Radiation

Radiation refers to the transfer of energy through space away from a source. At the university, radioisotopes and radiation producing equipment such as lasers and X-ray machines are often used in research activities. 

EHS provides technical expertise and support to ensure compliance with federal and provincial regulations as they pertain to the use of radioactive material at the university. Our services include the following:
  • Review and approval of applications for work with radioisotopes & radiation-emitting devices & purchase of materials
  • Advice on equipment and laboratory decontamination
  • Inspections of laser and x-ray equipment

Radiation can be divided into ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Ionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation has enough energy to remove bound electrons from an atom or a molecule. Examples include X-rays emitted by CT scanner, gamma rays emitted by radioisotope such as Tc-99m, or beta particles emitted by radioisotope such as P-32.

For more information on the hazards and safe work practices associated with ionizing radiation, refer to the following EHS resources:

Non-Ionizing Radiation

Non-ionizing radiation carries enough energy to excite an atom or molecule, but not enough to remove an electron from the atom or molecule. Non-ionizing radiation is present in our environment, and is also emitted by equipment such as lasers.

For more information on the hazards and safe work practices associated with non-ionizing radiation, refer to the laser webpage or to the Laser Safety Manual.

Regulators/regulations

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "Safeguards" Program (Regulated in Canada by the CNSC) 

  • Program that regulates the use, production, and storage of certain nuclear materials (uranium, thorium, plutonium); preparations that include these materials; and any research and development pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle
  • Program requires completion of the CNSC Safeguard Declaration form; for an example of a completed form (nuclear material section only), click here.
  • More information about the program is available here

Alberta Occupational Health & Safety

Health Canada

Planning to work with radioisotopes, lasers or x-ray equipment at the university?

Contact EHS