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Radioactive Waste

Definition:
Any waste that contains, or is contaminated with, radioactive material.

 

Examples:

  • Liquid scintillation counting fluids and vials
  • Animal carcasses and excreta
  • Experimental or clean-up materials contaminated with radioactive materials
Shield radioactive material such that: 1) radiation levels are less than 2.5 millirem/hr. within a posted laboratory; and, 2) radiation levels are less than 2.0 millirem/hr. or an average of 0.6 millirem/hr in seven consecutive days in any unrestricted area (e.g., space adjacent to posted laboratories).

Never Place Radioactive Waste in Corridors or Hallways - Not Even While Awaiting Pick-up.


Packaging Guidelines


General Instructions:
  1. Review disposal procedures with the Radiation Safety Office in the planning stage of your experiment.
  2. Segregate wastes according to the matrix below.
  3. Segregate by isotope according to the matrix below.
  4. Attach a "Caution-Radioactive Material" tag to each waste container and write the requested information on the tag:
    1. Generator Name
    2. Building and room number
    3. Campus phone number
    4. Isotopes and activity
    5. Date
    6. Container contents
  5. All radioactive waste containers must remain closed unless waste is being added to the container.
  6. Submit a request for the removal and disposal of all radioactive waste through the UMD Regulated Waste Pick-up System, located at https://essr.umd.edu.
  7. In addition, all generators of radioactive waste must complete the required annual on-line Radioactive Waste Generator training, located at https://essr.umd.edu.

If Disposing: Then:

Liquid Radioactive Waste
  1. Use a 20 liter plastic carboy supplied by ESSR.
  2. Place the carboy in a leak-proof secondary containment tub.
  3. Identify organic solvents and other hazardous chemicals on the attached tag as needed.
  4. Do not fill the carboy to the top. Leave 2-3 inches of space at the top for safe handling. Ensure that the cap is tightly screwed onto the carboy.
  5. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

Dry or Solid Radioactive Waste
  1. Deface all tape, decals, labels, and source containers of the word "Radioactive" and radioactive symbols.
  2. Place waste in drum, supplied with label and bag by ESSR, according to applicable situation:
    • Isotopes 32P, 35S, & 125I must be packaged separately, by isotope, in a 15 gallon plastic drums;
    • Isotopes 14C and 3H must be combined in a 30 gallon fiber drum.
  3. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

Liquid Scintillation Vials
  1. Place capped and uncrated vials in a 30 gallon drum supplied with label and bag by ESSR.
  2. Complete the container contents label and list the brand of scintillation fluid.
  3. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

"Sharps" (needles, syringes, scalpel blades, etc.)
  1. Place in designated "sharps" container, according to isotope.
  2. Complete the container contents label.
  3. When 3/4 full, close and tape the container securely. Place the "sharps" container in the appropriate Dry Solid container for removal and disposal.
  4. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

Small Animal Carcasses and Tissues
  1. Place the material in a clear plastic bag.
  2. Twist the bag at the top, bend twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with tape.
  3. Place the bag in a separate plastic bag and repeat step 2.
  4. Affix a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label to the bag.
  5. Freeze the bag until pick-up.
  6. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

Animal Bedding and Wastes
  1. Place the material in a plastic bag.
  2. Twist the bag at the top, bend twisted portion to form a loop and seal the loop with tape.
  3. Place the bag in a separate plastic bag and repeat step 2.
  4. Affix a "Caution - Radioactive Material" label to the bag.
  5. Follow the general instructions for container labeling and removal.

 
Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) Segregation Matrix
Isotope 32P 35S 125I 3H and 14C
Dry Solid Waste Store alone in drum Store alone in drum Store alone in drum May be mixed in drum
Sharps Store alone in "sharps" container Store alone in "sharps" container Store alone in "sharps" container May be mixed in "sharps" container
Aqueous Liquid
(no organics, metals, controlled hazardous substances (CHS))
Isotopes may be mixed in a 20 liter plastic carboy
Mixed Liquid (LLRW and CHS) Store alone in carboy Store alone in carboy Store alone in carboy May be mixed in carboy
Biodegradable Scintillation Vials Store alone in drum Store alone in drum Store alone in drum May be mixed in drum
Solvent-based Scintillation Vials Store alone in drum Store alone in drum Store alone in drum May be mixed in drum
Animal/Pathological Waste Store alone in drum Store alone in drum Store alone in drum May be mixed in drum

Assistance:  
Questions about Radioactive Waste Call (301) 405-3990
General Questions about Radioactive Materials and Procedures Call (301) 314-8336

Radioactive Waste
Assistance (301) 405-3990
Pick-up