Re-accreditation of the IAEA Testing Laboratory for the next 5 years
The IAEA provides guidance and assistance for strengthening of occupational radiation protection in Member States. Apart from this task, the Agency is responsible for radiation safety monitoring of its staff members, individuals under contract, experts, trainees and visitors exposed to radioactive materials or other sources of ionizing radiation. The IAEA serves as a model in this area.
For this reason, the Agency maintains its own services for radiation safety monitoring. These services are accredited in the Testing Laboratories of the IAEA Radiation Safety and Monitoring Section and the Verification Logistics Section under the internationally recognized quality standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This defines management and technical requirements for testing and calibration laboratories to demonstrate the proficiency of staff, the thoroughness of method descriptions and most importantly, to confirm the correctness of reported results. The accredited methods include individual, workplace and equipment monitoring.
Last week, the Testing Laboratory went through a reaccreditation audit conducted by Akkreditierung Austria, the Austrian National Accreditation Body in the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. Based on this audit and accomplishment of follow-on items, the laboratory has been recommended for reaccreditation for an additional 5 years.
The audit has recognized the importance of a well-developed quality management system and the competence of the personnel. On a daily basis, a group of radiation protection specialists and technicians provide individual, workplace and equipment monitoring in laboratories in the IAEA headquarters building in Vienna and in Seibersdorf, Austria.
External and Internal Dosimetry Services
Last year, the IAEA provided individual monitoring services to more than 2400 individuals.
The External Dosimetry Services assess the exposure of workers due to external radiation sources. Measurement techniques are available for whole body and extremity monitoring of photon, neutron and beta radiation, applying thermoluminescence and active personal dosimetry.
The Internal Dosimetry Laboratory obtains measurement data in the whole body, in organs or other tissues and of their rates of excretion. The Internal Dosimetry Laboratory operates a body counter, a chemical treatment laboratory and a spectrometry laboratory for radiobioassay analysis of excreta.
In-house support for workplace and equipment monitoring
In operational radiation protection, the testing laboratory supports the work of the other departments with routine, special and emergency radiation monitoring, identification of suitable equipment, and producing radiation safety documents. The staff of the laboratory provide assistance in planning and construction of newly built facilities or for changes to laboratories.