Nuclear Engineering Reactor core from above

Authorized User Checklist

Refer to this checklist regularly to ensure that your radiation protection program is in compliance with university, state and federal requirements.

Radiation Source Receipt:

  • Verify that all radiation source purchases or receipts have been pre-approved by the Director of Radiation Safety (DRS) or the Radiation Safety Committee. This includes sources for which payment is not required.
  • Verify that all radioactive source to be shipped to the university are sent to:

Hazardous Materials Stock Room
201 Riverside Ave.
Lowell, MA 01854
ATTN: Radiation Safety Office

General Laboratory Safety Compliance:

  • All laboratory personnel working with or near radioactive material or radiation emitting devices have been trained in basic radiation safety by the Radiation Safety Office.
    • Is the staff familiar with basic radiation physics:
      • alpha, beta, gamma radiation and their properties,
      • Activity and half-life,
      • radiation dose (rad, rem),
      • radiation protection (time, distance, shielding),
      • internal vs. external radiation exposure,
      • radioactive material contamination,
    • Is the staff familiar with their annual radiation dose limits?
    • What about ALARA? Is there a viable ALARA program within the laboratory and is it being followed?
    • Do female lab workers understand the concept of a declared pregnancy when working in a radiation lab?
    • Do staff members understand when to survey the work area
    • And do they understand the importance of maintaining survey records
    • Does the staff properly record radioactive material use/disposal?
    • Does the staff know what to do in the event of a spill/emergency?
  • Have all laboratory personnel have been trained by a competent member of the laboratory in radioactive material use, storage, and disposal within the laboratory?
  • Does the laboratory maintain an accurate and up-to-date radioactive material inventory?
    • Initial radioactive material receipt documented (form HP-1, for example),
    • radioactive use and disposal documented (see Checklist #5).
  • Verify that radioactive materials are properly used and stored in areas clearly demarcated for radioactive material use.
  • Radiation Generating Devices such as lasers and x-ray machines are properly documented and properly and safely used by laboratory staff.

Handheld Radiation Monitoring Instrumentation:

  • Verify that any hand-held radiation monitoring instrumentation is available and working.
  • Verify that the instrument has been calibrated by the Radiation Safety Office within the last 12 months.
  • Verify that the instrument is not damaged or malfunctioning (Battery check)
  • Verify that the instrument responds as expected to a radiation source or background radiation.
  • Do laboratory personnel check items a-d prior to using a held-held instrument?
  • Types of campus detectors

Laboratory Operations:

  • Check that laboratory doors are posted with appropriate signs (Caution Radioactive Materials, Caution Radiation Area, etc.).
  • Assure that all radioactive material containers are properly labeled.
  • Verify laboratory members are wearing assigned dosimetry (if required).
  • Check that laboratory members wearing lab coats or other appropriate protective clothing, including safety glasses.
  • Assure that a complete laboratory survey is performed and documented at the end of each day in which radioactive material is used or accessed.
  • Make sure work with radioactive materials is ALARA.
  • Verify that radioactive materials are secured when not in use.
  • Lastly, check that members of the laboratory do not eat, drink, smoking or apply cosmetics in the laboratory, and do not mouth pipette.

Radioactive Material Disposition:

  • Radioactive waste or radioactive solution drawn from a stock solution must be documented for inventory purposes. The Radioisotope Use and Disposal Record should be used for this purpose. Other forms may be substituted but must be authorized by the Radiation Safety Office.
  • Obtain prior approval from the Radiation Safety Office for any transfers of radioactive materials;
  • Contact the Radiation Safety Office when a waste container becomes full.
  • Label all radioactive waste containers as required;
  • Do not place radioactive wastes in unlabelled containers or regular trash;
  • Deface "RADIOACTIVE" labels on all empty packages;
  • If you wish to dispose of radioactive material through the sink, verify that your laboratory is licensed with the Environmental Health and Safety Office for sink Disposals and that sink disposals are within the limits dictated within this guide.
    All Sink Disposals must be recorded.