Skip Navigation LinksEHS > Lab & Research Safety > Radiation Safety > Radiation Safety Manual > Chapter 6 - Acquisition of Radioactive Material and Sealed Sources
Chapter 6 - Acquisition of Radioactive Material and Sealed Sources

6.0 Acquisition of Radioactive Material and Sealed Sources (Top)


Acquisition of radioactive materials by direct purchase must be completed in a manner so as to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the radioactive materials license issued to Cornell University by the NYSDOH. This chapter specifies the process by which both unsealed and sealed sources must be purchased. For acquisitions of radioactive material by means other than by purchase, see section 6.5. See Chapter 4 for purchase, transfer or disposition of RPE.  Procurement Cards may not be used when ordering any radioactive materials. 

All orders intended for delivery to any University facility, excluding the Boyce Thompson Institute (see section 6.3), must be placed through the Office for Supply Management Services (SMS) through e-shop for vendors listed or by submitting an "I Want" document if the vendor is not listed. 

All radioactive material orders are sent to EH&S by SMS for approval before a PO# is assigned.
6.1.1  e-Shop

Cornell’s e-procurement system (e-Shop) is the preferred method for ordering standard, catalog radioactive materials. e-SHOP will identify radioisotopes and route requisitions to EHS for prior approvals before the order is issued to the supplier. Procurement cards may NOT be used in e-Shop.  Only standard catalog items may be purchased through e-Shop; non-catalog and special orders not listed in the supplier’s electronic catalog must be purchased by submitting an "I Want" document.

For shipments to the Ithaca Campus, the address for EHS must be used as the “FINAL SHIP TO” address.  In 

e-Shop use building code 2921.  Use this format:

Cornell University

Environmental Health and Safety

395 Pine Tree Road, Suite 210

Ithaca, NY 14850

Attn.: name of permit holder (Note: Do not use name PI's building name)

For shipments to the Geneva campus and other off-campus Cornell facilities, the address of the individual permit holder must be used and must have prior approval by EHS

6.1.2 Non-confirming orders

To have an order placed by SMS, submit a requisition as usual. State that the order is for radioactive material and indicate the name of the permit holder, the radionuclide and activity, and the “SHIP TO” address specified in section 6.1.1.  

6.1.3 Confirming orders

In order to receive a P.O. number so that the permit holder or department may place a telephone order directly to the vendor, this process must be followed:  The authorized telephoner (authorized by a condition of the permit) phones SMS stating the desire to place an order for radioactive materials and providing the names of the telephoner, permit holder and vendor and the radionuclide and activity.   A purchase order number will be assigned and given to the telephoner. The telephoner may place the order with the vendor.  The order must be placed with the “SHIP TO” address specified in section 6.1.1. 

6.2.1   Prior consultation with the RSO is required to acquire radioactive material in sealed form. A permit or registration, or an amendment to an existing permit or registration, is required in advance. See Chapter 7 for information regarding sealed source permits and registrations. Requests for acquisitions to either the SMS or the provider/vender without the prior approval of the RSO will be denied.

6.2.2   SMS will not issue a P.O. number for the purchase of a sealed source unless the purchase requisition is approved by the RSO.

6.3 Boyce Thompson Institute Orders (Top)

Permit holders at the Boyce Thompson Institute, are exempt from utilizing the services of the University purchasing system. Orders for the purchase of radioactive materials must be screened internally by the Institute’s purchasing agent using copies of permits issued to the Institute’s principal investigators as reference. All requirements in this chapter must apply with the exception of sections and


All shipments of radioactive materials slated for the Ithaca campus, including the Boyce Thompson Institute, must be delivered to EHS. For this reason the “SHIP TO” address as shown in section 6.1.1 must be used for all acquisitions. Upon receipt, shipments will be opened, surveyed for radioactive contamination, inventoried, and delivered to the permit holder for whom it is intended.

Shipments received directly to the laboratory or building receiving room, must be reported to EHS immediately. EHS will either advise the permit holder to turn over the shipment for processing by EHS or provide instruction for processing in the laboratory.


For acquisitions from outside of Cornell, by means other than by purchase, (i.e. transfers, gifts, etc.), the RSO must be notified during the planning stage. See Chapter 9 for details.

For unusual situations, alternate shipping arrangements can be approved on a case-by-case basis by the RSO.  Consult with the RSO to discuss these arrangements.