Ordering, Maintaining, and Disposing of RAM

Understanding how to order, maintain, and dispose of RAM correctly according to the Radiation Safety Program requirements is crucial. On this page, you will find information on:




Once you have received your authorization to possess radioactive material and have obtained a Job/Order number to order the material, it is time to place your order.  When you place your order with the vendor, you must submit a RAM requisition for Environmental Health & Safety Assistant (EHSA). This assists EHS in scheduling your delivery upon receipt of the package and in meeting the necessary regulatory requirements for receipt of radioactive materials.  The following information will be required to process your order:

  • AU name,
  • Person submitting the information,
  • Phone number where the person can be reached if additional information is required,
  • Location radioactive material is to be delivered (must be authorized for these areas),
  • Isotope and activity ordered,
  • Vendor, and
  • Expected arrival date.

Once EHS receives your RAM requisition submitted through EHSA, the requisition will be either approved or denied based on your compliance with the Radiation Safety Program and your order and possession limits of the isotope. You are required to submit a RAM requisition though EHSA for every RAM order. If you do not and EHS receives your package, EHS will contact you to submit the requisition prior to delivery. Note: we no longer accept Notification of Radioactive Material Order forms. Same day delivery cannot be ensured if the notification is received after 8:00 am on the day of delivery.

If you need assistance on submitting a RAM requisition through EHSA, please see the tutorial video "Create a RAM Requisition" on the EHS Assist Tutorials page. To log into EHSA, use the EHS Assistant page and click 'Login to EHS Assistant.' You will log in using your MU Pawprint and associated password. If you do not see what you need on the EHSA screen, notify your assigned HP as you may not have the proper rights.

Once you receive the package, be sure to survey the empty package prior to disposal and remove or deface any information related to radioactive content.  You must use the check off box on your receipt form to document that this has been performed.




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.




RAM may be transferred to:

  • EHS to ship a sample offsite or dispose of a sealed source via the vendor
  • Another authorization on campus
  • An approved user off campus but within walking distance (i.e. the VA Hospital)

If you would like to transfer RAM, you will need to:

  • Verify that the user receiving the material is authorized for the isotope and activity to be transferred. You can work with EHS for this portion.
  • Radioactive material to be transferred must be packaged to minimize external dose rates and to ensure that the material is well contained, including double containment for liquids.  Ensure that it is free from external contamination (200 dpm/100 cm2). If you plan to walk the material, consider using a cart to push the RAM in rather than carrying it depending on the dose rates of the package. This is a good ALARA practice.
  • Contact your assigned HP for packaging, marking and labeling instructions, if necessary.
  • Fill out either the Notification of Radioactive Material Transfer form or the Request for Radioactive Material Transfer form found under the Rad Forms link to the right.
    • The Notification of Radioactive Material Transfer form is used to document that RAM was transferred by the AU either to another AU at MU or to the VA Hospital. In order to perform this, you must walk all RAM to the final destination.
    • If you need EHS' assistance in transporting RAM either across campus or offsite, the Request for Radioactive Material Transfer form shall be filled out and submitted to EHS.
    • If you are unsure what you need to do, contact your assigned HP for additional assistance.
    • Both forms allow for EHS to transfer the RAM in the AU's inventory displayed in EHSA so that it reflects current on-hand balances. It is imperative that you notify EHS of all transfers performed.
  • Retain a copy of the completed forms for your records. The following information must be included:
    • A contact person (name and phone),
    • The transferring and receiving AU’s (names,  numbers, and locations),
    • Isotope,
    • Activity,
    • Inventory number,
    • Transfer date,
    • Verification that the packaging, labeling, contamination requirements have been met,
    • Verification that the receiving AU's authorization limit has not been exceeded by receiving the transfer (which includes the amount on-hand, including waste that has not been transferred to EHS, plus the amount of the transfer). 


Note: For all transfers by vehicle, the transferring AU must contact their assigned HP to arrange for EHS pickup and shipment of the material.  EHS will ensure the material is properly classified, marked, labeled and packaged for transport.




