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Government Regulations

Regulatory compliance is an important part of the safe use of radioactive materials and radiation machines on the OSU campus. In the United States acquisition of non-exempt quantities of radioactive materials requires a government issued license. In some states this license is issued directly by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but in other states, like Oklahoma, these responsibilities have been delegated to a state regulatory agency. In Oklahoma, that agency is the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). ODEQ can issue individuals and/or institutions a license to acquire, possess, use, store, transfer, or dispose of materials depending on the requirements of the individual or institution and the requirements of existing regulations.


In a large research institution like OSU where materials are used in a variety of different ways a single license of broad scope is issued to allow OSU researchers the flexibility to possess a large variety and quantity of radioisotopes. This license is issued in the name of the University’s Radiation Safety Officer who in turn authorizes individual researchers to possess materials under this license. One requirement of the license is that all individuals who possess materials as part of the license agree to abide by all federal and state regulations pertaining to these materials and machines.


A few of these regulations are linked below. This short list is by no means complete and in no way encompasses the entire body of regulations necessary for the compliant use of these materials and machines. Such a list is far too exhaustive for this website. As may be evident from the provided links these regulations are often written in a manner that may make them difficult to interpret or understand clearly. The radiation safety office maintains personnel who are specifically trained in use and applicability of these regulations and those not specifically linked here. Please don’t hesitate to use this expertise should you have a question that may involve regulatory compliance.


  • You can find NRC regulatory guidance here: 10 CFR Part 20 for those standards
  • You can find ODEQ regulatory guidance here: (OAC) 252:410
  • You can find DOT regulatory guidance here: 49 CFR 173
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