Not all radioactive materials (RAM) are created equal – some have long half-lives and some have short, some have very energetic radiation and some have less energetic radiation. There are also differences in how different radioactive materials are regulated. For most of the RAM in use at UWM, our Radioactive Materials License and regulations specify the conditions for possession, shipment, receipt, storage, usage, and disposal. However, Generally Licensed Materials don’t have as many regulatory requirements.
Generally Licensed Material is radioactive material contained in certain devices that are distributed by licensed facilities to individuals or institutions which do not require a license in order to possess the material. Examples are Ni-63 detectors found in gas chromatographs with electron capture detectors, static eliminators containing a Po-210 source, and liquid scintillation counters (LSC) with internal sources such as Cs-137, Ba-133, or Eu152. ln general, these are very small activities of sealed material which pose very little health risk as long as the source integrity remains intact.
While receipt of these materials does not occur through US&A, radiation safety needs to be informed upon their arrival on campus. Please contact radiation safety at 414-430-7507, or firstname.lastname@example.org to register new Generally Licensed Materials that you receive. Information needed at the time of registration includes: type of device, manufacturer, model number, serial number, type and amount of radioactive material, location of the device and primary contact for the device.
Once the device has reached the end of its usefulness and is ready to be returned to its manufacturer or disposed of as waste, please contact Radiation Safety. Although electron capture detector and static eliminator sources are often received with return packaging and shipping instructions, the fine line on the instructions typically states that the shipper is required to have all applicable DOT radioactive materials shipping training. Radiation Safety can ship your device through our office to ensure all shipping and radiation regulations are followed. Liquid scintillation counters that contain a generally licensed internal standard RAM source must have the RAM source removed by a qualified LSC service representative prior to consigning the LSC to surplus, selling it, or disposing of it. Contact Rad Safety if you have questions regarding your LSC.