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RADIOACTIVE WASTES

by jlcowa01 last modified Jun 14, 2010 02:48 PM

Responsibility

All use of radioactive material must be authorized by the University Radiation Safety Committee and monitored by the University Radiation Safety Office (URSO). Proper disposal of radioactive waste is mandatory. Record the date and disposal activity of all radionuclides on the “Radioactive Material Usage Record” form, (see Appendix D of Radioactive material User Guide). Copies of this record must be sent to URSO monthly if material is used. The following information outlines general disposal instructions. For further clarification or specific instructions, contact URSO (852-5231).

Disposal

Solid Waste

Dry solid waste (gloves, plastic, glassware, and paper) can be classified as “long half-life” (greater than 120 days), “short half-life” (less than or equal to 120 days) or deminimis. Deminimus waste, as stated in 902 KAR 100:021-2, is:

  1. 0.05 microcurie or less of H-3, C-14, or I-125 per gram used for liquid scintillation counting or in vitro clinical or in in vivo laboratory testing; and
  2. 0.05 microcurie or less of H-3, C-14, or I-125 per gram of animal tissue averaged over the weight of the entire animal.

Due to the high cost of waste disposal, it is imperative users of radioactive material establish and practice procedures to minimize radioactive solid waste. The following page contains some suggested practices to use to minimize waste production, if possible.

Some suggested waste reductions methods:

  • Recycle or reclaim
  • Source reduction--substitute short-lived material
  • Modify process to reduce waste
  • Keep down contamination
  • Clean contaminated items and dispose of as clean
  • Concentrate by ion exchange or charcoal absorption
  • Compact commercial waste
  • E-Mail Assistant Radiation Safety Officer or call at 852-5231 for more information concerning waste reduction methods.

Disposal summary for solid and deminimus waste

  • Solid waste will consist of gloves pipette tips, bench paper, etc.
  • Solid waste containers will be clearly marked with the yellow “RADIOACTIVE WASTE” stickers and radiation symbol on each side of the container.
  • Waste will be in a shielded container if necessary.
  • All waste must have any radiation symbols defaced before it is put into the proper waste container
  • All waste must be in clear plastic bags, and different nuclides must be stored separately.
  • Each bag must have a Radioactive Waste Card attached with the Authorized user name, date, nuclide, chemical form, and amount of nuclide.
  • Deminimus waste is defined as H-3, C-14, or I-125 that is calculated to contain less than 0.05 uCi/gm
  • For waste pickup, follow the procedure listed at the end of this chapter.

Liquid Waste

Liquid waste consists of stock solution and liquid scintillation vials. Relatively small volumes (a few ml’s) of aqueous liquid may be transferred onto absorbent material and disposed of per the solid waste procedures. Record the date and activity of all disposals of liquid in the appropriate column on the Radioactive Material Usage Record form. When material is disposed, copies of this form must be sent to URSO monthly.

In some instances it may be necessary to dispose of radioactive material or wash contaminated items in a designated disposal sink. The disposal must be accurately recorded on your usage record. The water must be run for a half hour and the sink surveyed and wipe tested for residual contamination.

Disposal summary for liquid waste

  • Stock solution must be stored in separate containers per nuclide and the container must be compatible with the waste stored.
  • Liquid scintillation vials must be stored separately according to nuclide, and packaged in easily movable containers (i.e. the plastic, blue tubs).
  • Each bottle or container of liquid scintillation vials must have a Radioactive Waste Card attached with the authorized user name, date, nuclide, chemical form, and amount of nuclide.
  • All liquid must also be labeled as biodegradable or organic material.
  • Any liquid containing the organic material must be stored in plastic tubs labeled that are labeled as hazardous material.
  • Each bottle of stock solution or container of liquid scintillation vials must have a Radioacitive Waste Card attached with the authorized user name, date, nuclide, chemical form, and amount of nuclide.
  • For waste pickup, follow the procedure listed at the end of this chapter.

Animal Carcasses

When using radioactivity in animals or animal tissues, the Authorized User must provide an auxilliary protocol. This protocol must detail the kind and quantity of radioactivity to be used, methods of disposal, and contamination control. An “Animal Use Proposal Clearance Form” (see Appendix U) will be provided by Research Resources, or can be obtained from Radiation Safety. Before this protocol is presented to Research Resources it must be approved by the University Radiation Safety Office. All animals which have been given radioactive material should be isolated from animals that do not contain radioactive material. The cages which house the animals containing radioactive materials must be labeled with an appropriate radioactive materials warning sign. The cages must be locked, or otherwise secured unless attended. Surveys and contamination checks must be performed of the area which includes the bedding and animal housing. All contaminated items must be handled per the Radioactive Material Users Guide.

Disposal summary for animal carcasses

  • Animals receiving deminimus levels of radioactive material must be prepared for disposal as infectious waste and then brought to Radiation Safety for disposal.
  • If the material in animals has a half life greater than 90 days, the animals must be prepared for disposal as infectious waste, then brought to Radiation Safety to be disposed.
  • If the material in the animals has a half life less than or equal to 90 days, the animal must be stored in the lab in an appropriate area for 10 half lives, labelled as infectious waste, then brought to Radiation Safety to be disposed.
  • yellow Radioactive Waste Card must accompany all bags that will be taken by Radiation Safety.

PICK-UP REQUEST

  • When containers become full and need to be picked up by Radiation Safety, complete the Radioactive Waste Pick-up Request Form.
  • Upon receipt of the pick-up request form, Radiation Safety will contact the lab to set up a time for pick-up.
  • A Radioactive Waste Card must be attached to each bag or container before Radiation Safety will pick-up the waste.

 

Waste will not be picked up by URSO personnel if any of the following situations occur:

  1. The waste is not properly identified on the waste receipt form.
  2. Area was locked or no one was present to identify the waste to be taken.
  3. The liquids contains organic material and an approved container is not available to use for transport.

 

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