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§ 34.27 Leak testing and replacement of sealed sources

(a) The replacement of any sealed source fastened to or contained in a radiographic exposure device and leak testing of any sealed source must be performed by persons authorized to do so by the NRC or an Agreement State.

(b) The opening, repair, or modification of any sealed source must be performed by persons specifically authorized to do so by the Commission or an Agreement State.

(c) Testing and recordkeeping requirements.

(1) Each licensee who uses a sealed source shall have the source tested for leakage at intervals not to exceed 6 months. The leak testing of the source must be performed using a method approved by the Commission or by an Agreement State. The wipe sample should be taken from the nearest accessible point to the sealed source where contamination might accumulate. The wipe sample must be analyzed for radioactive contamination. The analysis must be capable of detecting the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 microcurie) of radioactive material on the test sample and must be performed by a person specifically authorized by the Commission or an Agreement State to perform the analysis.

(2) The licensee shall maintain records of the leak tests in accordance with § 34.67.

(3) Unless a sealed source is accompanied by a certificate from the transferor that shows that it has been leak tested within 6 months before the transfer, it may not be used by the licensee until tested for leakage. Sealed sources that are in storage and not in use do not require leak testing, but must be tested before use or transfer to another person if the interval of storage exceeds 6 months.

(d) Any test conducted pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section which reveals the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 microcurie) or more of removable radioactive material must be considered evidence that the sealed source is leaking. The licensee shall immediately withdraw the equipment involved from use and shall have it decontaminated and repaired or disposed of in accordance with Commission regulations. A report must be filed with the Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, by an appropriate method listed in § 30.6(a) of this chapter, the report to be filed within 5 days of any test with results that exceed the threshold in this paragraph (d), and to describe the equipment involved, the test results, and the corrective action taken. A copy of the report must be sent to the Administrator of the appropriate Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Regional Office listed in appendix D of 10 CFR part 20 of this chapter "Standards for Protection Against Radiation."

(e) Each exposure device using depleted uranium (DU) shielding and an "S" tube configuration must be tested for DU contamination at intervals not to exceed 12 months. The analysis must be capable of detecting the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 microcuries) of radioactive material on the test sample and must be performed by a person specifically authorized by the Commission or an Agreement State to perform the analysis. Should such testing reveal the presence of 185 Bq (0.005 microcuries) or more of removable DU contamination, the exposure device must be removed from use until an evaluation of the wear on the S-tube has been made. Should the evaluation reveal that the S-tube is worn through, the device may not be used again. DU shielded devices do not have to be tested for DU contamination while in storage and not in use. Before using or transferring such a device however, the device must be tested for DU contamination if the interval of storage exceeded 12 months. A record of the DU leak-test must be made in accordance with § 34.67. Licensees will have until June 27, 1998, to comply with the DU leak-testing requirements of this paragraph.

[62 FR 28963, May 28, 1997, as amended at 63 FR 37061, July 9, 1998; 67 FR 77652, Dec. 19, 2002; 68 FR 58805, Oct. 10, 2003; 73 FR 5719, Jan. 31, 2008]

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