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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Line Source

With respect to Ionising Radiation, a line source describes a Radioactive source which can be represented by a line between points A-B in any chosen plane. Calculations of Dose Rates from line sources are more complicated than those from Point Sources and in many cases, direct measurements are going to always be preferable. Such calculations usually involve knowing (or estimating) the Activity per unit length of the source, then calculating the dose rate at a chosen point by integrating contributions from integral points along the line. Commercial programs such as Microshield can undertake this process automatically.

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