IONISING RADIATION 1.

Introduction

Over a hundred years ago, in 1895, the German Scientist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered x-rays, and a few years later, French scientists Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radioactive radium. Radiation is now very much a part of our life. The various types of radiation around us are indicated in the electromagnetic spectrum below, ranging from radio waves, which has low energy, to gamma radiation, which has high energy. In general, the radiation is divided into two types – (a) (b) that with wavelength shorter than 100 nm is classified as ionising radiation e.g. x-rays and gamma rays; and that with wavelength longer than 100 nm is classified as non-ionising radiation e.g. microwaves, radiowaves etc.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

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Types of Ionising Radiation

Ionisation occurs when an electron in the inner orbit of an atom receives sufficient energy to escape from the influence of the nucleus, causing the formation of a positive ion and a negative ion. As a result of ionisation, characteristic radiation (x-radiation) is emitted when an electron from an outer shell falls in to take the place of the electron that was ejected. Ionisng radiations cause ionisation when they pass through matter. Examples of ionising radiation are alpha and beta particles, gamma rays and x-rays. Alpha and beta particles and gamma rays are emitted spontaneously from the nuclei of unstable atoms during radioactive disintegration while x-rays are produced by the sudden deceleration of the

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electron in the strong field of the target nucleus. X-ray machines emit radiation, only when the machine is energised. When the high voltage is disconnected, no x-rays are emitted. In the case of radioactive materials, radiation is emitted continuously in a regulated manner and there is no way of stopping it. It cannot be switched off. These different types of ionising radiation have different energies: Alpha (α ) particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper or a few centimeters of air. Most Beta (β ) particles can be stopped by 1 cm of plastic. Gamma (γ ) rays and x-rays need lead for shielding, the thickness depending on the energy of the radiation.

The Penetrating Properties of Ionising Radiation 3. Activity of Radioactive Materials

The activity of a radionuclide is a measure of the radioactivity of the substance. It is determined by the number of disintegrations per second. The unit of activity is the becquerel (Bq). One Bq is defined as the quantity of radioactive material with an activity of one disintegration per second. The activity of a radioactive material varies with time exponentially, the mathematical expression being as follows: A = A0 eλ t

……………………….(1)

where A = activity at time t; A0 = initial activity; and λ = radioactive decay constant or transformation constant

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mass number and the radiations they emit. (A) 32 60 137 222 226 Atomic No. The following table shows the half-life of some radionuclides together with their atomic number.7 x 1010 Bq Equivalent Dose Equal absorbed doses of different radiations do not necessarily produce biological effects of the same magnitude. = = 3. The greater the value of λ . about one-thousandth its initial value. 3. Element Phosphorus Cobalt Cesium Radon Radium Mass No.γ α α After 2 half. After 10 half-lives.lives the activity is one quarter (1/2)2 its initial value.8 days 1620 years Radiation β β .693/λ The half-life is a characteristic of the radionuclide. It is not related to the atomic number or mass number of the material. The old unit for activity is the curie (Ci). each of which will have a different value of the radioactive decay constant λ . 3 .e. The quantity obtained after such multiplication is known as the equivalent dose i. The half-life of a radioactive substance is the time taken for its activity to fall to half of its initial value. After 3 half-lives the activity is one eighth (1/2)3 its initial value. must be multiplied by a radiation weighting factor WR which reflects the ability of the particular type of radiation to cause damage. To take this into account. one unit of absorbed dose to a tissue from alpha radiation is much more harmful than one unit of absorbed dose from beta radiation.3 years 30 years 3. T½ = 0.γ β . the activity after n half-lives is (1/2)n its initial value. The relationship between the half life and the radioactive decay constant is. For example. the absorbed dose of each type of radiation. 1 Ci 4.e. In general. the activity is (1/2)10 = (1/1024) i.7 x 1010 disintegrations per sec.Equation (1) applies to all radioactive materials. the greater the probability of decay and the smaller the activity of the radioactive material after a given time. (Z) Half-Life 15 27 55 86 88 14 hours 5.

