NCRP Issues Report re Radiation Safety of Sealed Radioactive Sources

On April 25, 2019, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) announced the release of NCRP Report No. 182 titled, Radiation Safety of Sealed Radioactive Sources.  NCRP Report No. 182 is intended to serve as “cradle to grave” guidance for sealed radioactive sources.

Interested stakeholders may purchase NCRP Report No. 182 at


NCRP Report No. 182, Radiation Safety of Sealed Radioactive Sources, provides information and guidance on the essential elements of a comprehensive “cradle to grave” program for the acquisition, use and disposition of sealed radioactive sources.  This user-friendly document combines information from a variety of different documents, bringing together regulatory information with best-practice guidance.

Sealed radioactive sources (also referred to as sealed sources) are used in a wide variety of occupational settings – including academic and medical institutions, the oil and gas industry, manufacturing industries, nuclear power plants and sterilization facilities.  Sealed radioactive sources are subject to different regulatory and licensing structures depending on the type of source and its application.

NCRP Report No. 182 provides guidance on the following aspects of radiation safety related to sealed radioactive sources:

  • design, fabrication and manufacturing of sealed radioactive sources;
  • source acquisition, receipt and inventory;
  • use in specific occupational settings – including the handling and use of 
low-penetrating power sources, such as electroplated or foil sources;
  • source storage and transportation;
  • proper disposal; and,
  • emergency preparedness for accidents and incidents involving sealed 
radioactive sources.

According to NRCP’s press release, interested stakeholders who are or who may find themselves responsible for sealed radioactive source control would benefit from the report – including radiation safety officers; facilities and programs regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Agreement States and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); scrap metal recyclers; and, small education institutions to large research facilities.  Regulatory authorities may also use NCRP Report No. 182 to establish or modify requirements for sealed radioactive source programs.


NCRP Report No. 182 includes new recommendations regarding:

  • a single definition of a sealed radioactive source and use of a categorization scheme for applying regulatory controls to sealed radioactive sources;
  • use and maintenance limitations for sealed radioactive sources and devices to end users;
  • inventory and tracking mechanisms applied to sealed radioactive sources and devices used 
under a general license; and,
  • return and/or disposal of disused and spent sealed radioactive source.


NCRP is a Congressionally chartered body that seeks to formulate and widely disseminate information, guidance and recommendations on radiation protection and measurements which represent the consensus of leading scientific thinking.

Additional information regarding NCRP is available at