National Materials Program: Goals and Priorities
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Organization of Agreement States (OAS) Board will collaborate on an annual basis to set National Materials Program (NMP) goals and priorities, which are consistent with the mission and objectives of the NMP, as facilitated by the NMP Champions. The NRC and the OAS Board will determine the process and timing for the establishment and communication of the annual NMP goals and priorities. In conjunction with the development of the annual NMP goals and priorities, the NRC and the OAS Board will review and revise, as needed, the NMP activities that are tracked and monitored, and the quality measures used to measure NMP performance.
On this page:
• 2023 – 2024 National Materials Program (NMP) Priorities • Summary of Activities on 2023 - 2024 NMP Priorities
2023 – 2024 National Materials Program (NMP) Priorities
- RiskSMART initiatives: apply innovative approaches through risk-informed decision making and focus on the most safety-significant aspects in the following areas:
- Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program (IMPEP)
- Revise the IMPEP process to be more risk-informed and to enhance communications between the NMP and Management Review Board by improving reports and leveraging technology (Working Group for Assessing the Ability to Monitor the NMP).
- Evaluate NMP trends and data analytics as a tool to demonstrate the ability of the NMP to meet its mission.
- Inspection Programs (IMC 2800 Phase 3)
- Continue to risk-inform the inspection program through IMC 2800 Phase 3 working group.
- Look for opportunities to enhance communication on inspection and enforcement findings among NMP partners.
- Risk-informing the adoption of NRC program elements required for compatibility based on health and safety and not on a fixed time-period.
- Emergent technical issues: Continue to partner on fusion energy systems, emergent medical issues, Radioactive Source Security and Accountability (Category 3) rulemaking, and other emerging issues as needed.
- Misplaced sources and event reporting: Continue pursuing new approaches to reduce regulatory burden without compromising health and safety.
- State Communication Portal (SCP): Work together to update and finish integration of SCP website into main NRC website, thereby, promoting timely, transparent, and open Government-to-Government interactions across the NMP. Launched forum to provide for NMP-wide communications and to enhance knowledge management.
- Web-Based Licensing: Continue to make continuous improvements to support the NMP’s licensing and inspection capabilities and encourage Agreement State participation.
- Provide effective training to meet NMP mission:
- Continue to provide technical training courses to ensure sufficient qualified inspection and license reviewers for current and future Agreement States.
- Evaluate and implement IMPEP team member and team leader training that results in consistent and risk-informed evaluations.
- Revise IMC 1246 to provide flexibility in qualifying new staff.
- Recruiting and retaining
- Build on identified initiatives (e.g., diversity and inclusion) and actions that NMP leaders can take to keep trained staff in careers with the government.
- Leadership development for new Radiation Control Program Directors and future leaders at OAS.
- Gather input from the new program directors on their needs and add new program directors to monthly NMP call agendas.
- Knowledge management (KM)
- OAS to engage outside groups (e.g., Master Materials Licensees) to increase engagement in NMP activities.
- Continue to develop and share knowledge management focused videos with NMP community.
- Centers of Excellence
- Launch sustainable centers of excellence on Sealed Source and Device Evaluation and Dose Assessment.
- Continue to identify new centers to support the NMP mission.
Summary of Activities on 2023 - 2024 NMP Priorities
- Launched the Working Group to Assess NMP Performance, a joint NRC and Agreement State working group, which is evaluating metrics of past IMPEP performance and is developing recommendations to improve metrics and the IMPEP process. The working group held Government-to-Government meetings and two public meetings on this topic.
- Launched the Future of the NMP working group, a joint NRC and Agreement State working group, which evaluated the NMP considering an increasing number of Agreement States. The NRC Co-Chair presented working group’s findings to Commission at NMU business line meeting. Additionally, the NRC Co-Chair presented the findings at a Champions Chat and public meeting.
- Issued updated IMC 2602, IMC 2800, and additional materials inspection procedures. These procedures have been updated to be more risk-informed, consider future pandemic situations, and to enhance communication on inspection and enforcement findings among NMP partners.
- Issued SECY-23-0001, "Options for Licensing and Regulating Fusion Energy Systems," and held two Government-to-Government meetings describing future licensing approaches for fusion devices.
- Issued SECY-22-0059, "Rulemaking on Industrial Radiographic Operations," and received SRM-SECY-22-0059 that approves more risk informed approached to two-person surveillance. This resulted in a compatibility category change to provide flexibility across NMP. NRC staff held a Government-to-Government meeting to discuss updates on Part 34 Two-Person Interpretive Rule.
- Medical Updates
- Held Government-to-Government meetings on Part 35 Regulatory Basis and Veterinary Release proposed rulemaking.
- Held two Champion Chats on licensing emergent medical technologies and other medical topics.
- Issued SECY-22-0112, "Proposed Rule: Radioactive Source Security and Accountability" and held two Government-to-Government meetings to help accelerate rulemaking in response to SRM-SECY-17-0083.
- Issued regulatory basis for Decommissioning Financial Assurance for Sealed and Unsealed Radioactive Materials and held Government-to-Government meeting.
- Provided monthly updates during NMP monthly calls and held a Government-to-Government meeting to discuss proposed implementation of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).
- Held Government-to-Government meeting with DOE to discuss their Consent Based Siting program for spent fuel transportation.
- Issued revised SA-300, "Handbook on Nuclear Material Event Reporting in the Agreement States" for comment and held Government-to-Government meeting.
- Issued Commission paper SECY-22-0065, "Evaluation of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's General License Program for Devices Containing Radioactive Materials in Response to SRM-SECY-17-0083". This paper incorporated feedback from the Organization of Agreement States. Additionally, NRC staff supported a CRCPD/OAS led working group on this topic.
- NRC staff continue to update the State Communication Portal by integrating it into the main NRC public website. This website update includes a new "forum" platform where NRC and Agreement State staff can securely sign on and share information.
- NRC staff continue to work with various Agreement States to onboard them to Web-Based Licensing. Recently, the States of Mississippi and Tennessee (general licensing) have migrated to Web-Based Licensing.
- Updated the inspection module in Web-Based Licensing to be consistent with IMC 2800 and NRC Form 591.
- NRC staff have monthly meetings with the Technical Training Center to maximize Agreement State access to NRC training courses. Additionally, the NRC provides updates at the NMP monthly calls.
- The NRC is continuing to add on-line courses to meet demand for core classes for materials license reviewer and inspector qualifications. New on-line medical course to replace in-person diagnostic and therapy medical courses.
- Created several training videos which include NRC and Agreement State staff discussing various NMP topics. These videos have been used to update IMPEP Team Training.
- The NRC placed a Nuclear Regulator Apprenticeship Network (NRAN) employee on a temporary rotation at an Agreement State (Tennessee).
- An Agreement State (Nebraska) has hired a new staff person off an NRC grant list.
- The Organization of Agreement States and the NRC have updated their distribution list servers to reach stakeholders more effectively.