United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Exempt Distribution Licensee Toolkit

This toolkit has been designed to help licensees find key information easily.

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NRC's regulations are found in Chapter I of Title 10, "Energy," of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Chapter I is divided into Parts 1 through 199. The following sections within Parts 30, 32 and 40 set forth additional provisions regarding exempt distribution licensing and possession.

  • Section 30.11 - Specific Exemptions
  • Section 30.12 - Persons using byproduct material under certain Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission contracts
  • Section 30.13 - Carriers
  • Section 30.14 – Exempt Concentrations
  • Section 30.15 – Certain Items Containing Byproduct Material
  • Section 30.18 – Exempt Quantities
  • Section 30.19 – Self-luminous Products Containing Tritium, Krypton-85, or Promethium-147
  • Section 30.20 – Gas and Aerosol Detectors Containing Byproduct Material
  • Section 30.21 – Radioactive Drug: Capsules Containing Carbon-14 Urea for "in Vivo" Diagnostic Use for Humans
  • Section 30.22 - Certain Industrial Devices
  • Section 32.11 - Introduction of Byproduct Material in Exempt Concentrations into Products or Materials, and Transfer of Ownership or Possession: Requirements for License
  • Section 32.14 - Certain Items Containing Byproduct Material; Requirements for License to Apply or In itially Transfer
  • Section 32.18 - Manufacture, Distribution and Transfer of Exempt Quantities of Byproduct Material : Requirements for License
  • Section 32.21 - Radioactive Drug : Manufacture, Preparation, or Transfer for Commercial Distribution of Capsules Containing Carbon-14 Urea Each for "in Vivo" Diagnostic Use for Humans to Persons Exempt from Licensing; Requirements for a License
  • Section 32.22 - Self-Luminous Products Containing Tritium, Krvpton-85 or Promethium-147: Requirements for License to Manufacture, Process, Produce, or Initially Transfer
  • Section 32.26 - Gas and Aerosol Detectors Containing Byproduct Material: Requirements for License to Manufacture, Process, Produce, or In itially Transfer
  • Section 32.30 - Certain Industrial Devices Containing Byproduct Material: Requirements for License to Manufacture, Process, Produce, or Initially Transfer
  • Section 40.13 - Unimportant quantities of source material
  • Section 40.52 - Certain items containing source material; requirements for license to apply or initially transfer


Consolidated guidance is published in "Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses," NUREG-1556. The volumes most applicable to exempt distribution of nuclear material are—

  • Volume 3, Application for Sealed Source and Device Evaluation and Registration
  • Volume 8, Program-Specific Guidance About Exempt Distribution Licenses

Web (HTML) versions of some NUREG-series publications are available in our NUREG-Series Document Collection. Some are also available in ADAMS (see our table listing their availability).

Web (HTML) versions of some regulatory guides are available for viewing or downloading at this site. In the index for each division of guides, the number of each guide available at this site is underscored. All active final and draft guides are also available in NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).

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License Types

NRC assigns five-digit program code number(s) to each license according to the principal activities authorized in the license. NRC uses approximately 100 program codes to classify the activities of thousands of active licenses. The program codes that are assigned to a license may be used to identify the applicable fee categories in the schedules in 10 CFR Part 170 and 10 CFR Part 171. To learn more about program codes and the associated fee and inspection categories, see "Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses: Guidance About Administrative Licensing Procedures" (NUREG-1556. Vol 20 ), Appendix G: LTS Program Code Descriptions. The table below shows the program codes that have been assigned to licenses that authorize the distribution of various types of license-exempt products.

Program Codes Used in Materials Licensing and Inspection Programs

License Type Program Code
Exempt distribution – 32.11
Exempt concentrations and items
Exempt distribution – 32.14
Certain items
Exempt distribution – 32.18
Small quantities
Exempt distribution – 32.22
Self-luminous products
Exempt distribution – 32.26
Smoke detectors
Exempt distribution – 32.21
C-14 urea capsules
Certain Industrial Devices 32.30 03257
Source Material Distribution 40.52 11240

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Exempt distribution license applicants are required to pay a fee to the NRC upon application for a new license and are required to pay an annual license fee to the NRC thereafter. Refer to the applicable fee categories in the schedules in 10 CFR Part 170 and 10 CFR Part 171 for the fees required for each category of license and each type of fee.

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The Application for Material License Form 313 is to be used by all exempt distribution licensees.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 24, 2015