source stop at the appropriate radiographic focal position. If possible, a collimator should be used with the source stop to reduce the size of the restricted area and minimize operator exposure.

Layout the guide tube(s) as straight as possible. The bend radius of the guide tube should not be less than twenty inches. At the end of the guide tube, position the radiographic exposure device. The location of the exposure device and the path of the guide tube(s) should be chosen to afford as much shielding as possible to the radiographer.

37

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

From the exposure device, layout the control unit so thai the operator will be located behind as much shielding as possi ble. The bend radius of the control housing should not be less than thirty six inches.

Determine the distance from the source stop to the boundary of the high radiation area. Post this boundary with "DANGER HIGH RADIATION AREA" signs.

4

38

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

At the radiographic exposure device, connect the driving cable to the source holder assembly and connect the control unit to the exposure device. Leave the exposure device in the LOCK condition. Connect the guide tube to the exposure device.

Check to assure that no unauthorized personnel are inside the restricted area. Thoroughly check all cable connections, bend. radii and source stop location. Unlock the exposure device and set it in the OPERATE condition.

At the control, observing the survey meter, rapidly rotate the crank in the expose direction. When the source emerges from the exposure device, there should be a rapid increase in the radiation intensi ty. The intensity should gradually decrease as the source moves toward the source stop. As the source enters the collimator, there should bea significant drop in the radiation intensity. While the source is in the exposing position, retreat to the boundary of the restricted area. Maintairi surveillance of the restricted area to assure that no unauthorized personnel enter. Survey the boundary of the restricted area to assure that it was properly established. Adjust the boundary as necessary. At the conclusion of the exposure time, approach the control unit with the survey meter. While observing the survey meter, rapidly. rotate the hand crank In the retract direction. As the source' leaves the collimator, there should be a significant increase in the radiation intensity. The intensity should gradually increase as the sou rce moves toward the exposure dev ice. As the sou rca enters the exposure device, the radiation intensity should rapidly decrease to background levels.

Approach the exposure device while watching the survey meter. Survey the device on all sides paying particular attention to the exit port area. The radiation intensities

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

should be approximately the same as was measured in the initial survey. Survey along the guide tube to the source stop. The radiation lntenslty should rapidly decrease as the survey meter is moved away from the exposure device. Lock the exposure device.

If additional exposures are to be made in the same area. the same procedure should be followed. At the conclusion of the final exposure, disassemble the equipment. Prior to storing the exposure devlca.make a survey of all sides of the device. The radiation intensities should be approximately the same as those measured during the initial survey.

SOURCE CHANGING

Source changing is a process where a decayed source is rarnoved from an exposure device and a new source is installed. This Is accomplished through the use of a source changer.

A source changer is a device which is designed to store and transport radiographic sources. It contains a shield with two or more channels in which sources may be properly shielded and stored.

The procedure to be followed for source changing is the same .. as that for operating an exposure device except that instead of using a source stop at the end of the guide tube, the guide tube is attached to an empty chamber on the source changer. The decayed source is then transferred from the exposure device, through the guide lube to the source changer. The drive cable is then disconnected from the source holder assembly, and the guide lube removed. The drive cable is then attached to the new source holder assembly and the guide tube is attached to the chamber of the source changer containing the new source. The new source is then retracted from the source changer through the guide tube into the exposure device.

All the safety precautions for making a radiographic exposure should be Observed during source changing. All the radialia •.

39

RADIOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

surveys made during radiographic operations should also be made during source changing. It is imperative that the manufacturer's instructions for closing and packaging the source changer for transportation be exaclly followed.

MAINTENANCE

In addition to Inspecting, the gamma radiography system dally for obvious defects and damage, .the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission·requires a formal malntenanceproqrarn to be per. formed on a quarterly .basls.Thts same maintenance should also be performed after, thsequlprnent has been subjected to harsh or dirty conditions.

It is important that all systsm.components be kept dean, The most important part of. a maintenance program is to use the equipment properly and keep it ire'e' f~omdirt, This wlllslrnplify the performance of rnalntenance.jtelp assure that the equipment will function safely and extend the equipment life,

The basic concept of the formal maintenance program Is to examine the equipment 10r damage and excessive wear, clean the system components and relubricate the equipment. It is generally ad~isa1;JI~' to.transfer the source from the exposure device to an;-a-rip;'6'prl~!.e SOlJfCe changer prior to performing rnalntenance. Irtthis, Way, the-exposure device can be safely

dls~:s"sen]~,!,eq" ""-,.,:~(:;)!,.:'?-,~r~ :, .>f. '" '" _', Raqiowa~t1l9)",~q!;lipm~rif;~t.h:arlU,~f-9J~!.ers>:p!ovide, ~detai,led rnalntenancelrisfructlons ,,lor tt)elr"equlpment. These lnstructlons should be closely tollowed, These~liisthlctions defaTI the method for dtsassemoly otrthe equip[,hent, theltsms 'tY~_ich should.be closely checked for wear or damage, the :proper ,solvents for cl~anlf)g.the equlprnent.and JIl.8.properJubi:)cants

touse, Most equiprrient manufacturers make available wear gauges fof use with source connectors. It is important to use

the!iegau_ges trequentty jind properly. Never use equipment I

th,H'is ·~ainElged.9r excessivelyworn as the safety features of

the equipmElrit may birdefeated. Use only manufacturer recommended replacement parts. Try to always keep the equlp-

ment free from dirt. A properly conducted maintenance /

program is vital to the safe operation of radiographic

equipment. ' ' .. " - "

40

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

EMERGENCIES

EMERGENCIES

Emergency conditions are those in which the source cannot be returned to a shielded position by normal means. Most emergency situations can be overcome with very little radiation exposure to the technicians performing the work. However, the work necessary to be performed is generally beyond the scope of training and experience of radiographic technicians.

In most cases, emergency source retrievals require detailed knowledge of the equipment a greater degree of training in radiation protection principles and techniques than is usually afforded to radiographic technicians. In most emergency sltuations, it is generally advisable to obtain outside assistance, and most radiographic equipment manufacturers have trained individuals available to provide this help. The action of the radiographic technician on the scene should be limited to establishing and maintaining security of the restricted area and notifying the radiation safety officer. There are, however, circumstances in which it is impractical to await outside assistance. In this case, there are a number of principles to aid in the retrieval of a source.

The most important factor is to recognize that an emergency exists. This can onl9 be accomplished through the proper use of a survey meter. In an earlier section of this handbook, the proper techniques for making radiation surveys during radiographic operations were described. Only by conscientiously observing these survey practices will the radiographic technician recognize that an emergency exists. As will be seen in a later section describing case histories of radiographic accidents, too often an overexposure occurs because an emergency situation existed and the radiographic technician did not recognize it because he failed to make a proper survey.

Following the proper survey techniques will also provide additional information which will help in planning the steps to take In retrieving the source. In any source retrieval, accurate knowledge of the location of the source is imperative. If a . radiographer watches the survey meter while he is retracting the drive cable, and notices that there was no sudden increase in the radiation intensity when the source should have been leaving the collimator, he would be likely to conclude that the source remained in the collimator and was detached from the driving cable. If he observes that the radiation intenslty gradually increases while he Is retracting the source and that the cranking stops with these high radiation intensities present, it Is likely that the source is in the guide tube and has been stopped by some obstruction. If the source retracts normally and the radiation survey of the sides and rear of the exposure devi ce reveal normal results but the radiation lntenslty at the front of the exposure device Is higher than normal, it Is likely that the source Is inside the exposure device but not fully retracted. Each of these situations require different actions. The information learned by

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section IX EmergenCies

following the proper survey practices will help in deciding the course of action to take.

