Handbook of Radiological Operations



Table of Contents




        1.1  General

        1.2  Duties of the Radiation Safety Committee

1.2.1  Membership of the RSC

1.2.2  Schedule of the Meetings

1.2.3  Procedure  for Conduct of Business

1.2.4  Voting  Procedure

1.3  Responsibilities  of the Radiation Safety Office


      2.1   General

2.1.1  Classification  of Laboratories

2.2  Personnel  Radiation Control

2.2.1  Some  Rules for Laboratory Practice

2.2.2  Protective  Apparel

2.2.3  Personnel  Monitoring

2.2.4  Medical  Examinations and Bioassays

2.2.5  Supervision  and Instruction of Personnel

2.3  Area  Radiation Control

2.3.1  Equipment , Materials, and Fume Hoods

2.3.2  Area  Monitoring

2.3.3  Contamination  Levels and Decontamination

2.3.4  Special  Problems Related to Use in Animals

2.4  Emergency  Procedures

2.4.1  Definition

2.4.2  Procedure

2.4.3   Area  Decontamination

2.4.4  Personnel  Decontamination

2.5  Other  Sources of Radiation

2.5.1  Definition

2.5.2  Regulations  to Be Observed

2.6  Receipt , Storage, and Use of Radioactive Material

2.6.1  General

2.6.2  Procedures for Opening Packages Containing Radioactive Material

2.6.3  Records to Be Maintained

2.6.4  Waste  Disposal Procedures

2.6.5  Posting  of Warning Signs and Notices

2.6.6  Leak  Testing of Sealed Sources

2.7  Criteria of Radiation Safety Coverage

2.7.1  General


3.1  General

3.2   Laboratory  Surveys

3.2.1  Preliminary  Procedures

3.2.2  Survey  Procedures

3.3   Leak Test of Sealed Sources

3.4  Reports

3.5  ALARA

3.6   Review and Adjustment of Procedures


4.1  General

4.2  Missouri S&T Dangerous Materials Storage Facility (DMSF)

4.3  Responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Officer

4.3.1  Laboratory Wastes

4.3.2  Campus Central Storage

4.3.3  Available Methods of Disposal

4.4  Responsibilities of Laboratory Supervisor

             4.4.1   Wastes Accumulated for Collection

             4.4.2   Disposal of Animal Carcasses Containing Radioactive Material

             4.4.3   Disposal of Animal Excreta Containing Radioactive Material

             4.4.4   Disposal of Gaseous-Form Wastes


        5.1   Applications for the Use of Radiation Sources

                   5.1.1   General Guidelines

                   5.2.1   Approval of Applications

        5.2  Procurement and Transfer Procedures

        5.3  Records to be Maintained






This Handbook of Radiological Operations is the official guide in all matters relating to radiation protection and control of radioactive materials at the Missouri University of Science and Technology(Missouri S&T). It has been prepared by the Radiation Safety Office with input from the Missouri S&T Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) which serves as the advisory body to the Chancellor, faculty, and staff of the Missouri S&T campus for matters related to radiation protection and control.

The RSC is appointed by the Chancellor, and is responsible for establishing policy and guidelines to safeguard personnel, property, and the community-at-large from exposure to hazardous radiations. The duties and responsibilities of the RSC are described in Section 1.2

The Missouri University of Science and Technology has applied for and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has granted a Type A broad-coverage license for possession and use of a variety of byproduct materials. By granting this license, the NRC expects the University to obey all pertinent rules and regulations in order that the Radiation Program be conducted in a safe manner. It is the objective of this Handbook to make all users familiar with their duties and responsibilities. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each person authorized to use a radiation source (covered by this license) to become familiar with and to observe the rules and regulations contained herein. Copies of the license and of the documents related to it are maintained in the Health Physics Office where they may be examined. 

The State of Missouri's Radiation Protection Regulations pertain to all sources of ionizing radiation not covered by Federal regulations. To comply with the State regulations, the University relates to the Missouri Department of Health in the same way it does to the NRC. Since the Federal regulations for safe use of radioactive materials cover only byproduct, source, and special nuclear material, the state regulations are intended to control operation of x-ray machines, naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), and accelerator-produced radioactive materials. In addition to these sources of ionizing radiation, certain non-ionizing sources such as laser and microwave generators need occasional attention to ensure safe operation. University regulations which cover such radiation sources are also contained in this Handbook. 

Regulations adapted from the Federal and State codes and tailored to the special needs of the Missouri University of Science and Technology are provided in this Handbook in Sections 1.0-4.0. Section 1.0 describes the management of radiation safety. Section 2.0 provides the guidelines for safe use of radiation sources. Section 3.0 provides the outline of the inspections to be performed by health physics staff members. Section 4.0 provides the instructions for disposal of radioactive wastes. 

For members of the University faculty and staff submitting an application for use of radiation sources for the first time, attention is directed to Section 5.0. This section contains the necessary instructions for completing the application forms and details the procedure by which the application is approved. Any questions, not adequately covered by the text, should be directed to the Radiation Safety Office, 108 Campus Support Facility, telephone 341-4305. 

Because conditions of use may change with time, it is expected that rules and regulations will change correspondingly. For this reason, the Handbook has been bound in loose leaf form to facilitate changing single pages or sections as required. The general style of the Handbook is designed for use as a working document, in which investigators can insert reprints of papers relevant to their projects, and in which they can keep copies of the documents related to their authorization to use radiation sources, such as leak test reports and inventories.

The present Handbook is based on the conditions specified in the Missouri S&T Materials License Number 24-00513-40 issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with an expiration date of April 30, 2023. 



1.1 General

Responsibility for management of the University is vested in the Board of Curators. Licenses needed by the University are issued to "The Curators of the University of Missouri". Executive responsibility and authority for administration of operations within the Missouri University of Science and Technology consistent with the policy set by the Board are delegated to the Chancellor by the President of the University of Missouri. The Chancellor appoints and delegates responsibility to the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to manage this program and to the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) to implement the policies and procedures promulgated by the RSC. The chart below diagrams the interrelationships of the elements of the radiation safety program. 

Figure 1.1: Management Chart for the Radiation Safety Program at Missouri S&T


1.2 Duties of the Radiation Safety Committee

The RSC advises the Chancellor on matters pertaining to the safe use of sources of radiation to be used within the campus. The RSC also controls the possession and use of radioactive material and all other sources of hazardous radiation to ensure compliance with both the Federal and State regulations.

The RSC is responsible for reviewing personal dosimetry data, discussing the results of required radiation surveys, and any significant incidents, including spills, contamination, misadministration, etc. The RSC is also required to review the program for maintaining doses ALARA and providing any necessary recommendations to ensure doses are ALARA. The overall compliance status for authorized users should also be thoroughly reviewed. The RSC reviews the results of the annual audit of the radiation safety program. Possible trends are analyzed, and suggestions for timely and corrective action are made. Problems will be clearly defined and reviewed in the future as open items.

This committee performs three principal functions:

  1. Advises the Chancellor on matters relating to radiation safety from all sources of hazardous radiation including non-ionizing sources, except as specifically sequestered by license R-79 (Missouri S&T's Nuclear Reactor license).
  2. Develops and implements the general policy for conduct of experiments or other use of radiation sources as these uses relate to risk of potential exposure to personnel, to property, or to the residents of the community in which the Missouri S&T campus conducts its programs.
  3. Reviews the performance of the Radiation Safety Office to ensure adequate implementation of its decisions, and makes recommendations to the Chancellor or his designate as appropriate.

The Chancellor is responsible for providing adequate support for the Health Physics operations conducted at Missouri S&T. The Chancellor may delegate this responsibility to the head of an operating division. Currently, this responsibility lies with the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services. Whenever support to the health physics program is not provided adequately, the program of material use may be curtailed by the RSC. The RSO will evaluate the campus and Reactor health physics program needs and report t he findings periodically to the RSC.


1.2.1 Membership of the RSC 

The Chairman and members of the RSC are appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services on behalf of the Chancellor. The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) serves as Secretary. In accordance with Part 33, Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations' recommendations, the membership includes a representative of the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services and persons trained and experienced in the safe use of radioactive materials. To the extent possible, members are drawn from the academic units of the campus.


1.2.2 Schedule of Meetings 

The RSC shall meet upon due notice by its Chairman as often as necessary to conduct the business of the Committee. As a minimum, the Committee will meet quarterly. The Secretary of the Committee or a member appointed by the Chairman shall advise the members of the time and place of the meeting. In the absence of a meeting called by the Chairman, and, if pending business of the Committee needs to be resolved, a meeting can be called by the RSO or any three of the regularly appointed members of the Committee.


1.2.3 Procedure for Conduct of Business  

The meetings of the RSC shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order as they apply to such meetings. Additional procedures and rules maybe agreed upon by the Committee.


1.2.4 Voting Procedure

  1. A quorum exists if the RSO, Chairman, one member familiar with the application, and the administrative representative, or his designee, are present. For reactor-related matters, a quorum shall consist of at least one half of the voting committee members.
  2. For a duly called meeting, a simple majority of those present is required for endorsement of motions made and seconded. Ex officio members shall not vote.
  3. Mail ballots may be used to resolve matters brought before the Committee when a meeting cannot be called and the matter to be resolved can be explained adequately by supplementary documents. However, decisions made under this provision shall be reported and ratified at the next regular meeting. If a mail ballot is used, a yes vote by the majority of the committee members constitutes approval. A mail ballot does not constitute a meeting.


1.3 Responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Office

The Radiation Safety Office develops and maintains basic procedures necessary to ensure the proper procurement, safe use, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials and other hazardous sources of radiation. 

The RSO coordinates the control of radiation hazards arising from utilization of radiation sources within the University. The RSO's role is to:

  • Implement the policies of the RSC.
  • Review all applications forwarded by the prospective users for compatibility with the license conditions.
  • Provide liaison to the NRC in negotiations for licenses through the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, except for the reactor license R-79.
  • Develop and maintain uniform methods, standards and procedures, and the quality thereof, for health physics coverage throughout the Missouri S&T campus.
  • Provide consultation on radiation safety problems to investigators, to Health Physics staff members, and to others having a need for the information. 
  • Provide staff assistance to the RSC as required.
  • Design, arrange for the printing, and maintain a supply for distribution of all standard forms for health physics use.
  • Write and publish all general guidelines or procedures for radiation safety.
  • Inspect laboratory facilities of each investigator authorized to use radiation sources by the methods and frequency developed by the RSC.
  • Control the risks of use of non-ionizing sources such as lasers within its area by means of periodic inspections of the units and by consultation with the operating personnel.
  • Develop, operate, and maintain a suitable facility for the storage of radioactive wastes preparatory to disposal of these wastes.
  • Control releases of radioactive material to the environment in accordance with the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle.
  • If deemed necessary, the RSO has the authority to take temporary direct action to safeguard personnel and facilities. Such direct action includes the prompt shutdown of a radiation-producing device, a laboratory in which radioactive materials are used, or a facility in which radiation sources are present. Any action taken by the RSO will be reported to the RSC for review. The RSC may or may not concur with the decision. The decision of the RSC is final.
  • All reports to the NRC of incidents arising from licensed activities required by Federal regulations, except for those arising from the Reactor license R-79, are to be made by the RSO. The RSO shall report to the RSC about any such activities, reports, and any follow-up actions required.

