Did you know that 2021 is an NIH Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspection year? As a result, the Division of Radiation Safety (DRS) is being extra proactive in getting the word out. Please be aware that a team of NRC inspectors will visit us sometime this spring or summer (the inspection is always unannounced) and thus we need good compliance from all radiation workers with respect to safety and security requirements.
In particular, we anticipate the NRC will be taking a close look at: the NIH clinical research program (both diagnostic and therapeutic); PET/Cyclotron Department; Hot Cell users; Radiation Oncology Branch; a random sampling of bench radiation usage and DRS protocol labs (those using higher quantities of radioactive material); iodination facilities, and all irradiator rooms.
Please pay special attention to routine compliance items in your labs, such as ensuring your radiation survey instruments are calibrated, and inventory records are in order and adhere to requirements, such as the radiological security policy. If you are issued dosimetry to track your radiation dose, ensure your dosimeters are exchanged promptly and that any old dosimetry is turned in (especially from during the pandemic). If you are actively using radioactive material at the benchtop, ensure your daily surveys are performed for contamination control.
If any guidance or assistance is needed from Radiation Safety, please call us immediately. We'd much rather correct a problem now than wait for the NRC to find it.
Authorized Users will be promptly notified via mass email as soon as the NRC inspectors are on campus to ensure all radiation workers are vigilant and compliant. DRS has complete faith and confidence in the radiation safety performance of our NIH workers. But, a reminder never hurts. Stay tuned for the inspection! Call your area health physicist at 301-496-5774 for any specific needs. Thank you in advance!