[ RadSafe ] Basis or Bases for Sealed Source Leak Test Detection Level

roseb at gdls.com roseb at gdls.com
Fri Jun 17 13:37:37 CDT 2016

Does anyone subscribed to this list know off-hand what the basis is or 
bases are for the 185 becquerel (0.005 microcurie) detection level for 
sealed radioactive sources?  Does the level have a technology basis (e.g. 
level of detection capability for a measuring instrument) or a health 
basis (committed or effective dose due to exposure at the stated detection 

This leakage detection level appears to apply for most sealed sources 
whether used for brachytherapy, industrial radiography, or other 
industrial or research application that uses specifically licensed 
sources.  It also appears to apply regardless of radioisotope contained in 
the sealed source (exceptions include certain tritium devices and exempt 
quantity sources).

I am aware of ANSI N44.2-1973, leak-testing radioactive brachytherapy 
sources (I do not have a copy of this standard to see if it provides the 
basis or bases for the stated level).  I am not able to locate anything 
online that provides basis or bases for 185 becquerel (0.005 microcurie) 
being the seemingly universal lower limit of detection for leaking 
radioactive sealed sources.


Boyd H. Rose, CM, CIH, CHMM, EI
Sr. Safety and Environmental Engineering Specialist
Corporate Radiation Safety Officer
General Dynamics Land Systems
38500 Mound Road
Mail Zone 436-10-80
Sterling Heights , MI 48310-3200
Tel: 586 825 4503
Fax: 586-939-4140
E-mail: roseb at gdls.com

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