State & Tribal Programs
State & Tribal Programs at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) encompass the areas following below. The Office of Nuclear Material, Safety and Safeguards serves as the primary contact for NRC policy matters for these program areas, while the NRC's Headquarters and Regional Offices implement day-to-day program activities.
Through the Agreement State Program, 39 States have signed formal agreements with the NRC, under which those States have assumed regulatory responsibility over certain byproduct and source material, as well as small quantities of special nuclear material. The NRC assists States intending to become Agreement States, and reviews and approves new Agreements. NRC technical assistance to Agreement States continues after the agreement is signed. The NRC also reviews Agreement State programs for continued adequacy to protect public health and safety, and ensure compatibility with the agency's regulatory program. The NRC and Agreement States jointly develop new regulations, regulatory guidance, and other regulatory initiatives.
The NRC works in cooperation with Federal, State, and local governments, and interstate organizations, through the Federal and State Programs This cooperation ensures that the NRC maintains effective relations and communications with these organizations. It also promotes greater awareness and mutual understanding of the policies, activities, and concerns of all parties involved, as they relate to radiological safety at NRC-licensed facilities. Under the NRC’s State Liaison Officer Program, every governor appoints a State Liaison Officer who works directly with the NRC’s Regional State Liaison Officers. The goal of the State Liaison Officer Program is to improve cooperation and two-way communication between the NRC and the States.
The NRC acknowledges the sovereign rights of Federally-recognized Native American Tribal governments. The NRC maintains government-to-government communications with those Tribes, as well as with their national organizations, who are potentially affected by, or otherwise interested in, NRC regulatory activities. The NRC initiates contact or responds to requests for information on specific issues related to NRC's policy and regulatory authority. NRC also maintains a cooperative relationship with the National Congress of American Indians and cognizance of their related activities. To foster effective interaction with Native American tribes, NRC staff employ the Tribal Protocol Manual. Through Tribal Advance Notification, Tribes can choose to receive notification of irradiated reactor fuel or other nuclear waste shipments that passes across their reservation, which recognizes Tribal sovereignty and their governments' interest in being cognizant of activities taking place on Tribal reservations.
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, September 10, 2021