Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 481. Virginia Radiation Protection Regulations

12VAC5-481-3210. Leak testing of sealed sources.

A. Requirements. Each licensee using sealed sources of radioactive material shall have the sources tested for leakage. Records of leak test results shall be kept in units of becquerels (microcuries) and maintained for three years after the leak test is performed.

B. Method of Testing. Tests for leakage shall be performed only by persons specifically authorized to perform such tests by the agency, the NRC, or another agreement state. The test sample shall be taken from the surface of the source, source holder, or from the surface of the device in which the source is stored or mounted and on which one might expect contamination to accumulate. The test sample shall be analyzed for radioactive contamination, and the analysis shall be capable of detecting the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 μCi) of radioactive material on the test sample.

C. Interval of Testing. Each sealed source (except an energy compensated source (ECS)) shall be tested at intervals not to exceed six months. Each ECS that is not exempt in subsection E of this section must be tested at intervals not to exceed three years. In the absence of a certificate from a transferor indicating that a test has been made prior to the transfer, the sealed source shall not be put into use until tested. If, for any reason, it is suspected that a sealed source may be leaking, it shall be removed from service immediately and tested for leakage as soon as practical.

D. Leaking or Contaminated Sources. If the test reveals the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 μCi) or more of leakage or contamination, the licensee shall immediately withdraw the source from use and shall cause it to be decontaminated, repaired, or disposed of in accordance with these regulations. The licensee shall check the equipment associated with the leaking source for radioactive contamination and, if contaminated, have it decontaminated or disposed of in accordance with these regulations. A report describing the equipment involved, the test results, and the corrective action taken shall be filed with the agency within five days of receiving the test results.

E. Exemptions. The following sources are exempted from the periodic leak test requirements of subsections A through D of this section:

1. Hydrogen-3 sources;

2. Sources of radioactive material with a half-life of 30 days or less;

3. Sealed sources of radioactive material in gaseous form;

4. Sources of beta- or gamma-emitting radioactive material with an activity of 3.7 MBq (100 μCi) or less; and

5. Sources of alpha-emitting radioactive material with an activity of 0.37 MBq (10 μCi) or less.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 18, eff. June 12, 2008; Errata, 34:8 VA.R. 832 December 11, 2017.

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