The contents of this Handbook do not cover completely the mechanisms of control of radiation sources developed in or incidental to the Missouri S&T Nuclear Reactor. This is a 200-kw instructional and research facility operated under NRC license R-79. Stipulations for the radiation control necessary for operation of the reactor are contained in Federal regulations, the various commitments made by the campus in its application for the R-79 license, the technical specifications for the reactor, and by conditions included in the text of that license. Incorporated in these stipulations is the requirement that the policies for safe operation be developed by an advisory committee appointed by the University administration for that purpose. At this campus, the RSC has the dual role of approving and implementing safety procedures relative to both the reactor and the radioactive materials used at Missouri S&T.



2.1 General 

The instructions and information contained in this section are intended to aid the investigator and his associates in the performance of experiments involving radioisotopes without compromising their own safety or that of their associates. The Health Physics staff will assist the investigator in following and maintaining safe conditions. However, the primary responsibility remains with the investigator.

This section contains recommendations which are intended to minimize the exposure of individual staff members to radiation or radioactive contamination at Missouri S&T, and to protect the welfare of the community. Federal and State regulations governing the use of radiation sources are intended to accomplish the same objectives; consequently, as long as the recommendations in this section are followed, Missouri S&T will remain in compliance with Federal and State regulations. Since recommendations written for a general situation cannot always apply to each special situation, there will be instances in which these recommendations require an interpretation. In such cases, the RSO should be contacted for assistance; if the question cannot be resolved, it will be presented to the RSC for resolution. 

Hazards to personnel involved in the handling of radiation sources arise from the following kinds of exposure: 

  • Internal exposure resulting from deposition of radioactive materials within the body by way of ingestion, inhalation, or entrance through breaks in the skin (wounds or penetration).
  • External exposure of the whole body or parts of the body arising from penetrating radiations such as gamma rays, beta particles, and neutrons.

Hazards to personnel using X-ray equipment can be minimized or even effectively eliminated by the use of properly designed radiation shields, safety interlocks, and proper procedures. Users are reminded that though the energies of photons emitted from an X-ray source are less than most gamma emitting sources, the intensities are several orders of magnitude greater. There is the advantage, however, relative to a radioisotopic source, that an X-ray machine can be turned off when not in use.


2.1.1 Classification of Laboratories

The IAEA Safety Series No. 1 is used as guidance in the approval of radioisotope work areas for authorized radioactive material use. Proposed radioisotope work areas are divided into four classes according to the activity levels and the radiotoxicity of the radioisotopes to be handled in the facility, as shown in Table 1. 

Classification of Laboratories, Resins, Radiotoxicity, and Activity Levels (mCi)

Values given in Table 1 are modified, based on the operations performed, according to the following scale:

Type of Operation Multiply mCi Values by
Storage 100.
Very simple wet operations 10.
Normal chemical operations 1.
Complex wet operations with risk of spills 0.1
Simple dry operations 0.1
Dry and dusty operations and those where isotopes are evolved as gases 0.01
Sealed sources are considered to be "storage" type operation.


Table 2-2 shows the radionuclide classification in four groups according to their toxicity.

Radionuclides Classified According to Relative Radiotoxicity per Unit Activity

  1. IAEA Safety Series No. 1: "Safe Handling of Radionuclides, 1973 Edition, code of Practice," sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization.
  2. This Code, which "contains a series of recommendations which should be interpreted with scientific judgment in their applications to a particular problem," states that "in the case of some radionuclides the classification may need to be revised in the light of experience."

No Class A laboratories exist at Missouri S&T under this license.

Class B laboratories are quality chemical laboratories with operating fume hoods when required. The entire laboratory is considered a radioisotope work area.

Class C laboratory consists of a working area inside a laboratory space. The radioisotope work areas are clearly posted and defined. 

Class D is a working area within a university facility that is clearly posted for radioisotope use.

Laboratories will be inspected and surveyed as shown in Table 3.

Table 2-3. Frequency of Surveys

*Inspection means a detailed check of records, practices, and equipment plus a survey.

Leak Testing of Sealed Sources

All sealed sources shall be checked within six-month intervals to ensure the integrity of the containment. Sealed sources designed for the purpose of emitting alpha particles shall be tested for leakage with three-month intervals. Foil type sealed sources will be leak tested to satisfy NRC requirements. Copies of the leak tests will be forwarded to the authorized user and Chairman of the RSC.

Sources and Foils

Special consideration is given for storage of sealed sources or use of tritium or nickel-63 foils in gas chromatographs. These sealed sources are leak tested at six-month intervals to satisfy the inspection requirement. Gas chromatographs using foils containing radioactivity do not require an inspection, but they do require a location check periodically to document that they are operated at the same place specified by the authorization.


2.2 Personnel Radiation Control

Persons working with or handling sources of radiation may reduce external exposure to themselves by utilizing time, distance, and shielding factors. The exposure from a point source emitting gamma radiation varies: a) directly with the time of exposure, and b) inversely with the absorption of radiation by the shielding material. It is a generally accepted concept of radiation safety practice that work with radioactive materials requires the experimenter to be as far from the source as practical to accomplish the operation without strain and in a minimum time. At a given distance, further reduction in exposure rate may be accomplished by adding shielding between the source and the experimenter. 

The radiation safety program at Missouri S&T is dedicated to the principle of maintaining individual exposures at levels as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). See Section 3.5. This must be a cooperative effort in which each individual exercises responsible judgment in the use of every potentially hazardous material. It is the function of the Radiation Safety Office staff to assist the investigator to accomplish the goal of minimizing exposures.


2.2.1 Some Rules for Laboratory Practice

The control of an internal exposure caused by the entry of radioactive material into the body requires the provision for the proper use of equipment, good housekeeping, and good personal habits. Typical guides for experimenters using these materials are the following:

  • Secure all licensed material which is not under the constraint, surveillance, and immediate control of the user(s).
  • Dispose of radioactive waste only in designated, labeled, and properly shielded receptacles.
  • All items necessary for the safe conduct of the experiment should (3) be checked to ensure their availability and operational status before the experiment is started.
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking shall be prohibited in laboratories in which radioactive materials are used in any form.
  • Food containers shall not be permitted in the laboratory and refrigerators shall not be used for common storage of food and radioactive materials.
  • Disposable gloves should be worn at all times when handling licensed materials and shall be worn at all times when handling radioactive solutions.
  • The laboratory should be kept neat and clean. Equipment or material not being used should be stored in a place away from the work area.
  • Pipetting shall not be done by mouth. Rubber bulbs, syringes, or other mechanical devices shall be used.
  • Radioactive material in liquid form should be stored and transported in double containers (4). All containers should be placed on a lipped tray.
  • All transfers and dilutions shall be performed in functioning exhaust hoods or glove boxes, unless it is completely safe to do otherwise (see Section 2.3.1).
  • Work should be planned ahead, and whenever possible, a simulated or dry run should be performed to test the procedure. Experience has shown that such a procedure reduces radiation exposure.
  • All items of equipment intended to provide features of safety shall be evaluated periodically to ensure that they are providing the safety feature intended. For example, a fume hood in which radioactive materials are handled should have an inspection sticker indicating that it has been checked and it operates properly.
  • Flammable liquids such as ether, benzene, or acetone, shall not be permitted in the laboratory where radioactive materials are used or stored unless such flammables are contained in approved safety cans with anti-flashback screens and are used in a properly vented enclosure.
  • Pressure bottles or tanks containing counting or laboratory gas shall not be used or stored in the laboratory where radioactive materials are used or stored unless they are securely mounted to the wall, bench, floor, or other rigid system to prevent them from becoming hazardous missiles.
  • After each procedure or before leaving the area monitor hands, shoes, and clothing for contamination in a low-background area.


2.2.2 Protective Apparel

Protective apparel includes laboratory coats or coveralls, gloves, shoe covers, safety glasses, and respirators. In most cases, however, the laboratory coat and gloves will provide adequate protection. The wear of laboratory coat or other protective clothing is encouraged where areas of licensed material are used and shall be worn when handling solutions of radioactive material. The laboratory coats intended for use while working with radioactive materials should be used with the following conditions:

  • They shall be buttoned when worn.
  • They should not normally be worn out of the laboratory area.
  • They should not be stored with street clothes.
  • They should be monitored periodically and always prior to being sent to the laundry (5).

Disposable gloves should be worn at all times when handling licensed materials and shall be worn at all times when handling radioactive substances.


2.2.3 Personnel Monitoring

In accordance with the requirements of Federal and State regulations, all persons likely to be exposed to significant quantities of radiation shall wear a personnel monitoring device during working hours. These dosimeters will be changed and processed at regular time intervals. A record of the dose received during the interval and the accumulation will be maintained by the Radiation Safety Office. Requests for monitoring service should be addressed to the RSO with appropriate identification of the name of the individual who will wear the dosimeter, including Social Security number, gender, and birth date. A special form is available from the RSO.

The University presently has the following personnel monitors available:

1. Miron MCP TLD badges are sensitive to beta, gamma, x-rays, and neutrons. Wear periodsfrom one week to one year, permanently bar-coded for user identification and tracking, arecapable of whole-body, wrist, and area monitoring configurations, and provides thermal,intermediate and fast neutron dosimetry capability.

2. Mirion Ultra Ring with LiF Chip is worn on the fingers and is used for low or high energy beta,x-ray or gamma radiaiton monitoring of hands and fingers. A chip of lithium fluoride (athermoluminescent material) is mounted in the plastic ring.

3. Mirion TLD 760 (thermoluminescent dosimeter) responds accurately to beta, gamma, x-rayand neutron radiation. The fast neutrons detected can range from 40KeV to 20MeV. Thermalneutrons less than 0.5eV can also be detected.  The 760 TLD offers the advantage of preciseresponse and long wear periods, due to their resistance to environmental factors such asmoisture and humidity.

