Ionizing radiation standards

Facilities

NRC is equipped with low and medium energy X-ray generators, a therapy level irradiator for 60Co gamma radiation, two industrial/radiation protection level irradiators providing a range of source strengths for 60Co or 137Cs gamma radiation, an Elekta microSelectron brachytherapy afterloader with a high dose rate (HDR) 192Ir source, a Hopewell free air chamber for low dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, a wide variety of low activity radioactive sources, calibrated neutron Am-Be sources, a neutron generator, two β-ray irradiators, two Elekta clinical linear accelerators, a 35 MeV electron linear accelerator, and a collection of calibrated standard capacitors connected to a calibrated voltage source for therapy class electrometer charge calibrations.

The X-ray generators provide stable beams of X-rays at constant potentials from 10 kV to 300 kV. Exposure rates from approximately 1 mR/h to 15 R/min can be selected, covering both protection and therapeutic levels. The x-ray facility can provide calibrations for therapy class ionization chambers or radiation protection devices (such as survey meters, personal dosimeters and radiation detectors). Custom services can also be arranged to provide irradiation for a wide variety of client samples.

60Co beams are standardized in terms of exposure, air-kerma and absorbed dose. Standard 60Co air-kerma rates range between 80 µGy/min- 1.1 Gy/min (exposure rates range between 10 mR/min-125 R/min). Standard 60Co absorbed dose rates range between 0.5 Gy/min - 1 Gy/min. The 60Co facility can provide calibrations for therapy class ionization chambers or radiation protection devices (such as survey meters, personal dosimeters and radiation detectors). Custom services can also be arranged to provide irradiation for a wide variety of client samples.

The Elekta microSelectron afterloader can deliver a high dose rate (HDR) 192Ir source, providing typical air kerma rates of between 1 mGy*m2/h - 50 mGy*m2/h depending on the state of the sources decay over the course of the calendar year. The HDR facility can provide calibration services for therapy class well-type ionization chambers.

Radionuclide Metrology facilities consist of radiochemistry and decay counting laboratories. Radionuclide metrology implements 4pi-beta-gamma and Liquid Scintillation Counting primary methods as well as a suite of secondary measurement detectors (eg: radionuclide calibrators, solid state detectors and alpha spectrometry).

The neutron laboratory at the NRC is a unique facility ideally suited to the measurement of low-intensity neutron fields generated by sealed neutron sources. A large 16 m x 16 m x 10 m room with a false floor permits calibration and irradiation services to be carried out with minimal effects due to room scatter. Americium-beryllium (Am-Be) sources with typical activities of 25 GBq are available for the purpose of calibrating neutron survey meters as well as for independent testing of neutron dosimeters for quality assurance.

Two beta irradiators can be fitted with Pm-147, Kr-85, and Sr/Y-90 sources which have mean energies from 70 keV to 670 keV at their calibration positions (11 to 50 cm from the source) and generate absorbed dose rates to skin (depth of 70 µm in tissue) in the 1 to 1000 mGy/h range. These rates are established with our primary standard setup based on extrapolation chamber measurements. The irradiators are used for quality assurance testing of personal dosimetry systems and for calibrating beta survey meters.

The Elekta clinical linear accelerators are standard clinical radiotherapy machines with photon beams between 6 and 25 MeV, and 5 electron beams with energies between 4 and 22 MeV. The accelerators deliver clinical dose rates of approximately 5 Gy/minute.

The NRC Vickers electron linear accelerator is a 35 MeV high-current short-pulse machine capable of sustaining an average current of 60 µA at 35 MeV. A variety of targets, beam flatteners, collimator systems, scattering foil systems, beam current monitors and beam steering systems allow a wide variety of clinical accelerator beams to be simulated. The accelerator can also be run with currents averaging less than a single electron per pulse. In addition to the provision of electron and photon beams for dosimetry, the electron linear accelerator is available to outside users.

