Head of the Department: Engineer, Juan Klein D.

To provide specialized support services in Radiological Protection, Medical Radiological Surveillance, Environmental Radiological Surveillance, Metrology of Ionizing Radiations, Management of Radioactive Waste, both to internal users as well as to external CCHEN users and also centralizing the physical protection, environmental management and risk prevention of CCHEN the activities, representing the technical link between the Commission and the national inspecting authorities on environmental affairs and risk prevention, and with the control programs of international organizations ascribed to United Nations.
All that has been previously mentioned with the objective of protecting people, property and the environment from eventual risks derived from the use of ionizing radiations and nuclear energy, fully complying with current regulation.


  • Organization, supervision, coordination and execution of internal services of Radiological Protection, Medical and Environmental Radiological Surveillance, Metrology of Ionizing Radiations, Management of Radioactive Waste, Management of Conventional Residues, Environmental Management, Physical Protection, Risk Prevention, Hygiene and Industrial Safety in the facilities of CCHEN.
  • Provide services of Radiological Protection, Medical and Environmental Radiological Surveillance, Metrology of Ionizing Radiations, Management of Radioactive Waste, to external users in the country, from the private and public sectors.
  • Act as a technical link through which CCHEN relates to inspecting institutions and those of services in environmental matters, risk prevention and physical protection, as well as with control programs of international organizations such as WHO, OPS and others.
  • Watch for the compliance of legal requisites related to nuclear safety, radiological and physical, risk prevention, hygiene and industrial safety, management of conventional residues and effluvium discharges, which may affect the facilities of CCHEN.


  • Attention and control of Radiological Emergencies in countries.
  • Services of Radioactive Waste Management that is generated in the country (including the evaluation of the situation, assessment for pre-treatment and onsite handling, segregation and collection, treatment and storage,).
  • Development of techniques aimed at maintaining consistency of doses, to have at disposal the adequate metrological structure for the calibration and standardization of generators of radiations and radiations detectors, x rays, neutrons and charged particles.
  • Measurement and periodic evaluation of radioactivity levels in the national environment, including the location of the research nuclear reactors that exist in the country, for the early detection of any long-term change or trend in the environment.
  • Radiological Analysis to leak tests corresponding to smear of nuclear equipment and immersion tests of sealed radioactive sources.
  • Water Analysis of according to NCh-409/1 Of.2005 Criteria for radioactive elements (Type III).
  • Assessment of Total Indicative Dose, according to Technical Norm PAC/NT4/March 2006-SERNAPESCA.
  • Radiological Analysis of several products, at the request of national companies.
  • Radiological certification of foodstuffs and export products.
  • Supervision of Radiological Safety in the nuclear and radioactive facilities of CCHEN.
  • Health control of CCEHN´s personnel that is occupationally exposed to ionizing radiations, ruling out pathologies which may be produced, misunderstood and become more serious when working with this type of radiations.
  • Assessment of external and committed doses that people receive due to accidental exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Consultancies in Radiological Protection to institutions and companies, including training.
  • Evaluation of man’s current and potential exposure to radioactive products present in the environment.
  • Evaluation of the current and potential exposure of CCHEN workers to eventual toxic products present in the work environment.
  • Diagnosis of environmental aspects in facilities of CCHEN.
  • Identification and coordination of projects execution, actions and procedures required for the compliance with current environmental regulations. Regularization and improvement actions related to the requirements of the environmental inspecting authorities.
  • Execution and optimization in the management of conventional residues generated at CCHEN (collection, identification, segregation, treatment, storage and final disposition of residues.).
  • Monitoring and periodic evaluation of liquid and gas effluvium generated at CCHEN. Transitory storage capacity of chemical residues generated at CCHEN.
  • Execution of Risk Prevention programs, Hygiene and Industrial Safety for the facilities and personnel who work CCHEN (including aspects of occupational medicine, risk evaluation of the facilities, emergency plans, investigation of accidents, training,) to comply with current regulations.
  • Technical assistance to CCHEN Peer Committees.

In order to provide compliance to its functions and place its capacities at the disposal of users, the Department of Environmental Radiological Protection is formed by 8 Sections, which are detailed as follows.


Work guidelines

Environmental regularization of nuclear centers
This work guide line covers the development of projects and not common actions within CCHEN, whose objective is the compliance of current environmental regulations and other voluntary commitments that are affecting the environment. Hence, this line does not take into account those permanent or periodic activities required to give compliance to environmental regulations, such as for example the monitoring of Riles, monitoring and annual declaration of emissions, monthly declaration of solid residues, disposition of solid residues, updating residues inventories, etc, nor those support activities such as teaching and personnel training, development of computer tools for environmental management, internal and external communication, etc.

System of Environmental Management

  • This line covers all activities leading to establish, maintain and continuously improve the System of Environmental Management of CCHEN, in order to have a process which will allow control and improvement of environmental behavior of the Institution systematically.

