Radiation Protection Glossary

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

Search the Glossary by either clicking on a letter or typing a keyword into the search box. This glossary is relational so when looking at one term you can click through to other related terms as required.

For formal advice, see our Radiation Protection Adviser pages. 

Planar Source

With respect to Radiation Protection, a plane source describes a source of Ionising Radiation which can physically be represented by a flat area (e.g. area of contaminated land). Sources are often represented in this way when calculations of estimates of exposures are required. In many cases, the plane source will only represent an approximation of the real source, but this is usually adequate if sufficient factors of safety are built into the model. Often the radioactivity distribution will be given as Bq per unit area (e.g. Bq/cm2)

Other useful descriptions of sources include the Point Source, the Volume Source, the Line Source, and the Immersion (cloud) Source.

Physics is, hopefully, simple. Physicists are not

– Edward Teller -