1.0 Introduction to the Radiation Protection Program Manual and Commitment to ALARA

1.0 Introduction to the Radiation Protection Program Manual and Commitment to ALARA

1.1  Radiation Protection Program Manual (RPPM)

  • The University Radiation Protection Manual describes, either directly or by reference, the policies, procedures and standards for both administrative and technical operations that are components of the University Radiation Protection Program (RPP).
  • The RPPM serves two main purposes:
  • It meets WA DOH requirements for a Type A Broadscope licensee;
  • It provides University radiation users with the knowledge and guidance they need to conduct safe and compliant radiological research, teaching and/or service activities.
  • The RPPM is not intended to be all inclusive or stand-alone source of information. Additional information and guidance is provided to radiation users through the:
  • University Safety Policies and Procedures Manual, Chapter 9.0, Radiation Safety;
  • Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) and Radiation Safety Office (RSO) webpages (http://president.wsu.edu/office/presidential-committees/radiation-safety.html and rso.wsu.edu/) ;
  • Attachments and resource links provided in RPPM Chapter 10.E, Resources and Links for Radiation Users.
  • The SPPM and RPPM have undergone significant revision to make them more useful to users and to assure they are compatible with the most recent renewal of the University’s Broadscope radioactive materials license issued by the WA DOH (06/30/2014).
  • The RPPM is a dynamic reference that must change as regulations and policies change and new directives are issued by regulatory agencies; the RSC; and/or University’s executive management.
  • Copies of the manual, or any portion of it, may be printed. But, the user must be aware that the most up-to-date guidance will be found in the on-line electronic version.
  • RPPM Chapter 10.E is the radiation user’s source of E-forms and templates used in the University’s RPP;
  • RPPM Chapter 10.F, Resources and Links is a tool users can use to find additional, up-to-date training AND guidance from:
  • The University (RSC and RSO);
  • Regulators (WA DOH; NRC; EPA; DOT; etc.);
  • Open source information providers (REMM; REACT; Federal departments and labs; professional associations, etc.);
  • Vendors and service providers (Perkin-Elmer; Ludlum Instruments; Troxler; etc.).


1.2 University’s Commitment to ALARA (As-Low-As-Reasonably-Achievable)

  • The acronym ALARA, “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”, means that individuals using sources of ionizing radiation are to make every reasonable effort to keep radiation exposures to individuals (themselves and their co-workers) and releases of radioactive materials (RAM) as far below the regulatory limits as is practicable during their work.
  • The University, through the RSC, has set an expectation that exposures and releases will be kept at or below 10% of the limits set by regulatory agencies.
  • The University’s commitment to ALARA is in place and enforced because:
  • It is the correct thing to do based on radiobiological data and the need to protect both people and the environment from unnecessary exposure to radiation;
  • ALARA is a Federal and State requirement for all Broadscope licensees.
  • All Authorized Users and personnel working in radiation use areas are to review their work protocols, work habits and available safety equipment to assure they are adhering to the ALARA principle.


  • RSO is required to oversee all use of radiation at the University and will notify Authorized Users and individual radiation workers when:
  • Non-ALARA work practices are identified;
  • Personnel dosimeters or area radiation monitors indicate the exposure level is higher than expected for the type of radiation use;
  • The readings of individual radiation worker dosimeters indicate a radiation exposure that exceeds pre-set University ALARA level (i.e. -10% of the annual exposure limit).
  • Corrective Actions will be initiated by the RSO, URSO or RSC upon identification of an unsafe or non-ALARA situation. The corrective action(s) may include suspension of an approved use or an Authorization; or the loss of approval to be a radiation worker.
  • The identification of a non-ALARA event or situation requires the RSO to investigate and to prepare an Incident Report, to be reviewed by the Radiation Safety Committee.
  • The safety of the public and the University community (students, staff, volunteers, guests, visitors, etc.) is of paramount importance.
  • It is the intent of the University Radiation Protection Program to assure that all University facilities and grounds are uncontaminated and releasable for any future, non-radiological use (i.e. – there will be no measureable radiation present from any source of radiation held under the authority of the University at the time of free release).