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Oregon State University

Information Bulletin 01-01


Radioactive Material Security

February 2001

Oregon State University's radioactive materials license was recently inspected by State of Oregon Radiation Protection Services personnel. As part of their assessment, the inspectors visited labs on campus. A laboratory with radioactive materials was found unoccupied and unlocked. As a result, OSU was cited for failure to secure radioactive materials.

As stated in the Radiation Safety Manual (Section 6.6, Access and Custody), access to any location where radioisotopes are used or stored must be controlled sufficiently to prevent theft or loss of radioactive material. The required control may be achieved using one or more of the following actions:

  1. Secure the room (required for all radioactive material)
    • Keep the room locked whenever unoccupied.
    • Ascertain visitors' need for access to the room.
  2. Secure the material (additional requirement for concentrated sources of radioactive material)
    • Keep material in a lockable refrigerator or freezer.
    • Keep material in a lockable cabinet.
    • Keep material in a lockbox secured within a cabinet, refrigerator or freezer.

The State has increased their emphasis on security of radioactive materials at authorized locations. Radiation Safety will incorporate security verification in its regular annual laboratory inspections and biennial program audits. Program Directors will be notified of security non-compliance items via the inspection or audit report. Corrective actions will be required, as with any item of non-compliance. Repeat violations can result in suspension of the radiation use authorization.

Note that these security requirements apply to concentrated items (e.g. stock materials, sealed sources), and not to work in progress, radioactive waste, etc.

Contact Radiation Safety at 7-2227 if you have any questions regarding radioactive material security. Information on lock boxes may be found in the Fisher catalog (pgs 1535-7) or at (radiation protection section).