Development of Interagency Relationships in the Regulation of Nuclear Materials and Facilities

RED-76-72: Published: Mar 10, 1976. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 1976.

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A review was made of the relationships between the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), and other executive agencies in the conduct of the regulatory programs for research, reactor safety, and domestic and international safeguards. The interagency memorandums for regulatory research involve the Commission's use of ERDA's light water reactor safety research facilities and use of national laboratories for general research and technical assistance. The first memorandum, which is the model for all others, gives NRC control over the design and management of its research; however, ERDA's responsibilities under the memorandum could affect NRC's research.

Although the first memorandum specifies broad principles and general working relationships, the agencies have not formally agreed to detailed operating procedures for conducting NRC's research nor have they agreed on procedures for promptly resolving disagreements between them. The interagency agreements and procedures for domestic and international safeguards involve NRC's issuance of export licenses for nuclear materials, facilities, and equipment; safeguarding responsibilities at licensed facilities which also do work under an ERDA contract; and use of ERDA's laboratory for special nuclear material analytical services. Under arrangements between NRC and executive branch agencies for reviewing export license applications, NRC is limited in its ability to make an independent regulatory evaluation of whether an export would be harmful to the common defense and security of the U.S.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: In all instances of negotiation regarding NRC's use of ERDA's facilities and technical expertise, NRC and ERDA should agree to: (1) detailed procedures for conducting the research or technical assistance project, (2) detailed procedures for promptly resolving disagreements between the agencies, and (3) development of an interagency agreement under which NRC personnel will regularly participate in inspections of the physical security measures to be applied to U.S.-supplied nuclear materials, equipment, and facilities in importing countries.

    Agency Affected:


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