United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Transfer of Reactor Activated Materials to Persons Exempt

HPPOS-203 PDR-9111210346

Title: Transfer of Reactor Activated Materials to Persons


See the memorandum from S. A. Treby to V. L. Miller dated

July 21, 1988. The distribution of irradiated electronic

components from neutron activation must be licensed under

10 CFR 32.11. In addition, and in a different context, the

commercial transfer of products does not necessarily mean

the transfer of money between supplier and consumer.

HPPOS-131 and HPPOS-189 contain related topics.

Guidance was sought on whether a possession or distribution

license under 10 CFR 32 was required for two separate

situations. The first situation involved the irradiation

of electronic components for the purpose of determining

their "hardness" against radiation exposure. The

irradiation of these various components would result in

induced radioactivity.

The NRC stated that they had previously addressed the issue

of induced radiation in another context (see HPPOS-095).

From that issue, the term "introduction" was interpreted as

encompassing not only the introduction of byproduct

material into another product, but the activation of

material within a product or material and transforming it

into byproduct material. Therefore, if the activated

material within the electronic device being irradiated is

in exempt concentrations, it may be possessed and

transferred pursuant to the exemption provided under 10 CFR

30.14. But, the irradiator introducing the byproduct

material must be licensed pursuant to 10 CFR 32.11 if the

material is to be transferred to an exempt person under 10

CFR 30.14.

The second situation in which guidance was sought involved

the distribution of a small number of exempt quantity

"check sources" by an x-ray equipment manufacturer. In

this context, the manufacturer takes the position that

because it distributes the sources to its customers for

"free" (without monetary charge), he is not commercially

distributing them.

The manufacturer is interpreting the term "commercial

distribution" in a limited manner. The NRC views the

meaning of "commercial distribution" as the introduction of

a material into the market place, whether or not a charge

is assessed for that distribution. Because the NRC is

mandated to protect public health and safety from radiation

hazards, it would be absurd to determine the protection of

the public on the basis of whether a charge was made for a

quantity of byproduct material. Therefore, the

distribution is a "commercial distribution" and must be

licensed pursuant to 10 CFR 30.18 (d) and 10 CFR 32.18.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 30.14, 10 CFR 30.18, 10 CFR


Subject codes: 3.5, 11.1, 11.3

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012