Principal Investigator (PI) Permit to Use Radioactive Material

Requirements for Applicants

Training & Experience

The PI must have training and experience in the safe handling of radioactive materials and in the characteristics of ionization radiation, units of radiation dose and quantities, radiation detection instrumentation, and biological hazards of exposure to radiation appropriate to the type and forms of radioactive materials to be used.

All radioactive materials permit holders are considered radiation workers and must maintain current with the annual radiation safety training requirements. See the Radioactive Materials Safety Training website for additional information.

Presence at VU & VUMC

Permit holders must be:

  • Physically present at least half of the year.
  • At least half time employed by VUMC, and cannot be a resident, or fellow, student, or visiting faculty.
  • Must be a full time VUMC faculty member, unless the RSC approves an exception.

See permit status for information regarding a PI having a leave of absence.

Familiarity with the Radiation Safety Manual

All permit holders must be familiar with the policies in the radiation safety manual.

Permit Application

Download the permit application and complete in Adobe. Instructions are provided in the application.

Permit applications, and questions regarding the application, should be sent to Kevin Fu.

Permit Status


The RSC has approved the PI’s permit to obtain, possess, and use radioactive material. A PI must have an active status permit if they possess any regulated quantity of radioactive material in sealed or unsealed form.


The PI remains authorized to obtain, possess, and use radioactive material, but has chosen not to use radioactive material for an extended period. A PI may change their permit to inactive status by removing all radioactive material from their lab (by disposal or transfer to an active status PI) and sending the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) a written request for inactive status. Inactive status will be granted upon completion of a lab closeout by OCRS except for space shared with an active PI.

While inactive, the PI and staff are exempt from all training, survey meter calibration, and record keeping requirements associated with their permit. A PI may change back to active status at any time by sending a written request to the RSO and completing any active permit requirements (e.g. training, survey meter calibration) that may have lapsed during their inactive status.


The PI is no longer authorized to obtain, possess, and use radioactive material. The disposition of their radioactive material will be resolved by disposal or transfer to a PI with an active permit, and their lab space will undergo a formal OCRS radioactive material close out procedure unless that space has been transferred to an active PI.

Leave of Absence

If a PI takes a leave of absence, their permit becomes inactive, unless, for the duration of the PI's absence another suitably qualified PI agrees in writing to assume responsibility for the permit. An absent PI’s inactive permit reverts to active status upon the PI’s return and concurrence.

Questions regarding a leave of absence should be sent to Kevin Fu.

Permit Amendments

Permit amendments requiring RSC subcommittee review and approval

  • Possession limit increases by more than 20% of the current possession limit, unless the requested increase maintains a “Slight” hazard rating (see section 2.D in the Radiation Safety Manual for explanation of lab hazard ratings).
  • Additional radionuclides are added
  • Experimental procedure changes
  • Any change where the RSO deems RSC review is appropriate

Permit amendments which can be administratively approved by the RSO or designated approver:

  • Decrease of any possession limit or removal of a radionuclide
  • Possession limit increase of 20% or less of the current possession limit
  • Any changes to a permit with a “Slight” hazard rating
  • Changes to approved radiation use rooms
  • Changes to personnel authorized under the permit

Audits & Permit Renewals

All active status permits will be audited at a frequency determined by the RSO based on the amount of radioactive material the lab is approved for, usage, and any other pertinent factors.

The audit will include the following:

  • A physical inspection of the PI’s radioactive material inventory
  • A physical inspection of the radiation enabled laboratories
  • An evaluation of radiation safety practices of the PI’s authorized radiation workers
  • A review of the accuracy of information on the permit
  • A review of the overall compliance with the radiation safety manual.

The permit will be renewed upon completion of the audit if:

  • No radiation safety deficiencies are identified
  • All radiation safety deficiencies identified during the permit audit are addressed and corrected.

Failure to renew the permit will result in an immediate suspension of radioactive materials ordering.