Services

Description of services Contact
60Co Exposure/Air Kerma, 60Co Absorbed Dose to Water, 137Cs Exposure/Air Kerma, Low and Medium Energy X-ray Exposure/Air Kerma, MV LINAC Photon Absorbed Dose to Water, 192Ir High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy Well Chamber Air Kerma, Therapy Class Electrometer Charge Calibration Services. High Activity 60Co and 137Cs Source Strength Determination Brad Downton
Telephone: 613-993-2715 ext. 245
Email: brad.downton@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Beta Calibration Services Dr. Audrey MacLeod
Telephone: 613-993-2715 ext. 227
Email: audrey.mcleod@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Neutron Calibration Services and Neutron Source Flux Determination. Dr. John Paul Archambault
Telephone: 613-993-2715 ext. 252
Email: JohnPaul.Archambault@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Radionuclide Calibration Services and Low Activity Source Strength Determination Dr. Raphael Galea
Telephone: 613-993-2715 ext. 229
Email: Raphael.Galea@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Note that the calibration costs quoted DO NOT include shipping, insurance or the cost of a customs broker. The client must arrange and pay for these services separately.

Facilities and handling fees

Calibration Code Description Fee ($CDN)
A33-08-00-00 Calibration code for non-standard, custom services using the Ionizing Radiation Standards calibration facilities. Custom fee on request
A33-08-00-01 Handling fee. A charge is levied for any instrument or radioactive source that is found to be unsuitable for calibration. The fee covers inspection and return, and is based on the work done prior to the discovery of the fault. $250.00
A33-08-00-02 Return shipping Fee. Provides the client with return shipping for their equipment following the completion of scheduled calibrations services. $75.00

Determination of source strengths

Calibration Code Description Fee ($CDN)
A33-08-01-01 High Activity 60Co or 137CS Source Strength Determination. The exposure and/or air-kerma rate for a high activity 60Co or 137Cs radioactive source at the client's site is measured using an NRC calibrated reference class ionization chamber and therapy class electrometer. Custom fee on request
A33-08-01-03 Low Activity Source Strength Determination. The exposure and/or air-kerma rate for a low activity source is measured at NRC. This service is available by special request only. Custom fee on request
A33-08-01-04 Radioactive Neutron Source Flux Determination. Through the use of Am-Be neutron sources whose outputs and half-lives have been well established, a neutron long counter is used to measure the neutron flux from the client's radioactive neutron source. $2,260.00

