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.

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Dead Time

Dead Time is used in counting / detector systems to describe the time between two recorded events (e.g. where an Ionisation event has been recorded), where either the detector, or its electronics, are unable to detect other incoming events. A counting system which has a large dead time will more than likely miss true events that occur at intervals less than the dead time.

The definition of 'safe' is not strictly an engineering term; it's a societal term. Does it mean absolutely no loss of life? Does it mean absolutely no contamination with radiation? What exactly does 'safe' mean?

– Henry Petroski