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University of Pittsburgh
Program Areas

Requirements for Authorized Users
of X-Ray Irradiators

The use of X-Ray irradiators at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Radiation Protection (DEP). Certain conditions and procedures are required in order to remain in compliance with the license. On a routine basis, the DEP inspects each irradiator program for compliance.

The University Radiation Safety Office (RSO) is responsible for overseeing the use of the irradiators. It performs an audit of each irradiator on a quarterly basis to insure compliance. Copies of the audit results are forwarded to the Authorized User along with any corrective action requirements.

Each Authorized User is held responsible for the daily operation of the unit. This responsibility includes the following:

  1. All individuals using an irradiator must receive training prior to use. This consists of attendance at the standard radiation safety course given by the RSO, and also specific training on the operation and safety aspects of the particular unit.
  2. The Authorized User is responsible for the unit operation training. Individuals may be designated to provide the actual instruction. The RSO will provide an outline of information to be covered. A written "Certificate of Training" form must be signed by both the trainee and trainer and submitted to the RSO as documentation of training. The RSO maintains a list of all individuals trained on the unit.
  3. Each use of the unit must be documented in a logbook provided by the RSO.
  4. To insure proper operation, a daily Quality Assurance program must be established for each unit.
  5. Any malfunctions and proposed repairs or maintenance of the unit are the responsibility of the Authorized User.
  6. Routine maintenance as specified by the manufacturer and replacement or adjustment of electro-mechanical components may be performed by qualified individuals. Exact replacement parts or their equivalent (confirm with the manufacturer) should be utilized.
  7. Key control or access control should be established to prevent untrained personnel from using the unit.

The RSO highly recommends that either a maintenance service contract should be issued or money should be budgeted annually for the expenses related to calling in a qualified technician. This will insure prompt return to service in the event that the unit needs repair.