Working Safely in Gamma Radiography: A Training Manual for Industrial Radiographers (NUREG/BR-0024)

On this page:

Download complete document

Publication Information

Date Published: September 1982


Stephen A. McGuire

A health physicist and specialist in industrial
radiography in NRC's Occupational Radiation
Protection Branch, Office of Nuclear Regulatory
Research. He received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering
in 1970 from the University of Wisconsin.

Carol A. Peabody

A technical writer and project coordinator
in NRC's Program and Administrative
Services Branch, Office of
Nuclear Regulatory Research.
She received her B.A. in journalism
in 1968 from the University of

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001


Who Is This Manual For?

This manual is designed for classroom training in working safely in industrial radiography using radioactive sources that emit gamma rays. Industrial radiography using x-ray machines, accelerators, and neutron sources is not covered in this manual.

The purpose of this manual is to help train you - a radiographer's assistant - to work safely as a qualified gamma radiographer. This training is important to help you work competently as a radiographer and to help you prevent radiography accidents.

Industrial radiography using gamma ray sources is regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or, in many states, by the individual states themselves. Industrial radiography using x-ray machines and accelerators is regulated by state regulatory agencies or by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

This manual was written to assist your company in meeting the NRC's requirements on training radiographers. NRC regulations* require that individuals receive radiation safety training and pass both a written test and a field test before becoming gamma radiographers. Each state that regulates gamma radiography has an equivalent requirement. This manual covers the general subjects that the NRC requires you to know about gamma radiography safety. Additional information on case histories of radiography accidents is available from the NRC.**

The radiography safety training information in this manual is intended to be taught by a qualified instructor using 30 to 40 classroom hours of instruction. This manual is not intended for self-instruction. The instructor will be able to answer specific questions on equipment and procedures and will allow ample time for discussion with fellow students.

This manual does not cover your company's specific operating and emergency procedures. Your company's procedures for equipment operation, inspection, and maintenance and the specific requirements in your company's license must be studied separately.

If you have already been instructed in your company's operating and emergency procedures, you will probably better understand the material presented in this manual. You will also get more out of the manual and the training course if you have worked as a radiographer's assistant using basic gamma radiography equipment, especially radiography cameras and survey meters, for at least a month. This introductory work experience will help you to understand and appreciate more fully the safety information presented to you.

*Title 10, "Energy," Part 34, "Licenses for Radiography and Radiation Safety Requirements for Radiographic Operations," Section 34.31, "Training." **NUREG/BR-0001, Vol. 1, "Case Histories of Radiography Events." Copies are available for purchase at current rates (bulk prices available) through the GPO Sales Program.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021