PROCESSES AND ISSUES TO CONSIDER ON WHETHER OR NOT TO AMEND AGREEMENT STATE STATUS
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PROCESSES AND ISSUES TO CONSIDER ON WHETHER OR NOT TO AMEND AGREEMENT STATE STATUS Uranium Working Group August 2, 2012. VDH’s Division of Radiological Health is the state radiation control agency; that is, the lead coordinating agency for r adioactive materials.

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PROCESSES AND ISSUES TO CONSIDER ON WHETHER OR NOT TO AMEND AGREEMENT STATE STATUS

Uranium Working Group

August 2, 2012


Virginia s current agreement status

  • Virginia is already an Agreement State for radioactive materials licensing and inspections (source and special nuclear material) – but not for uranium milling (byproduct material).

  • If the moratorium on Uranium mining was lifted, the NRC would be the lead agency for regulating uranium mills unless Virginia amends our current agreement.

  • Virginia’s Current Agreement Status


    Current agreement states

    • Utah - only state with an operating mill; most applicable to Virginia’s situation; incorporated NRC regulations by direct reference and added non-degradation standard for state waters.

    • Texas - established regulatory limits for equipment release as opposed to using NRC guidance; some were less stringent.

    • Washington - Essentially same as NRC regulations.

    • Colorado - added regulations as a result of legislative action, defining “classified radioactive material” which NRC does not use. Applicant must show they can prevent leakage or migration or excursion into ground water outside of the permitted area.

    Current Agreement States


    Factors to consider when deciding to become an agreement state

    • If the moratorium were lifted, the state would have to develop milling-specific regulations:

      • NRC requirements, governed under 10 CFR Part 40, must be the minimum standard.

    • State regulations may be more stringent than NRC’s:

      • Study results would be used to guide development of additional standards, safeguards and regulations, e.g., considering conditions unique to Virginia.

      • Examples might include special considerations for Virginia’s climatology, hydrology and other unique characteristics.

      • Public comment period and NRC approval required.

    Factors to Consider when Deciding to Become an Agreement State


    Factors to consider when deciding to become an agreement state1

    • Responsibility and resources for licensing and inspecting uranium milling facilities:

      • Staff

      • Training

      • Equipment

    • Significant time and resources are necessary to develop state regulations and meet program start-up requirements to achieve Agreement State status

    • It can take several years to establish programs and agreement with the NRC – impact of slowing the regulatory process.

    Factors to Consider when Deciding to Become an Agreement State


    Factors to consider when deciding to become an agreement state2

    • Cost considerations include: uranium milling facilities:

      • Staffing

        • Expertise needed is unique - qualified, experienced staff, particularly individuals with uranium experience.

      • Training

      • Equipment

      • Radiological monitoring, sampling and analysis

      • Responsibility to review designs, operation plans and procedures for proposed facilities.

      • Inspecting operating facilities.

      • Approving facility closure plans, decommissioning.

    Factors to Consider when Deciding to Become an Agreement State


    • Whether the state wants to implement increased requirements on an operator such as requirements to fund epidemiologic studies or medical surveillance.

    • Whether the state wants to exercise greater local control of health and safety, waste management, environmental compliance, processing and disposal and any remediation or reclamation required.

    • Study will determine whether there are any regulations or standards that should be more stringent than NRC’s 10CFR40 to account for Virginia’s population density, rainfall, temperate climate, water table levels and geography.

    Factors to Consider when Deciding to Become an Agreement State


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