Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Managing radiation in NSW

Disposal of regulated material

The NSW Radiation Control Act 1990 and Radiation Control Regulation 2013 impose restrictions on persons using regulated material (radioactive substances, ionising radiation apparatus, certain non-ionising radiation apparatus, and sealed source devices). Clause 34 of the Regulation states that a person must not dispose of any regulated material except with the consent of, and in accordance with any conditions imposed by, the Chair of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

Radiation apparatus

If a person wishes to dispose of radiation apparatus, the apparatus must first be rendered permanently inoperable. Apparatus regulated under the Regulation is required to be disposed of in accordance with the conditions attached to the management licence. Any person wanting to dispose of radiation apparatus must notify the EPA of the disposal by completing and submitting the Radiation Management Licence: Variation Application form (PDF 520KB).

Sealed sources

Generally, sealed radioactive sources that are of no further use can be disposed of by returning them to the source supplier or manufacturer, or sent overseas for recycling or reuse.

When disposing of a sealed source, the person seeking to dispose the source must apply to the Chair of the EPA for consent to carry out the disposal. The letter requesting consent, together with other documentation must, as far as practicable, provide the following information:

  • If employing a consultant, a letter authorising the consultant(s) to act on behalf of the person in the matter of disposal.
  • Details of the sealed radioactive source(s) for disposal, including the contained radionuclide(s) and their activity in becquerels (Bq).
  • Serial number(s) and assay date(s) of the sealed radioactive source(s) being disposed.
  • Details of the method of the proposed accumulation including details of packaging, storage and transport of the sealed source(s).
  • Details of any device(s) housing the sealed radioactive source(s).
  • The name(s) of the person(s) proposed to handle the sealed radioactive source(s) during the course of their disposal.
  • Details of any wipe test(s) on the sealed radioactive source(s) or sealed source device(s) and if there is any possibility of leakage from the sealed radioactive source(s). If a wipe test is only on the device, the sealed radioactive source must be disposed of in the device.
  • Details of the place or places proposed for ultimate disposal of the sealed radioactive source(s).
  • The approximate date(s) for disposal of the sealed radioactive source(s).

Approval to dispose

On assessment, the EPA will issue an approval to dispose of the sealed radioactive source(s). The person wishing to dispose of a sealed radioactive source(s) must comply with the conditions of the approval.

For further information, contact the EPA's Hazardous Materials, Chemicals and Radiation Section on (02) 9995 5959 or 131 555.

Page last updated: 04 July 2017