Radioactive Waste Management

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Each Radioactive Material (RAM) authorized user is responsible for ensuring that all radioactive materials are disposed of properly.  All radioactive waste must be segregated and documented properly for pick up and disposal by EH&S. 

Log Usage

Document your isotope usage and update your waste container contents in EHSA as soon as you start an experiment.  View EHSA SOP Radioactive Material Inventory Management for detailed instructions on how to log into EHSA, record usage, and add to a waste container for disposal.

Segregate for Disposal

All radioactive materials not administered to a patient must be segregated in the laboratory. Contact radsafety@usc.edu to have radioactive waste containers delivered to you at no charge.

One container, one isotope
This is the general rule for segregating radioactive waste.  Do not mix radioisotopes.

Radioactive waste must first be segregated by the type of material, and then by half-life.  Please see the table below to learn how.

Radioisotopes with Very Short Half-Lives

Radioisotopes with very short half-lives (F-18, Cu-64, Zr-89, O-15, etc.) can be decayed in storage. Contact radsafety@usc.edu for training regarding special documentation that is required for a Decay-in-Storage program for your lab. Decay-in-Storage waste logs will be audited during inspections.

View the Radioactive Waste Disposal Fact Sheet for detailed information on container types and contents.

Document, Label, and Request Waste Pick-Up

All documentation for the waste prepared for disposal is completed in EHS Assistant (EHSA), USC’s web-based permit tracking system.  Waste forms are generated using the information you entered, making it easy to print a copy and attach it to waste containers.

Go to EHS Assistant Online (Note: All RAM Permit Holders and radiation workers can log into EHSA)

  1. Log in using your USC NetID.
  2. Select the PI’s name from the list.
  3. In the RAM panel, select Waste Pickup.
  4. See EHSA SOP Radioactive Waste Management for detailed instructions on how to add containers for pickup, document results of contamination checks, and print forms.
  5. Print two copies of the form, one to keep and one to attach to the container.

NOTE: Improperly segregated radioactive waste and/or incomplete/invalid documentation will not be accepted for disposal.

Other Information

Lab Decommissioning