Requirements for the Possession and Use of Irradiating Apparatus and Radioactive Substances at PolyU

Starting July 2001, exemption granted to universities in Hong Kong regarding the use of radiation sources has been ceased. The possession and use of irradiating apparatus and radioactive substances must be licenced. For irradiating apparatus such as X-ray equipment, each user department must have valid licences for their own apparatus. For radioactive substances, HSEO is holding two central licences for the use and possession of radioactive substances at PolyU. In order that radiation sources in PolyU are handled in a safe manner as well as licencing conditions are complied with, the following basic requirements must be observed by concerned parties :

A. Irradiating Apparatus (e.g. X-ray equipment)

  1. About the apparatus -- the user department should inform HSEO and apply for a temporary licence from the Radiation Board before the irradiating apparatus is purchased and allowed to be delivered to and installed at the PolyU campus. Once the apparatus is installed, the user department should apply for a possession and use licence from the Radiation Board in order that the apparatus can be put into operation. Any licenced irradiating apparatus must also be registered with HSEO. 
  2. About the location of use / storage -- the irradiating apparatus can be used or stored only at location specified in the licence. Any changes of use or storage location must have prior approval from the Radiation Board and have the licence amended. HSEO should also be informed of such changes. The location of use should also meet certain building requirements to achieve a high standard of safety. These may include door locks, warning signs, warning lights, or special construction of the doors and wall linings depending on the voltage of the equipment or whether it is an open-beam or closed-beam apparatus. 
  3. About the operators -- each open-beam irradiating apparatus operator must register with HSEO and apply for operator licence from the Radiation Board. They should be trained in radiation safety (either through the web-based self-learning or regular classroom training course) and be personally monitored by radiation dosimeter (should be applied from the Radiation Health Unit via HSEO). Operator licence and personal radiation dosimeter is not necessary for operators of closed-beam irradiating apparatus. However, they should also be trained in radiation safety and register with HSEO. Operators of irradiating apparatus who have not yet been trained can operate the apparatus only under close supervision of a registered.

B. Radioactive Substances

  1. About the radioactive substances -- each user department is registered with HSEO for certain types and quantity of radioactive substances being used or stored in certain location. Any additional type or quantity of radioactive substance to be used must have prior approval from HSEO so as to effect licence amendment with Radiation Board. 
  2. About the location of use -- prior approval must be obtained from HSEO and have the licence amended with the Radiation Board before there can be any changes of location for handling or storage of radioactive substances. The location of use should also meet certain building requirements to achieve a high standard of safety. These may include door locks, warning signs, ventilation system, drainage system, surface linings, etc. depending on whether the radioactive sources are sealed* or unsealed**. 
  3. About the users -- users of both sealed and unsealed radioactive substances should register with HSEO and be trained in radiation safety (either through the web-based self-learning or regular classroom training course). Users who have not yet been trained can handle radioactive substances only under close supervision of a registered user. Moreover, users of unsealed radioactive substances should take pre-employment and annual medical examination (to be provided by the University Clinic) and be proven to be fit for radiation work. They should also be personally monitored by radiation dosimeter (should be applied from the Radiation Health Unit via HSEO).

For any query or further details, please feel free to contact our Radiation Protection Officer, Mr Leung Chun-bong Chris at ext. 8389 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Note : * Sealed source refers to radioactive substance that is permanently sealed in a capsule or closely bounded and in a solid form. ** Unsealed source refers to radioactive substance that does not meet the definition of a sealed source. Summary Table
 

Source of Ionizing Radiation

About the Apparatus / Radioactive Substances

About the Operators / Users

About the Location of Use / Storage

Open-beam Irradiating Apparatus

  • licence with Radiation Board (user department as the licencee)
  • register with HSEO
  • trained
  • licence with Radiation Board
  • personally monitored with TLD
  • register with HSEO
  • allowed only at location specified in the licence
  • accessible only to registered users
  • should be constructed with sufficient shielding
  • warning light and sign at each entrance

Closed-beam Irradiating Apparatus

  • licence with Radiation Board (user department as the licencee)
  • register with HSEO
  • trained
  • register with HSEO
  • allowed only at location specified in the licence
  • accessible only to registered users
  • warning sign at each entrance

Radioactive Substances (Sealed Source)

  • licence with Radiation Board (HSEO as the licencee)
  • types and quantities are limited to those covered by the licence
  • trained
  • register with HSEO
  • allowed only at locations specified in the licence
  • accessible only to registered users
  • should be provided with sufficient shielding
  • warning signs on the containers and at each entrance

Radioactive Substances (Unsealed Sources)

  • licence with Radiation Board (HSEO as the licencee)
  • types and quantities are limited to those covered by the licence
  • trained
  • register with HSEO
  • personally monitored with TLD
  • medically examined to be fit for work
  • allowed only at locations specified in the licence
  • accessible only to registered users
  • should be provided with sufficient shielding
  • warning signs on the containers and at each entrance