and the exposure time. energy >2MeV Alpha particles. heavy nuclei Radiation weighting factor 1 1 5 10 20 10 5 5 20 The unit of equivalent dose is the sievert (Sv). In radiation protection. fission fragments. the distance from the source. Type of ionising radiation and energy range Photons. The old unit for the equivalent dose is expressed in rem 1 Sv 10 µ Sv = = 100 rem 1 mrem The sievert expresses biological effect on the human body. It is used to express doses received by human beings. whether there is any shielding.Equivalent Dose = Absorbed Dose x Radiation Weighting Factor The following table gives the values of radiation weighting factor for different types of ionising radiation. energy. 10 keV 10 keV to 100 keV >100keVto 2 MeV >2 MeV to 20 MeV >20 MeV Protons. all energies Neutrons. 4 . all energies Electrons and muons. it is the biological effect of radiation which is of interest. Bq) of a radioactive source. other than recoil protons. Radiation dose depends on the activity (Becquerel.

i. fatigue. The resulting chemical changes could cause harmful biological effects. Ionised molecules produce free radicals which are chemically highly reactive. The severity of the symptoms increases with dose above some clinical threshold.1 5 . The radiation energy absorbed will cause ionisation of atoms or molecules. death in days Radiation sickness (nausea. then some harm may result. but if excessive amounts of radiation are received. Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation Radiation is a form of energy. vomiting.5. Acute Effects Acute effects occur if an individual receives a high dose of radiation within a short time. loss of appetite. and genetic effects. diarrhoea. which arise only in the offspring of the irradiated persons as a result of radiation damage to the germ cells in the reproductive organs. death in hours Circulating changes. Acute effects of irradiation at different doses Dose (Sv) 1. some of this energy may be absorbed by the body. may be repaired by the body so that there is no apparent effect. and possible death). and when any radiation passes through matter. (a) Somatic effects Somatic effects may be further divided into acute effects and chronic effects. rapid emaciation. including the human body. following a short latent period epilation.000 100 10 1 Spastic seizures. This kind of effects is called non-stochastic or deterministic effects. erythema – reddening of the skin) No obvious injury Effect 0. Within certain limits. fever. Ionising Radiation can cause two main types of biological effects: (a) (b) somatic effects. decrease in life expectancy and disease resistance. death in minutes Damage to the central nervous system. in which the damage appears in the irradiated person himself. the damage thus caused. sterility.

6 . For higher doses received. with the dose of 1 Sv. Purpura and haemorrhage. This is the recovery stage during which surviving patients begin to show a general improvement and the severe symptoms tend to disappear. loss of hair (epilation). It is during this period that fatalities occur. The course of events following an exposure of 4 – 6 Sv is shown in the following Table.Statistics from Chernobyl Accident Sv <1 1-4 4-6 6 . Symptoms observed after exposure to a dose of 4 – 6 Sv Time after exposure 0 – 48 hours 2 days to 2 – 3 weeks 2 – 3 weeks to 6 – 8 weeks 6 – 8 weeks to months Symptoms observed Loss of appetite. the count could drop to lower than 30 % in 5 days and slowly recover after that.16 Casualities 105 53 23 22 Deaths 0 1 7 21 Most of the death cases were the combination of the skin burn and high radiation dose. fever and severe lethargy. The dose at which there is 50% chance of dying lies between 4 and 6 Sv depending on whether there is any hospital treatment. vomiting. nausea. fatigue and prostration The above symptoms disappear and the patient appears quite well. the lymphocyte count could drop to 60% in 5 days after exposure to radiation and recover to about 90% after 40 days. It was learnt that for the blood count. diarrhoea.

