RAM Disposal - University of Houston
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Radioactive Waste

Labs with open radiation sources will generate radioactive waste during normal operations. Waste should be segregated by type in order to be disposed of efficiently.

Segregate waste by physical form. Solid, liquid, and (if generated) liquid scintillation vial wastes should all be stored in separate containers. Solid waste should be collected in yellow radoiactive material (RAM) waste bags inside of trash cans. Shielded trash cans may be needed for high-energy beta emitters like P-32.

Liquid waste should be stored in liquid waste barrels provided by EHS. If you need liquid waste containers, contact EHS. If your lab has a liquids scintillation counter, you will generate liquid scintillation vials. These should be double bagged in yellow RAM waste bags, and the bags should be inside of trash cans.

Radioactive waste should also be segregated by isotope. Different isotopes have different emissions and different half-lives. If properly separated, they can be disposed of more easily. The only exception is that Tritium (H-3) and C-14 may be collected together. All other isotopes should be in separate storage, both for solid and liquid waste.


Source Disposal

When a lab is shutting down RAM operations permanently, all radioactive material must be removed. Radioactive sources can be transferred to another laboratory with prior approval, or disposed of by submitting a waste request to EHS. Contact EHS before shutting down radioactive material laboratory operations.


Liquid Scintillation Counters

If your lab has a liquid scintillation counter that is no longer in use and ready to be removed, contact EHS before removal. Some liquid scintillation counters have a small radioactive source inside that must be removed before the machine can be disposed of as solid waste.