Notes for Experimenters
24 Mar 2011



Please note the following information regarding your experiments at ISIS.




Bringing Samples to ISIS

Recent legislation (such as the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations 2009 and the EU ADR 2009) has placed much stricter controls on what, and how, chemicals may be transported from your home laboratory to ISIS and back again.

Many chemicals - including many that might surprise you - can now legally only be shipped to ISIS by an approved courier.

If in doubt, have a look at the chemicals Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). One will have been supplied by the manufacturer when you bought the chemical. Alternatively MSDS are freely available on the web.

If a UN or IATA Hazard Class between 1 and 9 is shown you must not transport that chemical in the passenger cabin of a road vehicle, railway carriage or aircraft, or send it through the postal service. It must instead be specially packed (a Packing Group code will also be shown on the MSDS) and shipped through an approved courier.

Your University Stores or Logistics Department will be pleased to assist you.

An approved courier might include one of your own technical or logistics staff if they have been suitably trained in the carriage of dangerous goods, the vehicle they will use is suitable for the purpose, and the vehicle is specifically insured to carry dangerous goods.

If you need further information about shipping samples to ISIS, please contact ISIS Sample Safety.

Special conditions apply if the sample is radioactive, or if it contains a 'nuclear material' (uranium, thorium, or plutonium, irrespective of the level of enrichment). Please see the next section.

The consequences of 'smuggling' a hazardous or radioactive chemical into ISIS can be serious. You will most definitely not be permitted to leave with it!

Thank you for your cooperation.


Radioactive or Nuclear Materials

Samples containing radioactive or nuclear (defined as U or Th or Pu) elements fall under UN Hazard Class 7. They cannot be shipped to ISIS unless prior authorisation has been requested and granted.

Please note: ISIS is currently required to apply the same procedures to all radioactive or nuclear materials no matter what the level of activity or enrichment.

To request authorisation, ask ISIS Sample Safety for a Radioactive Material Advance Notification Form. An example of such a form can be found below.

Example STFC Radioactive Material Advance No​tification Form

Also download and complete the Sample Information Form below and return that to ISIS Sample Safety.

ISIS Nuclear Materials Sample Information Form

Once authorisation to ship a radioactive/nuclear material is granted you must ensure that it is suitably packaged (to reduce contact activity to acceptable levels and prevent loss/contamination), and that the outer packaging is suitably labelled, carries your name and address and carries the 'RAL ID No.' that you will be provided with. Shipments that do not comply will likely be rejected and your beam time will be forfeit.


SANS Sample Containers

You are responsible for ensuring the provision of suitable sample containers for your SANS experiments.

In particular, ISIS regrets that it is no longer feasible for it to maintain a large loan pool of quartz cuvettes on LOQ and SANS2D. Advice about where to get suitable quartz cells can be found on the instrument web pages under the ‘Technical’ link (see left).

More specialized sample containers, for example vanadium cans or pressure cans, can often be provided by ISIS but may be subject to a long lead time. Early contact with the relevant Instrument Scientists is essential in such circumstances.