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RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL
Last update 8/11/09
- Only containers available from or approved by EH&S shall be used.
- Each radioactive waste container must have a record of materials in the container which is kept up-to-date.
- Mark each container with a "Caution--Radioactive Material" label.
- Package the waste according to the instructions given for each waste type below.
- Segregate waste according to half-life:
- less than 91 days = short-lived;
- greater than 90 days = long-lived.
- When the container is full, complete a Radioactive Waste Disposal tag. Instructions are on the back of the tag.
- Attach the tag to the outer container surface.
- Fill out web request form for disposal. Allow one week for collection of the waste.
- See Information Bulletin 09-01 for information on radioactive waste disposal fees.
- Place dry waste in EH&S-supplied 15 gallon drums, marked "Dry Radioactive Waste Only."
- Place all solid radioactive waste (filter papers, gloves, bottle caps, empty scintillation vials, etc.) into innermost plastic liner.
- When full, tape plastic liner shut; do not overfill.
- Don't put unabsorbed liquid in this container.
- Do not put contaminated equipment or radioactive powders in dry waste drums; contact EH&S for disposal instructions for these materials.
- Contain sharps in a separate rigid red plastic container to prevent puncture injuries.
I. Radioactive wastes
- Must be placed in EH&S-supplied carboys with secure screw tops
- Must have a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label attached.
- Keep containers closed during storage
- Supply secondary containment able to contain the liquid in case of breakage
- Segregate LSC fluid, aqueous, and other liquids
- Segregate aqueous waste by half-life
II. Scintillation vials with counting fluid
- Must be placed in a container supplied by EH&S
- Mark container "Scintillation Vials Only"
- Carefully place UNOPENED vials into inner plastic liner. When full, tape plastic liner shut; do not overfill
- Dispose bulk liquid scintillation counting fluid by emptying into EH&S-supplied, properly labeled liquid waste jugs and treating as liquid waste
- Segregate scintillation fluid from other liquid wastes
- Empty scintillation vials may be washed and reused, or may be disposed as dry waste if they contain NO residual scintillation fluid
- Place all biological wastes (animal carcasses or parts, blood, urine, feces, bedding, etc.) inside plastic bags, with the ends sealed
- Autoclave infectious waste prior to disposal
- Identify each bag with a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label including radioisotopes, activities, dates, and name of Program Director
- Store in a freezer authorized for radioactive material until picked up by EH&S. DO NOT place unfrozen carcasses into a disposal drum.
- Collect 1-2 cubic feet of waste; complete a Radioactive Waste Disposal tag for the entire lot.
Mixed waste is any waste material, other than LSC fluid, that contains radioisotopes and possesses other hazardous properties; i.e. the waste is:
- Flammable or explosive
- Corrosive (pH greater than 12.5 or less than 2)
- Persistent (halogenated hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with more than three and less than seven rings)
Contact EH&S before generating ANY mixed waste.
- Mixed waste must be characterized for isotope as well as hazardous components and concentrations (% by weight or volume)
- Common examples of mixed waste include
- solvents containing radioisotopes
- radio-labeled carcinogens
- contaminated lead
- There is a disposal option for liquid scintillation cocktail containing radioisotopes.
- Contact EH&S PRIOR to generating mixed waste for guidance on
- minimizing waste generation
- treatment options