4. Small ionization chambers of indirect or direct reading types.  These devices known as"pocket chambers" or "pocket dosimeters" are miniature ionization chambers with a usual rangeof 0-200 milliroentgens, full-scale, for x-ray and gamma radiations only.

Of these four monitors, the Miron MCP TLD Badge is the most common. The TLD ring is used to evaluate exposure to the hands. The Miron MCP TLD Badge is used where individuals are exposed to fast and/or thermal neutrons such as near a Pu-Be source, beam port, or in a reactor facility. The small ionization chambers provide a measure of short-term exposure when the report of the other types of badges will be delayed past the time of taking effective remedial steps. This situation amounts to providing a means of monitoring hourly or daily exposures to supplement the reading of the Miron MCP TLD or Mirion Ultra Ring received later. Other uses are to monitor brief exposures resulting from special operations or to monitor transient visitors.

The single personnel monitoring device is expected to measure a quantity approximately the same as the exposure to the whole body. The whole body is defined as the critical organ, including the blood forming cells, glands, and lenses of the eyes. Obviously, the single detector can only suggest the magnitude of the whole-body exposure. Use of a lead apron to shield a part of the body makes the exposure recorded by the detector even less applicable to the personnel monitoring problem.

A debate about whether the single detector should be worn under or over the apron is unproductive in view of the limited value of the data in either case. Because uniformity is desirable and because a measure of the exposure to the blood forming cells and gonads is more meaningful than a measure of the exposure to the lead apron, the single detector shall be worn under the lead apron which leaves the lenses of the eyes without an indication of exposure. Those operators of x-ray equipment who may experience an exposure to the lenses of the eyes greater than that recorded by the detector under the apron should request an evaluation of the exposure to the lenses of the eyes. The RSO will evaluate the exposure conditions and, if warranted, will arrange for the supply of a second detector to be worn at a convenient location outside the area covered by the lead apron but still responsive to the exposure received by the eyes.


2.2.4 Medical Examinations and Bioassays

When deemed necessary by the RSO or RSC as required by Federal or State regulations, a medical examination or special bioassay procedure may be ordered for individuals who will be working with materials or equipment producing ionizing radiation. Records of examinations and bioassays will be maintained in the Radiation Safety Office. The RSC will be informed of test results. Any question of the need for a special physical examination should be brought to the attention of the RSO. The RSO will assess the potential hazard of the radiation environment and determine if examinations are necessary.

When tritium is used in uncontained form, a bioassay of a urine specimen is required for each person involved with handling the material in the following amounts: 

  1. For tritium in uncontained form, of quantities greater than 10 millicurie processed in an open room, a bioassay shall be performed within one week for a single contact or a bioassay shall be performed weekly for continuous contact.
  2. For tritium in uncontained form of quantities greater than 100 millicurie, processed in an approved, operating fume hood, a bioassay shall be performed within one week for a single contact or a bioassay shall be performed weekly for continuous contact.
  3. For tritium when there may have been absorption, ingestion, injection or other accidental deposition in the body of any activity greater than 250 microcuries, a bioassay shall be performed.


2.2.5 Supervision and Instruction of Personnel

All operations in which there is the possibility of exposure of faculty, staff, or students to ionizing radiation shall be supervised by technical personnel who are aware of the radiation hazards and of the means to minimize them. Such persons will usually be the ones who have been authorized by the RSC to use the radioactive material or radiation source. The supervisor shall function as a laboratory safety officer by ensuring compliance with these rules and regulations, as well as making certain that department rules have been posted and brought to the attention of all subordinates. To facilitate the instruction of subordinate personnel, copies of this Handbook should be made available to them.


2.3 Area Radiation Control

Adequate area radiation protection and control of contamination depend upon proper laboratory design including the proper location of fume hoods or glove boxes, proper layout of work and counting areas, use of appropriate construction materials, and the establishment of safe, workable, laboratory routines. Most applications involving radioactive material conducted within MIssouri S&T may be accomplished with very ordinary equipment. If in doubt about the use of specific pieces of equipment, please ask the RSO. 

The authorization to use materials under Missouri S&T's license conveys with it a specific place of use. The user shall not vacate this place of use without clearance from the RSO attesting a release to unrestricted use; and the user shall not move to a new location without the approval of the RSC.


2.3.1 Equipment, Materials, and Fume Hoods

Surface materials used in construction of laboratories should be of an impervious type. Laboratories that have been converted for the use of radioactive materials may be used for such activities subject to approval by the RSC (see Section 5.0 of the Handbook). Materials are available that may be used to seal or cover existing surfaces. 

Where contamination is expected, the surfaces should be protected with a disposable covering. Limited quantities of disposable covering material are available from the RSO; where more than a small quantity is required, such supplies must be purchased by the user.

Laboratory operations involving more than low-level activity shall be conducted within fume hoods that are designed properly and are operating. Any fume hood not providing a minimum air flow of 100 linear feet per minute measured with the sash one-half open is not adequate for work with radioactive materials and shall not be used unless the hood has been approved for limited use by the RSO. Glassware, pipettes, gloves, and other laboratory apparatus when once used with radioactive materials, shall be reserved for such use and shall not be mixed with "clean" equipment. It is preferable that they be stored in a separate cabinet that is so labeled. They shall not be returned to clean work area. 

Operations involving greater than limited quantity of heavy radionuclides such as Po-210, which emit alpha particles and which may be used in such a form as to create an internal hazard by ingestion or inhalation, shall be conducted in a glove box. (See the list of radioactive materials presenting a very high hazard). This restriction is imposed to limit the risk of permanent impairment of health to personnel who may be unaware of the extreme toxicity of these alpha emitters. A fume hood, whatever the air flow, does not necessarily prevent a hazardous exposure.

Fume hoods, glove boxes, or other enclosures intended to control or contain particulate or gaseous forms of radioactive material need not be filtered unless the quantity in use is large enough so that Maximum Permissible Concentrations (MPC) are exceeded at the discharge point. If particulate matter is present in sufficient quantities to exceed MPC values, a suitable filter placed in an accessible portion of the exhaust duct is required. It must be accessible so that it can be replaced when necessary. Since a particulate filter is ineffective for a gaseous effluent, other arrangements to reduce the concentration at the exhaust point must be made when high concentrations in the gaseous form are expected. A charcoal filter is effective for some gases.

Some transuranic elements available for research undergo spontaneous fission, thus they become neutron sources. This behavior places them in a higher category of hazard than the alpha emitters. For this reason, the RSC will be especially concerned with the detailed description of handling procedures contained in the application for use of such materials. Of course, for uses of these materials in which the source is sealed within a leakproof capsule, there is no more hazard than with other sealed sources emitting similar types and quantities of radiation; but when the material is to be used in an unsealed form, all operations must be conducted within a functioning glove box and proper instrumentation must be available to warn the investigator of any breakdown of the containment.


2.3.2 Area Monitoring

Each laboratory shall have a survey meter and in some cases, an area monitor (badge) readily available, capable of detecting radiation from the material in use. (Laboratories using small quantities of weak beta emitters such as H-3 or C-14, exclusively, are exempted from this requirement.) All equipment used in the operation and all areas subject to contamination should be monitored before and after use, and an appropriate entry should be made in the user's log book to document the results of the survey. These surveys are the responsibility of the authorized user, and an uncertainty about what is required should be resolved by consultation with the RSO. The RSO will provide assistance in establishing the proper procedures for survey and recording the results. Contaminated equipment or surface contamination shall be so labeled until decontaminated. See Section 2.6.5 for an identification of the proper kind of label to use. See Section 4.4.1 for a description of the procedure for disposal of contaminated equipment. All plumbing and air-exhaust ducts in laboratories using radioactive materials shall be monitored before repair is undertaken if contamination is likely. 

If modification or repairs are planned in plumbing or the air-exhaust systems of a laboratory where radioactive materials are used, the Radiation Safety Office should be notified.


2.3.3 Contamination Levels and Decontamination

In any laboratory where radioactive materials are used, minor spills or other conditions of contamination may occur despite the best efforts of the user to prevent them. The prompt attention of the user to the decontamination of these minor spills will minimize the hazard and result in the maintenance of a "clean" laboratory. At times, even these minor spills will resist all normal efforts for decontamination. If such a result is experienced, the HP shall be contacted for assistance. Special complex agents are available to aid in removing the persistent attachment of some chemicals from a surface.

Occasionally, a more serious contamination problem will result from an accident or from an unexpected development of the experiment being performed. In this situation, the person conducting the experiment shall immediately institute the emergency procedure outlined in Se ction 2.4 as adapted to the circumstances of the problem. It will be necessary in every instance to notify the RSO to provide an evaluation of the degree of hazard involved.

Missouri S&T is obliged to report to the NRC's Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards any incident of contamination or radiation exposure that exceeds certain minimum levels as described in the Federal regulations. The RSO will determine whether or not the specific circumstance of contamination or exposure exceeds the limits set by these regulations.


2.3.4 Special Problems Related to Use in Animals

Use of radioactive material in animals is a rather special case of area radiation control. For smaller animals kept in cages or pens, the contaminated areas are restricted and can be kept clean. Or, at least, these small areas are easier to decontaminate. For larger animals, though they may be penned, the area involved is so much larger that decontamination becomes more difficult. It is for this condition that careful preplanning is recommended. This preplanning of the experiment involving animals of larger size should make proper allowances for physiological elimination of the radioactive material by the animal. Prediction of elimination rates and modes of elimination in advance of administration of the radioactive material will permit a more timely identification of the level of contamination to be expected. Obviously, if the radioactive material stays with the animal, no contamination problem can result. But if the total quantity administered is excreted in a few days or less, a substantial fraction of the amount administered will be a source of contamination that must be controlled. Disposal of contaminated animal wastes is discussed in Section 4.4.2 / 4.4.3.


2.4 Emergency Procedures

2.4.1 Definition

The term "emergency" is taken to mean any incident resulting from the use of radioactive materials that presents an internal or external hazard to personnel. Such an incident may vary in magnitude from a simple spill of low-level activity in a laboratory that is relatively easy to clean to a fire or explosion that disperses quantities of radioactive material over a wide area. The materials involved may be dusts, liquids, gases, or vapors.