Reproduction occurs when an ovum is fertilised by a sperm. If an effect does occur. chronic effects of radiation might result. the repaired gene 7 . The offspring receives one set of genes from each parent. receiving 10 Sv in a few days may be fatal. Medical X-ray treatment Radium luminous dial painters Atomic bomb casualties. but if it were to be received over a period of many years. Medical treatment Mine workers Experiments with mice Atomic bomb casualties b. These genes reproduce periodically by cell division. However. This damage takes the form of genetic mutation in the hereditary material of the cell. the gravity of the effect does not depend on the dose received. Some Chronic Effects of Radiation Effect Leukaemia Bone Cancer Thyroid Cancer Lung Cancer Life shortening Cataract Mean Latent Period 8 – 10 years 15 years 15 – 30 years 10 – 20 years 5 – 10 years Evidence for Effect Atomic bomb casualties. Occasionally.ii. damage can occur in future generations through the appearance of mutations in the offspring of the exposed person. From available data.g. These are called “stochastic” effects. The genetic effects of radiation result from damage to the reproductive cells. it appears that the chances of chronic effects occurring increase with the dose received. a mutation will occur. generally by some external influence such as heat. called the gene. It will often repair itself but in doing so. Genetic Effects Besides causing effects on the person exposed to radiation. E. no symptoms may be apparent. These chronic effects (mainly induction of various forms of cancer) often take many years to show themselves after the radiation doses have been received. and the newly produced cells carry essentially the same characteristics as the original one. Chronic effects The human body can repair itelf and recover from radiation damage. without a threshold value. certain chemicals or radiation.

to be 20 mSv a year. if one parent has the mutated gene and the other does not. Because there is no threshold value for stochastic effects. Radiation workers are assumed to be ready to accept some occupational risk. as specified in the Radiation Protection (Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2000. The dose limit for radiation workers has been recommended by ICRP in 1990. In reproduction. there is no known threshold dose. mutations are produced by other means such as chemicals or heat.e. averaged over defined periods of 5 years and with the further provision that the effctive dose shall not exceed 50 mSv in any single year. economic and social factors being taken into account (ALARA principle). population radiation exposure must be carefully controlled and minimised. ALARA principle also applies here. by cell division. 8 . This often results in an abortion or stillbirth (lethal mutation). but it can also result in congenital malformation. while not showing evidence of damage. not be in the original pattern. Since ionising radiation can cause an increase in the mutation rate and hence the number of inherited abnormalities. will have inherited the defective gene. but this provides another reason for keeping radiation doses down to a reasonable minimum. the dose limit is 1 mSv per year. the ICRP recognises two categories of persons: (a) (b) adults who are exposed in the course of their work. follow the Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). similar damaged genes. Once pregnancy has been declared. A higher value of effective dose could be allowed in a year provided that the average over 5 years does not exceed 1 mSv per year. will help to contribute to the pool of mutations present in the population’s genes. Genetic effects are stochastic effects i. and every radiation exposure. The dose limit for radiation workers is designed to prevent the incidence of deterministic effects by keeping the dose limit below the threshold values for deterministic effects. In recommending individual dose limits. The offspring. by chance. no matter how small. the aim is not to just keep within the dose limit. Normally. it will be passed on to the offspring of the parent bearing the damaged material. The occupational dose limit for women who are not pregnant shall be the same as that of men. For members of the public. and members of the public. 6. Occupational Exposure Limits The dose limits for radiation workers and for members of the public. If. Of course. Such damaged gene will produce. both parents have the same defective gene the damage will affect the offspring. the damage will not be evident in the offspring because mutated genes are recessive. the equivalent dose limit to the surface of the woman’s abdomen shall be 2 mSv for the remainder of the pregnancy.will often. but to ensure that protection is optimised and the exposures are all kept as low as reasonably achievable.

