For information not covered below, please see the Radioactive Waste Storage and Disposal section of the Radiation Safety Manual.  If you still cannot find the information you are looking for, please contact the Radiation Safety Office at 314-362-3476 or radsafety@wustl.edu.

Requesting A Waste Pick-Up

NOTE: Radioactive waste is no longer picked up at set locations on a regular schedule.

Radioactive waste is now picked up directly from labs approved for radioactive material use.  To request a pick-up, authorized users and lab contacts should visit the MyRad section of this website and complete the Waste Pickup Request form.  The lab will then be contacted by a member of radiation safety and given a date and time for pick-up.

Decay In Storage

Except in rare pre-approved cases that require strict documentation and enforcement, all radwastes must be collected in the lab and then disposed of through the Radiation Safety Office.  If you would like more details on the decay-in-storage guidelines, please call Radiation Safety at 314-362-3476.

Disposal Costs

Radwaste disposal and services costs are adjusted each year to reflect market changes.  FY20 rates (effective 7/1/2019) for WUSTL affiliates and WUSTL customers can be found below.

Drain Disposals

Prior to using any sink for disposal of RAM – even if you’ve moved your lab and had drain disposal approval previously – you need to submit an Authorization Request For Low Level Radioactive Materials Drain Disposal.  Once approved, you will receive the disposal guidance document, a sticker to place on the drain, and a log to document every disposal.

General License Uranium and Thorium

General License Uranium and Thorium material must be disposed of through the Radiation Safety Office.  A waste pickup can be requested through MyRad as described above.

Mixed Waste Issues

Please note that if uranyl acetate or any other radioactive material is mixed with an EPA-regulated material such as methanol or ethanol, it is subsequently regulated as a “mixed waste” and disposal is much more expensive.  If you have a need to mix uranyl acetate with any RCRA (EPA)-regulated material, please contact Radiation Safety immediately so that we can work to minimize the disposal cost for you.

Packaging Radwaste For Disposal

For dry radwaste, the inner clear bag must be twisted and taped shut.  The outer yellow bag should be folded over and sealed with a single piece of tape.  Lids must be on both dry and liquid containers.  DOT regulations require that you perform a wipe test and meter survey on each container.   The wipe test must cover at least 300 square centimeters and be recorded in dpm/100 square cm, while the meter survey must be recorded in mrem/hr.  Sharps must be placed in secondary containment within the dry radwaste container.  Empty stock vials may be wrapped in absorbent paper and disposed in dry radwaste containers.  Liquid radwaste pH must be between 4.0 and 10.0, inclusive.  Lead, including lead vial containers (pigs), should be surveyed for contamination.  Plastic pigs may be placed into the dry radwaste container.  All parcels for disposal must have the proper radwaste transfer form completed and attached.  The authorized user or lab contact should then complete the radwaste pickup request form in MyRad.

Scintillation Vials

Used scintillation vials need not be emptied.  Keep the lids on and restack them in their original trays, if possible.  Place the trays into a double-lined cardboard box.  If using the original trays is not possible, place used scintillation vials in a cardboard box double-lined with plastic liners, or in a double-lined fiber drum provided by Radiation Safety.  Attach the proper radwaste transfer form to the outer container and complete the radwaste pickup request form in MyRad.  The Radiation Safety Office highly recommends the use of non-flammable scintillation cocktail.  A list of approved cocktails is provided for your reference.  The policies listed above relate to disposal of non-flammable scintillation vial radwaste only.   Please contact the Radiation Safety Office for information regarding disposal of scintillation vials containing flammable cocktail.

Scintillation Cocktail

Radiation Safety highly recommends the use of non-flammable (or non EPA-regulated) scintillation cocktail.  Please contact Radiation Safety at 314-362-2996 if you have questions about your scintillation cocktail.

Storage Of Radwaste

Radwaste should be segregated by half-life.  Anything with a half-life greater than 120 days can all go together.  All isotopes with a half-life of less than 120 days should be separated from each other if space allows.  Radwaste should be shielded if necessary (gammas with lead; betas with plastic).   Radwaste, dry or liquid, should not be allowed to overflow and should remain capped at all times when not in use.  We recommend that you keep as few radwaste containers in the lab as possible.  Once they become full or are not being used, please visit the MyRad section of this website and complete the Waste Pickup Request form. 

Waste Supplies

Requests for replacement supplies can be made through the request for pick-up form in the MyRad section of this website.  The lab will then be contacted by a member of Radiation Safety and given a date and time for waste pick-up and replenishment of supplies.  Replacement supplies include waste containers and waste transfer forms.

You may also contact Radiation Safety directly for replacement supplies at 314-362-3476 or radsafety@wustl.edu.