SCHOOL DEMONSTRATION SOURCES

The use of radioactive substances in Western Australia must comply with the requirements of the Radiation Safety Act and the Radiation Safety (General) Regulations. The following information is relevant for educators who use demonstration sources in a secondary school or tertiary educational institution.

Demonstration sources contain small amounts of radioactive material. They are used to demonstrate the properties of different types of radiation to students. Sources used in secondary schools are sealed and produce very small amounts of radiation; they pose no risk to teachers or students as long as the sources remain sealed.

Sources used in tertiary educational institutions may produce larger quantities of radiation when necessary to demonstrate a particular event or property. However, when properly used, stored and handled these also pose no significant risk to students or teachers. The controls and restrictions on the possession and use of radioactive materials are intended to reflect the hazard and so increase with the hazard level.

Demonstration sources must be used in accordance with the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency [external website] Safety Guide for the Use of Radiation in Schools 2012 (RPS 18).

For a list of sources that have been approved for use in this area, please send us an email. A response will be sent to you by one of our officers.

 

Registration

The premises and all non-exempt demonstration sources must be registered. Should you need to make an application for registration, you will need to complete and submit a registration application form [PDF < 100 kb]. Registrations are not transferrable between owners. The new owner of the premises and any radioactive sources must apply for a new registration.

Demonstration sources should be stored in a secure place. Appropriate audit methods should be in place so that the location of each source is controlled at all times. After use, all sources should be accounted for and returned to a lockable environment. Additional shielding for storing these sources is unnecessary; however, sources should be stored in a place where human occupancy is minimal.

A nomination for the Radiation Safety Officer will need to be made on the registration application. To make a change of Radiation Safety Officer, you will need to submit a nomination to the Radiological Council in writing.

You must give prior written notification to the Radiological Council of any planned changes that affect the information previously supplied for your registration. The registration amendment form [PDF < 100 kb] may be used to advise of new sources, sale or transfer of sources, or disposal of sources. For changes not covered by this form, you will need to submit written notification to Council requesting your registration be amended.

Note that disposal of any radioactive substance requires notification to the Council in writing stating the identification of the source and its intended destination. Disposal options typically include –

  • transfer to another approved user;
  • return of the source to the manufacturer/supplier;
  • transfer of the source to a radiation consultant; or
  • permanent disposal of the source through the Department of Finance [external website] at the Mount Walton East Intractable Waste Disposal Facility. An application will need to be made to the Radiological Council for a disposal permit and this will only be considered if the three previous methods have been exhausted.

 

Further Information

 

Related Pages

 

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Page last revised: 17 September 2013