Acknowledgement - E-Waste 2006

CCHEN obtained the E-Waste 2006 recognition in the third version of prize-awarding “E Waste 2006”, granted by Octantis, Business Booster of Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, and Recycla Chile, to those companies, institutions and media communication which have excelled in the field of recycling. Specifically, the award acknowledges CCHEN "for its permanent contribution and care of the environment through the support of initiatives which promote electronic recycling and social company responsibility in Chile.

Head of the Section: Eng. Patricia Sotomayor


Work Guidelines
The Management of Radioactive Waste Section, as indicated by its name, has the objective the centralization of all activities related to the management of radioactive waste produced in the country due to the applications of nuclear energy for peaceful means, in order to protect man and the environment.

Fulfilling its objective, the Section develops its endeavor in the following areas:

  • Research and Development
  • In the experimentation laboratories that SEGEDRA has at CEN Lo Aguirre, experimental studies are carried out to define waste processing: treatment for volume reduction and immobilization of both liquid and solid radioactive waste and its conditioning in bulk, adequate for storage and disposition.
  • At the segregation laboratory of radioactive waste that SEGEDRA has at CEN La Reina, radioactive waste from non-radioactive waste is characterized, segregated and prepared for its delivery to treatment as radioactive waste, to treatment as dangerous non-radioactive waste or delivered as common garbage, if it is the case.
  • Processing of radioactive waste
  • At the Treatment Plant of Radioactive Waste in CEN Lo Aguirre, the treatment and conditioning in performed in cement matrixes to radioactive waste generated in Chile is carried out. This waste comes from the application of nuclear techniques in Industries, Hospitals and Research Centers of the country. There are also those which CCHEN generates due to the development of research and radioisotopes applications.

Among the processes performed at the Plant for radioactive waste there are:

  • Volume reduction of solid waste by Compacting.
  • Volume Reduction of liquid waste by Ionic Exchange.
  • Reduction of liquid waste by precipitation.
  • Volume optimization of sealed radiation sources for conditioning
  • Conditioning of organic liquid waste to a solid form.
  • Conditioning of sealed radiation sources in disuse.
  • Conditioning of heterogeneous solid waste in cement matrixes
  • Services to the Community:

The services that the Unit provides the community are:

  • Management of radioactive waste to users of nuclear techniques in CCHEN and along the country in Hospitals, Industries and Research Centers (Universities) They correspond to Radioactive Facilities of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Category.
  • Consultancy in infrastructure for the management of radioactive waste in situ.
  • Sustainable programs for the management of radioactive waste.
  • Consultancy and training for the manipulation radioactive waste in user facilities.
  • Contracts for the Provision of Services for Management of Radioactive Waste by means of periodic collection.

Head of Section: Engineer Azucena Sanhueza Mir


The objectives of this section are to perform measurement and periodic evaluation of radioactivity levels in national environment, including, the location of nuclear research reactors which exist in the country, in order to calculate the potential risks for the population’s health.
On the other hand, act as a technical reference in specialized services of radiological analyses.

Work Guidelines

  • Measurement and radiological evaluation of environmental samples.
  • Measurement and evaluation of radiological levels in the location surrounding areas of La Reina and Lo Aguirre Nuclear Reactors.
  • Control of radiological quality of high-consumption foodstuffs of the population of the country.

This Section offers the community the following services of radiological analyses:

  • Radiological smears analysis and solutions corresponding to leakage tests and immersion tests of nuclear equipment and sealed radioactive sources.
  • Water analysis according to NCh-409/1Of.2005 by Criteria for radioactive elements (Type III)
  • Assessment of Total Indicative Dose, according to Technical Norm PAC/NT4/March 2006-(National Fishing Service)
  • Radiological analysis of diverse products, at the request of national companies.
  • Radiological certification of foodstuffs, food additives and export products.
  • Radiological Analyses of samples of other sections of CCHEN.

Head of Section: B.S. in Chemistry Igor Tomicic


Through the application of a systematic work program, eliminate or control, as much as possible, the causes which might produce work accidents and professional diseases which might damage personnel during the performance of their activities and, by extension, avoid possible damage to property and CCHEN facilities.

Execute the Personnel Training Program in accordance to the specific requirements of the activities carried out inside and outside of CCHEN.

Evaluate the working environments, with the objective of correcting those deviations from safety standards.

Assist CCHEN in those matters related to the industrial safety and hygiene demanded by the Health Authority, as well as by other competent authorities.

Verify the compliance with the Occupational Medicine Program for personnel exposed to noxious agents.

Coordination with the Labor Hospital for the taking of medical tests required for licensing.

Calculation and interpretation of statistical indexes of accidents in order to take timely measures when these indicate a negative deviation of programmed values.

Establish a work program under statistical results, which allow the flow measurement of the program.

