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Annual Refresher Training. UGA Radiation Safety. Why do I need to take RSO’s Annual Refresher Training ?. To keep your Advanced Radiation Worker (ARW) or Radiation Worker (RW) certificate up to date. To inform you of any new changes to the rad materials program.

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annual refresher training

Annual Refresher Training

UGA Radiation Safety

why do i need to take rso s annual refresher training
Why do I need to take RSO’s Annual Refresher Training ?
  • To keep your Advanced Radiation Worker (ARW) or Radiation Worker (RW) certificate up to date.
  • To inform you of any new changes to the rad materials program.
  • It is an annual on-line refresher required by the State of Georgia.

What do I need to do?

  • Make sure you registered for this training at the beginning of this


  • There is no formal exam, however there are random questions you can answer throughout the refresher if you want.
  • After you have finished the refresher, complete and print the certificate at the end and place in your laboratory’s records.

UGA’s Radiation Safety Office

Our experienced staff is here to help and advise you with any radiological question, problem or emergency that you encounter. All you need to do is contact us via telephone or e-mail.

The Environmental Safety Division receptionist is 542-5801

UGA’s Radiation Safety Staff

Jody JacobsRadiation Safety

Dennis WidnerRadiation Safety

Lauren PalmerRadiation Safety

John PyleRadiation Safety TechnicianRad Lab

  • Radioactive Materials Permits
  • Permit Amendments
  • Compliance Inspections
  • X-Ray Inspections
  • Dosimetry
  • Training
  • B-Number Problems
  • Monthly Surveys
  • Sealed Sources
  • Thyroid Bioassays
  • Package Delivery
  • Radwaste Pick-up
  • Meter Calibrations
uga s radiation safety manual

Every permitted radioactive materials laboratory has been issued a hardcopy of this manual.

An electronic copy is also found at our website.

This manual contains all the information needed to successfully run a rad lab at UGA.

All authorized users and radiation workers must be familar with this manual.

  • Radioactive materials are regulated on the federal level by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
  • The state of Georgia has made an agreement with the NRC to regulate radioactive materials at the state level.
  • The NRC still has direct authority over radioactive materials security.
licenses and permits
Licenses and Permits
  • The university has a legally binding license from the state of Georgia to possess and use certain types and quantities of radioactive materials.
  • Individual researchers who are approved by the UGA Radiation Safety Committee are issued Radioactive Materials Permits authorizing the possession and use of certain radioactive materials.
  • Radioactive Materials Permits were formerly known as licenses; that terminology is being phased out to prevent confusion with UGA’s state license.
authorized users
Authorized Users
  • An Authorized User is an individual who has been authorized to possess and use certain types and quantities of radioactive materials.
  • This authorization is granted by the UGA Radiation Safety Committee in conjunction with the Radiation Safety Office.
  • Members of the UGA Radiation Safety Committee are appointed by the universitypresident.
how does an authorized user make changes to an existing radioactive materials permit
How does an Authorized User make changes to an existing Radioactive Materials Permit?
  • Download and complete an Amendment form from the ESD/Radiation Safety website.
  • Send the form to Radiation Safety.
  • Most amendments require the approval of both the Chairman of the Radiation Safety Committee and the Radiation Safety Officer.
  • A copy of the approved amendment will be mailed to the Authorized User and, if necessary, the Radioactive Materials Permitwill be revised.
what kind of changes require a radioactive materials permit amendment
What kind of changes require a Radioactive Materials Permit Amendment?
  • Adding or removing a radioisotope from your list of approved radioactive materials.
  • Changing your possession limit for a radioisotope.
  • Changing your approved laboratory locations.
  • Changing your approval status for measured sewer (drain) disposal of slightly radioactive liquids.
  • Changing your permit to an inactive status.
  • Terminating the permit.
  • Changing the name of the Advanced Radiation Worker listed on your permit.
which of the following best describes an authorized user of radioactive materials at uga
Which of the following best describes an Authorized User of radioactive materials at UGA?
  • Authorized Users have their own radioactive materials licenses issued by the state of Georgia.
  • The university has a radioactive materials license and Authorized Users (AUs) are issued Radioactive Materials Permits.
  • Authorized Users are appointed by the university president.



If an Authorized User is moving their radioactive materials use location to a different laboratory, the proper procedure is to:
  • Submit a permit amendment form to Radiation Safety before moving any radioactive materials or potentially contaminated equipment.
  • Move all equipment and radioactive materials, then contact Radiation Safety to post the proper signs and close out the old lab.
  • Properly dispose of all radioactive materials prior to moving.



what are the common types of radioactive materials encountered at uga
What are the common types of radioactive materials encountered at UGA?

99% are dispersable β emitting radioisotopes such as H-3, C-14, P-32, P-33, and S-35.

