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5.4 Security of Radioactive Sources Used in Medical Applications

WINS 27 Mar 2019

This WINS International Best Practice Guide focuses on some of the basic principles, issues and considerations surrounding the security of radioactive sources in a medical facility.

It provides an overview of the responsibilities and liabilities of radioactive sources in a healthcare facility, beginning with the crucial role that leadership plays. It also explains the IAEA categories for radioactive sources, which range from extremely dangerous (Category 1) to most unlikely to be dangerous (Category 5), and explains some of the characteristics of radioactive sources that make them particularly attractive to an adversary.

In addition, the guide addresses the threats that potential adversaries pose, including the creation of a radiological dispersal device (i.e. dirty bomb); how to design and implement a security programme for a medical facility; and the kinds of information that should be addressed in a security plan.

The guide also discusses basic security principles, such as taking a graded approach, defence in depth, security by design, and implementing the four security objectives: deter, detect/assess, delay and respond. In addition, it explains why security culture is so important, how to address the insider threat, and the need to integrate safety and security.

Finally, the guide emphasises the need to optimise the security system, ensure staff competence and trustworthiness, plan for end of life, and consider adopting alternative technologies.

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5.4 Security of Radioactive Sources Used in Medical Applications

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