Assist CCHEN Peer Committees according to what is specified in Executive Order 54

Head of Section: Engineer José Iglesias V.


The Radio medicine section performs medical surveillance activities of workers occupationally exposed (TOE) to Ionizing Radiation. The people controlled are mainly those who work at CCHEN laboratories.

CCHEN performs these activities basically to comply with medical surveillance and control of its personnel, considering the risks they are exposed to according to the work positions and following recommendations of the regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and national regulations in forced. Some of the techniques used in this section are unique in the country and are available to external users who may request them.

Work Guidelines

Medical Surveillance
Its purpose is to control the health of personnel occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation of CCHEN, ruling out pathologies that may be produced or that may be confused or become more serious when working with ionizing radiation. It consists of a medical checkup and clinical laboratory tests to CCHEN´s personnel.

Radio toxicology
The purpose is to measure the radionuclides present in the urine of workers exposed, through analyses obtained by gamma spectrometry.

Biological Dosimetry
The technique of Cytogenesis Dosimetry is available (dicentrics) to estimate dose radiation absorbed in the case of accidents with ionizing radiation.

CCHEN has the only laboratory in Chile that has developed this technique, and the demand is attended to on a 100%, preferably of the external sector, providing a support service to the community.

Head of the Section: Dr. Sylvia Sanhueza M.


The activities carried out in Operational Radiological Protection Section have the following objectives:

  • Perform the supervision of radiological safety in the nuclear and radioactive facilities of CCHEN, in order to lower the risks associated to the use and handling of ionizing radiation.
  • Attend to and control Radiological Emergencies produced in the country.
  • Provide consultancies in Radiological Protection to institutions and companies.
  • Training in matters of Radiological Protection to workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation, so that they comply with the requirements for the obtention of an operator license in this field. Likewise seminars are given to members of the civil and uniformed police, with the objective of providing them with tools they may use when acting in cases of radiological emergencies where their participation may be compromised.


Radiological supervision
Perform permanent control and surveillance of CCHEN internal facilities. The supervision implies carrying out monitoring and measurements in normal working conditions, to personnel and different working environments. Radiation and eventual air pollution of objects in internal environments is controlled.

Systems of radiological measurement at a distance (SMD)

The Operational Radiological Section has a remote system of radiological measurement, which allows control of the radiation level and/or pollution in some working areas and also, in some cases, of the environment itself.

The alarm levels, apart from being timely and continuously monitored, may be transmitted via electronic mail and cellular phone to members of the institution that require it.

On the other hand, this Remote Monitoring System is becoming known to industries and the mining sector and is generating an extraordinary technical-commercial interest.

Provision of external consultancies

Additionally, the Section assists companies and institutions in aspects of its competence.

Head of the Section: Engineer Manuel Echeverría M.

Laboratory of Metrology and Ionizing Radiation Section LMRI-Chile

Establish, maintain and manufacture standard patterns of radiation to determine a maximum degree of comparison and reliability of the measures of the characteristics of ionizing radiation used in the Chilean Commission of Nuclear Energy and in the country.

Develop techniques aimed toward maintaining consistency in the dose measurements performed with different instruments and for diverse objectives and have the adequate metrological structure for the calibration and standardization of generators of radiation and radiation, X rays, neutrons and charged particles detectors.

Work Guidelines
a. Metrology of Ionizing Radiations

  • Maintenance of Secondary Patterns.
  • Calibration and Standardization Service
  • Standardizing dosimetry of X Rays up 420kV,
  • Dosimetry of Gamma Radiations up to 10 MeV and Electrons between 8 and 22 MeV.
  • Metrology of Radioactive Sources.

b. Metrology of Non-Ionizing Radiations

Head of the Section: Carlos Oyarzún C.


The Physical Protection section has the following objectives:

Advise and coordinate the physical protection of nuclear and radioactive materials in the facilities of CCHEN on the part of the Operator in regard to the elaboration of design plans, implementation, procedures, creation of awareness, operation and maintenance of the operative systems of physical protection. Likewise, to act as a valid link with the military police of the Chilean Army assigned to the perimetral surveillance of the Chilean Center of Nuclear Studies.

Give compliance to the national legal regulations in this matter (Regulation Body of Physical Protection of Facilities and Nuclear Materials), and the international recommendations according to document INFCIRC.225/ Rev.4 of the OIEA to:

  • Establish conditions that will reduce the possibility of non-authorized withdrawal of nuclear materials to the minimum.
  • Reduce the possibilities of sabotage acts being committed against nuclear facilities and dissuade any attempt to commit any type of non-authorized action which might, directly or indirectly, put persons, property and the environment in danger. and
  • Provide information and technical assistance in support to measures adopted to locate and recover nuclear materials.

Head of the Engineering Section: Engineer (E) Juan Bravo G.