Radiation Control Programs Provide Limited Protection

HRD-80-25: Published: Dec 4, 1979. Publicly Released: Dec 4, 1979.

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A survey was made of the radiation control programs of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Food and Drug Administration, and eight States: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.

Despite widespread recognition of the hazards of radiation, no comprehensive program existed to protect the public from the hazards radiation presents. Federal programs did not cover many sources of radiation and often provided only limited protection in the areas they did cover; some State programs were broad in scope but often lacked depth and received only minimal Federal support. As a result of a study completed in June 1979 by an interagency task force, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare recommended to the President that a Radiation Policy Council be established. On October 23, 1979, the President announced his approval for the establishment of such a body.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should require that: (1) the Commission and its agreement States establish followup procedures to verify that serious violations identified during inspections of licensees are corrected; (2) copies of Commission evaluation reports be provided to agreement States; (3) Commission evaluators determine whether licensing and inspection deficiencies identified in previous State evaluations have been corrected. The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare should direct the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration to develop procedures to assure that followup tests are made in cases where X-ray assembly field tests have identified serious hazards. When an interagency Radiation Policy Council is established, the council should give high priority to evaluating the adequacy of Federal and State radiation programs and the need for more coordination among Federal and State regulatory agencies.

    Agency Affected:


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