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Description of terms

The definitions of some common radiation terms, as defined in the Radiation Safety Act 1999, are provided in italics below.

Below each definition is a description of the terms to aid understanding in how they relate to most instances. These descriptions are a guide to assist licence and certificate holders, they are not the legal definition.

Categories:

Licences, certificates and approvals

Act Instrument

  • a licence; or
  • an accreditation certificate; or
  • an approval; or
  • a radiation safety officer certificate.

    Radiation business and staff need to hold the appropriate Act Instrument to be allowed to carry out a radiation practice, including using radiation sources or storing radioactive substances.

Licences

  • Possession Licence
    a licence, issued under section 62, to possess a radiation source for a radiation practice.

    Allows a person (either a corporation or an individual) to take overall ownership and control of a radiation source. The licence specifies the type of radiation source and practice the licensee can possess and what radiation practice (for example, use or storage) can be carried out.
  • Transport Licence
    a licence, issued under section 62, to transport a radioactive substance.

    Allows an individual to transport radioactive substances in a vehicle by road. Or allows a person (either a corporation or an individual) to transport radioactive substances by means other than by road. For example, transporting radioactive substances by air, sea or rail.
  • Use Licence
    a licence, issued under section 62, to use a radiation source to carry out a radiation practice.

    Allows an individual with the necessary training and qualifications to use a radiation source to perform a radiation service, procedure or purpose. For example, using a laser to perform a cosmetic tattoo removal service.

Radiation Safety and Protection Plan

  • for a radiation practice, is a plan for the practice for which a possession licensee is allowed to possess a radiation source under the licence.

    Applications for a Possession Licence need to include a proposed Radiation Safety and Protection Plan. The plan specifies the actions to protect people and the environment from the harmful effects of the radiation that will be used in the business.

Security Plan

  • a plan for the security of a security enhanced source that a possession licensee is allowed to possess under the licence.

    Applications for a licence to possess security enhanced sources need to include a Security Plan. Possession Licensees will need to appoint an individual to be the nominated person who oversees the operation of the plan. The nominated person must have successfully completed a security and criminal history check before being nominated.

Transport Security Plan

  • a plan for the security of a radioactive substance that is a security enhanced source during the transport of the source.

    Applications for a licence to transport security enhanced sources need to include a Transport Security Plan. Possession Licensees will need to appoint an individual to be the nominated person who oversees the operation of the plan. The nominated person must have successfully completed a security and criminal history check before being nominated.
Accreditation Certificate
  • an accreditation certificate issued under section 62 (of the Act).

    Certifies that an individual has the necessary radiation skills, knowledge and experience to assess whether a type of radiation source and premises complies with the relevant radiation safety standard. They are allowed to issue Certificates of Compliance for particular radiation sources and premises that comply with the relevant safety standards.

Radiation Safety Officer Certificate

  • a radiation safety officer certificate issued under section 62.

    Certifies that an individual has the necessary skills, training, knowledge and experience in relation to a type of radiation practice to be able to properly provide radiation safety advice to a Possession Licensee. Possession Licensees are required to appoint a Radiation Safety Officer who holds a relevant Radiation Safety Officer Certificate for the practice type.

Certificates of Compliance

  • for a radiation source, includes—
    • for a sealed radioactive substance—
      a certificate of compliance relating to the sealing of the substance; and
    • for a sealed radioactive substance incorporated in a sealed source apparatus—
      a certificate of compliance for the apparatus.
  • for a radiation source or premises
    • a certificate of compliance issued by an accredited person for the source or premises under part 3, division 3.
    Certifies that a Possession Licensee’s radiation source or premise is compliant with the relevant radiation safety standard.

Approvals

  • Approval to Acquire
    an approval to acquire a radiation source issued under section 62.

    Either:
    • a single acquisition of a radiation source; or
    • the periodic acquisition of an unsealed radioactive substance or prescribed sealed radioactive substance (a continuing Approval to Acquire).


    Allows a Possession Licensee to purchase or otherwise obtain a radiation source.

  • Approval to Dispose
    an approval to dispose of radioactive material issued under section 62.

    Allows a Possession Licensee to move a radiation source to a place outside of Queensland.
  • Approval to Relocate
    an approval to relocate a radiation source issued under section 62 .

    Allows a Possession Licensee to move a radiation source to a place outside of Queensland.

Radiation source types and other equipment

Radiation source

  • a radioactive substance; or
  • a radiation apparatus.

    The equipment or substance that emits radiation.

Ionising radiation

  • electromagnetic or particulate radiation capable of producing ions, but does not include electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength greater than 100 nanometres.

    Used for a variety of purposes including diagnostic X-ray scans and cancer therapy using radioactive material.

Non-ionising radiation

  • electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength greater than 100 nanometres; or
  • sonic radiation.

    Used for a variety of purposes including laser surgical procedures, cosmetic services and scientific studies.

