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Radionuclide services

The team providing radiation protection services at the Radiation Physics and Protection Service (RRPPS) for the users of radioactive materials, includes highly experienced and accredited Radiation Protection Advisers (RPAs) and Radiation Waste Advisors (RWAs). The team also includes Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC) registered clinical scientists and Medical Physics Experts (MPEs).

Services provided by RPAs and RWAs

The team can provide comprehensive specialised radiation protection advice and training to users of radioactive materials in the medical, academic and industrial sectors to ensure compliance with all the relevant legislation.

In the event of an incident, advice from the team can be provided to ensure all necessary steps are taken, relevant governing bodies are notified if required and steps are implemented to limit reoccurrence of the incident.

More specifically, advice and training can be given on the use of radioactive substances to include:

  • hazard assessment for specialised sources
  • risk assessment of premises
  • designation of areas
  • the designation of classified persons
  • advice on the selection of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • decommissioning of laboratories using radioactive materials and advice on the transfer and disposal of contaminated articles
  • decontamination following major incidents and incident investigations
  • incident investigations involving lost or stolen radioactive sources
  • advice on the design of new radiation installations
  • drawing up local rules and standard operating procedures
  • training of Radiation Protection Supervisors, Clinicians, Radiographers, Technologists and other staff members in radiation protection
  • advice on the appointment of Radiation Protection Supervisors
  • leakage tests of sealed sources
  • classification and monitoring of persons with the RRPPS Approved Dosimetry Service (ADS)
  • arrangements for management of radiation protection within an establishment
  • application, variation or surrender of EA permit
  • best available technique
  • use of compliance matrix to ensure and demonstrate compliance with permit conditions

Services provided by MPEs

The Ionising Radiations (Medical Exposures) Regulations 2017 (as amended) cover aspects of medical exposures including the administration of radioactive substances to humans.

RRPPS MPEs can advise on:

  • standard operating procedures
  • establishing a framework for medical exposures such as patient identification, females of childbearing age, diagnostic reference levels and quality assurance
  • equipment optimisation
  • QC tests and a QA programme for radionuclide calibrators, gamma-cameras (including hybrid SPECT-CT) systems and PET-CT systems

In addition, RRPPS MPEs can:

  • perform acceptance and annual testing on systems in accordance with recommended guidelines
  • provide support to practitioners and radiological installations (employers) who intend to apply and submit an application for an ARSAC (Administration of Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee) licence 

Performance and acceptance testing of gamma cameras and SPECT systems

Test methods for planar tomographic imaging follow guidelines issued in IPEM Report No.111, "Quality Control of Gamma Cameras and Nuclear Medicine Computer Systems", NEMA NU 1-2012, "Performance Measurements of Gamma Cameras" and IEC 60789, "Medical electrical equipment - characteristics and test conditions of radionuclide imaging devices - Anger type gamma cameras", IEC 61675-2, "Radionuclide imaging devices - characteristics and test conditions - Part 2: Single photon emission computed tomographs".

Centres interested in taking up this service are expected to provide the required radionuclides and the test phantoms as recommended by the relevant manufacturer.

Performance and acceptance testing of PET

Test methods for PET systems follow guidelines issued in IPEM Report no.108, "Quality Assurance of PET and PET/CT Systems", NEMA NU 2-2012, "Performance Measurements of Positron Emission Tomographs", IEC/TR 61948, "Nuclear medicine instrumentation - routine tests - Part 3: Positron emission tomographs".

Centres interested in taking up this service are expected to provide the required radionuclides and the test phantoms as recommended by the relevant manufacturer.

Calibration of radionuclide dose calibrators

Calibration tests can be carried out on-site using specialised calibration sources. These follow guidelines issued in NPL Report 93, "Protocol for Establishing and Maintaining the Calibration of Medical Radionuclide Calibrators and their Quality Control" and IPEM Report no.65, "Quality Standards in Nuclear Medicine".

If required, phantom preparation, acquisition and data transfer can also be performed for trial accreditation (e.g. NCRI for PET using the NEMA-IEC PET phantom).

Contact us

To get in touch with the Radiation Physics and Protection Service (RRPPS), please see the page below:

Last reviewed: 19 June 2024