Authorization of Ionizing Radiation Sources

The procurement, possession or use of radiation-generating machines is permitted only pursuant to a Radiation Permit issued by the Division of Research Safety (DRS). 

X-Ray Application Process

Obtain a copy of the X-Ray Application from Appendix E of the X-Ray Safety Manual. Provide full and complete responses to the application and submit it to DRS. 

DRS reviews the application and prepares a Radiation Permit including locations and conditions for use of radiation-generating machines. DRS obtains the approval signatures of the campus Radiation Safety Officer and the Radiation and Laser Safety Committee Chair. The permit is then returned to the applicant in duplicate. The Principal Investigator (PI) and his or her unit head must sign and return one copy of the permit to DRS, thereby acknowledging their acceptance of the responsibilities associated with the permitted activities. The other copy of the permit is retained by the PI and must be made available to persons using radiation sources under its provisions.

Once all signatures have been obtained, the permit is in effect. Before operations under the permit commence, DRS personnel perform an inspection of the laboratory to ensure the area is effectively shielded and properly posted.

Radiation Permit Longevity

A permit is valid as long as the conditions in the permit are fulfilled and there is a need for radiation-generating devices in the laboratory. In some cases, a PI may need a Radiation Permit for a finite period of time. At the end of that time, the permit should be deactivated in accordance with Section 2.4 of the X-ray Safety Manual


A permit can be amended at any time. To request an amendment, the PI contacts DRS personnel in writing with the desired change. The change is evaluated. If amended, the Radiation Safety Officer authorizes the new permit and a copy is sent to the PI. Additional signatures are not required.

Deactivating/Reactivating a Permit

If a radiation machine is inoperable, DRS should be contacted with the machine’s disposition. DRS will coordinate communications with Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to have the machine deregistered. 

A PI can simply reactivate a previously deactivated permit by contacting DRS. No additional signatures are required to reactivate a permit.

Registration of Radiation Producing Machines

Radiation-producing machines must be registered with the IEMA, Division of Nuclear Safety. DRS serves as the liaison with government agencies and will complete the registration for all machines on campus. Campus units are responsible for providing all required information and informing DRS of any changes in the equipment or installation. Campus units are also responsible for paying the annual registration fees associated with this requirement.

Training Requirements

Each PI is responsible for providing radiation safety training to persons using radiation-generating machines under his or her supervision. Other individuals may provide the training under the supervision of the PI. DRS can provide general training to personnel upon request. DRS offers training from our training webpage.

The law requires that individuals shall be instructed in the following topics before working with radioactive materials:

  • Health problems associated with exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • Precautions or procedures to minimize exposure.
  • Purposes and functions of protective devices employed.
  • The Permit conditions and the applicable portions of the Radiation Safety Manual.
  • Worker’s responsibility to promptly report any condition that may lead to or cause a violation of the regulations or cause an unnecessary exposure.
  • Actions to take in the event of an emergency.
  • Radiation exposure reports that workers may request.

Particular attention should be given to required survey requirements, dosimetry requirements, necessary documentation, safety precautions/equipment, precautions during pregnancy, and locations where radiation sources are authorized. 

The extent of the instruction shall be commensurate with the potential radiological health problems in the work area.

A summary of the topics covered, who attended the training and when the training occurred must be documented. 


Definition of radiation terms can be found in the Appendix F of the X-Ray Safety Manual.

Last Update: 1/23/2017
Updated By: armille3