Once the emergency has been recognized, the next step is to plan the source retrieval. The most important factor in planning the retrieval Is to think through the entire operation to cornplelion. The technicians should discuss the problem and the plan: ned solution with the radiation safety officer. This follows the axiom "two heads are better than one". Plan each step of the operation through to completion of the retrieval.

Toooflen, actions are accomplished in haste. This can cause greater difficulty in undoing the hastily contrived action than would have been encountered in making the source retrieval in the first place.

In one case, a source was prevented from being retracted Into the exposure device by a crushed section of source guide tube. The operators on the scene, attempting to reduce the radiation intensity in the area, used an overhead crane to pick up the exposure device, with the control unlt and guide tubes attached, and lowered the device into a lead lined drum. In performing this task, they had placed the system into a position from which

a retrieval could not be accomplished. The exposure device had

to be removed from the drum, causlno additional exposure to the technicians attempting the retrieval. Also, placing the system in the drum had additionally crushed the source guide \

tube, further complicating the retrieval. .

In planning the operation, it is sometimes useful to conduct a "dry run" outside the restricted area. Determine the time required to accomplish each step of the operation. Compute the expected exposure to each of the technicians performing the operation. Modify the plan considering ways to minimize the exposure. Determine if any additional shielding may be used to advantage.

It Is advantageous to use as much shielding as possible during retrieval operations. The actual site of the emergency may provide the necessary shielding. It may be possible to drag the 'source guide tube so that the exposed source can be moved behind some shielding such as the corner of a building, a curbing or a pile of material. In other cases, It may be necessary to place shielding material over the source or between the source and the operator.

It is unadvisable to throw shielding material over the source. That may only cause further damage or expend the available shielding material unwisely. A small shield accurately placed can do more good than a pile of haphazardly scattered material.

The shielding material can be any dense substance. Bags of cement, sand, and steel grit are good shielding materials. Castings, Ingots or steel plates can afford excellent shielding. The value of any proposed shielding should be computed beforehand. Unless condltlons make complete shielding necessary, it Is better to place the shielding beside the source

41

EMERGENCIES

to shade the area in which work must be performed. Overhead cranes or fork trucks can be used to move the shielding into place when the material is heavy. Lighter materials can be carried between two men on a plank or ladder. Bags of sand or lead shot can be dragged into position using ropes.

In accomplishing emergency procedures, it may be necessary ',1) work in high radiation intensities. Determine the amount of time necessary to be in these areas and compute the expected exposure before performing the operation.

In some cases, it may be necessary to measure radiation intensities higher than the range of typical radiographic survey instruments. If a high range survey instrument is not available, high intensities can be measured using a dosimeter and a watch, By attaching the dosimeter to a long pole, exposure rates In the vicinity of the source can be measured without high operator exposure,

It is important to maximize the distance between the operator and the source. If the source or source guide tube ,must be 'mqved,itshould never be done by hand, The exposure to the hal'1dswould be extremely high, A pole, as long as practical, can be used fQrsimple p,ok'ing operations, A nail drtven In'the end of a pole can be usedas a book. If tape is used tosecure'tha quids ,tube, It can be cut by a knlfa taped to a pole. A simple pick-up

"tool can be fabricated by wiring pliers to a pole. '

ltlslrnponantto reemphasize thaI in most emergency situations, the radiographic technician's responsibility should be 'limited '!oes!ablishingand .malntainingseGurity of the 'Testricted?lrea and notifying the radiation safety officer. Use 'thehelpof trained andquallfied outside service organizations

wherever possible. In cases where the circumstances preclude waiting for Outside help, take the time to devise a good ""orl~apl¢J~Lan. 'Rehearse the plan outside the restricted area. Know Vlfhaq~e exposures ,«ill be and be sure of each step 01 the operation before doing anything.

As will be seen in a later section describing case histories of radiography accidents, inappropriate retrieval methods can lead to high oporator exposures and Injury. Only through careful application of the principles of time, distance and shielding can source retrievais be accomplished safely.

.; ~ .

42

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

TRANSPORTATION

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation of radioactive material is governed by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Both of these agencies have developed regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material.

For transport purposes, industrial radiographic sources generally satisfy the requirements for special form radioactive rnaterlal. Special form radioactive materials are defined by the u.s. Department of Transportation as materials which, if released from a package, might present some direct radiation hazard but, due to their physicalintegrily, would present little hazard f~om the spread of radioactive contamination. To qualify as special form radioactive material, the source capsule must withstand certain test conditions including a free drop test, a percussion test, a heating test and a water immersion test. Summaries of these conditions were presented in Section8 of this handbook.

The quantity of radioactive material is also important for transport purposes. Industrial radiography sources in special form fall into one of two quantity categories: Type A or Type 8. Type Aquantity of radioactive material in special form Is up to a maximum of 20 curies. A quantity of radioactive material in excess of 20 curies is a Type B quantity.

Type A quantities of radioactive material must be packaged in containers which will withstand the norma] conditions of transport as specIfied in the regulations. The criteria for a Type A package includes the ability of the package to withstand heat, cold, pressure, vibration, water spray, free drop, corner drops, penetration and compression. Summaries of these test conditions are presented in Section 8 of this handbook.

Type B quantities of radioactive material must be packaged in containers that will withstand both the normal conditions of transport and certain hypothetical accident conditions. The criteria for Type B packages include the ability of the package to withstand the Type A test conditions as well as free drop, puncture and thermal test conditions. Summaries of these.test

conditions are presented in Section 8 of this handbook. '

Radiography personnel must be concerned with the transportatlon regulations in all three phases of the transport cycle, recelving, shipping and carrying. The special requirements for each phase are outlined below. It is important to note that these are only summaries of the requirements and are not intended to be all-inclusive. Current regulations of the US Nuclear' Regulatory Commission in Title 10, Codeof Federal Regulations, Parts20 & 71 and of the U.S. Department of Transportation in Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 170-179 & Parts 390-397 should be consulted to determine the applicable requirements.

RECEIPT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Packages containing radioactive material must be accepted from the carrier at the time that the package Is offered for

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section X Transportation

delivery. The purpose of this requirement is to get the radioactive material out of the hands of the carrier as soon as possible. In general, carriers do not have personnel who are trained to handle radioactive material and they do not have radiation rneasur- . ing instruments. If anything were to happen to the package duro . ing transit to cause a radiological emergency, the carrier would not be able to recognize it or cope with It. Therefore, it is in the interest of safety that the radioactive material be transferred to qualified recipients as soon as possible.

\

For the same reason, if a package of radioactive material Is to be held at a carriers facility for pick-up by a radiographer, it must be picked up expeditiously upon receipt of notification "from the carrier of its arrival.

Upon receipt of a package of radioactive material, a radiation survey must be performed to assure that the radiation intensity does not exceed 200mRlhr at the surface of the package nor 10mRJhr at three feet from the surface of the package. If either of these limits are exceeded, the receiver must notify both the final delivering carrier and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Records of this survey should be retained. ,-

The package should also be examined upon receipt for any evidence of physical damage and to assure that the security seal is intact. The shipper shoud be notified of any discrepancies.

SHIPMENT OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Prior to preparing a package for shipment, assure that the radioactive source is in the proper shielded storage position

43

TRANSPORTATION

inside the package, A security seal with an identification mark must be attached to the package closure. If the shipping container is to be packaged inside a crate or other outer packaging, the outer packaging must be strong enough to withstand normal conditions of transport. Place the shipping container in the outer packaging with sufficient blocking to prevent shifting during transportation.

r. radiation survey must be performed at the surface of the package and at one meter from the surface to determine the proper shipping labels to be applied to the package. The criteria for each of the three categories of levels are shown in Table 10.1.

