Preparation of a work station before working with open radioactive materials

Preparing work station for work with open radioactive materials

  • In a laboratory where you regularly work with open radioactive sources, a dedicated work area must be assigned and contain as follows:
  • Washable work surface without grooves and cracks
  • The laboratory must have a sink with an elbow faucet. Next to the sink must be a soap dish with a paper device for wiping hands
  • The work area will be marked with the standard label of radioactive material
  • Table should be covered with an absorbent diaper
  • Masking as needed
  • Calibrated Geiger counter as needed
  • A spray bottle for decontamination should be at hand
  • Bags for collecting solid radioactive waste should be in a Plexiglas box on the work- table or a yellow bucket.  
  • Plastic bottles with a screw cap in the size of half a liter to 1 liter (in the case of large volumes, it is allowed to use plastic bottles up to 5 liters)
  • Use Activated charcoal while working with S-35 in incubator.
  • Mark any vessel that contains radioactive material.  
  • A box of disposable gloves in an appropriate size

Ordering and receiving radioactive materials

Radioactive materials are ordered through "Tafnit" system. The materials listed in Tafnit are those that are authorized to use by the Ministry of Environmental Protection. If the radioactive material you may want to work with does not appear in the computerized list, you should contact the radiation safety officer for his approval. If a new employee does the order and this is his first order, he must obtain initial approval from the radiation safety officer. The list of those authorized to work with radioactive materials is in the "Tafnit" system.

When placing the order, be sure to write correct and accurate information as follows:

  • Catalog Number
  • Radioisotope (e.g P-32)
  • Activity in units in Becquerel (Bq) or Curie (Ci)
  • Full name of the authorized worker who made the order, and the head of the research group.
  • Department, building, and number of the room where the radioactive material will be used.
  • The phone number of the laboratory
  • The radiation safety officer receives information about every order of radioactive material at the institute. The materials are provided directly to consumers in the laboratory, and it is their responsibility to receive the materials and store them in the proper manner, according to the instructions in the form accompanying the material.

Storage of radioactive materials

Radioactive materials must be kept in designated containers:

  • Materials emitting gamma radiation must be kept in the original lead containers in which the material arrived.
  • Materials emitting beta radiation must be kept in a plastic container with a screw cap (especially materials in Eppendorf tubes that are kept in the freezer).
  • Materials that emit beta particles with high energy such as P-32 must be kept in a   plastic container that is placed inside the lead container.
  • It is recommended to store radioactive liquids in a secondary vessel to prevent environmental contamination in a spill event.
  • The materials must bear a radioactive marking and the name of the user.
  • Refrigerators and freezers in which radioactive materials are stored must be marked with a "radioactive" label on the refrigerator door, drawer or shelf in the refrigerator.
  • Fire cabinets or safes in which radioactive materials are stored must be marked with a "radioactive" label on the door of the cabinet and safe.