The Role of the Radiation Protection Adviser
The Radiation Protection Adviser has a different, separate and independent role to the company Radiation Protection Officer. The Radiation Protection Adviser is an independent ‘qualified expert’ who will assist persons working with sources of ionising radiation to comply with the regulatory requirements and offer on-going technical advice and guidance to ensure that the standards of radiological protection as required by law are effectively implemented.
While the Radiation Protection Adviser is likely to provide guidance on many areas of radiological protection, the legislation specifically states that the RPA must be consulted on the following matters:
- The examination and testing of protective devices and measuring instruments.
- The prior critical examination of plans for installations from the point of view of radiation protection.
- The acceptance into service of new or modified sources from the point of view of radiation protection.
- The regular checking of the effectiveness of protective devices and techniques.
- The regular calibration of measuring instruments and the regular checking that they are serviceable and correctly used.
Radiation Protection Adviser Annual Contracts
Annual contracts are provided to all clients which can include the following services:
- Annual on-site radiation safety audit to identify any areas of non-compliance and to provide advice and guidance with regard to complying with EPA licence or registration conditions, radiation safety procedures, and all relevant legislative requirements.
- Provision of a confidential annual detailed written audit report, outlining areas of compliance, non-compliance and recommendations / advice for improvements where required.
- Assistance in the review / updating of radiation safety procedures and risk assessments.
- Annual retention service to allow for on-going advice and guidance throughout the year by telephone or e-mail.
- Contracts will vary depending on the client’s needs and no contract is considered too large or too small. Once the client’s needs are identified an RPA contract proposal is issued to the client. This contract can be reviewed, renewed and amended if necessary as time goes on.
Additional services that clients may wish / need to include in their annual RPA contract
Leak Testing of Sealed Sources of Ionising Radiation
Leak tests are required by law for all sealed sources of Ionising Radiation, and must be undertaken at least once every 2 years. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake any leak tests required and provide a leak test certificate.
Radiochemical Analysis of Radioactive Materials
Occasionally it may be necessary to analyse radioactive substances to determine the type, amount (activity), and concentration (specific activity) of radionuclides present in a material. This may be necessary to determine if a substance needs to be included on your EPA licence or for example to make decisions with regard to dose and exposure, or with regard to responsible waste management, control and disposal.
We can arrange to take samples of materials and have them analysed appropriately (for example by gamma spectrometry or liquid scintillation counting), and provide a report outlining the results of analysis and providing relevant recommendations and guidance.
Radiation Dose Rate Measurements and Surveys
Radiation dose rate surveys may be required where high energy sealed sources of ionising radiation or x-rays are in use to ensure that adequate shielding and control measures are in place to protect employees, visitors or members of the public. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake these surveys and provide reports with results and relevant advice and guidance.
Development of Emergency Response Plans
Regulation 58 of the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Regulations, 2019 requires that emergency response plans must be compiled to assess the possibility of a radiological emergency resulting from practices undertaken, to evaluate the likely distribution of radioactive substances in the event of a radiological emergency and to ensure that appropriate control measures are in place to deal with the various type of emergency that might reasonably occur.
Radiation Safety Ireland can prepare such a detailed Emergency Response Plan for clients and submit same to the EPA, following discussion and collaboration with various emergency services where necessary.
Risk Assessments & Radiation Safety Procedures
Regulations 31 and 32 of the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Regulations, 2019, requires that the undertaking shall make an assessment of the risks to any workers or member of the public for the purposes of identifying the protective measures needed to restrict exposure to ionising radiation. Radiation Safety Procedures must be prepared in consultation with the Radiation Protection Adviser to identify the manner in which the safety health and welfare of workers will be secured for work involving ionising radiation.
Risk assessments are required for all new work activities with ionising radiation, or where there are changes in the way an undertaking performs their activities that may impact on radiological safety.
Radiation Safety Procedures and Radiation Risk Assessments must be prepared and reviewed on an ongoing basis in consultation with your Radiation Protection Adviser.
Radiation Contamination Monitoring
Contamination monitoring can be undertaken on a routine scheduled basis if required, or following an incident for example an accident or spillage. Reports are provided following contamination monitoring outlining the results of monitoring and their significance with regard to regulatory compliance.
Laboratory Clearance Surveys and Certification
Where unsealed radionuclide laboratory facilities are being vacated, sold or undergoing a change of use, a laboratory clearance survey should be undertaken to ensure that all radionuclide source and waste materials have been removed and dealt with appropriately. Such surveys also ensure that no radioactive contamination is evident on any surface in the laboratory, for example, walls, floors, benching, fume cupboards etc. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake such a survey and provide a Laboratory Clearance Certificate.