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. 

Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA)

A Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA) is an appointed individual in the UK who is a recognised expert in radioactive waste accumulation and disposal. The role is complementary to, but not the same as, the Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA). One individual can take on both roles if they are recognised as competent by RPA 2000. Whereas the RPA advises on radiation safety of employees (occupationally exposed) and members of the public, the RWA advises on the compliant and safe use of radioactive sources, and in particular the accumulation and disposal of radioactive wastes. The role is required as a condition of holding environmental permits under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016, and authorisations under the Environmental Authorisations (Scotland) Regulations 2018 in Scotland. The role of RWA is far-reaching and the duties required for a specific establishment should be specified in a written letter of appointment. Duties will include giving advice on compliance with the environmental legislation, interpretation of exemption or out-of-scope criteria, undertaking BAT assessments, advice on radioactive waste management systems, radioactive waste sampling and assessment, radioactive discharge dose assessments, radioactive source security and much more.

Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness

– Bill Bryson -