2.4.2 Procedure

The procedure to follow in an emergency is: 

  • Call university police 911 and give the nature and location of emergency
  • University police should notify the RSO of the incident immediately
  • Evacuate all persons from the area involved to an isolated but controlled area. Do not allow them to leave before being checked for contamination.
  • Post warning signs and allow no one to enter the contaminated area, except authorized persons.
  • Notify the supervisor of the laboratory.
  • Inform emergency personnel about radioactive materials, where they are stored, being used, present location as well as any precautions to avoid exposure
  • If radioactive liquids spill, use absorbent material to limit spread.
  • If contamination is airborne, close windows, doors, vents, and turn off ventilation.
  • Assist the RSO in monitoring personnel and completing the decontamination.
  • After the emergency is over and all hazards are under control, prepare the University Incident Report Forms, if appropriate.
  • These Emergency Procedures shall be extracted from the text, expanded with special instructions, and posted in the laboratory.


2.4.3 Area Decontamination

Decontamination shall be accomplished by the RSO with help from the laboratory personnel, as required and appropriate.


2.4.4 Personnel Decontamination

When an individual is injured as a result of a laboratory accident, the first consideration should be to seek medical attention for the injury victim. If, however, the individual has been contaminated with radioactive material as a result of the accident, the following steps may be taken while awaiting the arrival of a physician to administer to the needs of the injured person: 

  • Persons splashed with radioactive solutions should wash or be washed immediately with ample quantities of water. A mild, pure soap may be used.
  • The attending physician should be informed of the likelihood of ingestion or inhalation of radioactive materials. The physician should also be advised if the patient represents a significant radiation source.


2.5 Other Sources of Radiation

2.5.1 Definition

Radiation source means any material or device from which ionizing radiation is emitted spontaneously or can be produced. In this broad sense, a source of radiation may be an x-ray generator, an electron microscope, a naturally occurring radioactive material, a nuclear reactor, an accelerator, or a byproduct material. Most specific instructions given in the Handbook relate to radioactive materials, both naturally occurring and artificially produced. However, this emphasis on radioactive materials is not intended to include the equally important need for control of radiation hazards presented by operation of machines which produce ionizing radiations. Non-ionizing sources are also the responsibility of the RSC, but the control measures to be applied are sufficiently different to require a separate manual of procedures.


2.5.2 Regulations to Be Observed

All sources of radiation that are not covered specifically by the Code of Federal Regulations are covered by the State of Missouri's Radiation Protection Regulations. Federal control is exercised over reactors, byproduct materials, source materials, and special nuclear materials as defined by Federal regulations. X-ray generators, accelerators, and naturally occurring radioactive materials are controlled by the State of Missouri. Within the Missouri S&T campus, no distinction is made as to the origin of the controlling regulation, either State or Federal, since the same standards of radiation safety apply to both. The campus can, therefore, establish, by means of the Handbook, a uniform code or set of regulations that satisfies both State and Federal regulations.

The basic criterion to be applied to the radiation safety aspect of installation and use of radiation sources is identical to that applied to the use of byproduct materials. Such sources are to be installed and used in a way that will not endanger life or property. This criterion is satisfied if the installation of the radiation source is made with provision for adequate safeguards such as radiation shielding, remote operation, restricted accessibility, and so forth. All radiation sources within Missouri S&T will be inspected to determine that this basic criterion is satisfied effectively. Any new installations of radiation sources may be reviewed with the RSO to ensure compliance with pertinent regulations.


2.6 Receipt, Storage, and Use of Radioactive Material

2.6.1 General

Details of State and Federal regulations pertaining to receipt, storage, and use of radioactive materials are available for review in the Radiation Safety Office. These requirements are consolidated and summarized here for the convenience of the investigator or using such materials. If the statements to follow are not sufficiently clear or adequately detailed to provide guidance and if the actual regulation does not indicate what to do, the investigator may consult with the RSO to establish a proper interpretation of the regulation. 

2.6.2 Procedures for Opening Packages Containing Radioactive Material

Federal regulations require that, "Each licensee shall establish and maintain procedures for safely opening packages in which licensed material is received, and shall assure that such procedures are followed and that due consideration is given to special instructions for the type of package being opened." Besides the quoted passage, compliance with the remainder of this section of the regulation has necessitated a change in the methods employed by the University to obtain radioactive material. Administrative controls on the purchasing and delivery mechanisms for radioactive material are imposed by the NRC. When these administrative controls are all functioning, the RSO will be receiving, inspecting, and monitoring packages for subsequent delivery to the investigator. If an individual investigator receives a misdirected package, the investigator should telephone the RSO immediately for assistance in monitoring the package in compliance with the procedure. 

The investigator is authorized to open packages only after delivery by the Radiation Safety staff. The package shall be opened with due concern as though the contents had escaped from their container and the package was contaminated. The procedures to be followed are:

  • Monitor external surfaces for contamination and exposure rates.
  • Check labels and shipping papers to ensure the shipment is to the correct address and contains the intended activity and isotope.
  • With protective covers on the hands, open the outer container (packages containing more than ten (10) millicuries should be opened in an operating fume hood or glove box).
  • Inspect inner container for integrity and for evidence of leakage.
  • Monitor packing material and inner container for contamination.
  • Dispose of uncontaminated outer containers and packing materials as ordinary waste after removing or obliterating the radiation signs or labels and ensuring that no contamination exists.
  • Contaminated packages and packing material are to be handled as radioactive waste.
  • Open inner container in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
  • Label all radioactive materials and enter receipt in inventory.
  • Immediately notify the RSO of any contamination or other problems associated with the delivery, receipt, or opening of packages containing radioactive materials.


2.6.3 Records to Be Maintained

Most records required by State or Federal regulations are maintained by the Radiation Safety Office. Some required records cannot be maintained there, however and this section describes these records and suggests a satisfactory method for maintenance of them.

One of the records to be maintained by the campus Radiation Safety Office is the quantity of radioactive material currently authorized. For federally controlled byproduct material, the campus is authorized to possess and use specific quantities of these materials with the aggregate of all such materials not exceeding a specific limit. Thus, the current inventory of each radionuclide and the aggregate sum of these individual items must not exceed the limits set by the license. 

The RSO maintains a listing of the quantities of each radionuclide which has been authorized by the RSC for use by individual investigators. This record ensures that materials in excess of the maximum amounts are not authorized by the RSC without an opportunity to seek an amendment to the license from the NRC to increase the possession limit for the specific radionuclide. Details of the day-to-day possession and use must be maintained by the authorized investigator.

What the individual investigator must do is keep a record of the receipt, use, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials so that at any time, the amount on hand can be calculated. For those investigators using a sealed source, an adequate inventory need only be an accessible record of the date of receipt of the material with a reasonably accurate assay of the quantity. With these data, the quantity remaining at any future time can be estimated by a simple calculation of the radioactive decay. The investigator receiving a shipment of material that is to be introduced in total into an experiment also has a relatively simple task. Then the inventory need consist only of the pertinent data of receipt of the material and the date of introduction into the experiment. From that point in time, the quantity on hand is the quantity in the equipment, and unless some material is lost from the experiment, the quantity on hand at any future time is the original amount reduced by radioactive decay. 

Radioactive materials used in animals require an inventory record before and after the materials are administered. Records must show the quantity received, the quantity administered to the laboratory animal, the quantity eliminated by the animal and what was done with it, and the quantity remaining in the animal.

The investigator serving collaborators as a dispensing agent has a more difficult record keeping task. While material transferred to another authorized user is no longer the responsibility of the dispensing agent, a record must be kept of the transferal and the new custodian is obliged to keep track of the material from that point on. Meanwhile, the dispensing agent may have had several such transferals from a single shipment, and must be prepared to show what has happened to the entire amount, including what has been lost by radioactive decay and what has been disposed of as radioactive waste.

A form has been developed upon which the inventory record may be kept. A supply of these forms may be obtained from the RSO. 

An adequate inventory must be kept at all times by each investigator. Exact values cannot always be given for each step, but in the absence of exact values, reasonable estimates must be provided. 


2.6.4 Waste Disposal Procedures  

Most of the information about disposal of radioactive wastes of importance to the individual investigator is contained in Section 4.0. The only method of disposal left to the discretion of the investigator is that by release to the sanitary sewer system, and this is limited to quantities released incidental to cleaning glassware. All other disposal must be done by the RSO. Additionally, any material transferred to the RSO for disposal is to be identified as to type, form, quantity of radioactive material, and hazardous waste category in accordance with the campus's Hazardous Waste Regulations. Such a record should be made in the user's inventory log as well.


2.6.5 Posting of Warning Signs and Notices

Parts of the State and Federal regulations with which the campus must comply stipulate a system of warning signs and notices to be posted. Samples of these warning notices are available from the RSO. A copy of the current version of the Form NRC-3 "Notice to Employees" must be posted in every laboratory using byproduct materials licensed by the NRC. This form is to be posted so that every employee of the laboratory can read it conveniently. It need not be posted on a departmental bulletin board, however, as such a location will expose it to a wider audience than is intended. Copies of this form may be obtained from the RSO.

Rooms in which radioactive materials are to be used on a routine basis will be identified by affixing to the entrance doors a warning sign containing the words "Caution-Radioactive Material" and including the three-bladed, radiation symbol, as required by 10 CFR 20.1902 and 20.1903. Other wording appropriate for the use of the room may be added, but nothing less than these words with the symbol is acceptable. Regardless of the presence of the warning labels, the investigator shall secure the material from unauthorized access. Rooms in which radioactive materials have been used and which have been posted with a warning sign but are no longer used for this purpose do not need a warning sign, and such signs must be removed from the entrance doors. This removal will take place normally when the RSO performs a "close out" inspection to confirm that the space may be released for unrestricted use. 

Containers in which radioactive materials are stored need to be labeled as to type, form, and quantity of such materials, and these containers shall also have affixed to them the standard "Caution-Radioactive Material" label. Since the quantity contained will change with time, the label should show the date of assay of the original quantity. Containers such as beakers, tubes, flasks, and similar devices need not be labeled as long as the radioactive material kept in them is used transiently and the user is present during the time the material is being used. 

An "Emergency Procedure" appropriate to the work in the laboratory shall be posted and its contents made known to all staff personnel of the laboratory. This procedure may be constructed from the General Comments of Section 2.4.2. It must provide the name and telephone number of the University Police to be contacted in the case of an emergency.

Special labels are required by State regulation to be affixed to x-ray generators. A sample of this label is available from the RSO. This label shall be placed at or near the control panel so that it is clearly visible to a person attempting to operate the machine.


2.6.6 Leak Testing of Sealed Sources 

Sealed sources and detector cells shall be tested for leakage and/or contamination at intervals not to exceed 6 months or at such other intervals as specified by the certificate of registration, referred to in 10 CFR 32.210. Sealed sources designed to emit alpha particles shall be tested for leakage and/or contamination at intervals not to exceed 3 months. 

