There are strict requirements placed on each waste generator by federal, state and local authorities regarding radioactive waste form, packaging and the design and operation of waste storage facilities. The programs and procedures with regard to radioactive waste management have been established to ensure that radioactive wastes generated at the University are stored and disposed of in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. Section 7 of the Radiation Safety Manual for Laboratory Users provides an overview of the radioactive waste program.
Example: solid waste contaminated with H-3 or C-14.
Solid wastes containing radioisotopes with half-lives greater than 120 days are collected in white polypropylene pails lined with heavy plastic yellow liners (right).
Solid wastes containing radioisotopes with half-lives of <120 days or less are collected in pails within laboratories and then transferred to a campus storage facility, known as the Decay-in-Storage (DIS) Facility. These wastes are held for a minimum of ten half-lives and then surveyed. If no detectable radioactivity is found, the waste is then disposed of as non-radioactive medical waste.
Solid wastes containing radioisotopes with half-lives < 15 days are collected in the lab in gray polypropylene pails lined with heavy plastic yellow liners (right).
Example: P-33, S-35, I-125
Solid wastes containing radioisotopes with half-lives > 15 days and < 120 days are collected in the lab in blue polypropylene pails lined with heavy plastic yellow liners (right).
Contact EHS prior to disposing of contained (sealed or plated) sources. Special procedures and waste packaging may be necessary.
Liquid waste generated on campus may be disposed of through the sanitary sewage system if certain regulatory conditions (N.J.A.C. 7:28-6.1(d)19)are met.
The regulation includes specifications for minimum solubility of the waste material. Any material identified for sink disposal must appear on the list of Radioactive Compounds Approved for Drain Disposal. If a compound does not appear, formal approval must be obtained from EHS prior to disposal.
See Section 7 of the Radiation Safety Manual for Laboratory Users for detailed information on liquid waste disposal.
All liquid scintillation vials, regardless of radioisotope, are collected in red polypropylene pails lined with heavy plastic yellow liners (right).
See Section 7 of the Radiation Safety Manual for Laboratory Users for more information.
Contact EHS prior to disposing of radioactive animal carcasses or other animal wastes. Special disposal procedures and waste packaging may be necessary.
Mixed wastes are radioactive wastes which also contain
hazardous waste components
In the laboratory setting the type of mixed wastes most likely to be generated include:
EHS is available to help determine whether specific wastes meet the definition of mixed wastes. Whenever feasible, contact EHS before generating mixed wastes to allow time to determine disposal options or to establish procedures which may prevent a mixed waste from being generated.
All uranium and thorium wastes, regardless of how the materials were purchased, must be disposed of as radioactive wastes. Contact EHS prior to disposing of uranium and thorium contaminated materials to make special disposal arrangements.
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