Radioactive Material Authorizations

The State of Washington Department of Health (DOH) issues a Broad License to the University of Washington to use radioactive material (RAM). It's the responsibility of the Radiation Safety Office (RSO) to ensure that the license conditions are met.

All Authorized Investigators (AUIs)are responsible for ensuring that radioactive materials(RAM)used in their labs are kept in a safe and secure location when being stored or used. Prior to being authorized an AUI must demonstrate that precautions have been taken to safeguard their RAM inventory.

Specific action to safeguard RAM may include:

  • locks placed where RAM stock solutions are stored such as freezers, refrigerators, and cabinets.
  • locking laboratory spaces.
  • written security guidelines for all lab workers.
  • asking people entering the lab space for identification.
  • never allow someone to borrow or take your RAM.
  • put away all RAM when not in use

All AUIs using irradiators or high activity sources must have a plan approved by Radiation Safety (RSO) that details how the source will be secured. These sources must be in a locked room that is alarmed when not in use. Keys for the source must be kept so that only personnel approved by the Radiation Safety Office have access to them. The source may only be used when these approved personnel are present. Call Radiation Safety at 206.543.0463 from 8 AM to 5 PM weekdays or by e-mail: if you have any questions or concerns.

Checking that your RAM is properly secured is an integral part of the survey conducted by the RSO. If your lab is found to have RAM improperly secured the material may be confiscated and depending on the severity of the occurrence, other actions such as additional training or suspension of your authorization may occur.

Security is everyone's responsibility!! Keep all your RAM locked up when not in use!

Once an authorization has been written, it will need to be maintained over time. For some amendments, writing a memo describing the changes is sufficient.

Common amendments that require special forms include:

Use Application for Registration/Certification of Laboratory/Room for Use of Radioactive Materials (RSO Form 50) 04/07 to:

  • Add a new laboratory to an authorization, or
  • Change the use of radioactive material within a previously authorized lab.

RSO Form 50 can be filled in online then faxed or mailed. If you have PDF Writer or Professional you can save the form & e-mail it to Radiation Safety.

An abbreviated version of this form, RSO Form 50R may be used to report a change of use in a previously authorized lab.

Form RSO 50R, is not currently available on the website because they are printed on colored paper for filing purposes.

Both forms may be obtained by calling Radiation Safety at 206.543.0463 from 8 AM to 5 PM Weekdays or by e-mail:

Use RSO Form 14 (Optional), "Amendment to Use Additional Radionuclides" to:

  • Add a radionuclide to an authorization or,
  • Increase the authorized limit for a radionuclide.

The addition of radionuclides to or removal of them from an authorization can also be accomplished by requesting such action in a memo. Contact Radiation Safety by phone or for more information.

This form may be obtained in PDF format from this website, or can be requested by calling Radiation Safety at 206.543.0463 from 8 AM to 5 PM weekdays or by e-mail:

The License allows the RSO to issue "authorizations" to investigators affiliated with the UW to operate under the license. These people are called Authorized Investigators (AUI) and are usually faculty members or medical doctors.

The AUI is legally responsible for the handling of radioactive material under their jurisdiction. The authorization defines for the Investigator the following:

  • which radionuclides may be used;
  • allowable possession limit of each radionuclide;
  • how the radionuclides may be used;
  • which laboratories radioactive material may be used in;
  • the required record keeping in the lab;
  • any special conditions of the authorization;
  • which lab personnel, called "radiation workers," may use radionuclides.

Use "Training and Experience in Radiation Work" (RSO Form 20) to add a worker to an authorization.

An individual must be listed on a RAM authorization before it is legal for them to handle radioactive material. This process makes them a "certified" radiation worker.

Persons who will be in your laboratory for no more than 3 months are exempt from taking the formal Radiation Safety Training Class. However, these individuals may handle radionuclides only under the direct supervision of lab personnel or staff who are already certified for the use of radioactive materials by the Radiation Safety Office.

It is recommended that persons who are planning on working with radioactive materials should try to complete the training as soon as possible after joining a laboratory.

The UW Radiation Safety Training Class is offered ten times a year. This course is a series of four online modules covering basic radiation physics, the biological effects of ionizing radiation, laboratory radiation protection procedures, and radiation safety rules and regulations. Completion of the modules and the two hour in-person classroom training and final exam satisfy the basic training requirement for radiation workers as set forth in the University of Washington Radioactive Materials License.

Use Radioactive Material (RAM) Lab Personnel Change Form (Email Request) if you would like to terminate or remove workers from your authorization. Only personnel changes can be made on this form; i.e. lab terminations or additions, name or position (job title) changes or moving to a different authorization