Radiation Safety Refresher Training for 2008 Sue Dupre, Radiation Safety Officer Steve Elwood, Assistant RSO
Training Topics • Anticipated NRC Inspection in later 2008 • One minor incident involving a syringe stick. Otherwise, there were no significant spills, contamination incidents, or missing materials during the last year • The results of findings from lab audits and lab surveys throughout the year • A review of the procedure for conducting preoperational checks of survey meters • A few administrative reminders • A reminder about incident and emergency response
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Inspection • An inspection by the NRC is likely to occur this summer. We are typically inspected every 3 years. • How can you prepare? • Check lab conditions and records • Make sure training for all lab personnel is up-to-date • Pay attention to security matters • Can you answer the sample NRC Interview questions (in case an NRC inspector interviews you)? Later this spring EHS will provide sample questions and answers to each lab and will ask that these be distributed to all lab members.
Syringe Stick Incident • A researcher decided to recap a syringe prior to disposing of it in a sharps box. • The syringe was empty at the time of the stick but had been used to make lysates of cells labeled with S-35 and to transfer the cells. • During the recapping operation, the researcher stuck his thumb with the syringe through two pairs of gloves. • There was no contamination on the skin and contamination slightly above background on the bloody glove, so luckily there were no serious radiological consequences to this incident. Lesson Learned: Do not recap any syringe unless the syringe is specifically designed for recapping!
Annual Audits by the Radiation Safety Committee • Each year the Committee conducts an intensive audit of operations in some of its radioisotope labs. • This helps the University to identify problems and to prepare for NRC inspections. • This year we found problems related to training, use of survey meters, and H-3 use.
Audit and Survey Findings In a H-3 using lab, we found that: • Radioisotope work areas and potentially contaminated equipment were not labeled with Caution:Radioactive Material signs and labeling. • H-3 users had not conducted postoperational surveys. As a result, during the audit we found a contaminated centrifuge that the lab was unaware of. • Regardless of the isotope you use, • Be sure to label work areas and any equipment you use (until • you survey and prove the area and equipment are not • contaminated) • You are required to conduct postoperational surveys and to • document those surveys (in the case of H-3, you will conduct • wipe surveys).
Training During the audits, a couple of instances were found in which a lab member had completed refresher training but had not completed initial radiation safety training. Lab managers and contacts are encouraged to check with EHS about the training status of any new lab members even if the new people assure you they have completed training.
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters • Each time you use a survey meter, you are required to conduct a preoperational check of the meter to verify that the meter is completely functional. • However, during the audits we discovered that some people were taking a shortcut (described in one of the next slides). • Keep in mind that an NRC inspector may ask you to demonstrate how you perform a preoperational check. • The following slides describe the proper technique for conducting a preoperational check.
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 1 - Battery Check #2: Make sure the needle is within the ‘Bat Test’ region. If necessary, replace the batteries with two D cell batteries. #1: Turn the knob to the ‘Bat’ position
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 2 - Background Check The purpose of the background check is to make sure the detector is not contaminated. #2: With a G-M detector, background should not exceed 100 cpm Notify EHS if the detector is contaminated #1: Turn the knob to the lowest scale (X0.1 scale)
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 3 - Calibration Check Review the Calibration and Calibration Due dates on the calibration label to make sure the meter is still in calibration.
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 4 - Source Check • The shortcut that some people use is • to wave the detector near the source • simply to make sure that the • detector responds to radiation. • This is the Wrong Way! Do more • than just make sure that the • detector makes sound. • Voltage in the meter can drift which • can make the detector less efficient • at detecting radiation. You must • quantitatively verify that the meter • is functioning properly. Note that the detector is not in contact with the source – this is the incorrect way!
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 4 - Source Check The correct procedure starts with determining what the expected check source reading should be. Note what the detector reading should be
Preoperational Checks of Survey Meters Step 4: Source Check This is the Right Way! Place the detector in close contact with the source. The meter reading should be within + 20% of the expected check source reading. Note what the detector reading should be The detector is in close contact with the source
Food and Beverages in Labs • Signs of eating and drinking in labs typically follow a cyclical pattern. • We regret to report that 2007 showed an upswing!
If you enter a room labeled as a Radioisotope Use Area, you must observe the following rules:
The Rules for a Radioisotope Use Area • No eating and drinking in the room ever • No water bottles, cups, utensils, snacks and beverage supplies on your desks (you may store them in your closed desk)
That Cold Room Problem • No food or beverage storage in radioisotope coldrooms
Radioisotope Transfers to Other Labs • Want to borrow some radioactive material from another University lab? • Call EHS to see which labs have recently ordered the compound you want. • If another lab has the material you want, you may borrow it as long as you go through the Transfer process described on the next slide.
The Transfer Procedure • The lab that provides the material is responsible for making sure that the recipient lab is authorized for the isotope. • A representative of the lab that is loaning the material must go to the Radiation Safety website (via the EHS website). Click on Radioisotope Transfer. • Sign in and complete the Transfer Form by indicating the name of the lab that wants to borrow the material, the isotope and the amount of material being transferred.
The Transfer Procedure • Submission of the form will: • Tell you whether the • recipient lab is authorized • for the radioisotope. • Send an email to notify • EHS about the transfer
Reminder: Declared Pregnant Worker Program • A pregnant woman may choose to formally “declare” her pregnancy. • Fetal dose limit is 500 mrem for a Declared Pregnant Worker. • If you become pregnant, consider consulting with Sue Dupre for additional information and to determine if it makes sense to declare your pregnancy. Sue would be happy to keep your inquiry confidential. • More details are available at the EHS website.
Reminder: Web-Based Dose Reports • Each time a new set of dose reports arrives, EHS will send out an e-mail notice to everyone who is badged • Log in through DBToolbox, using your NetID and LDAP password • Enter your Participant Number Notify EHS if you have problems logging in or viewing your report.
Review of Incident Procedures • Incidents include: • Spill of radioactive materials • Widespread or unusual contamination • Any case of contamination on • skin or clothing • Missing radioactive materials • Exposure to an x-ray machine
Radiation Incident Notification • Call EHS during work hours • Call Public Safety at 8-1000 after work hours. The old 8-3134 • number will continue to work, but Public Safety is encouraging us • all to use the new 8-1000 number. Public Safety will be able to • contact someone from the EHS staff to assist you.
Radiation Safety Program Feedback Your questions, comments, suggestions and feedback are welcome. Thank you for completing radiation safety refresher training. Be sure to submit the Training Certification Form found at http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/radiation/Training%20Certification.doc