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Radiation Safety Refresher Training for 2007


The results of the intensive audits of several labs conducted in 2006 by the ... The procedure for ordering & transferring radioactive materials ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Radiation Safety Refresher Training for 2007

Radiation Safety Refresher Training for 2007
  • Sue Dupre, Radiation Safety Officer
  • Stephen Elwood, Assistant RSO

Training topics for 2007
  • The results of the intensive audits of several
    labs conducted in 2006 by the Radiation Safety
  • The procedure for ordering transferring
    radioactive materials
  • The procedure for receiving and securing rad
    packages in the labs
  • Two contamination episodes
  • A few administrative reminders
  • A discussion of the Agreement State process
    initiated by NJ to take over all regulation of
    radioactive material

Audit Findings
  • Each year, the Radiation Safety Committees audit
    teams find
  • fewer significant issues. But some problems are
  • Although we believe that researchers consistently
    perform postoperational surveys, some people do
    not record their surveys in the Survey Logs.
  • Remember it is a requirement of the University
    license to document your postoperational surveys
  • If you use H-3, also be sure to enter the wipe
    test results into the Survey Log.

Audit Findings (contd)
  • EHS staff observed a person performing
    radioisotope work without a lab coat.
  • Certain protective clothing must be worn for work
    with any open source
  • Lab coat
  • Gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes (no sandals permitted)

Ordering Radioactive Materials
  • There were two cases this past year in which
    orders for
  • radioactive materials were mistakenly placed as
    non-rad reqs
  • In one case, a new administrative assistant did
    not know she was ordering rad materials and used
    the wrong Commodity Code in PeopleSoft
  • In the 2nd case, the lab manager was on vacation.
    The lab members who filled in for the lab
    manager did not realize that there is a special
    PeopleSoft Commodity Code for radioisotopes
  • The correct Commodity Code for rad materials is
  • As a result these orders were not routed to EHS
    for approval. However, other precautions exist
    to catch incorrect orders.

Ordering Rad Materials (contd)
  • Not everyone is familiar with the terminology for
    radioactive materials. Make sure that the person
    who actually places the req in PeopleSoft knows
    that the req is for radioactive material.
  • Train new admin assistants and lab managers in
    how to place rad orders!

Replacement Orders
  • Our vendors are generally willing to replace
    orders if you believe the material that arrived
    is of poor or questionable quality (for instance,
    if the dry ice is all gone)
  • Do not call the vendor to request a replacement.
    Instead, call EHS. EHS will work with Purchasing
    and the vendor to get you a replacement order.

Generally Licensed Devices
  • Generally Licensed Devices are devices that
    contain radioactive material and which are
    allowed by regulation to be purchased without any
    special license from the NRC.
  • Some examples include Electron Capture Detectors
    in gas chromatographs, self-luminous exit signs,
    static eliminators, lead paint analyzers, liquid
    scintillation counters, etc.
  • However, such devices often have special
    requirements for leak
  • tests and special disposal requirements that
    must be managed
  • through the Radiation Safety Officer at the

If you receive a device that contains a notice
that it contains radioactive material, notify EHS
Ordering X-ray Equipment
  • A new x-ray machine was discovered as it was
    being unloaded at the loading dock.
  • EHS did not know this machine had been ordered.
  • NJ DEP requires that x-ray units be registered
    and surveyed. Special x-ray safety training and
    radiation monitoring badges must be provided to
    x-ray users.
  • Consult EHS ASAP if you plan to acquire x-ray

Transferring Radioactive Materials between
University Labs
  • If you loan radioactive materials to another lab,
    you must go to the EHS website to check whether
    the borrowing lab is authorized to possess that
  • At the EHS website, click on Radiation Safety and
    then click on Radioisotope Transfer on the side
  • Youll see a form (see the next slide) which will
    allow you to enter the name of the borrowing lab,
    the name of your lab, the isotope, and the amount
    to be transferred.
  • After you click Submit, you will see a screen
    that tells you whether you can proceed to
    transfer material to the borrowing lab.
  • At the same time, an automatic e-mail notice is
    sent to EHS to notify EHS that a transfer has
    been made.

Transferring Radioactive Materials between
University Labs
Receipt Security of Rad Materials
  • Recently a rad package was found unsecured on a
    lab bench
  • in an empty lab. This is a violation of our
    license conditions.
  • When a rad package is delivered to the lab
  • Lock the package away immediately or remove the
    stock vial from the packaging and lock the vial
  • Do not set the package aside with the intention
    of securing it later. 
  • If you are unable to lock the package away right
    away, do not sign for the package. Ask someone
    else to sign for the package or ask that it be
    redelivered later.
  • Promptly notify the end user that the package has

Contamination Episode No.1
  • An instance of wrist contamination occurred when
    wash water leaked inside gloves during clean-up
    of glassware. Contamination was detected and was
    washed away immediately.
  • EHS was notified immediately and verified that
    the skin had been successfully decontaminated.
  • EHS must be notified about any condition of skin
    contamination even if you believe it has been
    completely cleaned.
  • This was a very minor incident, but it
    demonstrates that skin contamination can be dealt
    with very easily if it is found promptly.

