ASN Report 2017

293 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 10  - Sources of ionising radiation and their industrial, veterinary and research applications measuring wear, looking for leaks or friction spots, building hydrodynamic models and in hydrology. As at 31st December 2017, the number of facilities authorised to use unsealed sources stood at 747. Graph 2 specifies the number of facilities authorised to use unsealed radioactive sources in the applications inventoried in the last five years. 2. The use of electrical devices emitting ionising radiation in the industrial, research and veterinary sectors In industry, electrical devices emitting ionising radiation are used mainly in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), where they replace devices containing radioactive sources. They are also used in veterinary diagnostic applications. Graphs 3 and 4 specify the number of facilities authorised to use electrical devices generating ionising radiation in the listed applications. They illustrate the diversity of these applications which have evolved over the last five years. This evolution is closely related to the regulatory changes which have gradually created a new licensing or notification system concerning the use of these devices. At present, the situation of the professionals concerned is being brought into compliance in many activity sectors. 2.1 Industrial applications The electrical devices emitting ionising radiation are chiefly X-ray generators. They are used in industry for non-destructive structural analyses (analysis techniques such as tomography, diffractometry, also called X-ray crystallography, etc.), for checking the quality of weld beads or inspecting materials for fatigue (in aeronautics in particular). These devices, which function using the principle of X-ray attenuation, are used as industrial gauges (measurement of drum filling, thickness measurement, etc.), inspection of goods containers or luggage and also the detection of foreign bodies in foodstuffs. The increasing number of types of device available on the market can be explained more particularly by the fact that when possible, they replace devices containing radioactive sources. The advantages of this technology with regard to radiation protection are linked in particular to the total absence of ionising radiation when the equipment is not in use. Their utilisation does however lead to worker exposure levels that are comparable to those resulting from the use of devices containing radioactive sources. Radiography for checking the quality of weld beads or for the fatigue inspection of materials These are fixed devices or worksite devices using directional or panoramic beams which replace gamma radiography devices (see point 1.1.2) if the utilisation conditions so permit. These devices can also be put to more specific uses, such as radiography for restoration of musical instruments or paintings, archaeological study of mummies or analysis of fossils. Baggage inspection Ionising radiation is used constantly in security screening checks, whether for the systematic verification of baggage or to determine the content of suspect packages. The smallest and most widely used devices are installed at the inspection and screening checkpoints in airports, in museums, at the entrance to certain buildings, etc. The devices with the largest inspection tunnel cross-section are used in airports for screening air freight, large baggage items and hold baggage in airports. This range of devices is supplemented by tomographs, which give a series of cross-sectional images of the object being examined. GRAPH 2: Use of unsealed radioactive sources 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 Research Use of tracers Calibration Teaching Number of facilities licensed 2016 2017 2015 2014 2013