This is a full transcript of the online presentation. For the
presentation itself, go here.
I’m Bill Passetti, Chief of the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control.
This presentation will introduce you to the bureau’s programs and provide a glimpse of the many important activities we perform.
Responding to radiation incidents, inspecting facilities that contain radiation sources, issuing certificates and licenses to businesses and individuals who possess and use radiation sources, and conducting environmental sampling are some of the activities our staff carryout everyday to ensure the health and safety of all Floridians.
The bureau’s headquarters are located in Tallahassee. The Bureau has 11 offices around the state and our environmental lab is located in Orlando.
Thank you for your interest in the Bureau of Radiation Control. I hope you find this presentation useful and informative. If you have any questions regarding radiation issues, please feel free to contact any of our local offices or call us here in Tallahassee at 850-245-4266.
The Bureau of Radiation Control is in the Department of Health. The mission of the Department of Health is to promote and protect the health and safety of all Floridians and the bureau supports that mission through emergency and incident response, inspections, licensing and monitoring radiation activities.
The Division of Environmental Health, one of 10 divisions within the Department of Health plays a major role in the department’s overall mission through its efforts to prevent injury and disease by controlling environmental risks.
To learn more about Department of Health divisions & agencies, visit the DOH website at: www.doh.state.fl.us
The Bureau of Radiation Control is one of four bureaus within the Division of Environmental Health. These 4 bureaus are:
The Bureau of Water Programs, the Bureau of Community Environmental Health, the Bureau of Radiation Control, and the Bureau of Onsite Sewage Programs.
To learn more about the Division of Environmental Health and it’s bureaus, visit the division’s website at: www.myfloridaeh.com.
Now that you know where the Bureau fits into the Department of Health, let’s focus on the specific activities the bureau performs to protect Floridians from unnecessary exposures to radiation.
Primary function are:
To train first responders on the safe handling of radioactive materials
To respond to radiation incidents, allegations and emergencies, not only within Florida but surrounding states if required
To perform inspections of licensees, facilities, machines and personnel
To grant or deny licenses to radioactive material users.
To register radiation machines and machine service providers.
To enforce regulatory requirements.
And to approve and review continuing education units for radiologic technologists.
We also spend time:
Developing inspection procedures.
Operating a statewide health physics lab.
Conducting emergency response training.
Monitoring the environment around nuclear power plants and phosphate mining areas.
Certifying commercial labs in radiochemical analysis of water samples.
Inspecting low level waste shipments.
Registering high powered lasers.
And providing expertise to the public, staff, government agencies and others regarding radiation issues.
The bureau has many responsibilities and a dedicated staff of 100. These employees and their sophisticated equipment are assigned to one of 11 statewide offices giving the bureau the ability to respond to any incident or event within 3 hours. In Tallahassee the administrative, licensing and standards development office can be found. Our x-ray registration program offices are in Jacksonville. The bureau’s Environmental Radiation Program is located in Orlando and the environmental lab is based there as well. The remaining locations are the central offices of our inspectors who live in the surrounding areas.
These function are divided into five regulatory programs. These are Environmental Radiation, Inspections, Radioactive Materials, Radiation Machines, and finally Radiologic Technology Standards and CE and Nonionizing Radiation. Each program area contributes to the overall goal of both the division and department to monitor activities that have the potential to threaten the public's health.
September 11, 2001 changed our lives and our bureau. Because of the threat of terrorism activity, the emphasis in our office has switched to emergency preparedness planning and training. The role of our bureau is expanding and changing, and will continue to evolve along with federal, state, and local efforts to ensure a swift and effective response to any radiological event. The Bureau of Radiation Control has the duty to respond to all radiation incidents and emergencies, including unexpected radiation releases from nuclear power plants, transportation accidents, lost or stolen radioactive sources, and contamination of a facility or the environment. Regardless of what type of radiological incident that may occur in Florida, the bureau’s major role will be to: Evaluate radiation levels and the extent of contamination; Provide protective action recommendations to local officials; and Acquire, distribute and coordinate additional resources as needed for proper response to radiological hazards. To prepare for these incidents, the bureau trains its staff and other emergency personnel in emergency response and decontamination procedures, dose assessment, and preparedness. Staff also prepare to respond to nuclear reactor emergencies during six annual training exercises in cooperation with the state's nuclear power plants. In addition, the department provides the Kennedy Space Center with emergency response assistance during the launch of spacecraft containing radioactive material. The Emergency Response Section coordinates and provides this training on radiological incident response. Emergency Response staff provide training to county health department personnel , law enforcement, fire fighters and other first responders on their actions and responsibilities during a radiological event and how they may assist the bureau during such responses.
