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Sealed Source Safety Training for Ni-63 ECD Sources. Radiological & Environmental Management Purdue University. Training Goals. Basic Radiation Safety Principles Familiarization with Regulations Purdue’s Policies and Procedures. Why do I need training?.

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Sealed source safety training for ni 63 ecd sources

Sealed Source Safety Training for Ni-63 ECD Sources

Radiological & Environmental Management

Purdue University

Training goals
Training Goals

  • Basic Radiation Safety Principles

  • Familiarization with Regulations

  • Purdue’s Policies and Procedures

Why do i need training
Why do I need training?

  • The gas chromatograph you possess contains an ECD (electron capture detector)

  • The detector has a foil which can contain up to 15 mCi of Ni-63 (which is a radioactive isotope)

  • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission require training for individuals that use or possess radioactive material

  • When used properly, there is no measurable radiation exposure

What is radioactivity
What is radioactivity?

  • Radioactivity is an energy

    • This energy is produced when an unstable nucleus spontaneously emits particles and/or electromagnetic radiation

  • Radioactive material sources

    • Sources are characterized as either sealed or unsealed (or “open”)

    • To qualify as a “sealed” source, the source must pass a battery of tests and be certified under NRC regulations

    • The Ni-63 ECD is a plated foil source that retains its integrity to prevent release of radioactive material

Pictures of common sealed sources
Pictures of common sealed sources

Ionizing radiation types
Ionizing Radiation Types

Ni-63 decays by low energy

Beta emission

  • Alpha

    • Molecularly large particle (2 protons and 2 neutrons), give up their energy in a short distance (approximately 1 ½ inches in air)

  • Beta

    • Smaller particle (electron), distance traveled ranges from several inches to a few feet (depending on its energy)

  • Gamma

    • Non-particulate energy wave, can travel several feet and easily penetrates material with low atomic mass

  • Neutron

    • Neutral particle, can travel greater distances than gamma radiation and easily penetrate material with low hydrogen ion concentrations

Risks of radiation exposure
Risks of Radiation Exposure

  • An average person in the United States receives annual radiation dose of ~620mrem, which includes exposure received from cosmic and natural radiation, medical treatment, and consumer products.

  • Large doses of radiation have been known to increase risk of cancer, birth defects, and possibly genetic effects.

  • Low doses seem to show no statistical differences in biological risk; however, some people believe there is risk at all levels above background exposure.

  • At radiation levels around 1 rem, it has been estimated that the increased incidence of cancer is 0.03% - the normal incidence of cancer for the average person is 25%.

  • Risk of developing genetic effects is half the risk of cancer.

4 factors to reduce exposure
4 Factors to Reduce Exposure

  • It is the goal of our facility to reduce radiation exposures to be As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). We achieve this goal using:

    • Contamination Control

      • gloves, lab coats, fume hoods, absorbent paper

    • Time

      • do dry run, practice procedure to minimize time

    • Distance

      • a little distance between you and a source can significantly decrease your exposure from it (follows the “Inverse-Square Law”)

    • Shielding

      • Use proper shielding between you and a source to decrease personal exposure

        • betas - wood, Plexiglas

        • gammas - lead, leaded glass

Due to the low energy of the beta particle, contamination

control is the only factor needed.

Ionizing radiation shielding
Ionizing Radiation Shielding

  • Different shields are needed to minimize external exposure

Rules governing use of radionuclides
Rules Governing Use of Radionuclides

  • Must be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or state agency

  • Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) develops and maintains a Radiation Safety Manual, which must be followed by individuals working under the NRC license, and it is enforceable by law

Applicable regulations
Applicable Regulations

  • 10CFR19

    • Rights and responsibilities

  • 10CFR20

    • Standards for protection against radiation

      • Declared pregnant worker

      • Security of radioactive materials

10cfr part 19 required instruction to workers
10CFR Part 19Required instruction to workers

  • Rights

    • to be informed of storage, transfer, and use of radioactive materials

    • to further instruction on health protection problems associated with radiation exposure and procedures to minimize exposure

    • to receive radiation exposure history

    • to request an NRC inspection

    • to be instructed in and required to observe applicable provisions of NRC regulations and licenses

    • to be instructed in the appropriate response to warnings

Nrc policy statement
NRC Policy Statement

  • Retaliation against employees or students engaged in protected activities, whether they have raised safety concerns within the University or to the NRC, will not be tolerated

  • Problems should be addressed within the existing University hierarchy – contact the radiation safety office if you have any concerns regarding issues involving radioactive materials.

