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Radiation Safety Policy

Classification number LCG 1148
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-president responsible for Research
Approval date April 22, 2021
Review date April 2024


This policy sets out the standards, requirements and responsibilities that apply to research and scholarly activities involving ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, including nuclear substances and radiation emitting devices at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Ontario Tech).


For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply: 

“Action Level” means a specific dose or other parameter that, if exceeded, may indicate a loss of control of part of the radiation safety program. 

“Authorized Users” means any University Member who has been authorized to handle ionizing or non-ionizing radiation in accordance with the requirements set out in the Radiation Safety Program. 

“ALARA” (as low as reasonably achievable) means an optimization tool in radiation protection used to keep individual, workplace and public dose limits as low as reasonably achievable, social and economic factors being taken into account. ALARA is not a dose limit; it is a practice that aims to keep dose levels as far as possible below regulatory limits. (ALARA) 

“CNSC” means the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the federal regulatory agency whose mandate is to establish and enforce the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations. The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment, and to implement Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

“Ionizing Radiation” means particles, X-rays, or gamma rays with sufficient energy to cause ionization in the medium through which it passes.

“MOL” means the Ontario Ministry of Labour, the provincial regulatory agency whose mandate is to establish and enforce the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which includes the X-ray Safety regulation and takes into consideration the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136 series of laser safety standards (the “ANSI” Standards).

“Non-Ionizing Radiation” means any type of electromagnetic radiation that does not carry enough energy to ionize atoms or molecules.

"Nuclear Substance” means:

  1. deuterium, thorium, uranium or an element with an atomic number greater than 92; 
  2. a derivative or compound of deuterium, thorium, uranium or of an element with an atomic number greater than 92;
  3. a radioactive nuclide;
  4. a substance that is prescribed as being capable of releasing nuclear energy or as being required for the production or use of nuclear energy;
  5. a radioactive by-product of the development, production or use of nuclear energy; and
  6. a radioactive substance or radioactive thing that was used for the development or production, or in connection with the use, of nuclear energy.

“Radiation” means, for the purpose of this policy:

  1. energy in the form of electromagnetic waves or acoustical waves with the potential to harm;
  2. the emission by a nuclear substance, the production using a nuclear substance, or the production at a nuclear facility of an atomic or subatomic particle or electromagnetic wave with sufficient energy for ionization.
“Radiation device” means any device that contains more than the exemption quantity of a nuclear substance and that enables the nuclear substance to be used for its radiation properties.

“Radiation emitting device” means any device that is capable of producing and emitting radiation.

“Radioisotope Laboratory” means a conventional laboratory that is permitted to house radioactive materials and all activates within the laboratory are prescribed by a radioisotope permit.

“Radiation Safety Program” means the documented policies and procedures developed to control the risks and hazards associated with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. The radiation safety program includes x-ray safety and for the purposes of this policy includes the laser safety program. These programs are documented as the Radiation Safety Manual and the Laser Safety Manual and outline the university’s responsibility and oversight for the protection of personnel
against the harmful effects of radiation.

“University Member” means any member of the Ontario Tech community who teaches, conducts research or works at or under the auspices of the University and includes any of the following:

  • A person who is an employee of the university;
  • Any person who is an appointee (including adjunct faculty, emeritus, a volunteer on research related committees and boards) of the University , or
  • Student, post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, contractors, and any other research personnel while they are engaged in research or scholarly activities under supervision of a Member.


Scope and authority

This policy applies to all activities at the University involving ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and radiation emitting devices defined under this Policy.
The Vice-President Research and Innovation, or successor thereof, is the Policy Owner and is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of this Policy.
On behalf of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, the Radiation Safety Officer and the Radiation Safety Committee have the authority to immediately stop any use of ionizing and nonionizing radiation sources and radiation emitting devices which deviates from the approved conditions set out in a Permit or is deemed to be in non-compliance with the applicable legislation and regulations and/or university policy or procedures as described under the Radiation Safety Program.


The University is committed to protecting all University Members and the environment from any adverse effects resulting from the use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation for research and scholarly activities at the University. To this end, the University will maintain a radiation safety program to ensure the safe use, storage, transfer and disposal of radiation and radioactive materials in compliance with all legislated requirements, University Policies and Procedures.


  1. The University holds Licences from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for the use of nuclear substances and radiation devices.
  2. The University is registered with the Ministry of Labour for the use of x-ray devices on campus.
  3. All procurement, use, storage, transfers, and disposal of these material/devices by a University Member under the auspices of the University is governed by the terms of the CNSC Licence(s) or MOL approval letter.
  4. The University adheres to the safety standards outlined in the ANSI Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers for all laser equipment.
  5. The University shall establish a Radiation Safety Program for workplace safety and regulatory compliance in accordance with CNSC requirements, the ANSI Standard and the X-Ray Safety Regulation. The internal responsibility system shall be fundamental
    to the effective operation of the Radiation Safety Program.
  6. All research and scholarly activities at the University involving ionizing, non-ionizing and radiation emitting devices must be approved by the Radiation Safety Committee prior to any activities commencing.
  7. Authorized Users are accountable for ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation, regulations, guidelines and University policies and procedures.
  8. The University recognizes its responsibility to act with due diligence where ionizing, non-ionizing materials and radiation emitting devices are concerned.
  9. The University shall only support work for which it is licensed to by the CNSC or approved for by the MOL.
  10. All occupational exposures shall be limited in accordance with the ALARA (as Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle and within CNSC and MOL prescribed dose limits.
  11. University Members who, on reasonable grounds, believe that a University place or vehicle is contaminated in excess of the prescribed limit by a radioactive prescribed substance, or an event has occurred that is likely to result in the exposure of persons or the environment to a dose of radiation in excess of prescribed limits, shall immediately notify the Radiation Safety Officer and appropriate authorities about the location and circumstances of the contamination or event.



  1. All members of the University community are subject to the requirements of this policy. Violations place the University at significant risk and are subject to appropriate corrective administrative, academic or non-academic discipline and could result in
    disciplinary action up to and including termination of the member’s position with the University, or in the case of a student, an academic suspension. Any disciplinary action arising from a violation of this policy will be conducted in accordance with the
    collective agreement that governs the member, if applicable. Significant legal penalties may also be assessed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission under the authority of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations or the Ontario Ministry of labour under the authority of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and X-Ray Safety Regulation.


Monitoring and review

This Policy will be reviewed as necessary and at least every three years. The Director, Research Services, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review this Policy.

Relevant legislation

Nuclear Safety and Control Act
Regulations under the Nuclear Safety and Control Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 861 X-Ray Safety
Healing Arts and Radiation Protection Act and Regulations
R.R.O 1990, Reg. 543 X-Ray Safety Code
Radiation Emitting Devices Act


Related policies, procedures & documents

Ontario Tech Health and Safety Policy
Ontario Tech Radiation Safety Manual
Procurement Policy and Procedures
CNSC Licenses issued to the University Of Ontario Institute Of Technology
CNSC Regulatory Guidance Documents