Radiation Council Annual Report 2015-16

Chair’s review

It is my pleasure to present the Annual Report of the Radiation Council (the Council) for 2015–16.

The Council has had a productive year, continuing to issue licenses, register radiation sources and consider issues that may affect the ACT community with regards to radiation safety and protection.

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.

Council functions

The Radiation Protection Act 2006 controls the safe use, storage, transportation and disposal of radioactive material and irradiating apparatus. The 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.

Council membership

The composition of the Council is specified in section 65 of the Radiation Protection Act 2006. Seven members are currently appointed to the Council, as shown in Table 65.

Table 65: Council members
Name Position held Appointed until
Elizabeth Croft Chair 30 November 2016
Sean Geoghegan Deputy Chair 30 September 2018
Mervyn Despois Member 30 November 2016
Donald McLean Member 30 November 2016
Stephen Tims Member 30 November 2016
Ahmad Javaid Member 30 September 2018
Fiona Jolly Member 30 November 2016

Council meetings 2015–2016

The Council meets approximately every six weeks and met ten times during 2015–2016. Meetings were held in:

  • July, September, October, November and December of 2015
  • January, March, April, May and June of 2016.
Regulatory standards

The Council refers to a number of standards, codes of practice, safety guides, and recommendations when:

  • considering matters relating to radiation protection
  • issuing licences and approving registrations under the Radiation Protection Act 2006.

This includes documents in the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Radiation Protection Series, 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 across Australian jurisdictions, and is an incorporated document under the Radiation Protection Act 2006. The Directory is designed to be regularly updated to reflect the best radiation protection practice of the time. The Directory is prepared by the ARPANSA Radiation Health Committee, and is only updated in accordance with prescribed processes.

The Council is regularly briefed on developments with regard to the work of the ARPANSA Radiation Health Committee. ACT Health has a jurisdictional representative appointed to the committee.

Council activities

Approvals and decisions
Licences

The Council issued 195 new licences during the 2015–16 year, bringing the total number of active licences in the ACT to 1,196. Overall, this represents a 4.7 per cent increase (54 licences) on the 2014–15 total of 1,142 licences.

Registrations

The Council registered 82 new radiation sources during the 2015–16 year, bringing the total number of registered radiation sources in the ACT to 658. Overall, this represents a 9.3 per cent increase (56 sources) on the 2014-15 total of 602 registered sources.

Radiation incidents

Two radiation incidents, summarised in Table 66, were reported to the Council during the year and underwent further investigation.

Table 66: Radiation incidents
Incident type No. incidents Details
Accidental Exposure 1* One incident involved radiotherapy medical equipment.
Other Incident 1 One incident involved a patient who had undergone a therapeutic nuclear medicine procedure becoming ill after they were discharged.

 

In line with the ACT Health Risk Management Guidelines, both 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.

Following investigation, one of these incidents (marked with an asterisk *) was reported to ARPANSA for inclusion on the Australian Radiation Incident Register. The incident was reported to ARPANSA as a ‘near-miss’ which had a potential to be of minor consequence.

Enforcement and remedial actions by the Council

No investigations or legal proceedings were commenced in 2015–2016.

Contact details

All correspondence should be addressed to:

Secretariat
Radiation Council
C/- Health Protection Service
Locked Bag 5005
WESTON CREEK  ACT  2611

 

Phone: (02) 6205-1700
Email: hps@act.gov.au
Website: www.health.act.gov.au\radiationsafety

Elizabeth Croft Signature

Elizabeth Croft

Chair

01 July 2016