In the absence of a certificate from a transferor indicating that a test has been made, a sealed source or detector cell received from another person shall not be put into use until tested.

Sealed sources need not be leak tested if:

    i.    they contain only hydrogen 3; or

    ii.    they contain only a radioactive gas; or

    iii.    the half-life of the isotope is 30 days or less; or

    iv.    they contain not more than 100 microcuries of beta and/or gamma emitting material or not more than 10 microcuries of alpha emitting materials; or

    v.    they are not designed to emit alpha particles, are in storage, and are not being used. However, when they are removed from storage for use or transferred to another person, and have not been tested within the required leak test interval, they shall be tested before use or transfer. No sealed source or detector cell shall be stored for a period of more than 10 years without being tested for leakage and/or contamination. 

All sources of radioactive material, whether byproduct material or not, which have been encapsulated to prevent the escape of the contained material shall be checked at six-month intervals to ensure the integrity of the containment. Sealed sources designed for the purpose of emitting alpha particles shall be tested for leakage at three-month intervals. Foils for gas chromatographs and containers of radioactive material in gaseous form are not considered to be sealed sources. To provide for a uniformity of testing procedures and to ensure compliance with the Federal and State regulations pertaining to sealed sources, the RSO will leak test every sealed source at intervals required by the materials license. If the sealed source is an instrument such as a soil-moisture gauge, the investigator can arrange to send the instrument to the Missouri S&T RSO for the appropriate leak test.


2.7 Criteria of Radiation Safety Coverage

2.7.1 General

A determination of adequacy of radiation safety coverage or even the determination of what constitutes radiation safety coverage are questions answered by the conditions existing during an experiment or procedure using radioactive materials. The type and level of radiation safety coverage depends upon the relative risk of the operation. The objective of the radiation safety coverage is to help the investigators accomplish their tasks consistent with the ALARA principle. 

Control of the radioactive materials program is accomplished through visits and inspections of a laboratory by the RSO or his designated representative.

During such visits, the RSO assesses the adequacy of the investigator's methods of use of materials and checks radiation exposure rates, contamination levels, individual exposure records, security and labeling of radioactive materials, inspection of radiation safeguards, review of inventory records, qualifications of subordinate personnel, and so on. Discrepancies are noted and reported to the investigator on a standard form. Specific recommendations are made to improve the methods and to increase control, when necessary. Termination of authorization may result from non-compliance with the recommendations made. 


  1. Report No 30 "Safe Handling of Radioactive Materials" of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) published March 9, 1964. This report will be superseded eventually by a new report. When the new report is published, Report No. 30 will be withdrawn. The RSO should be consulted for identification of latest reference sources.
  2. Reports No. 33 and 49 contain recommendations for "Equipment Design and Use" (No. 33, published February 1, 1968) and for "Structural Shielding Design and Evaluation" (No. 49, published September 15, 1976) both pertaining to "Medical X-Ray and Gamma-Ray Protection for Energies Up to 10 MeV" Report No. 35 "Dental X-Ray Protection" published March 9, 1970, and Report No. 36 "Radiation Protection in Veterinary Medicine" published August 15, 1970, complete the series. As for Report No. 30, these reports will be superseded eventually.
  3. In keeping with the definition used by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, the word shall denotes that the ensuing recommendation is necessary or essential to meet the currently accepted standards of protection and the word should indicates advisory recommendations that are to be applied when practicable.
  4. Type of containment is not important except that the liquid and the material of the container must be compatible so that corrosion will not occur. Liquids containing tritium present a special problem since the tritium in gaseous form will/may diffuse through some materials such as polyethylene.
  5. Laboratory apparel monitored and found to be contaminated shall not be sent to a commercial laundry. Consult with the RSO; if contaminated apparel cannot be salvaged, it must be handled as radioactive waste.
  6. Uncontained is defined to mean a condition in which a substantial surface area is exposed to the environment such as, for example, the surface of a liquid in a beaker. If the tritium compound is supplied by the vendor in a syringe vial and is transferred to a syringe by aspiration and the operation is conducted within a functioning fume hood, the tritium is considered to be contained and the bioassay requirement does not apply.
  7. Continuous contact is intended to mean through the working hours of a total period greater than one week.
  8. A number of references might be cited, but two that seem most pertinent are: NRC Regulatory Guide 10.8 "Guide for the Preparation of Application for Medical Programs", Revision 1, October 1980, and ICRP 52, "Protection, in Annals of the ICRP, Volume 17, Number 14, 1987. Copies of these publications may be reviewed in the office of the RSO.



3.1 General 

Inspections of laboratories in which radionuclides are used are performed by the RSO as outlined in Section 2.1.1 of the Handbook and in compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 20.201 and 20.401. For each location, the Radiation Safety staff becomes familiar with the conditions of the license covering operations at the location and with all appropriate sections of 10 CFR 19, 10 CFR 20, and other parts of the Code of Federal Regulations as they apply. The frequency of inspections depends upon the risk-class assigned to that laboratory by the RSO. Results of these inspections are recorded on appropriate forms. 

Before an inspection begins, it is assumed that instruments appropriately designed for the measurements to be made are available in good working order and are calibrated against reference sources of radiation essentially equivalent in properties to those being inspected. Survey instruments are calibrated at least annually and after repair. Operational checks of the survey instruments are performed prior to each use to ensure proper operation. Where applicable, check sources are used before each use of the instruments to verify response to radiation.

Leak tests of sealed sources are completed by the RSO as required by the license (see Section 2.6.6).


3.2 Laboratory Surveys  

Prior to visiting the laboratory, the Radiation Safety staff will review the authorization file of the investigator and the reports of previous inspections. A sketch of the laboratory facilities may be found in the file record, or one can be made during the inspection of the laboratory. Only the principal features of the laboratory need be recorded and these only in outline.

A review of the reports of previous inspections prior to the inspection visit will encourage a recollection of the details of the past inspections and will permit a visualization of specific items to look for in the next inspection. Of particular interest are the recommendations made previously to determine whether they have been followed and corrective actions have been taken. For example, if a specific recommendation was made to improve the inventory record, special attention needs to be given to determine that the inventory records have been corrected.


3.2.1 Preliminary Procedures  

Upon arrival at the laboratory, the Radiation Safety staff will review the following items with the investigator (if he or she is available; if not, someone else familiar with the operations of the laboratory should be sought to respond to these items): 

  • Availability of Survey Instruments and Record of Use. As required by Section 2.3.2 of the Handbook, each laboratory shall have a survey meter and an area monitor (if needed) readily available to it that is capable of detecting radiation from the radioactive materials in use. Check the operational status of the instrument. Review the maintenance, calibration, and use log for proper entries. Record any significant radiation dose rate measurements or other anomalies.
  • Proposed Use and Special Equipment. Note any significant changes or deviations from those stated in the application and the authorization for use. This involves a value judgment of the evidence presented that the investigator is doing what the application said would be done. Attention should be given as to whether special equipment dictated by the use such as glove box, remote pipette, secure storage facility, and so on is needed and available.
  • Inventory Records. The log book maintained by the authorized user is examined for proper entry of receipt, use, transfer, decay, or disposal of radioactive materials. Data may be reported on the Radionuclide Inventory Log Sheet. Each authorized user is accountable for any release of byproduct material to the sanitary sewer. As specified in Sections 2.6.4 and 4.3.3, no release in excess of that resulting from washing of glassware is permitted by an authorized user. Liquid-form byproduct materials are collected by the RSO for disposal elsewhere. Special instructions in methods to minimize release to the sanitary sewer are provided by the RSO and the investigator is reminded of the release limit of one (1) curie per year. Check the security of stored radionuclides. The HP will maintain an inventory of byproduct materials in use within his area of responsibility. Record any other pertinent information. This is the place to note positive comments such as being pleased with the inventory records or being pleased that previous contamination levels had been reduced or eliminated.
  • Area Contamination Control. Review all procedures for handling radioactive materials from receipt to disposal. Check for availability and proper use of radioactive waste containers, absorbent paper, protective trays, and other suitable items.
  • Posting and Labeling. Determine if the proper signs are posted on the entrances to the laboratory, the fume hood, the storage area, and on equipment and containers. Verify that a recently issued version of NRC Form-3 is posted. 
  • Personnel Monitoring. Use of badges for personnel monitoring in each laboratory must be evaluated in terms of the information received. If previous records of film-badge monitoring reflect no significant exposures, if the laboratory inspection yields no significant radiation or contamination levels, and if the use of the radionuclides authorized for the laboratory is such that a significant exposure is unlikely, consider canceling all personnel monitoring for the laboratory. If this step is taken, consider the use of monitoring badges permanently affixed to the wall, bench top, or other suitable location to serve as area monitors.
  • Training. A Statement of Training and Experience for Use of Radiation Sources should be submitted as part of the application form for each of the subordinate personnel employed in the laboratory who actually handle the authorized radioactive materials must be on file. If not, the absence of this record is to be recorded under "Comments" and the necessary steps are to be taken to obtain this information in collaboration with the authorized user.


3.2.2 Survey Procedures

Radiation Survey

For laboratories in which radionuclides emitting both beta and gamma radiations are authorized for use, the radiation survey is to be performed with a Geiger-Muller survey meter equipped with a side-window hand probe with a rotatable beta shield or an instrument of another type having an equivalent sensitivity to beta and gamma radiations. For those laboratories in which radionuclides emitting only beta particles are used, the survey meter should be equipped with a thin-end-window hand probe. For laboratories in which radionuclides emitting alpha particles are used, the survey is performed with an alpha scintillation or a gas-flow proportional survey meter sensitive to alpha particles. For laboratories in which radionuclides emitting neutrons are used or in which neutron-producing devices are used, the survey is performed with a neutron- sensitive instrument equipped to differentiate between energy groups so that a separate measure of each can be made and be recorded. If available, a tissue-equivalent sphere detector can be used to establish a measure of the neutron dose rate. 

In performing a survey, special attention is given to the following locations: enclosures for storage, fume hood, glove box, solid-waste container, liquid-waste container, all working surfaces, and the floor around each of these components. If the dose rates are less than 0.05 mrem/h, or equivalent, the following statement may be entered in the Radiation and Contamination Survey (RCS) form: "Dose Rate < 0.05 mrem/h". Exceptions will be identified by recording the dose rate at each location on the room shown on the RCS form. Survey instruments used should be identified by make and serial number. 

