In order to promote consensus building on decommissioning operation rules for medical linear accelerators in Japan, we carried out a risk communication (RC) approach mainly providing knowledge for maintenance staff regarding induced radioactivity. In February 2012, we created a booklet (26 pages) to present an overview of the amended law, the mechanism and the distribution of induced radioactivity showing the actual radiation dose rate around a linear accelerator and actual exposure doses to staff. In addition, we co-sponsored a seminar for workers in this field organized by the Japan Medical Imaging and Radiological Systems Industries Association to explain the contents of this booklet, and answer questions regarding induced radioactivity of linear accelerators as an RC program. As a result, the understanding of staff regarding the regulations on maximum X-ray energy on linear accelerators (P<0.05), and the outline of clearance systems (P<0.01), were facilitated by RC. In addition, we found that about 70% of maintenance staff considered that the cooling time for decommissioning operation depended on the situation. Our RC approach suggests that consensus building should be used to make rules on decommissioning operations for linear medical accelerators.
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