The inspections program inspects radiation machines and facilities; radioactive materials licensees; and radiologic technologist certifications. Additionally, field inspectors respond to radiation incidents, allegations or emergencies.
The RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS program issues licenses for users of radioactive materials, educates and sanctions those who do not comply with established safety requirements and investigates accidents or misuse of radioactive materials. Florida is an agreement state with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and works closely with our federal partner for consistent regulatory oversight to assure the safe and secure use of radioactive materials.
The RADIATION MACHINES program regulates through registration, education & enforcement the use of x-ray and other radiation-producing machines, such as accelerators. We are a partner with the Food and Drug Administration as inspectors of mammography equipment as described in the Federal Mammography Quality Assurance Act. Program staff also investigate incidents or misuse of radiation-producing machines.
There are five nuclear power reactors operating at three sites in Florida: Units 1 and 2 at St. Lucie, Units 3 and 4 at Turkey Point, and Unit 3 at Crystal River. The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission licenses these reactors. In an event the Bureau would support off site response. In assuring the plant is operating as licensed, the bureau conducts environmental monitoring programs around all three sites. Radiation detection equipment surrounding each site identify direct radiation and special air sampling stations look for radioactive particulate emissions. Bureau staff also collect and analyze other samples, including vegetation, fish, citrus, milk, garden vegetables, shoreline sediment, surface water, and ground water.
Every state is responsible for the disposal of their low-level radioactive waste. Florida's shipments come from radioactive material users such as nuclear power plants, universities, hospitals, manufacturers, mining companies, and private laboratories. The department inspects each shipment for compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation standards for container integrity, external radiation levels, proper labeling, and accurate shipping papers.
The bureau operates a fully equipped radiochemistry laboratory to conduct chemical and physical analyses of samples collected by the radiation control programs. The radiation laboratory is the primary state laboratory for the analysis of radionuclides in drinking water. The laboratory analyzes samples from a variety of sources, including public water systems and private and public wells. These analyses primarily screen for radium and uranium. The bureau also evaluates private laboratories that wish to analyze radiological water samples in Florida.
The Radiation Surveillance Section processes detection devices around Nuclear Power plants and calibrates detection instrumentation for county and municipal first responders. The calibration lab is capable of calibrating and repairing many different types of radiation detectors.
Florida has several large phosphate deposits that have been mined since the turn of the century. These deposits contain varying concentrations of uranium and thorium. Although generally the radiation dose received from these concentrations is insignificant, the dose can become significant if the concentration increases through mining the ore, if the radionuclides dissolve in drinking water, or if they build up in structures on the deposits. To monitor this situation, the bureau takes soil, air, and water samples from the land both before and after the mining occurs and measures the radiation levels. The Pre & Post Mining Section monitors radiation levels in air, water & soil before mining activities & after land reclamation to evaluate the radiological environmental impact of mining activities.
The NON-IONIZING RADIATION program registers all high-powered lasers, including lasers used in medicine, industry & entertainment, investigates non-ionizing radiation complaints and provides technical expertise to the public.
The RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGY Standards and CE program approves continuing education, enforces provisions of the Radiologic Technologist Certification Act and provides technical expertise to the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, the agency responsible for certifying radiologic technologist in the state.
The Florida Bureau of Radiation Control is devoted to protecting Floridians and the environment from potential radiation hazards, while making it possible to enjoy the benefits derived from the peaceful uses of radiation. Given the times we live in, it’s important that knowledgeable radiation professionals be capable of responding to any incident or emergency; accidental or deliberate. Because of the training and dedication of our staff, the bureau can respond with personnel and equipment anywhere in the state within three hours. Our staff is available by phone by calling 407-297-2095…With a 24 hour hotline you can be in touch with a radiation protection professional immediately, and trained individuals with specialized equipment including a mobile laboratory can be on it’s way. The Bureau has a strong relationship with individuals in the local, state, federal and international organizations and has been recognized as a leader in state radiation control programs. If you have any questions regarding any radiation issues, call on the Florida Bureau of Radiation Control. Thank you