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Dispose of a radiation source

Radiation sources need to be disposed of in accordance with Sections 26 and 27 of the Radiation Safety Act 1999 and Sections 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

Possession Licensees seeking to dispose of their radiation sources will need to follow a process to ensure the radiation source will not harm people or the environment.

There are different requirements for disposing of different types of radiation sources:

Notify Radiation Health within 7 days of disposing of the radiation source. You will remain responsible for the radiation source until this notice has been received. Tracking the disposal of radiation sources is necessary to ensure that safety requirements to minimise the risks involved with radiation are being met.

Dispose of radiation apparatus

If you dispose of your radiation apparatus you need to ensure that:

  • the equipment is rendered permanently inoperable, incapable of being repaired, and incapable of producing radiation (for example by destroying the main components, such as the X-ray tube)
  • all radiation warning signs are removed (for example radiation hazard signs)
  • notice is given within 7 days after disposal to the Chief Executive.

Radiation equipment needs to be disposed of in accordance with Section 27 of the Radiation Safety Act 1999 and Section 18 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

Dispose of unsealed radioactive material with low concentration levels

You can dispose of radioactive material without seeking approval if the concentration or activity of a radionuclide is not more than the maximum listed in Schedule 3 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

Maximum concentration or activity levels vary depending on the radionuclide and where the radiation source is being disposed:

  • for air, water or sewerage system concentration levels see Sections 15 and 16 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010
  • for concentration levels in all other methods of disposal see Section 17 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

These concentration levels need to be achieved before the release of the material into the environment. Disposal of concentrations of radioactive material above the levels mentioned in Schedule 3 is illegal except if authorised by an Approval to Dispose.

Radioactive material needs to be disposed of in accordance with Section 26 of the Radiation Safety Act 1999 and Section 15, 16, 17 and 18 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

Maximum concentration levels for disposal are lower than the concentration levels that require a person to hold a Possession Licence. This helps to ensure that no one receives an unacceptable dose of radiation.

Apply for an Approval to Dispose of unsealed radioactive material for elevated concentration levels

Approval to Dispose of radioactive material (PDF 995 kB)

Use this form to apply for an Approval to Dispose of radioactive material when the concentration or activity of a radionuclide is more than the maximum listed in Schedule 3 of the Radiation Safety Regulation 2010.

Your application needs to include:

  • details of the radioactive material
  • reason for disposing of the radioactive material
  • the impact disposal will have on people and the environment, including details of how you will ensure the following criteria will be met:
    • no person will receive greater than 300µSv a year as a result of the disposal
    • disposal is the best option to protect ecological health and public safety.
Last updated: 4 December 2020