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  1. Technogenic radiation sources specially created for their useful application or sources that are by-products of such activity

  2. Natural radiation sources covered by the Radiation Safety Norms and Rules

In using the term ionizing radiation source or simply source, we follow the common practice in radiation protection and safety by which source means a radioactive substance or device emitting or capable of emitting ionizing radiation and covered by the Norms and Rules.2 Everything that could cause irradiation during emission of ionizing radiation or discharge of radioactive substances or materials is considered to be a source. For example, substances that emit radon are sources that exist in the environment, a gamma-radiation sterilization device is a source used in practical operations to preserve food products, and a nuclear power plant is a source in practical operation to produce electricity using nuclear energy. In the application of the Norms and Rules, complex devices or several devices located in one place or at one site may under appropriate circumstances be considered as a single source. In providing radiation protection for people and ensuring their safety, any source is considered as a source of harm and danger. The harmfulness of a source is determined by the real level of radiation associated with it. The danger is determined by the potential exposure that might result if the source goes out of control and leads to an accidental irradiation capable of having substantial radiation effects.3

The foundation for ensuring radiation safety for operations involving technogenic sources is the licensing of such activities, which entails the presence of a license holder, a legal entity bearing full responsibility for operations involving the technogenic source. As a rule, such a source is created for a purpose in the form of a device or unit that makes the most effective use of the ionizing radiation created; therefore, such a source is fundamentally a radiation hazard. The regulatory requirements applied to operations involving a technogenic source are primarily aimed at ensuring that such a specially created source is managed to prevent it from going out of regulated control.4 In this regard, the results of


International basic safety standards for protection against ionizing radiation and for the safety of radiation sources: Safety series No. 115. 1996. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency (Russian edition, 1997).


Kutkov, V. A., B. A. Bezrukov, V. V. Tkachenko, V. P. Romanov, I. V. Dolzhenkov, V. N. Lebedev, and V. I. Petrov. 2002. Fundamental principles and requirements of regulatory documents in the practice of ensuring radiation safety at nuclear power plants: A training handbook. V. A. Kutkov and B. A. Bezrukov, eds. Moscow: Rosenergoatom, 292 pp.

Kutkov, V. A., V. V. Tkachenko, and V. P. Romantsov. 2003. Radiation safety for nuclear power plant personnel: A training handbook. 2003. V. A. Kutkov, ed. Moscow-Obninsk: Atomtekhenergo and Obninsk State Technical University for Nuclear Power Engineering, 344 pp.


Op. cit.

Kutkov, V., O. Kochetkov, and A. Panfilov. 2002. Strategy of control at source as a base for protecting workers against risks arising from exposure to ionizing radiation in the Russian Federation.

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