Radiation Protection Glossary
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Cherenkov radiation is Electromagnetic
(non-ionising) radiation emitted when a charged particle (e.g. an Electron
) passes through a medium (e.g. water) at a speed greater than that of light in the medium. This can be seen as the characteristic "blue glow" where sources of large activity (e.g. irradiator sources or spent nuclear fuel) are stored under water.
Exposure to sources of Ionising Radiation
over a long period of time, possibly resulting in adverse health effects such as cancer or genetic disorders in offspring of exposed parents. Likely result of a Probabilistic
effect of ionising radiation.
With respect to Radiation Protection
, a closed source is is a source of Ionising Radiation
in the form of Radioactive
material which is encapsulated or otherwise contained. The implication is that closed radioactive material can not escape and will not cause a Contamination
hazard. Closed sources have many applications including use in irradiators (food and products), medical blood irradiators and density gauges. Whilst the term 'Closed Source' is comparable with 'Sealed Source'
, it is defined in a particular way in some of the UK legislation (e.g. see Exemption Orders).
More accurately known as Collective Effective dose
. This quantity is derived from summing the individual effective doses within an exposed population (or workforce). One type of unit to express this quantity is the man Sv. This quantity has been used to assess overall detriment
and therefore as an aid to decision making techniques in optimising radiation protection (e.g. Risk Assessment
). It is less well used nowadays where dose constraints are preferred instead .
Any household product that contains a quantity of radioactive
material yielding Ionising Radiation
for reasons of functionality of that item. Examples include ionisation
smoke detectors and luminising items such as watches and clocks which contain radium
. Consumer products from by-gone-days are a potentially significant radiation hazard.
Usually an undesirable situation where radioactive
material in an Unsealed Source
(open source) state is present in the working environment, or otherwise un-contained and not required. Contamination can either be loose (easily removed) or fixed. Loose contamination is usually of more concern since intakes of radioactive material through Inhalation
With respect to Radiation Protection
, contingency means preparing for, and taking action, in the event of an unplanned release of Radioactive
material or other unplanned Radiation
incident which could lead to radiation exposure to the individual, the population or environment. Contingency may be determined by simple risk assessment or by a more comprehensive Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA)
as part of a Safety Case. Usually contingency arrangements deal with Reasonably Foreseeable
(credible) events, although for some industries (e.g. nuclear), the contingency plans have to be extendable.
Controlled Area is defined in the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999. A Controlled Area is an area where any person is likely to receive more than 6 mSv
(or 3/10 of any other UK Dose Limit
) and / or an area where specific and detailed procedures need to be followed in order to restrict exposure from Ionising Radiation
and ensure that doses are ALARP
originating from outside the Earth's atmosphere. The term 'cosmic ray' can actually include a number of classes of high energy radiation including Gamma Rays
The term 'credible' is used in a number of areas of Radiation Protection
, including Risk Assessments
, Safety Cases and Probabilistic Safety Assessments
. Credible can be taken to mean an incident or accident which is thought to be Reasonably Foreseeable
. Credible can be expressed numerically and this value will differ depending on the situation being assessed (but perhaps in the range of 10-5 to 10-6).
The Curie (Ci) is the traditional unit of Activity
(where its SI equivalent in the Becquerel
). 1 Ci is equivalent to 3.7 E10 disintegrations per second (dps) and since 1Bq=1dps it follows that 1Ci = 3.7 E10 Bq (approximately). The Ci was based on the activity found in 1 g of Radium