Working with Nuclear Substances, X-ray Devices + Lasers

Radiation refers to the transfer of energy through space away from a source. At the university, nuclear substances and radiation devices , and designated radiation equipment  are often used in research activities.

HSE provides technical expertise and support to ensure compliance with federal and provincial regulations as they pertain to the use of regulated substances and equipment at the university. Our radiation and laser safety services include the following:

  • Review and approval of applications to use nuclear substances, radiation devices and designated radiation equipment.
  • Radiation and laser safety advice.
  • Inspections of nuclear substance, laser and X-ray labs.

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 radioisotopes 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 HSE 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 lasers, refer to the laser webpage or to the Laser Safety Manual.

Regulators + Regulations

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC)
International Atomic Energy Agency

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 a federal regulatory declaration form.
Alberta Occupational Health + Safety
Health Canada

Employees, Students


Safety & Security

VP Services & Finance