IRR17 (2) - Interpretation

Provides definitions of the terms used in the regulations. Some interesting terms are included below by way of examples. The full regulations should be consulted for all appropriate definitions.

Accelerator means an apparatus which emits radiation with energy >1 MeV.

Directive means Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom.

Dose Rate means the dose rate of ionising radiation averaged over 1 minute.

Industrial radiography means the use of ionising radiation for non-destructive testing purposes where an image of the item under test is formed (but excluding any testing which is carried out in a cabinet which a person cannot enter).

Practice means work involving:

  • the production, processing, handling, use, holding, storage, transport or disposal of radioactive substances; or
  • the operation of any electrical equipment emitting ionising radiation and containing components operating at a potential difference of more than 5kV

which can increase the exposure of individuals to radiation from an artificial source; or from a radioactive substance containing naturally occurring radionuclides which are processed for their radioactive properties.

Radiation Accident means an accident where immediate action would be required to prevent or reduce the exposure to ionising radiation of employees or others.

Radiation protection adviser means an individual who, or a RPA body which, meets the criteria of competence that is specified by the HSE.

Note: The definitions section in health and safety legislation is often overlooked. Without a firm grasp of the definitions the rest of the legislation is open to interpretation which is undesirable!

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 -