2016–17 Annual Report - Case study 2 - The Personal Radiation Monitoring Service

Part 3: Case study 2 - The Personal Radiation Monitoring Service

ARPANSA’s Personal Radiation Monitoring Service (PRMS) is in charge of assessing nearly 700 monitors every day, to help protect thousands of workers from the harmful effects of radiation, through the use of their newly implemented beryllium oxide (BeO) Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) technology.

PRMS commenced operation in 1932, and the service provides radiation workers a way to measure any occupational radiation doses they might receive.

In its eighty-five year history, PRMS has used several technologies to do this. New dosimeter technology is continually emerging and in July 2016 PRMS commissioned the use of this latest dosimetry technology: BeO and OSL.

OSL dosimeters are made up of two BeO ceramic chips on a tongue. The tongue is inserted into case. The case is inserted into a labelled ‘blister pack’ for protection against dirt and possible tampering.
 
Unlike the previous thermoluminescent dosimeter technology, BeO is near tissue equivalent and has a flat energy response. It directly measures doses for shallow or ‘skin dose’, Hp(0.07), and to a deep tissue or ‘whole body’ dose, Hp(10). In summary, BeO technology is making our occupational doses simpler to calculate without compromising the accuracy of the measurement while increasing the efficiency of our services. One year after OSL went live PRMS is seeing great results.

Statistics on reports for 2016–17

The results speak for themselves:

  • PRMS has produced 281 batches of OSLs between 30 June 2016 – 12 July 2017.
  • One batch on average has about 60 centres and each centre receives their own dose report.
  • PRMS has produced 16 860 dose reports in one year. This equates to approximately 82 reports produced per working day.
  • Each report on average has eight dosimeters.
  • Each day for the past 12 months PRMS reported on 656 dosimeters which a qualified staff member assessed individually, ensuring measurement quality.