Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 9: Radiation Safety

Radioactive Waste Management

SPPM 9.70

For more information contact:
   Radiation Safety Office


Federal and state radioactive waste management regulations are complex. The University ensures that all storage, processing, and disposal of radioactive waste and all associated transport of wastes for disposal to state- or federally-licensed disposal facilities are compliant with regulations.

It is essential that all authorized users and radiation workers:

  • Understand the range of radioactive wastes produced by University research, teaching, and service programs.
  • Implement the controls and protocols needed to minimize the creation of waste and deal with such wastes safely, effectively, and economically.
  • Handle radioactive materials and radioactive waste based on the requirements of all of the following:
    • The University Radiation Protection Program
    • All applicable state and federal regulations
    • All license conditions


The policy and procedures in this section (SPPM 9.70) apply to all:

  • University personnel
  • Independent contractors working at University facilities
  • Waste that is radioactive as defined by regulation or as determined by the Radiation Safety Office (RSO)


The University is not licensed to accept, process, or dispose of radioactive wastes generated by the use of radioactive materials that were not acquired and used under the University’s broad scope license (see SPPM 9.40).

The RSO does not accept or process radioactive wastes not generated by University staff at WSU facilities.

No employee of the University may accept the transfer of radioactive waste created from radioactive material not held under the University’s broad scope license (see SPPM 9.40).


The information provided in this section and in the Radiation Protection Program Manual (RPPM) provide the necessary guidance to ensure that:

  • The generation, labeling, characterization, storage, processing and disposal, and/or transfer of radioactive wastes are safe and compliant.
  • Authorized users and designee radiation workers properly maintain records to ensure complete tracking and accounting of all material held, used, stored, and disposed of under the University’s broad scope license.


The RSO provides support to assist:

  • Authorized users of radiation with implementing appropriate waste minimization and management protocols.
  • University personnel in understanding and meeting the regulatory requirements for proper disposition of all radioactive materials and wastes that are contaminated with radioactive materials.


The following procedures are designed to ensure the proper management and disposal of radioactive waste.

Coordination and Oversight

The RSO coordinates and oversees radioactive waste management and disposal in accordance with local, state and federal regulations, and University license conditions.

Waste Preparation and Transfer Requirements

Authorized users, or designee radiation workers, must properly label and secure containers of radioactive waste from the time of initial use through to the transfer of the waste container to the RSO, in accordance with RPPM and/or RSO procedures and protocols.

Authorized users and designee radiation workers must follow the detailed direction and guidance specified in the RPPM to coordinate proper transfer of wastes to the RSO for disposal. The RPPM includes the following procedures regarding radiation waste:

  • Recordkeeping
  • Classification
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • Storage
  • Handling

Waste Not Accepted

RSO staff are not authorized to accept the transfer of any of the following:

  • Leaking or contaminated waste containers
  • Improperly-labeled waste containers or unknown content
  • Containers that indicate the waste was not generated under the University’s broad scope license

Protocol Review

The RSO and the Radiation Safety Committee review and update radioactive waste management protocols for all University waste generators (authorized users) on a routine and ongoing basis to ensure that safety and compliance are maintained.

Revisions:  Sept. 2014 – entire Chapter 9 revised (Rev. 102). Contact PRF about previous revision history for this chapter.