TABLE10.1

Packages with surface radiation intensities in excess of 200mR/hr or with radiation intensities at one meter from the surface of the package in excess of 10mR/hr cannot be shipped.

Two properly completed shipping labels should be attached to two opposite sides of the package. These labels should indicate the radioisotope contained within the package, the activity of the source and the Transport Index. The Transport Index is the maximum radiation intensity in mR/hr measured at one meter from the surface of the package. It is expressed without units. ltis important that any old shipping labels have been removed from the package. Packages

MAXIMUM RADIATION LEVELS

Surface

One Meter

RADIOACTIVE-WHITE I

RADIOACTIVE-YELLOW II

O.5mR/hr

None

50mR/hr

1.0mR/hr

44

....... RADIOACTJVE~YELLQW·}II....."

10mR/hr

200mR/hr

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

TRANSPORTATION

shipped with two sets of labels cause confusion in the trans-

port cycle. '

The outside of the package must be marked with the proper shipping name and idenlHication number (Radioactive Material, Special Form, n.o.s., UN2974) and the appropriate US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Type 8 approval number. If the shipping container is packaged inside a crate or other outer packaging, in addition to the above marking, the package must be marked "Inside Package Complies wlth Prescribed Specifications."

The shipper must assure that the outside of the shipping package does not have removable radioactive contamination in excess of 0.001 rnlcrocurles per 100 square centimeters. Shipping papers must accompany all shipments of radioactive material. These papers must include the proper shipping name and identification number, the radlolsotope, the activity of the source, the category of label used, the transport index and the USNRC Type 8 approval number and a properly signed shipper's certification. Industrial radioactive material must not be transported on passenger carrying aircraft. Therefore, for air shipments, the shipping papers must be marked "This shipment is within the limitations prescribed for cargo-only aircraft" and the package must bear a "Cargo Aircraft Only" label. Samples of typical shipping papers are shown In the

accornpanyl ng photog raphs.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires shippers of radioactive materials to have approved quality assurance programs for their shipping activities. These programs must encompass handling, storage, shipping, inspections and testing of the packages and document and record control. Detailed requirements for such a program are delineated in Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 71.

CARRIAGE OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL

Radiographic operators generally become Involved in the carriage of radioactive material when transporting radioactive sources to and from temporary jobsites. Prior to transporting a radioactive source, all the requirements for shipping radloactlve material, as descrl bed I n the earlier subsection, must be met.

The radioactive material package must be secured In the vehicle against shifting. The radiation Intensity In the driver's cornpartment should not exceed 2mRlhr. Since the vehicle may also be used as a storage facility enroute, radiation intensities external to the vehicle should satlsfy the requirements for an unrestricted area.

The vehicle operator should be prepared for any emergencies that may be encountered enroute. Therefore, a normal complement of safety equipment, such as radiation area Signs, rope,

",,_-, UU.l

='----''''!:!T.o'"'M''---,~~~-~~,.::o:.,.~~~,==----

_-""''''-''-- __ --'1'.!L t..... TEcH~~to~;~A:t..nIO'N~ INC.

.p!ll:ltllrl' 1~"'1 .s..nLc ..

ZOlncmUr'llt

r..llliq. tta"'~lJ ... tt. 01;1'·61

~ ----- --:;""'::;;;;:IA • ._-

_~l~~~<~"~" Jr_~",~ ~~~==

___ f~~~'~-~·~~·~~~·~"~"~I.~'~~'d~·'~'·~~~'·~"~~~"r'''~~I ~~r.=

__ f.!.!l'J,!I·~'-!!:!!"'!l'__!·~"'----.1:'''''''''''''''-----i--f- - ~ •

... "il~d .. l'dtw It t.f;Hh

--+~-~-'m-vuu-.-.-~-~-t,-<,-ro-,,-.-'-<n-,-~-~.r-,-,,-'I---r-E~~c~~~

nh h ~~ C"T~ 1fT ntl~ lb, .l."",~ .. _-iJ ut~1' I.a.h ,lit. ~~"'I"IOI' - et .... l.u ...... -(-ned"". PUUI,l:I. ",""I~ ... \I ",,", '~~h" u.,j; IIU b pro,..,!' cWolhioa hr tU.IIJpo;IrI .. 1 i~ ~<::::'n.ulll ~a- til_ Jt~U"l.U.

- ulutLtlc .. .., al tb.., o..l'lrt~t ~r TI.m.i'.n~.~ill"'l.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

45

. TRANSPORTATION

spare tire, fire extinguisher, tools and flares should be carried in the vehicle. The operator should also have a calibrated and operable radiation survey instrument and should be wearfng both a film badge and a pocket dosimeter.

If the vehicle is transporting a package bearing a Radioactive Yellow III label, the vehicle must be placarded on all four sides with a "RADIOACTIVE" placard. Operation of a vehicle Which is required to be placarded requires compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulatlons of Title 49, Code of. Federal Regulations, Parts 390 - 397. These regulations specify requirements for traif)ing and qualification of drivers, driving rules, vehicle safety equipment and accessories, Inspection and maintenance requirements for vehicles, hours of service of drivers, and notlflcatlons, reports and record keeping. II the vehicle becomes disabled on the road, it should not be leI! unattended. The operator can send a message for help with a passing motorist and the pollee may be able to provide assistance.

Should any kind of accident occur, make an immediate radiation survey to see where, If at all, the radlatlon intensities are higher than normal. If any abnormal radiation intensities exist, treat the 'situation as an emergency. Establish and secure the restricted area and notify your radiation safety officer, Enlist the help of the police in keeping people out of the restricted area.

It is very important, from a radiation safety vlewpolnt, to follow the transportation regtllaUo{1~qlo"s~Iy" .. ~yolJ will see in the next section describing· case-:nlslcHes' 'of radiography accidents, failure to follow the appropriate safety practices in transporting radioactive material can cause excessive radla-

, tlon exposure, not only to radiographic personnel, but to members of the general public as well. .

46

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

CASE HISTORIES OF RADIOGRAPHY INCIDENTS.

CASE HISTORIES OF RADIOGRAPHY INCIDENTS

A number of accidents have occurred in industrial radiography over the course of time. These accidents were the result of a number of different causes, but the common denominator was usually the failure to follow established safety procedures, especially the failure to make an adequate radiation survey.

With the hope that individuals will learn from the mistakes of others, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires that radiographers receive instructions in the case histories of radiography accidents. This section of the handbook describes summaries of selected radiography accidents. These cases have been selected because they highlight errors which unfortunately ~re not uncommon. We hope that by understanding the causes of these accidents, and the results, you may be less likely to make the same errors,

Case A

A radiographer retracted a 27 curie cobalt'" source until he felt it hit hard and stop. He assumed that the source had returned to the fully shielded position within the exposure device and did not make a physical radiation survey. He then proceeded to disconnect the source guide tube from the exposure device. Upon removal of the source guide tube, the radiographer recognized that the source extended approximately two inches out of the exposure device. He attempted to push the source back into the device with his hand, but was unsuccessful. He then retreated to the control crank and was able to retract the source.

The radiographer's film badge indicated a dose equivalent of 700 millirem. However, the film badge was partially shielded during the incident. A reenactment of the incident indicated that the dose equivalent to the radiographer's hand was 574 rem.

The principal cause of the incident was the failure to make a radiation survey after retracting the source. The radiographer also showed a lack of judgement by attempting to force the source into a shielded position with his hand, which further increased his dose.

CaseS

Two radiographers were performing pipeline radiography with a 70 curie iridium'~2 source. The source assembly became detached from the driving cable and remained exposed in the guide tube for two hours. During this period, the radiographers continued to radiograph pipeline welds.

