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Radioisotope Use Authorization: Overview

Learn about eligibility requirements, recharge rates, and when to amend, renew, and deactivate the Radioisotope Use Authorization (RUA).


Principal investigators (PI) must obtain a Radioisotope Use Authorization (RUA) to possess and use radioactive materials for research.

The RUA is an agreement between a PI and UC San Diego specifying how and where radioactive materials will be used. Keep a copy of the RUA available for inspectors in the main radioactive materials use area.

To be eligible for an RUA, the PI must:

  • Be a faculty member
  • Have an independent space assignment
  • Have independent funding
  • Attend the Radiation: Safety Seminar or equivalent

Apply for and manage a RUA

Amend the RUA when any of the following critical elements change:

  • Project summary
  • Isotopes
  • Lab manager or personnel
  • Work locations
  • Human or animal protocols

Renew the RUA 1 year after initial approval, and annually every year thereafter. Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) will notify the PI when it's time for renewal.

Deactivate the RUA when the PI is retiring, leaving UC San Diego, or no longer possesses radioactive materials.

Recharge rates

A recharge, depending on laboratory classification as specified in your RUA, is required to help defray costs associated with maintaining the UC San Diego State of California radioactive materials use license. The following rates apply:

  • Low-use lab – $65 monthly
  • High-use lab – $195 monthly
  • Sealed source lab – $65 monthly
  • Sealed source labs authorized to posses 1 and only 1 generally licensed device may be exempted from the monthly recharge at the discretion of the Radiation Safety Officer
Questions? Contact EH&S Radiation Safety, (858) 822-2494.