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Radiation Safety Refresher Course

29-31 August 2018

EEI Corporation
#12 Manggahan St., Bagumbayan, Quezon City

Nuclear Training Center

Technology Diffusion Division
Philippine Nuclear Research Institute


1. To demonstrate understanding of the ALARA

principle and other radiation protection measures
2. To explain how doses are maintained ALARA using
time, distance and shielding strategies
3. To perform simple dose and shielding calculations

• Internal v. External Radiation Exposure

• Radiological/Radiation hazards
• Methods on how to control radiation exposure/
• Dose calculations
• Shielding calculations

External vs. Internal Radiation Exposure

External Radiation Exposure

• Occurs when all or part of the body

is exposed to radiation source
outside the body.
• During exposure this radiation can
be absorbed by the body or it can
pass completely through.
• This is primarily a concern for
gamma radiation.
External vs. Internal Radiation Exposure

External Radiation Exposure

• Some sources of ionizing radiation produce much higher
energy external radiation fields, and care must be taken to
shield the source and to monitor exposure while working
near these sources.
• Examples include:
₋ Am-241/Be neutron sources
₋ P-32 beta sources
₋ Cs-137 gamma sources
₋ Co-60 gamma sources
₋ X-ray machines (only when the machine is energized)
External vs. Internal Radiation Exposure

Internal Radiation Exposure

through cuts
or wounds

• Involves contamination with radioactive material.

• Contamination means that radioactive material in the form of gases,
liquids, or solids are released into the environment and contaminate
people externally (such as on the skin), internally (such as by ingestion),
or both.
• This is a concern for alpha and beta radiation, as well as gamma radiation.
External vs. Internal Radiation Exposure

Internal Radiation Exposure

• All radioisotopes are potentially
hazardous if inhaled or ingested. This
includes low energy isotopes such as 3H
and 14C.

Tritium Key Chains

Frequent monitoring for contamination
is necessary when working with any
unsealed isotopes, and periodic leak
tests are conducted for sealed sources.
Radioactive Sources

Sealed Sources
– Radioactive material permanently contained in a capsule or
bound in a solid form, such that the radioactive material
cannot come out of the containment
Unsealed Sources
– Radioactive material that is not permanently sealed in a
capsule, therefore it could lose some of the radioactive

Radiation Types vs. Hazards
Radiation Types vs Hazards

External Hazard Internal Hazard

Alpha None Severe

Beta Moderate Moderate

Gamma Severe Slight

The ALARA Principle
What is ALARA?

• This is a radiation safety principle for minimizing radiation

doses and releases of radioactive materials by employing all
reasonable methods.
• ALARA is not only a sound safety principle, but is a
regulatory requirement for all radiation safety programs.
How to Maintain Doses ALARA

The three (3) major principles to assist with maintaining doses ALARA.

Dose is proportional to
the time of exposure.
How to reduce time of exposure
• Reduce time in contact with radiation sources as much as
compatible with the task
• Training of a particular task using non-radioactive dummy
sources helps.
Radiation dose rate is inversely proportional to the square
of the distance from the source. This is known as Inverse
Square Law.

Mathematically expressed as

D1 = Dose rate at distance r1 from
the point source
D2 = Dose rate at distance r2 from
the point source
This formula can be used to estimate dose
from a source at any distance.
How to increase distance from a source

Increasing distance very effective: Dose falls off inversely

as the square of the distance.

Use of a robotic arm to manipulate a

Use of handling tools target for producing isotopes for medical
imaging and industry.

• Using absorber materials

such as Plexiglas for beta
particles and lead for X-
rays and gamma rays is an
effective way to reduce
radiation exposures.
• Use of lead aprons,
mobile lead shields, lead
glasses and lead barriers.
Recommended Shielding
Radiation Type Material
Alpha particles none
Low energy beta
High energy beta
perspex surrounded by lead
X- and gamma rays concrete, lead, iron
concrete, water, polythene,
borated paraffin wax
Dose Calculations
How are Annual Occupational Dose Limits
related to the ALARA concept ?
Lens of the
Whole-Body Extremities Skin

Workers 18+ 20* 500 500 20*

* 50 mSv in any single year

• These dose limits apply to the sum of the effective doses

from external sources and committed effective doses from
intakes in a year.
• The ALARA concept imposes lower operational dose limits
that are even more restrictive than the maximum legal dose
limits in the table above.
• This ensures an enhanced safety factor for what are already
considered to be safe annual doses for radiation workers.
Dose Calculation
Dose Rate due to Gamma Photons
• From an isotropic point source at distance, r
Specific Gamma Dose Rate
Specific Gamma Dose Rate
ENERGIES, MeV from 1 Ci at 1m mGy/h, from
(% abundance) 1GBq at 1cm
241 Am 458 y 0.060 (36%) 0.013 36
137 Cs 30 y 0.66 (84.6%) 0.31 837
51 Cr 27.8 d 0.32 (9.8%) 0.016 43
57 Co 270d 0.014 (9%) 0.09 240
0.122 (87%)
0.136 (11%)
60 Co 5.27 y 1.17 (100%) 1.33 3590
1.33 (100%)
Specific Gamma Dose Rate Constants
ENERGIES, MeV 1m mGy/h, from 1GBq
(% abundance) at 1cm
125 I 60.1 d 0.027 (57%) 0.01 27
0.035 (10%)
131 I 8d 0.364 (82.4%) 0.22 594
0.637 (7%)
192 Ir 74 d 0.30 (60%) 0.48 1300
0.31 (31%)
0.32 (86%)
0.47 (51%)
99 Mo 66.6 d 0.14 (5%) 0.15 405
0.018 (9.8%)
0.74 (13%)
0.78 (4.7%)
99m Tc 6h 0.14 (85%) 0.07 189
1. An occupationally exposed person usually spends
1 5 h rs . wo r k i n g o n a p ro c e s s w h i c h h a s a n
accompanying dose rate of 5 μSv/hr. The process is
improved such that the process time is reduced to
7.5 hrs. What is the difference in dose received by
the worker.

