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The Department of Health (DH) is the Victorian Government Regulatory authority which administers the use of ionising radiation sources. As per DH regulations a Radiation Management Licence is held by the University which registers all radiation practices, including possession of sealed and unsealed radiation sources. The Radiation Safety Officer is the custodian of the DU Radiation Management Licence, which is also available on request through the Director of the Office of Research Integrity.
For unsealed sources each lab or area has a maximum activity of each radionuclide allocated under the Management licence. Any increase to maximum activity, or the introduction of additional radionuclides must be requested in writing through the Radiation Safety Officer. Receipt of such materials from the supplier must not occur until notification of the Management Licence upgrade has been received from the Radiation Safety Officer, or the University risks a fine for breaching the conditions of the Management Licence.
‘Use Licences’ are issued by the Department of Health for individuals who wish to work with radiation sources, and are issued to ‘natural persons’ as opposed to companies.
Prior to work with ionising radiation apparatus & sealed sources staff members are required to hold a Use Licence. Students who work under the supervision of a staff member holding a Use Licence are exempt from needing to hold a Use Licence.
For work with unsealed radiation sources staff members are exempt from the requirement to hold a Use Licence, unless they supervise students who are working with radioactive materials. Students are exempt from the requirement to hold a Use Licence when working under the direct supervision of a staff member holding a Use Licence. In effect this means that staff members must only hold a licence for unsealed source work when supervising students.
For clarification of Use Licence requirements contact the Radiation Safety Officer.
Serious offences relating to such matters as unlicensed activities, failure to report an incident, failure to comply with licence conditions and causing serious harm to the environment are punishable under the Radiation Act with fines for the individual (up to $198,000) and the University (up to $991,000).