Office of Research

XII. Receipt of Packages of Radioactive Materials

Receipt and surveys of packages containing radioactive materials will be conducted in accordance with Radiation Safety Procedure #006-09.  All packages of radioactive material will be delivered to the Research Safety Office.  Packages will be received between the hours of 08:00 and 4:30 Mon-Fri unless prearranged with the shipper.

A.        Package Receipt and Survey

  1. At a minimum, gloves will be worn when opening packages containing radioactive material
  2. Visually inspect the package for any signs of physical damage.  Substantial damage to the exterior of a package may indicate loss of integrity of the inner container and should be placed inside a fume hood for opening.
  3. Remove and review the packing slip to identify the nuclide and total activity contained in the package.
  4. If the nuclide is in a gaseous or volatile form, such as I-125 or I-131, open the package inside a fume hood.  Tongs or forceps should be used when handling vials containing concentrated radionuclides such as gamma or high-energy beta emitters (I-125 & P-32).
  5. Perform a radiation survey of the package.  If radiation levels are > 2 mR/hr at 12" the package should be placed in a posted radiation area.
  6. If the surface dose rate exceeds 200 mrem/hr or if the dose rate at three ft. exceeds 10 mrem/hr, the R.S.O. will immediately notify S.C. BRH.
  7. Perform a contamination survey on the exterior of the package.
  8. If the removable contamination level on the exterior of the package exceeds 200 dpm/100 cm2, the package will be bagged or placed in a posted contaminated area.
  9. If removable contamination levels are found on the package surface in excess of 22,000 dpm/100 cm2, the campus R.S.O. will immediately notify the final delivery carrier and the S.C. BRH.
  10. Check the integrity of the final source container (usually a lead or plastic container) and perform a contamination survey of its surface.  Look for broken seals or vials, loss of liquid, condensation, or discoloration of the packing material that could indicate leakage. 
  11. Perform a contamination survey of the stock vial and analyze it with a liquid scintillation counter or other currently calibrated radiation detection device with a minimum detectable activity of less than 200 dpm for the nuclide in question.
  12. If the contamination levels exceed 200 dpm / 100 cm2 decontaminate the vial or place it in a plastic bag marked as "contaminated".
  13. If the removable contamination level on the stock vial exceeds 50,000 dpm / 100 cm.2 the manufacturer will be contacted to report loss of the material.
  14. Carefully monitor the empty package and packing materials before discarding into clean waste.  The empty package and packing material must meet the limits for an unrestricted area before being released into clean waste.  All labeling or marking denoting radioactive materials must be removed and/or defaced beyond recognition prior to disposal in clean waste.
  15. Record all survey data in the "package receipt and survey log", assigning the next serialized shipping number to the package.
  16. The nuclide will be placed in a secondary transport container and delivered to the principle investigator.
  17. All packages of radioactive materials will be surveyed within three hours of receipt if received during normal working hours or within three hours after the beginning of the next shift if the if receipt was made after normal working hours.
  18. Packages containing radioactive materials will not be accepted for delivery after normal working hours unless prearranged by the shipper.