  • Segregate all radwaste into the following forms: Solids, Liquids, Stock, Scintillation Vials, Gases, Animal Carcasses or Tissue(s), and Animal Waste.  These forms then need to be further segregated according to isotope and other hazardous material components.  Label all containers that have an EHS "Radioactive Hazardous Material" label with this information.
  • For liquid radwaste, a sample aliquot measurement of the activity may provide the easiest and most accurate estimate of the overall activity.  A composite sample may be used for multiple gallon jugs of the same isotope and hazard class.  Be sure to list the activity as of the date of request.
  • Keep unwanted stock containers separate for pickup.  Containers with lead shielding must not be disposed of in normal trash, but must be returned to EHS for disposal or recycling. 


  • Calculate all activities to the date of the requested pickup. Ensure to date on bottom of form. 
  • Review activity balances for receipts, samples, and different radwaste types to ensure all incoming activity has been accounted for. 


Requesting and Obtaining a Rad Waste Pickup
  • Complete a Radwaste Pickup Request through Environmental Health & Safety Assistant (EHSA). To log into EHSA, use the EHS Assistant page and click 'Login to EHS Assistant.' For additional help in submitting a RAM waste pickup request, tutorial videos are available on the EHS Assist Tutorials page. Watching the videos in the following order will help with submitting a RAM waste pickup request:
    1. Create a RAM Waste Container
    2. Using and Tracking RAM
    3. Create a RAM Waste Request
  • Each container or item must have its own “Radioactive Hazardous Material” label and be listed separately online in EHSA.
  • Different physical forms of rad waste must be packaged and listed separately. 
  • Mark the appropriate physical form box and provide the quantity in the listed units.
  • List the percent (%) by volume of each chemical component (estimate as necessary) for each pickup item. 
  • Materials listed on the "Radioactive Hazardous Material" label must match the components listed in EHSA.
  • Liquids must have a pH greater than 5.5 and less than 9.5.  If the pH is not within this range, adjust the pH with an appropriate acid or base.  Any addition of acid or base used to adjust the pH must also be listed as a component on the label and on the form. 
  • List the isotope and activity in mCi (decayed or measured as of date of request).
  • Non-contaminated empty lead pigs can be added in the comments section of each pickup request.
  • If more bags or jugs are required, you can write your request in the comments section of each pickup request.
  • Contact your assigned HP if you have any questions. 


Routine pick-up routes have been established for some areas of campus.  Request forms must be received before 8:00 am on the scheduled pickup day to have your radwaste considered for pickup that day.

EHS will try to complete requested pickups as soon as possible, and will alert the AU if pickup cannot be done within two weeks of the request.

If information is incomplete online, or if there is a question about the request, processing of the request may be delayed. 

Pickup of Radwaste

At time of pickup, someone in your area must be available to allow access to your radwaste, answer any questions concerning the radwaste, and correct any problems.

If you cannot be in the immediate area, leave a note to alert EHS staff how to locate you.  If you cannot be reached within 15 minutes, your radwaste may not be picked up on that day.

If your EHSA request form is not complete, is incorrect, or there is a problem with the form or hazard of your radwaste, your pickup may be delayed until the corrections have been made. 

Inventory Records

Update your records to reflect that the activity of the radwaste, which was removed from your lab, is no longer possessed under your authorization.


Note: Contact your assigned HP for any special radwaste handling needs or questions. 





The activity received should be logged; including the isotope, the current activity and the date whether or not you use RS Inventory Form, or use your own form for record keeping.  Be sure to use the activity delivered to you not the activity that you requested from the vendor.  These activities may differ by more than 50% for short half life materials.

As you remove activity from the stock material, note the date, the activity and the balance remaining in the stock. This can also be done through Environmental Health & Safety Assistant (EHSA). For instructions on how to use RAM, watch the Using and Tracking RAM video on the EHSA Tutorial page. You can log into EHSA using your MU Pawprint and associated password through the EHSA Login portal.

Short half life materials, such as P-32, S-35, I-125, Rb-86, P-33 and Ca-45, should be periodically decayed to indicate what activities are present.  Ideal dates for this decay period could be every two or four weeks for P-32 or the last day of each calendar quarter which will correspond with the EHS quarterly inventory reports.

Whether you use the Waste Record on the Radioisotope Receipt, Transfer, and Inventory Form, EHSA, or use your own waste inventory log, the isotope, activity and date need to be kept for any material placed in a waste container.  For short half life materials, be sure that the material placed in the container has been decayed to the date of disposal.  Remember waste is included as part of your inventory until it is removed from your premises by EHS.

When you request a waste pickup, all of these individual disposals must be decayed (if short half life material) to the date of the pickup request.

Keep your disposal records so that you can compare these with the Authorized User Quarterly Report records.




Quarterly reports cover a calendar quarter, starting on January 1st of each year with subsequent quarters beginning on April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.  These are used by EHS to verify receipt, transfers, disposals and decay of your isotopes in order to meet our commitment of inventory control for the NRC.  Below are some of the areas in the report you should examine to ensure that our records match yours.

  • The general information includes the AU’s name and campus address, AU’s number, survey class, e-mail address, authorization expiration date, office and lab phone numbers, assigned HP initials and RSC Representative.
  • Authorized Areas; lists rooms covered under the authorization.
  • Authorization Data; lists the isotopes, units, forms, and quantities authorized for order and possession. Any special conditions pertinent to the authorization are listed here, such as restricted area modifications, co-authorizations, etc.
  • Isotope Inventory Changes for the Quarter; Isotopes, including sealed sources, are listed alphabetically with units in milliCuries.  The quarter is summarized by
    • Starting possession,
    • Total receipts,
    • Total transfers in,
    • Total transfers out,
    • Total waste,
    • Total adjustments,
    • Current possession.
  • All numbers for the above columns are decayed to the last date of the quarter for calculation purposes.
  • Isotope Receipt from Other Licenses; list of all receipts from other licenses.
  • Isotope Receipt from MU Transfers; list by transfer date and reference who transferred the material to you. 
  • Isotope Transfers out from Authorization; transfer transactions listed by date, isotope, and to whom transfer was to.
  • Isotope Waste Pickups; lists the date that the waste was requested to be picked up and actually was picked up, the isotope, its form (solid, liquid, vials, etc.), requested date activity, and activity at the end of the quarter.
  • Isotope adjustments made by Radiation Safety Staff; lists any adjustments made to reconcile your inventory records with ours, if necessary.  Contact your assigned HP if you have any questions regarding this column.
  • Sealed Sources Isotope List; lists all sealed sources with the internal inventory number, quantity on hand, type of inspection performed (leak test and/or inventory) and the last leak test date.
  • Worker  (as of date of report); lists current RW’s by name, employee ID or student number, Form 3 date (Training and Experience Form), last formal training program description, last formal training date, and the (tentative) date of the next training update.  You should examine each column and then make any appropriate corrections as noted in the Check off Box area.  You should also write in the information that you wish to be changed in the appropriate area.
  • Instruments (as of date of report); list of all survey and counting instruments which are registered for particular authorization and calibrated by the RSS.  Check to ensure that all instruments are accounted for, that the serial numbers are correct, and that the calibrations are current.  Make corrections as necessary on quarterly report.
  • Name and Signature; space is provided for the preparer of the report to sign and date the quarterly report form.  Once completed, the form should be given to the AU’s for their review and signature if they were not the preparer.
  • Once the report is completed, make a copy for your records and return the original to your assigned HP.

You can download your Quarterly Report at any time using the EHSA login. For instructions on downloading the Quarterly Report, view the RAM Reports and Quarterly Review video on the EHSA Tutorial page.


Page last updated on April 2, 2019.