Each calendar year the Radiation Safety Office is required by the NRC in accordance with our license to conduct at least one inspection for every laboratory which uses or stores radioactive materials. Laboratories which have had violations in the past, or ones which use high levels of activity may be inspected more often.

The Radiation Safety Office staff randomly conduct unannounced inspections to verify that each laboratory complies with regulations stated in the radiation safety handbook.

Items checked include :

  • Evidence of eating and drinking.
  • Presence of significant contamination
  • Safe handling techniques ( film badges, labcoats, gloves, and shielding )
  • Proper waste handling and storage.
  • Proper storage of radioactive stock vials.
  • Laboratory security.
  • Certification of all personnel who handle radioactive materials.
  • Contamination surveys done in a timely and accurate manner.
  • Radiation exposure levels are within NRC limits.
  • Radioactive material inventories.
  • Posting of radiation labels on all means of entry into the laboratory.
  • All radioactive materials are properly labeled (vials, test tubes, handling areas etc)
  • Emergency procedures are posted in an area which is visible and easy to access.
  • Radioactive materials are not present in the normal trash receptacles.
  • Refrigerators, freezers, centrifuges, and other equipment used for radioactive materials are properly labeled.
  • Portable survey meters have valid calibration dates.

Each laboratory inspection is documented and sent to the responsible investigator and also kept on file at the Radiation Safety Office. The staff also conduct inspections by request and are available for consultations regarding laboratory safety which include : safe handling techniques, adequate shielding, exposure levels, and waste disposal.

Ideally, the staff works in conjunction with researchers to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations while promoting a safe working environment for the whole UVM community.