United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Jurisdiction of Mobile Radwaste Units Operating at Nuclear Power Plants

HPPOS-078 PDR-9111210199

See the letter from V. Stello, Jr., to J. S. Grant (Toledo Edison Company) dated February 28, 1979, and the enclosed letter from R. E. Cunningham to J. S. Stewart (Chem-Nuclear Systems, Inc.) dated September 14, 1978.

The functions performed by mobile radwaste units at power plants fall within the operation of the facility under 10 CFR Part 50. During transportation, the carrier possesses the licensed material in transit.

In a letter dated November 21, 1978, the Toledo Edison Company raised several questions concerning possession of radioactive waste material at nuclear power reactor sites and during shipment of these materials to Chem-Nuclear's waste burial grounds.

The functions performed by mobile radwaste units at nuclear power reactor sites fall within the scope of activities that may be carried out as part of reactor operations under a facility operating license issued pursuant to 10 CFR Part 50. Control of radioactive waste generated at a reactor site is the responsibility of the reactor facility licensee under its license.

A letter dated September 14, 1978, to Chem-Nuclear Systems, Inc., provides some information about the regulatory requirements on the use of contractor mobile radwaste systems. In any case, regardless of the method of processing radwaste, the reactor facility licensee is responsible for assuring that all activities on its site are carried out in a manner consistent with the facility operating license and the Commission's regulations.

The reactor facility licensee is also responsible for assuring that all activities are conducted in a manner that provide adequate protection from the standpoint of radiological health and safety.

In answer to specific questions raised in the letter dated November 21, 1978:

  1. The responsibility for control of reactor radwaste on the reactor site is governed by the reactor operating license. It is the reactor licensee's responsibility to assure that these activities are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the reactor operating license and the regulations of the NRC. The reactor licensee may have the activities carried out by employees or contractors. However, the responsibilities for radiological safety and the common defense and security imposed on the licensee by the reactor license and by the Commission's regulations remain with the reactor licensee.

  2. By 10 CFR 50.11 (c), common or contract carriers are exempt from licensing requirements. Private carriers require an NRC or Agreement State license to possess the material in carriage. In any case, the carrier possesses the licensed radioactive material in transit.

  3. The reactor licensee is responsible for assuring compliance with all NRC regulations applicable to radioactive material generated in the operation of the reactor.

These include all applicable requirements relating to the transfer of radioactive materials contained in 10 CFR Parts 20, 30, 70, 71, and 73. The reactor licensee, depending on circumstances, may also have obligations under transportation regulations, such as 49 CFR Parts 170 through 189.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 50

Subject codes: 9.0, 12.9

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 08, 2015