Of these, highly energetic P-32 has the most potential of causing skin and eye dose.

1% are dispersable gamma emitting radioisotopes such as I-125 or I-131

All radioisotopes are an internal dose hazard !



what kind of damage can radiation exposure cause in the human body
What kind of damage can radiation exposure cause in the human body?
  • Radiation exposure at normal occupational levels causes no measureable health effects.
  • Higher levels of radiation exposure have been indicated to increase cancer risk, cause cataracts, and shorten the lifespan under some circumstances.
  • Extremely high radiation exposures may cause illness and even death.

Radioiodine users should get a thyroid bioassay within 10 days of using radioiodine (I-125 & I-131) to measure thyroid uptake and to establish dose assessment.

All potential Radioiodine users should get a baseline count before using the material.

dosimetry badges are used to monitor personnel radiation exposure
Dosimetry badges are worn between the neck and waist to monitor radiation exposure.

The badges are sent off campus to a qualified vendor laboratory to determine the amount of radiation exposure received.

Radiation exposure is measured in units of REM or milliREM.

Dosimetry Badges are used to monitor personnel radiation exposure
radiation exposure limits and action levels
Radiation Exposure Limits and Action Levels

Exposure Acronyms

DDE = deep dose equivalent (whole body penetrating exposure)

TEDE = total effective dose equivalent (DDE plus dose from any intake of radioactive material)

SDE = shallow dose equivalent whole body (skin dose, whole body)

SDEME = shallow dose equivalent monitored extremity (extremity dose)

LDE = lens dose equivalent (lens of eye exposure)

Low Energy Beta Emitters

(no badge required)





High Energy Beta and/or Gamma Emitters

(badge normally required)




Dosimetry badges are not required for persons working exclusively with low energy beta emitting radioactive materials.
monitoring radiation exposure to the hands
Finger ring dosimetry badges are used to measure radiation exposure to the hands and should be worn on “holding” hand under your gloves.

Ring badges are used infrequently and only required for certain situations, such as for persons handling >1mCi of the radioisotopes P-32 and I-125.

Monitoring Radiation Exposure to the Hands
dosimetry badge reminders
Dosimetry Badge Reminders:
  • Your badge is only to be used to measure radiation exposure received at UGA.
  • Please be cooperative with your dosimetry badge coordinator during the badge exchange process.
  • If you no longer need to be monitored for radiation exposure, notify Radiation Safety to have your badge service discontinued. Badge services may also be discontinued on a temporary basis when appropriate.
radiation levels in the work area are measured by using portable instruments
Users of high energy beta (P-32) or gamma emitting isotopes must survey their work areas for radiation levels.

Portable instruments typically read out in units of milliRem per hour (mR/hr).

Dose rate surveys are performed by

holding the GM counter at waist level at the lowest setting and measuring with the probe 1 foot away from the items to be surveyed. Some items like radwaste containers must be surveyed on contact.

Radiation levels in the work area are measured by using portable instruments
what is radioactive contamination
What is radioactive contamination?

Radioactive contamination is the presence of radioactive material in an unwanted location.

types of radioactive contamination

Most common type of contamination.

May be spread from one surface to another.

Easily removed by normal surface cleaning methods.

Significant risk of personnel contamination.

Easily found by wipe testing.


Most frequently occurs after liquid spills on porous surfaces.

Not easily spread or removed by cleaning.

May become transferable by physical or chemical interactions.

Not detectable by wipe testing.

May be found by scanning with a portable instrument.

Types of Radioactive Contamination
contamination scan considerations
Contamination scan considerations
  • Scanning must be done slowly with the probe close to the surface (low and slow).
  • Scanning may detect either transferable contamination, fixed contamination, or both.
  • The presence of other sources of radiation may interfere with contamination scans.
wipe testing for transferable contamination
Wipe testing for transferable contamination
  • Wipe testing is a technique used to test a surface for transferable contamination.
  • The standard wipe test covers a surface area of 100 cm2.
  • Wiping a “lazy S” pattern about 16” long is the standard practice.
  • An appropriate number of wipes are needed to give a representative sampling of area conditions.

Liquid Scintillation Counters (LSC) and Gamma counters are used to measure wipe results. Instrument readouts in cpm are converted to dpm using our counting efficiency of 33%. Final results are expressed as dpm/100cm2.

large area wipe testing for contamination
Large Area Wipe Testing for Contamination
  • Large area wipe testing is normally done with a disposable paper towel.
  • The area wiped should cover several square feet; bench tops and floors are typical of areas checked by this method.
  • This technique is only used as a positive/negative test for contamination on a surface that is not known to be contaminated.
radioactive contamination hazards
Radioactive Contamination Hazards
  • The main risk associated with contamination is the potential for radioactive materials to be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin of an unprotected person.
  • Once an intake of radioactive materials occurs, the affected person is continuously exposed to the radiation from that material until (if) it is eliminated from their body.
  • Contamination may also cause high radiation exposure to the skin, especially if left undetected or if high concentrations are in direct skin contact.
how do we manage the risks associated with radioactive contamination


Cover benches with absorbent paper in radiological work areas.

