Relocation Procedures for Equipment with Sealed Sources

Many labs use equipment that may contain sealed or embedded sources of radioactive material. A sealed source is a metal housing that has a specific amount of radioactive material inside. Examples of pieces of equipment with sealed or embedded sources are Liquid Scintillation Counters, Gas Chromatography Equipment, Micro PET units and Gamma Counters.  The source inside of a Gamma Counter is a little different.  It contains a standard calibration source and not an embedded source.

The radioactive material contained inside of the equipment is hazardous and can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with the skin.Whenever sealed source equipment needs to be relocated, the lab or responsible department contact must inform the designated Radiation Safety Health Physicist.  This step is necessary for three reasons.

  • If the equipment is moved incorrectly, it can alter the settings and damage the unit.
  • Radiation Safety is required to maintain location details (building and room number) for this type equipment for regulatory auditing and tracking purposes.

Once the equipment is relocated, the lab should contact the manufacturer.  This allows the manufacturer to verify the equipment’s location so that it can be serviced.  It also allows the manufacturer to ensure the equipment is in proper working condition.

If the equipment is going to surplus, then any embedded radioactive sources must be removed before the equipment is removed from the room.  The removed radioactive source must be disposed of according to NRC and EPA regulations. Please contact your Radiation Safety Health Physicist at (404) 727-5922 if your lab needs to relocate any of these types of equipment.

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