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Part 37 Regulations for Gamma Knife: Factors to Consider with Implementation

J Brindle1*, M Rivard2 , E Klein3 , (1) Rhode Island Hospital / Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, (2) Rhode Island Hospital / Brown University, Providence, RI, (3) Rhode Island Hospital / Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI


(Sunday, 7/14/2019)  

Room: ePoster Forums

Purpose: The Elekta Gamma Knife (GK) has been a mainstay for intra-cranial stereotactic radiosurgery. In 2013, the NRC published 10CFRPart37 regulations governing the security requirements associated with certain quantities of radioactive material. NRC licensees were given one year to comply and agreement states were given approximately three years to modify their regulations. This study reviews the required elements of security programs and plans related to GK operations.

Methods: In addition to their regulations, the NRC provides “best practice� guidance regarding access control, detection of unauthorized access, assessment of alarms, and response. The first element defines the process for which individuals are permitted access into the security zone. The authorization process is a comprehensive review of past records assessing the risk that an applicant poses to the security zone. The security system (active or passive) must be able to detect, assess, and communicate potential threats. For any triggered alarm, a coordinated response dependent upon the level and location of the alarm must exist.

Results: Performance of a security assessment at a given facility can be revealing. Two major components influence the physical protection program – physical layout and resources. Delineation of a security zone and assessment of its access points is important. Functionality around the security zone often changes over time and must be regularly assessed. With the security zone defined, resources should be considered as a facility implements the “best practice� elements. To comply with regulatory changes, over 300 hours was expended in planning, meeting, and training all associated personnel. Further, ~$30k was expended beyond the initial security upgrade by the NNSA.

Conclusion: The physical protection of radioactive material is of paramount importance. While adhering to NRC regulations, numerous factors drive the creation and maintenance of a robust security plan, requiring the cooperation of the administration, security, and GK staff.


Gamma Knife, Stereotactic Radiosurgery


Education: Knowledge of methodology

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