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Radiation protection

Prof. Klaus Bacher – Universiteit Gent

3 ECTS

90 hours study time


  • 24 contact hours theory
  • 3 contact hours exercises
  • 6 contact hours laboratory sessions
  • 0 hours additional personal work (reading etc.)

  • The aim of the course is:

    • to know the basic quantities and units used in radiation protection
    • to learn how to apply the concepts of external/internal radiation dosimetry
    • to introduce the student to the biologic effects of ionising radiation
    • to be able to calculate the effects of shielding materials
    • to know the concepts and legislation of radiation protection
  • Lectures:

    1. Radiological quantities and units

      1.  Exposure and kerma
      2. Absorbed dose
      3. Equivalent dose
      4. Effective dose
      5. Operational dose quantities
    2. External dosimetry

      1. Ionometry of low energy photon fields
      2. High energy photon fields: the Bragg Gray relation
      3. Dosimetry of neutron fields
    3.  Internal dosimetry

      1. Concept of committed dose equivalent
      2. Concept of specific effective energy
      3.  Compartmental model analysis
      4. Dosimetric model for the respiratory system
      5. Dosimetric model for the gastrointestinal tract
      6. Dosimetric model for bone          
      7. Metabolic data of important fission products and actinides
    4. Biological effects of ionizing radiation

      1. Deterministic and stochastic effects
      2. Overview of direct effects including utero
      3. Overview of late effects: the UNSCEAR report
      4. Biological effect models used in radiation protection
    5. Introduction of radiation shielding

      1. Build up factors
      2. Shielding of photon fields
      3. Shielding of combined neutron-photon fields
    6. Legislation and regulations

      1.   The ICRP 103 publication
      2.   The conceptual framework of radiological protection
      3.   The system of protection in occupational and public exposures
      4.   The system of protection in interventions, accidents and emergencies
    7. Measurement techniques in radiation protection

      1. Ionometry
      2. Film dosimetry
      3. TLD dosimetry
      4. OSL dosimetry

    Laboratory sessions (at SCK CEN):

    • Internal dose calculations
    • ALARA calculations
  • The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures, and extensive lecture notes, are available on the BNEN website.

    Other useful references:

    • Herman Cember, Thomas Edward Johnson, "Introduction to health physics”, The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2008
    • ICRP, "Publication 103: Recommendations of the ICRP", Elsevier, 2008
    • ICRP, “Publication 30: Limits for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers”, Ann. ICRP 1980
    • N.M. Schaeffer, "Reactor Shielding for Nuclear Engineering", Atomic Energy Commission, USA, 1973
    • A.E. Profio, "Radiation Shielding and Dosimetry", Wiley, NY, 1979
    • Interaction of radiation with matter
    • Measurement techniques
  • Written examination accounts for 80% in the total mark:

    • exercise part: "open book" (50%)
    • theoretical part "closed book" (50%)

    Laboratory sessions are compulsory. Report of lab sessions account for 20% in the total mark. Laboratory sessions can not be repeated in second sessions.

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