Some radionuclides may concentrate in certain organs. the dose rate is reduced to one quarter. Each medical exposure should be justified by weighing the benefit it is expected to produce against the radiation detriment it might cause. beta particles can be stopped by a few cm of perspex. with account taken of the benefit and risk of alternative techniques that do not involve the use of ionising radiation. I-131 is selectively taken up by the thyroid.or gamma radiation where the Compton effect is predominant. but there are some basic protective actions which can minimise the dose received: (i) Distance .g. On the average.Radiation dose is proportional to the time spent in the radiation field. As mentioned earlier in the lecture. Workers should not be distracted by other tasks or by conversation.e. Control of Exposure from External Sources Any person working with radiation sources or in the vicinity of radiation sources will inevitably receive some radiation dose. (ii) (iii) 8. Shielding . However. Lead or any high atomic number material is a good shield for lower energy x-ray or gamma radiation where the Photoelectric effect is predominant and high-density concrete is a good shield for medium to high energy x. alpha particles cannot pass through a thin piece of paper or a few cm of air. Control of exposure from internal sources Sealed radioactive sources normally cause only external exposure of individuals to radiation. We may not be in a position to decide on the particulars of the radiation procedure. ingestion or directly through the skin (e.A shield in the radiation path will cause the radiation to be attenuated and also cause it to be scattered in various directions The type of shielding used will depend on the type and energy of the radiation.These dose limits do not include doses due to natural background and medical exposures (such as the use of x-rays for medical diagnosis). Work in a radiation area should be carried out quickly and efficiently.The maximum practical distance should be maintained between any part of the person’s body and the source of radiation. which might lead to greater exposure. we receive about 500 µ Sv per year from medical exposures. 7. through cuts or sores) causing the internal organs to be irradiated. Time . causing these organs to receive particularly high doses e. This is because the dose received is inversely proportional to the distance from the radiation source i. they should not try to work so fast that they make mistakes.g. Sr-90 is 9 . Distance is a very effective way of reducing dose. but unsealed sources can give rise to both internal as well as external irradiation. if the distance is doubled. Unsealed radioactive sources can enter the body by inhalation.

9. All operations likely to produce radioactive contamination of the air through the production of aerosols. The Regulations do not specify maximum permissible body burdens or maximum permissible concentrations. All methods of detection of ionising radiation are based on the ability of such radiation to cause ionisation. ALI is defined as the activity of a radionuclide which. the radionuclide will be subject to the biological half-life as well as th radioactive half-life. ionisation chamber or sodium iodide crystal. smoke or apply cosmetics inside a radioisotope laboratory where unsealed sources are being used. it is therefore necessary to take special precautions to avoid contamination of the work area as well as prevent inhalation and ingestion of the radionuclides. etc. Portable radiation monitors usually consist of a probe or detecting head and the associated electronic circuitry. All personnel shall wear protective clothing such as laboratory coats and the protective clothing shall not be used outside the laboratory. No individual shall eat. Once taken up by the body. it is fitted with a removable shield to allow 10 . be checked for radioactive contamination and be decontaminated if any is found. When handling unsealed radioactive sources. All radioisotope laboratories or workrooms shall be adequately ventilated and shall be provided with washing facilities suitable for decontamination purposes. drink. Any area used for work involving the use or handling of unsealed radioactive sources shall. They are used at radiation facilities and work sites to ensure that the radiation level is within the limits specified in the Regulations.selectively taken up by the bones. Sometimes. (a) Portable radiation monitors These are battery operated hand held meters. would irradiate the individual to the dose limit specified in the Regulations for the radiation worker. Different radionuclides have different values of ALI. The probe contains the detector . if taken alone into the human body. Instead. is specified. smoke or vapours shall be done in a fume cupboard. that the radioactive source has returned to its safe position or to check that contamination of surfaces has not occurred.a GM tube. handled or kept and every individual shall thoroughly wash his hands before leaving such a laboratory. appropriate instruments are necessary to detect and measure them. the Annual Limit on Intake (ALI) of a radionuclide for radiation workers. immediately after such work. Detecting and monitoring Since ionising radiations are not detected by the human senses. such as Geiger counters and scintillation counters. directly or indirectly.

