Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
8/9/2022

Article 2. Radiation Safety Requirements

12VAC5-481-1300. Conducting industrial radiographic operations.

Article 2
Radiation Safety Requirements

A. Whenever radiography is performed at a location other than a permanent radiographic installation, the radiographer must be accompanied by at least one other qualified radiographer or an individual who has at a minimum met the requirements of 12VAC5-481-1320 C. The additional qualified individual shall observe the operations and be capable of providing immediate assistance to prevent unauthorized entry. Radiography may not be performed if only one qualified individual is present.

B. All radiographic operations must be conducted in a permanent radiographic installation unless otherwise specifically authorized by the agency.

C. Except when physically impossible, collimators shall be used in industrial radiographic operations that use radiographic exposure devices that allow the source to be moved out of the device.

D. A licensee or registrant may conduct lay-barge, offshore platform, or underwater radiography only if procedures have been approved by the agency, the NRC, or by another agreement state.

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.

12VAC5-481-1310. Radiation safety officer.

A. The radiation safety officer shall ensure that radiation safety activities are being performed in accordance with approved procedures and regulatory requirements in the daily operation of the licensee's or registrant's program.

B. The minimum qualifications, training, and experience for radiation safety officers for industrial radiography are as follows:

1. Completion of the training and testing requirements of 12VAC5-481-1320 A;

2. 2000 hours of hands-on experience as a qualified radiographer in industrial radiographic operations; and

3. Formal training in the establishment and maintenance of a radiation protection program.

C. The agency will consider alternatives when the radiation safety officer has appropriate training and experience in the field of ionizing radiation, and in addition, has adequate formal training with respect to the establishment and maintenance of a radiation safety protection program.

D. The specific duties and authorities of the radiation safety officer include:

1. Establishing and overseeing all operating, emergency, and ALARA procedures as required by Part IV (12VAC5-481-600 et seq.) of this chapter and reviewing them regularly to ensure that they conform to agency regulations and to the license or registration conditions;

2. Overseeing and approving the training program for radiographic personnel to ensure that appropriate and effective radiation protection practices are taught;

3. Ensuring that required radiation surveys and leak tests are performed and documented in accordance with the regulations, including any corrective measures when levels of radiation exceed established limits;

4. Ensuring that personnel monitoring devices are calibrated, if applicable, and used properly; that records are kept of the monitoring results; and that timely notifications are made as required by Part IV of this chapter; and

5. Ensuring that operations are conducted safely and for implementing corrective actions including terminating operations.

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.

12VAC5-481-1320. Training.

A. The licensee or registrant may not permit any individual to act as a radiographer until the individual has received at least 40 hours of training in the subjects outlined in subsection G of this section in addition to on the job training consisting of hands-on experience under the supervision of a radiographer and is certified through a radiographer certification program by a certifying entity meeting the requirements of 10 CFR Part 34, Appendix A. The on-the-job training shall include a minimum of two months (320 hours) of active participation in the performance of industrial radiography utilizing radioactive material and/or one month (160 hours) of active participation in the performance of industrial radiography utilizing radiation machines. Individuals performing industrial radiography utilizing radioactive materials and radiation machines must complete both segments of the on-the-job training (3 months or 480 hours).

B. In addition, the licensee or registrant may not permit any individual to act as a radiographer until the individual:

1. Has received copies of and instruction in the requirements described in the regulations contained in this part, 12VAC5-481-30 and applicable sections of Parts IV (12VAC5-481-600 et seq.), X (12VAC5-481-2250 et seq.), and XIII (12VAC5-481-2950 et seq.) of this chapter, in the license or registration under which the radiographer will perform industrial radiography, and the licensee's or registrant's operating and emergency procedures;

2. Has demonstrated an understanding of items in subdivision 1 of this subsection by successful completion of a written examination;

3. Has received training in the use of the registrant's radiation machines, or the licensee's radiographic exposure devices, sealed sources, in the daily inspection of devices and associated equipment, and in the use of radiation survey instruments; and

4. Has demonstrated understanding of the use of the equipment described in subdivision 3 of this subsection by successful completion of a practical examination.

