Auburn University (AU) is licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) to possess and use radioactive materials (RAM). Due to license conditions it is required that the University carefully control the process of obtaining radioactive materials to ensure that unauthorized labs and personnel do not receive radioactive materials. AU Radiation Safety Program helps facilitate the order request and receipt of shipments. All radioactive materials must be shipped to the correct Radioactive Receiving address. The lab or staff member ordering the material must be authorized to possess and use radioactive materials. An order request form is made available to use as a notification tool for radiation safety to be aware of an expected shipment. Orders for all radioactive materials must be inventoried and tracked; notify the radiation safety office to make arrangements.
Ordering Exempt Quantity Radioactive Materials
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that exempt quantity sources, which are radioactive sources containing very small amounts of radioactivity and used under certain conditions, do not present a significant hazard. An example of exempt quantity of radioactive materials include button sources that are typically used in instructional labs and for meter calibrations. Radiation safety prefers to know the presence of all radioactive material on campus, this includes exempt quantity sources and we encourage you to contact the RSO to discuss purchase and delivery of your sources.
Planning to Use Uranium or Thorium
Regulations require educational institutions to limit their entire campus wide inventory to no more than 3.3 pounds of uranium and thorium. This means that you must notify Radiation Safety about your orders and inventory of uranium and thorium. Please consult with our staff before ordering or using uranium or thorium even if you intend to use small amounts or concentrations. Radiation Safety will include all uranium and thorium materials in the overall inventory and will work with you to determine disposal needs. You may be required to dispose of your uranium and thorium waste as radioactive waste, so before bringing uranium and thorium material on campus, work with Radiation Safety to determine an appropriate disposal plan.
Delivery of Radioactive Material Packages
All radioactive material packages are delivered to Radiation Safety which is located at Risk Management & Safety, 1161 W. Samford Ave., Building 9. Our staff will enter information about the radioactive material into our database and generate a Use Inventory Sheet which will be given to authorized personnel along with the package. We will also survey each level of packaging to ensure that there is no external contamination on any part of your package or on the exterior of the vial. The package will be delivered directly to authorized personnel in your lab.
We utilize a radioisotope inventory and tracking database that is the main tool for inventorying and tracking your radioactive materials. When a radioactive material package is delivered to our lab our staff reviews the shipping paper and material information and enters that information into the database. A unique RAM ID Number is assigned, and a label is affixed to the actual RAM container and on the shipping package. Our staff will provide a Use Inventory Sheet and then delivers the package to the lab.
Use Inventory Sheet and Physical Inventory
Whenever you withdraw RAM from your shipment (e.g. vial) you must use the inventory sheet to enter the date of withdrawal, your name, and the volume (amount) removed. This is especially important since we need to account for all presence of RAM on campus. Our staff will periodically request each lab to physically review its inventory of RAM stock and to verify that the inventory as listed in our database agrees with the actual inventory. Instructions for doing this are included in the email that requests physical inventory.