Radioactive Waste

All radioactive waste generated by Authorized Users (AU) at Georgetown University must be delivered to the Radiation Safety Office Staff (RSOS) for storage and disposal. The only exception to this rule involves sink disposals of liquid radioactive waste, which requires special authorization. The waste must be prepared for delivery to the RSOS in accordance with the criteria listed in the body of this procedure. The waste must be delivered to the RSOS by the researchers. The RSO provides assorted sizes of plastic bags and liquid waste containers. The RSOS will receive waste at the following locations and times:

  •  Medical Center - Each Monday and Thursday 1100-11:30am   WG-01 The Research Building (loading dock area)

  • Regents Hall-1st Wednesday of each month  2:30-3:00pm, 151D Regents Hall (loading dock area)

Radioactive Waste packages must never be left unattended in these locations.

All radioactive waste must be sorted by isotope and type. Carts shall be used to transport the waste to the RSOS. All waste transfers must be accompanied by a completed Radioactive Waste Tranfer Form.The types of waste and the disposal requirements for each are as follows:

  • Solid Waste-
  1. Have a completed radioactive waste tag attached, indicating isotope and activity.

  2. Must be transported in bags which are securely fastened.

  3. Cannot contain any liquid at all - not even one cc!

  4. Cannot contain any biohazardous material.

  • Liquid Waste-
  1. Have a completed radioactive waste tag attached, indicating isotope, activity, volume, PH, and chemical contents with percentage of each chemical (to 100% of volume).

  2. Must be determined to be Aqueous (water soluble) or Organic (i.e. phenol or >22% methanol).

  3. Have container lids which are securely fastened.

  4. Must have the pH adjusted to a value between 5.5 and 8.5.

  5. Must be transported in plastic containers placed in a secondary containment.

  • Scintillation Vials-
  1. Must be transported in vial trays, each tray shall be labeled with a sticker provided by the RSOs which indicates isotope,

    activity and number of vials.

  2. Must include the brand of cocktail solution on the Radioactive Waste Transfer Form.

  3. Must have lids securely fastened.

  • Stock Vials-
  1. Have a completed radioactive waste tag attached, indicating isotope, activity and number of vials.

  2. Be separated from their vial containers (lead or plastic).

  3. The carrier vial containers must be bagged and transferred to the RSOs also, however, no tag is required.

  4. Must not be mixed with solid waste.

  • Sharps-
  1. Have a completed radioactive waste tag attached, indicating isotope and activity.
  2. Must be in an approved sharps container
  • Animals-
  1. Have a completed radioactive waste tag attached, indicating isotope, activity and number of animals

  2. Segregate the types of animalds into seperate bags (mice, rats, etc.)

  3. Must be wrapped in absorbent material, frozen solid and sealed inside plastic bags

  4. Seperately bag all bedding associated with the animal.

  • Sink Disposals

Authorized Users MUST specifically request, and receive approval, for disposal of radioactive materials in the laboratory sinks. The isotopes, activities and solubility class are stated in each Authorization To Use Radioactive Materials. Each sewer disposal performed by Authorized Users must be documented on the Radioactive Materials Control Sheet (RMCS) and reported electronically into the EHSA (RAM Waste) database. However, all Authorized Users are encouraged to forego sink disposals and collect their aqueous liquids in bulk for disposal by the RSOS.

  1. Materials must be readily soluble or dispersible in water.

  2. Organic solvents must not be disposed of in this manner.

  3. A written record of each such disposal must be maintained by the Authorized User. The RMCS may be used for this purpose, but must include the isotope, activity, volume, pH, and, solubility class of the solution.

  4. Sinks used for disposal of radioactive materials shall be labeled with the "CAUTION--RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS" warning label. Only one sink in a laboratory should be used for this purpose. The inside surface of the sink shall be included in the random areas tested for contamination as a part of the routine survey requirements.

Please write legibly on all waste transfer paperwork and tags. Use microcurie as the unit of activity for waste transfer. Call the RSOS at 7-4712 with any questions regarding waste transfer.