Instrument calibration

Calibration Code Description Fee ($CDN)
A33-08-02-01 Low and Medium Energy X-ray Exposure and Air-Kerma Calibrations for a Single X-ray Quality. This service provides an exposure and air-kerma calibration at a single x-ray quality for either a survey meter or an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set, at a single electrometer range. The primary standards are two free-air chambers covering a range of energies with tube voltages from 10 kV - 300 kV. By varying the anode current and the distance from the source, calibrations can be performed at air-kerma rates of 8.76 µGy/h-131 µGy/h (1 mR/h - 15 R/h). A variety of beam filtrations can be utilized allowing NRC to match the clients beam quality as accurately as possible. $1,375.00
A33-08-02-02 Low and Medium Energy X-ray Exposure and Air-Kerma Calibrations - Additional X-ray Qualities. Calibrations for an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer will be performed at a reduced cost for additional qualities or an additional electrometer range, when scheduled at the same time as service code A33-08-02-01. $290.00
A33-08-03-01 60Co Exposure and Air-Kerma Calibrations. This service provides an exposure and air-kerma calibration for an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set, at a single electrometer range. The primary exposure standard for 60Co gamma-radiation is a carbon-walled cavity ionization chamber. High activity calibrations of client instruments are performed at air-kerma rates that typically range between 0.57 Gy/min - 1.1 Gy/min (60 R/min - 125 R/min) at a distance of 1-metre. Radiation protection calibrations of client instruments are performed at air-kerma rates that typically range between 80 µGy/min-1.8 mGy/min (10 mR/min - 200 mR/min). $1,375.00
A33-08-03-02 Radiation Protection 137Cs Exposure and Air-Kerma Calibrations. This service provides an exposure and air-kerma calibration for an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set (at a single electrometer range) or for a radiation protection device. Radiation protection calibrations are traceable to the primary exposure standard for 60Co gamma-radiation through secondary standard ionization chambers. Radiation protection calibrations of client instruments are performed at rates that typically range between 2.6 µGy/min-2.5 mGy/min (0.3 mR/min - 280 mR/min). $1,375.00
A33-08-03-03 Therapy Level 60Co Absorbed Dose to Water Calibrations. This service provides an absorbed dose to water calibration for an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set, at a single electrometer range. The primary absorbed dose to water standard for 60Co is a sealed water calorimeter which was designed and built at NRC. Calibrations of client instruments are performed at rates that typically range between 0.5 Gy/min - 1 Gy/min at a distance of 1-meter. $1,375.00
A33-08-03-04 60Co and 137Cs Exposure and Air-Kerma Calibrations and 60Co Absorbed Dose to Water Calibrations - Additional Electrometer Ranges. Calibrations for an ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer will be performed at a reduced cost for an additional electrometer range when scheduled at the same time as service code A33-08-03-01, A33-08-03-02 or A33-08-03-03. $255.00
A33-08-04-01 Neutron meter calibration. This service provides a calibration for a neutron survey meter using an Am-Be source (average energy of 4.4 MeV) of known output. NRC can provide calibrations of neutron survey meters in a field of roughly 20 µSv/h (2 mrem/h). $1,710.00
A33-08-05-01 Beta Meter Calibration. Absorbed dose to tissue calibration of a direct-reading beta dosimeter or survey meter is performed in fields of 90Sr/90Y, 85Kr and 147Pm beta sources at a variety of specified distances, with rates falling in the range from 1 to 250 mGy/h, as determined by primary-standard extrapolation chamber measurements. $1,815.00
A33-08-06-03 MV X-ray Photon Absorbed Dose to Water Calibration. This service provides an MV x-ray photon absorbed dose to water calibration at three MV x-ray energies for a single ionization chamber. In addition to the MV x-ray calibration, this service also includes a 60Co absorbed dose to water calibration for the same ionization chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set (calibration code A33-08-03-03). The MV x-ray calibration is performed at 6 MV, 10 MV and 25 MV nominal energies. Calibration measurements also include polarity and recombination measurements as required for dosimetry protocols (such as AAPM TG-51). The primary standard for MV x-ray absorbed dose is a sealed water calorimeter which was designed and built at NRC. $2,750.00
A33-08-09-04 Therapy Class Electrometer Charge Calibration. This service provides a charge calibration for a single therapy class electrometer at a single electrometer range. Charge calibrations for therapy class electrometers are carried out using NRC-traceable capacitors and an NRC-traceable voltage source. $310.00/range
A33-08-07-01 High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy Well Chamber Air-Kerma Calibration. This service provides an air-kerma calibration for a clients well chamber and its therapy class electrometer as a set, at a single electrometer range. HDR brachytherapy source characterizations are based on measurements made with a spherical graphite ionization chamber traceable to the NRC air-kerma primary standards for 250 kV x-rays and 137Cs gamma radiation. $850.00

Irradiations in known fields

Calibration Code Description Fee ($CDN)
A33-08-00-03 Irradiation of Materials or Samples in 60Co, beta, 137Cs, Low/Medium Energy X-ray, or Mega-Voltage X-ray Fields. This service provides irradiations of a clients material or samples in one or more of the NRC radiation facilities (60Co, beta, 137Cs, low/medium energy X-ray, or mega-voltage X-ray fields). The fee for this will depend on the number of facilities required and the extent of additional work, such as characterization of the irradiation protocol/geometries, design/fabrication of specialized set-ups and supporting Monte Carlo simulations. This service is available by special request only. Custom fee on request

Independent testing for quality assurance

Facilities are available at NRC for quality assurance testing of personal dosimetry systems. The service provided by NRC involves irradiating a batch of client dosimeters to known exposure or air-kerma levels, as prescribed by the appropriate Canadian Nuclear Saftety Commission protocol. The irradiated dosimeters are returned to the client dosimetry service which processes them and reports their results for the exposure or air-kerma to NRC. NRC compares the values reported by the dosimetry service to the delivered (NRC) values. NRC generates a summary of results and cover letter which are sent simultaneously to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and to the dosimetry service.

