United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Wyoming 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 Wyoming has requested a limited agreement for the authority to regulate source material involved  in uranium or thorium recovery or milling facilities and byproduct material as defined in section 11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.   Wyoming's request for a limited agreement is the first one of its type.   The Commission approved staff's approach for the limited agreement in SECY-16-0084 Wyoming's Proposal for a Limited Agreement to Only Regulate Milling Facilities' Source Material and 11E.(2) Byproduct Material.  Once the Agreement process is completed, the NRC will transfer the licenses for 15 uranium mill facilities to the State of Wyoming.

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 Wyoming's Agreement application.

AGREEMENT APPLICATION PROCESS AND THE STATE OF WYOMING
Agreement Process Wyoming's Status
Governor submits Letter of Intent to NRC Chairman February 27, 2015; ML15062A637
NMSS assigns a Project Manager Stephen Poy; Stephen.Poy@nrc.gov, 301-415-7135
State develops draft Agreement application March 2015 – October 2016
State submits draft Agreement application Application: October 26, 2016; ML16300A294
Regulations: NMSS – Wyoming State Regulations and Legislation
NRC staff reviews draft Agreement application for completeness October 2016 – March 2017
NRC provides letter to State detailing review team's comments April 20, 2017; ML17062A962
State develops Formal Request for an Agreement April – November 2017
Governor submits Formal Request and certifies State has adequate program November 14, 2017; ML17319A923 & ML17319A924
NRC staff prepares Commission Paper that includes draft analysis, draft Agreement and Federal Register notice requesting comments May 25, 2018; ML18094B071
Commission approves publication in the Federal Register for public review and comment June 19, 2018; ML18170A323
Draft Agreement and staff analysis published in Federal Register once a week for four consecutive weeks for public comment.  June 26, 2018
July 3, 2018
July 10, 2018
July 17, 2018
NRC staff analyzes public comments Completed; August 3, 2018
NRC staff prepares Commission Paper that includes final analysis, Agreement and resolution to public comments Completed; August 3, 2018
NRC staff delivers Agreement to Commission for review and approval Completed; August 27, 2018
SECY-18-0082
SRM-SECY-18-0082
Chairman and Governor sign Agreement September 25, 2018
State assumes regulation authority September 30, 2018
Final Agreement published in Federal Register September 28, 2018
Orderly transfer of records October 2018

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 Wyoming agreement application can be found in the frequently asked questions.

The NRC gave a webinar presentation on May 31, 2017 on the Agreement State Program, the Wyoming Agreement process and the NRC Tribal Policy Statement.  The presentation discusses some of the unique aspects of the Wyoming Agreement and how this Agreement would change the interaction between the tribes and the regulator.  Webinar can be accessed through one of the following links (select format):

The NRC gave a second webinar presentation on April 26, 2018 titled "Update on the State of Wyoming Becoming an Agreement State". Topics for this webinar included 1) an update on Wyoming's progress in the Agreement application process over the last year; 2) the status and actions taken on the Programmatic Agreements and Memorandum of Agreements associated with some existing uranium recovery licenses; and 3) the publication of the draft NRC staff assessment of the Wyoming agreement application for public comment. Like the 2017 webinar, the 2018 presentation discusses some of the unique aspects of the Wyoming Agreement and how this Agreement would change the interaction between the tribes and the regulator.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, October 02, 2018