RPA Services

photo of dr. elaine doorly founder of radiation safety ireland Legal Obligation to Appoint an RPA

Under Article 19 of the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Order, 2000 there is a legal requirement for all businesses working with sources of ionising radiation to appoint a 'Radiation Protection Adviser'.

The Radiation Protection Advisor must be a qualified expert who has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency - Office of the Radiological Protection (EPA-ORP) as being a competent person to undertake this role.

They must be in possession of a valid Certificate of Competence issued by the EPA-ORP. This legislation states that 'the undertaking shall appoint in writing one or more suitable Radiation Protection Advisers and shall consult them as necessary regarding compliance with the Order'.

The Radiation Protection Adviser has a different, separate and independent role to the company Radiological Protection Officer. The Radiation Protection Adviser is an independent 'qualified expert' who will assist persons working with sources of ionising radiation to comply with the regulatory requirements and offer on-going technical advice and guidance to ensure that the standards of radiological protection as required by law are effectively implemented.

While the Radiation Protection Adviser is likely to provide guidance on many areas of radiological protection, the legislation specifically states that the RPA must be consulted on the following matters:

  • The examination and testing of protective devices and measuring instruments.
  • The prior critical examination of plans for installations from the point of view of radiation protection.
  • The acceptance into service of new or modified sources from the point of view of radiation protection.
  • The regular checking of the effectiveness of protective devices and techniques.
  • The regular calibration of measuring instruments and the regular checking that they are serviceable and correctly used.

Radiation Protection Adviser Annual Contracts

Annual contracts are provided to all clients which can include the following services:
  • Annual on-site radiation safety audit to identify any areas of non-compliance and to provide advice and guidance with regard to complying with EPA-ORP licence conditions, radiation safety procedures (local rules), and all relevant legislative requirements.
  • Provision of a confidential annual detailed written audit report, outlining areas of compliance, non-compliance and recommendations / advice for improvements where required.
  • Assistance in the review / updating of radiation safety procedures (local rules) and risk assessments.
  • Annual retention service to allow for on-going advice and guidance throughout the year by telephone or e-mail.
  • Contracts will vary depending on the client's needs and no contract is considered too large or too small. Once the client's needs are identified an RPA contract proposal is issued to the client. This contract can be reviewed, renewed and amended if necessary as time goes on.

Additional services that clients may wish / need to include in their annual RPA contract:

Leak Testing of Sealed Sources of Ionising Radiation

Leak tests are required by law for all sealed sources of Ionising Radiation, and must be undertaken at least once every 2 years. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake any leak tests required and provide a leak test certificate.

Radiochemical Analysis of Radioactive Materials

Occasionally it may be necessary to analyse radioactive substances to determine the type, amount (activity), and concentration (specific activity) of radionuclides present in a material. This may be necessary to determine if a substance needs to be included on your EPA-ORP licence or for example to make decisions with regard to dose and exposure, or with regard to responsible waste management, control and disposal.

We can arrange to take samples of materials and have them analysed appropriately (for example by gamma spectrometry or liquid scintillation counting), and provide a report outlining the results of analysis and providing relevant recommendations and guidance.

Radiation Dose Rate Measurements and Surveys

Radiation dose rate surveys may be required where high energy sealed sources of ionising radiation or x-rays are in use to ensure that adequate shielding and control measures are in place to protect employees, visitors or members of the public. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake these surveys and provide reports with results and relevant advice and guidance.

Development of Emergency Intervention Plans

Article 36 of the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Order, 2000 requires that emergency intervention plans must be compiled to assess the possibility of a radiological emergency resulting from practices undertaken, to evaluate the likely distribution of radioactive substances in the event of a radiological emergency and to ensure that appropriate control measures are in place to deal with the various type of emergency that might reasonably occur.

Radiation Safety Ireland can prepare such a detailed Radiological Emergency Intervention Plan for clients and submit same to the EPA-ORP, following discussion and collaboration with various emergency services where necessary.

Radiation Contamination Monitoring

Contamination monitoring can be undertaken on a routine scheduled basis if required, or following an incident for example an accident or spillage. Reports are provided following contamination monitoring outlining the results of monitoring and their significance with regard to regulatory compliance.

Risk Assessments

Article 9 of the Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Order, 2000, states that 'The undertaking shall make an assessment of the risks to any workers or member of the public for the purposes of identifying the protective measures needed to restrict exposure to ionising radiation. Failure to do so may result in an enforcement notice being issued by the Institute in accordance with Article 41'.

Risk assessments are required for all new work activities with ionising radiation, or where there are changes in the way an undertaking performs their activities that may impact on radiological safety. Radiation Safety Ireland have years of experience in undertaking radiological safety risk assessments to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Ionising Radiation Order 2000 and the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

Radiation Safety Training

All clients will have various radiation safety training needs. Radiation Safety Ireland can address such needs through the provision of bespoke radiation safety training courses, either held in house or on your site (most popular and preferred option for clients) or at Radiation Safety Ireland's training room in Co. Louth.

Laboratory Clearance Surveys and Certification

Where unsealed radionuclide laboratory facilities are being vacated, sold or undergoing a change of use, a laboratory clearance survey should be undertaken to ensure that all radionuclide source and waste materials have been removed and dealt with appropriately. Such surveys also ensure that no radioactive contamination is evident on any surface in the laboratory, for example, walls, floors, benching, fume cupboards etc. Radiation Safety Ireland can undertake such a survey and provide a Laboratory Clearance Certificate.

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RPA Services

We provide a full Radiation Protection Adviser Service to assist persons working with sources of ionising radiation to comply with The Radiological Protection Act, 1991 (Ionising Radiation) Order, 2000. Ongoing technical advice and guidance can be provided along with a range range of practical services. button

Radiation Safety Training Courses

In House Courses Radiation Safety Ireland can address all your radiation safety training needs through the provision of our in-house bespoke training courses. Examples of such training courses are as follows.

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The courses above are examples of typical and popular in house training courses. The course content of any course may be amended as necessary to suit your exact needs.