Use catch trays when working with radioactive liquids (secondary containment).

Wear protective clothing.


Perform transferable contamination surveys of work areas.

Perform personnel contamination monitoring (minimum hand/shoe scan) after working with radioactive materials and/or prior to exiting the area.

How do we manage the risks associated with radioactive contamination?
personnel contamination monitoring
Personnel Contamination Monitoring
  • You can’t see or otherwise detect radioactive contamination without using an instrument.
  • A properly used portable instrument can detect all radioisotopes commonly found at UGA except for tritium (H-3).
  • Checking your hands and shoes only takes a minute of your time.
  • Don’t you want to be sure you are “clean” before you leave the lab?

Personnel Contamination Monitoring

Scan your hands and shoes after working with

radioactive materials.

Gloves and labcoats are primarily used to protect a radiation worker from the hazards associated with:
  • Radioactive contamination
  • Low energy beta emitters
  • X-rays and gamma radiation



can exposure to beta gamma alpha radiation or x rays cause contamination
Can exposure to beta, gamma, alpha radiation, or x-rays cause contamination?
  • No, contamination is radioactive material. Radiation is the energy emitted by radioactive material.
  • Beta, gamma, alpha radiation, and x-rays are energy. This energy is either scattered or absorbed by whatever material it interacts with. If the energy is absorbed, it most commonly causes ionization.
  • Beta, gamma, alpha radiation, and x-rays do not make the materials they interact with radioactive.
measuring radioactivity
Measuring Radioactivity
  • The rate of radioactive events (disintegrations) occurring in a substance is the quantity of radioactivity of that substance. This is a different measurement than the amount or type of radiation emitted.
  • The Curie, or more typically the milliCurie (mCi) or microCurie (µCi), is the unit of measure for the quantity of radioactivity present.
rad counting prerequisites

Liquid Scintillation Fluid (LSF) is actually the detector and has a finite sample capacity. Sample volume should not surpass 33% of the counting vials capacity. 67% should be LSF for proper counting technique . In either type vial, the vial should be full.

20 mlvial

7 mlvial

7 mlmax

2 mlmax

NOTE: Liquid Scintillation sample should be liquid with no solids or with extreme color, these will “quench” the results giving you less radiation than what’s really there.

rad counting prerequisites1

Proper dark adaption of samples or wipe tests is very important in achieving correct values for your background and sample results.Store your sample racks in complete darkness for 10-15 minutes before counting. This can be achieved by making a Dark Adaption (DA) Protocol and counting this rack before your sample/wipe test rack.

Pre and Post Backgrounds, B1 and B2 should read about the same afterproper dark adaption.

counting times
  • All wipe tests, should be countedfor 2 minutes (120 seconds) minimum.
  • All liquid radwaste samples should be counted for 10 minutes (600 seconds) minimum.
  • Counting results are statistically better if counting times are longer and sample volumes are larger.
dpm and curie units
DPM and Curie Units
  • 1 µCi is equal to a rate of 2.22E6 disintegrations per minute (dpm) of radioactivity.
  • Dpm is the unit most often used to quantify transferable contamination.
  • The UGA “clean area” limit for radioactive contamination is 200 dpm/100 cm2, where 100 cm2 represents the amount of area that is wipe tested.
quantities of radioactive material are normally measured using which of the following units
Quantities of radioactive material are normally measured using which of the following units?
  • mCi, µCi, or dpm
  • Cpm, mCi, or mR/hr
  • MilliRem and dpm



radioactive half life
Radioactive Half Life

Radioactive half life is the amount of time required for the radioactivity of a substance to be reduced to one half of it’s original activity.

Half life is very important

and is used to classify

radwaste as either

short-lived or long-lived.

half life values for commonly used isotopes







5730 years

12.3 years

87.5 days

25.3 days

14.3 days

59.9 days

8 days

Half Life Values for Commonly Used Isotopes
radiation survey reporting

Rad surveys are

performed after using rad materials or rad waste. This means documentation of several surveys per month. All rad users must do wipe testing for contamination, but P-32 and Gamma users must also do dose rate surveys as well. See Chapter 6 in the Rad Manual.