TIle incident was discovered when (he film was processed and found to be overexposed. The radiographers' pocket .dosimeters were checked and found to be off-scale. No radiatlon surveys were made because the survey meter at the site was inoperative.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Section XI Case Histories of Radiography Incidents

Film badges indicated whole body dose equivalents for the two radiographers to be 21rem and 15rem respectively, The senior radiographer had slight swelling of the right hand after seven days with some discomfort in the fingers. Blistering of the palm occurred in two weeks. Treatment of the hand continued for six months during which time the injury showed continued reg resslon. At eighteen months, the right fourth finger was slightly atrophied with a decreased ability to flex.

The principal cause of the Incident was the performance of radiography without the availability of an operable radiation survey meter,

CaseC

During a radiographic operation, a 48 curie cobatt= source assembly became stuck in the source guide tube. While the radiographer attempted to retract the source, it became dlsconnected from Ihedriving cable. The radiographer, with the help of his supervisor, removed the source from the guide tube, and manually returned the source to a shielded position.

A reeanactment of the incident indicated that the supervisor received a whole body dose equivalent of 3 rem and 1500rem to one hand. The radiographer suffered severe radiation burns to the exposed hand.

The principal cause of the incident was the failure to follow appropriate ernsrqency procedures when the abnormal occurrenee was recognized. "

CaseD

After completion of a radiographic operation using a gO curie iridlum'" source, the radiographer surveyed the exposure device and source guide tube and assured that the source was in the proper shielded positicn. However, he did not lock the exposure device after the survey. He picked up the exposure device, with the controls and source guide tubes attached, and moved the device to another location. In the course of moving the device, the crank of the control unit caught on an obstruction and caused the source to be moved to an unshiel d ed posltlon.

The film badge, which was worn in the shirt pocket approximately three feel from the source, indicated 8.B rem. The estimated dose equivalent to the thigh, which was closer to the

source, was 70 rem. '

The prlnclpat cause of the incident was the failure to lock the exposure device at the completion of the operation. The radiographer could have minimized his dose by observing his survey meter while moving the exposure device.

CaseE

A radiographer was performing radiography with an 80 curie iridiumln source. At the conclusion of the exposure, he

47

7.

CASE HISTORIES OF RADIOGRAPHY INCIDENTS

retracted the source into the exposure device. He approached the exposure device with the survey meter and noted normal radiation levels. He did not survey the exit port area of the device.

He then disconnected the source guide tube from the exposure device and attempted to instal! the storage plug. When the storage plug could not be properly installed, he recognized that t:,8 source was not ful!y retracted into the device.

A reenactment of the incident indicated that the radiographer received a whole body dose equivalent of 3rem, 45rem to the left hand and 600rem to the right hand.

The principal cause 01 the incident was the failure to make a complete radiation survey 01 all sides of the exposure device at the completion of the operation.

CaseF

While performing radiography with a 7B curie iridium'"' source, the radiographer recognized thai the source did not retract to the shielded position in the exposure device. Further investigation revealed that the source assembly had become disconnected from the driving cable. The radiographer disconnected the source guide tube, extracted the source assembly, reattached it to the ·drlving cable, and retracted the source,

By the eleventh day following the incident,' redness, swelling and tenderness. of the palm .and- finger tips had developed. About the sixteenth day, blisters appeared. In approximately cine month,' the involved areas healed, but the skin remained thin, atrophic and sensitive. The symptoms still persisted one year after the event.

A reenactment Indicated that the radiographer received a whole body dose equivalent of approximately 50rem and ·.1500rem to the hand.

The principal cause of the incident was the failure to follow the apprcprtatesaiety procedures once an emergency situation

'had been recognized. .

CaseG'·

A radiographer was returning a 32 curie iridium'"' source after a source exchange. In the course of preparing the source changer for shipment, the radiographer moved the source from a shlelded position in the source changer to an exposing position. He did not make a radiation survey prior to shipping the package. The exposed source was discovered upon receipt at the source manufacturer's facility alter the source had been transported

mile offshore, The radiographer failed to connect the source guide tube to the exposure device. Upon exposure, the source went over the side of the platform. Due to the weight of the driving cable and the ocean currents, the entire drive cable with the source assembly attached sank to the bottom in forty feet of water.

In an attempt to retrieve the source, a specially designed radiation detector for use at that depth was buill. Using this detector and with special communication equipment, police divers altempted to locate the SOurce assembly and drive cable. However, due to poor visibility, this was not successful.

The next approach was to lower a grab attached to a crane and attempt to grapple the drive cable. This worked on the lirst try. The source was brought to the platform and placed into a shielded position. The maximum dose equivalent received by any individual was 20mrem.

.....

Although this incident did not involve any radiation overexposures, the source retrieval required five days of intensive work by a large number of people at considerable cost.

These /ase histories highlight the consequences of failing to makekd-equate surveys and failure to observe proper safety procedures especially when an emergency is recognized. We hope that these summaries have been instructive. We recommend that they be reviewed periodically as a reminder of the importance of observing the proper safety procedures.

Further information about other incidents is available in a booklet prepared by the US Nuclear RegUlatory Commission entitled "Case Histories of Radiography Events", NUREG/BR-0001, Volume 1 and available from the US Government Printing Office.

The maximum estimated dose equivalents to airport handlers were: Airport A - 10.4rem; Airport B - 26.0rem; Airport C - 134.4rem. Estimated maximum dose equivalents to passengers could have been 10.6rem on the first plane and 6.Brem on the Second plane.

The principal cause of the incident was the failure to properly package the source for shipment and the failure to make a radiation survey prior to shipping the package.

CaseH

A radiographer was using a 14 curie Iridium'" source to perform radiography on a construction platform approximately one half

48

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

TABLES.

Appendix A Tables

APPENDIX A

TABLES

1.Physical Constants for Basic Particles 2.Sefected Radioisotope Data 3.Periodic Chart of the Elements 4.Alphabetical List of Elements

5.Table of Half Thicknesses

6. Table of Metric Equivalents

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

49

TABLES

TABLE 1

PHYS1CAL CONSTANTS FOR BASIC PARTICLES

Particle Symbol Mass (Gram) Mass (AMU) , Charge
Electron e-, {3- 9.1083 x 10 -,. 0.0005 -1
Proton p 1.6724 x 10 -2' 1.0076 +1
Neutron n 1.6747 x 10 -2. 1.0090 0
Alpha a 6.6437 x 10-24 4.0028 +2
Positron {3~ 9.1083 x 10-" 0.0005 +1 • Neutral atom of carbon 12 ::12AMU; one AMU =1.6604x10-"gram.

TABLE 2
SELECTED RADIOISOTOPE DATA
RadioIsotope Halflife Principal Photon Specific Gamma Ray Constant
Energies (keV) Rlhr per curie
at 1 foot at 1 meter
Ceslurn'" 30y 662 3.4 0.32
Cobalt" 5.3y 1173,1332 14.0 1.30
Iridium"; 74d 311,468,603 5.9 0.55"
Thullum'" 134d 84, Ybx-rays 0,015 0.0014
Ytterblurn'" 32d 63,110,131 1.35 0.125
177,198,308
Tmx-rays • American Nat ional SI andards I nstltute Standard N,t32 has proposed a value of OABR·m'1I1r·CI lor the specific gamma ray constant for Iridium 192.

