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Radiation in industry and research

Ionising radiation is employed in a number of areas in industry and research. Common to this use of radiation is that the radiation source is acquired for a special purpose, that is, it is wished to use the radiation actively in order to achieve some effect or other: for example, process control, materials control such as welding photography (industrial radiography), tracer studies, logging of wells in the oil industry, charge removal in car-painting and so forth.

When radiation is used in this way, there will always be an owner of the radiation sources, and the requirements imposed by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority are primarily directed to such owners.

Administrative control of the use of radiation is performed at many levels: 

  • Authorisation or use licensing. Acquisition and use of the sources require the permission of the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, which is granted on application, and presupposes that relevant radiation protection rules and requirements are observed. These requirements are usually issued as individual decisions in connection with the permits, or in the form of standardised “conditions” attached to the permits. 
  • Inspections. From time to time the enterprises receive a visit from the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, which inspects the degree of compliance with the conditions for the licence. 
  • Annual reports. Some kinds of enterprise with extensive use of radiation must submit an annual report as one of the conditions for the operating licence. 
  • Accident reporting. The owner/user is obliged to report all accidents with radiation consequences to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority.