Services provided by UT’s Radiation Safety Department have grown more than 60 percent since FY 2009, according to a department report summarizing FY 2013 activity. The department processed 8,169 requests for service, including such activities as lab and X-ray inspections, worker training, internal dose assessments, and waste pickups. The total for FY 2009 was 5,081.
The growth in departmental activity is the result of increased research in nuclear engineering and in the College of Engineering as a whole, said Marsha Smith, director of radiation safety. A second area of growth has been in animal imaging research, despite the fact that a PET scanner was out of commission during part of the year.
“Ten years ago, the research involving radioactive materials at the university was mostly focused around the biological sciences,” Smith said in the report. “We now see much more novel applications of radioactive materials.”