United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Licensing of Medical, Industrial, and Academic Uses of Nuclear Materials

NRC issues specific licenses for possession and use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear material. After the initial license is granted, the license may be modified during amendment or renewal to reflect changes in circumstances affecting the operations after the license was issued. Licensees can go to the toolkit page to obtain specific information on regulatory guidance, forms, and fees by area of interest.

Process for New Licenses

A company that wishes to obtain a license to use nuclear materials must submit an application to NRC. This application must demonstrate how the use of these materials will meet the safety requirements in NRC regulations found in 10 CFR Parts 19-21 and 30-39. Applicants must provide information on the type, form, and intended quantity of available facilities, qualifications of users, and radiation protection programs.

NRC reviews the application according to procedures and criteria documented in our Standard Review Plans for these license applications. If NRC approves the application, a license is issued. The license may contain certain conditions imposed by the NRC and agreed to by the licensee.

Applications for possession and use are submitted to NRC's regional offices while applications for distribution of consumer products are submitted to NRC Headquarters. Each region is responsible for applications within its jurisdiction: Region I for the northeast, Region II for the southeast, Region III for the midwest, and Region IV for the west and southwest.

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License Amendment Process

Over time circumstances or regulations may require change in the materials operation, and a licensee may request that the NRC approve a change to its license. Amendments may include changes in users, changes in materials use, or transfer of licenses.

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License Renewal Process

When the original license for materials use is nearing its expiration date, licensees may apply to renew their license. The new license and renewal license period varies depending upon the type of license and is explained in the licensee Toolkit for each type of materials use listed under What We Regulate on this page.

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General Licenses

NRC issues licenses for ownership of byproduct material and for possession and use of byproduct material contained in certain items. They are effective without the filing of applications on the issuance of licensing documents to particular persons.

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License Fees

The fees charged by the NRC to applicants for an NRC license and to holders of NRC licenses and the associated requirements are found in 10 CFR Part 170 and 10 CFR Part 171. See in particular 10 CFR 170.20 and 170.31, and 10 CFR 171.16 and 171.17(b) for sections directly applicable to fees for medical, industrial, and academic use licenses. Also see 10 CFR 170.11 and 10 CFR 171.11 for exemptions from the fee requirements. For more information about fees, see our License Fees page and 10 CFR 170 and 10 CFR 171.

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Public Involvement

To learn how stakeholders can participate in our licensing process, see Public Involvement in Licensing.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, November 27, 2019