III. Waste Categories
The following categories of radioactive wastes are generated as a
byproduct of research conducted at the University.
A. Primary Categories
Half-Life Waste - containing isotopes with a radiological half-life of less
than 65 days.
Half-Life Waste - containing isotopes with a radiological half-life of
greater than 65 days.
Radioactive waste is further divided into classifications dependant
on its physical/chemical properties.
(Dry Active Waste) - Radioactively contaminated lab trash such as
glassware, paper, lab clothing, gloves, culture dishes, syringes, etc. (no free
Waste - Aqueous or organic waste solutions containing radioactive materials or plant tissue to include: carcasses, excreta, organs, blood, or tissue samples.
Waste - Radioactive waste, which also contains hazardous materials / chemicals.
Sources - encapsulated radioactive
sources used for instrument response checks or research.
C. Radioactive Waste
- Containers for all types of
radioactive waste may be obtained from the Radiation Safety Office.
- Each container of waste shall bear a
"Rad Tag" or sign with the radiation symbol and the words
"Caution - Radioactive Material” or “Radioactive Waste".
- Separate waste containers will be used
for short half-life and long half-life wastes.
This will help to reduce the University's waste disposal costs, since
the short half-life wastes will be decayed to background and disposed of as
"clean", non-radioactive waste.
- Radioactive wastes may be stored only
in restricted areas where it can be secured against unauthorized removal. Storage areas must be listed as an authorized
place of use on the individual Authorized Investigators Radioactive Materials
approval and must be posted in accordance with University posting procedures. Radioactive waste containers may not be left
unattended in a corridor.
- Radioactive waste containers should be
removed from the lab as soon as they are 3/4 full. Waste container and area dose rates should be
checked periodically. Position waste containers
in an area such that exposure to personnel is minimized.
- If the dose rate from a waste
container is greater than 2 mR/hr at 12 inches or causes the general area
(measured at 3 feet) dose rate to exceed 0.5 mR/hr call the R.S.O. for a waste
pickup. If the container dose rate
exceeds 2 mR/hr at 12 inches it must be located in a posted Radiation Area.
- Liquid waste containers are subject to
breakage or leakage and should be stored so that if accidental breakage or
leakage should occur, the contents will be contained in a small area, e.g., by
setting it in a large pan. Liquid
containers shall have positive-fitting caps, and must be kept closed.