2. A radiation worker spends 40 hrs per week, 50

weeks per year working with radiation sources and
the annual dose constraint is 10 mSv, what is the
maximum hourly dose rate allowed?

3. You will be working with 3.7 TBq 192Ir source.

a) What is the dose rate at 100 cm?

b) At what distance will the dose rate be 5 mSv/h?

c) How long can you stay at the distance obtained in (b)

without receiving more than 20 Sv?
Shielding Calculations
Gamma Photons

D, dose or dose rate, with shield

Do, dose or dose rate, without shield
, linear attenuation coefficient, cm-1
x, thickness of shield, cm

, dependent on  energy and shielding material

Linear Attenuation Coefficient, cm-1
E, MeV Water Iron Lead
(2.35 g/cm3)
0.20 0.1360 0.291 1.085 10.16
0.40 0.1060 0.224 0.722 2.359
0.50 0.0966 0.205 0.651 1.644
0.60 0.0896 0.189 0.599 1.293
0.80 0.0786 0.166 0.522 0.948
1.00 0.0706 0.149 0.468 0.776
1.25 0.0630 0.133 0.417 0.645
1.50 0.0575 0.122 0.381 0.580
2.00 0.0493 0.105 0.333 0.518
3.00 0.0396 0.0853 0.284 0.477
Half Value Layer
• A half value layer of any material
will permit only 50% or ½ of the
incident radiation to pass.
• A second half value layer will
permit ½ of the incident radiation
(already reduced by ½) to pass so
that only ¼ of the initial radiation
(½ x ½) is permitted to pass.
• If “n” half value layers are used,
(½)n of the initial radiation is
permitted to pass. “n” may be any
Half Value Layer

Thickness of shielding material that will reduce the

dose or dose rate to half its original value

= 0.693

D= x = nHVL
Tenth Value Layer (TVL)
Thickness of shielding material that will reduce the dose or
dose rate to a tenth of its original value

= 2.303

Do x = nTVL
The half value layer (HVL) and tenth value layer (TVL) are
mathematically related as follows:

HVL = and TVL =

 

TVL  2.303
= = = = 3.323
HVL ln(2) 0.693

TVL = 3.323 x HVL
Source Gamma HVL (cm) TVL (cm)
Energy, MeV Concrete Lead Concrete Lead
60Co 1.17, 1.33 6.3 1.10 20.3 4.0
137Cs 0.66 4.9 0.65 16.3 2.2
131I 0.08 to 0.7 4.7 0.72 15.7 2.4
192Ir 0.2 to 1.4 4.3 0.55 14.0 1.9
226Ra 0.2 to 2.4 6.9 1.66 23.4 5.5
99mTc 0.14 0.02
100 kVp x-ray 1.65 0.026 5.42 0.087
200 kVp x-ray 2.59 0.043 8.55 0.142

Manual on Shielded Enclosures, Practical Radiation Safety Manual, PRSM-2 (Rev. 1), IAEA, 1996
1. What thickness of lead shielding is required so that
the dose rate at 50 cm from 1.5 GBq Co-60 will not
exceed 20 Gy/h?

DR = DRo e - x

1.5 x 3570

DRo = 2.142 mGy/h


DR = DRo e - x

0.02 = 2.142 e - 0.63 x

= e - 0.63 x DRo = 2.142 mGy/h
DR = 20 Gy/h
ln 0.02 = - 0.63 x = 0.02 mGy/h

-4.674 = - 0.63 x x = 7.4 cm lead


2. The dose rate near an I-131 source is

measured at 90 μSv/hr. What thickness of lead
is needed to reduce this dose rate to 10 μSv/hr?
(For lead, HVL= 0.72 cm),

3. The activity of I-131 to be administered to the

patient is 7.4 GBq.
a) What is the dose rate at 1 m?
b) What thickness of lead shielding is needed
to reduce the dose rate to 25 μSv/hr?
c) What distance would achieve this lower
dose rate, if no shielding was available?
1. How long can a radiation worker stay in a 15
mSv/hr radiation field if we limit a dose of 1

2. a) A Co-60 source gives a dose rate of 400

μSv/hr at 1 m. At what distance from the source
must a barrier be placed if the dose rate at the
barrier must not exceed 25 μSv/hr?
b) Using the values of HVL, calculate the
thickness of the following materials w/c would
give same protection at the original distance of
1 m from the source: lead, concrete (HVL lead =
1.1 cm, HVL concrete = 6.3 cm )
3. A 550 MBq I-131 source is placed inside a
1 cm thick lead pot with a diameter of 5 cm.
a) W h a t i s t h e d o s e r a t e t o a p e r s o n
standing 2.5 m away?
b) If the source is placed in the middle of a
5x5 meter room, how thick must the
concrete wall be such that the adjacent
room can be used as a common office?
Assume office hours of 40 hours a week
and 48 weeks a year.
1. PowerPoint Presentation of Ms. LB Cayabo on
Dose and Shielding Calculations.

2. IAEA/ANSTO Distance Learning Project Module

in Radiation Protection: Protection from external
radiation hazards.

3. IAEA Practical Radiation Safety Manual

4. PGEC Modules in Radiation Protection & Safe

Use of Radiation Sources.

Thank you.