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ISEMIR - Industrial Radiography FAQ

» What is ISEMIR-IR? 

ISEMIR is Information System on Occupational Exposure in Medicine, Industry and Research. ISEMIR-IR is a tool for radiation protection optimization in non-destructive testing companies carrying out industrial radiography (IR). ISEMIR-IR is developed as a web-based tool for regular data collection and analysis of occupational doses for individuals in IR, and for the use of this information to improve occupational radiation protection.

It assists IR facilities in benchmarking their arrangements in radiation protection and safety, and hence in promoting of, implementation of optimization of occupational radiation protection.

» What are the objectives of ISEMIR-IR? 

  • to facilitate the implementation of ALARA practices and effective exposure management
  • to provide efficient collection and maintenance of data on occupational exposure, radiation practices and incidents
  • to allow non-destructive testing (NDT) companies to benchmark their own facility and individual radiographers’ performances against global or regional data
  • to define follow-up actions to address identified gaps and disseminate lessons learnt
  • to contribute to minimizing the likelihood of accidents, e.g. by identifying pre-cursors, user feedback and experience.

» How was ISEMIR-IR developed? 

The ISEMIR project was initiated by the IAEA in January 2009 to focus on very specific topical areas where occupational radiation protection for the workers is not trivial, and where there are still pending issues and gaps.

The ISEMIR was coordinated by the IAEA assisted by an Advisory Group with representatives of international organisations as well as the five main world regions. The Advisory Group identified two specific areas in radiation use, where non-trivial occupational exposures occur, interventional cardiology and industrial radiography.

For each of these 2 topical areas a working group was set up with experts covering the respective area in a comprehensive way with respect to professions, type of radiation usages, geographical regions and other factors.

» What was the role of the ISEMIR Working Group on Industrial Radiography? 

ISEMIR Working Group on Industrial Radiography’s (WGIR) main task was to draw an overview picture of the situation concerning occupational exposures and radiation protection of staff in IR all over the world.

The WGIR was comprised of professionals with experience of working for NDT companies, client companies, NDT societies, technical service organizations, including education, training and inspection, and regulatory bodies.

As a part of its actions, WGIR performed a worldwide survey of occupational radiation protection in IR over a period of about one year, from mid-2010 to mid-2011. Responses were received from 432 industrial radiographers, 95 NDT companies, and 59 regulatory bodies. The data collected were able to demonstrate:

  • a clear need for worldwide improved optimization of occupational radiation protection in IR
  • an ability to compare doses for specific occupational roles and conditions, and to assess the impact of radiation protection actions, and to follow dose trends.

Read more about the survey in IAEA TECDOC 1747.

As a result, WGIR has proposed to the Advisory Group and IAEA to set up an international database to be used by end-users as a tool for optimization of occupational radiation protection.

Read more about the WGIR mandate and actions on the ORPNET website.

» What is the Road Map Tool? 

The “road map” is a software tool that enables NDT companies to assess their own performance in radiation protection against accepted practice. A NDT company answers the questions in the road map, based on current practice in their company. The response to each question is then scored by comparing it with a measure of good practice. Different weightings are applied to questions, depending on their relative importance. The scores are summed and the results presented to the user, including a graphical schematic that gives a quick visual overview of how the NDT company compares with current good practice. Areas that have been identified as being below par could then be addressed by the NDT company to improve occupational radiation protection in their facility.

» Why is ISEMIR-IR focused on industrial radiography? 

Industrial radiography work by its nature is often carried out under difficult working conditions, such as in confined spaces or extreme cold or heat or working at night. Working under such adverse conditions might result in operational situations in which occupational radiation protection may be compromised. Experience shows that incidents involving IR sources have sometimes resulted in high doses to workers, causing severe health consequences such as radiation burns and, in a few cases, death.

It has been long known that there is significant potential for IR personnel to receive non-trivial occupational exposure. However a worldwide perspective has been lacking, as has been the availability of a systematic means for improving occupational radiation protection in IR throughout the world.

» How do I benefit from participation in ISEMIR-IR? 

The participation is free of charge and many parts of the data entry are voluntary in order to make it accessible to all interested parties. Each participating NDT company should provide annual information about company, including the sources used, company procedures, training related to radiation protection, and individual industrial radiographers in the company.

As an outcome of the data entry, NDT company can reviewed its assessment of the effectiveness of the optimization of radiation protection. The metric is determined by occupational dose per radiographic exposure for a given industrial radiographer. See the flowchart below:

The international database supports three broad types of analyses: occupational doses per radiographic exposure for a given industrial radiographer as a function of personnel and facility attributes; benchmarking; and trends with time (per radiographic exposure over successive years).

NDT facilities benefit from using ISEMIR-IR by benchmarking their own company and individual personnel performances against global or regional data and identifying areas for improvement and corrective actions that should lead to an improvement in radiation protection.

» How do I register for using ISEMIR IR? 

  • Register with NUCLEUS
  • Confirm the email link received after your registration
  • Once your IAEA Nucleus account is activated, return to ISEMIR
  • Select ISEMIR-IR

If you are already registered with Nucleus, simply sign in using your existing user name and password. For more information, please read the User Guide.

» How do I know that my data are kept confidential? 

Individuals and facilities are anonymised in the database. IAEA cannot and does not reveal the identity of the relevant company, and all submitted personal or company data are considered to be confidential and will not be shared.

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