United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Distribution of Products Irradiated in Research Reactors

HPPOS-095 PDR-9111210196

See the letter from F. J. Miraglia to All Non-Power Reactor Licensees dated June 25, 1986. The letter states that irradiation of products in a reactor is not prohibited; however, 10 CFR 30.14 prohibits the introduction of byproduct material into products for distribution to unlicensed persons except per license requirements contained in 10 CFR 32.11 or equivalent Agreement State regulations. Included with the letter is an NRC Policy Statement published in the Federal Register on March 16, 1965 (30 FR 3462).

The NRR office had received inquiries concerning products irradiated in research reactors that were subsequently distributed to unlicensed persons. The inquiries were related to the irradiation of gems, silicon chips, and other products.

The NRC is concerned that these products may acquire relatively long-lived induced radioactivity when irradiated in a reactor. Although irradiation of products in a reactor is not prohibited, 10 CFR 30.14 prohibits introduction of byproduct material into a product for distribution to an unlicensed distributor, unless the distributor has a specific license issued pursuant to 10 CFR 32.11.

Because Agreement States do not issue this type of license, the NRC has exclusive jurisdiction over reactors and distribution of radioactive consumer products. Licensees are responsible for assuring that distributors of any product that has acquired induced radioactivity in their reactor be licensed to distribute these products in accordance with 10 CFR 30.14 (c) and 30.31. If licensees directly distribute irradiated products to unlicensed individuals, a new license must be obtained to reflect this activity.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 30.14, 10 CFR 32.11

Subject codes: 3.5, 3.8, 12.2

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, June 09, 2015