This page:

  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary


Abbreviation Title
ACDS Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service
ANAO Australian National Audit Office
ANRDR Australian National Radiation Dose Register
ANSTO Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Australian Public Service

ARGOS Accident Reporting and Guidance Operating System
ARPANSA Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CPRs Commonwealth Procurement Rules
CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
CT computed tomography
CTBT Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
DCB departmental capital budgets
DEXA dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
DRLs diagnostic reference levels
EA Enterprise Agreement
EPR emergency preparedness and response
FOI Freedom of Information
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IPL intense pulsed light
IRRS Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IAEA)
KPIs key performance indicators
NATA National Association of Testing Authorities
NDRP National Directory for Radiation Protection
NRWMF National Radioactive Waste Management Facility
NSC Nuclear Safety Committee
OCEO Office of the Chief Executive Officer
OPAL Open Pool Australian Lightwater reactor
PAES portfolio additional estimates statements
PBS portfolio budget statement
PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PGR Parliamentary and Government Relations
PRMS Personal Radiation Monitoring Service
RANET ARPANSA's Response and Assistance Network
RHC Radiation Health Committee
RHSAC Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council
RPS Radiation Protection Series
SES Senior Executive Service
SMC Strategic Management Committee
SME small and medium enterprises
UPF Ultraviolet Protection Factor
UVR ultraviolet radiation
WHS work health and safety


Glossary Term Glossary Definition
accident An unintended event which causes, or has the potential to cause, employees or members of the public to be exposed to radiation from which the individual doses or collective doses received do not lie within the range of variation which is acceptable for normal operation. An accident may result from human error, equipment failure or other mishap; it may require emergency action to save life or to safeguard health, property or the environment; it requires investigation of its causes and consequences and, possibly, corrective action within the program for control of radiation; and it may require remedial action to mitigate its consequences.
activity The measure of quantity of radioactive decay.
Australian National Radiation Dose Register A centralised repository for the radiation dose records of workers as supplied by the employers, maintained by ARPANSA. It is currently limited to those engaged in the uranium mining and milling industry in Australia.
computed tomography (CT) A three dimensional x-ray image of an object or patient. The final image is a combination of multiple images taken as an x-ray tube rotates about the object or patient.
controlled apparatus – as defined in the ARPANS Act (a) An apparatus that produces ionising radiation when energised or that would, if assembled or repaired, be capable of producing ionising radiation when energised, 
(b) An apparatus that produces ionising radiation because it contains radioactive material, or 
(c) An apparatus prescribed by the Regulations that produces harmful non-ionising radiation when energised.
diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) Dose levels for medical exposures in medical radio-diagnostic practices, or levels of activity in the case of radiopharmaceuticals, applied to groups of standard-sized patients or standard phantoms for common types of diagnostic examination and broadly defined types of equipment. These levels are expected not to be consistently exceeded for standard procedures when good and normal practice regarding diagnostic and technical performance is applied. DRLs will be set by relevant professional bodies and published by ARPANSA or the relevant regulatory authority from time to time.
dose A generic term which may mean absorbed dose, equivalent dose or effective dose depending on context.
dosimetry The theory and application of the principles and techniques involved in the measurement, calculation and recording of radiation doses.
exposure The circumstance of being exposed to radiation.
gamma ray

Ionising electromagnetic radiation emitted by a radionuclide during radioactive decay or during a nuclear (isomeric) transition.

incident An event which causes, or has the potential to cause, abnormal exposure of employees or of members of the public and which requires investigation of its causes and consequences and may require corrective action within the program for control of radiation, but which is not of such scale as to be classified as an accident.
Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) A peer review and appraisal service offered by the IAEA to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of a national regulatory system in nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste, transport safety and nuclear security.
Intense Pulsed Light Devices (IPLs)

Instruments that use a full spectrum (noncoherent), non-laser, broadband, filtered Xenon flash lamps. Flash lamps emit in the UVR, visible and IR region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The UVR and IR wavelength components of the emissions are blocked using specific cut-off filters. These properties allow for variability in selecting individual treatment parameters and adapting to different skin types. Cosmetic uses of IPLs include hair removal, removal of skin pigmentation, wrinkles and the treatment of certain skin disorders by dermatologists.

ionisation The process by which one or more electrons are removed from, or sometimes added to, an atom leaving the atom in a charged state.
ionising radiation Radiation which is capable of causing ionisation.
licence A written authorisation issued to an operator which allows the operator to carry out an operation legally.
medical exposure Exposure of a person to radiation received as a patient undergoing medical diagnosis or therapy, or as a volunteer in medical research, or non-occupational exposure received as a consequence of assisting an exposed patient.
non-ionising radiation Ranges from extremely low frequency radiation, through the radiofrequency, microwave, and visible portions of the spectrum into the ultraviolet range.
occupational exposure

Exposure of a person to radiation which occurs in the course of that person’s work and excludes the component of exposure that arises from natural background radiation.

optimisation The process of determining what level of radiation protection and safety makes exposures, and the probability and magnitude of potential exposures, as low as reasonably achievable with economic and societal factors being taken into account.
public exposure Exposure of a person, or persons, to radiation which is neither occupational nor medical exposure.
radiation Electromagnetic waves or quanta, and atomic or sub-atomic particles, propagated through space or through a material medium.
radioactive material Material which spontaneously emits ionising radiation as a consequence of radioactive decay.
radiofrequency Electromagnetic energy with frequencies in the range 3 kHz to 300 GHz.
radiofrequency field A physical field, which specifies the electric and magnetic states of a medium or free space, quantified by vectors representing the electric field strength and the magnetic field strength.
radiological emergency An emergency in which there is, or is perceived to be, a hazard due to: 
(a) the energy resulting from a nuclear chain reaction or from the decay of the products of a chain reaction, or
(b) radiation exposure.

A species of atomic nucleus which undergoes radioactive decay.


Ionising electromagnetic radiation emitted during the transition of an atomic electron to a lower energy state or during the rapid deceleration of a charged particle.

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