Radiation Safety

The use of radioactive materials at Marquette University is authorized by the Department of Health Services of the State of Wisconsin. The use and possession of radioactive sources at Marquette is controlled and administered by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). Only authorized users, who are Marquette faculty and staff, can obtain radioactive material for use in their research laboratories.

What are Radio Isotopes?

A radioisotope is an unstable isotope of an element that decays or disintegrates spontaneously, emitting radiation. Approximately 5,000 natural and artificial radioisotopes have been identified.


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Become an Authorized User

Marquette University faculty who wish to work with radioactive material must become Authorized Users.

Faculty members can request to become an Authorized Users by filling out the Application for a Radioactive Material License for Academic, Research and Development and Other Licenses of Limited Scope and submitting it to the Marquette University Radiation Safety Officer. Faculty members will be notified of the result via email or hard copy letter.

Please contact the Radiation Safety Officer for further details.

Become a Radiation Worker

Marquette University students and research personnel who plan to work with radioisotopes under the supervision of an Authorized User must complete the following before working with radioactive materials:

  1. Download and complete the Radiation Worker Training Checklist and Affirmation Statement
    • View the Radiation Worker training video Parts I and II. These videos are available online to MU personnel only (links found in the checklist)
  2. E-mail (with Authorized User cc’d) the completed checklist form to benjamin.kennedy@marquette.edu or jane.dorweiler@marquette.edu.
  3. Complete in-person lecture and exam with the Radiation Safety Officer by contacting the RSO (jane.dorweiler@marquette.edu) to schedule the lecture and exam.

Purchase Radioisotopes

Please note that radioisotopes MAY NOT be purchased with a P-Card

  1. Download and complete the Registration for Purchase of Radioactive Material Form word that can be attached to your MARQetplace requisition.
  2. The first screenshot below shows the first step of creating a purchasing requisition in MARQetplace, which is the same as for any other ‘non-punchout’ vendor. Include the specific catalog number for the isotope you wish to order in the “Supplier Part Number” category. Attach your MU RAM registration form by clicking on “File” and the browse window will appear as shown. Do not check the "Send to Supplier" box.ordering image 1
  3. Choose "Add to Cart".
  4. Your cart, just like the screenshot below, should include “Radioisotopes” among the chain of approvers.image2
  5. IF your list of approvers does NOT include Radioisotopes,

    a. ADD radioisotopes after yourself in the approvers chain.

    b. Please alert Ben Kennedy or Jane Dorweiler that the required approval was not automatically entered so that we can help purchasing further fine tune the process.
  6. The ORC should receive a notification from MARQetplace to approve the order. To avoid possible delays, e-mail benjamin.kennedy@marquette.edu to let him know that you have placed a order awaiting approval in MARQetplace.
  7. Prior to MARQetplace approval, the ORC will check to make sure the Authorized User is within their limits/quantity for purchase. Then ORC will forward a copy of the form to Biological Sciences for shipment and receipt.
  8. Once you receive the shipment, complete the remainder of the Registration for Purchase of Radioactive Material Form to:

    benjamin.kennedy@marquette.edu; or

    b. Office of Research Compliance
    Schroeder Complex, 102
    Attn: Ben Kennedy

Transfer Radioisotopes

NOTE: Action is need the Authorized User transferring and The Authorized User receiving the radioisotope.

  1. Authorized User receiving the transfer
    • Complete the Registration for Purchase of Radioactive Materials Form as follows:
      a. Enter name of Authorized User who will receive the transfer.
      b. Check the Internal Transfer Box and enter the date of the transfer in the Registration Date Box.
      c. Fill in name of Original User. This is the Authorized User from whom the transfer is obtained.
      d. Assign the new ID number as follows:
      Fill in the ID number that was assigned by the Original User and add the initials of the Receiving Authorized User and a single number such as 1,2,3, etc., that indicates whether this was the first, second, third, etc. transfer from the specified source. This is important because more than one transfer may take place from the same source.
      e. Fill in all other information as follows:
      Enter the Isotope and Chemical Form, the Quantity of transferred material in μCi decayed to the day of the transfer, and phone numbers of Receiving Authorized User.
    • See example here
  2. Original Authorized User transferring the radioactive material.
    • Fill out the RADIOISOTOPE DISPOSAL REPORT as follows:
      a. Fill in the original ID number, not the new one assigned by the Receiving Authorized User.
      b. Fill in the amount in μCi in the column To another authorized MU User. The amount must be decayed to the date of transfer and must be the same as the amount indicated by the Receiving Authorized User on the Registration Form that was filled out by the Receiving Authorized User.
      c. Fill in the name of the Receiving Authorized User in the Name of User column.
      d. Fill in the rest of the form as follows:
      • Name of Authorized User: This should be the name of the Original Authorized User. This is the person who is making the disposal.
      • Date of this Report: This should be the date of transfer and should be the same as the registration date on the REGISTRATION FOR PURCHASE OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL Form filled out by the Receiving Authorized User.
      • Printed name of person completing this report and signature: Print the name of the individual who completed the Disposal Form and sign the form.
    • See example here

Fax or mail both completed forms to the ORC

ORC Fax:
(414) 288-6281

Office of Research Compliance
560 North 16th Street
Schroeder Complex , 102
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

Dispose of Radioisotopes

Authorized Users need to regularly report the disposal of the radioisotopes they receive by following these steps:

Download and complete the Radioisotope Disposal Report 

Fax or mail the completed disposal form to the ORC

ORC Fax:
(414) 288-6281

Office of Research Compliance
560 North 16th Street
Schroeder Complex , 102
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

Notices & Signage

  • The Notice to Employees - Radiation Protection, P-45027 should be prominently displayed in every room where radioactive materials are used
  • The Addendum to Employee Notice describing the location and accessibility of Marquette University’s license and application, should be posted along with the Notice to Employees Form.
  • The Caution Radioactive Materials sign (contact ORC to request signs) must be posted on or next to the door of every room where radioactive isotopes are used or stored. If radioactive isotopes are not used but only stored in the room, it may be possible to label only the storage compartment (e.g. freezer) as long as the compartment can be locked and secured.
  • The Radiation Area sign (contact ORC to request signs) must be posted on or next to the door of every room in which radiation levels are sufficiently high that an individual could receive an exposure in excess of 5 mrem/hr at a distance of 30 cm from the source.