17.0 Leak Test Procedures

17.1 Definition of Sealed Source

A sealed source means radioactive material that is permanently bonded or fixed in a capsule or matrix designed to prevent release and dispersal of the radioactive material under the most severe conditions which are likely to be encountered in normal use and handling.

17.2 General Requirements

The EH&S Department is responsible for ensuring that all sealed sources are leak tested in accordance with NAC 459.307. If there is a reason to suspect that a source might be damaged, it shall be tested before further use. Contamination and leak tests must be capable of determining the presence of 0.005 microcurie of removable contamination.

17.3 Exemptions

No leak test is required when:

  1. The source contains 100 microcuries or less of beta or gamma emitting material or 10 microcuries or less of alpha emitting materials; or
  2. Sealed sources that are in storage and not being used. Sources must be tested for leakage prior to use or transfer unless they have been leak tested within 6 months prior to the date of use or transfer. Documentation must be maintained to indicate when the source was placed in and removed from storage.

17.4 Procedures

The leak test may be performed in the following manner:

  1. The Authorized User or RS personnel performs the test following a preapproved method and notifies the RSO of the results in writing.
  2. Wipe the source or the area closest to the source using a swab or filter paper. Refer to Leak Test Procedure and use a calibrated instrument for analysis. The wipes are sent to the RSO for analysis. The RSO will then send a written report to the Authorized User for his/her files.
  3. The RSO may make arrangements to perform both the wipe tests and analysis. The RSO will then send a written report to the Authorized User for his/her files.

If the leak test reveals the presence of 0.005 uCi or more of removable contamination contact the Radiation Safety Office IMMEDIATELY. The RSO shall immediately inform the State Radiation Control Program Office by telephone, withdraw the sealed source use, and place it in locked storage. A verbal notification and/or written report shall be filed with the State Radiation Control Program Office according to NAC 459.307.