Special Procedure 8
 
Release Criteria for Facilities, Equipment Supplies Restricted for use with Radioactive Material (Top)
Facilities, equipment, and supplies involved with the use of radioactive material are restricted to that purpose and permit holder. Such facilities or items bear radioactive material labels, which must not be removed without EHS approval. They cannot be released for unrestricted use, maintenance, or transfer of ownership until certain release criteria have been met and documented.
Details on how to perform and document radiological surveys can be found in the Survey Guide for Unsealed Radioactive Material that is located in “Inspection and Surveys” section of the Cornell University Radiation Safety Manual.

Release of Facilities for Unrestricted Use:
Each room where radioactive material is used is listed on a radioactive materials use permit and is labeled to announce the hazard. If a research group is vacating a room, either temporarily or permanently, they must prepare the room to be released for unrestricted use before the room will be removed from their permit. When considering a decision to vacate a permitted room, contact EHS and describe the project. EHS will provide specific guidance. The usual process is as follows: 
  1. Remove all radioactive material, including waste containers, from the entire room.
  2. Perform a “terminal survey”, which is a survey of the entire room that is more extensive than a routine monthly survey and that is done only after all radioactive material has been removed from the facility.
  3. Decontaminate areas where residual amounts of removable contamination exceed 100 dpm/100 cm2. Unshielded dose rates from fixed contamination must not exceed 0.05 mrem/h. Contact EHS if these release criteria cannot be achieved.
  4. Dispose of any contaminated materials created through the decontamination process as radioactive waste.
  5. Complete a formal terminal survey record. Make a copy of the report for EHS and file the original with the laboratory’s survey records.
  6. Contact EHS indicating that the terminal survey is complete. EHS will review the survey results, conduct a final terminal survey, remove labels, and post a notice indicating that the room is released for unrestricted use. The room will be removed from the permit, releasing the permit holder from responsibility and makes the room available for unrestricted use. 
Unrestricted Release of Equipment and Supplies:
All equipment and supplies that have been in contact with radioactive material must be thoroughly surveyed and decontaminated if necessary, prior to being released for maintenance, repair, new ownership or any other type of unrestricted use. Radioactive labeling can only be removed by EHS personell. When considering the release of any equipment or supplies, contact EHS and describe the situation. EHS will provide specific guidance. The usual process is as follows:
    1. Make a sketch of the equipment.
    2. Perform a meter and wipe survey of all accessible areas. Confirm that dose rates are below the release criteria: fixed contamination does not exceed 0.05 mrem/hr at contact, and removable contamination does not exceed 100 dpm/100 cm2 (note dpm, not cpm). If necessary, decontaminate. Repeat this step as necessary.
    3. If equipment is contamination free, complete a formal survey report and file it with the monthly survey records. 
    4. Properly dispose of any other contaminated items found or materials created through the decontamination process.
    5. If contamination can not be removed, the equipment may not be released for unrestricted use.
    6. Contact EHS whether or not the release criteria cannot be achieved.
    7. EHS may elect to perform a terminal survey. If the equipment or supplies meet the release criteria, EHS will provide a Terminal Letter documenting that the piece of equipment is clean. This letter is required by Cornell maintenance staff before they interact with the item. 
Construction and/or Maintenance Activities in Permit Authorized Locations:
Construction and maintenance activities can be conducted in permitted rooms so long as the research group is still working in the room and permit holder has made arrangements that prevent radiation exposure to the outside personnel. This type of activity is not considered release for unrestricted use. However, protection of the outside personnel will require the following: 
  1. Designate the area where the outside personnel are free to work.
  2. Remove all radioactive material and contamination from that area.
  3. File a survey report for the area with the laboratory’s survey records.  
The permit holder should advise EHS of the planned construction and/or maintenance activity in a permitted room. Depending on the specific circumstances, an EHS staff person may assess the situation in person. Refer to the Project Involvement Table below for additional clarification. 
PROJECT
AREA
RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL USER
RESPONSIBILITY
EHS
RESPONSIBILITY
RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
STATUS
LABORATORY
STATUS
INSTRUCTION
FOR
TRADES WORKERS
Work required outside radioactive material labeled area/equipment within laboratory, but not the entire room.
 
Laboratory personnel must be available to answer questions.
Provide informal survey result if requested by trades workers.
 
No action necessary by EHS.
No effect to radioactive materials associated areas/equipment.
The “Caution-Radioactive Materials Facility” label remains posted at entrances.
 
 
Ask to be briefed regarding project area.
 
Review survey results if desired.
 
Direct questions to laboratory staff & EHS.
Work required inside radioactive material labeled area/equipment  within laboratory, but not the entire room.
 
Laboratory personnel must be available to answer questions.
Consult with EHS.
 
Remove all radioactive material from project area.
 
Perform formal, recorded survey of project area  & decontaminate as necessary.
 
De-label area/equipment.
 
Provide survey & explanation of survey results to trades workers if requested.
Determine action necessary by EHS.
No use or storage of radioactive materials within  the project area/equipment during  the term of the project.
The “Caution-Radioactive Materials Facility” label remains  posted at  entrances.
 
All radioactive materials labels removed from project area/equipment.
 
Do not begin project  if radioactive materials labels are present in the project area/equipment.
 
Ask to be briefed regarding project area.
 
Review survey results if desired.
 
Direct questions to laboratory staff & EHS.
 
Entire room involvement.
 
Laboratory personnel not available to answer questions.
Consult with EHS.
 
Remove and/or secure radioactive material
 
Perform formal, recorded survey of entire room.
 
Get approval from EHS.
 
Provide survey & explanation of survey results to trades workers if requested.
Perform formal, recorded survey & terminal of entire room.
 
De-label room/equipment.
 
After decommissioning, a “Terminal Notice” must be posted at entrances.
 
Authorize project to begin.
No use or storage of radioactive materials during the term of the project.
The “Caution-Radioactive Materials Facility” label is removed from entrances.
 
All radioactive materials labels removed from entire room.
 
After decommissioning, a “Terminal Notice” must be posted at entrances.
Do not begin project unless facility is decommissioned and a “Terminal Notice” is posted at entrances.  
 
Direct questions to laboratory staff and/or EHS.
 
 
 
 
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