the used card is exchanged for a fresh card. It is very useful for individuals who need to enter a radiation area to do a particular job. It is provided with an optical system. urine. Portable radiation monitors must be calibrated at periodic intervals in a radiation calibration facility. which enable the total dose in a given time to be recorded. depending on what is being tested for. (d) Monitors for Internal Radiation Contamination Measurements for internal contamination can be done on body excretions e. a quartz fibre electroscope (QFE) dosimeter or a beeper. After one/two months. Most portable survey meters are intended for dose rate measurements. and in some cases. This is considered to be the amount of radiation to which the wearer has been exposed. It is worn like a badge on the body of the radiation worker for one month or two months depending on the nature of his work. (b) Area radiation monitors The prime purpose of this type of monitoring instrument is to give an indication of the external radiation levels present in an area where ionising radiations are present. Beepers make use of miniature GM tubes in small instruments which are carried in the pocket. The used card is heated up in the TLD Reader and the amount of light emitted is proportional to the amount of radiation absorbed by the card. They produce an audible “beep” warning sound.measurements in mixed radiation fields. it will give a warning note which increases in frequency with dose rate. Area radiation monitoring systems usually are designed to respond to gamma radiation and may use either GM tubes or ionisation chambers in the detecting heads. The TLD Badge may be supplemented by the QFE dosimeter or the beeper especially for those workers involved in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) work. The QFE dosimeter or pen dosimeter. When a predetermined dose rate is exceeded. contains a quartz electroscope in a small ionisation chamber. the amount of radiation which the worker received is recorded on the TLD chips. 11 . (c) Personal Dosimeters A radiation worker can wear a personal dosimeter to determine how much radiation he receives in the course of his work. or can be made directly on the body using a whole body counter or thyroid monitor. to sound an alarm if the level exceeds a predetermined value. at a rate dependent on the radiation level. while some have integrating facilities. The advantage of this dosimeter is that it gives an immediate reading of the dose received by the wearer. This can be in the form of a Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD) badge. The TLD badge consists of two Lithium Fluoride (LiF) chips mounted on a card and encased in a special holder. During this time.g.

A typical industrial container is a metal drum – for radioactive wastes or ores. with the radiation hazard logo. ST-1. They have been amended to be in line with the latest revision of IAEA’s Regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials (IAEA Safety Standards Series No. Industrial packages. with radioactive materials inside.005 mSv/hr. For international transport.10. These Regulations are based on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) Regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials and were first implemented in 1974. Excepted packages contain low quantities of radioactive materials and surface dose rates must be less than 0. Transport of Radioactive Materials The transport of radioactive materials is controlled by the Radiation Protection (Transport of Radioactive Materials) Regulations 2000. The vehicle should never be left unguarded while parked. the radioactive source must be properly packaged and labeled. Industrial Packages are ordinary containers used for materials of low activity. rough handling and slight mishaps. The different types of packaging are: • • • • • Excepted packages. unless this individual is provided with a personal monitoring badge. and Type C packages. a licence issued by CRPNS is required. Within Singapore. shall not exceed 0. 1996 Edition). 12 . to transport radioactive materials from one place to another. They are subject to tests which simulate routine conditions such as exposure to rain. Type A packages. The radiation level at any place occupied by any individual in the vehicle. Type A packages are designed to withstand ordinary conditions of transport including minor accidents. Placards. Type B packages which are further classified into Type B(U) or Type B(M) packages. The vehicle carrying the radioactive material shall not carry any individual less than 18 years of age or any individual unconnected with the transport or use of the radioactive material. shall be placed on both sides of the vehicle whenever it is carrying radioactive material. The type of packaging and labeling required would depend on the type and quantity of the radioactive material.02 mSv/hr. as specified in the Regulations.

