Procedure for Obtaining Authorization to Use Radiation Sources

To obtain authorization to procure and use radiation sources, a prospective Authorized User must complete and submit applicable Schedules of the Laboratory Safety Plan. For help in completing the radioactive materials portion of the Laboratory Safety Plan, please reference “Characteristics of Commonly Used Radionuclides”. The Radiation Safety Officer will review the plan and schedule an interview with the prospective user to evaluate the facilities available, the training and experience of the applicant and staff for the proposed use, and the details of the work to be performed.

The procedures described in the application, as modified by the Radiation Safety Officer and/or the Radiation Safety Committee, become the conditions under which the researcher and his/her personnel are authorized to use radiation sources. Any subsequent change in procedure regarding the use, storage or disposal of sources must be reviewed by the Radiation Safety Officer prior to instituting the change.

Facilities Evaluation

The review of radiation source use applications will include a review of the adequacy of the proposed facilities. Depending on the quantity of material involved, the type of source and the complexity of the proposed procedures, the following will be considered:

  1. Isolation from general laboratories and public areas.
  2. Availability of radiation detection instrumentation.
  3. Adequacy of ventilation and fume hoods.
  4. Readily cleanable work surfaces and floors.
  5. Provisions for shielding and secure storage of sources

Radiation Worker Registration

To provide the University with a record of the training and experience of persons working with radiation sources, Worker Registration Form is to be completed and submitted to EHS. The Radiation Safety Office will review the registration form and schedule necessary training sessions. EHS is to be informed of all changes in personnel working with radiation sources. An updated Worker Registration Form must be provided when personnel transfers, additions, or deletions occur.

A copy of the approved registration form reviewed by Radiation Safety should be printed from the on-line application by the Authorized User. This copy must be maintained in the Authorized User’s radiation safety records. The original form is kept at the EHS office. Radiation Worker Registration forms must be maintained by the Authorized User and EHS as long as the individual’s employment actively involves the use of radiation sources. Upon termination or transfer, the form may be archived or removed from the records after a three year time period has elapsed. Inactive forms should be maintained in a separate section in the radiation safety records.

Posting Requirements

All rooms authorized for radioactive materials use, storage or disposal must be posted with copies of pages 11 and 20 of this Manual and the Radiation Safety Security Procedures. Page 11 presents the radiation safety rules to be followed when using radioactive materials. Page 20 presents the radiation emergency procedures for responding to incidents. The Radiation Safety Security Procedures provides information on the proper security of radiation sources/radioactive waste and the steps to follow in case of suspected loss of radioactive materials to municipal waste streams. This form includes a section for listing the Housekeeping supervisor for an Authorized User’s building. In case of a radiation source loss, the building supervisor must be informed as soon as possible to stop any waste removal from the building.

A copy of the North Carolina Radiation Protection Section’s Form, “Notice To Employee” must be posted in each authorized room. This posting provides required information on the employer / employee’s rights and responsibilities as radiation workers.

Ventilation Hoods

The use of volatile materials and other conditions requires the use of a properly designed and operating ventilation hood. The exhaust airflow provided by a hood creates a margin of safety from the accidental inhalation of chemical and radioactive fumes and gases. A minimum hood face velocity air flow of 100 linear feet per minute with an 18 inch sash opening is required for radioactive materials use hoods.

EHS measures the face velocity of all hoods annually. Any deficiencies are noted and referred to the UNC Facility Services for correction. Hoods should not be used for storage. Items in a hood will impede and disturb the exhaust airflow and potentially reduce or eliminate the safety factor. Exceptions may be granted for volatile wastes or certain other approved circumstances.