United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exemption of H-3 or C-14 Contaminated Scintillation Media or Animal Tissues Under 10 CFR 20.306

HPPOS-031 PDR-9111210155

Title: Exemption of H-3 or C-14 Contaminated Scintillation

Media or Animal Tissues Under 10 CFR 20.306

See the letter from D. A. Nussbaumer to J. D. Dunkleberger

(New York State Energy Office) dated September 8, 1981.

The letter states that H-3 or C-14 contaminated

scintillation media or animal tissue that qualifies for

disposal under 10 CFR 20.306 is exempt from further

regulation. If it is transferred to an Agreement State

without comparable regulation, the waste is subject to

regulation by that State. This health physics position

also applies to "new" 10 CFR 20.2005.

Representatives of New York State's radioactive material

control agencies had met and reviewed NRC's rule (FR, Vol.

47, No. 47, pp. 16230-16234, March 11, 1981) on the

disposal of certain H-3 and C-14 contaminated wastes. In

considering the NRC rule, questions concerning the

exemption, jurisdiction, recycling and importation of

wastes arose that needed to be resolved or clarified before

the State of New York could formally adopt comparable

provisions.

In response to the exemption question, NRR replied that

upon determination by a licensee that H-3 or C-14

contaminated scintillation media or animal tissue qualified

for disposal as non-radioactive waste under 10 CFR 20.306

[or 10 CFR 20.2005] or equivalent Agreement State

provisions, the material is exempt from further regulation

as radioactive material.

In response to the jurisdictional question, NRR replied

that if radioactive wastes were exempt from regulations

under 10 CFR 20.306 [or 10 CFR 20.2005] in one jurisdiction

and subsequently transferred into the jurisdiction of an

Agreement State that has not adopted comparable

regulations, the waste is subject to regulation and

licensing by the Agreement State.

In response to the recycling question, NRR stated that 10

CFR 20.306 [or 10 CFR 20.2005] pertains to the disposal of

specific wastes and that these wastes are garbage or

trash-material without value. In the context used, the

term "disposal" means the removal of waste from the public

and dispersing it to the environment through incineration,

landfill burial, etc., and that all disposal techniques

decrease the concentration of waste material. Any process,

such as reclamation or recycling, that increases the volume

concentration of the waste byproduct is not an appropriate

disposal technique and is subject to licensing.

On the question of the importation of H-3 or C-14

contaminated scintillation media or animal tissue, NRR

replied that the likelihood of this situation is remote.

However, because scintillation media or animal tissue

wastes originating outside the U.S. were not disposed of by

"any [USNRC] licensee," 10 CFR 20.306 [or 10 CFR 20.2005]

does not apply. Pursuant to 10 CFR 110.11, an NRC or

Agreement State licensee, such as a waste broker, is exempt

from an import license to the extent it imports byproduct

material that it is authorized to possess under an

exemption from licensing requirements or a specific or

general license issued by the Commission or an Agreement

State.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 20.306, 10 CFR 20.2005

Subject codes: 9.0, 9.7, 12.9

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012