50

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

TABLES

TABLE 3

r--- PER IODIC CHART OF THE ELEMENTS r--
I 2
H H.
3 'I 5 6 7 s 9 10
LI Be D C 1'1 0 F N.
II 12 13 [4 [5 ]6 17 [8
1'1" Mg AJ Si P S a Ar
J9 20 2[ 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 JJ 32 3) 34 35 36
K Cn S<: 'Ti V Cr MIl F. Co Ni Cu ZII Go G. A~ Se Dr Kr
37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 '16 47 48 49 50 5[ 52 53 54
Rb Sr Y Zr Nit r-.lo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te J x.
55 56 n 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 8[ 82 83 84 85 86
C. U. nr To W Re Os lr PI Au Hg 11 Pb m Po At Rn
87 88 (104) (105)
Fr Ru ·Lanthan~d Sene

t Actinid Sent!

e 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
s La c. Pr Nd Pm Sill Eu Gd TIl Dy Ho lir Tm Vb Lu
e 89 90 9[ 92 93 94 95 % 97 93 99 100 101 102 103
s Ac 111 Po U Np Pu Am em Dk cr Es Fm Md No Lr The periodic table ill which rhe elements are arranged in order of increasing atomic weights (wilh a few exceptions}. Elements with similar properties occllr in the same vertical column.

TABLE 4
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ELEMENTS
Element Symbol Elerneru Symbol Element Symbol Element Symbol
Actinium Ac Erbium Er Mercury Hg Samarium sSm
Aluminum AI Europium Eu Molybdenum Mo Scandium Sc
Americium Am Fermium Fm Neodymium Nd Selenium Se
Antimony Sb Fluorine F Neon Ne Silicon SI
Argon Ar Francium Fr Neptunium Np Silver Ag
Arsenic A~ Gadolinium Gd Nickel Ni Sodium Nll
Astatine At Gallium Ga Niobium Nb Strontium Sr
Barium B,t Germanium Gc Nitrogen N Sulfur S
Berkelium Bk Gold Au Nobelium No Tantalum Tn
Beryllium Be Hafnium Hf Osmium 05 Technetium Tc
Bismuth Bi Helium He Oxygen 0 Tellurium Te
Boron B Holmium Ho Palladium Pd Terbium Tb
Bromine Sr Hydrogen H Phosphorus P Thallium TI
Cadmium Cd Indium In Platinum Pt Thorium Ttl
Calcium Cn Iodine I Plutonium Pu Thulium Tm
Californium Cf Iridium Ir Polonium Po Tin SI!
Carbon C Iron Fe Potassium K Titanium Ti
Cerium Ce Krypton Kr Praseodymium Pr Tungsten W
Cesium Cs Lanthanum L:, Promethium Pm (Wolfram)
Chlorine o Lawrencium Lr Protactinium P~i Uranium U
Chromium Cr Lead Pb Radium Ra Vanadium V
Cob"lt Co Lithium Li Radon Rn Xenon Xc
Copper Cu Lutetium Lu Rhenium Re Ytterbium Yb
Curium Crn Magnesium M£ Rhodium Rh Yttrium Y
Dysprosium Dy Manganese Mn Rubidium Rb Zinc Zn
Einsteinium Es Mendelevium Md Ruthenium Ru Zirconium Zr
\
AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK 51 TABLES

TABLE 5

Half Value Layers

(inches)

Lead Iron Concrete
Ir - 192 0.2 0.5 1.7
CO-50 0.5 O.B 2.4 TABLE 6

METRIC CONVERSIONS

1 meter " 3.281 feet 1 foot .3048 meter
1 centimeter = .3937 inch 1 inch 2.54 centimeters
1 kilogram ;= 2.205 pounds 1 pound .4538 kilogram
1 gram ;= .0353 ounce 1 ounce = 28.35 grams .,

1 Roentgen (R) = .000258 coulomb/kilogram air

1 rad '" .01 Gray (GY) = .01 joule/kilogram

1 rem = .01 Sievert (Sv) = .01 joule/kllogram

1 curie = 3.7 x 10" Becquerels (8q) " 3.7 x 10" dis-

i nteg rat ions/seco nd

1 Gray = 100 rads

1 Sievert = 100 ram

1 Becquerel = 1 disintegration/ second

STANDARD INTERNATIONAL UNITS

52

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FIGURES

Appendix B Figures

APPENDIXB

FIGURES

t.Decay Scheme of Iridium'"

2. Decay Scheme of Cobalt"' 3.Decay of lrldium"~

4.Decay ~f Caballo.

5.Transmission of Gamma Rays from Ir'02, CS"7 and Coo. In Lead

6.Transmlssion of Gamma Rays from Ir">' CS'J7 and Co'· in Iron.

7.Transmission of Gamma Rays from Ir"', Cs'J7 and Co·, in Concrete.

S.Transmission of Gamma Rays from IrlOl, Cs'" and Co·· In Tungsten

9.Transmision of Gamma Rays from lr'O>, Csm and Co'· in Uranium

10.Radlation Intensity as a Function of Distance for Iridium'"

ii.Radiation Intensity as a Function of Distance

. forCabalt'·

AMERSHAM ~ RADIATION SAFET''( HANDBOOK

53

\

FIGURES

54

FIG.1

Iridium192

EIl- :0.670

\----'----..-r-r-r- 1.202 .921 .785

.613

.317

FIG. 2

Cobalt 60

.01%

---'------,- 2.505 '---------.-...--t- 2.158

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FIGURES

.8

II

-! c, ".", ,-~, ,.; ... t: I.; ,:;

, '~ ':-"':: ' ':' '"j ,:,.:.~ :',:;,~-I

,'·":-,;~!:::~l-:'_ ,.:..,;1::::::::::=::::.:,;, -;. ;'~ , •.. o:i::±:'DECAY OF fA 192

·_;·;:::·'-1,:'; 0-;;:: ':'~. . ,,~ ,

. '_"-;--~' "-, --1..:'.. .. ,- ... , -- , I;~' . :!:;.~:;c;;:

. ~ ·,:t:~.,._ I -C. H·, ' "0:-::: P:'~ ~:,::;·7

,-1..,.·' n

.s

i--!-'-

i-!-

,

, ,

I, , , ,

I

I I

I I I I ~

I I

I I'

.. ..

,W,

,_ -

I I~

, , , ,

uu

,OO1~~~~~~10~O~~~~~2~O~O~~~~~300~LLLLLL~4=OO~~~~~500~~~~U6~O~o~~LLLL~,O TIME mAYS)

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

55

FIGURES

40

TIME (YEARS)

56

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FIGURES

THICKNESS OF LEAD (INCHES)

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

57

FIGURES

THICKNESS OF I RON (INCHES)

58

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FIGURES,

o

o.oooo~~~~

o 5 10 15 20

THICKNESS OF CONCRETE (INCHES)

25

30

35

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

59

FIGURES

lD ~O

THICKNESS OF TUNGSTEN UNCHES)

3.0

60

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

1.0

3.0

2.0 THICKNESS OF URANIUM (INCHES)

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

-,

FIGURES,

61

FIGURES

133:1 NI3:;lN'<;I1SJO

o

8

-

o o In

8 8

(') N

o o

o '"

o a (') '"

a

~

~

E Z

~

rn Z w fZ

S311:ln::l NI A111\11:)'<;I

62

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

FIGURES.

8

o

133:1 NI 3:JN'tf1SI0

o 0

o 0

'" N

C! o

C! '"

o U'l

S31Hm NI )..1IAI10'tf

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

63 .

64

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

GLOSSARY

APPENDIXC GLOSSARY

-A-

Activity: The number of nuclear transformations occurring in a given quantity of material per unit Iime.(See Curie.)

Atom: A particle of matter Indivisible by chemical means. it is the smallest part of an element which still contains the chemical properties of that element.

Atomic Mass: The mass of a neutral atom of a nuclide, usually expressed in terms of "atomic mass units." The "atomic mass unit" is one-twelfth the mass of one neutral atom of carbon-tz; equivalent to 1.6604 x 10-"gm. (Symbol: u).

Atomic Number:The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom and also Its positive charge. Each chemical element has its characteristic atomic number.

Atomic Weight: The weighted means of the masses of the neutral atoms of an element expressed In atomic mass units.