C. The licensee or registrant may not permit any individual to act as a radiographer's assistant until the individual:

1. Has received copies of and instruction in the requirements described in the regulations contained in this part, 12VAC5-481-30 and applicable sections of Parts IV (12VAC5-481-600 et seq.), X (12VAC5-481-2250 et seq.), and XIII (12VAC5-481-2950 et seq.) of this chapter, in the license or registration under which the radiographer's assistant will perform industrial radiography, and the licensee's or registrant's operating and emergency procedures;

2. Has demonstrated an understanding of items in subdivision 1 of this subsection by successful completion of a written examination;

3. Under the personal supervision of a radiographer, has received training in the use of the registrant's radiation machines, or the licensee's radiographic exposure devices and sealed sources, in the daily inspection of devices and associated equipment, and in the use of radiation survey instruments; and

4. Has demonstrated understanding of the use of the equipment described in subdivision 3 of this subsection by successful completion of a practical examination.

D. The licensee or registrant shall provide annual refresher safety training for each radiographer and radiographer's assistant at intervals not to exceed 12 months.

E. Except as provided in subdivision 4 of this subsection, the RSO or designee shall conduct an inspection program of the job performance of each radiographer and radiographer's assistant to ensure that the agency's regulations, license or registration requirements, and operating and emergency procedures are followed. The inspection program must:

1. Include observation of the performance of each radiographer and radiographer's assistant during an actual industrial radiographic operation, at intervals not to exceed six months;

2. Provide that, if a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant has not participated in an industrial radiographic operation for more than six months since the last inspection, the radiographer must demonstrate knowledge of the training requirements of subdivision B 3 of this section and the radiographer's assistant must demonstrate knowledge of the training requirements of subdivision C 3 of this section by a practical examination before these individuals can next participate in a radiographic operation;

3. The agency may consider alternatives in those situations where the individual serves as both radiographer and radiation safety officer; and

4. In those operations where a single individual serves as both radiographer and radiation safety officer, and performs all radiography operations, an inspection program is not required;

F. The licensee or registrant shall maintain records of the above training to include certification documents, writtenand practical examinations, refresher safety training and inspections of job performance in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1470.

G. The licensee or registrant shall include the following subjects required in subsection A of this section:

1. Fundamentals of radiation safety including:

a. Characteristics of gamma and x-radiation;

b. Units of radiation dose and quantity of radioactivity;

c. Hazards of exposure to radiation;

d. Levels of radiation from sources of radiation; and

e. Methods of controlling radiation dose (time, distance, and shielding);

2. Radiation detection instruments including:

a. Use, operation, calibration, and limitations of radiation survey instruments;

b. Survey techniques; and

c. Use of personnel monitoring equipment;

3. Equipment to be used including:

a. Operation and control of radiographic exposure equipment, remote handling equipment, and storage containers, including pictures or models of source assemblies (pigtails);

b. Operation and control of radiation machines;

c. Storage, control, and disposal of sources of radiation; and

d. Inspection and maintenance of equipment.

4. The requirements of pertinent state and federal regulations; and

5. Case histories of accidents in radiography.

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.

12VAC5-481-1330. Operating and emergency procedures.

A. Operating and emergency procedures must include, as a minimum, instructions in the following:

1. Appropriate handling and use of sources of radiation so that no person is likely to be exposed to radiation doses in excess of the limits established in Part IV (12VAC5-481-600 et seq.) of this chapter;

2. Methods and occasions for conducting radiation surveys;

3. Methods for posting and controlling access to radiographic areas;

4. Methods and occasions for locking and securing sources of radiation;

5. Personnel monitoring and the use of personnel monitoring equipment;

6. Transporting equipment to field locations, including packing of radiographic exposure devices and storage containers in the vehicles, placarding of vehicles when required, and control of the equipment during transportation as described in Part XIII (12VAC5-481-2950 et seq.) of this chapter;

7. The inspection, maintenance, and operability checks of radiographic exposure devices, radiation machines, survey instruments, alarming ratemeters, transport containers, and storage containers;

8. Steps that must be taken immediately by radiography personnel in the event a pocket dosimeter is found to be off-scale or an alarming ratemeter alarms unexpectedly;

9. The procedure(s) for identifying and reporting defects and noncompliance, as required by 12VAC5-481-1530;

10. The procedure for notifying proper persons in the event of an accident or incident;

11. Minimizing exposure of persons in the event of an accident or incident, including a source disconnect, a transport accident, or loss of a source of radiation;

12. Source recovery procedure if licensee will perform source recoveries; and

13. Maintenance of records.

B. The licensee or registrant shall maintain copies of current operating and emergency procedures in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1480 and 12VAC5-481-1520.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006.

12VAC5-481-1340. Supervision of radiographer's assistants.