10cfr20 contents
10CFR20 Contents

  • Occupational dose limits

  • Surveys and monitoring

  • Precautionary procedures

  • Waste disposal

  • Records of surveys

  • Enforcement

  • Storage and control of licensed material

10cfr20 occupational dose limits
10CFR20Occupational Dose Limits

All dose limits include exposure from both internal and external sources.

Radiation units
Radiation Units

  • Exposure= ability of photons to ionize air

    • Roentgen (milliroentgen, mR)

    • Geiger-Mueller readings

  • Absorbed Dose= energy deposited in matter

    • Rad (millirad, mrad)

  • Dose Equivalent= biological weighted absorbed dose (tissue)

    • rem (millirem, mrem)

    • Film badge

Acute effects of radiation exposure
Acute Effects of Radiation Exposure

  • Non-stochastic (cause and effect)

  • Threshold

  • Lethal Dose (LD50) is about 600 rad

  • Examples

    • erythema (skin reddening)

    • blood changes (white blood cells)

    • Gastrointestinal Syndrome

These effects are not possible under any circumstances

with ECD sealed sources

Delayed effects of radiation exposure
Delayed Effects of Radiation Exposure

  • Stochastic (by chance, statistical basis)

  • No threshold

    • Cancer

    • Leukemia

    • Cataracts

    • Life Shortening

  • Data extrapolated from high dose data

If the integrity of the ECD source is maintained there is

no measurable radiation exposure.

Risk analysis
Risk Analysis

  • High doses - there is a correlation between dose and effect

  • Low doses (<10 rem) - it is unclear what the risk is at this level

  • Hormesis - low doses of radiation may be beneficial


  • No surveys by the user are required for routine ECD use

  • REM will be conducting “leak tests” on sealed sources to evaluate whether the source containment is intact

    • this will be done at 6 month intervals.

If there is damage to the ECD or gas chromatograph

please notify REM and a survey will be performed.

Security nrc area of emphasis
SecurityNRC Area of Emphasis

  • Secure laboratories when unoccupied

  • Challenge visitors or unauthorized individuals

  • REM accounts for RAM through inventory records

The goal is to prevent unauthorized access

or use of radioactive materials.

Checklist for compliance and safety
Checklist for compliance and safety

  • Operate the GC only within the parameters established by the manufacturer

  • Never open or attempt to service the ECD on your own- cleaning must be done by an authorized provider

  • Notify REM before moving or disposal of the GC

  • Ensure that the GC is labeled as containing radioactive material

  • Notify REM immediately is the unit or source is lost or missing

  • Notify REM for shipment of the source for service, Department of Transportation rules must be followed for shipment

Emergency procedures
Emergency Procedures

  • Call 911

  • Assist personnel

  • Monitor personnel

  • Control area - inform other workers

  • Notify radiation safety office

Severe personal injury
Severe Personal Injury

  • Medical needs come first! Postpone monitoring, call 911, notify of radioactive material use

  • Wait for medical personnel - calmly advise radioactive materials may be involved if that is the case

  • Notify REM to assess if there may be contamination from the source


  • Always use ALARA

  • No eating, drinking, or smoking in labs

  • Always secure materials, lock doors

  • Never allow unauthorized users access to radioactive materials

  • Call REM for any related questions (49-46371)

  • All Emergencies – call 911

Rem s radiation safety group
REM’s Radiation Safety Group

  • James F. Schweitzer, Ph.D. 49-42350

    Radiation Safety Officer

  • Mary J. R. Handy, CLSO 49-42721

    Laser Safety Officer, Assistant RSO

  • Chris Echterling 49-41478

    Health Physicist

  • Sharon K. Rudolph 49-47969

    Isotope Ordering & Distribution

  • Jerry J. Gibbs 49-40207

    Waste Handling & Meter Calibration

  • Mike Nicholson 49-40205

    Waste Handling & Animal Hospital Support

  • REM Main Office 49-46371

    Civil Engineering Building, Room B173

Sealed source safety training for ni 63 ecd sources

  • Complete the test indicated below.

  • You must have a minimum score of 75% to pass

  • Complete a Form A-4(make sure that both you AND your Principal Investigator have signed the form).

    • Send your Form A-4 through campus mail to Sharon Rudolph/REM/CIVL.

Click here to begin the test.