Attenuation: The process by which a beam of radiation is reduced In Intensity when passing through some material. It Is the combination of absorption and scattering processes and leads to a decrease in flux density of the beam when projected through matter.

Attenuation Factor: A measure of the opacity of a layer of material for radiation traversing It; the ratio of the Incident Intensity to the transmitted Intensity. It Is equal to IJI, where I. and I are the Intensities of the incident and emergent radiation, respectively.

-B-

Barriers, Protecllve: Barriers of radiation-absorbing material, such as lead, concrete, and plaster, used to reduce radiation exposure.

Beam: A unidlreclional or approximately untdlrectlonal.flow of electromagnetic radiation or of particles.

Beta Particle: Charged particle emitted from the nucleus of an atom, with a mass and charge equal In magnitude to that of the electron.

Blol09lc Elfectlveness 01 Radiation: (See Relative Biological Effectiveness.)

Byproduct Material: Any radioactive material (except source or fis· slonable material) obtained during the production or use of source or fissionable material. This Includes radlolsotopes produced In nuclear reactors.

-C-

CalibraUon: Determination of variation from standard, or accuracy, of a measuring instrument to ascertain necessary correction factors.

Capture, Electron: A mode of radioactive decay Involving the capture of an orbltal electron by Its nucleus. Capture from a particular electron shell Is designated as "K-electron capture," "Leleetron capture," etc.

Cataract: A clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye which obstructs the passage of light.

Cathode: Negative electrode; electrode to which positive Ions are attracted.

AMERSHf',M - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

Appendix C Glossary

Cell: (Biological) The fundamental unit of structure and function In organisms.

Chamber, Ionization: An Instrument designed to measure a quantity of 10nl;:lng radiation in terms of the charge of electricity associated with Ions produced within a defined volume.

Chamber, Pocket: A small, pocket-sized Ionization chamber used for monltorlng radiation exposure ofpersonneJ. Before use, It Is given a charge and the amount of discharge Is a measure of the radiation exposure.

Collimator: A device for confining the elements of a beam within an assigned solid angle.

Compton Effect: An attenuation process Observed for x or gamma radiation In which an Incident photon Interacts with an orbital electron of an atom to produce a recoil electron and a scattered photon of energy less than the Incident photon.

Contamination, Radioactive: Deposition of radioactive material in any place where It Is not desired, particularly where Its presence may be harmful.

Cosmic Rays: High-energy particulate and electromagnetic radiations which originate outside the earth's atmosphere.

Count (Radiation Measurements): The external Indication of a device designed to enumerate Ionizing events. It may refer 10 a single detected event or to the total number registered In a given period of tlrne, The term often Is erroneously used to designate a disintegration, Ionizing event, or voltage pulse.

Counter, Geiger-Mueller: Highly sensitive, gas·fllled radlatlonmeasuring device. It operates at voHages sufficiently high to produce avalanche Ionization.

Counter, Scintillation: The combination of phosphor, photomultiplier tube, and associated circuits for counting Jight emissions produced in the phosphors.

Counting Ratemeter: An Instrument which giv8s a continuous Indication of the average rate of ionizing events.

Cumulative Dose (Radiation): The total dose resuHlng from repeated exposures to radiation.

Curle: The special unit of activity. One curie equals 3.7 x 10'0 nuclear transformations per second. (Abbreviated Ci.) Several fractions of the curie are in common usage:

MlIIicu)'ie: One-thousandth of a curie (3.7 X 10' disintegrations per second). Abbreviated mCI.

Microcurie: One-rnlltlonth of a curta (3.7 X 10' disintegrations per sec.) Abbreviated }lCI.

-0-

Decay Curve: A curve showing the relative amount of radloactlve substance remaining after any time Interval.

65

GLOSSARY

Gamma Ray: Short wavelength electromagnetic radiation (range of energy from 10 keV to 9 MeV) emitted from the nucleus.

·E· Gas Ampllflcallon: As applied to gas Ionization radiation detecting ln-

Efficiency (Counters): A measure of the probability that a count will be struments, the ratio of the charge collected to the charge produced by

recorded when radiation Is Incident on a detector. Usage varies con- the Initial Ionizing event.

slderably, so It Is weI! to ascertain which factors (window Geiger Region: In an Ionization radiation detector, the operating

,",",""" ",","" '" trail srn Issi a rl;-C""'SCrl s'i t i'.'c""No I u rn 0,"""0 norgy''-', d ep enden ce, etc, ),,,.,are ',.-, , ,.-.- .-.",- \j61tag"e"j hte'i'iai'-'lr{'W"l1ic Ii"' lhi:!","dlllftfs"'-i;"lil iscfe'u '-'r:lef"ji:i"["riii ii"g"'eVe'I\t' is' ",' ',.-.-.-.-,.-'.-,'.-.-.-,' '/'l'

included in a given case, essentially Independent of the numberof primary ions produced In Ihe

Electron: A stable elementary particle having an electric charge initial Ionizing event.

equal to± 1.60210 x 10·I·C. and a rest mass equal 10 9.1091 x lo-"kg. Geiger Threshold: The lowest voltage applied to a counter tube for

Secondary Electron: An electron ejected from an atom, molecule, which the number of pulses produced In the counter tube Is essential

or surface as a result of an Interaction with a charged particle or Iy the same, regardless of a limited voltage increase.

photon. Gene: Fundamental unit of Inheritance which determines and con-

Electron Volt: A unit of energy equivalent to the energy gained by an trois hereditarily Iransmlssible characterlst1cs. Genes are arranged

electron In passIng through a potential difference of one volt. Larger linearly at definite locations on chromosomes.

multiple units of the electron volt are frequently used: keV for thou-

sand or kilo electron volt; MeVfor million or mega electron volts. (Ab- Genstlc Effect of Radiation: Inheritable change, chiefly mutations,

brevlated: eV, 1 eV '" 1.6 x 10-"erg.)

Decay Produc!: A nuclide resulting from the radioactive dtslntepratton of a radlonucllde, formed either directly or as the result Of successive transformations in a radioactive series. A decay product may be radioactive or stable

Decay, Radioactive: DiSintegration of the nucleus of an unstable nuclide by spontaneous emissions of charged particles andlor photons

Densitometer. Instrument utilizing a photocell to determine the degree of darkening of developed photographic film.

Density: (Photopraphlc]: Used' to denote the degree of darkening of photographic film. Logarithm of opacity of exposed and processed film. Opacity Is the reclprocal of transmission; transmission is the ratio of transmitted to IncIdent Intensity.

Detector, RadiatIon: Any device for converlin'g radiant energy to a form more suitable for observation. An instrument used to determine the presence, and sometimes the amount, of radiation.

Dose: A general form denoting the quantity of radiation or energy absorbed. For special purposes it must be appropriately qualified. If unqualified, It refers to absorbed dose

Absorbed Dose: The energy imparted to matter by ionizing radlation per unit mass of Irradiated material at the place of interest. The unit of absorbed dose ls the rad. One rad equals 100 ergs per gram. (See Rad.)

Dose Equivalent (DE): A quantity used In radiation protection. It expresses all radiations on a common scale for calculating the effec· tive absorbed dose, 11 Is defined as the product of the absorbed dose In rads and certain modifying factors. (The unit of dose equivalent 15 the rem.)

Maximum Permissible Dose Equivalent (MPD): The greatest dose equivalent that a person or speolfied part thereof shall be allowed to receive tn a given period of time

Median Lethal 0058 (MLD): Dose of radiation required to klll, within a specified period, 50 percent of the Individuals In a large group of animals or organIsms. Also called the LD, •.

Dose Rate: Absorbed dose delivered per unit time.