Contamination Survey

Evaluation of the smears collected in laboratories using beta-emitting radionuclides is made with either a shielded end-window, Geiger-Mueller counter or gas-flow-proportional counter calibrated for detection of beta radiations. Smears taken in laboratories using weak beta emitters can be evaluated with a liquid scintillation counter, if available, or a thin-window, gas-flow-proportional counter. A windowless counter may be used if the chamber will not be contaminated by emanations from the sample. Smears from laboratories using alpha emitters are evaluated with a gas-flow-proportional counter properly calibrated. If available, semi-conductor detectors can be used to evaluate alpha emitters.

The wipe sample or smear for removable contamination is taken from an area of approximately 100 cm squared using paper discs suitable for the dimensions of the counting device. In some instances, it may be desirable to moisten the paper disc with a detergent solution to enhance the collection efficiency. 

When performing a contamination survey, special attention is given to the locations examined in the radiation survey where higher radiation exposure rates were obtained and also to laboratory entrances and exits. Locations where wipe samples were taken are identified on the sketch of the room layout by a circled number 1, 2, 3, ... Results of the evaluation of all smears are reported in pCi removable contamination per 100 cm squared, if preferred. If the evaluation of the samples indicates the absence of removable contamination, "N.C.E." as an abbreviation for "No Contamination Evident" may be entered in the "Contamination Survey" column of the radiation and contamination survey form. Exceptions to this are identified by the appropriate location number and the pCi of removable contamination per 100 cm squared noted. Identify the detection system used to evaluate the smears. The sensitivity of the detection system should be retained on file and periodically checked. 

Fume-Hood Air Flow

The air flow of fume hoods in which radionuclides are used is measured with the fume-hood sash one-half open. The face velocity of the fume hood should be measured under conditions of actual use and provide a uniform air flow of at least 100-linear-feet per minute. Exceptions to the minimum air-flow should be noted on the laboratory survey form. Identify the instrument used to measure the air flow. While measuring the air velocity, examine and evaluate the materials of construction of the hood for adequacy to the use employed. The requirement of a minimum air-flow rate in fume hoods can be modified at the discretion of the RSO upon evaluation of the kind, quantity, and form of the radionuclides being used and upon the evaluation of the type of experiment being performed. A more definite measure of the adequacy of the fume hood as a safety device is the lack of evidence of removable contamination in the vicinity of the hood. The RSO must be mindful of the hazards of an air-flow rate that is too high when the sash is lowered.

Evaluate the radioactivity concentration in the fume-hood exhaust by dividing the maximum activity potentially airborne by the volume flow rate through the fume-hood face. If the MPC (air) is likely to be exceeded at the exhaust, consider what needs to be done to reduce the effluent concentration to less than MPC(air) values. The RSO should know the location of each fume-hood exhaust, should post it with an appropriate label, and should periodically check the occupancy factor in the immediate environs of each. In some instances, a particulate or gaseous filter (or both) may need to be installed to reduce the concentration at the exhaust. The RSO, finding this condition, will limit the use of the hood until the filter is installed. 

Air Sample and Bioassy  

In compliance with 10 CFR 20.103 (a) (3) and during the laboratory inspection, an air sample is collected whenever the radionuclides in use can be suspended in air in sufficient quantities to pose an inhalation hazard, that is: a substantial fraction of the MPC(air). The Staplex-Hi-Volume air sampler, or equivalent, is used to collect the sample and is operated for at least ten (10) minutes. If a high-volume sampler is not available, a low-volume sampler can be used but must be operated for a longer length of time, perhaps one (1) hour or more depending on the flow rate. If a radionuclide such as I-131 is present, a filter or a cartridge containing activated charcoal is used in place of or in addition to the particular filter. 

The time at the start and completion of the sampling, the average air-flow rate, and the activity, in , are recorded in the "Notes" column of the radiation and contamination survey form. A 24-hour recount is taken to determine if activity other than short-lived, natural radioactive materials are present, and these results are also recorded in the "Notes" column of the form. If the recount indicates activity levels above MPC(air) values, the laboratory supervisor should be notified and an analysis of the contaminants present is to be made. A recount of the same sample is taken again one week later to ensure the absence of long-lived contaminants unless their absence is established otherwise. 

Whenever the air sample contains radioactive material in excess of a substantial fraction of the MPC(air), a bioassay of a suitable specimen (thyroid count, nasal smear, urine, feces, etc.) may be required for all personnel who have been exposed to the contaminated air. The possible need for a bioassay will be determined by the RSO. Results of these bioassays, even if negative, are to be recorded in the personnel monitoring record of the individuals involved. To the extent that airborne contamination by the radioactive material in use reflects loss of control, remedial steps to restore the control are to be taken as soon as possible.


3.3 Leak Test of Sealed Sources

The leak test should be performed by the RSO with filter-paper discs or with cotton-tipped applicators, depending upon the source activity, configuration, and containment. The source should be rubbed firmly with the filter-paper discs held with tongs or forceps or with cotton- tipped applicators, to remove any surface contamination. The source holder should also be wiped. When access to the sealed source is prevented by the construction of the device, the wipes should be taken as near the source as possible. Each disc or applicator is placed in a separate envelope appropriately labeled for identification. Evaluation of wipes taken from sealed sources containing a beta- emitter should be made with a shielded, end-window, Geiger-Mueller counter, or equivalent. Evaluation of wipes taken from sealed sources containing an alpha emitter should be made with a gas-flow-proportional counter, or equivalent. The leak test shall be capable of detecting the presence of 0.005 microcurie of radioactive material on the test sample. Records of leak test results shall be kept in units of microcuries and shall be maintained for inspection by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. If the test reveals the presence of 0.005 microcurie or more of removable contamination, a report shall be filed with the NRC. The source shall be removed from service and decontaminated, repaired, or disposed of in accordance with NRC regulations. The report shall be filed within 5 days of the date the leak test result is known with the NRC. 

When leak tests are performed by an investigator, the wipe sample is taken according to instructions provided by the RSO who subsequently counts and evaluates the sample.


3.4 Reports

The results of the inspection are mailed to the authorized user as soon as possible after completing the evaluation of the inspection. If the inspection reveals conditions that require correction, a follow-up survey is made after a reasonable period of time has elapsed. However, if the conditions are such that immediate attention must be given to them, a member of the Radiation Safety staff shall immediately notify the authorized user and assist in correcting the situation. 

In preparing the report of an inspection, the RSO must weigh carefully the information accumulated to determine the content of a specific recommendation to the investigator. That is, it is not sufficient merely to report radiation levels in mrem/h or contamination levels in pCi/100 cm2. These numbers may also provide a measure of the response of the investigator to University regulations and to the general recommendations made to him in the Handbook. The RSO can decide whether or not the investigator is doing all that can be expected to maintain a radiation-safe condition in the laboratory. If the investigator is doing all that can be expected, he or she should be so advised with respect to the particular features of the program by appropriate comments on the radiation and contamination survey form. If a part of the program is lacking, the RSO should convey to the investigator specific recommendations for improvement.

The RSO will develop a sense of adequacy of radiation safety in each laboratory after visiting the same laboratory several times and can compare present conditions with those of the past and further compare these conditions with those found in other laboratories. This buildup of experience with the conditions found in the laboratory and with the response of the investigator to recommendations for correction of unsatisfactory conditions permits the RSO to make value judgments that need not be tied to an arbitrary scale of unsafe conditions. Removable contamination of 10 pCi/100 cm2 of a weak beta emitter in one laboratory may reflect a greater lack of attention to good practice than a removable contamination of 100 pCi/100 cm2 of a beta emitter found in another laboratory. At the same time, the RSO must not allow increasing familiarity with a laboratory or with the investigator to permit a gradual trend toward increased radiation or contamination levels. Acceptable laboratory practice should be evident and where found should be made known to the investigator with the same persistence with which poor practice is reported.



NRC Regulatory Guide 8.8 introduced the ALARA concept. The concept is based on the assumption that every dose should be kept to a level As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). We understand the ALARA principle to mean the following: 

  1. Merely restricting the dose to individuals or groups of individuals to below the maximum limit is not enough. Actions should be taken to decrease the dose to As Low As Reasonably Achievable.
  2. Merely controlling the maximum dose to the individual is not sufficient; the collective dose to the group (measured in person-rems) also must be kept As Low As Reasonably Achievable.
  3. "Reasonably achievable" is judged by considering the state of technology and the economics of improvement in relation to all of the benefits from these improvements.
  4. Under the linear, non-threshold concept, restricting the doses to individuals at a fraction of the applicable limit would be inappropriate if such action would result in the exposure of more persons to radiation and would increase the total person-rem dose.


3.6 Review and Adjustment of Procedures  

Since the primary goal of inspections is to ensure safety, modifications, enlargements, or additions to the procedures described in this section should always be considered by the RSO if conditions warrant them.



4.1 General

All radioactive wastes resulting from the use of radioactive materials at Missouri S&T laboratories shall be disposed of in a manner prescribed by Federal and State regulations. Safe disposal is to be accomplished by the RSO utilizing several means: By holding for decay, by approved incineration, by disposing of limited and strictly controlled quantities into the sanitary sewage system, or by repackaging for subsequent shipment to a commercial disposal facility. Radioactive waste materials, both liquid and solid, resulting from the use of radioactive materials in laboratories, except small quantities released to the sanitary sewage system, shall be stored in designated, properly marked containers, and retained for collection by the RSO. Solid wastes are to be stored in special containers obtained from the RSO, and liquid wastes are to be stored in glass, or preferably, in metal or plastic containers, or in metal or plastic containers with any additional provisions as recommended by the RSO.

Volume reduction of all wastes has become extremely important as costs of disposal per cubic foot are increasing rapidly. Volume reduction begins at the user level when the decisions are made as to the quantities and types of material to purchase. Volume reduction is the first consideration for disposal of radioactive wastes, and this consideration must be applied when the experiment is designed.

Radioactive waste material collected from each laboratory will be stored at the Dangerous Materials Storage Facility (DMSF). Documentation must be available listing all nuclides present, the activity as of a specified date, and the originator of that material. Flammable material requiring refrigeration must be stored in explosion-proof refrigerators. If flammable material is stored, it should be placed in metallic containers. A fire extinguisher must be located nearby. Adequate shielding must be provided.


4.2 The Missouri S&T Dangerous Materials Storage Facility (DMSF)  

A facility intended for use by all units of Missouri S&T for the disposal of radioactive wastes has been established at the DMSF. This facility provides for both long- and short-term storage, collection of waste prior to shipment for commercial burial, compaction of wastes in 55-gallon steel drums, container storage, and for other needs, as they might arise.

