Specific Radioactive Material License

Who Needs One?

Persons who possess or use radioactive materials are required to obtain a Specific Radioactive Material License from the Division of Radiological Health. Examples of activities and facilities that require a license include the use of radioactive material for animal and human research, nuclear pharmacies, veterinary medicine, industrial devices, manufacturing of radiation sources, and radioactive waste disposal/processing facilities. There are more than 40 types of Specific Radioactive Material Licenses available. Contact the Division of Radiological Health for a complete listing.

There are certain radioactive materials, products and sources that are exempt from licensing. These exemptions are set forth in State Regulations for Protection Against Radiation. Examples of these exemptions are uranium used as shielding that constitutes any part of a shipping container; uranium contained in detector heads in fire detection systems; finished optical lenses that contain thorium; gas mantles, vacuum tubes and welding rods that contain thorium; photographic film, negatives and prints containing uranium or thorium; time pieces, hands or dials containing less than 25 millicuries of tritium; and thermostat dials and pointers containing less than 25 millicuries of tritium.

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit the following items with the proper fee:

  • An Application For Radioactive Material License (Form RHS 8-5) which requires the name and address of the applicant and the location where the radioactive material will be used; name, title and training of the individual who will use and/or directly supervise the use of radioactive material; name of the radiation protection officer with documentation of training; the radioactive material (element and mass number); the chemical and/or physical form and maximum number of millicuries of each isotope; and purpose for which the radioactive material is to be used.
  • Additional required information is specific to the hazard associated with the use of radioactive material. This information includes, but is not limited to, radiation detection instruments; method, frequency and standards used in calibrating radiation detection instruments; personnel dosimetry information; facilities and equipment description; radiation protection program; and waste disposal information. Larger facilities may be required to submit baseline sampling and/or ambient radiation level monitoring. Contact the Division for more information regarding applicable forms, and if necessary, pre-application requirements.
Specific Radioactive Materials License - Form Description For: Form Number Instructions
Most Uses RHS 8-5
Process Gauges RHS 8-5
Portable Lead Detection RHS 8-5
Medical RHS 8-5
Training and Experience and Preceptor Attestation RHS 8-5a
Moisture/Density RHS 8-5
Industrial Radiography RHS 8-5R
In-Vitro Testing

RHS 8-5I

Source Material RHS 8-6

How Is The Application Processed?

Upon receipt of the application, an initial review for completeness is made, and an invoice for the required fee is generated. After receipt of the necessary fee, application review begins. If necessary, the Division sends a deficiency letter to the applicant. No public notice is required. A Specific Radioactive Material License will be issued within 60 days of receipt of an adequate application and/or adequate response(s) from the applicant as determined by the review. Licenses are normally valid for two (2) to five (5) years, depending on the amount and use of radioactive material requested.

What Fees Are Required?

The initial application fee for the license varies from $300 to $450,000 depending on the use of radioactive material requested. There are 13 fee categories outlined in State Regulations for Protection Against Radiation. Contact the Division of Radiological Health for more information concerning fees.

The annual license fee is the same as the application fee and is required for the duration of the license. License categories nine (9) through (12) require payment of the application fee each year until the license is issued. The application fee transfers as the maintenance fee for the year in which the license is issued.

What Are My Rights And Responsibilities After The License Is Granted?

The licensee may proceed with the approved activities. The license may be transferred in accordance with the rules and regulations and with the written consent of the Division and both parties. The licensee also has the right to request an amendment of the license, changing the scope of activities or kinds and amounts of radioactive material to be processed. Changes in the scope of authorized activities may change the fee category and require additional fees as well as require necessary changes in the licensee's radiation protection program.

The licensee is required to comply with the conditions of the Specific Radioactive Material License and State Regulations for Protection Against Radiation. They include, but are not limited to, limiting radiation exposure of personnel and members of the public to as low a level as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and the proper use, maintenance, security, storage and disposal of radioactive material.

What Are The Division's Rights And Responsibilities After The License Is Granted?

The Division has the right to inspect licensed individuals and facilities as deemed necessary. License violations are subject to civil penalties up to $5,000 per day per violation. In the event of a threat to public health and safety, the Division has the right to confiscate radiation sources.

The Division is responsible for regulating sources of radiation in order to protect the health and welfare of the people and environment of the State of Tennessee.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance And Other Sources Of Information?

Applications and assistance may be obtained from the Manager of Licensing, Division of Radiological Health located in Nashville.

Applicants may refer to the following publications: