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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Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA)

Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) is a reliability assessment method which analyses engineering or management systems where safety is critical. The technique is used to determine the reliability of a component, or system of components, based on the probability of a component or system failure. The technique is used extensively in the nuclear industry and usually forms a major part of Safety Cases. It is used less in the small user (non-nuclear) sector where more conventional Risk Assessments usually suffice.

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 -