Guidelines for Moving Radioactive Material to a New Laboratory

Posting the New Radioactive Material Laboratory

  1. Update page 5 (Laboratory Facilities) of the "Radioactive Material Principal Investigator Application" form and submit the revised form to OCRS by email at This form is available on the Radiation Safety Forms page.
  2. The new laboratory must be posted by OCRS before any radioactive material can be moved into the room.
  3. The new lab will be posted by OCRS within 2 days after receipt of form.

Moving Radioactive Equipment

  1. Equipment Moved by Contract Workers
    1. Moving company personnel must not move any equipment with "Caution: Radioactive Material" labels. 
      All large lab equipment labeled with "Caution: Radioactive Material" must have a survey performed by Radiation Safety Section staff.
    2. Once the equipment is determined to be free of RAM contamination, OCRS will remove labels and the equipment may then be moved. Large lab equipment includes: refrigerators, freezers, incubators, fume hoods, large (freestanding) centrifuges, sinks, shakers, etc.
  2. Equipment Moved by Lab Personnel
    1. Any small lab equipment with "Caution: Radioactive Material" labels and/or contaminated with RAM must be transported by trained radiation lab workers through corridors, sidewalks and tunnels on Vanderbilt premises. RAM contamination cannot be on any external surface. Small bench-top lab equipment includes: beakers, forceps, hot plates, pipettors, small centrifuges, small ovens, steel/lead/Lucite shields, test tubes, water baths, etc.
    2. Lab personnel must document a wipe and meter survey of external surfaces of equipment with RAM labels. Survey results should be available for OCRS to review.
    3. A service representative must remove all internal RAM sources from lab equipment such as, liquid scintillation counters or gas chromatographs before it is to be transported or disposed of. A documented wipe and meter survey must also be performed on the exterior surfaces of this equipment. Survey results should be available for OCRS to review.
    4. RAM calibration sources from liquid scintillation counters and gamma counters must be transported according to the Moving Radioactive Material instructions.

Moving Radioactive Material (RAM)

  1. Do not move RAM in commercial, personal, or Vanderbilt vehicles on public roadways.
  2. If RAM must be moved by vehicle on or off of Vanderbilt premises, contact Radiation Safety.
  3. RAM must be packaged and transported by trained radiation workers in unbreakable secondary containers with enough absorbent material that will absorb twice the amount of liquid. RAM pigs may be transported in coolers with wet/dry ice to the newly posted laboratory.
  4. All RAM may be transported by sturdy cart through Vanderbilt corridors/tunnels or on Vanderbilt sidewalks as long as they are packaged as mentioned previously.
  5. Radioactive materials that are moved through Vanderbilt corridors/tunnels must have an exposure rate of < 2 mR/hr at 1 foot. If RAM produces an exposure rate of > 2 mR/hr at 1 foot, contact Radiation Safety
  6. A wipe survey must be performed on the external surfaces of the secondary container. Wipe results from the outside of the secondary container should be < 600 dpm/300 cm2. If results are > 600 dpm/300 cm2, clean outside of container and wipe again until clean.
  7. Do not leave RAM unattended or unlocked during move.

Closeout of former Radioactive Material Laboratory

  1. Submit the Close-outs and Equipment checks Request within 30 days before vacating the lab. Download and follow the Laboratory Close Out Guidelines that are available here.
  2. Before the close out survey can be conducted, the procedures described in the Lab Close Out Guidelines must be completed, including equipment check surveys, the removal of all radioactive waste, radiation waste containers and RAM. If any contamination or RAM materials are found, the former occupants of the lab are responsible for cleanup.
  3. All radioactive material laboratories must have a close out survey performed before any remodeling or construction can take place in the rooms.
  4. After the lab has been closed out, the "Caution: Radioactive Materials" labels and room signs will be removed by Radiation Safety staff.
  5. Contractors, Facilities Management, Services Workers, and Movers must not do any work in the laboratory until the RAM Close Out Survey is complete.