Distance Learning
GEHS 6300

GEHS 6300 - Radiological Health, 3 credits

This course is an introductory course in health physics, medical uses and university uses of ionizing radiation. The course includes radiation protection for both workers and general public. GEHS6300 is a course designed to review the basics of atomic and nuclear physics and cover subjects in the field of radiation protection. The course is designed to meet the needs of students in the Industrial Hygiene Program as required by ABET. Topics include nuclear reaction terminology, the interaction of alpha particles, electrons, and photons with matter, basic instrumentation for radiation protection, and the use of Poisson counting statistics, radiation medicine issues including radiation epidemiology, internal dissymmetry, use of the LLNL code Hotspot for dispersion calculations, and various advanced topics, including nuclear weapons effects. The text by Dr. Bevalacqua was written for students preparing for Part I of the ABHP exam. It should also be valuable to those students studying for the CIH exam. The text contains over 700 health physics problems with solutions. Because of this unique resource the course is heavily problem related.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss and be able to describe the world of elementary particles – Standard Model, Atomic structure; Nuclear Energy Levels, Types of nuclear reactions (alpha decay, beta decay, gamma decay)
  2. Discuss the penetrating Power of alpha, beta, gamma, neutrons, Industrial uses of radioactivity, Background radiation and the public dose distribution Ionization and exposure rate , Absorbed Dose (rad, Gy); dose rate, Specific Activity, Workplace limits and limits to the public, Law of radioactive decay Fluence, kerma, Flux, LET, Gamma constant and external gamma ray dosimetry, Point source inverse square law, Industrial accidents with radiography sources (Ir-192). Nuclear reactions and the Q value, Beta and positron decay, Beta spectra and the Kurie plot, Derivation of exponential attenuation law (narrow beam), Photoelectric, Compton scattering, pair production, Microscopic and macroscopic cross sections; Z dependence of various scattering processes, Stopping Power, Tissue equivalence and chemical formulations for tissue equivalent phantoms, Rad/R in tissue, bone (f factor), Gamma flux density, Practical health physics , approximations. Sources of radiation exposure to the public.
  3. Discuss ionization chambers, Geiger counters, TLD, OSD, Scintillation detectors (NaI), Ge detectors, Gamma ray spectra and nuclide identification, Counting statistics, Optimum counting times between source and background. Critical levels, lower limit of detection, minimum detectable activity. Use of gamma spectra in evaluation of industrial accidents.
  4. Demonstrate basic radiobiology, Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS) – hematological, GI, CV/CNS, Local Radiation Injury and injury thresholds. Evaluation of radiation accidents. Internal contamination and medical treatment.
  5. Illustrate the delayed effects of radiation. RERF data. Linear nonthreshod vs. threshold curves. Effects of radiation on pregnancy.
  6. Demonstrate the ICRP 2 methodology, ICRP 30 models, Lung models, IRF and problems, ICRP 66 and beyond, Fetal dosimetry
  7. Describe and use the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Hotspot code v. 2.06 for general PC transport models. Perform sample calculation for a general stack release. Sample calculation for a general nuclear weapons blast.
  8. Recognize nuclear weapons effects, Blast effects; other health effects. Dosimetry formulas. Way-Wigner Law for radioactive decay post-nuclear blast Discuss wide beam studies and the buildup factor. Describe line source, Infinite plane source, Nuclear decay chains – solutions by Laplace transforms, Buildup and decay; transient and secular equilibrium.

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