Radiation Use Authorization (RUA)

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Apply for Radiation Use Authorization (RUA)

Why do I need a RUA?

The RUA is needed if you plan to use:

  • radioactive materials (RAM) – radioisotopes – as a part of research (see RUA RAM Fact Sheet).
  • radiation producing devices as a part of research:
    • CT, PET/CT, microCT
    • Open X-ray – Medical and Veterinary Radiographic, C-arm, Fluoroscopic, Portable
      Bone Densitometer – DEXA
    • CAT
    • Particle Accelerator, Cyclotron
    • X-ray irradiator (except closed XRD machine for studying powdered samples)

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
  • Imaging Core Group – If research involves use of the Imaging Core Facility, the PI of the Imaging Core Group may submit the application on behalf of the main PI who will be listed on the application as a co-investigator.

RUA Submission Deadlines

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

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 that 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.

Types of RUA Applications

Radiation Use Permit – General Research

  • RAM PermitIssued to a Principal Investigator using RAM for research
  • X-ray Permit – Issued to a Principal Investigator using radiation-producing devices for research

Research in Humans (IRB)

  • Protocol approval is issued.
  • Work is covered under Keck Hospital’s Radiation License; no RAM permit is issued.
  • Human use applications are valid for the length of the study as noted on the protocol.

Research in Animals (IACUC)

  • RAM PermitIssued to a Principal Investigator using RAM for animal research
  • X-ray Permit – Issued to a Principal Investigator using radiation-producing devices for animal research
  • Animal use applications are valid for a length of three years. RSC review is required for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) third year renewal.

NOTE: Radiation Safety will inform applicant if a RAM permit application is up for renewal.

Radiation Permit Amendment

Permit holders are required to keep all aspects of their radiation permit (RAM and X-ray) accurate and up-to-date.  To change the information contained in the permit:

  • Log in to iStar to find your approved protocol and click “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 areas or personnel from the permit
  • Deleting an approved radionuclide
  • Changing approved materials (i.e., radionuclide, chemical compound, desired possession limit)
  • 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
  • Adding new protocols (humans and animals)

Permit Renewal

RAM Permit

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.

X-ray Permit

X-ray Permits are valid for the duration of the research and does not require renewal. However, permit holders are required to notify the Radiation Safety Officer if the following changes occur:

  • Personnel designated as X-ray supervisors or X-ray technicians
  • Location
  • Dose is significantly different from amount approved in the initial application

Permit Inactivation

All RAM permits are subject to six-month inspections by Radiation Safety and all lab 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.

Permit Termination

If a RAM Permit 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.

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