Review of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Monitoring of the States' Control of Certain Radioactive Material

EMD-77-4: Published: Nov 11, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 11, 1976.

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The Commission annually evaluates each State program to determine its adequacy in protecting public health and safety and continued compatibility with the Commission's regulatory program. Although technical- and administrative-related weaknesses are often noted during these reviews, the Commission usually concludes that each State's program is adequate and compatible. Occasionally, however, the weaknesses noted are serious enough that the Commission cannot make a determination that the program is adequate and compatible.

Commission officials explained that they could terminate a program, but the problems would have to be severe and the State unwilling or unable to solve them. The Commission, therefore, relies on voluntary compliance and, where needed schedules more frequent program reviews as a prod for making program improvements. The Commission has no enforcement authority to encourage State official to effect program improvements. Two specific problems frequently noted are that the States' funding and staffing levels are at or below the Commission's minimum guidelines. The Commission does not consistently highlight the relationship between unacceptable agreement program funding and staffing levels and observed technical-related weaknesses. State program directors have been unable to obtain requested additional funds to meet the guidelines. Only five States now collect fees for licensing radioactive materials users.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Commission should clearly relate funding and staff shortages to observed weaknesses in licensing and inspection practices; inform State governors of findings; develop model legislation for collecting license fees; and make copies of the annual review findings available to the public.

    Agency Affected:


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