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Tips and tricks for the practice of internal dosimetry in occupational radiation protection

8 October 2020

Recording →

Moderator: Burçin Okyar (IAEA)

Presenters: María Antonia López (EURADOS), Nancy Puerta Yepes (REPROLAM), Wi-Ho Ha (ARADOS), David Tucker (IAEA)

Date of broadcast: 8 October 2020, 2:00 PM CEST

About the webinar

In this webinar, IAEA and international experts will discuss measurement, assessment and interpretation for internal dosimetry, specific to workers. Internal exposure occurs when radioactive materials enter the body during  work including radiation exposure such as production and handling of large quantities of radiopharmaceuticals, 18F for diagnostics by positron emission tomography or 131I for therapy, mining of high grade uranium ores, processing of uranium mineral concentrates and production of nuclear fuel, and processing of mineral concentrates. Exposure also includes those incidents or mishaps due to radioactive material, in such instances, radioactive materials may penetrate the human body via inhalation, ingestion, or open wounds, and expose internal organs to radiation.

Thus, regulations require occupationally exposed workers with unsealed sources  to undergo periodic monitoring in order to detect radioactive materials in their bodies. Doses from intakes of radionuclides cannot be measured but must be assessed from monitoring data, such as whole body, urine or faecal data. Such assessments require application of biokinetic and dosimetric models, and the assessor may well have to make assumptions about factors such as the pattern of intake and properties of the radioactive material.

The assessment of doses received by workers from exposure due to intakes of radionuclides may be based on the results of individual monitoring involving one or more of the following types of measurement:

  • Sequential measurements of radionuclides in the whole body or in specific organs, such as the thyroid or the lung;
  • Measurements of radionuclides in biological samples, such as excretions or breath;
  • Measurement of activity concentrations in air samples that are collected using personal air sampling devices worn by the worker and that are representative of the air breathed by that worker.

IAEA International Basic Safety Standards (GSR Part 3) and IAEA General Safety Guide on Occupational Radiation Protection (GSG-7) set out the requirements and guidance, respectively, with regard to the monitoring and recording of occupational exposure including internal exposure for regulatory bodies and for employers, registrants and licensees. Operators are responsible for making arrangements for assessment of the occupational exposure of workers. This is based on individual monitoring where appropriate, and ensure that arrangements are made with authorized or approved dosimetry service providers that operate under a quality management system.

Learning objectives

Participants of the webinar will learn about:

  • IAEA GSR Part 3 requirements and GSG-7 guidance for technical service providers for internal dosimetry; 
  • Internal dosimetry at a glance, principles and practice of internal dosimetry and internal contamination monitoring;
  • Roles and duties of dosimetry services and monitoring methods;
  • Monitoring programme for a wide range of exposure conditions and assess internal doses from the results of monitoring;  
  • Assessment of internal doses from monitoring measurements;
  • Accuracy requirements, quality assurance requirements, and criteria for approval and accreditation;
  • Computer based expert systems providing solutions for any task in the field of incorporation monitoring and internal dose assessment;
  • Status of work to implement ICP-MS for analysis of excreta and to update the technical basis for internal dosimetry.  

About the presenters

María Antonia López

Dr. Lopez is the Head of the Internal Dosimetry Group of the Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology in Spain. She has been a member of Committee 2 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) since 2017 and ICRP Task Group 112 on Emergency Dosimetry since 2020. She has been involved with the European Radiation Dosimetry Group (EURADOS e.V.) since 2001 and been part of the EURADOS Council and coordinating Working Group 7 “internal dosimetry” from 2008 to 2018. Dr. Lopez is also a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Working Group 25 on Population Monitoring Following Radiological Accidents and ISO Working Group 13 on Internal Dosimetry. She is a member of the working group on internal contamination dosimetry of WHO’s Network for Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance. She has more than 80 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals. Dr Lopez has previously collaborated with IAEA for Education and Training actions on Radiation Protection as well as on dosimetry of ionizing radiations and internal dosimetry.

Nancy Puerta Yepes

Mrs. Puerta Yepes works as the Head of the Internal Dosimetry Department of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of Argentina. She is currently coordinating the Latin America Occupational Radiation Protection Optimization Network (REPROLAM) group on Internal Dosimetry. She is a Physical Engineer and has a master’s degree in science physics from National University of Colombia, a master’s degree in medical physics from National University of Cuyo, and a post degree in Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources. She also serves as a professor of internal dosimetry of this postgraduate specialization.

Wi-Ho Ha

Dr. Ha has a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea. Since 2006, he has worked at the National Radiation Emergency Medical Center of Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences (KIRAMS) as a senior researcher in the field of radiation dosimetry. He was the Head of the Health Physics Laboratory at the KIRAMS for more than 10 years. Currently, he is working at the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission as a visiting research scientist. Dr Ha has served as the Secretary of the Asian Radiation Dosimetry Group (ARADOS) and has been involved in IAEA training courses and technical cooperation projects as an invited lecturer and a technical expert several times since 2016.

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