Register a radiation source

The Radiation Protection Act 2006 requires that radiation apparatus and sealed sources are registered. This includes any regulated radiation sources in your possession that are not operational or not in use. Anyone who deals with a radiation source must also be licensed. Categories of radiation sources that require registration include:

The Radiation Protection Act 2006 requires that radiation apparatus and sealed sources are registered. This includes any regulated radiation sources in your possession that are not operational or not in use. Anyone who deals with a radiation source must also be licensed.

Categories of radiation sources that require registration include:

  • X-ray apparatus
  • sealed radiation sources
  • apparatus that includes a sealed radiation source
  • accelerated particle beam apparatus

In order to register a source a company or individual must first hold a licence to possess the source. 

Application process

You should lodge your application as soon as a radiation source needs to be registered and no later than 7 days after taking ownership.

Exact source details such as serial numbers can be provided at a later stage if they are not available.

Please follow the application steps below:

  1. use the online form or download the Radiation Source Registration application form
  2. complete and sign the application form
  3. submit the form with the appropriate documentation and fee to the Health Protection Service (HPS)

You are issued with a receipt of your application afterwards.

A third-party compliance test is also required. We can arrange this for you.

Your registration is issued once your application is approved.

Prior to expiry of the registration it must be renewed unless the source is no longer in your possession and you have submitted a transfer of ownership application or a notification of disposal form to the HPS.

The Radiation Council may consider registration applications out of session in exceptional circumstances. This doesn’t include applications submitted at short notice or after a source has been installed.

Additional documents

You may need to submit additional documents with your application. These can include:

  • Radiation Management Plan – for new applications
  • Shielding Plan – for radiation sources installed in new or renovated premises
  • Security Management Plan – for security enhanced sources
Radiation Management Plans

A Radiation Management Plan (RMP) must be developed for each practice. The RMP must be available to all people who might deal with the radiation source. The RMP must be reviewed at least annually to ensure that it is up to date.

The RMP is the primary document that describes how a radiation source is dealt with, by whom, and the procedures that manage the source and radiation exposures to people.

The RMP is a document that describes how compliance with the legal obligations under the Radiation Protection Act 2006 and associated documents will be achieved at your workplace. This includes documents in the ARPANSA Radiation Protection Series (RPS), publications such as the National Directory for Radiation Protection, June 2017 (RPS6), relevant Codes of Practice, and Australian Standards. The Radiation Management Plan will detail how exposures to both workers and the public will be kept below established dose limits and as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). The RMP should also include disposal considerations and should include processes and procedures for dealing with incidents, accidents and emergency response.

A RMP must be submitted with every new registration application. The RMP should be reviewed regularly and updated whenever any changes have occurred such as changes in procedures, staff or equipment, and an updated RMP should be submitted with registration reapplications (renewals).

Should you require assistance in developing your RMP, several templates are provided which cover the following use of regulated radiation sources:

These templates are designed as an aid to the development of a Radiation Management Plan only. The template may not apply to your company or organisation. As the radiation protection requirements are unique for each situation, a plan which is appropriate to your situation must be prepared. ACT Health does not take responsibility or liability for any protection measures in this template. The use of the template does not imply that approval will be granted, applications are assessed by the Radiation Council.

Please consult the following documents when developing your RMP:

The RMP may apply to an entire organisation or premises. However, it should specifically address each registered radiation source, including a list of registered sources and a list of licensed users.

You may reference your supporting safety documentation in the RMP.

If your work includes transporting sources you need to prepare a Transport Management Plan (TMP) and ensure that your radiation licence specifically permits this as a dealing.

The TMP may be part of your Radiation Management Plan or it may be a separate document.

A template is provided to assist you in developing your Transport Management Plan. ACT Health does not take responsibility or liability for any protection measures in this template. 

Shielding plan

A shielding plan is a document which details the level of shielding that is, or will be, installed in order to protect workers and members of the public. This could include dental, veterinary, chiropractic, or other medical premises where ionising radiation apparatus is used. The plan will typically include floor plans, estimated dose calculations and other details related to radiation protection.

