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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 UCSD, 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 UCSD's 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.
Notice: Refer to the Radiation Safety Manual (PDF) for a detailed description of UCSD's radiation safety program.