shall be so limited that the total sum of the transport indexes in any individual group of such packages does not exceed 50. measured in nits of mrem/hr. The Transport Index (TI) is a number assigned to a package to provide control over radiation exposure. and the maximum radiation level on the external surface of the package is 1 mSv/hr. store-room or assembly yard. Packages are assigned to either category I-WHITE. the package shall be assigned to the higher category of the two. such as a transit area.5 mSv/hr More than 1 but not More than 0.Type B packages are designed to withstand ordinary conditions of transport and severe accidents. thermal and immersion tests to demonstrate their ability to withstand severe accidents. For example. If the radiation level is determined in units of mSv/hr. Type C packages are designed to limit the potential doses to acceptable levels should the package be involved in a severe air accident. Containers for Type B packages have to be subjected to mechanical. 13 .6.05) Maximum Radiation Level at any point on external surface Not more than 0. Category I-WHITE is regarded as the lowest category.005 mSv/hr but not more than II-YELLOW more than 1 0.5 mSv/hr but not more than more than 10 2 mSv / hr More than 10 More than 2 mSv/hr but not more than 10 mSv/hr III-YELLOW III-YELLOW Where the transport index satisfies the condition for one category but the surface radiation level satisfies the condition for a different category. It is defined as the maximum radiation level at a distance of 1 m from the external surface of the package. II-YELLOW or III-YELLOW in accordance with the following the conditions specified in the following table: Conditions Transport Index (TI) 0 (including TI<0. The contents are limited to ensure that any conceivable release under accident conditions would not exceed the appropriate regulatory limits.005 mSv/hr Category I-WHITE More than 0 but not More than 0. the value determined shall be multiplied by 100. The number of category II-YELLOW and category III-YELLOW packages stored in any one storage area. if the TI of a package is 0. then the package will be assigned to category III-YELLOW. There should be a distance of at least 6 m between two such groups. terminal building.

the skin or clothing of an individual becomes contaminated. Radiation Accidents A radiation accident shall be considered to have occurred if. the licensee. is contaminated in excess of 50 times the permitted contamination limit for surfaces in such an area as specified in the Regulations.5 times for any other individual) the appropriate permitted contamination limits for skin or personal clothing as specified in the Regulations. by damage. received an effective dose which is equal to or in excess of one fifth of the dose limit as specified in the Regulations. (b) (c) (d) (e) such that – (i) any individual has. an individual enters a high radiation field by accident. Emergency Procedures When any radiation accident occurs. or could have. (ii) (iii) (iv) 12. (a) an unexpected. the radiation safety officer or the individual in charge of the area at the time shall: (a) evacuate all individuals from the affected area. any area in the premises where work with ionising radiation or radioactive material is conducted. 14 . uncontrolled high level of ionising radiation occurs as in the case of loss. the skin or personal clothing of any radiation worker is contaminated in excess of 50 times (2. or radioactive material is accidentally released into the environment in excess of the discharge level permitted by the Regulations.11. of the radiation shielding of a sealed radioactive source or of irradiating apparatus. or any other area is contaminated in excess of 10 times the permitted contamination limit for surfaces in low level laboratories as specified in the Regulations. there is a loss of control of unsealed radioactive material causing a spillage or leakage of the radioactive material.

which is to be confirmed in writing within 48 hours and a final full written report within 10 days.(b) block off the affected area (including all locations where the radiation level exceeds 25 µ Sv/hr). place and nature of the accident. the area over which any radioactive substance may have been dispersed and the degree of contamination. ensure that any contamination in excess of the permitted limit for skin and clothing of any individual is removed before the individual leaves the premises. to return the situation to normal. (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) The licensee or the radiation safety officer shall inform the Director-General of Environment Protection. and (b) (c) (d) 15 . monitor and decontaminate any affected individual and the area and take all other actions necessary. National Environment Agency of the occurrence of the accident by means of a preliminary oral report within 24 hours. any individual who may have suffered radiation exposure and the assessment of the effective dose received by the individual. The preliminary written report shall. ensure that any personal clothing or other private property which is contaminated by radioactive materials is not taken from the premises or released to a public laundry until it can be shown that the contamination does not exceed the permitted contamination limit. take immediate action to reduce the hazards caused by the radiation accident. make arrangements to provide temporary shielding. where possible contain and the final full written report shall contain details of: (a) the time. the actions taken to rectify the accident situation and to minimise the possibility of any future recurrence. and post warning signs at all its entrances. the number of individuals affected and the manner in which they were affected and the period during which there was loss of control of ionising radiation or of radioactive material. and refer affected individuals for medical observation and treatment.

