Industrial Radiation FAQ


How do I become an RSO?


In the state of Texas, as well as in other states, one must pass an approved RSO course, specific to the industry in which you are interested  (such as medical, induatrial, etc.), and have 2 years experience in the area in which they want to be certified.  If you submit this information along with a resume, and if the Department of Health and Human Services (Radioactive Materials Division) approves you, you are an RSO.


How do I get a license for radioactive materials?


On the Department of State Health Services (this changes from state to state or go to the NRC page) web page there is a form for Licensing of Radiative material. If you fill out this form and attach all the required information that the State requires. Information such as: uses of the radioactive material, activities wanted, manufacturer, RSO experience, operating procedures for handling and dealing with rad mat, emergency procedures, training of users, etc. if this is all submitted along with a the correct licensing fee and the state/NRC approves it, you have a license. We would be happy to help you put together all the required information and submit to the State/NRC.


How do I renew a license?


When your license comes up for renewal one must resubmit all the information that was submitted for obtaining a license in the first place. The renewal package must be in the hands of the regulatory agency 30 days before the license is scheduled to expire, this gives the agency enough time to request additional information if they need to before the license officially expires.


How do I close out a license?


When you no longer have the need for radioactive material or all your material has been removed from the location you can cancel your license. One must request a license termination from the state or NRC. They will ask some questions regarding where and when your material went. And if you have done a survey of the areas where the materials were kept. They might even come out to your site to verify the surveys and that the site is fee of residual material.


Why and how often is leak testing required?


Leak testing is done to determine if the sealed source of radioactive material has been damaged in a way in which the material is out of the source. If this occurs one must remove the unit from service so the contamination does not spread. Depending on the type of source and radionuclide involved leak testing on a sealed source must be done either every six months or three years. We provide mailable leak test kits and leak testing service and would be glad to help you with this regulatory requirement.


What is involved in an audit?


An audit is a review of your radiation safety program. The auditors will look through your files to see if you are keeping up with what your license states you will do and what the regulations state you will do. Depending on the size of your program and audit should take a few hours to a full day. The audit is designed to tell you what parts of the program or what documents need to be updated or placed in the file if they are not there. This helps you maintain documents for your program be more complete so when you get an official audit from the State or NRC the probability of you coming out with no violations will be high. We can help you with audits, we regularly preform radiation safety audits for many companies.


What is the difference between an Agreement State and an NRC State?


An NRC state is one of the states that is regulated under the NRC for radiation protection and they follow the regulation of 10 CFR 20. An Agreement state, there are 37 of them, is a state that regulates its own radiation safety programs and they follow whatever states regulation that they are in. The Governor of the state has made an agreement with the NRC that says the state will regulate itself on these matters. Each agreement states regulations need to be at least equal to the NRC regulations. The NRC comes and reviews the Agreement states program every so often to see if the State is doing a good job. If they are not, the NRC will give them time to fix the issues or may revoke their Agreement state status.


What is the purpose of inspection and inventories?


Besides being a regulatory requirement the inspections and inventories help monitor the condition of your gauging devices. The inventory is to help determine if the gauge is still there, is some cases it has not been. Also to determine if a gauge has been moved to a new location without the RSOs knowledge. Inspections are used to make sure the gauge is still in operational condition. Inspections include looking at the tag, to see if it still legible, looking at signs, to see if they are there and readable, inspection mounting bolts to see if they are present and tight, and determine if there is any corrosion on the head that needs to be attended to. Shutter checking is an important part of the inspection, because a broken or nonoperational shutter can lead to situation in which the gauge must be closed and can not be. I f one has a broken or nonoperational shutter the unit must be removed from service and repaired or replaced. We will be glad to help you with either inspections and inventories or the repair of your gauging device.