Ionising radiation safety introduction
In the CLF radiation may arise from the use of sealed or open radiation sources or through high intensity laser-matter interactions which can produce both prompt bursts of gamma-rays and x-rays, neutrons and energetic charged particles as well as induced radioactivity through activation. Produced ionising radiation bursts can escape interaction chambers and as such radiation shielding is required where high-energy particles are accelerated. Typically (but not always), the on-target intensities are required to exceed 1018W/cm2 in order to produce ionising radiation and as such most commercial or small laser systems do not fall into this category. Both STFC and the CLF place a high importance on the control of ionising radiation and takes into account the type of radiation, its intensity and potential for exposure when devising control measures.
Work involving ionising radiation is subject to international and national regulations as well as local STFC safety codes. Local Rules are in place in all Radiation Designated Areas (RDA’s) which must be obeyed by all of the CLF’s staff and visitors. Work involving ionising radiation must have prior authorisation by the designated Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS). Radiation Protection Supervisors are appointed for each area and are responsible for producing the necessary assessments and gaining director approval for any new work. The RPS ensures that all work in Radiation “Controlled” and “Supervised” areas is carried out in accordance with the Local Rules, specific risk assessments and with appropriate monitoring if required. The RPS is listed on the local safety card for the area(s).