United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Authority of Agreement States Concerning Their Licensees Working at DOE Facilities

HPPOS-197 PDR-9111210327

Title: Authority of Agreement States Concerning Their

Licensees Working at DOE Facilities

See the memorandum from R. L. Fonner to G. L. Sjoblom dated

March 20, 1987. Agreement States have continuing authority

over their licensees working at DOE facilities, such as the

case of the radiography overexposure incident at Idaho

National Engineering Laboratory. This is not true for the

rare situation of exclusive federal jurisdiction.

Numerous documents are enclosed that describe an incident

at the DOE's Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL)

where a source disconnect occurred while radiography

operations were being conducted on December 8, 1976. Film

badges worn by the two radiographers involved showed total

body doses of 3.2 rems and 4.8 rems.

Guidance was sought because DOE's Chief Counsel at the

Idaho Operations Office stated that, although INEL was not

an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction but rather one of

proprietary jurisdiction, DOE considered the site as

exclusive for licensing purposes and that DOE does not

recognize any State responsibility at INEL. The State of

Idaho, however, questioned this opinion in regards to the

State's role in licensing and investigative responsibility.

The Office of General Council, NRC, stated that the

enforcement jurisdiction in this case was vested in the

State of Idaho. This would also be the situation under the

reciprocity provisions of State law if the radiography

company had been licensed by NRC but engaged in activities

in an Agreement State. (See the parallel reciprocity

provisions contained in 10 CFR 150.20.)

As to jurisdiction, the NRC does not exercise regulatory or

enforcement authority over radiographers at INEL. In

Agreement States, the NRC would license and regulate

private parties, such as the radiographers, who are

normally subject to State jurisdiction only in areas of

exclusive federal jurisdiction. Exclusive federal

jurisdiction is based upon Article I, Section 8, Clause 17

of the Constitution and applies only to land acquired

according to its terms; primarily that the State

Legislature has ceded exclusive jurisdiction over the land

to the federal government and Congress has accepted the

land on that basis. Relatively few areas such as described


Regulatory references: 10 CFR 30.12, 10 CFR 150.20

Subject codes: 12.2, 12.9

Applicability: Byproduct Material

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012