By J. Craig Robertson (auth.)
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There are, though, strict limits placed on how much waste may be disposed of at any given time, taking into consideration the activity of the waste. Liquid waste can be disposed of as sewerage, but the activity is again carefully controlled. RADIOACTIVE DECAY 37 Things to remember from chapter 6 (1) Every radioactive nuclide has a half-life associated with it. This half-life can be used to estimate how long the activity of a particular source will take to fall to a safe level. (2) In one half-life the activity of any source will fall by a factor of two, in two half-lives by a factor of four and so on.
We cannot rely on the air between us and the source or on our clothing to shield us. The shielding used with f3+ sources or electron capture sources is the same as for gamma sources. Neutrons, like gamma-rays, again have a very long path length indeed in air and thus shielding is required. However, lead is not used as the shielding material. l A GUIDE TO RADIATION PROTECTION Approximate half value thickness of lead for different gammaray sources Gamma source Cobalt-60 Caesium-137 Iridium-192 Thulium-170 Half thickness lead (em) 1·6 0·9 0·25 0·1 Gamma energy (MeV) 1·17,1·33 0·66 0·30-0·61 0·052, 0·084 or cadmium sheet 1 mm thick.
8 The detection and measurement of radiation In the day-to-day control of radiation there are, in general, three types of measurement which must be made. Measurements are required of the dose accumulated by each individual in the course of his or her work, to ensure that the maximum permissible dose is not being exceeded. The dose rate or absorbed dose rate in areas has to be measured so that radiation areas, where the dose rate exceeds 0 · 75 mrem/h, can be identified. It is also necessary to detect and measure any contamination of surfaces and clothing, or even contamination of the air within a laboratory.