United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Technical Assistance Request, NRC Licensed Facilities Requesting to Name a Consultant Physicist as their Full-Time Radiation Safety Officer

HPPOS-307 PDR-9306240030

Title: Technical Assistance Request, NRC Licensed

Facilities Requesting to Name a Consultant Physicist as

their Full-Time Radiation Safety Officer

See the memorandum from J. E. Glenn to M. M. Shanbaky dated

October 18, 1990. This NMSS memo responds to a technical

assistance request from Region I, dated July 10, 1989,

regarding an amendment request from an NRC licensee who

wished to name a consultant as its full-time Radiation

Safety Officer (RSO). Included with the memo is a list of

issues that should be addressed prior to approving a

consultant as RSO. HPPOS-306 contains a related topic.

Qualified individuals, as outlined in 10 CFR 35.900, may be

appointed RSO to an NRC license issued under 10 CFR 35

provided the individual commits to being physically present

at the facility for a specified amount of time in order to

satisfactorily perform duties of the RSO. The specific

time necessary is commensurate with the requirements of the

facility and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The time commitment must be during normal working hours to

provide the opportunity for interaction between the

consultant and licensee management.

Clarification as to the individuals availability to respond

to questions, incidents, and/or emergencies, both by

telephone and on-site is needed. However it should be

noted, that there will be some programs where it would be

inappropriate to designate a consultant as RSO. These

include programs involving radiopharmaceutical therapy,

teletherapy, and large scale users of byproduct material.

The licensee must agree to the above as a license

commitment with the caveat that if at a later date the

number of hours and days spent by the RSO at the facility

or the consultant's availability are insufficient to

fulfill the responsibilities required, the program will be

re-evaluated and adjustments made.

Any licensee requesting to designate a consultant as RSO

should be reminded that 10 CFR 35.21 (a) states "the

licensee, through the RSO, shall ensure that radiation

safety activities are being performed in accordance with

approved procedures and regulatory requirements in the

daily operation of the licensee's byproduct material

program." The use of a consultant as RSO does not negate

the responsibility of the licensee to ensure the safe use

of byproduct material.

A list of issues that should be addressed prior to

approving a consultant as RSO is included as an enclosure

to the memo. These issues were derived from questions from

a similar request for technical assistance by Region III.

The list of issues, which was reviewed and expanded by NMSS

staff, should be addressed in the review process of any

request by a licensee to use a consultant as an RSO.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 35.21, 10 CFR 35.900

Subject codes: 1.4, 1.5

Applicability: All

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012