Skip Navigation
Oregon State University

4. Authorization to Possess and Use Radioisotopes or Radiation-emitting Machines

4.1. Policy

4.1.1. Possession or use of any radioisotope or radiation-emitting machine at any OSU-associated location must adhere to a written Radiation Use Authorization (RUA) issued by the OSU Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). There are no exceptions for small quantity or low emission rate. However, there are exceptions for specific materials and machines.

4.1.2. Exceptions for which written RUA is not required include:

4.1.2.1. Naturally-occurring radioactive materials in unprocessed form, i.e. ore, rock samples, etc. These materials may not be extracted or otherwise processed.

4.1.2.2. readily available commercial items containing small amounts of radioactive materials, i.e. gas lantern mantles, smoke detectors, small static elimination brushes for photo lab use, thoriated welding rods, exit signs and other commercial devices using radioisotopes for illumination. These radioactive materials must not be separated or used for experimental purposes.

4.1.2.3. dental porcelain containing radioactive material.
4.1.2.4. optics having thorium in anti-reflection coatings.
4.1.2.5. radioisotopes in humans when administered (at non-OSU jurisdictions) by healing arts professionals for diagnosis or treatment.
4.1.2.6. electron microscopes, electron beam welders, and other similar devices exempt from state registration in accordance with 333.101 OAR.

4.1.3. Use of radiation at facilities under exclusive federal jurisdiction even though on OSU property, requires authorization from that agency's radiation safety organization and notification to the OSU RSC.

4.2. Procedure to Obtain Authorization

Authorization requires the following steps:

4.2.1. The Applicant shall submit a written request to the RSC via Radiation Safety (RS). The request must provide sufficient information to enable safety analysis and prescription of adequate precautions. Instructions to prepare a RUA may be obtained from RS.

4.2.2. RS personnel will review the request, review the proposed facilities, obtain additional information if necessary, and submit a proposed Radiation Use Authorization to the RSC.

4.2.3. The RSC shall review the request, the safety review, and the proposed Authorization. It may obtain additional information, and approve or disapprove the proposed Authorization.

4.2.4. Disapproval requires written notification to the Applicant stating the reasons for disapproval and giving possible alternatives.

4.2.5. An Authorization becomes valid when signed by the RSC and RS to signify approval, and by the applicant to signify acceptance.

4.3. Authorization Scope

The Authorization shall specify every location, source of radiation, and a description of authorized activities. For RUAs authorizing use of radioactive material, it shall list isotopes, maximum use levels, and maximum possession levels. It shall list the expiration date and any special precautions required, and shall include any additional information desired by the RSC.

4.4. Authorization Availability

An up-to-date copy of the signed RUA must be posted in each workplace listed in the RUA. Copies for this purpose may be obtained from RS.

4.5. Amendment

Amendment of an Authorization requires the steps listed in Section 4.2. Amendment is needed for changes in locations, radioactive materials or radiation machines, maximum quantities, activities, chemical forms, or for Program Director or Lab Contact. Amendment is not needed for addition or deletion of other personnel.

4.6. Suspension

4.6.1. Radiation Safety will suspend the RUA of a Program Director willfully or negligently violating university, state or federal regulations. Radioisotopes or radiation machines will be impounded until formal action is taken by the RSC to terminate, modify and reissue, or reinstate the RUA.

4.6.2. Suspensions and actions pertaining thereto require written notification to the Program Director.

4.7. Termination

4.7.1. A Radiation Use Authorization will be terminated upon:

4.7.1.1. expiration without renewal,
4.7.1.2. completion of the work authorized,
4.7.1.3. departure from OSU of the Program Director, or
4.7.1.4. determination by the Radiation Safety Committee that termination is in the best interests of the University.

4.7.2. Termination requires:

4.7.2.1. disposal of all radioactive material and radiation machines to waste, to the Property Administration Office or to another Program Director authorized to possess the items,
4.7.2.2. survey by RSO personnel of all facilities to ensure removal of radiation signs and labels, to ensure no remaining radioactive contamination, to verify all final inventory and survey records,
4.7.2.3. return of all radiation dosimeters and payment of charges for waste disposal, and
4.7.2.4. transfer of all laboratory survey, inventory, training and occurrence records to Radiation Safety for long-term storage.
4.7.2.5. notification of the Program Director's Department that the RUA has been terminated.