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Winter 2013

Radiation Safety Issue 2

Ohio University Radiation Safety Office Newsletter A publication of the Ohio University Risk Management and Safety Department

Radiation Safety Handbook Update


hio University’s Broad Scope License permits the use of licensable radioactive material Radiation Safety Handbook......1 only. This license requires a Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)and a qualified Radiation Safety Training......1, 2 Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) to direct the program and criteria that must be Space Exploradeveloped and submitted by the RSO tion......2, 4 during the initial licensing, as well as subsequent license renewal processes, to be reviewed and approved by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The criteria discusses uses and users, Usage and Waste administrative controls and provisions Records......3 relating to organization and management, procedures, recordkeeping, material control and accounting, and management review that are necessary to assure compliant and safe operations. Health Physics Criteria submitted during the licensing/ Career...... 4 renewal process become incorporated into the University license (license conditions) as well as the user’s Radiation Useful Links......4 Safety Handbook, which is considered as part of the license. The Radiation Safety Handbook, as described above, will require updating Facebook to represent changes that periodically need to be made. Those periodic

In this issue:

Twitter Reading Key Required Reading Suggested Reading

corrections will be updated on the Risk Management and Safety website ( The website version of the Radiation Safety Handbook will typically be more current than hard copies and will serve as the official source of the Radiation Safety Handbook for all information therein, including forms. The Radiation Safety Office will make every attempt to notify all who have a hard copy of the handbook regarding updates as they occur. It is up to each Authorized User of radioactive material and Radiation Generating Equipment to be aware of changes made to the handbook and the fact that the website version may be more current than their hard copy. There have been many corrections to the Radiation Safety Handbook recently. They are now represented on the website as previously noted. The Radiation Safety Office will be picking up and returning everyone’s copy to make the revisions in the near future. Alan E. Watts Radiation Safety Officer

Radiation Safety Training Radiation safety training requirements for those working in restricted areas, including annual refresher training, are shown in Appendix 8 of the Radiation Safety Handbook. Please be aware of these requirements as they are mandatory for all Authorized Users (AU, also called Principal Investigators or PI) to obtain and use radioactive material, as well as Authorized Radiation Workers (ARM) for initial and

continued authorization to work in radioactive material restricted areas. Radiation Generating Equipment (RGE) users will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) as to the necessity for the four hour Radiation Safety Orientation. All X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), portable and stationery X-Ray (open beam) units, (Continued on page 2)


Winter 2013 (Continued from page 1)

fluoroscopy and any other open beam equipment will require this training. Closed beam RGE producing X-Rays under vacuum conditions will most likely be excused from the Radiation Safety orientation. Currently, all AUs and ARWs have chosen to satisfy the annual refresher training by receiving the quarterly Radiation Safety Newsletter and to sign (initial) either the newsletter or a document indicating they’ve read and understood the newsletter. Filing of the signed document is necessary for later review when asked. The Edwards Accelerator has an approved alternative training program in place, instead of using the newsletter as their annual refresher training. Alternative training to the newsletter is acceptable for any group if another option is submitted to the Radiation Safety Office for review and approval.

Occasional Visitor Training

There are many people on campus who work near or in areas where radioactive material is used or stored without directly working with it

themselves. This may include administrative/office personnel, researchers, facilities management employees, students, custodians, and others. The Radiation Safety Office within the Department of Risk Management and Safety has developed a guide to provide basic radiation safety information for ancillary or support personnel who occasionally work in designated areas posted with the radiation symbol. See Appendix 18 of the Radiation Safety Handbook for additional information. Ancillary personnel are not allowed to use or handle radioactive materials. All radioactive materials and radiation-producing devices must be labeled with the universal trefoil symbol for radiation. Only personnel properly trained by the Radiation Safety Office may handle materials or devices labeled with the radiation symbol. All individuals who have any occasion to enter a designated area as requiring training must be instructed in radiation hazards (Occasional Visitor Orientation or OVO). The instruction will be the responsibility of the licens-

ee (Authorized User). A list of these individuals who have been instructed by you will be sent annually to the Radiation Safety Office. A request for these completed forms occurs approximately every April. Special attention should be given to the custodial workers concerning cleaning and waste collection. In addition, clerical personnel should be instructed with an emphasis on the receipt of packaged radioactive material, radiation precautions in restricted areas, visitors, and emergency procedures. However, the OVO applies to any visitor or person, not directly employed by a posted laboratory, who may enter a designated area requiring such training. Please refer to the form that each licensee must sign after completing, found in the Radiation Safety Handbook, Appendix 18. Make a copy for yourself and send the signed original to Risk Management & Safety, University Service Center, Room 142. ■ Alan E. Watts Radiation Safety Officer

