Purchasing Radioactive Materials

When ordering radioactive materials, purchase requisitions are to be sent directly to EHS, 1120 Estes Drive Extension, CB# 1650, for approval and forwarding to the Purchasing Department. In most instances, requisitions are forwarded within two hours after receipt by EHS. Failure to forward requisitions directly to EHS will result in their return without processing.

From University Business Manual, Policy Statement 47

EHS Review

EHS reviews the requisition to determine the following:

  1. The Authorized User has been authorized to use the type and quantity of radioactive material being ordered. The name of the Authorized User must be clearly indicated on the requisition;
  2. The radioactive material being ordered will not cause the Authorized User’s inventory limits to be exceeded, and that the form, “Certification of Current Inventory for Purchase of Radiation Sources” accompanies the requisition;
  3. The Authorized User has no unresolved items of safety noncompliance, including responses to survey reports, survey instrument calibration failures and training notices;
  4. The Authorized User’s Radionuclide Inventory Reports are current;
  5. The requisition states the order is to be delivered to EHS.

When the above criteria are met, the requisition is approved and forwarded to the Purchasing Department. If the above criteria are not met, the Authorized User is notified by telephone to expedite acquisition of the necessary information. Refer to the following “Procedures for Placing Orders for Radioactive Materials“.

Receipt and Delivery of Orders

EHS is open for receipt of radioactive materials shipments 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, University holidays excepted. Upon receipt of a shipment, the package is checked for removable contamination, (as required by Department of Transportation Regulations) added to the Authorized User’s inventory record and delivered to the Authorized User’s lab, on the same day if it is received at EHS by l:00 p.m. Shipments received after this time will be delivered on the afternoon of the following business day. If a representative for the lab is not available to receive and sign for the shipment or if the Appendix C is unavailable, the package will be held by EHS at the owner’s responsibility.

Purchase of Radiation-Producing Equipment*

Various types of equipment produce radiation by design or incidental to the primary purpose of the device. Design and performance standards have been imposed on manufacturers through the “Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968” administered by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the Act is to protect the public from unnecessary exposure to radiation from “electronic product radiation.” The Act applies to products that emit x-rays, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave radiation, lasers, ultrasonic equipment and other electronic devices.

Because the degree of hazard is dependent on the method or location of installation and in some cases may change with age of the equipment, EHS is responsible for reviewing Purchase Requisitions and utilization of radiation-producing equipment to insure proper installation and periodic surveillance. Purchase Requisitions for radiation-producing equipment are to be sent directly to EHS. EHS will review the Purchase Requisition, noting the location where the equipment is to be installed, and determine if shielding or other special requirements will be necessary. To expedite the review, a brief description of how the equipment will be used and any special safety precautions or operation procedures should be included.

From Finance Division Policies and Procedures Manual # 1277.

Sealed Sources

Sealed, or encapsulated, sources of radioactive materials may be listed by specific reference in the University’s Radioactive Materials License, which means that the license must be amended for each additional source. Application for authorization to obtain and use a sealed source must be made using the procedure in Chapter 2 of this manual. The application will be reviewed by the Radiation Safety Office and transmitted to the Radiation Safety Committee for its approval. After approval, the source(s) are purchased as any other radioactive material.

Gas Chromatograph Sources

Gas chromatographs using Tritium or Nickel-63 foils in electron capture detectors must be equipped with a temperature limiting device and vented to a hood or air handling system which exhausts directly to the outside. Tritium foils are to be limited to 225 degrees Celsius and Nickel-63 foils to 400 degrees Celsius. Nickel-63 sources will be leak-tested semi-annually by the Radiation Safety Officer. The source holder must be labeled with the radiation symbol. Chromatograph sources must be disposed of through EHS as radioactive waste. Any change in location or status of a gas chromatograph must be reported to EHS.

Leak Tests of Sealed Sources and Gas Chromatograph Sources for Contamination

Most sealed sources and gas chromatograph sources are required to be leak tested for containment integrity at six-month intervals. The Radiation Safety Office will perform this test. A report of the results will be provided to the Authorized User.

Action Level

Any source having removable contamination greater than 5 nanocuries will be removed from service.

Inventory of Devices, Gas Chromatographs and Liquid Scintillation Counters

EHS will inventory instruments emitting radiation or containing sealed sources or foils, such as liquid scintillation counters and gas chromatographs, at six-month intervals. Each instrument is also conspicuously posted with an identification sticker designating the radiation source information. EHS must be notified if the location or status of this type of instrument changes. EHS will remove the radiation source in these instruments prior to transferring them to Surplus Property. Notify EHS prior to any changes in location, surplus, or transfer of these instruments.