The security of radioactive material is of concern to both the University of Ottawa, CNSC and the general public. For this reason, measures have been implemented to ensure this material is appropriately stored and access is only allowed to authorized individuals. As with all risk management strategies, a balance must be achieved between ensuring a secure environment while facilitating research activities. The primary mechanism to ensure security of radioactive material is through access control, while a secondary means is through personnel clearance.

Access control is accomplished by ensuring an integrated approach between research laboratory procedures and the infrastructure support of the faculties and departments in which they work. This process must address: before, during and after hour activities.  Laboratory doors must be locked when it is unoccupied for extended periods of time such as evenings or when all laboratory personnel are attending a meeting or seminar. 

Good access control also involves the creation of a security culture. It involves individuals monitoring their own activities, as well as others, to ensure only authorized access and appropriate use of radioactive material. This means that an authorized person must aware at all times of any unauthorized persons  entering the laboratory and intervene when someone could be  exposed to radioactive materials or could potentially steal the radioactive material. Persons performing work in the area, such as engineering or maintenance personnel, contractors or commercial service representatives must be accompanied by an authorized person at all times.  

Note, radioactive material includes radioactive waste.  Wastes such as liquid scintillation, dry waste, liquid waste and waste held for decay must be secure at all times.   Means of access control are:

  1. physical barriers
    • structural design to increase the level of security to reflect the transition from general public to laboratory zones
    • departmental design to control traffic flow patterns
    • control access: locks, key card access, self‐locking doors
  2. psychological barriers:
    • obvious presence of identifiable security personnel
    • obvious presence of security culture
    • use of cameras, mirrors, mirrored domes (90o,180o, 360o) and other monitoring tools c) monitoring activities:
    • patrols of facilities by security personnel
    • support staff monitoring of departments (secretariat staff located at entrance of departments to monitor access, all staff questioning strangers)
    • key control programs

    Personnel clearance is achieved by only allowing authorized individuals into the laboratory and only individuals who are on the radioisotope permit (approved by ORM ‐ Radiation Specialist) are permitted to work with radioactive material.

    Other security control can be accomplished by minimizing and tracking inventory of radioactive material in the lab. 

    Any radioisotope that is no longer useful, has insufficient activity or whose chemical integrity is questionable should be disposed. Keeping only radioisotopes that are in use will decrease the security risk.

    The radioisotope inventory should be checked regularly and when requested bu ORM.  The physical in-lab inventory must be compared to the ORM inventory listing for the permit holder.  ORM must be informed of any inconsistencies.

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