Radiation Council Annual Report 2012‑13
It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report of the Radiation Council for 2012‑13.
The Radiation Council has had a productive year and has continued to address issues concerning licensing, registration and radiation safety requirements to provide adequate radiation protection to the community.
The council continues to address issues and update procedures to maintain compliance with the Radiation Protection Act 2006.
The council continues to monitor the development of codes of practice, standards and regulations from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) regarding radiation safety. Information received from ARPANSA is considered in decisions made by the council.
The council welcomes Dr A Javaid, who was appointed from October 2012 for a three-year term. We also welcome the reappointment of Dr S Geoghegan for a further three years.
I wish to express my appreciation to the members of the council for their expert contribution and to the staff of the Health Protection Service for their ongoing support.
The Radiation Protection Act 2006 www.legislation.act.gov.au controls the safe use, storage, transportation and disposal of radioactive material and irradiating apparatus. The Radiation Council is established under Part 5 of the Radiation Protection Act 2006, and has the following functions:
- issuing licences
- registering regulated radiation sources
- advising the Minister on radiation protection issues
- exercising any other function given to it under the Radiation Protection Act 2006 or another territory law.
The composition of the Radiation Council is specified in the Radiation Protection Act 2006 and must consist of:
- one member who is a doctor registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (ACT) in the specialist area of radiology
- one member with expert knowledge of the physical properties or biological effects of radiation
- a person who, in the Minister’s opinion, has qualifications or experience relevant to assisting the council to carry out its functions
- a member of the public
- A council member must not be appointed for longer than three years.
|Mr A Agostino||Chair|
|Prof. L K Fifield||Deputy Chair|
|Dr M Despois||Member|
|Ms E Croft||Member|
|Dr A Javaid||Member|
|Dr S Geoghegan||Member|
|Mrs J I Bennett||Community Representative|
|Health Protection Service of ACT Health||Secretariat|
Council meetings 2012‑13
The council meets approximately every six weeks and met nine times during the year. Meetings were held in July, September, October and November of 2012 and in January, February, April, May and June of 2013.
A number of standards, codes of practice, safety guides, and recommendations are used by the council as a reference when considering matters relating to radiation protection policies, practices, conditions to be attached to licences, registrations and exemptions from the application of the Radiation Protection Act 2006. This includes the ARPANSA publications, such as the Radiation Protection Series (RPS) publications, which are available free of charge from www.arpansa.gov.au.
National Directory for Radiation Protection
The National Directory for Radiation Protection (the Directory) provides the basis for achieving uniformity of radiation protection practices and legislation across all Australian jurisdictions for both ionising and non-ionising radiation. The Directory is a constantly evolving document that reflects the best radiation protection practice of the time. The Directory is updated following a prescribed process, designed to meet the COAG Principles and Guidelines for National Standard Setting and Regulatory Action by Ministerial Councils and Standard-setting Bodies (November 1997), and after amendments are endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers’ Conference.
The Directory was republished in July 2011 to include Amendment No. 5. This amendment added two Codes of Practice to Schedule 11; the Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in Veterinary Medicine (RPS17) and the Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in the Application of Ionizing Radiation by Chiropractors (RPS19).
The council is regularly briefed on developments with regard to the work of the National Radiation Health Committee (RHC) of ARPANSA. The ACT has a jurisdictional representative from ACT Health appointed to the RHC.
Approvals and decisions
In 2012‑13 the council issued 186 new licences to deal with a radiation source. Together with licences re-issued during the year, the total number of radiation licence holders in the ACT was 1057.
In 2012‑13 the council registered 52 new radiation sources. Together with sources re-registered during the year, the total number of registered radiation sources in the ACT was 553.
The following radiation incidents were reported to the council during the year:
- Radiotherapy: three incidents
- two* incidents involved misalignment of treatment area
- one incident involved equipment malfunction
- Nuclear medicine: one incident
- one incident involved the contamination with or dispersal of a radioactive material.
- Soil density gauges: one incident
- one* incident involved damage to, or malfunctioning of, a radiation apparatus or sealed source.
Following investigation, three of the reported incidents (marked above with an asterisk—*) were referred to ARPANSA for inclusion on the Australian Radiation Incident Register. In line with the ACT Health Risk Management Guidelines, the three incidents referred to ARPANSA were considered to be of minor consequence. The remaining two incidents were deemed insignificant. The areas involved undertook reviews of working systems and where necessary, amended procedures to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents occurring in the future.
Enforcement and remedial actions by the council
No investigations or legal proceedings were commenced in 2012‑13.
All correspondence should be addressed to:
Chair, July 2013