Calibration Code Description Fee ($CDN)
A33-08-11-01 60Co Whole Body Personal Dosimeter Independent Testing for Quality Assurance. This service provides independent testing of dosimeters for quality assurance using 60Co gamma-radiation. Up to 150 personal dosimeters will be irradiated free-in-air to dose levels ranging from 1 mGy - 50 mGy, as outlined by CNSC regulatory standard S-106. This service covers the first use of the NRC facilities in a calendar year for a single badge type. During testing the badges are mounted on a low scatter support frame. $9,390
A33-08-11-02 60Co Whole Body Personal Dosimeter Independent Testing for Quality Assurance - Additional Badges or Repeats. This service covers personal dosimeter beyond the limit of 150 (covered under services A33-08-11-01). Repeats of independent testing for a badge type within the same calendar year will also be covered under this service. This service is offered on a per badge basis. $5.00 / badge
A33-08-11-03 Low/Medium Energy X-ray Extremity and Whole Body Personal Dosimeter Independent Testing for Quality Assurance. This service provides independent testing of dosimeters for quality assurance using low and medium energy X-ray radiation. Up to 50 personal dosimeters will be irradiated free-in-air as outlined by CNSC regulatory standard S-106. During testing the badges are mounted on a low scatter support frame. $9,390.00
A33-08-11-07 60Co or 137Cs Electronic Personal Dosimeter (EPD) Independent Testing for Quality Assurance. This service provides independent testing for quality assurance using 60Co or 137Cs gamma-radiation. Up to 10 electronic personal dosimeters (EPDs) will be tested using 60Co or 137Cs gamma-radiation. During testing, the client can choose between having the dosimeters tested free-in-air using a low scatter support frame or having the dosimeters mounted on a 30 cm x 30 cm x 15 cm water phantom. $2,210.00
A33-08-13-01 Neutron Independent Testing for Quality Assurance. This service provides independent testing of a single neutron survey meter or two batches of 5 personal dosimeters for the purposes of quality assurance. Testing is performed in an Am-Be neutron field to a variety of known values of Hp(10) between 1 mSv - 10 mSv as outlined by CNSC regulatory standard S-106. During irradiations the dosimeters are mounted on an ISO slab phantom. $3,215.00
A33-08-14-01 Beta Extremity Personal Dosimeter Independent Testing for Quality Assurance. This service provides independent testing for quality assurance for 5 batches of 5 extremity personal dosimeters in a 90Sr+90Y beta field to a variety of known values of absorbed dose between 10 mGy - 90 mGy at a depth of 7 mg/cm2 as outlined by CNSC regulatory standard S-106. During irradiations the dosimeters are mounted on either a finger or slab phantom. $1,800.00
A33-08-15-01 Independent Testing for contamination monitoring. This service provides samples of client-requested radioisotopes in client-requested formats for the purpose of Quality Analysis verification. This service is provided on a per isotope, per format basis and is subject to the availability of requested isotope and matrices and feasibility of the request. Please contact NRC to confirm availability of your specific sample requirements. $800/isotope/format if available
A33-08-15-02 Independent Testing for radionuclide calibrators. This service provides an independent test of a radionuclide calibrator(s). The service can be arranged as a comparison in which a calibrated instrument is sent to the client location or a sample of the radioisotope is sent to the NRC for measurement and comparison. Available for multiple radioisotopes. Custom fee on request
A33-08-15-03 Certified Reference Material. Certified for Massic Activity (Activity per unit mass). Custom fee on request
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