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NRC Considering Request by Minnesota to be an "Agreement State"

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission formally announced that it is considering a request from the governor of Minnesota to become an Agreement State. If the request is accepted, Minnesota will become the 34th state to sign such an agreement with the NRC. The notice was published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2005 (70 FR 68102). Comments are requested on the proposed Agreement and the NRC Draft Staff Assessment which finds the Program adequate to protect public health and safety and compatible with NRC’s program for regulation of agreement material.

Under the proposed agreement, the NRC would transfer to Minnesota the responsibility for licensing, rulemaking, inspection and enforcement activities for: (1) radioactive materials produced as a byproduct of processes related to the production or utilization of special nuclear material (SNM); (2) source material (uranium and thorium); and (3) SNM in quantities not sufficient to support a nuclear chain reaction. If the agreement is approved, approximately 167 NRC licenses, many of them for medical and industrial uses, would be transferred to Minnesota’s jurisdiction. The NRC would retain jurisdiction over a number of activities identified in 10 CFR Part 150, including regulation of commercial nuclear power plants and federal agencies using certain nuclear material in the state. In addition, NRC would retain authority for the review, evaluation and approval of sealed sources and devices containing certain nuclear materials within the state.

After the effective date of the Agreement, licenses issued by the NRC would continue in effect as Minnesota licenses until the licenses expire or are replaced by State-issued licenses.

Comments are due by December 9, 2005. Written comments should be sent to Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rules Review and Directives Branch, Division of Freedom of Information and Publications Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Comments may be submitted electronically at nrcrep@nrc.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact Lynne Fairobent, AAPM’s Manager of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs at lynne@aapm.org.