The radiographer's assistant shall be under the personal supervision of a radiographer when using sources of radiation or conducting radiation surveys required by subdivision 2 of 12VAC5-481-1360 to determine that the sealed source has returned to the shielded position or the radiation machine is off after an exposure. The personal supervision must include:

1. The radiographer's physical presence at the site where the sources of radiation are being used;

2. The availability of the radiographer to give immediate assistance if required; and

3. The radiographer's direct observation of the assistant's performance of the operations referred to in this section.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006.

12VAC5-481-1350. Personnel monitoring.

A. The licensee or registrant may not permit any individual to act as a radiographer or a radiographer's assistant unless, at all times during radiographic operations, each individual wears, on the trunk of the body, a direct reading dosimeter, an operating alarming ratemeter, and a personnel dosimeter. At permanent radiographic installations where other appropriate alarming or warning devices are in routine use, or during radiographic operations using radiation machines, the wearing of an alarming ratemeter is not required.

1. Pocket dosimeters must have a range from 0 to 2 mSv (200 mrem) and must be recharged at the start of each shift. Electronic personal dosimeters may only be used in place of ion-chamber pocket dosimeters.

2. Each personnel dosimeter must be assigned to and worn by only one individual.

3. Film badges must be exchanged monthly, and all other dosimeters that require replacement must be exchanged at periods not to exceed three months. All personnel dosimeters must be evaluated at periods not to exceed three months or promptly after replacement, whichever is more frequent.

B. Direct reading dosimeters, such as pocket dosimeters or electronic personal dosimeters, must be read and the exposures recorded at the beginning and end of each shift, and records must be maintained in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490.

C. Pocket dosimeters, or electronic personal dosimeters, must be checked at periods not to exceed 12 months for correct response to radiation, and records must be maintained in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490. Acceptable dosimeters must read within plus or minus 20% of the true radiation exposure.

D. If an individual's pocket dosimeter is found to be off-scale, or the electronic personal dosimeter reads greater than 2 mSv (200 mrem), the individual's personnel dosimeter must be sent for processing within 24 hours. For personnel dosimeters that do not require processing, evaluation of the dosimeter must be started within 24 hours. In addition, the individual may not resume work associated with the use of sources of radiation until a determination of the individual's radiation exposure has been made. This determination must be made by the radiation safety officer or the radiation safety officer's designee. The results of this determination must be included in the records maintained in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490.

E. If the personnel dosimeter is lost or damaged, the worker shall cease work immediately until a replacement personnel dosimeter meeting the requirements of subsection A of this section is provided and the exposure is calculated for the time period from issuance to loss or damage of the personnel dosimeter. The results of the calculated exposure and the time period for which the personnel dosimeter was lost or damaged must be included in the records maintained in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490.

F. Dosimetry results must be retained in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490.

G. Each alarming ratemeter must:

1. Be checked to ensure that the alarm functions properly before using at the start of each shift;

2. Be set to give an alarm signal at a preset dose rate of 5 mSv (500 mrem) per hour with an accuracy of plus or minus 20% of the true radiation dose rate;

3. Require special means to change the preset alarm function; and

4. Be calibrated at periods not to exceed 12 months for correct response to radiation. The licensee shall maintain records of alarming ratemeter calibrations in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1490.

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; Volume 37, Issue 25, eff. January 14, 2022.

12VAC5-481-1360. Radiation surveys.

The licensee or registrant shall:

1. Conduct all surveys with a calibrated and operable radiation survey instrument that meets the requirements of 12VAC5-481-1240;

2. Conduct a survey of the radiographic exposure device and the guide tube after each exposure when approaching the device or the guide tube. The survey must determine that the sealed source has returned to its shielded position before exchanging films, repositioning the exposure head, or dismantling equipment. Radiation machines shall be surveyed after each exposure to determine that the machine is off;

3. Conduct a survey of the radiographic exposure device whenever the source is exchanged and whenever a radiographic exposure device is placed in a storage area, as defined in 12VAC5-481-10, to ensure that the sealed source is in its shielded position; and

4. Maintain records in accordance with 12VAC5-481-1500.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006.

12VAC5-481-1370. Surveillance.

During each radiographic operation, the radiographer shall ensure continuous direct visual surveillance of the operation to protect against unauthorized entry into a radiation area or a high radiation area, as defined in Part I (12VAC5-481-10 et seq.) of this chapter, except at permanent radiographic installations where all entryways are locked and the requirements of 12VAC5-481-1280 are met.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006.

12VAC5-481-1380. Posting.

All areas in which industrial radiography is being performed must be conspicuously posted as required by 12VAC5-481-860. The exceptions listed in 12VAC5-481-870 do not apply to industrial radiographic operations.

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.

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