Radiation protection - responsibility and task delegation

NTNU uses several different types of radiation sources in research and in teaching. This use has been approved by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA). The use of radiation sources is regulated in laws as well as NTNU's own rules. Many radiation sources can harm people and equipment.

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Tasks and responsibility delegation

Line leader

The line leader is responsible for making sure that radiation sources are handled responsibly and that the local radiation protection system functions optimally.

As a line leader you are responsible for:

  • Appointing one or more local radiation protection coordinators or taking charge of the tasks of the radiation protection coordinators.
  • Ensuring that the local radiation protection coordinator has the expertise, time and resources to do the job.
  • Ensuring that everyone involved (academic supervisors, users and students) has the expertise necessary to use the radiation equipment and receives the training they need.
  • Ensuring that there is a local emergency preparedness plan in case of accidents with the unit's radiation source. Local emergency preparedness plans should be compatible with the central emergency preparedness plan (DFU10 Accidents and abnormal incidents involving radiation sources - in Norwegian). It is important that everyone in the unit is aware of the emergency preparedness plan.
  • Ensuring that there are local guidelines for using radiation sources in place.
  • Ensuring that all work with radiation sources takes place in approved areas.
  • Ensuring that the risk factors associated with working with radiation sources are evaluated.
  • Ensuring that employees that are exposed to radiation in their work are categorized according to §31 in the Regulation on radiation protection and the use of radiation
  • Ensuring that employees receive medical examinations as detailed in the regulations on work performance paragraphs §15-4 (ionizing radiation), §16-7 (artificial optical radiation)and §16 A-7 (electromagnetic fields). Also see NTNU's internal regulations on medical examinations and eye examinations.
  • Ensuring that all employees and students who work with ionizing radiation are registered according to the regulations on work performance, paragraph §31-4.
  • When new radiation sources are purchased, deciding:
  1. Who is the owner? (When a radiation source is a joint purchase with other units). The owner is responsible for reporting sources subject to notification according to the regulation on radiation protection and the use of radiation, §12, in the system for notification of radiation sources administered by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA).
  2. If it is purchased and maintained with other groups (for example SINTEF), who is the responsible for HSE? The units should work out a coordination agreement.
  3. Who is in charge of equipment maintenance? Do there need to be maintenance agreements in place?
  4. Do neighboring rooms need to be protected?
  5. The Procurement Section's checklist should be used for larger purchases. Consider purchasing safety and screening equipment at the same time.
  6. If the radiation source needs to be delivered with markings in Norwegian.
  7. If any advice is needed about cleaning routines, ventilation, etc. (Contact the e-janitor.)
  8. That property management should be contacted if any structural changes in the building are necessary.

Academic supervisors

An academic supervisor is a person who manages other employees or students working in laboratories, workshops, or field research. This might be the supervisor of a PhD or student project, a project manager, or the manager of a laboratory or research group.

The academic supervisor is responsible for:

  • Collecting all the necessary information about the radiation source he or she will be using.
  • Informing the local radiation protection coordinator about the radiation source and how it will be used (procurement, localization, movements, dispoal, emissions, etc.)
  • Make operating instructions and emergenzy procedures in cooperation with the local radiation protection coordinator.
  • Authorize users; Ensuring that everyone who uses the radiation source have the proper competence, define access to the apparatus and rooms with radiation sources.
  • Minimizing the radiation exposure.
  • Familiarizing themselves with central and local guidelines and handbooks, measurement and protection equipment, waste disposal, and local emergency preparedness plans that effect the work being done with the radiation source.
  • Making a risk assessment of the work to be done with the radiation source.
  • Considering safety measures to be taken as well as safety equipment. Consider procuring equipment to make test measurements of the radiation source.
  • Testing safety equipment regularly.
  • Making sure that dangers of the source are clearly marked and that access to the source, equipment and the workplace is regulated.
  • Reducing risk of theft, sabotage or damage to radiation sources caused by for example fire or water.
  • Making sure that the radiation sources are stored responsibly.
  • Regularly testing to make sure that all safety measures are functioning optimally.
  • Ensuring that waste from the radiation sources is stored and disposed of in accordance with the applicable regulations.
  • Informing everyone affiliated to the area (for example your safety representative, the person in charge of the room, and maintenance staff) about the work to be done with radiation sources and precautions to be taken.

Instrument coordinator

For some radiation sources an instrument coordinator will be appointed. More information about this here: Radiation protection - X-ray equipment and Radiation protection - lasers.

