Society News Archive

23 October 2017
NRC Seeks Comments on NARM Regulations

On 23 August 2017, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a Federal Register notice (FRN) inviting public comment on a petition for rulemaking (PRM) by the Organization of Agreement States. The PRM seeks to remove a significant regulatory burden on potential users of naturally occurring and accelerator-produced radioactive materials (NARM) for new medical or industrial applications. As of October 20, the NRC has received no comments from potentially affected medical or industrial licensees or applicants. The deadline for comments is 6 November.

The PRM would open Appendix B of Part 30 to previously unlisted NARM radionuclides, enabling users and potential users of those radionuclides to avoid a restrictive default possession threshold for unlisted radionuclides that would effectively require an unnecessarily burdensome decommissioning funding plan.

The FRN notes that "the petitioner believe[s] that patient health and safety is being compromised due to licensing delays of important diagnostic and therapeutic products that utilize radioisotopes that are not listed in the appendix B table in 10 CFR part 30." The PRM also asserts that "development of new products could be discouraged . . . , diminishing the possibility of new innovative and beneficial options in both medical and industrial applications."

The petition does not, however, mention any nuclides other than 68Ge and 57Co as candidates for Appendix B. The FRN therefore specifically asks the interested public to identify what other products or technologies are or could be adversely affected because the radioactive materials they require are not currently listed in Appendix B. The FRN also seeks comment on three other pertinent questions.

If you would like to respond to these questions, submit your comments to using docket number NRC-2017-0159.

You can access the FRN online using the URL and opening the year, month, and date to find NRC notices on 23 August 2017.

The OAS petition is also online in NRC's Agencywide Document Access and Management System. Paste into your browser, click on the "Advanced Search" tab, select "accession number" as the Property, select "is equal to" as the Operator, and type "ML17123A233" as the Value. Then click the "Search" button.

Contacts are Robert MacDougall at 301-415-5175 ( and Said Daibes at 301-415-6863 (