The Radiological Health Section has as its mission to protect the health and safety of the public and occupationally exposed persons from unnecessary exposure to sources of radiation, and to protect property and the environment from radioactive contamination. The Section is responsible for assessing, controlling and preventing exposure to radiation from both natural and man-made sources, and carries out its mission to prevent unnecessary radiation to the public through licensing, registration, inspection, enforcement and emergency response.
The Radiological Health Section has three primary focus areas:
- Regulation of radiation-producing equipment, including x-ray machines
- Regulation of radioactive materials
- Radiological emergency and incident response
Radiation Machines and Radioactive Materials Regulation Under the authority of state law, RSA 125-F, the Section:
- Registers all radiation-producing equipment possessed and used in NH, and
- Licenses the possession and use of radioactive material in NH.
New Hampshire is an Agreement State with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and therefore, the state is responsible for all regulation of radiation within the state except for on-site activities at the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant and at federal facilities. Licensees and registrants are subject to the requirements contained in the New Hampshire Rules for the Control of Radiation (Chapter 4000), and are inspected for compliance with these rules.
Radiological Emergency Response Team
The Radiological Health Section responds to accidents and incidents involving sources of radiation. The Radiological Emergency Response Team is available to respond to any accident situation involving Seabrook Station, Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, or the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and will assist in and respond to any transportation accident or local incident involving sources of radiation.
Radiological Monitoring and Surveillance
In addition, the Section works in conjunction with the state's Public Health Laboratories' Radiological Laboratory, which performs continuous environmental radiological monitoring and surveillance around the Seabrook Station and Vermont Yankee nuclear power plants, and provides an ambient surveillance program for evaluation of local environmental radiation levels. The radiological laboratory also collects environmental and regulatory samples for analyses and reporting on behalf of the Section.
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