2.1 Regulatory and University Oversight of Radiation Use

2.1  Regulatory and University Oversight of Radiation Use


  • The State of Washington, through the Washington Department of Health, Office of Radiation Protection (WA DOH) issues the University a Type A Broadscope license for the use of radioactive materials in education, research, development and service.
  • A Radioactive Air Emissions license (RAEL) is also required and maintained for each University location where there is sufficient use of dispersible forms of radioactive materials.

The Pullman campus RAEL is a part of the Pullman campus Air Operating Permit, issued to the University by the Washington Department of Ecology;

  • The RAEL regulates and assures proper oversight of the potential for release of radioactive materials to the air, and is issued and overseen by the WA DOH.
  • The Broadscope license requires that the University establish and maintain:
  • A formal Radiation Protection Program (RPP);
  • A Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to oversee the University’s RPP;
  • A University Radiation Safety Officer (URSO) qualified by training and experience to oversee and implement the Radiation Protection Program.
  • The University policies and procedures that make-up the RPP are outlined in:
  • The Safety Policies and Procedures Manual (SPPM, Chapter 9, Radiation Safety); and
  • This Radiation Protection Program Manual (RPPM).
  • The SPPM contains the policies for:
  • Maintaining an effective RPP to assure safe and compliant possession, use, and disposal of sources of ionizing radiation;
  • Maintaining the University’s commitment to ALARA (policy of keeping al exposures as-low-as-reasonably achievable).
  • The RPPM provides guidance for the actual administration and implementation of the RPP.
  • The RPPM outlines the responsibilities of Authorized Users and radiation workers with respect to the Radiation Protection Program and what must be done to meet these responsibilities;
  • The RPPM is the source of detailed operational information for Authorized Users and their radiation workers.


RADIATION PROTECTION is the science and practice of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation.


RADIATION SAFETY at a University is a “team activity”.  Many administrators, faculty staff, and students have a role in maintaining the safety of everyone else.  Whether a student who is allowed access to a restricted area; a staff member who works in or near a restricted area; an Authorized User who supervises the use of radiation; the radiation worker performing the work; a department head; or a member of the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) or RSO, we all have a part to play.


We are all working under the same set of licenses and permits.  Any action which jeopardizes compliance to regulations or a license condition puts the individual staff member’s ability to use radiation at risk, and endangers the rights and work of all others who use radiation in their research, teaching or service activities at the University.


Please remember, everyone at the University works under one set of University licenses, permits and machine registrations.   It is everyone’s job to maintain safety and compliance in this University.


2.2 Administration of the University Radiation Protection Program (RPP)


  • The Broadscope license provides the University with the ability and flexibility to establish the policies and procedures to review approve and oversee all possession, use and disposal of sources of ionizing radiation held under the authority of the University.
  • The University RPP is administered by the:
  • Office of Research through the Office of Research Assurances (ORA)


  • Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)


  • Radiation Safety Officer (URSO);
  • Radiation Safety Office (RSO) (rso.wsu.edu/‎).
  • The University’s executive management performs an annual audit the RSC to assure appropriate support and oversight of the RPP. The audit report must be made available for inspection by the WA DOH Office of Radiation Protection (doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Radiation.aspx).
  • The RSC must also perform an annual audit of the implementation of the RPP by the RSO. This audit report must be made available for inspection by the WA DOH.

2.3. Radiation Safety Committee

  • The University Radiation Safety Committee is delegated the responsibility and authority to establish and oversee the Radiation Protection Program.
  • The RSC has the responsibility for the on-going oversight of all radiation uses at the University and must:
  • Develop comprehensive polices and guidelines for the safe use of all sources of radiation held under the authority of the University and used at University locations;
  • Provide general review and audit of the Radiation Protection Program on an annual basis to determine compliance with regulations and licenses, and;
  • Make modifications to the RPP, as required, to maintain compliance and safety in all acquisitions, uses, storage and disposal of sources of radiation at the University.
  • The RSC has a formal charter that is reviewed and approved by the University’s executive management and the WA DOH. A copy of the RSC charter may be obtained by contacting the RSO at wsu.edu.
  • The RSC meets at least quarterly to review and vote to approve all new, amended or renewal applications submitted by permanent faculty or staff members requesting approval for a use(s) of ionizing radiation in their work. University guests may attend an RSC meeting by contacting the URSO at wsu.edu;
  • The RSC routinely reviews compliance and RPP support activities performed by the RSO, including radiation worker exposure tracking; Authorization and facility audits and surveys reports; WA DOH inspection schedules and outcomes; etc.

2.4  University Radiation Safety Officer (URSO)

  • A University Radiation Safety Officer is appointed by the University’s executive management and the individual must also be approved by the WA DOH.
  • The URSO must be qualified, based on training and experience with most forms of ionizing radiation and their uses;
  • The appointment of an individual as the URSO includes a formal Delegation of Authority from the University executive management that includes an assignment of responsibility for:
  • The implementation of the RPP, including the immediate suspension of any work that is considered radiologically unsafe;
  • The use of enforcement and corrective actions to maintain compliance to all regulations and radiological licenses issued to the University.
  • The URSO serves as the University’s liaison to regulatory agencies regarding the safe and compliant acquisition, transport, possession, control and security; use and disposal of all licensed materials and all registered machines capable of producing ionizing radiation.


2.5  Radiation Safety Office (RSO)

  • Under the direction and guidance of the RSC, Office of Research Assurances and URSO, the RSO implements the programs and support services that maintain the Radiation Protection Program (RPP).
  • The RSO may be contacted by anyone seeking assistance or guidance related to the acquisition, possession, storage, use, transport or disposal of sources of ionizing radiation at the University (wsu.edu).
  • The support services and programs of the RSO are outlined in RPPM 3.4.