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Update on the Proper Purchase and Usage Procedures of Uranyl Acetate, Uranyl Nitrate, and Thorium Compounds

Uranyl acetate and uranyl nitrate are relatively common laboratory chemicals that contain uranium and are therefore naturally radioactive. Contrary to most radioactive materials, these compounds can be legally purchased by anyone. They are categorized by radioactive material regulations as “Generally Licensed” compounds, meaning that the risk posed by them is low enough to allow them to be purchased without requiring a radioactive material license. Several thorium-containing chemicals also fall into this category. 


Although these “Generally Licensed” materials can be easily purchased and pose a low risk, regulations require that the material is tracked and properly disposed as radioactive waste. Therefore, researchers at the University of Utah using these materials must first obtain authorization through the Radiation Safety Office and use UShop to order these materials. Radiation Safety will work with researchers to ensure that all regulatory requirements are met. Contact Radiation Safety (PH: 801-581-6141) if you work with or plan on working with these materials. 

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Last Updated: 4/13/21