Ionising radiation guidelines

Our guidelines give safety information on equipment emitting ionising radiation, including x-ray equipment, and unsealed radioactive materials.

Equipment emitting ionising radiation

Note: Equipment emitting ionising radiation includes X-ray equipment.

Statutory and University obligations

  1. Purchase of X-ray equipment capable of emitting ionising radiation (with the exception of exempt equipment such as electron microscopes) must only be undertaken by a user licensee. The Head of Department and the Hazards and Containment Manager must be notified to ensure University and ORS records are kept up-to-date.
  2. Decommissioning, sale or transfer of X-ray equipment must be notified to the ORS. The user licensee will also notify the Head of Department and the Hazards and Containment Manager to ensure University and ORS records are kept up-to-date.
  3. Equipment emitting ionising radiation must only be used by a user licensee or a person who is under the supervision or instruction of a user licensee. The requirements of the Radiation Safety Act, Regulations, ORS Codes of Safe Practice and the University of Auckland Radiation Safety Plan must be observed. 
  4. Licensees must document all users of X-ray equipment under supervision or instruction.
  5. Wherever possible ALARA principles will be employed to ensure the dose to staff and students using radionuclides is as low as possible.

Additional requirements

  1. User licensees must document ALL users of x-ray equipment under their supervision or instruction have received training in general principles of radiation protection (a web-based course has been established for this purpose) as well as machine specific rules. The licensee will retain all records of training.
  2. User licensees must ensure that a method of leakage monitoring is conducted at least annually and documented.
  3. User licensees must ensure that checks of all interlocks and warning lights are conducted at least annually and documented.
  4. User licensees will ensure all areas where x-ray equipment is used have appropriate warning signage.
  5. Emergency procedures must be posted in the equipment control area indicating immediate steps to be undertaken and who is responsible for shut-down.
  6. User licensees must take reasonable steps to ensure that an untrained person does not have access to or cannot operate the equipment. Measures such as locking off equipment or locking off rooms where equipment is used must be employed.
  7. User licensees will have a record of all persons who have access to specific codes or keys that enable interlocks to be bypassed.
  8. User licensees will ensure all repair and maintenance work is undertaken by persons with licenses to undertake this work and that the maintenance licensee has documented that the equipment is safe before returning the equipment back to the use licensee.

Unsealed radioactive materials

Our safety guideline for unsealed radioactive materials provides a summary of information on:

  • Statutory and University obligations
  • Safe handling
  • Containment
  • Dose limitation — The role of time, distance and shielding
  • Contamination monitoring
  • Disposal of radioactive waste
  • Some features of commonly used radioisotopes
  • Main characteristics of the most commonly used radionuclides.

More information is available as part of the relevant modules of the Canvas online training course — Safe use of ionising radiation.

Enclosed X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence equipment

University obligations

Notwithstanding that enclosed X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence equipment does not require a license, the Responsible Principal Investigator must ensure the 13 requirements for purchase disposal and use above that apply to equipment emitting will also be observed.

Document Control
Version: 1.0
Last Updated: Dec 2019
Next Review: Dec 2022
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing