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James Madison University Radiation Protection Program

I. Organization and Responsibilities

  1. The Radiation Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) is appointed by the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and has overall responsibility for the radiation protection program for the University.

    The RSAC meets within two weeks of the beginning of each fall and spring semester and on other occasions as necessary to conduct business.

    The responsibilities and duties of the RSAC include the following:

    1. Act under administrative and procedural authority as delegated by the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics to establish policies and practices which are required to ensure safe management and use of radioactive materials and sources on the campus; and which achieve full compliance with all terms of our Materials License and Code of Federal Regulations. (CFR 10.19, 10.20, and 10.30)

    2. Review and approve all locations where radioactive materials and sources are to be used or stored.

    3. Review and approve proposed uses of radioactive materials and sources in teaching and research activities.

    4. Recommend any necessary remedial action to correct any deficiencies in physical facilities, management policy, or practice related to radiation safety on the JMU campus.

    5. Recommend appropriate action in any case of willful violation of established radiation safety procedures or policy.

    6. Maintain written records of all committee meetings, actions, recommendations, and decisions.

  2. The Chairman of the Radiation Safety Advisory Committee is the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) for the University and is in this capacity responsible directly to the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

    The responsibilities and duties of the RSO include the following:

    1. Implement the policies established by the Radiation Safety Advisory Committee and insure compliance with all Federal and State regulations. Act officially on behalf of the University both internally and externally on all matters pertaining to radiation safety.

    2. Serve as Chair of the Radiation Safety Advisory Committee.

    3. Prepare applications for license renewals and amendments, maintain all necessary documents and records and meet with site visit inspectors as required.

    4. Conduct quarterly laboratory surveys and wipe tests in all areas in which radioactive materials are used or stored.

    5. Conduct leak tests of sealed sources at 6-month intervals.

    6. Arrange for annual hood and survey instrument calibrations.

    7. Arrange for film badge service; and dispense (collect) badges to (from) Laboratory Safety Coordinators.

    8. Arrange for storage and disposal or radioactive waste.

    9. Prepare periodic reports on the status of the radiation safety program at the university.

    10. Submit requests for equipment, supplies, and other costs associated with operation of the radiation safety program.

    11. Provide general surveillance of all radiation safety procedures. Investigate all accidents, spills, and abnormal occurrences involving radioactive materials and supervise any necessary corrective actions.

  3. Laboratory Radiation Safety Coordinators are licensed users who have been assigned by their Department Heads the responsibility for day-by-day radiation safety practices within a specific laboratory or group of laboratory rooms.

    Laboratory Radiation Safety Coordinators will regularly monitor and inspect the facilities and operation of the laboratories and other facilities for which they are responsible to insure full compliance with JMU Radiation Safety Regulations within those areas.

    A copy of these regulations are attached as an Appendix. Specific duties of these individuals will include:

    1. Respond to emergencies and report any such occurrences to the RSO.

    2. Arrange for distribution and exchange of film badges for personnel in their respective areas.

    3. Prepare and present to the RSO requests for removal of radioactive wastes from their areas on a timely basis.

    4. Conduct or arrange for survey meter surveillance within work areas under their jurisdiction.

    5. Take appropriate steps to ensure secure storage of all radioactive materials and sources within areas under their jurisdiction.

    6. Make available to the RSO at prescribed intervals, and on demand, records of laboratory surveys for all areas for which they are responsible as Radiation Safety Coordinator.

  4. Persons authorized to use radioactive materials are sources on the James Madison University Campus are identified within one of the following categories:

    1. Licensed Users are those individuals named on the Materials License and approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    2. Qualified Users are those individuals working under the sponsorship but not direct supervision of licensed users (for example laboratory staff, graduate students, and other faculty members who are not licensed users).

    3. Restricted Users are those individuals (primarily undergraduate students) who work under the direct supervision of licensed users.

    4. Each individual Licensed User must certify to the RSO that all Qualified Users and Restricted Users working under their sponsorship or direct supervision have received a level of training which is appropriate both to the type and activity of radioactive materials with which they will be working and the proposed applications and techniques. The certification is made on the Amendment to Request for Film Badge Service.

      Each Restricted User and each Qualified User must attest to their knowledge of Emergency Procedures (attached as Appendix) and understanding of Radiation Safety Regulations. The Amendment of Request For Film Badge Service is used for this purpose.

II. Material Control Procedures

  1. Procurement. Radioactive materials may be purchased only by licensed users. Following approval by the Department Head, requisitions for radioactive materials are sent to the Radiation Safety Officer before purchase orders can be issued. In cases in which individual telephone shipment requests are made against an open order for a specified total quantity of radioisotopes on one requisition, each request for shipment must be preceded by a memo to the RSO confirming date, isotope(s), activity, and vendor. A copy of the requisition or confirming memo serves as the initial document in the process of inventory control, and in adherence to license mandated activity limits.

  2. Handling of Incoming Packages. All shipments of radioactive materials are made by United Parcel Service or Federal Express. Deliveries are made directly to the Office of the department, which initiated the requisition for purchase.

    (Biology - Burruss Hall Room 242, Chemistry - Miller Hall Room G10A, Physics - Miller Hall Room 112). The Licensed User is notified and transfers the carton to a radioisotopes preparation laboratory (Miller Hall Room G-22 or Burruss Hall Room 332). Measurements of the radiation level at the surface of the outer container and at the surface of the primary container are made; and a wipe test is obtained from the primary container. The results of these measurements are recorded ion the Radioisotope Receiving Survey Report. The Radioisotope Receiving Survey Report is returned to the RSO and filed with the corresponding purchase requisition.