Dose Rate:n8~8r. Any Instrument which measures radiation dose rate. DOSimeter. Instrument to detect and measure accumulated radiation exposure. In common usage, a pencll-size Ionization chamber with a self·readlng electrometer, used for personnel monitoring.

Dosimetry, Photographic: Determination of cumulatlve radiation dose with photograph[c film and denslly measurement.

66

Electroscope: Instrument for detecting the presence of electric charges by the deflection of charged bodies.

Element: A chemical substance which cannot be divided into simpler substances by chemical means. A substance whose atoms all contaln the same number of protons.

Energy: Capacity for doinq work. "Potential energy" Is the energy Inherent in a mass because of Its spatial relation to other masses. "Kinetic energy" is the energy possessed by a mass because of its motion; MKSA units: kg·m'lsec' or joules.

Enzyme: A biological catalyst of great specificity for a particular substance (substrate) or a particular group of closely related substances which generally activates or accelerates a biochemical reaction.

Epilation (Depilation): The temporary or permanent removal or 1055 of hair.

Erythema: An abnormal redness of the skin due to distention of the

, " capillaries with blood. It can be caused by many different aqents-heat, drugs, ultra-violet rays, ionizing radiation.

Excitation: The addition of energy to a system, thereby transferring it from lts ground state to an excited state. Excitation of a nucleus, an atom, or a molecule can result from absorption of photons or from In· elastic collisions with other particles.

Exposure: A measure of the Ionization produced In air by x or gamma radiation. it Is the sum of the electrical charges on all ions of one sign produced in air when all electrons liberated by photons In a volume element of air are completely stopped In air, divided by the mass of air in the volume element. The special unit of exposure is the roentgen.

Acute Exposure: Radiation exposure of short duration,

Chronic Exposure: Radiation exposure of long duration by tractionatlon or protraction. (See Dose.)

·F·

Film Badge: A pack of photographic film which measures radiation exposure for personnel monitoring. The badge may contain two or three films of differing sensitivity and filters to shield parts of the film from certain types of radiation.

Film Ring: A film badge In the form of a finger ring.

Frequency: Number of cycles, revolutions or vibrations completed per unit of time [See Hertz}.

·G·

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

GLOSSARY

produced by the absorption of ionizing radiations. On the basis of present knowledge these effects are purely additive; there is no recovery.

Genetics: The branch of biology dealing with the phenomena of heredity and variation.

Ground Stale: The state of a nucleus, atom, or molecule at its lowest energy. All other states are "excited".

·H·

Hall-Llle, Radioactive: Time required for a radioactive substance to lose 50 percent of its activity by decay. Each radionucfide has a unique half-Iile.

Half Value Layer (Half ThlcknessXHVL): The thickness of a specified substance which, when Introduced into the path of a given beam of radiation, reduces the exposure rate by one-hall,

Heredity: Transmission of characteristics and traits from parent to offspring.

Hertz: Unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second.

Hot Cell: A heavily shielded enclosure for handling and processlnq (by remote means or automatically) or storing highly radioactive materials.

·1·

Intensity: Amount of energy per unit time passing through a unit area perpendicular to the line of propagation at the point in question.

Interlock: A device, usually electrical and (or) mechanical, to prevent activation of a control until a preliminary condition has been met, or to prevent hazardous operations. Its purpose usually is salety.

Ion: Atomic particle, atom, or chemical radical bearing an electrical charge, either negative or positive.

Ionization: The process by which a neutral atom or molecule acquires a positive or negative charge.

Ionization Density: Number of ion pairs per unit volume.

IonIzing Event: Any occurrence of a process in which an ion or group of Ions Is produced.

Ion Pair: Two particles of opposing charge, usually referring to the electron and positive atomic or molecular residue resulting after the interaction of ionizing radiation with the orbital electrons of atoms.

Irradiation: Exposure to radiation.

Isotopes: Nuclides having the same number of protons In their nuclei, and hence the same atomic number, but differing In the number of neutrons, and therefore in the mass number. Almost Identical chemica! properties exist between isotopes of a particular element. The term should not be used as a synonym for nuclide.

Stable Isotope: A non-radloactlve Isotope at an element, ·K·

Kilo Electron Volt (keV): One thousand electron volts, 10' eV.

·L·

Latent Period: The period or state 01 seeming Inactivity between the time of exposure of tissue to an Injurious agent and response.

Leak Test: A test on sealed sources to assure that radioactive material Is not being released.

Lethal Dose: A dose of Ionizing radiation sufficient to cause death. (LD·50j,. Is the dose required to klll 50 percent of the Individuals exposed within thirty days; approximately 450 rem.

, Leukemia: A disease In which there is great overproduction of while blood cells, or a relative overproduction of Immature white blood celis, and great enlargement of the spleen. The disease Is variable, at times

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

running a more chronic course in adults than In children. It is almost always fatal. It can be produced in some animals by lonq-contlnued exposure to low doses 01 ionizing radialion.

-M·

Mass: The rnatertal equivalent of enerpy-dltferent from weight in that it neither increases nor decreases with gravitational force.

Mass Numbers: The number of nucleons (protons and neutrons) in the nucleus of an atom. (Symbol: A).

Metabolism: The sum 01 all physical and chemical processes by which Hving organized substance is produced and maintained and by which energy is available for use by the organism.

MlIIiroentgen (mR): A submultiple of the roentgen, equal to onethousandth of a roentgen, (See Roentgen).

Molecule: Smallest quantity of a compound which can exist by itself and retain all properties of the original substance.

Monitoring: Periodic or contlnlous determination of the amount of ionizing radiation or radioactive contamination present tn an occupied region.

Area Monllorlng: Monitoring of the radiation level or contarnlnation of a particular area, building, room or equipment. Some laboratories or operations distinguish between routine monitoring and survey activities.

Personnel Monitoring: Monitoring any part of an Individual, his breath, or excretions, or any part of his clothing.

Mutation: Alteration of the usual hereditary pattern, usually sudden.

-N·

Nucleon: Common name for a constituent particle of the nucleus. Applied to a proton or neutron,

Nucleus: (Biological) A definitely delineated body within the cell, contalning the chromosomes. (Nuclear) That part of an atom in which the total positive electric charge and most of the mass is concentrated,

Nuclide: A species of atom characterized by the constitution of its nucleus. The nuclear constitution is specified by the number of protons (Z), number of neutrons (N), and energy content; or, atternatlvely, by the atomic number (Z), mass number A = (N + Z), and atomic mass. To be regarded as a distinct nuclide, the atom must be capable or"ex. !stlng for a measurable time. Thus, nuclear isomers are separate nuclides, whereas promptly decaying excited nuclear states and unstable intermediates In nuclear reactions are not so considered.

·0·

Organ: Group of tissues which together perform one or more definite

functions in a living body. .

.p.

Periodic Table: An arrangement of chemical elements in order of in· creasing atomic number. Elements of slmllar properties are placed one under the other, yielding groups and families of elements. Within each group there is a graduation of chemical and physical properties but, in general, a similarity of chemical behavior, From group to group, however, there is a progressive shift of chemical behavior from one end of the table to the other.

Photoelectric Effect: Process by which a photon ejects an electron from an atom. All the energy of the photon is absorbed In ejecting the electron and in imparting kinetic energy to it.

Photon: A quantity of electromagnetic energy (E) whose value is the product of its Irequency ( u ) and Planck's constant (hl, The equation is: E", hu.

67

"1,

GLOSSARY

Induced Hadloactlvlty: Radioactivity produced in a substance after bombardment with neutrons or other particles. The resulting activity Is "natural radioactivity", if forme9 by nuclear reactions occurring in nature, and "artificial radioactivity" if the reactions are caused by man.