is the controlling authority for the safe use of ionising and non-ionising radiation in Singapore.(e) the results of medical examinations carried out on affected individuals. and in the case of any internal exposure of individuals. Legislation on Ionising Radiation in Singapore Because of the harmful effects of radiation. the following licences are issued by the Centre for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Science: Licence L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L6A L7 Description Fee $ to manufacture. the Radiation Protection Act (Chapter 262 of the 1992 Revised Edition) was repealed and re-enacted to transfer the authority from the Health Sciences Authority to the National Environment Agency. In 2007. 1974 was amended to incorporate the latest recommendations of dose limits by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). transport. 13. Under the Radiation Protection Act and the Radiation Protection (Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2000. the Radiation Protection Regulations and the Radiation Protection (Transport of Radioactive Materials) Regulations were implemented in 1974. National Environment Agency. This is to control the import/export.were also amended to be in line with the latest revision of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) regulations on the transport of radioactive materials. Under this Act. possession and use of radioactive materials and irradiating apparatus. possess for sale or deal in radioactive 210 materials to keep or possess an irradiating apparatus for use (other 155 than sale) to keep or possess radioactive materials for use (other than 155 sale) To use irradiating apparatus (other than sale) 145 To use. the Radiation Protection Act was implemented in 1973. The regulation was gazetted as Radiation Protection (Ionising Radiation) Regulations 2000. CRPNS administers the Radiation Protection Act and Regulations through a system of licensing and inspections. sale. the results of biological monitoring. or otherwise deal in 210 irradiating apparatus to manufacture. The Radiation Protection Regulations. possess for sale. handle and transport radioactive materials (other 145 than sale) To handle and transport radioactive materials 155 To import or export a consignment of irradiating apparatus 40 per 16 . The Radiation Protection (Transport of Radioactive Materials) Regulations 1974 . The Centre for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Science (CRPNS).

nea. a wipe test must be done for all sealed radioactive sources once every 12 months to ensure that they are not leaking. Personal monitoring service is provided by CRPNS for all radiation workers in Singapore. An individual is considered a radiation worker if his/her work (a) involves the use or handling of any radioactive substance. Under the Regulations. The L5/L6 licensee must be a person in a supervisory position. Under the Regulations. He/she must show documentary proof of his/her knowledge or pass a test set by CRPNS. It is a requirement in the Regulations that the radiation worker must wear his TLD badge whenever he is doing radiation work. The R1 radiation workers are supposed to work under the supervision of the L5/L6 licensee who in turn is obligated to instruct them on matters related to radiation safety. Any one else in the organisation involved in radiation work must be registered as a radiation worker (R1).sg/cms/htdocs/category_sub.L8 R1 consignment To import or export a consignment of radioactive 40 per materials. The L5/L6 licensee is responsible for the safe use and storage of the radiation sources. He/she has to be able to account for the radiation sources specified in his/her licence.asp?cid=262 A separate licence to keep or possess irradiating apparatus shall be required for each irradiating apparatus. to ensure that the doses they receive in the course of their work do not exceed the dose limit as specified in the Regulations. no individual below the age of 18 years can be engaged in radiation work.gov. The personal monitoring device used is the Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD) in the form of a badge. 17 . In the event of any infringement or radiation accident. (b) involves the use or operation of any irradiating apparatus. such that he is liable to receive a dose in excess of one-tenth of the dose limit for radiation workers. or (c) is required to be carried out in proximity to any irradiating apparatus or radioactive substance or both . and knowledgeable on radiation safety. consignment To register as a radiation worker 105 Licence application forms may be downloaded from the NEA website http://app. he/she is responsible and will have to answer to CRPNS. The applicants for L5/L6 licence and R1 registration must undergo medical examination including a full blood count to ensure that they are medically fit for radiation work.

