Ordering Radioactive Materials

Only holders of current radiation permits may order radioactive materials. The permit specifies the conditions, limitations, isotopes and quantities, under which the approved user may possess and use the specific radioisotopes being purchased.

To purchase radioactive materials including exempt and NORM materials, the principal investigator (PI) or Permit Holder submits a completed university purchase requisition to their business office. The purchase requisition should bear the words “Radioactive Material.” The PI’s campus unit must initiate a regular purchase requisition or standing purchase order for the radioactive materials in the iBuy System. The only iBuy form that can be used to purchase radioactive materials is the university "Purchase Requisition Form." Then the unit must enter the applicable information into the radioactive material purchasing database for final authorization.

To ensure expeditious handling of the order, the PI should ensure that the following information is provided on the university purchase requisition:

  1. The name and permit number of the permit holder responsible for the materials;
  2. The isotope being ordered;
  3. The amount of activity in millicuries (mCi) or microcuries (μCi) being ordered;
  4. The chemical form of the isotope being ordered.

Unless previous arrangements have been made, all radioactive materials must be shipped to:

Division of Research Safety
Environmental Health and Safety, MC-225
ATTN: PI/Permit Number
University of Illinois
101 S. Gregory St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Receipt of Radioactive Materials

Unless prior arrangements have been made, DRS receives all campus orders of radioactive materials at the Special Materials Storage Facility. DRS monitors all shipments in accordance with regulations established by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). After each shipment of radioactive materials has been checked and found to be in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations, DRS personnel delivers it to the user.

DRS provides a Radioactive Material Receipt Record for each package delivered. The person accepting the material is asked to sign for the package(s).

Laboratory personnel should use a wipe test to check the inner container and determine whether leaking has occurred. Shipments containing materials that may be volatile, gaseous, or readily dispersible shall be opened in a fume hood. The user must notify DRS immediately at 217-333-2755 if there is a problem with the shipment.

Upon receipt of a new shipment, laboratory personnel should enter pertinent data in a Radioisotope Use and Waste Log.

Laboratory personnel must dispose of the shipping material in an appropriate manner. If contamination is present, place the material in a radioactive waste container.  If the shipping material is free of contamination, remove or deface any "radioactive materials" labels or markings and dispose of it in the regular trash or recycle bin.

Transfers of Radioactive Materials from Off-campus

If a Permit Holder expects to receive radioactive material from another campus or institution where a purchase order is not involved, then prior arrangements with DRS must be made for purposes of license verification, radiation permit authorization, and receipt and delivery instructions.

Transfers/Shipments of Radioactive Materials

For more information regarding on-campus transfers and off-campus shipments, see our Transport of Radiological Materials page.


Last Updated: 1/22/2024