Contamination Episode No. 2
  • First thing in the morning, a hybridization tube
  • P-32 was discovered to have leaked inside an oven
  • near the main lab entrance.
  • As a first step, the researcher carried the tube
    down the
  • center of the lab to the radioisotope hood for
  • How would you have responded?

Contamination Episode No. 2
  • Hopefully, you would have left the tube right
    where it was in the
  • oven and then would have called EHS immediately.

This is what happened as a result of moving that
leaking tube . After moving the tube, the
researcher called EHS. When Sue Dupre arrived at
the lab, she immediately surveyed the vicinity of
the oven and found substantial contamination on
the floor in front of the oven and then
eventually in a number of other places on the
floor between the oven and the hood. The shoes
of everyone who had entered the lab so far that
morning were contaminated. Always suspect floor
contamination. If nothing else is available,
wrap your shoes in saran wrap. Shoes were
decontaminated or were bagged and set aside for a
few months.
Contamination Episode No. 2
  • Most of the lab surveys and decontamination were
  • performed by Mike Fredericks, Sue, and two other
  • radioisotope users in the lab.
  • It is very important to realize that any lab
  • involved in a contamination incident are expected
  • stop what they are doing and work with us to
  • decontaminate, and close out the incident.

Administrative Other Matters
Reminder Declared Pregnant Worker Program
  • A pregnant woman may choose to formally declare
    her pregnancy.
  • The fetal dose limit is 500 mrem for a Declared
    Pregnant Worker.
  • If you become pregnant, consider consulting with
    Sue Dupre for additional information and to
    determine if it makes sense to declare your
    pregnancy. Sue would be happy to keep your
    inquiry confidential.
  • More details are available at the EHS website.

New Chair of the Radiation Safety Committee
  • Prof. James Broach has been the Chair of the
  • Safety Committee for over a decade, but he has
    just retired.
  • The new Chair is Prof. Elizabeth Gavis (Molecular
  • Feel free to contact Prof. Gavis at
  • with your comments, complaints, or compliments on
  • radiation safety program.

Web-Based Dose Reports
  • Each time a new set of dose reports arrives, EHS
    sends out an e-mail notice to everyone who is
  • Log in through DBToolbox, using your NetID and
    LDAP password. Enter your Badge Participant
  • Any problems? A few browser-related problems
    have occurred. Please let EHS know if you have
    any problems seeing your report.


Lab Survey Reports
Once a month our radiation safety techs visit
your lab to perform contamination surveys and
compliance inspections. After the survey, EHS
sends a survey report to the lab manager or the
lab contact. A portion of the report is shown
Sometimes lab members are concerned when wipes
with activity greater than Minimum Detectable
Activity is reported (as shown above).

Lab Survey Reports (contd)
What if your report indicates the presence of
activity gt MDA? Is that a condition of concern?
Lab Survey Reports (contd)
  • Remember that counting radioactivity is a
    statistical process. Background varies and could
    be unusually low.
  • EHS always expects to see some wipes that exceed
    MDA ( 5 10 dpm).
  • EHS regards activity of 15-20 dpm or more as
    truly indicative of contamination.
  • EHS will contact the lab by phone or e-mail when
    contamination gt 100 dpm is found on a wipe or if
    a pattern of low-level contamination is found,
    for instance, if several contaminated wipes with
    activity lt 100 dpm are found.

NJDEP and the Agreement State Process
  • When the regulatory process for radioactive
    materials was first established by Congress many
    years ago, the regulation of most radioactive
    materials was turned over to the federal
  • However, Congress established a process by which
    a state could apply to the Nuclear Regulatory
    Commission and take over the regulation of
    radioactive materials under certain conditions.
    When a state reaches such an agreement with the
    NRC, the state is called an Agreement State.
  • In May of 2006, Gov. Corzine notified the NRC
    that NJ wants to pursue Agreement State status.

The Agreement State Process (contd)
  • NJDEP is fast-tracking the process and expects to
    take over all radioactive materials oversight by
    August 2009.
  • The NRC will take a year to review NJs
    application for Agreement State status.
  • NJs regs must be at least as conservative as the
    NRCs, though they are permitted to be even more
    conservative. NJ regulations are expected to be
    in conformity with NRC regs initially.
  • NRC periodically reviews Agreement State programs
    and may rescind Agreement State status if a state
    does not perform satisfactorily.

The Agreement State Process (contd)
  • The two biggest changes that will result from
    Agreement State status are
  • The University will be charged annual fees by NJ
    DEP (the NRC exempts non-profit educational
    institutions from fees, but Agreement States
    typically do not have such exemptions).
  • Our inspections will be conducted by NJDEP staff
    who may have a different perspective and a
    different degree of experience than NRC
  • We hope that the switch to Agreement State status
    will have little impact for University
  • Expect further updates as we get closer to August

  • Your questions, comments and feedback are
  • Contact Sue at 8-6252 or Steve at 8-6271
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