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Glossary

5G

5G is the fifth generation of mobile telecommunications. It provides improved connectivity over a wide range of frequencies to mobile phones and other devices on the wireless network. In Australia, 5G will initially use the same radio waves as the fourth generation (4G). In the future 5G will use radio waves called ‘millimetre waves’ which have a shorter range than the microwaves used in 4G. 5G infrastructure and devices like mobile phones emit radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME). ARPANSA sets the safety standards for exposure to RF EME.

​Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS)

The ACDS is a national independent dosimetry auditing program, provided by ARPANSA, offering quality assurance for radiation oncology facilities and patients.

Australian National Radiation Dose Register (ANRDR)

A centralised repository for the radiation dose records of workers as supplied by the employers, maintained by ARPANSA. It is currently limited to those engaged in the uranium mining and milling industry in Australia.

Australian Radiation Incident Register (ARIR)

A national database of incidents and events related to radiation of radioactivity. The purpose of the database is to raise awareness on where, how and why incidents and events occur, and how they can be best prevented.

dose

A generic term which may mean absorbed dose, equivalent dose or effective dose depending on context.

electromagnetic energy

Energy that can travel through space in the form of electromagnetic waves. There are many forms of electromagnetic energy including gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves and radiofrequency radiation.

Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS)

A peer-review service offered by the IAEA to strengthen and enhance the effectiveness of a national regulatory system in nuclear, radiation, radioactive waste, transport safety and nuclear security.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The IAEA is the international centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. The Agency works with its Member States and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.

ionising radiation

Radiation which is capable of causing ionisation—the process in which an electron is given enough energy to break away from an atom. Ionising radiation has enough energy to cause chemical changes by breaking chemical bonds. This effect can cause damage to living tissue. Examples of ionising radiation include X-rays, electrons (beta radiation) and particles (e.g. alpha radiation).

licence

A written authorisation issued to an operator which allows the operator to carry out an operation legally.

linear accelerator

Linear accelerators (linacs) are the medical devices used to deliver radiation therapy in highly targeted doses by generating directed radiation beams. These machines are used in hospitals across Australia to treat cancers.

National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRMWF)

The proposed NRWMF will manage waste generated in Australia. It will be designed to permanently dispose of low-level waste and potentially store intermediate-level waste on a temporary basis. The facility will only manage immobilised solid waste. More information can be found at: arpansa.gov.au/NRWMF-radioactive-waste.

non-ionising radiation

Radiation that does not produce ionisation—the process in which an electron is given enough energy to break away from an atom. When these radiations pass through the tissues of the body they do not have sufficient energy to damage DNA directly. Examples of non-ionising radiation include static and low frequency electric and magnetic fields, radio waves, visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

Personal Radiation Monitoring Service (PRMS)

The Personal Radiation Monitoring Service (PRMS) monitors potential ionising radiation exposure to workers in fields such as medical, dental, chiropractic, industrial and mining. PRMS provides and assesses monitors that measure Australian worker’s occupational exposure to radiation to ensure that the recommended dose limit is not exceeded.

Primary standard

Primary standards are instruments or artefacts that allow for the determination of a quantity with the highest possible accuracy. ARPANSA maintains four primary standards for the dosimetry of ionisation radiation for Australia.

radiation

Electromagnetic waves or quanta, and atomic or sub-atomic particles, propagated through space or through a material medium.

radiofrequency

Part of the electromagnetic spectrum with frequencies in the range 3 kHz to 300 GHz.

radiofrequency radiation

Electromagnetic energy in the radiofrequency range.

Talk to a Scientist

ARPANSA's phone and email service that allows members of the public to talk directly to ARPANSA scientists on questions or concerns about radiation exposure and protection and nuclear issues.