ALARA Policy

Last updated: February 2019

Policy Statement

Northwestern University is committed to the safe use of ionizing radiation in all aspects of its teaching and research mission.

It is the policy of Northwestern University to keep any and all exposures to (or releases of) radiation sources “As Low As is Reasonably Achievable” (or simply the ALARA principle).


This policy is required as a condition of having a Broad Scope Radioactive Materials License under various federal and state rules and regulations.


All members of Northwestern University's research community.

ALARA As Low As Reasonably Achievable
ALARA Principle University policy to keep any and all exposures to (or releases of) radiation sources ALARA.
Authorized Investigator Appointed faculty approved by RSC to conduct research, academic, and clinical activities utilizing radiation source(s) at the University.
Broad Scope License Authorization to receive, acquire, own, possess, use, and transfer any chemical or physical form of radioactive material specified in the license; requires oversight of RSC.
HPS Health Physics Services
IEMA Illinois Emergency Management Agency - regulatory body that governs the use of radiation sources.
RS Research Safety
Radiation Safety Handbook Bench-top job aid for research personnel
Radiation Safety Program Comprehensive institutional oversight for the safe use of ionizing radiation at Northwestern University
RSC Radiation Safety Committee
RSO Radiation Safety Officer

Related Information

Radiation Safety Program

Radiation Safety Handbook


If you have any questions, please call the Research Safety at 312-503-8300 and ask to speak to the Radiation Safety Officer or the Assistant Radiation Safety Officer.