The DMSF was designated in 1980 as a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) facility for handling hazardous wastes. It is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (ID# MOD000577773) and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (ID# 01049). The DMSF is operated by the Environmental Health/Safety Department. Although there is a nuclear reactor on campus, no high-level radioactive waste and no mixed waste is managed at the DMSF site.

The DMSF is a one-story, 50'x60' building specifically designed for the management of hazardous materials. The facility is designed to hold 200 55-gallon drums and 400-4000 chemical reagent containers. It is divided into two chemical storage areas, one radioactive storage area, one receiving area, and one office area. The DMSF floor is sealed concrete. The building is equipped with an exhaust system, a heating system, an alarm system, a sprinkler system, and is supplied with city water.


4.3 Responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Officer

The responsibility for the coordination of collection, storage, and ultimate disposal of laboratory wastes contaminated with radioactive materials is assigned to the Radiation Safety Office to provide single-point control of contamination.


4.3.1 Laboratory Wastes

The laboratory supervisor is responsible for providing suitable containers for radioactive wastes. The RSO will advise the supervisor on what containers are approved. These containers will be labeled "Caution Radioactive Material." Pickup service will be provided for collection of wastes at the request of the laboratory supervisor. No waste will be collected without proper documentation showing contents, chemical and physical form, and origin.


4.3.2 Campus Central Storage

At Missouri S&T, central storage is provided by the DMSF.


4.3.3 Available Methods of Disposal 

Wastes will be separated and stored according to physical form (liquid or solid) and half-life to facilitate the disposal procedures outlined below.

Disposal Into the Sanitary Sewage System

Disposal into the sanitary sewage system is to be accomplished by, or specifically approved by, the RSO. 

Radioactive material released by laboratory personnel shall be limited to that occurring incidentally with slightly contaminated wash water from cleaning laboratory glassware. Liquid wastes from laboratory experiments are to be collected as liquids for disposal by the RSO, or they are to be converted to solid form for disposal into a radioactive waste container. Any uncertainty about this method of disposal shall be addressed to the RSO for clarification or for assistance in establishing alternative methods. 

Shipment to Commercial Facility 

Any wastes not disposed of locally are shipped to approved commercial facilities. Such wastes include solid material like wipes, filter papers, contaminated clothing, aprons, absorbent counter covers, and so forth. Liquid wastes shall be reduced, if possible, to a minimum volume and converted to a solid form for disposal. Solid waste material shall be shipped in 55-gallon drums or other suitable containers in accordance with applicable DOT regulations and the requirements of the burial site to which the material is shipped. The RSO will be responsible for the management of such shipments to commercial facilities.


4.4 Responsibilities of the Laboratory Supervisor  

Collection and storage of wastes within the laboratory are the responsibility of the laboratory supervisor. The supervisor is obligated to ensure compliance with applicable regulations, and maintain control of radioactive wastes until such accumulated wastes are removed by the RSO. The supervisor will also segregate and properly label all radioactive waste material.


4.4.1 Wastes Accumulated for Collection 

The laboratory supervisor shall ensure that:

  • all radioactive materials (and only such materials) are placed in containers designated for such waste.
  • all sharp objects (hypodermic needles, broken glass, etc.) are wrapped within a protective encapsulation so that they cannot project through the plastic bag.
  • radioactive wastes are not removed by unauthorized personnel.
  •  waste materials are segregated according to whether solid or liquid and placed in proper containers as recommended by the RSO. It is the responsibility of the user to notify the RSO when waste materials are to be collected. The user or a representative should be present, if possible, when the RSO collects the waste material, so that the tags may be verified as to identity of the radioactive contents. The RSO or a delegate shall not remove wastes which are not identified properly.


4.4.2 Disposal of Animal Carcasses Containing Radioactive Material

Most of the work at Missouri S&T involving the use of animals in experimental studies with radioactive material is conducted with small animals such as rats. When these small animals are terminated, they may be stored under refrigeration until it is convenient to dispose of them. For disposal of carcasses containing radioactive material, the following general guidelines are recommended: 

  • If the animal is small, the half-life of the radioactive material is short, and refrigerated storage is available, the carcasses should be stored long enough to ensure that the remaining radioactivity is negligible. After storage, the carcasses should be turned over to the RSO for disposal.
  • If the animal is small and the half-life of the radioactive material is long, or refrigerated storage is not available, the carcasses should be turned over to the RSO for immediate disposal to a commercial facility.


4.4.3 Disposal of Animal Excreta Containing Radioactive Material  

A rather complex problem of radioactive waste disposal results from the use of radioactive material for in-vivo experiments with animals. The complexity derives from the uncertainty of the quantity and the rate of elimination from the animal, the knowledge of which may even be part of the experiment being conducted. Despite these uncertainties, the investigator must be prepared to collect, dispose of, and record the quantity of radioactive material contained in all excreta of experimental animals to which radioactive materials have been administered. 

The methods by which the investigator proposes to accomplish these tasks are to be made a part of the "Application for Possession and Use of Radiation Sources," as described in Section 5.1 of this Handbook. Without attempting to specify the methods to be employed in every case, the following general guidelines will serve to outline what needs to be done.

  • An estimate shall be made of the portion of the administered quantity of radioactive material that is expected to be eliminated by the animal.
  • From this estimate, the significance in terms of potential hazard to personnel or property of the eliminated material can be evaluated. As a rule-of-thumb, if the total quantity eliminated per day from the entire group of experimental animals is less than ten 10% of the values listed for the particular radionuclide in Appendix C of 10 CFR 20, the elimination will not constitute a significant hazard to personnel or property.
  •  If the evaluation of the potential hazard indicates that a significant quantity is to be eliminated, an adequate method of collection of all excreta must be developed. If a significant activity cannot be excreted, the material may be disposed of through normal channels after an evaluation confirms that the excreta are not radioactive.
  • After collection of the excreta, the best method of disposal must be determined. The investigator may elect to hold the material in an isolated storage area until a sufficient time has passed to reduce the activity to negligible levels. Upon a determination that the residual activity is negligible, the collected excreta may be released to the sanitary sewage system.
  • If the material cannot be held for radioactive decay or be released to the sanitary sewer system, the disposal must be performed by or under the supervision of the RSO. When this determination has been made, the RSO shall be notified so that an acceptable disposal procedure may be specified.


4.4.4 Disposal of Gaseous-Form Wastes

A few experiments require the maintenance of a breathing environment for plants or animals containing a radioactive material in gaseous form. In all instances, such experiments shall be designed so that the radioactive material in gaseous form is contained within an enclosure exhausted to the atmosphere at concentrations less than the maximum permissible amounts specified in 10 CFR 20 Appendix B, Table II, Column 1. If several radionuclides are released, the limit for the combination may be derived by determining the ratio between the quantity present in the combination and the limit allowable when it is the sole constituent. The sum of ratios determined in this manner for each of the constituents may not exceed unity. Records of all releases to air shall be maintained. If a release has, or may have, exceeded the limits specified above, the RSO shall be promptly notified so that he or she may make a determination as to whether notification of the NRC is required, and if so, to submit all necessary information in a report within the time limits specified by NRC.



5.1 Applications for the Use of Radiation Sources  

Use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials by personnel of Missouri S&T is authorized by a license issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Control of these uses is dictated by Federal regulations and by the conditions placed upon the license. Use of other radioactive materials and sources of radiation is authorized in a general sense by the Missouri Division of Health. No licenses are issued by the State, but use is controlled by the Missouri Radiation Protection Regulations. Applications for use of radiation sources by University personnel shall be reviewed and approved by the Radiation Safety Committee using the procedure described in Section 5.1.2. Radioactive materials, including general license and otherwise exempt quantities, shall not be used at Missouri S&T without approval.


5.1.1 General Guidelines

As explained in Section 1.0, the Chancellor of Missouri S&T has delegated to the RSC the authority to control the issuance of authorizations for the use of radiation sources covered by the license as well as those covered by State regulations. Before a radiation source can be used, an application must be approved by the RSC and an authorization for such use must be issued in the name of the committee.

A critical step in the review process is the determination that the training and experience of the applicant is adequate to conduct the proposed investigation in a safe manner. Such a determination is critically dependent upon the combination of type of material and its proposed use, since the kind and quantity of radioactive material or radiation source coupled with the way it is to be used specifies the degree of the hazard. (See the discussion of relative hazard contained in Sections 2.1 and 2.7.) Each application for an authorization to use a radiation source must contain a complete statement of the applicant's training and experience in addition to the statement of the kind, quantity, and proposed use of the source. The RSC in its review of the application determines whether or not the statement of training and experience is consistent with the use of the source specified by the applicant. In view of this consideration, it is to the investigator's advantage to limit the proposed use to the smallest quantity and simplest form possible to accomplish the desired result.

It should be noted that what the investigator hopes to accomplish by the use of licensed materials in the experiment is not an issue in the evaluation of the application. The issue is whether proper precautions and handling of the radioactive materials will be followed. The technical validity or substance of the proposed experiment is left to others to judge.

At Missouri S&T, the RSC authorizes mostly faculty members as users of radioactive materials. Qualifications of subordinate personnel (i.e., graduate students, technicians) are also of concern to the committee performing the review of the application. Each person who will be in direct contact with the source being requested needs to be qualified by appropriate training and experience to handle it safely. As explained in Section 5.1.2, a review of the application by the RSC will include a consideration of the qualifications and training of subordinate personnel.

Training sufficient for the proposed use may be obtained by the applicant from a formal training course, from a preceptorship arrangement by which the training is acquired by working under the supervision of an experienced person, or from collaboration with an experienced person by which applicable experience from another technique may be expanded to include the safe use of a radiation source. All of these methods of acquiring training and experience are available to interested staff members of Missouri S&T. The necessary ingredients of acceptable training are the following:

  • Principles and practices of radiation safety
  • Radioactivity measurements and monitoring techniques
  • Calculations basic to the measurement and use of radioactive substances
  • Knowledge and understanding of the biological effects of radiation

Courses satisfying all or part of these training requirements are offered by the Nuclear Engineering department at Missouri S&T. Usually, these courses may be audited by staff members with the consent of the instructor. In addition to the training requirement, the applicant must show that sufficient experience has been acquired in the safe handling of the source for which the application is made.