Where a radiation source is used it is a requirement that radiation shielding be documented as part of commissioning and where shielding modifications are made subsequent to commissioning.

Any source that will be installed in new or renovated premises must have a radiation shielding plan prepared and submitted with the registration application. Where a replacement source is installed into existing premises which have not been renovated submitting a copy of the existing shielding plan will generally be sufficient.

To ensure that the shielding plan meets all relevant requirements, it should be submitted as early as possible and prior to construction. The radiation shielding needs to be inspected by HPS during the construction phase before it is covered by paint, plaster, floor coverings or other fittings – or must be tested by accredited testers.

Any penetrations to the shielding, such as for cables, power points, water pipes or light switches, need to be addressed with material equal to or greater than the lead equivalence of the material which was removed.

The additional material needs to extend beyond the edges of the penetration by at least twice the offset distance*. If the location of a stud or nogging makes this impossible the additional material must return along the stud or nogging to meet the original layer of material.

*The offset distance is the distance between the original material and the additional material.

The Radiation Council may request third party verification of installed shielding when considering a source registration application or re-application (renewal).

For further information contact the Health Protection Service, and consult the following documents: National Directory for Radiation Protection, June 2017 (RPS 6), Radiation Protection in Planned Exposure Situations (2016) (RPS C-1), Fundamentals for Protection Against Ionising Radiation (2014) (RPS F-1), and any relevant RPS publication, e.g. Code of Practice for Radiation Protection in the Medical Applications of Ionizing Radiation (2008) (RPS14). The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) Report No. 147, Structural Shielding Design for Medical X-Ray Imaging Facilities may also be useful.

Design Constraints

Following a decision made by the ACT Radiation Council, in a move towards national uniformity, please note the following design constraints which should now be used in radiation shielding calculations:

  • Controlled areas 2mSv/yr (40µSv/wk)
  • Other areas 0.5mSv/yr (10µSv/wk)

A controlled area, in relation to a radiation source, is a limited access area:

  • in which the exposure of persons to radiation is under the supervision of an individual in charge of radiation protection. This implies that access, occupancy and working conditions are controlled for radiation protection purposes; OR
  • to which access is subject to control and in which employees are required to follow specific procedures aimed at controlling or monitoring exposure to radiation.

If a blanket design constraint is used for an entire practice or department then this should be 0.5mSv/yr (10µSv/wk).

Shielding design height requirements from the finished floor level are:

  • no less than 2.1m for general radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography, BMD/DEXA, OPG, intraoral, dental CBCT and nuclear medicine; and 
  • no less than 2.7m or to the upper slab, whichever is the lower for CT, including SPECT/CT, PET/CT and all other non-dental CBCT unless a lower height has been authorised by the Radiation Council.
    However, for high dose areas including CT and interventional radiology, shielding design depends on a number of site-specific factors so shielding designers are asked to refer to authoritative texts which deal with these cases such as [1] and to specify height requirements greater than those indicated above, where applicable.
    [1] Sutton, D.G., Martin, C.J., Williams, J.R., Peet, D.J., Radiation Shielding for Diagnostic Radiology, 2nd Edition, British Institute of Radiology, London (2012).
Security plan

The Security Plan applies to high activity sealed sources or apparatus that incorporates sealed sources only.

The Code of Practice for the Security of Radioactive Sources (2019) (RPS 11) categorises and sets security requirements for these sources. Category 1, 2 and 3 sources are considered security enhanced sources that require a greater level of security and protection. You must submit a Security Management Plan before registration for these categories of sources.

Installation notification

You must provide a notification of service (installation) before installation of a new machine. Your installer can provide you with a copy of this.

X-ray apparatus must comply with mandatory requirements about performance, quality and safety before it can be registered. We can arrange for compliance testing to occur after installation.

Applications are notified about any issues that arise during this process. Remedial action is required before the registration can progress.

Notify Online or download the Installation, service or repair of a regulated radiation source Notification form.

Following a tube change a full service report must be submitted to HPS, indicating that the equipment has been tested and meets the relevant Australian Standards.

Provided this report has been submitted to HPS, the equipment can then go back into clinical operation.

Page last updated on: 6 Nov 2019