United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Supplement to Policy and Guidance Directive FC 84-20, "Impact of Revision o f 10 CFR Part 51 on Materials Licensing Actions" PPOS-256

PDR-306070047

Title: Supplement to Policy and Guidance Directive FC

84-20, "Impact of Revision of 10 CFR Part 51 on Materials

Licensing Actions"

See memorandum from R. E. Cunningham dated February 19,

1992, providing guidance for determining when field studies

are eligible for a categorical exclusion in accordance with

10 CFR 51.22 and do not require coordination with NMSS.

The memo contains two enclosures which should be consulted

for additional information. HPPOS-209 contains a related

topic.

A major revision of 10 CFR Part 51 was published in the

Federal Register in March 1984 (49 FR 9352) and established

which categories of licensing actions are categorical

exclusions and no not require an environmental assessment.

A categorical exclusion for the use of radioactive material

for research and development, and for educational purposes

is granted in 10 CFR 51.22 (c) (14) (v). However, the

Statements of Consideration state that, "This categorical

exclusion dose not encompassperformance of field studies in

which licensed material is deliberately released directly

into the environment for purposes of study." The need for

an environmental assessment for field studies should

continue to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A

request for an environmental assessment can always be

required in accordance with the provisions specified in 10

CFR 51.22 (b).

Field studies that deliberately release radioactive

material into the environment, such as tagging of animals

which remain in the wild, may require an environmental

assessment in accordance with 10 CFR 51.21. Further, if

the proposed activity is not similar to normal routine

research, development and educational activities, then an

environmental assessment may be needed. All studies that

may require an environmental assessment must be coordinated

with NMSS as a Technical Assistance Request (TAR).

Field studies that do not deliberately release radioactive

material to the environment, such as tagging of animals and

penning then to prevent escape, may be eligible for a

categorical exclusion (see Enclosure 1 for additional

examples). If the field study does not involve the

"intentional or deliberate" release of radioactive material

into the environment (e.g., the release is recoverable,

retrievable, revocable) and it is a research, development,

or educational activity, then the field study qualifies for

a categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22 (c)

(14) (v). If the field study is not research, development

or education, but the field study could qualify as a

"similar" activity compared with other 10 CFR 51.22 (c)

(14) (xvi) activities, then the field study qualifies for a

categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22 (c)

(14) (xvi). In these cases, a written explanatory

memorandum must be prepared describing that the amount,

type, and activity is similar to routine research,

development, or educational activities and criteria for a

categorical exclusion listed in 10 CFR 51.22 (c) (14)

(xvi). The information which should be contained in the

memorandum includes:

1. A description of the study which includes the

radionuclide (chemical characteristics and solubility),

total activity, procedures to control and control the

radioactive material, location of study, size of study, and

length of time study will be conducted (material must be

controlled and cleaned up to qualify),

2. The potential dose to individuals and estimated

effluent releases (dose and releases must be less than 10

percent of the 10 CFR Part 20 limits to qualify),

3. A statement that there is no impact to endangered

species, and 4. A statement on the ability to restrict

access to the study area.

This memorandum must be made part of the permanent docket

file and be approved by the appropriate Division Director

or his delegate. The flow diagram in Figure 1 (Enclosure

2) assists in determining when field studies are eligible

for categorical exclusion.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 51.21, 10 CFR 51.22

Subject codes: 11.1, 11.8

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012