Radiation safety

The SFU Radiation Safety program facilitates the safe and informed use of radiation sources and devices in research, teaching and the environment. The program is dedicated to safe management of radiation.

Compliance & oversight

Regulations & Guidelines

The use of radioactive materials or equipment generating ionizing radiation is federally regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and provincially by WorkSafeBC. The CNSC issues a consolidated radioisotope license for SFU which specifies conditions of use for prescribed substances.

Compliance with license conditions, policies, procedures, and regulations are monitored through inspections by Radiation Safety staff and the Compliance Division at CNSC and WorkSafeBC.

Radiation Safety Policy

SFU’s Radiation Safety Policy R20.04 establishes terms of reference, policies and procedures concerning the safe receiving, storage, handling and disposal of Radioactive Materials in accordance to all relevant standards. The policy also defines how Radiation Safety staff works in conjunction with the University Radiation Safety Committee to ensure the safe and legal acquisition, handling and disposal of radioactive material.

University Radiation Safety Committee    

The University Radiation Safety Committee, as outlined by the CNSC, acts to oversee and audit the Radiation Safety program. The committee is comprised of researchers with expertise and interest in the use of radiation.

Radionuclide Lab

The Radionuclide lab is located in the Biological Sciences wing of the Shrum Science Centre. Its functions are:

  • Ordering, receiving, distributing and in general tracking of radioisotopes
  • Handling and disposal of radioactive waste
  • House and maintain equipment for the detection and analysis of radioactivity

If you require assistance, please contact: ehs_rst@sfu.ca

Please note that  only radioisotope order requests  can be approved  by Radiation Safety staff  for radioisotopes listed in SFU's consolidated license. The  requested amount  has  to be  within specified  in-house  permits and will be assessed by Radiation Safety staff during the approval process. 

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM)

Naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) is material found in the environment that contains radioactive elements of natural origin. Uranium and Thorium compounds and classified as NORM's. 

Naturally occuring radioactive materials are regulated by the Canadian federal and provincial governments, lined out in the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) safeguards and non-proliferation series of regulatory documents.

At SFU, when uranyl compounds are intended to be used for microscopy work,  'Safeguards' which are implemented by the IAEA through legal treaty-level agreements must  be applied. Therefore, EHS Radiation Safety staff  monitors the user's  tracking  on inventory sheets for the use of uranium and thorium to ensure that the conditions detailed in SFU’s consolidated CNSC license are met with compliance.

Please contact EHS Radiation Safety if work with uranium or thorium compounds is planned in order to ensure that all requirements such as training, permits, ordering, waste generation, tracking, etc are fulfilled.

Please contact radsafe-info@sfu.ca for more info.