United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Orphan sources (unwanted radioactive material)

Sealed sources of radioactive material contained in a small volume (but not radioactively contaminated soils and bulk metals) in any one or more of the following conditions:

  • An uncontrolled condition that requires removal to protect public health and safety from a radiological threat
  • A controlled or uncontrolled condition, for which a responsible party cannot be readily identified
  • A controlled condition, compromised by an inability to ensure the continued safety of the material (e.g., the licensee may have few or no options to provide for safe disposition of the material)
  • An uncontrolled condition, in which the material is in the possession of a person who did not seek, and is not licensed, to possess it
  • An uncontrolled condition, in which the material is in the possession of a State radiological protection program solely to mitigate a radiological threat resulting from one of the above conditions, and for which the State does not have the necessary means to provide for the appropriate disposition of the material

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, May 07, 2014