Ionizing radiation is an extremely important NDT tool but it
a hazard to human health. For this reason, special precautions
must be observed when using and working around ionizing radiation.
The possession of radioactive materials and use of radiation producing devices in the
United States is governed by strict regulatory controls. The primary
regulatory authority for most types and uses of radioactive materials
is the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, more
than half of the states in the US have entered
into "agreement" with the NRC to assume regulatory control
of radioactive material use within their borders. As part of the
agreement process, the states must adopt and enforce regulations
comparable to those found in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Regulations for control of radioactive material used in Iowa are
found in Chapter 136C of the Iowa Code.
For most situations, the types and maximum quantities of radioactive
materials possessed, the manner in which they may be used, and
the individuals authorized to use radioactive materials are stipulated
in the form of a "specific" license from the appropriate
regulatory authority. In Iowa, this authority is the Iowa Department
of Public Health. However, for certain institutions which routinely
use large quantities of numerous types of radioactive materials,
the exact quantities of materials and details of use may not be
specified in the license. Instead, the license grants the institution
the authority and responsibility for setting the specific requirements
for radioactive material use within its facilities. These licensees
are termed "broadscope" and require a Radiation Safety
Committee and usually a full-time Radiation Safety Officer.
More information on Radiation Safety