United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Policy and Guidance Directive FC 83-23, "Termination of Byproduct, Source and Special Nuclear Material Licenses"

HPPOS-266 PDR-9306070308

Title: Policy and Guidance Directive FC 83-23,

"Termination of Byproduct, Source and Special Nuclear

Material Licenses"

See the memorandum from R. E. Cunningham to J. E. Glenn

(and others) dated November 4, 1983. This directive

provides guidance for Regions and Headquarters staff on

findings that need to be made before terminating any

byproduct, source, or special materials license.

The enclosed final rule (Enclosure 1) specifies licensee

responsibility and requirements for terminating a license

issued under 10 CFR Part 30, 10 CFR Part 40 and 10 CFR Part

70. Among other things, a licensee is required to submit

on or before the expiration date a radiation survey report

confirming the absence of radioactive materials or

specifying existing levels of residual radioactive

contamination present from past operations. A survey

report is not required if a licensee can show the absence

of radioactive contamination in some other manner, such as

the use of only sealed sources that never showed evidence

of leakage. If detectable levels of residual radioactive

contamination attributable to licensed operations are

found, the license continues in force until the Commission

notifies the licensee in writing that the license is


Review Procedure: Before terminating a license where

residual radioactive material contamination is present from

past licensed operations, NRC should determine whether:

1. A reasonable effort was made to eliminate residual

contamination, and

2. Residual radioactive contamination is acceptably

low to permit unrestricted release of the affected


If the levels of residual radioactive contamination on

surfaces and in soil are a small fraction of those normally

acceptable for unrestricted release, it is not necessary

for the licensee to describe the efforts made to reduce

contamination levels.

Policy and Guidance Directive FC 83-3, "Standard Review

Plan (SRP) for Termination of Special Nuclear Material

Licenses for Fuel Cycle Facilities", contains information

that is useful for terminating any byproduct, source, or

special nuclear material license.

In most cases involving short half-live radionuclides or

operations involving only sealed sources, an independent

confirmatory survey by NRC will not be necessary.

Confirmatory surveys should always be made if the

licensee's survey report appears suspect or past licensee

operations involved the chemical processing of hundreds of

milligrams of plutonium, tens of kilograms of enriched

uranium-235, or hundreds of kilograms of source material.

For materials licensees that used and processed hundreds of

millicuries of long half-life radionuclides (>1 year),

confirmatory surveys should be made in all cases. If it is

determined that a confirmatory survey will be made, a

notice should be sent to the licensee informing them that

the equipment and facilities should be held for NRC

inspection. Discretion may be exercised whether a

confirmatory survey is necessary if information, such as

inspections reports, is available that provides a basis for

acceptance of the licensee's survey.

Contamination Levels Generally Acceptable for Unrestricted

Areas: If the levels of contamination exceed the levels

discussed below and a judgment is made that further efforts

to reduce the contamination are not necessary for

termination of the license, an environmental impact

assessment should be made to support the termination. Such

cases should be reported to the Director of the Division of

Fuel Cycle and Material Safety, NMSS, before termination of

the license.

1. Surface contamination: See Enclosure 2 to memo.

2. Soil contamination: See Enclosure 3 to memo

3. Water contamination: If surface or ground water

contamination is below EPA's National Interim Primary Water

Regulations (EPA 570-9-76-003), the contamination is

acceptable for unrestricted areas.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 30.36, 10 CFR 40.42, 10 CFR


Subject codes: 5.8, 11.4

Applicability: Byproduct, Source, and Special Nuclear


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012