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Date: 24 October 2021
Radiation protection instruments
The UK Ionising Radiation Regulations (1999) require that all instruments used for radiation protection purposes should be tested regularly (usually every year) by a qualified expert. Our calibrations are carried out in accordance with the guidance contained in the National Physical Laboratory's (NPL) Good Practice Guide 14 – "The Examination, Testing and Calibration of Portable Radiation Protection Instruments".
RRPPS regularly takes part in national calibration inter-comparisons, the results of which are available from the external link box.
Radiation protection instrument questions and answers
- My instrument is not functioning correctly. Can you repair it?
- My instrument is brand new. Does it need a calibration?
- I have a number of instruments but do not want them all calibrating at the same time. Can I schedule them in for calibration in smaller batches?
- Contamination monitors
- Do you provide a calibration for certain radionuclides, e.g. 99mTc?
- Dose and doserate meters
- What range of doserates do you use?
- My ionisation chamber tends to be unstable, particularly in the winter. Can you repair it?
- Electronic personal dose meters
My instrument is not functioning correctly. Can you repair it?
We offer a comprehensive repair service and have a limited number of protection loan instruments available for use while your instrument is being repaired and calibrated (subject to availability). If an instrument needs a repair, we will give you a written quotation before commencing.
My instrument is brand new. Does it need a calibration?
Yes. If your instrument manufacturer has not done so already, your instrument requires a range of tests to be carried out to ensure it is functioning as the manufacturer intended – a pre-use test in addition to routine calibration. There is no extra charge for a pre-use test.
I have a number of instruments but do not want them all calibrating at the same time. Can I schedule them in for calibration in smaller batches?
Yes. Simply contact the Calibration Service Administrator to schedule the instruments at your convenience. We can collect any remaining batches once you have received the first instruments back.
We offer a calibration service for all types of contamination monitors, not just those used in the health sector. A range of large area reference sources, all constructed in accordance with ISO 8769 and traceable to primary standards, are used to ensure your monitor is performing as the manufacturer intended.
Do you provide a calibration for certain radionuclides, e.g. 99mTc?
No. Our sources provide us with a reproducible method to test your instrument to specific radiation types/energy. The qualified staff here at RRPPS can then decide if the instrument is functioning as it was intended. You can then be re-assured that the manufacturer's data in the manual or type test information can still be relied upon.
Dose and doserate monitors
We offer a comprehensive calibration service for a range of dose/doserate radiation protection instrumentation. Our purpose-built laboratories provide a service to all sectors of radiation users (e.g. medical/health sectors, industrial radiography - NDT, Government departments, universities etc).
What range of doserates do you use?
Our 137Cs source has a traceable calibration from 1 µGy/h to a little over 1000 µGy/h. Higher doserates are available using our X-ray set (for instance when testing the overload condition on monitors, we sometimes use the X-ray set).
My ionisation chamber tends to be unstable, particularly in the winter. Can you repair it?
We offer a repair service but we would suggest trying to keep the temperature of the chamber as stable as possible. On cold days, if the instrument is taken inside and subsequently unpacked in a much warmer atmosphere, condensation may occur on the inside of the chamber. If this happens, it might need to be left for a few hours before stable readings can be obtained.
Electronic personal dose meters
Electronic personal dose meters are not covered by the legislation concerning portable radiation instrumentation, but as part of your Quality Assurance Scheme they may require regular testing. A full range of tests in accordance with GPG113 is available, or alternatively we offer a function check in which the instrument has a limited test for a reduced price. Full details are available on request.
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