The design of each installation or laboratory with respect to shielding. 20 Bq H-3 and 4300 Bq K-40. Radiation is all around us and in us. calculated from the total amount of carbon. The area within the boundary shall be evacuated with the exception of the radiation workers who are involved with the work. warning devices. in a shipyard. Particular care should be taken when radiation work is to be done at a site where other work is being done e. the radiation workers must also ensure that there is no one around doing over-time work. it should be properly disposed of by returning it to supplier. The loss of any radioactive source must be reported to the Director-General of Environmental Protection. National Environment Agency immediately. ventilation and surface finishes must meet the requirements of the application. When a radiation source is operating at its maximum rating in an enclosed room. the air we breathe and the food that we eat all contain naturally occurring radionuclides. This would usually mean that radiation work can only be done at lunch time or after normal working hours when all the other workers have gone home. It is not allowed to dispose of any radioactive sources in Singapore. All radioactive materials. The licensee or safety officer must ensure that the area is vacated before radiation work begins. shall be placed all around the worksite such that the radiation level at the barricade does not exceed 25 µ Sv/hr. instrumentation. Even our body contains radionuclides – approximately 3000 Bq C-14. water and potassium in the human body and the percentage of the radioactive component 18 . the building materials for our houses. To ensure safe practice. When a sealed source no longer has a useful purpose. But even at such hours. irradiating apparatus and radiation areas must be appropriately labeled to give adequate warning of radiation hazards. layout. there should be a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) when working with radiation and an emergency contingency plan in case an accident happens. the radiation level outside the room. a barricade with the radiation hazard logo. 14. The 25 µ Sv/hr boundary would cover an area where many people are performing non-radiation work. interlocks.Survey meters must also be calibrated at least once in every 12 months to ensure that they are in good working condition. If radiation work is done at a field site. We are subjected to external and internal radiation because the ground that we walk on.g. which is accessible to any individual. Conclusion Natural radiation cannot be avoided. A police report must also be made and a copy of this report to be sent to CRPNS. shall not exceed 10 µ Sv/hr.

000 1 in 17.000 1 in 3000. we are exposed to cosmic radiation – the higher the plane flies. People seem to be afraid of radiation because radiation cannot be seen or heard and there is no smell. Only the effects of radiation can be seen.000 1 in 40. that are part of everyday life.000 When we travel by air.000 1 in 20. furniture.that is normally present.000 1 in 5. The dose received by each one of us from background ionising radiation is about 1 – 2 mSv a year on the average. drink and tobacco Textiles Clothing and footwear Risk of Death per year 1 in 400 1 in 4. the higher the radiation level as indicated in the following table: 19 .000 1 in 7. etc All employment Radiation Workers (4 mSv/yr) Food.000 1 in 20. Average annual risk of death in the UK from accidents in various industries and from cancers potentially induced among radiation workers Industries Deep Sea Fishing Coal Mining Construction Metal Manufacture Timber. The level of risk experienced by a radiation worker may be judged by comparison with fatal risks.000 1 in 30. This excludes the dose from medical and dental x-rays. self imposed or otherwise.

If he travels by supersonic aircraft (Concord).Altitude Sea level 2.2 5.0 13 µ Sv per hour µ Sv per hour µ Sv per hour µ Sv per hour It has been calculated that a person travelling across the Atlantic from New York by normal transatlantic flight which takes about 7 hrs 25 min will receive about 50 µ Sv from cosmic radiation per trip. 20 .1 0.03 µ Sv per hour 0. but he will receive about 40 µ Sv from cosmic radiation per trip because the concord flies higher.000 m 12.000 m Dose equivalent rate from cosmic radiation 0.000 m 20.000 m 4. it will take 2hrs 35 min.