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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Decommissioning

A general term applied to situations were nuclear plant (or any other plant containing sources of Ionising Radiations) comes to the end of its useful life. Decommissioning is then required in order to dismantle the plant and recover Radioactive materials for either reuse, recycling or disposal. Decommissioning uses an extremely controlled approach and on larger plants (e.g. nuclear power stations) will require full Safety Cases and regulator attention.

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