Radiation protection - working with radiation sources

If you use radiation sources for your work at NTNU, you should make every effort to minimize any risks to health, safety and the environment.

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Topic page about HSE | Pages labelled with radiation

Tasks and responsibility delegation

Anyone working with a radiation source should:

  • Learn about and follow the rules and regulations for the use of radiation sources.
  • Be aware of the responsibilities line leaders and academic supervisors have in terms of radiation protection. You should also familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of the central and local radiation protection coordinators.
  • Inform the academic supervisor or the local radiation protection coordinator about alterations in the use of radiation sources (for instance new sources, damaged sources, new projects).
  • Learn about the radiation source you are using.
  • Go through specific information on the radiation source before you start using it
  • Learn emergency procedures.
  • Work so as to minimize the radiation activity and avoid risking yourself and others' health, safety and environment.
  • Log your use of the source as per the requirements. For example, the use of non-ionizing sources should be noted in the log book kept next to the source.
  • Test your workplace for contamination and, when the regulations specify it, yourself (for example after working with open or unshielded radioactive sources).

NTNU uses several types of radiation sources in non-medical research and teaching. All radiation sources and their uses have been approved by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA). Nevertheless, many of these radiation sources can potentially be harmful to people and equipment. The use and handling of radiation is regulated by laws, national and international standards, and NTNU's own radiation source regulations and guidelines.

Before you start working

Health concerns

Medical examinations

You should have a medical examination if:

The medical examination will determine if there are medical reasons hindering you from working with ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, or if special precautions should to be taken.

Pregnant employees

If you are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, you should inform your academic supervisor and your local radiation protection coordinator as soon as possible, so that the necessary precautions can be taken.

In some cases, pregnant employees will be given work without exposure to ionizing radiation. This means work that doesn't expose the foetus to a total dose of more than 1 mSv for the rest of the pregnancy.

After you find out you are pregnant, the dose to be received by the foetus for the rest of the pregnancy needs to be evaluated. Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) gives the following advice:

  • If the dose is certain to be less than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee can continue her work without special precautions.
  • If the dose is most probably less than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee can continue her work, but the amount of radiation could be reduced.
  • If the dose is likely larger than 1 mSv: the pregnant employee should be given other work with smaller radiation doses, or without exposure to ionizing radiation at all.
  • The dose to the foetus as measured with an RIA kit should be less than 1 mSv.

For a more detailed description of dose limits, see chapter 4.2: Dose limits in Guidelines on the use of radioactive sources in the laboratory (PDF in Norwegian) by DSA.

Radiation sources at NTNU

The types of radiation sources at NTNU can be divided into two main categories:

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

The main radiation sources found at NTNU are:


NTNU regulations


Contact information


Approved by Director of HSE - May 10th 2019 (replaces December 18th 2015) - HMSRV3201E - ePhorte 2016/3901