United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Vermont Agreement

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provides assistance to States expressing interest in establishing programs to assume NRC regulatory authority under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. Section 274 of the Act provides a statutory basis under which NRC relinquishes to the States portions of its regulatory authority to license and regulate byproduct, source, and certain quantities of special nuclear materials. The Agreement State Programs Branch in the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) has the programmatic lead at the NRC for processing an Agreement application.

The Commission and a State may enter an Agreement whereby the Commission discontinues regulatory authority over a specific category of materials or class of facilities.  The State of Vermont has requested a standard agreement for the authority to regulate byproduct, source, and special nuclear material of a certain quantity.  Once the Agreement process is completed, the NRC will transfer the licenses for approximately 38 academic, commercial and medical facilities to the State of Vermont.

The NRC staff evaluates the State's Agreement materials program using NMSS Procedure SA-700 Processing an Agreement and its associated handbook.  The staff's assessment will need to show that the Agreement materials program satisfies the Commission policy statement Criteria for Guidance of States and NRC in Discontinuance of NRC Regulatory Authority and Assumption Thereof by States Through Agreement (46 FR 7540; January 23, 1981 and 48 FR 33376; July 21, 1983).  There are several steps in the Agreement process.  The table below includes the steps in the process and provides the status for the State of Vermont's Agreement application.

AGREEMENT APPLICATION PROCESS AND THE STATE OF VERMONT
Agreement Process Vermont's Status
Governor submits Letter of Intent to NRC Chairman July 6, 2015; ML15197A124
NMSS assigns a Project Manager Duncan White: Duncan.White@nrc.gov; 301-415-2598
State develops draft Agreement application July 2015 – September 2017
State submits draft Agreement application September 15, 2017; ML17265A779
Regulations: NMSS – Vermont State Regulations and Legislation
NRC staff reviews draft Agreement application for completeness September 2017 - present
NRC provides letter to State detailing review team's comments  
State develops Formal Request for an Agreement  
Governor submits Formal Request and certifies State has adequate program  
NRC staff prepares Commission Paper that includes draft analysis, draft Agreement and Federal Register notice requesting comments  
Commission approves publication in the Federal Register for public review and comment  
Draft Agreement and staff analysis published in Federal Register for four consecutive weeks  
NRC staff analyzes public comments  
NRC staff prepares Commission Paper that includes final draft analysis, Agreement and resolution to  public comments  
Commission approves Agreement  
Chairman and Governor sign Agreement  
State assumes regulation authority  
Final Agreement published in Federal Register  
Orderly transfer and assumption of authority  
NRC staff and the new Agreement State continue post-Agreement exchange-of-information and assessment of program performance.

Additional information on the Agreement State Program and the Vermont agreement application can be found in the frequently asked questions.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, September 29, 2017