Space Exploration and Fuel Shortage of a Different Kind Among the many challenges of launching science experiments into space is ensuring a reliable source of power. When solar power is not an option, many spacecraft use non-

weapons-grade nuclear fuel in the form of Plutonium-238. It might be surprising to hear that the US has run out of Pu-238, and none is currently being produced. The US Department of Energy has not produced Pu-238 since the late 80’s, and more recently, Russian production has also ceased. Without a source of fuel for spacecraft, NASA is in a difficult position. Congress must act to fix this situation and decide how to allocate money for this several different sets of Congressional Committees must approve. Unfortuproject—DOE is the manufacturer nately, this has not yet happened. and NASA is the primary user. The (Continued on page 4) Administration is currently proposing to split the funds, and this means that


Winter 2013

Usage and Waste Records


lease see the Usage, Transfer, Waste Log and Survey Record for Radioactive Material (RAM) form included in this newsletter. It was designed for the users of RAM to record and track usage, waste quantities generated, transfers, and surveys performed after each occurrence. Transfers will not be discussed at this time since these must be coordinated with the Radiation Safety Office before they take place. Surveys will also not be covered. See the Radiation Safety Handbook for details. Activity removed should be indicated in µCi (micro curies) every time an aliquot of radioisotope is removed from stock. Volume units such as µL (micro liters) are acceptable if the total volume, total activity in µCi, and date received are shown on this form. A calculation can then easily deter-

mine activity in µCi. The total activity removed, as shown in this column (usage), should also be shown in the solid, liquid and/or other columns (additive). “Other” can represent activity remaining in the experiment that will eventually become waste and documented on another line at another time. “Other” can also represent other waste streams such as vials, animal carcass, or gas (atmospheric release). These conditions would be noted in the comments column. If the liquid waste is immediately released into the sanitary sewer (sink), note that in the comments column. If it is accumulating in a waste container, beware of the total activity. Each radioisotope has an activity per container limit. If met or exceeded, a label must be placed on that container regardless of contents. Some

examples of isotope container activities requiring labeling are: P32: 10 µCi; S35: 100 µCi; C14: 100 µCi; and H3: 1,000 µCi. Contact the Radiation Safety Office for other isotope container activities that require labeling. The required container labeling information includes: date of initial accumulation, isotope, activity and user name. Radiation Safety recommends everyone label all waste containers regardless of activity to ease the burden of tracking when to label. It also makes good sense to inform (label) anyone who may come into contact with a container of radioactive waste so they are aware of what they are dealing with. ■ Alan E. Watts Radiation Safety Officer


Winter 2013

(Continued from page 2) The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has recently partnered with AAS, AGU and the Association of American Universities to attempt to work out these issues with Administration officials and Congress. The shortage of Pu-238 will affect the future of NASA missions; our goal is to help Congress recognize the profound importance of fully funding the Pu238 Production Restart Project. â– 

Is a Career in Health Physics Right for You?

For those of you who want a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with a career in health physics, the Health Physics Society has prepared a video that portrays the health physics profession in several of its many facets. This video explains the nature of our radiation protection function and depicts health physicists at work in their diverse work environments. Perhaps you can picture yourself in one of these settings. â– archive/2011/3_14_11.html

USEFUL LINKS Radiation Safety Website- http:// Radiation Safety Handbook- http:// Radiation Safety Training Resources- riskandsafety/radiationsafety/training.htm Radiation Safety Committee Members- riskandsafety/radiationsafety/committee.htm Radiation Safety Newsletters newsletters.htm

Alan Watts Radiation Safety Officer 179 University Service Center (740) 593-4176

Radiation Safety Emergency Contact Name





Alan Watts* 593-4176


Crystal Brooks* 597-2950


David Schleter*



David Ingram**



Joe Adams*** 593-1667


*RMS Staff **Chair Radiation Safety Committee ***Associate Vice President, Risk Management and Safety


Radiation Safety (Winter 2013)  

Risk Management and Safety's Winter Radiotion Safety Newsletter

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