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Office of Research Services

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Radioactive Materials Shipping, Receipt & Storage

​The Division of Radiation Safety oversees the receipt of all radioactive materials, ensuring that packages are handled expeditiously and according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations.​

​​Ordering Radioactive Materials

Radioactive materials can only be ordered by an Authorized User (AU) approved by the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC). All supervised individual users intending to receive and use radioactive materials ordered by an AU must receive the appropriate training and be approved by the Division of Radiation Safety. 

Review the NIH's policy on obtaining, receiving, storing, and maintaining radioactive materials, ​on the DRS Intranet​ (NIH credentials required​).

​​Receiving Radioactive Materials​

To receive radioactive material in a timely fashion, AUs must follow the DRS procedures and ordering processes listed below, as well as any processes associated with their Institute(s).  

All ordered radioactive materials must be delivered to the DRS in Building 21 for inspection and repackaging prior to delivery to the AU's intended laboratory. When placing orders for radioactive materials, the purchasing agent must indicate the shipping address as follows:

Division of Radiation Safety
National Institutes of Health 
Building​ 21 Room 107 
21 Wilson Drive 
Bethesda, MD 20892-6780 ​

If a lab receives a direct delivery of radioactive material, the package is NOT to be opened. The DRS must be contacted immediately at 301-496-3277 to have the package picked up and brought back to Building 21 for inspection.


​No-Charge Deliveries

No-Charge deliveries involve any material that is sent to you from a manufacturer or research institution free of charge. A properly completed electronic Request for Use and Purchase of Radioactive Material (NIH Form 88-1)​​​​​​ through the AU portal must be received at least one day prior to the material's arrival. The package must be delivered directly to Building 21 for immediate inspection by the DRS just as if it had been ordered through a vendor​.


All radioactive material to be shipped off campus must be shipped by the DRS. The DRS will properly package the shipment according to Department of Transportation and Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations.  

If this is the first time shipping through the DRS or shipping to a new destination, the DRS must be notified at least one week in advance. For all routine shipments, 24-hour advance notice is required.  

For any questions or to schedule a shipment, contact the DRS Materials Control and Analysis Branch at (301) 496-3277. 


​Related links​​