The NSTS is essential for national security. It is a secure user friendly web-based database designed to track Category 1 and 2 radioactive sources regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Agreement States. The tracking spans the life cycle of the source from manufacture through shipment receipt, decay and burial. NSTS enhances the ability of the NRC and Agreement States to conduct inspections and investigations, communicate information to other government agencies, and verify legitimate ownership and use of nationally tracked sources. NSTS meets the U.S. Government's commitment to implement a national source registry, as described in the Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources, which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued in January 2004.
The Interim Data Base (IDB) was created in 2005 as a precursor to the NSTS to collect an initial inventory of sources containing the materials of greatest concern. This inventory was developed to create a snapshot of licensees, facilities, and the sources they possess. This effort established contact with licensees who would later participate in implementing the NSTS.