Radiation apparatus

  • an apparatus that, when energised, emits an amount of ionising radiation during a particular period higher than the amount prescribed, for the period, under a regulation; or
  • an apparatus that would if assembled or repaired, and when energised, be capable of emitting an amount of ionising radiation during a particular period higher than the amount prescribed, for the period, under a regulation; or
  • an apparatus, prescribed under a regulation, that when energised emits an amount of non-ionising radiation during a particular period higher than the amount prescribed, for the period, under a regulation; or
  • an apparatus, prescribed under a regulation, that would if assembled or repaired, and when energised, be capable of emitting an amount of non-ionising radiation during a particular period higher than the amount prescribed, for the period, under a regulation.

    A type of radiation equipment. For example, laser equipment or X-ray equipment.

Radioactive substance

  • radioactive material (whether or not it is sealed)—
    • containing more than the concentration or activity of a radionuclide prescribed under a regulation; or
    • prescribed under a regulation to be a radioactive substance.


    Used for a variety of purposes including: radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, geotechnical measurements, borehole logging, education, science and research.

Sealed radioactive substance

  • radioactive substance sealed in a way that—
    • minimises the possibility of its escape or dispersion; and
    • allows the emission or transmission of ionising radiation.


    Radioactive material sealed within a capsule to minimise the risk of contamination. Used for a variety of purposes, including: scientific purposes, calibration of equipment and cancer treatment.

Security enhanced source

  • a radiation source, or an aggregation of radiation sources, prescribed under a regulation to be a security enhanced source.

  • Used for a variety of purposes, including: cancer therapy, borehole logging and industrial radiography.

Enclosed radiation apparatus

  • an ionising radiation apparatus—
    • contained in a cabinet that is shielded in a way that minimises the transmission of ionising radiation through the shielding; and
    • used for monitoring industrial processes or industrial gauging.


    Used for a variety of purposes, including: industrial gauging.

Premises

  • a building or other structure; and
  • a part of a building or other structure; and
  • land where a building or other structure is situated; and
  • a vehicle.

    The place where radiation sources are used or where radioactive substances are stored (or where other radiation practices are carried out).

Radiation roles

Licensee

  • a possession licensee, use licensee or transport licensee.

Possession Licensee

  • a person who holds a possession licence.

    Allows a corporation or individual to have the overall ownership and control of a type of radiation source. Corporate Possession Licensees need to have a nominated Contact Person.

Use Licensee

  • a person who holds a Use Licence.

    Allows an individual to use a type of radiation source for a radiation practice.

Transport Licensee

  • a person who holds a transport licence.

    Allows a corporation or individual to transport radioactive substances by road (individuals only), air, sea or rail.

Accredited Person—Equipment and Premises Compliance Tester

  • the holder of an accreditation certificate.

    An individual with the necessary radiation skills, knowledge and experience to assess particular radiation sources and premises for compliance with the relevant radiation safety standard.

Radiation Safety Officer

  • the holder of a radiation safety officer certificate.

    An individual allowed to perform the role of Radiation Safety Officer for a particular radiation practice. A radiation practice can only be carried out if a Radiation Safety is appointed.

Inspector

  • a person who is appointed as an inspector under section 106.

    A person with the necessary expertise or experience to inspect radiation sources, premises, registers, and other regulatory requirements of licensees and certificate holders. They conduct investigations and inspections to monitor and enforce compliance with the Act.

Nominated person

  • for an applicant or a licensee that is a corporation, means the individual nominated by the applicant or licensee as the individual who will oversee the security of a security enhanced source.

    Required for corporations with:
    • a licence to possess security enhanced sources, to oversee the operation of their Security Plan
    • a licence to transport security enhanced sources, to oversee the operation of their Transport Security Plan.

Radiation practices and transport

Radiation practice

  • an activity in relation to a radiation source that may result, whether or not intentionally, in exposing anyone to radiation, but does not include the transport of a radioactive substance.
  • to remove doubt, it is declared that the storing of a radioactive substance is a radiation practice.

    Commonly refers to the possession, acquisition, use and disposal of radiation sources and the storage of radioactive substances.

Transport

  • a radioactive substance
    • does not include transport the substance from a part of premises to another part of the same premises.
  • a security enhanced source—includes the following:
    • prepare the source for transport;
    • load and unload the source before, during and at the end of its transport;
    • temporarily store the source before, during and at the end of its transport.


    Transporting a radioactive substance or security enhanced source to a place within Queensland.

Possess

  • a radiation source—
    • includes having the source under control in any place, whether or not another person has custody of the source.

    To have the overall control and ownership of a radiation source, and specify who can use the radiation source or transport the radioactive substance.

Use

  • a radiation source
    • actual use by an individual of radiation emitted from the source, and includes, for a radiation source that is a radioactive substance, administer the substance to, or inject or implant the substance into, an animal or person.
  • in relation to the carrying out of a radiation practice with a radiation source—
    • actual use by an individual of radiation emitted from the source to carry out the practice.


    Operating radiation equipment or using a radioactive substance for a radiation practice (service, procedure or other purpose).

Carry out

  • in relation to a radiation practice, means the actual performance of the practice by an individual.

    A Use Licensee performing a radiation practice (service, procedure or other purpose).
Last updated: 4 December 2020