Nalural Radioacllvity: Tl1e property of radioactivity exhibited by more than fifty naturally occurring radionuclides .

RadiobIology: That branch of biology which deals with the effects of radIation on biological systems.

Radiographer. Any person who performs or personally supervises radiographic operations and who is responsible for compliance with N.R.C. regulations and conditions of the license.

Radiography: Examination of the structure of materials by nondestructIve methods utilizing sealed sources of byproduct material, or electrically generated x-rays.

Rate Recovery: The rate at which recovery takes place alter radiation Injury. I! may proceed at different rates for different tissues. "Differential recovery rate:" Among tissues recovering at different rates, those having slower rates will ultimately suffer greater damage from a series of successive Irradiations. This differentia! Is considered In fractionated radiation therapy If the neoplastic tissues have a slower recovery rate than surrounding normal structures.

Recombination: The return of an ionized atom or molecule to the neutral state.

Recovery (Radiobiology): The return toward normal of a particular ceil, tissue, or organism after radiation Injury.

Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE): The RBE is a factor used to

Background Radiation: Radiation arising from radioactive material compare the bloloqlcal effectivlness 01 absorbed'radlatlon doses (l.e.,

other than the one directly under consideration. Background radla- rads) due to different types 01 ionizing radiation.

tlon due to cosmic rays and natural radioactivity Is always present. Rem: A special unit of dose equivalent. The dose equivalent (in

There may also be background radiation due to the presence of terms) is numerically equal to the absorbed dose in rads multiplied

radioactive substances in other parts of the building, in the by the quafity factor, the distribution factor. and any other necessary

building material itself. etc. modifying factors.

External Radlallon: Radiation from a source outside the body. Roentgen: A unit of exposure to Ionizing radiation. It Is that amount of

Internal RadIatIon: Radiation from a source within the body (as a gamma or X-rays required to produce Ions carrying 1 esu of charge In

result of deposliion of radlonuclldes In body tlssues.) one cubic centimeter 01 dry air under standard conditions.

Ionizing Radlallon; Any electromagnetic or particulate capable of -S-

producing ions, directly or Indirectly, in Its passage througl1 Scaler: An electronic device which registers current pulses received

matter. over a given time interval.

Monochromatic Radiation: Electromagnetic radiation of a single Scattering: Change of direction of subatomic particles or photons as

wavelengt~, or radiation In which all the photons have the same a result of a collision or Interaction.

energy. Compton Scatterlng: The scattering of a photon by an electron.

Monoenergetic Radiation: Radiation of a given type (alpha, beta, Part of the energy and momentum of the Incident photon is

neutron, gamma, etc.) In which all particles or photons originate translered to the electron and the remaining part is carried away by

with and have the same energy. the scattered photon.

Scattered Radlatlon ; RadIation which during Its passage through Sealed Source: A radioactive source sealed In an impervious con-

,'''.'''.''.'', '''" .. ,., .. , .; .: .. , ...... .: .. , ., "" .; ,.;'LS;)P.s.lI;mc e;,.has.been.ctfflvlale.dJndlrectlon .• Jtmay,also.bave.peen",." .. ·,,,··'· .. "·taincFwhich,·,has'zuf.!iclcnt.· .. rncchanlcal .... strength,.!c ... prevent.contact.» ... ".

~odlHed by adecrease In energy_ with and dlsperslon of the radioactive malerlal under the conditions 01

Radiation Illness: An acute disorder that follows exposure to relatlvely use and wear for which It was designed.

severe doses of Ionizing radiation. It Is characterized by nausea, Shield: A body of material used to prevent or reduce the passage of

vomiting, diarrhea, blood cell changes and, In later stages, hernor- particles or radiation. A shield may be designated according to what it

rhage and loss of hair. Large doses to the hands can cause severe Is Intended to absorb (as a gamma-ray shield or neutron shield), or ac-

burns and may necessitate amputation. cording to the kind 01 protection It Is Intended to give (as a

Radfoactlvlty: The property 01 certain nuclides of spontaneously background, biological, or thermal shield). The shield of a nuclear

emitting particles or gamma radiation or of emiltlng x radiation fOI- reactor is a body of material surrounding the reactor to prevent the

lowing orbital electron capture or olunderging spontaneous fission. escape of neutrons and radiation Into a protected area, which fre-

Artificial Radioactivity: Manmade radioactivity produced by partl- quently Is the entire space external to the reactor. It may be required

cle bombardment or electromagnetic Irradla!lon, as opposed to for the safety of personnel or to reduce radiation enough to allow use

natural radloactlvity. of counting Instruments for research or for localing contamination or airborn rad loactlvit y.

Positron: Particle equal In mass to the electron and having an equal but positive charge.

Potential Difference: Work required to carry a unit positive charge. Proton: Elementary nuclear particle with a positive electrical charge equal numerically to the charge of the electron and a mass of 1.007277 mass units.

• Q.

Quality Factor (OF): The IInear-energy·transfer-dependent factor by which absorbed doses are multiplied 10 obtain (for radiation purposes) a quantity that expresses-on a common scale for all ionizing radlatlons-the effectiveness of the absorbed dose.

-R·

Rad: The unit of absorbed dose equal to 0.01 Jlkg In any medium. (See absorbed dose.) (Written: rad).

Radiation: (1) The emission and propagation of energy through space or through a material medium In the form of waves; for instance, the . emission and propagation of electromagnetic waves, or of sound and elastic waves. (2) The energy propagated through space or through a material medium as waves; for example, energy in the form of electromagnetic waves or elastic waves. The term radiation or radiant energy, when unqualified, usually refers to electromagnetic radiation. Such radiation commonly Is classified. according to frequency, as Hertzlan, infrared, visible (light), ultra-violet. x-ray. and gamma ray. (See Photon). (3) 8y extension. corpuscular emissions. such as alpha and beta radiation, or rays of mixed or unknown type, as cosmic radiation.

68

,I j

.· ... · ... ·L~··

I

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

GLOSSARY·

Specific Activity: Total activity of a givef1 nuclide per gram of a compound, element, or radioactive nuclide.

Specific Gamma·Ray Constant: For a nuclide emitting gamma radiation, the product of exposure rate at a given distance from a point source of that nuclide and the square of that distance divided by the activity of the source, neglecting attenuation.

Standard, Radioactive: A sample of radioactive material, usually with a long nalf-llte, in Which the number and type of radioactive atoms at a definite reference time is known. It may be used as a radiation source for calibrating radiation measurement equipment.

Survey, Radiological: Evaluation of the radiation hazards incident to the production, use, or existence of radloacttva materials or other sources of radiation under specific conditions. Such evaluation customarily includes a physical survey of the disposition of materials and equipment, measurements or estimates of the levels of radiation that may be Involved, and sufficient knowledge of processes using or affecting these materials to predict hazards resulting from expected or possible changes in materials or equipment.

-T·

Transmutation: Any process In which a nuclide Is transformed into a different nuclide, or more specifically, when transformed' into a different element by a nuclear reaction.

-V·

Volt: The unlt of electromotIve force (1V=1W/1A).·

Vollage, Operating: As applied to radiation detection lnstrumerus, ,"\'< voltage across the electrodes in the detecting chamber required for proper detection of an Ionizing event.

Volume, SenslUve: That portion of a counter tube or Ionization chamber which responds to a specific radiation.

·W·

Wavelength: Distance between any two similar points of two consecutive waves (N for electromagnetic radiation. The wavelength is equal to the velocity of light (c) divided by the frequency of the wave (v).)..= clu. The "effective wavelength" Is the wavelength of monochromatic X rays which would undergo the same percentage at· tenuatlon in a specified flIter as the heterogeneous beam under consideration.

AMERSHAM - RADIATION SAFETY HANDBOOK

69

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