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Radiation Awareness Training


Radiation Awareness Training Elayna Mellas Radiation Safety Officer Environmental Health & Safety Manager Clarkson University Downtown Snell 155 Tel: 315-268-6640 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Radiation Awareness Training

Radiation Awareness Training
Elayna Mellas Radiation Safety Officer Environment
al Health Safety Manager Clarkson
University Downtown Snell 155 Tel
315-268-6640 emellas_at_clarkson.edu
This training course has been partially
adapted from slides provided by Steve Backurz,
Radiation Safety Officer of The University of New
  • What is radiation / radioactivity?
  • What makes radiation harmful?
  • Radiation dose - how much is too much?
  • Background radiation your exposure can
  • never be zero
  • How are you protected at Clarkson?
  • Emergencies
  • Ordering and receiving radioactive material
  • at Clarkson
  • Questions?

  • Where Does
  • Radioactivity Come From?
  • All matter is made up of atoms
  • Atoms are the smallest component of an element,
    comprised of three particles
  • Protons
  • Neutrons
  • Electrons
  • Protons and neutrons
  • are in the central nucleus
  • Electrons orbit the nucleus

What is Radioactivity?
  • Definition a collection of unstable atoms that
    undergo spontaneous transformation that result in
    new elements.
  • An atom with an unstable nucleus will decay
    until it becomes a stable atom, emitting
    radiation as it decays
  • The amount of radioactivity (called activity)
    is given by the number of nuclear decays that
    occur per unit time (decays per minute).

The Curie
  • A unit of activity defined by the number of
    radioactive decays from a gram of radium
  • 1 Curie (Ci) 2.22 E12 disintegrations/min (dpm)
  • Sub-multiples of the Curie millicurie 1 mCi
    2.22 E9 dpm
  • microcurie 1 uCi 2.22 E6 dpm
  • International units 1 bequerel 1
    disintegration / sec
  • Typical activities used at Clarkson University
    are in the ?Ci to mCi range

  • Definition energy in the form of particles or
  • Types of radiation
  • Ionizing removes electrons from atoms
  • Particulate (alphas and betas)
  • Waves (gamma and X-rays)
  • Non-ionizing (electromagnetic) can't remove
    electrons from atoms
  • infrared, visible, microwaves, radar, radio
    waves, lasers

Electromagnetic Spectrum
Formation of a charged and reactive atom
Ejected electron
Beta particle
Colliding coulombic fields
The neutral absorber atom acquires a positive
Why is Radiation Harmful?
  • Radiation deposits small amounts of energy, or
    "heat" in matter
  • Alters atoms
  • Damage to cells DNA causes mutations and cancer
  • Similar effects may occur from chemicals
  • Much of the resulting damage is from the
    production of ions

Radiation Dose
  • Human dose is measured in rem or millirem
  • 1000 mrem 1 rem
  • 1 rem poses the same risk for any type of
    ionizing radiation
  • internal or external
  • alpha, beta, gamma, x-ray, or neutron
  • External radiation exposure measured by dosimetry
  • Internal radiation exposure measured using
    bioassay sample analysis

Acute Exposure
  • Large doses received in a short time period
  • accidents
  • nuclear war
  • cancer therapy
  • Short term effects (acute radiation syndrome 150
    to 350 rad whole body)
  • Anorexia Nausea
  • Fatigue Vomiting
  • Epilation Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhage Mortality

Acute Effects of Whole Body Exposure on Man
Chronic Exposure
  • Doses received over long periods
  • Background radiation exposure
  • Occupational radiation exposure
  • 50 rem acute vs 50 rem chronic
  • acute no time for cell repair
  • chronic time for cell repair
  • Average US will receive 20 - 30 rems lifetime
  • Long term effects
  • Increased risk of cancer, genetic defects
  • 0.07 per rem lifetime exposure
  • Normal risk 25 (cancer incidence)

Background Radiation
  • Your exposure to radiation can never be zero
    because background radiation is always present
  • Natural sources radon gas
  • Cosmic rays
  • Terrestrial (uranium-235)
  • Healing arts diagnostic X-rays,
  • Nuclear weapons tests fallout
  • Research with radioisotopes
  • Consumer products
  • Miscellaneous air travel, transportation of
    radioactive material

Annual Dose from Background Radiation
Consumer Products
  • Tobacco (Po-210)
  • Smoke detectors (Am-241)
  • Welding rods (Th-222)
  • Television (low levels of X-rays)
  • watches other luminescent products (tritium or
  • Gas lantern mantles
  • Fiesta ware (Ur-235)
  • Jewelry

Smoke Detectors
  • Alpha particles from americium-241 (red lines)
    ionize the air molecules (pink and blue spheres).
    The ions carry a small current between two
    electrodes. Smoke particles (brown spheres)
    attach to ions reducing current and initiate