Central radiation protection coordinator

NTNU's radiation protection work is performed by radiation protection coordinators centrally at the HES division and locally in individual units.

The central radiation protection coordinator is responsible for:

  • Administrating NTNU's systematic radiation protection work.
  • Keeping track of laws, regulations and local rules that apply to NTNU's radiation sources.
  • Ensuring that the proper radiation protection training is offered.
  • Being the liaison between NTNU and the DSA.
  • Reporting to the HES leader.
  • Helping units with:
  1. Supervising the correct and safe use of radiation sources and protective equipment.
  2. Keeping track (by making measurements and estimations) of radiation exposure and radiation doses.
  3. Risk assessments of activities involving radiation sources.
  4. Supervising the collection of radiation sources and removal of radioactive waste from the premises.
  5. Evaluating the radiation exposure and possible health risks.

Local radiation protection coordinator

Local radiation protection coordinators are appointed within units that use and handle radiation sources.

The local radiation protection coordinator is responsible for:

  • Managing local radiation protection work.
  • Keeping track of and giving advice on regulations on radiation exposure, handling spills and contamination, the disposal of radiation sources and similar.
  • Helping with risk assessment, training and preventative safety work.
  • Take care of local training about the NTNU guidelines for radiation protection, and work to ensure that these guidelines are known to all students and employees who handle radiation sources
  • Keeping track of:
  1. All the radiation sources in the unit: purchase, use, storage and disposal. Location, type of source, temporary moval of the sources and serial numbers or other information that can identify the sources must also be registered. This information must be kept and updated regularly for each laboratory or research group.
  2. Everyone who uses radiation sources in the unit, what level of competence they possess and what category of exposure they belong to (according to §31 in the Regulation of radiation protection and the use of radiation). See table for keeping track. Employees that are exposed to radiation when performing their occupation, where the radiation source or the exposure is a foreseeable part of their work, must be categorized. Students on master or PhD level who are working, independently or under supervision, with radiation sources must also be categorized.
  3. Everyone who uses the radiation source in the unit, and what level of competence they possess.
  4. The emission of radiative substances and the disposal of radioactive waste.
  5. Laws and regulations that apply to the unit's radiation sources.
  • Making sure that sources are registered in the electronic system at the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) (if applicable), or apply for approval if the source isn't covered by NTNU's central approval.
  • Annually reporting the list of purchases, use, storage and disposal of radiation sources to the central radiation protection coordinator.
  • Reporting to the central radiation protection coordinator all users that may risk an exposure dose of more that 1 mSV per year from ionizing radiation sources .
  • Making sure that radiation sources, equipment and rooms where the sources are used and stored are marked correctly and secured from theft, sabotage or damage to radiation sources caused by for example fire or water.
  • Ensuring that the radiation sources are used in accordance with laws and local regulations.
  • Ensuring for regular contamination tests where this is necessary.
  • Ensure that all accidents and unwanted incidents are reported.
  • Reporting to the line leader.

Users of radiation sources

More information here: Working with radiation sources

Authorized users of radiation sources

An authorized user of radiation sources is approved for independent use of the apparatus in question. An authorized user must have knowledge about procedures on starting up, setting and shutting down the apparatus. Also, the authorized user must be familiar with safety measures, emergenzy preparedness plans and Norwegian radiation protection legislation.

Questions to be asked during HES rounds

  • How is the unit making sure that all the requirement for radiation protection are fulfilled?
  • Should the unit be developing or improving their routines, and in this case which?
  • How is the unit working to reduce possible exposure to people and areas around the radiation sources?
  • Is the unit working to reduce the use of ionizing radiation sources, or switching to less active radiation sources?
  • How are environmentally harmful emissions from the sources being prevented?

Radiation sources at NTNU

There are two main types of radiation sources

  • Ionizing: Radioactive substances, x-ray equipment, electron microscopes
  • Non-ionizing: Lasers, short-wave ultraviolet radiation (UVC), sources with potentially damaging electromagnetic radiation and similar.

The main radiation sources found at NTNU are:

The use of radiation sources when groups of people are present

The person in charge of demonstrating radiation sources must make sure that everyone present is familiar with the dangers of the sources, and that relevant protection equipment is used. When demonstrating the sources for groups of e.g. school children, safety measures are particularly important.


NTNU regulations


Contact information


Approved by Director of HSE - 28. October 2020 - HMSR32E - ePhorte 2013/11284