8.0 Radiation Source Control Procedure

It is the responsibility of all users of radiation sources at UNR to comply with applicable Federal, State and University requirements specified in this manual, any limitations imposed by the RSO on a user's authorization, and specifically the control procedures outlined in this section.

8.1 Procurement Procedure

An AU desiring to purchase radioactive materials or ionizing radiation sources must receive approval from the Radiation Safety Office. This ensures compliance with license requirements, proper registration of the material, and direct communication between the prospective user and the Radiation Safety Office. No radioactive materials or ionizing radiation sources, including "Exempt quantities," will be purchased without RSO approval.

8.2 Receipt Procedure

Radiation sources are received at UNR Receiving in the Central Services Building. The personnel at Receiving will immediately notify Radiation Safety Office of the receipt. Radiation Safety Staff will check the package for contamination and radiation levels as soon as practical after receipt, but no later than 3 hours after the package is received during normal working hours. If the package is not received during normal working hours, it will be surveyed and swiped no later than 3 hours after the beginning of the next working day. (There is a locked storage area in Receiving for sources awaiting EH&S pickup.)

Once the initial survey is completed, recommendations for handling the source will be provided by the Radiation Safety staff. In the event that the material cannot be delivered to the Central Service Building, a representative of the Radiation Safety Office will provide similar checks at the point of delivery. Upon completion of this check, the AU will be notified and arrangements for delivery or storage will be made.

Radiation source shipments will not be accepted outside of university business hours unless special arrangements are made with the RSO prior to receipt of the shipment.

8.2.1 Responsibilities of Receiving Personnel

  1. Inspecting packages labeled “Radioactive Materials” IMMEDIATELY upon receipt.
  2. Not accepting damaged packages(s), i.e., leaking or torn. Detain driver and call the EH&S Office (327-5040) immediately.
  3. Placing packages in designated storage area.
  4. Notifying EH&S at 327-5040.

8.2.2 Responsibilities of Radiation Safety Personnel

  1. Removing packages from "Central Receiving" and transporting them to the Radiation Safety laboratory.
  2. Monitoring packages for external radiation levels using appropriate instrument(s).
    1. Check radiation level at 1 m from package. This level must be equal or less than the transport index (TI) on the shipping label. If the radiation level is higher than 20% of the TI, secure source and contact the RSO immediately.
    2. Check radiation level at surface of package.
  3. Wipe testing external surfaces of the packages for removable contamination.
  4. Opening outer packages and removing packing slips. Opening inner packages and verifying that the contents agree in name and quantity with the packing slips and the amount in the original purchase order.
  5. Measuring radiation levels of containers. [NOTE: Utilize shielding material and remote handling tools where appropriate.]
  6. Checking for possible breakage of seals on containers, loss of liquid, or change in color of absorbing materials.
  7. Wipe testing inner contents and documenting findings on the packing slips. [NOTE: The liner, shield and isotope container may have surface contamination; if contaminated, they should be discarded in radioactive waste disposal containers.]
  8. Recording type of activity, quantity present and location of delivery in the Radiation Safety Office receiving log.
  9. Notifying the vendor(s) immediately if beta or gamma contamination in excess of 2200dpm/100 cm2 or alpha contamination in excess of 220dpm/100 cm2 is detected on any surface, or discrepancies in the amount received as compared to the amount ordered are observed. [NOTE: The package must be placed in another container in a secure location until disposition is determined.
  10. Notifying the Authorized Users and delivering all packages following Radiation Safety Office inspection.

8.3 Sources Received Gratis

  1. When the procurement procedure does not involve the Purchasing Department the following procedures must be followed:
  2. Individuals obtaining gratis radioactive materials must notify and request permission and instructions from the RSO.
  3. The individual must determine and certify that this acquisition will not cause the user to possess any radionuclide exceeding his/her authorized quantity.
  4. The isotopes must be delivered to the RSO for processing in accordance with the provisions of the previous section.

8.4 Transfer Procedure

The Authorized User of a radiation source must receive approval in writing from the Radiation Safety Officer prior to transfer of isotopes to any other Authorized User. In all situations, radiation exposure levels during transfer, use, and storage shall meet the exposure limits specified in chapter 3.

Advice and assistance will be provided for all shipments of radiation sources from UNR. These shipments must receive prior WRITTEN approval from the RSO. Questions concerning transportation and packaging should be referred to the RSO.

8.5 Waste Pickup and Disposal

Disposal of radiation emitting materials and devices requires written approval of the Radiation Safety Officer. Waste pick-up and disposal services are described in APPENDIX C. The Authorized User must label waste containers as to their content and keep a record of the waste he/she generates (reasonable estimates of the activity are acceptable).

    1. Radioactive materials may not be disposed of via the sanitary waste system without EH&S approval.
    2. Incineration of radioactive waste at UNR is prohibited.
    3. Radioactive labels or signs or tapes which are not radioactive must not be the placed in P- 32 radioactive waste.
    4. Short half-life radioactive waste (T1/2 less than 15 days) and all others radioactive waste must be separated.
    5. When waste containers are full, perform radiation surveys and swipe outside surface for removable contamination. If contamination is found, decontaminate the affected areas.
  2. Advice on storage containers and short term (<2 weeks) storage locations will be provided by the radiation safety staff.
  3. EH&S will not pick-up improper and unsafely packaged radioactive material waste.

Note: Do not seal the container. The container must be inspected by Radiation Safety staff.

8.6 Inventory of Radiation Sources

In order to maintain proper control of radiation sources and to meet university license requirements, it is necessary to compile bi-annual inventories of all radiation sources. Inventory reports are due at the Radiation Safety Office by the close of business on the 10th work day after each of the following dates: March 31, and September 30.

8.7 Reporting Frequency Requirements

  1. Bi-annual inventory must be performed and a report submitted to the RSO by all Authorized Users (negative reports are required)
  2. An annual physical inventory of all radiation sources must be conducted.
  3. Failure to submit the required inventories may result in suspension of the User's Authorization until such time as he/she assures the RSO that appropriate procedures are in place to prevent such problems from recurring.


  1. Physical location of source - room number and location in lab (refrigerator, fume hood, etc.)
  2. Source description
  3. Original activity or radiation emission rate and date or current activity as of the date of the inventory
  4. Disposition of material if not in storage
  5. Possession limit of user

NOTE 1: Inventory forms for recording the above information may be obtained from the EH&S web page.

NOTE 2: All inventory forms must bear an original signature (or electronic signature) and date.

8.8 Labeling of Radiation Sources

Except for quantities less than values listed in NAC 459.186 or NAC 459.188, each individual radiation source or container shall be labeled with an identification tag, clearly indicating the date, radionuclide, and quantity. Labels are available from EH&S. All tags or labels shall be removed/replaced when the information on them is no longer applicable.

9.0 Contamination Control Procedures