Disused Sources: The Need for Proper Management and Disposition
A disused source is any sealed source of radioactive material that is not currently being utilized and will never be utilized again for the original intended purpose.
There are approximately 2 million sealed sources and tens of thousands of disused sources in the United States.
Due to the increasing use of radioactive sources within the United States along with the lack of a comprehensive database and tracking system, it has become relatively easy to obtain sealed sources. The sources could be utilized individually or in aggregate in a radiological dispersion device or in a radiation exposure device.
In September 2011, at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration/Global Threat Reduction Initiative (NNSA/GTRI), the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum (LLW Forum) formed the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG). The working group, which was comprised of eight Directors of the LLW Forum, solicited input from a broad range of stakeholders at 19 meetings over a 30-month period.
The DSWG has developed 24 recommendations to be considered by States, Federal agencies and industry representatives in implementing individual contributions towards a timely and comprehensive solution.