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, the principal investigator (PI) submits a completed university purchase requisition to his/her business office. The purchase requisition should bear the words “Radioactive Material.” The PI’s campus unit must initiate a purchase requisition or standing purchase order for the radioactive materials in the Banner or I-Buy System. The only I-Buy form that can be used to purchase radioactive materials is the university "Controlled Substance 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 signature of the PI responsible for the materials;
  2. The isotope being ordered;
  3. The amount of activity in millicurie (mCi) or microcurie (μCi) units being ordered;
  4. The chemical form of the isotope being ordered.

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

Division of Research Safety 

Special Materials Storage Facility, MC-612

ATTN: PI/Permit Number

University of Illinois

2006 South Griffith Drive

Champaign, Illinois 61820

Receipt of Radioactive Materials

Unless prior arrangements have been made, DRS at the Environmental Health and Safety Building receives all campus orders of radioactive material. 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 deliver it to the user’s laboratory during workdays, usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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 shall notify DRS immediately 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 (see Appendix E of the Radiation Safety Manual).

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 on it and dispose of it in the regular trash or recycle.

Transfers of Radioactive Materials from Off-campus

Occasionally, a PI may receive radioactive material as a gift from another campus or institution where a purchase order is not involved. In such cases, the PI must make prior arrangements with DRS for purposes of license verification, radiation permit authorization, and receipt 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 Update: 10/4/2019
Updated By: scherer