Operational Radiation Safety for Newly Developed and Fielded Radiation-Emitting Systems for Homeland Security


P. M. Moscato, M. A. Melanson, D. P. Alberth, F. Szrom


In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, the United States Government has a heightened level of concern about future acts of terrorism. Newly developed and fielded systems utilizing ionizing radiation sources are available to assist in Homeland Defense and security initiatives. These imaging or elemental analysis systems are more complex than the cabinet and baggage x-ray systems previously used. Use of these systems outside a shielded radiation facility offers more challenges to overall radiation safety. With less shielding during operations, institutional controls are applied to ensure protection of occupational workers, the public, and the environment while enhancing security operations. Health physics assessments of new equipment classify these systems in accordance with current standards, ensuring compliance with applicable regulations and license requirements, providing radiation safety training to personnel, and evaluating system operation to ensure radiation safety. This paper will address the methods used to assess the safe operation of an imaging system utilizing a sealed gamma source and of an elemental analysis system that utilizes a neutron generator.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Emerging Technologies, Part 2 Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

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