Spreadsheets for Radiation Safety Officers

Spreadsheets are essential to virtually all radiation safety officers; they can be used for performing calculations both simple and complex, for tracking aspects of your radiation safety program, and more. That being said, not everyone is familiar with creating and using spreadsheets – especially those that require more complex calculations. For this reason, we have developed a series of spreadsheets that we think might be useful for the typical RSO.

For the most part, we have tried to keep these spreadsheets as simple as possible – most of them are only useful for one or two purposes – to make them as easy to use as possible. In addition, each spreadsheet is accompanied by a spreadsheet guide. This guide describes the theory behind the spreadsheet calculations, explains how to use the spreadsheet, and more. In most cases, cells where you are required to enter information will be shaded in yellow; the other cells are either unshaded or are shaded in other colors.

These spreadsheets are designed to be general in nature – they should fit most needs, but your own needs might be different. For that reason, the calculational cells have been left unlocked so you can modify these spreadsheets as necessary. If you make a mistake and can’t recover the original spreadsheet you can download another from our website, but we recommend that you should save the spreadsheet under a different name (e.g. “ACME source inventory and leak test”) before starting to experiment with modifications.

Some of these spreadsheets will perform only a single calculation (e.g. the “Leak test wipe counting” tab in the “Source inventory and leak test” spreadsheet. Ii might be a good idea to print out these sheets if you need to keep a record of your calculations – for example, if you are performing a leak test prior to shipping a sealed source to another licensee.

Finally, these spreadsheets are not perfect – they’ve been checked for errors and the ones we’ve found have been corrected, but there might be mistakes that we missed. If you think you’ve found an error, please let us know and we’ll look into it – and we’ll correct it if necessary. In addition, let us know if there are any spreadsheets that would make your life easier and, when we have a chance, we’ll try to put one together for you. Along the same lines, let us know if the spreadsheet guides are lacking information you’d find useful – when time permits (and if we hear from enough of you) we’ll try to make those changes as well.

1. Decay Spreadsheet

Description: To calculate the amount of radioactivity remaining after a period of time has elapsed.

Guide: Spreadsheet_Guide_Decay [Word Document]

Spreadsheet: Decay_Spreadsheet [Excel]

2. Shielding & Distance Spreadsheet

Description: To calculate the radiation dose rate from a gamma source at various distances and with a simple shield (e.g. only lead or only concrete).

Guide: Spreadsheet_Guide_Shielding_and_Distance [Word Document]

Spreadsheet: Shielding_Distance_Spreadsheet [Excel]

3. Source Leak Test & Inventory Spreadsheet

Description: This spreadsheet calculates the activity on a wipe used for a sealed source leak test and lets the RSO document the semi-annual sealed source inventory and leak test results. Leak test results that are satisfactory are indicated by the cell turning green; unsatisfactory leak test results are indicated by a red cell.

Guide: Spreadsheet_Guide_Inventory_and_Leak_Test [Word Document]

Spreadsheet: Source_Inventory_and_Leak_Test_Spreadsheet [Excel]

4. Dose Activity & Shielding



Spreadsheet:  Dose_Activity_Shielding_Calcs_Spreadsheet

5. Specific Activity

Description: Primary purpose is to calculate the specific activity (units of radioactivity per gram) for a variety of radionuclides, either singly or as part of chemical compounds. This is a fairly complex spreadsheet, both on the main tab (Specific Activity) and in some of the subsidiary tabs.

Guide: Spreadsheet_Guide_Specific_Activity [Word Document]

Spreadsheet: Specific_Activity_Spreadsheet [Excel]



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