Authorized Users

Requirements and Responsibilities

Requirements for Authorization

Becoming an Authorized User

Responsibilities of an Authorized User


Requirements for Authorization:
1.    The individual desiring to become an AU must be on staff or formally associated with either the University of Massachusetts Lowell or the UML Research Foundation.  In certain cases where technically qualified individuals from outside UML request use of a particular source/facility to carry out a relatively long-term or repetitive experiment such individuals may be given temporary use authorizations. Under such authorizations the individuals are governed by the same requirements as any other UML Authorized User.

2.   The individual must have adequate experience and training for the requested authorization.

3.   The individual must be familiar with the requirements of this guide and have made adequate provisions for radiation safety and control.

4.   Facilities and equipment for safe conduct of activities must be available.  A radiation laboratory must also meet the safety requirements of the EH&S Department.

5.  The individual must receive written authorization from the Radiation Safety Committee or the Director of Radiation Safety.

6.  The use of radioactive materials by undergraduate students for educational purposes will be under the direct supervision of an Authorized User.

Becoming an Authorized User:
Individuals desiring to become an Authorized User must submit the application form HP-2: Application Form to become an Authorized User of Radioactive Materials, along with a C.V. or resume to the Director of Radiation Safety.  Form HP-2 may be obtained from the Radiation Safety Office and is included in Appendix IX of the Radiation Safety manual.  Once the application is determined to be complete by the DRS, it will be submitted to and reviewed by the Radiation Safety Committee. 

Individuals are designated as an Authorized User by the Radiation Safety Committee after careful consideration of their training and experience with radiation sources or devices.  Adequate training and experience for an applicant is demonstrated through the following:

  1. The applicant should have, at a minimum, a college degree at the bachelor level or equivalent training and experience in physical, chemical, biological sciences, or engineering.  Extensive radiation-related work experience (>7 yrs) may be used as a substitution. 
  2. The applicant shall have training and experience commensurate with the scope of the proposed activities. Training should include the following subjects:
  • Radiation protection principles, 
  • Characteristics of ionizing radiation, 
  • Units of radiation dose and quantities, 
  • Radiation detection instrumentation, 
  • Biological hazards of exposure to radiation, 
  • Hands-on use of radioactive materials. 

If the applicant wishes to be an Authorized User of a laboratory that has not been previously approved by the Radiation Safety Committee or if the applicant wishes to use or store new/additional isotopes at a previously approved Radiation Laboratory, the application must also include:

  1. a list of all or additional radionuclides to be used within the laboratory,   
  2. the maximum radionuclide activity possession limits for each isotope, 
  3. a description of the areas in the laboratory where the radioactive materials shall be used,
  4. a list of all radiation safety equipment available,
  5. a list of all radiation detection devices, 
  6. exact details on how radioactive materials shall be stored, and
  7. exact details on how the laboratory shall handle radioactive waste. 
  8. In addition, the applicant must describe how the radioactive material will be used within an experiment.  Therefore, the application must contain:
  • A brief list of the experiments to be performed within the laboratory   which use radioactive material,
  • a list of the radionuclides used for each experiment along with an estimate of the amount of radioactive material used per experiment, 
  • an estimate of the frequency of each experiment

Before conducting any experiments involving radiation sources within the laboratory, the applicant must receive written authorization from either the Chairman of the Radiation Safety Committee, the Director of Radiation Safety, or their designee stating that they have been accepted by the Radiation Safety Committee as an Authorized User.  

The Radiation Safety Committee has granted the Reactor Safety Subcommittee the authority to approve applications to become an Authorized User of the Research Reactor and the Accelerator Safety Subcommittee the authority to approve applications to become an Authorized User of the 5.5 MV Van-de-Graaff Accelerator.  

Responsibilities of an Authorized User:
Authorized Users (AU) are responsible for implementing radiation safety rules, regulations, and procedures within their assigned radiation laboratory and are directly responsible for the following laboratory safety issues:

  1. The AU is responsible for the safety of each person within the AU’s assigned laboratory. 
  2. The AU is also responsible for assuring compliance with U ML, state, and federal rules and regulations regarding radioactive materials or radiation emitting devices. 
  3. The AU must verify that radioactive materials are properly purchased, stored, used, and disposed. 
  4. The AU must assure that appropriate records documenting the safe use of radioactive material and radiation emitting devices are maintained by the laboratory.  These records include but are not limited to:
    • Requests to procure, use, or dispose of radioactive material or radiation producing devices, 
    • area contamination and, if necessary, radiation field survey reports, 
    • documentation of final disposition of radioactive sources, 
    • memos documenting radiation related issues within the laboratory. 
  5. Authorized Users are responsible for having their laboratory members trained in specific radiation safety procedures and techniques practiced within the laboratory.  This is in addition to the introductory radiation safety training provided by the Radiation Safety Office.

Authorized users must be reauthorized by the Radiation Safety Committee on an annual basis.  Before reauthorization, the RSO must certify that the authorized user is in compliance with this Safety Guide.