Radiological surveys are to be performed in the month that they are due and all must be reported by the end of the month to the Radiation Safety Office. Surveys can be submitted with signature by campus mail, scanned and emailed or emailed from the surveyor’s UGA mail account without signature.

radioactive materials security1
Radioactive Materials Security
  • Federal and state regulations require that radioactive material be kept secure from unauthorized access.
  • Access by anyone who is not a trained Radiation Worker, Advanced Radiation Worker, or Authorized User is considered unauthorized access.
Compliance with radioactive materials security can be achieved by using one or more of the following options:
  • Keep the doors locked for all rooms where radioactive materials are located,
  • keep all radioactive materials (including radwaste) in locked enclosures, and/or;
  • ensure that all radioactive materials are continuously controlled by individuals with training in radiation safety who are willing to challenge other personnel who might be attempting unauthorized access.
other security considerations
Other Security Considerations
  • Radioactive material in the form of small quantity sealed sources that are an integral part of a non-portable piece of equipment (i.e. liquid scintillation counters and gas chromatographs) are considered secure from unauthorized access when the equipment is located in an approved location.
  • The security requirements are not mandatory for exempt quantities of concentrations of radioactive materials.
lost or missing radioactive materials
Lost or missing radioactive materials?
  • Any lost or missing radioactive materials must be reported to Radiation Safety immediately.
  • Maintaining proper inventory records is essential to this process.
  • In addition to state regulations, licensed radioactive materials that may have been lost or stolen are subject to investigation by the Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NRC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
6 month inventory verification
6 Month Inventory Verification

By regulation, every 6 months, each rad permitted lab will have to do a physical inventory to verify the rad materials on hand in the lab. This is compared to the RSO

inventory records for


laboratory door caution signs
Locations where radioactive materials are used or stored must have a “Caution, Radioactive Materials” sticker on the standard laboratory door sign posted at the entrance. Laboratory Door Caution Signs
required posting notice to employees
Required Posting: Notice to Employees

The “Notice to Employees” must be posted in a location where it is readily visible to anyone entering or exiting the Radioactive Materials Area.

Either of the two notices displayed here are acceptable.

caution labels used within the laboratory
Closed cabinets or similar containers, such as refrigerators, must be labeled if they contain radioactive materials.Caution Labels Used Within the Laboratory
what is wrong with this daw drum
What is wrong with this DAW Drum?

A. Looks good to me.B. Improper use of rad tape.

C. No activity statement.

D. No generator labeling.


B, C & D

what s wrong with this daw drum
What’s wrong with this DAW drum?
  • Looks good to me !
  • Liner outside of drum.
  • No Radiation Stickers.
  • No Generator Info.
  • No activity statement.
  • No locking band.


B, C, D, E & F

what s wrong with this liquid radwaste carboy
What’s wrong with this Liquid RadwasteCarboy?
  • Looks good to me !
  • Doesn’t have Rad Stickers.
  • Doesn’t have a cap.
  • Doesn’t have an activity statement.
  • Doesn’t have Generator Info.


C, D & E

no containers with liquids are allowed in daw drums
No containers with liquids are allowed inDAW drums !

Scint vials that

contain liquids

If found, the drum will be returned to the lab for you to sort out. The liquids must be poured into carboys and analyzed.

radwaste containers must indicate the maximum activity for isotopes contained
Radwaste containers must indicate themaximum activity for isotopes contained



labeling empty radwaste containers
Empty containers should always be marked “empty”, in addition to the standard labels.

This practice allows the radioactive materials labels to be reused and helps prevent containers with potential internal contamination from being improperly used.

Labeling Empty Radwaste Containers
rights and responsibilities
Rights and Responsibilities
  • As a Radiation Worker, you have both the right and the responsibility to report unsafe conditions or unrecognized radiological hazards.
  • Radiation Workers should report initially to the Authorized User, but may report directly to the RSO or to the Georgia EPD Radioactive Materials Program.
  • All Radiation Workers are encouraged to report concerns directly to the lowest practical level of management for prompt resolution.
when to contact radiation safety
When to contact Radiation Safety
  • Any incident of lost or missing radioactive materials.
  • Any incident of contamination involving a person or their personal clothing.
  • Any spill of radioactive material that you need assistance with, or that is defined as a major spill in the Radiation Safety Manual.
  • Any time you have concerns about your exposure to radiation or radioactive materials.
  • The Radiation Safety staff is also available for routine consultations and support services.
how to contact radiation safety
How to contact Radiation Safety
  • During normal business hours call the main office of the Environmental Safety Division at either (706) 542-0113 or (706) 542-5801.
  • For after hours emergency response, contact the UGA Police at (706) 542-2200. If you tell them you have a radiation emergency, they will notify ESD’s 24/7 Hazard Assessment Response Team (HART).
  • For routine consultations you may use the campus directory or the staff directory on the ESD website (
on line training certificate

Click the link below to record your participation and print a certificate. A record will be emailed to you and the Radiation Safety Office.