Receipt and Opening of Radioactive Packages

Upon receipt of a radioactive package:


Examine the package to ensure that it is not damaged (i.e., wetness, crushed). If damage is noted, immediately notify the Radiation Safety Officer (X8925).


You will receive with your package, a "Radionuclide Package Receipt Log"  and a "Radionuclide Utilization Form."


The package shall be monitored as soon as practical after receipt. (But, within 3 hours of receipt, as required).


Wear gloves, a lab coat and a radiation monitoring badge/and ring badge (if applicable) prior to and during the opening of the package.

rad labels


A. If the package is labeled with a White I, Yellow II, or Yellow III radiation label, follow the below procedure:

  1. Before opening the package, measure the exposure rate from the package first at one meter and then at the package surface, with a survey meter. If it is higher than expected, stop and notify the Radiation Safety Officer. (In addition, if the reading is too high during the one meter reading do not move closer to conduct the surface reading.) Record all readings on the "Radionuclide Package Receipt Log".

    Survey Limits for a Radioactive White 1 Label:

    a. If survey results at surface are > 0.5 mR/hr, contact the Radiation Safety Officer.
    b. If survey results at one meter are > background, contact the Radiation Safety Officer.

  2. Wipe test an area not less than 100 cm2 of external package surface. Count the wipe in an appropriate counter to check for contamination prior to opening the box. If the wipe is found to possess removable contamination above 1000 dpm/100cm2, contact the Radiation Safety Officer. Record the wipe result on the "Radionuclide Package Receipt Log".

  3. Open the package with the following precautionary steps:

    • Central Stockroom personnel will remove the packing slip.

    • Open the outer package following the supplier's instructions, if provided.

    • Open the inner package and verify that the contents agree with your Radionuclide Package Receipt Log.

    • Check the integrity of the final source container. Look for broken seals or vials, loss of liquid, condensation, or discoloration of the packing material. Take a wipe of the final source container (usually plastic) to check for contamination which could be spread throughout the laboratory. Record the wipe test results on the Radionuclide Package Receipt Log.

    • Take a wipe of the vial containing the radioactive material. Record the wipe test results on the Radionuclide Package Receipt Log.

    • If anything is other than expected, stop and notify the Radiation Safety Officer.

    • If no removable contamination is detected, place the radioactive material in the appropriate secured storage area.

  4. Monitor the packing material and the empty packages for contamination with a survey meter before discarding.

B. If the package is not labeled as Radioactive, skip steps 1 and 4 of the preceding procedure. However, follow steps 2 and 3. Also, if the package was damaged in any way, DO NOT skip any steps.

Return the Radionuclide Package Receipt Log and your wipe test printout to the Radiation Safety Officer immediately. (McNeil Science and Technology Center, room #223 or

Radionuclide Utilization Form

A Radionuclide Utilization Form must be kept in the laboratory to keep track of the amount of radioactive material used, and the disposal method, for each stock vial. Each time radioactive material is withdrawn from the vial it should be recorded on this form. Use one form for each stock vial.

When the remaining balance is zero, or the stock vial is disposed of, return this form to the EHRS Department.

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South Forty-third Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 • phone: 215-596-8800 • email: