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Ordering, Receiving and Disposing of Radioactive Material

To order radioactive materials for basic science research, be sure that your radioactive materials license for your lab is authorized for the isotope needed and the activity desired does not exceed your license limit.

  • Place your order using Smart Source.
  • If you order from a Catalog Supplier (Punchout), someone in Radiation Safety will approve the order as part of the approval chain, to keep track of orders and double-check license limits for the radioactive material requested.
  • If you order from a Non-Catalog Supplier, contact Radiation Safety to make us aware of this.
  • If your lab is on the Center City Campus, be sure to address the delivery to Radiation Safety, and not your lab directly. If you need the correct address, please contact Radiation Safety by phone or email.
  • If your lab is on the Queen Lane or University City Campus, address the delivery to your lab directly.

Receipt of Radioactive Materials

  • Radioactive materials are received initially by Radiation Safety. At the Center City Campus, the package is delivered by the carrier directly to the Radiation Safety Office. At Queen Lane Campus and University City Campus, the package is delivered by the carrier to central receiving which secures the package and contacts Radiation Safety for handling.
  • Important note: If a package is inadvertently received directly by a laboratory at the Center City Campus, contact Radiation Safety at 215.762.4050.
  • Radiation Safety does the following:
    • Examines the package for signs of damage during shipping.
    • Surveys the exterior of the package for contamination.
    • Logs the package receipt.
    • Opens the package.
    • Examines the contents for signs of damage or leakage.
    • Confirms that the contents match what was ordered.
    • Surveys packing material for contamination.
    • Obliterates markings and labels on the packing material that include the radiation warning symbol or the word "radioactive".
    • Disposes of packing material.
    • Documents the above on the Radioactive Material Receipt and Survey Form and provides a copy to the laboratory.
    • Delivers the package to the laboratory.

Radioactive Waste Disposal

  • Segregate radioactive waste in separate bags according to isotope and waste type (solids, liquids and sharps).
  • For long-lived isotopes with half-lives over 120 days (for example, H-3 and C-14), use yellow radioactive waste bags. For short-lived isotopes such as P-32 and S-35, use regular red biowaste bags.
  • For liquid waste disposal by sink, you may dispose up to the monthly limit as specified by your lab license. Be sure that the liquid meets the requirements for sink disposal (chemical makeup, pH, etc) as directed by the Environmental Health and Safety department.
  • When waste is ready for pick-up, contact Radiation Safety for removal. Attach a radioactive waste tag to the bag, and include: waste type, isotope and activity enclosed.
  • Radiation Safety can supply yellow waste bags and waste tags for your use.
  • Radiation Safety will store short-lived isotope waste for decay, and then dispose of the material as regular biowaste when the isotopes have decayed to background levels. We will keep longer-lived waste for removal later by a radioactive waste disposal company.
  • If your waste includes radioactive animal carcasses, please contact Radiation Safety for instructions.
  • We recommend keeping a log of waste disposed, for periodic reporting to the Radiation Safety Office.