Radiation Protection Glossary

A radiation protection glossary for Radiation Protection Supervisors (RPS) and anyone interesting in radiation safety terminology. The glossary is a mixture of health physics terms, and phrases related to radiation legislation, transport, practical safety and similar.

Search the Glossary by either clicking on a letter or typing a Keyword into the search box.


The term 'Background' can be applied to either natural 'Background Radiation', or anywhere where a measurement of Ionising Radiation is required. In analytical Contamination and Radiation measurements it is usual to subtract the background count from the source counts of interest.

Physics is really nothing more than a search for ultimate simplicity, but so far all we have is a kind of elegant messiness

– Bill Bryson