Fiesta Ware
Luminous Watches
Hands and dials contain H-3 or radium that glows
in the dark
Nuclear Medicine
X-rays and fluoroscopes are used to look inside
the body
Radioactive Material at Clarkson
  • Activities are licensed by the State of New York
  • Radiation Safety Committee has responsibility to
    review, approve, and oversee activities
  • Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) runs program
  • Clarkson is required to
  • Train individuals that use sources of radiation
  • Train non-radiation workers that work in the
    vicinity of radiation sources
  • Monitor and control radiation exposures
  • Maintain signs, labels, postings
  • Manage and properly dispose of radioactive waste

Research at Clarkson Using Radiation Sources
  • Radioactive materials (both open and sealed
    sources such as S-35, P-32, C-14, H-3, Ra-226,
  • Gas chromatographs (sealed sources)
  • Liquid scintillation counters (sealed sources for
    internal standards)
  • X-ray diffraction equipment
  • Electron microscopes

Standards for Protection Against Radiation
  • Occupational limits
  • 5,000 mrem / year TEDE
  • 50,000 mrem / year CDE (any single organ)
  • 15,000 mrem / year lens of the eye
  • Members of public
  • 100 mrem / year
  • No more than 2 mrem in any one hour in
    unrestricted areas from external sources
  • Declared pregnant females (occupational)
  • 500 mrem / term (evenly distributed)

Anticipated Exposures
  • Non radioactive workers must receive less than
    100 mrems / year
  • Average annual background exposure for U.S.
    population 360 mrem / year
  • State and federal exposure limits for radiation
    workers 5000 mrem / year
  • Anticipated exposures Less than the minimum
    detectable dose for film badges (likely less than
    10 mrem / month) - essentially zero

Access Restriction
  • Required by license and NY regulations
  • Security and control of radioactive material

Posting of Radiation Areas
All radiation areas are posted with warning
signs Use caution when entering and working in a
radiation area If any container is labeled
radioactive do not disturb
If you have questions or concerns call Craig
Woodworth, radiation safety officer, 268-2391,
Room 147 Science Center
Emergency Response
  • Fire in radioactive areas
  • Notify Fire Department and RSO, clear the area of
    people. Remove any seriously wounded persons.
    Keep your distance
  • Notify RSO if you suspect
  • Inhalation, ingestion or other intake of
    radioactive material
  • Accidental release of radioactive material into
    the environment

Radiation Protection Basics
  • Time minimize the time that you are in contact
    with radioactive material to reduce exposure
  • Distance keep your distance. If you double the
    distance the exposure rate drops by factor of 4
  • Shielding
  • Lead, water, or concrete for gamma X-ray
  • Thick plastic (lucite) for betas
  • Protective clothing protects against
    contamination only - keeps radioactive material
    off skin and clothes

Radiation Exposure Will Not Make You Radioactive
  • Radiation energy in the form of particles and
  • Radioactive material material that is unstable
    and emits radiation
  • Contamination radioactive material where it is
    not wanted
  • Campfire example burning logs (radioactive
    material), heat (radiation), burning embers that
    escape the controlled area (contamination)

Shipping Radioactive Materials
Since the atomic energy industry began over 50
years ago, there has been an excellent record of
safety in transportation of nuclear
material Over 4 million packages containing
radioactive material are transported annually
within the US To date, there have been no deaths
or serious injuries
Ordering Receiptof Radioactive Materials
  • Only the RSO is authorized to order radioactive
    material at Clarkson
  • When packages are received, call the RSO. He will
    check for contamination, and deliver to the
    package to the lab on the same day as receipt
  • All packages containing radioactive materials
    must be secured to prevent theft or loss
  • If any package is damaged, do not handle. Call
    the RSO immediately and ask the carrier to stay
    to be checked for contamination

Labels on Packages of Radioactive Material
Radioactive white I almost no radiation (0.5
mR/hr or 0.005 mSv/hr) maximum on the surface
Radioactive yellow II low radiation levels (50
mR/hr or 0.05 mSv/hr) maximum at 1 meter
Labels on Packages of Radioactive Material
Radioactive yellow III higher radiation levels
(200 mR/hr or 2 mSv/hr) maximum on surface. 10
mR/hr or .1 mSv/hr maximum at 1 meter.
The transport index is the maximum radiation
level (mR/hr) at 1 meter from the surface of an
undamaged package.
Your Role in Radiation Protection
  • Dont touch or move anything with radioactive
    material labels.
  • Report anything that looks out of the ordinary
  • If you are uncertain about what to do, where to
    go, requirements, or exposures
  • Call the people on the emergency number list
  • Call the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)
  • Elayna Mellas
  • 268-6640
  • Call 911

This training course has been partially
adapted from slides provided by Steve Backurz,
Radiation Safety Officer of The University of
New Hampshire.
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