The possession and use of radioactive materials at UVM must be approved by the UVM Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to ensure compliance with the University's license with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and with applicable guidelines of the State of Vermont.

Application process

When a UVM faculty member first seeks approval to use radionuclides or radiation sources for teaching and/or research purposes, he/she must fill out an Application for New Investigators to Procure, Purchase, and Use Radiation (PDF) form and must successfully complete a 44-question multiple choice certification exam, after which the Director of the RSO interviews the applicant to determine if his/her experience and lab setup is appropriate. 

If the applicant has less than 6 months of radionuclide handling experience, the Director assists the applicant with making arrangements to use radionuclides under the authorization of an approved Investigator.

After all requirements have been satisfied, the Director instructs the RSO staff to "commission" the laboratory (waste disposal containers, signs, labels, detectors, etc.)

Reapplication review process

If an Investigator has received prior approval for radionuclide use at UVM, he/she need only submit the Application for Currently-approved Investigators (PDF) form, indicating which radionuclide, purpose of use, and proposed possession limit.

The Director reviews the applicant's waste disposal frequency, contamination survey records, radiation detectors, shielding, inspection history, etc. If any deficiencies are found, they must be corrected before provisional approval can be given.

Action by director

If everything is in order, the Director sends a letter of provisional approval* to the applicant which permits him/her to procure, purchase, and use radionuclides, pending final review by the RSC.

The Director sends each member of the RSC a summary of the application with an accompanying "ballot" to vote on the application.

Action by RSC

The RSC members promptly return the ballots with their vote.

If any RSC member votes "not approved", the Director contacts the remainder of the RSC members. If the majority of the RSC members agree, the Director contacts the Investigator to suspend use of the radionuclides and seek ways to amend the application.

If the majority of the mail ballots vote "approved", the tally of the ballots is presented, and a vote of ratification is taken, at the ensuing regular quarterly meeting of the RSC.

The Chair of the RSC sends an official letter to the applicant indicating the action taken by the Committee.


*Since the RSC normally meets quarterly and does not wish to delay the research and educational uses of radionuclides, the Director of the RSO is authorized by the RSC to take provisional action on applications by Investigators prior to review by the RSC at a regularly-scheduled quarterly meeting.