How to Receive and Open RAM Packages


The following procedure provides a final check of the radioactive material into the designated lab and helps prevent the inadvertent spread of contamination.


The final step in receiving the package is signing the “Received by:” section on the receipt form.  Signing the form transfers possession of the package from EHS to the lab.  Do not sign the form unless you have been trained to properly handle the material (i.e. are a Radiation Worker).

Monitor the external surface for removable contamination and exposure rates, or check that EHS has performed these surveys and documented them on the receipt form.  If a package is found to have greater than 2200 dpm/100 cm2 (removable contamination), contact EHS immediately.

If you receive a package containing radioactive material directly to your lab from the vendor and you are not approved for direct receipt of this isotope, notify EHS immediately.



When opening packages containing radioactive materia, always assume they are internally contaminated and wear gloves.  Be extremely cautious with broken or crushed packages and those showing evidence of being wet.

Packages containing volatile compounds or packages containing more than 10 mCi should be opened in a properly operating fume hood or in a confinement box.

To open the package, you must be a RW and be trained to properly handle the material.  Sign the "Package opened by" section on the receipt form, indicating who opened and surveyed the package.

Always inspect the package for integrity and evidence of leakage. Remove the radioactive materials and compare the vial labels and shipping papers. Verify that the radionuclide, chemical form, volume, activity and specific activity agree and are correct.  Secure material from unauthorized access.

Monitor the empty packaging for removable contamination by swipe test and for fixed contamination by meter survey.  If a package is found to have greater than 200 dpm/100cm2 of removable contamination, or meter survey results are above background, contact the Radiation Safety immediately, otherwise remove or destroy all radiation signs or labels.  Document the successful survey and label removal was performed by initialing in the “Verified by:” section on the receipt form, under “Disposal of Packaging”.

Open the inner container in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.  Always check the labels on the inner container and vial to be sure the isotope and activity are correct.  If the contents differ from your order or the outer paperwork, contact EHS and the vendor.

Label all radioactive material containers with appropriate labels. 


After ensuring that no contamination exists, dispose of the defaced outer boxes and packing materials as ordinary waste.

If the packing material or inner container is recyclable and you wish to recycle the container, follow the manufacturer's instructions after insuring that no contamination exists as described above.

If the material was shipped in a plastic screw-top inner container, it may be disposed of or recycled as described in the Collection of Radwaste in Your Laboratory procedure.

Immediately notify the RSS of any problems with the delivery, receipt, opening, or if there is contamination of packages containing radioactive materials.