  3. Storage and Security of Radioactive Materials and Sources. In Miller Hall radioisotopes and radioactive sources are stored in Room G-22A. In Burruss Hall radioisotopes will be stored in Room 332, designated the Radiation Safety laboratory.

  4. Waste Disposal. A clearly labeled, plastic lined container is placed in each working area where radioactive materials are used to receive solid radioactive waste. All solid waste materials (including planchet, syringes, glassware, absorbent paper) showing detectable levels or radioactivity are collected in the waste containers. At appropriate intervals the Licensed User supervising a given laboratory (or the laboratory Radiation Safety Coordinator) arranges with the RSO for removal of the waste to a secure storage area in Miller Hall G-22A. Waste disposal services are provided by Radiation Service Organization Inc., Laurel MD or other NRC licensed broker.

III. Personal Protection

  1. Limitation of Activity. All research and instructional techniques and activities will be planned and carried out so as to limit the quantity of radioactive materials involved to a level which is as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

  2. Radiation Safety Regulations. Personnel working in all areas approved for radioisotope work will follow all provisions of JMU Radiation Safety Regulations. These regulations require appropriate use of protective clothing, remote handling tools, shielding and fume hoods. All personnel must wear film badges, check for contamination, and report unusual circumstances or emergencies.

  3. Surveys. Routine area surveys will be conducted in all work areas.

    1. Frequency. An area survey will be made at the end of each day (or at the end of a work session if less than a day) during which radioisotopes are used in a given room. The results of the survey will be recorded as indicated below.

    2. Method. The survey will be made with a survey meter or a series of wipe tests as is appropriate to the isotope(s) being used.

    3. Records. A permanent record will be kept of daily survey results including negative results. Results of area surveys will be reported on a Laboratory Survey Report Form.

    4. General. When minor contamination is found on floors, walls, table tops, hoods, sinks, etc. corrective action will be taken by the Licensed User supervising the laboratory or the Radiation Safety Coordinator. The results of this action will be included on the current Laboratory Survey Report. If significant contamination occurs, the Licensed User and RSO will, by mutual agreement, select and carry out an appropriate clean-up protocol.

  4. Leak Test of Sealed Sources. Sealed sources will be leak tested at intervals not to exceed six months.

  5. Caution Signs. Work areas and containers of licensed materials will be posted and labeled as required in 10 CRR parts 20.203 and 20.204.

  1. No unnecessary materials (extra books, packages, coats, etc.) are to be brought into the isotopes laboratory.

  2. Eating, drinking, smoking, and the use of cosmetics in the radioisotope laboratory are specifically forbidden.

  3. All persons working in the isotopes laboratory must wear appropriate protective clothing (coats/gloves) when handling radioactive materials.

  4. Use remote handling tools (tongs, tweezers) and shielding (lead bricks, Lucite) to minimize radiation exposure.

  5. All persons working in the isotopes laboratory or handling radioactive materials in any laboratory must wear their assigned film badge.

  6. At the completion of the work session, check hands, feet, and clothing at the laboratory monitoring station.

  7. Use a survey meter to check your work area for contamination.

  8. Any contamination which is found on your person, laboratory surfaces, or equipment must be reported immediately to your faculty supervisor. Any marked change in the laboratory and counting room background rate must also be reported.

  9. Observe all radiation warning signs posted in the work area.

  10. All work involving liquid materials must be done in lined trays using secondary containers.

  11. Pipetting and similar operations by mouth suction is prohibited.

  12. Hood exhaust fans must be kept running while the hoods are in use.

  13. Any spills must be reported immediately and the following procedure used:

    1. The liquid shall be blotted up with Kleenex.

    2. All contaminated disposable materials shall be placed in the labeled trash cans.

    3. Clearly mark the area of the spill including the type of contamination and date.

  14. Active liquid wastes shall be stored in labeled bottles.

  15. Active solid wastes shall be stored in labeled trash cans.

  16. Be aware of laboratory Emergency procedures.


All spills of radioactive materials must be reported immediately to the faculty member in charge of the laboratory or experiment in progress. Surfaces involved in a spill (for example hood aprons or floors) are to be decontaminated and marked by the faculty member in charge.

Any injuries incurred and accidents by persons while working in the laboratory must be reported immediately to the faculty member in charge.

The following specific procedure have been adopted for implementation during an emergency:

  1. Any member of the staff and faculty who recognizes what he or she considers to be a radiation emergency (an incident showing evidence of loss or unauthorized use of a radiation source or accidental release of radioactive material) will take immediate action to notify the following personnel:

    1. During normal working hours; The Licensed User(s) involved, Chairman of the User Department, Radiation Safety Officer, University Security Office, and the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.

    2. During non-working hours; The Security office will notify personnel listed above from available phone lists posted in radiation use areas.

  2. Keep away from the immediate accident scene, except to assist personnel.

  3. Obtain immediate assistance from the first available Radiation Safety Person and Keep all unauthorized personnel at least 150 feet away from the scene of the accident.

  4. Stay out of smoke or vapors, except to assist personnel. Ventilation systems will be shut down to minimize the spread of contamination.

  5. Evacuate, isolate, and restrict personnel who may have been exposed to contamination for examination by qualified personnel.

  6. Do not permit the removal of any items by unauthorized personnel.

  7. Do not permit entry into accident area by unauthorized personnel.

  8. If any part of the body is suspected of being contaminated, advise medical personnel and perform preliminary decontamination or provide adequate cover with any available clean materials to prevent spread of contamination.

  9. Personnel who requite immediate evacuation for medial treatment will be tagged to alert medial personnel of possible radioactive contamination.

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