How Are Radiation Shielded Doors Assessed?
Radiation is used in many of today’s modern industries, however, inadequate protection and mishandling can have numerous negative health impacts, ranging from nausea and skin irritation, all the way through to nerve damage and cancer.
Radiation shielded doors are essential for providing protection to staff and clients, as well as the general public. Radiation shielding can be added to numerous types of doors during the design and manufacturing stage to prevent unsafe radiation leakages. It is essential that radiation shielded doors are incorporated into a vigorous Radiation Management Plan to ensure their continuing safety.
Radiation has the potential to cause dire health consequences. For this reason, your facility must prepare a Radiation Management Plan, inclusive of Radiation Shielded Doors appropriate to the design.
Radiation Shielded Doors
There are numerous types of radiation-shielded doors, which are suitable for different applications. The most important consideration when choosing a radiation shielded door is the type of radiation the door will be exposed to. A qualified radiation expert can help you to formulate a Radiation Management Plan, which includes the Radiation Shielded Doors appropriate for your facility.
Some of the most common options include:
• Lead-lined fire doors, which protects against low to medium energy X-rays
• Interlocking lead bricks, which protect against high energy X-rays
• Interlocking concrete blocks, which protect against neutron and gamma radiation
• Solid steel-plated doors, which protect against neutron and gamma radiation
• Borated polyethylene-lined doors, which protect against neutron radiation
All doors, as well as the rooms they are fitted within, must follow the guidelines of Section 14 of the Radiation Control regulation 2013. The federal governing body for radiation safety is the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Saftey Agency (ARPANSA), which issues licenses to organisations using radiation and governs regulation, however, individual states have their own governing bodies that deal with individual facilities. In New South Wales the regulatory body is the Environmental Protection Authority.
Radiation Management Plans
It is important that the specific design of a radiation-proof room is assessed before construction, and under the regulatory body of the EPA, a Radiation Management Plan must be created and approved. Some of the parameters that must be assessed to form the plan include:
• Assessment of the radiation apparatus, such as a radiotherapy apparatus or a diagnostic imaging apparatus
• Assessment of the location where the apparatus will be installed and its situation within the room.
• Assessment of radioactive substances to be used or stored.
A template for a Radiation Management Plan is available on the EPA website. Visit the EPA website for more information.
Radiation Safety Assessors
In some circumstances, a Radiation Safety Assessor must be appointed, if the EPA deems it necessary. A radiation officer has a mix of scientific and technical expertise and will only be approved by the EPA if they are first approved by ARPANSA, under the radiation security advisors accreditation scheme. A radiation Safety Assessor does not have to be a full-time employee, however, their credentials must first be approved by the EPA. Assessors have the authority to report unsafe processes, operations or designs.
Radiation shielded doors are common in many industries, from health to manufacturing. Most larger facilities or facilities using ionising radiation will require a Radiation Saftey Officer. These may include:
• Hospitals with large Radiology and X-Ray Facilities
• Research Laboratories
• Communications Centres
• Nuclear Power Operations
Smaller facilities that use radiation shielded doors but may not require a Radiation Saftey Assessor include:
• Dental Surgeries
• Veterinary Clinics
• Smaller X-ray facilities.