All radioactive materials must be acquired, possessed, and
used at Cornell University facilities following the procedures described in
the radiation safety manual, including exempt quantities of radioactivity. These procedures
exist to protect the welfare of individuals and the environment and to comply
with the stringent regulatory requirements established by the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, the New York State Department of Health, and the New
York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Many people play important roles in radiation
safety. A radioactive material license is issued to Cornell by the
New York State Department of Health which requires the management of
the radiation safety program by a Radiation Safety Committee. The
Radiation Safety Officer and staff implement the safety program approved
by the RSC. Permit Holders are responsible for following the radiation safety
requirements and ensuring safety in labs and other spaces under their control. Individual lab workers are the most important
link in the chain of responsibility because they actually handle and use radioactive material.
University is subject to periodic inspection to ensure that all regulatory
requirements are met. These inspections are very thorough, including monitoring
checks of laboratory areas, inspection of procurement and disposition records,
records of the qualifications of individual users, and records of personnel
exposure. Violations of license requirements can result in the suspension or
loss of authorization to use radioactive materials.