Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and anyone interesting in radiation safety terminology. The glossary is a mixture of health physics terms, and phrases related to radiation legislation, transport, practical safety and similar.

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Dose Limits

With respect to Radiation Protection, dose limits are recommended by international bodies such as the ICRP, and then set as legal limits within individual counties legislation. For example, in the UK Dose Limits to employees, members of the public, pregnant employees etc are set out in the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017. Whilst dose limits set a legal maximum, the practice of radiation protection requires that all doses are kept as low as reasonably practical (ALARP) as required by the ICRP concepts of Optimisation and Limitation.

The definition of 'safe' is not strictly an engineering term; it's a societal term. Does it mean absolutely no loss of life? Does it mean absolutely no contamination with radiation? What exactly does 'safe' mean?

– Henry Petroski -