Results of the RSC review of the applicant's training and experience may take various forms. The most obvious case is that the applicant has had acceptable training and experience in the same or very similar type of use as is proposed, and the application is approved without reservation. Another common situation is one in which the applicant has had training and experience suitable for a large variety of problems but not enough for the use currently proposed. This application can be approved with the condition that another investigator supervise the use of the radiation source on a temporary basis. The preceptor must have had acceptable training and experience for the proposed use, and assumes the responsibility for the safe use of the source. This responsibility continues until the preceptor can report to the RSC that the applicant can proceed without further supervision. In preparation of the application, the investigator should name the preceptor, with whom arrangements have been made previously, so that approval of the application will not be delayed for the purpose of naming someone. This authorization will be issued in the name of the applicant with preceptor named in a condition of the authorization.


5.1.2 Approval of Applications

Applications requesting authorization for the use of radioactive materials are submitted to the RSC through the Radiation Safety Office. The RSO staff will help the investigator complete the application, if the applicant so desires. Special forms for this purpose are available from the Radiation Safety Office. Instructions for completion of the forms are given on the form itself. For an initial application, a signed copy of the form must be submitted. Applications for amendments to existing authorizations must be submitted on the form. An example of the application form is shown here. This form may be modified by the RSC.

Upon receipt of the completed application, the RSO will make an initial evaluation of the content to establish that resources are available to support the health physics aspects of the experiment, that no conditions of the existing license will be compromised by the experiment, and that the applicant has satisfied the intent of the University regulations to safeguard health and property. At a meeting called by the chairman of the RSC, the application and a recommendation regarding safety considerations prepared by the RSO will be reviewed. The applicant will be invited and encouraged to attend the meeting so that committee members may ask questions and the applicant may clarify aspects of his application. If disapproved by the committee, the application will be returned to the investigator with an explanation of the decision including a recommendation about corrective action needed. When approved by the committee, the application will be signed and dated by the chairman of the RSC and forwarded to the Radiation Safety Officer for issuance of an authorization. The authorization must be renewed every three years. Every user may apply for renewal after 2 1/2 years.


5.2 Procurement and Transfer Procedures 

After a receipt of an approval, the investigator may submit orders for procurement or transfer of the authorized material. To keep Radiation Safety informed of the quantity of radioactive material expected to be in use at any time, the purchasing requisition order shall be forwarded to the Radiation Safety Office for approval. 

Because this is a requisition for a special kind of material, the requisition should include the following information: 

  • Name of individual user (same as Item 1 on the approval form)
  • Type, quantity, and form of radiation source desired (not to exceed quantities listed in Items on the approval form)
  • Special shipping instructions, if any
  • NRC license number, when required.
  • Company from which the source is to be ordered

If the company or agency from which the radiation source is to be ordered is outside of the United States (E.g., Canada, England, or France), a special authorization may have to be obtained from the country involved. In most cases, the special procedures involved in ordering radiation sources from outside the United States will be explained in the catalog of the foreign supplier; but if such procedures are not explained, the user is advised to write to the supplier for instructions before his requisition is forwarded to the Purchasing Department. This extra step is necessary to provide the Purchasing Department with all the information required to place an order.

Each supplier of federally regulated materials is required to validate the University's license to possess and use such material. This is accomplished usually by filing with each such supplier a copy of the pertinent license.


5.3 Records to be Maintained

To satisfy Federal and State regulations, the University must have available for inspection a reasonably current record of all radiation sources in use. These records will be maintained by the Radiation Safety Office. The individual user shall also keep a current inventory of all radiation sources being used, and shall keep this record in a form that permits a convenient review by the RSO, RSC, or by a representative of the NRC. This requirement of the regulations can be satisfied by simple bookkeeping procedures on forms supplied by the Radiation Safety Office.


Application for Possession and Use of Radiation Sources



Accelerator (Particle Accelerator):   A device for imparting kinetic energy to electrically charged particles such as electrons, protons, deuterons, and helium ions. Common types of particle accelerators are direct voltage accelerators (including Van de Graaff, Cockcroft-Walton, Dynamitron, resonant transformer, and insulating core transformer), cyclotrons (including synchrocyclotrons and isochronous cyclotrons), betatrons, and linear accelerators.

Activity:   The number of nuclear transformations occurring in a given quantity of material per unit time. (See Curie.)

ALARA:   As Low As Reasonably Achievable- See Section 3.5 for details.

Alpha Particle:   A charged particle emitted from the nucleus of an atom having a mass and charge equal in magnitude to that of a helium nucleus; i.e., two protons and two neutrons.

Becquerel (Bq):   A unit of activity. One becquerel is one decay per second.

Beta Particle:   An electron emitted from the nucleus of an atom. It has a charge of -1.

Bioassay:   The collection and analysis of human hair, tissue, nasal smears, urine or fecal samples to determine the amount of radioactive material that might have been ingested by the body.

Byproduct Material:   Any radioactive material (except special nuclear material) that became radioactive by exposure to the radiation produced in the process of utilizing special nuclear material.

CFR:   Code of Federal Regulations.

Contamination, Radioactive:   Deposition of radioactive material in any place where it is not desired, particularly where its presence may be harmful. The harm may be in vitiating an experiment or a procedure, or in actually being a source of danger to personnel.

Counter, Gas Flow:   A radiation detection device in which an appropriate atmosphere is maintained in the counter tube by allowing a suitable gas to flow slowly through its sensitive volume.

Counter, Geiger-Mueller:   Highly sensitive, gas-filled radiation-measuring device. Cannot be used to measure energy of radiation.

Counter, Proportional:   Gas-filled radiation detection device; the pulse height produced is proportional to the number of ions formed in the gas by the primary ionizing particle; can be used to measure energy of radiation.

Counter, Scintillation:   A radiation detector formed by a combination of phosphor, photomultiplier tube, and associated electronics used for detection of ionizing radiation.

Curie (Ci):   Unit of activity. One curie equals 3.700x1010 nuclear transformations per second or 1 Ci=3.700x1010 Bq. Several fractions of the curie are in common usage.

Millicurie:   One-thousandth of a curie ( disintegrations per second). Abbreviated mCi.

Microcurie:   One-millionth of a curie ( disintegrations per sec.). Abbreviated μCi.

Picocurie:   One-millionth of a microcurie ( disintegrations per second or 2.22 disintegrations per minute). Abbreviated pCi.

Decontamination:   The reduction or removal of contaminating radioactive material from a structure, area, object, or person.

DMSF:   Dangerous Material Storage Facility- See Section 4.2 for details.

Dosimeter:   Any instrument used to detect and measure radiation exposure.

DOT:   Department Of Transportation.

Exposure:   Exposure to ionizing radiation either from external beam or after ingestion of a radionuclide.

Gamma Ray:   Electromagnetic radiation of nuclear origin with wavelength shorter than that of visible light. As a particle, a gamma ray or photon has zero rest mass and travels with the speed of light.

Health Physics:   The science concerned with recognition, evaluation, and control of health hazards from ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, and record keeping.

IAEA:   International Atomic Energy Agency.

Ionizing Radiation:   Any radiation capable of displacing electrons from atoms or molecules, thereby producing ions. Examples: alpha, beta, gamma, X-rays, neutrons etc.

Isomers:   Nuclides having the same number of neutrons and protons but capable of existing, for a measurable time, in different quantum states.

Isotopes:   Nuclides having the same number of protons and hence the same atomic number, but differing in the number of neutrons, and therefore in the mass number. Isotopes have almost identical chemical properties.

Laser:   Initials come from Light Amplification by Stimulated emission of Radiation. The laser is a device that emits highly focused, single frequency electromagnetic radiation.

Leak Test:   A radiation/contamination survey of a sealed source.

MPC:   Maximum Permissible Concentration.

Neutron:   An uncharged elementary particle with a mass slightly greater than that of the proton, and found in the nucleus of every atom heavier than the lightest isotope of hydrogen.

NORM:   Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material.

NRC:   Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Nuclide:   A species of atom characterized by the constitution of its nucleus. The nuclear constitution is specified by the number of protons (Z), number of neutrons (N), and energy content; or, alternatively, by the atomic number (Z), mass number A = (N+Z), and atomic mass.

Photon:   It is a gamma- or x-ray.

Radiation:   (1) The emission and propagation of energy through space or through a material medium in the form of waves; for instance, the emission and propagation of electromagnetic waves, or of sound and elastic waves. (2) The energy propagated through space or through a material medium as waves; for example, energy in the form of electromagnetic waves or of elastic waves. The term radiation or radiant energy, when unqualified, usually refers to electromagnetic radiation. Such radiation commonly is classified, according to frequency, as Hertzian, infrared, visible (light), ultra-violet, x ray, and gamma ray. (3) By extension, corpuscular emissions, such as alpha and beta radiation, or rays of mixed or unknown type, as cosmic radiation. Energy released during atomic or nuclear transitions between different energy states; the energy is released in the form of electromagnetic radiation or particles (α,β,n).

Radioactivity:   The property of certain nuclides of spontaneously undergoing a nuclear transformation and in the process emitting ionizing radiation.

Radioisotope:   An unstable isotope of an element that decays or disintegrates spontaneously, emitting radiation. Approximately 5000 natural and artificial radioisotopes have been identified.

RSC:   Radiation Safety Committee.

RSO:   Radiation Safety Officer.

Sealed Source:   A radioactive source sealed in an impervious container which has sufficient mechanical strength to prevent contact with and dispersion of the radioactive material under the conditions of use and wear for which it was designed.

Shield:   Material used to prevent or reduce the passage of radiation. A shield may be designated according to what it is intended to absorb (as a gamma-ray shield or neutron shield), or according to the kind of protection it is intended to give (as a background, biological, or thermal shield).

Source Material:   (1) Uranium or thorium, or any combination thereof, in any physical or chemical form. (2) Ores which contain by weight one-twentieth of one percent (0.05%) or more of (a) uranium, (b) thorium or (c) any combination thereof. Source material does not include special nuclear material.

Special Nuclear Material:   (1) Plutonium, uranium 233, uranium enriched in the isotope 233 or in the isotope 235. (2) Any material artificially enriched by any of the foregoing isotopes but does not include source material.

Survey:   An evaluation of the radiation hazards incident to the production, use, release, disposal, or presence of radioactive materials or other sources of radiation under a specific set of conditions. When appropriate, such evaluation includes a physical survey of the location of materials and equipment, and measurements of levels of radiation or concentrations of radioactive material present.

Tritium:   The hydrogen isotope with one proton and two neutrons in the nucleus. (Symbol: H3 or T).

X Rays:   Electromagnetic radiation with wave length shorter than that of visible light. X-rays are produced as a result of transitions of atomic electrons. As a particle an X-ray is a photon with a rest mass equal to zero traveling with the speed of light.