Radiation Use Authorization (RUA)

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Apply for Radiation Use Authorization (RUA)

What is a RUA?
A RUA is a Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) approved application that allows authorized and trained personnel to use materials or devices that produce ionizing radiation. An approved RUA is an agreement between the RSC and authorized personnel listed in the application to work with radiation for the use(s) described in the RUA under the condition that they follow all federal, state, and University safety policies.

Why do I need a RUA?

I plan to: Type of RUA required: Valid for:
Use radioactive materials (RAM) as a part of any research (see RUA RAM Fact Sheet). Radiation Use Permit (RAM) Three (3) years before renewal is required.
Purchase an X-Ray producing device (see X-Ray Safety page) including, but not limited to:

  • CT, PET/CT, or microCT scanner
  • Open beam X-Ray machine– medical and veterinary radiographic, C-arm, fluoroscopic, portable
  • Cabinet X-Ray system- XRD, X-Ray irradiator
  • Electron microscope
  • Bone densitometer – DEXA
  • Particle accelerator or cyclotron
Radiation Use Permit (X-Ray) The duration of research, or until it is transferred off of USC property or disposed of.
Use radioactive materials or an X-Ray producing device as a part of research on live animals Research in Animals (IACUC) Three (3) years before renewal is required.
Use radioactive materials or an X-ray producing device as a part of research on humans Research in Humans (IRB) The length of the study as noted in the protocol.

NOTE: The iStar system sends out renewal notices. Radiation Safety will also inform the applicant if a Radiation Use Permit (RAM) is up for renewal.

How do I apply for a RUA?

  1. Log in to iStar and select “RSC” tab.
  2. Select “New RUA Application”.

The following faculty/staff can submit an application:

  • Faculty – Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Lab/Study Coordinator – Can fill in the application, but only the PI can submit it

RUA Submission Deadlines

The deadline to submit RUA application for review at the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) meeting is the Monday falling two weeks before the RSC meeting. View the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) webpage for the meeting schedule and submission deadlines.

RUA Application Review Process

Once you submit your RUA application in iStar, the following steps will be taken to respond to your submission:

  1. Radiation Safety will conduct a preliminary review of the application and request additional information or amendment(s) to the application if needed.
  2. The completed application will be added to the next scheduled RSC meeting agenda.
  3. RSC members will review your application.
  4. Radiation Safety will inform you of the RSC’s decision, detailing any stipulations, requests for more information, concerns or reasons why your request was denied.
  5. If your application is approved, an approval letter is sent via iStar and is automatically linked to other related iStar applications.

NOTE: Approval of your application may take one to four months depending on how complete it is and what additional information the RSC needs from you.

RUA Amendments

All details described in a RUA must be accurate and up-to-date. To change the information contained in the permit:

  • Log in to iStar and find your approved protocol.
  • Click “Create Amendment.”

All amendments will be presented to the RSC and changes will become effective after RSC approval.

Minor Amendments

Radiation Safety will approve minor amendments in the interim until final approval is received by the RSC.  The following are examples of minor amendments:

  • Adding or deleting locations
  • Adding or deleting personnel
  • Deleting an approved radionuclide
  • Lowering limits for approved materials
  • Changing how radioactive materials will be handled (i.e., processing steps after the radioisotope has been introduced into the experiment)

Major Amendments:

The following are examples of major amendments and must be approved by the RSC:

  • Adding a new radionuclide to the permit
  • Increasing limits for approved materials
  • Procedural changes involving an increase in radiation
  • Adding new protocols (e.g., adding another PET/CT scan)

RUA Renewals

Radiation Use Permit (RAM)

All RAM permits are valid for three years and the renewal request must be submitted prior to the permit expiration date.

Radiation Safety will contact RAM permit holders for renewal one to two months in advance of the expiration date. If you are a RAM permit holder, please submit a renewal request before your permit expires to be considered as being in a “timely renewal” state. This will allow you to continue radiation use until an approval or disapproval response is issued by the Radiation Safety Committee. If the renewal request is not received prior to expiration, the permit may be terminated and any radioactive material may be confiscated.

In your renewal request, be sure to indicate any changes in personnel, facility, project, and radionuclides. Renewals will be reviewed on the same criteria as original applications for authorization.

Radiation Use Permit (X-Ray)

Radiation Use Permits (X-ray) are valid for the duration of the research and do not require renewal. However, Device Owners are required to notify the Radiation Safety Officer if the following occur:

  • New personnel are designated as the X-ray supervisor or X-Ray technician
  • The location of the device changes
  • The use of the device changes from what is in the RUA application
  • The dose is significantly different from amount approved in the initial application

Radiation Use Permit (RAM) Inactivation

All Radiation Use Permits (RAM) are subject to six-month inspections by Radiation Safety, and labs are required to document a monthly contamination survey. A permit holder may choose to inactivate the permit if the lab is not planning to use radioactive material in the near future. A written request must be sent to Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).

After the request is received, Radiation Safety will ensure that all the labs on the RAM permit are surveyed and cleared for contamination; all radiation labels are removed; all radioactive materials are removed; and all radioactive waste is disposed of.

To reactivate the permit, notify the RSO via email. Radiation Safety will verify all RAM permit details and update if needed. The permit will be activated on an interim basis until final approval by the RSC.

Radiation Use Permit Termination

Radiation Use Permit (RAM)

If a Radiation Use Permit (RAM) is no longer needed (e.g., the Permit Holder no longer wishes to use radioactive materials or the Permit Holder is leaving the University), the Permit Holder notifies the RSO of the final disposition of all radioactive materials. RAM in inventory may be transferred to another Permit Holder on campus, shipped to an off-campus location, or disposed of as radioactive waste. The RSO and Permit Holder will ensure that a final survey of the laboratory is conducted, and any contamination found will be remediated prior to the Permit Holder leaving the lab.

Radiation Use Permit (X-ray)

If a Radiation Use Permit (X-ray) is no longer needed (e.g., the device was sold to another institution, the device is being disposed of), the Device Owner must notify the RSO of the change. Radiation Safety will ensure that the California Department of Public Health is notified of the change, remove postings from the lab, and close the permit.

For any questions please contact (323) 442-2200 or email radsafety@usc.edu.