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Meeting Summary: Part 40 Jurisdictional Working Group

April 11, 2001


Gary Comfort, NRC/NMSS Nick Rieger, DOI/BLM

Catherine Mattsen, NRC/NMSS Fred Ferate, DOT

Maria Schwartz, NRC/OGC Alexander Williams, DOE

Dennis Sollenberger, NRC/STP Hal Peterson, DOE

Jean-Claude Dehmel, NRC/NMSS Loren Setlow, EPA

Torre Taylor, NRC/NMSS Betsy Forinash, EPA

Chia Chen, PhD, OSHA Brian Hearty, DOD/USACE

Ken Weaver, representing OAS and CRCPD Rex Tingle, OSHA

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Invited Guests

Charles Simmons, representative of Zirconium industry

James Kennedy, NRC/DWM

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Members of the Public Attending

Clifton W. Farrell, Nuclear Energy Institute

This was a public meeting of the Part 40 Jurisdictional Working Group (hereafter, referred to as the group or working group). The following is a summary of the topics that were discussed.

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The staff provided a copy of SECY-01-0051, "Status Report on Interagency Jurisdictional Working Group Evaluating the Regulation of Low Concentrations of Uranium and Thorium," to the working group. This paper is a status report to the Commission on the group's activities. This SECY paper can be found at:

NRC Library

The staff also indicated that SECY-01-0057, March 29, 2001, response to SRM, dated December 5, 2000, "COMEXM-00-0002 - Expansion of NRC Statutory Authority over Medical Use of Naturally Occurring and Accelerator-Produced Radioactive Material (NARM)," was with the EDO/SECY/Commission for review and could not be released. This paper was in response to Commission direction to identify other areas in which NRC's jurisdiction might appropriately be adjusted so as to ensure radioactive materials and other sources of ionizing radiation presenting similar risks are treated similarly.

James Kennedy, NRC/DWM, provided an update on the status of a grant with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), entitled "Improving Practices for Regulating and Managing Low-Activity Radioactive Waste." NAS will essentially be evaluating everything except high level waste, including FUSRAPs, NORM, TENORM, and 11.e.2. byproduct material. NAS will be evaluating ways to improve the management and oversight of such materials, possibly including safety improvement. The study will take approximately 20 months, once work on the study begins.

The group discussed the current revision of Part N, "Regulation and Licensing of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM)," which is part of the Suggested State Regulations issued through the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD). It is out for peer review and comments are due April 24, 2001. It will be submitted to the CRCPD Board for approval and then to Federal agencies for official concurrence. Part N could be finalized as early as this summer.

Loren Setlow, EPA, informed the group that the IAEA is working on a technical document on TENORM/NORM. The IAEA committee will develop a description of the existing situation for NORM/TENORM occurrences, including radiation levels measured, sites contaminated, regulatory frameworks in place, etc. This should be a 2 year effort, with a working draft to be completed later this year.

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Citation of Authority

The group discussed the citations of authorities and made minor changes. The group received a copy of the citation of authority for the Department of Energy (DOE), which it will review. Ed Sexauer, a representative of the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), discussed the regulations it has in place for the mining industry. Mr. Sexauer will be providing a brief statement of MSHA's authority for the group. In general, MSHA is a sister organization of OSHA within the Department of Labor and was established in 1977 under the "The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977." Its main mission is to protect safety and health within the mining industry.

Nick Reager discussed the regulations/responsibilities of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the Department of Interior. Generally, they are involved in the minerals and materials that are sellable (i.e., gravel, sand); leasables (i.e., apply for a tract of land, which, if mined, leasee pays a royalty); and non-energy leasables (such as phosphates). The BLM performs environmental assessments and impacts on public land and ensures that companies are obeying state and local laws.

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Discussion of NUREG-1717, "Systematic Radiological Assessment of Exemptions for Source and Byproduct Materials"

The public comment period for NUREG-1717 is over. There was one comment from Envirocare that related specifically to the group's task. Envirocare suggested that NRC should use this NUREG in its response to the Staff Requirements Memorandum responding to SECY-99-259. It also thought NRC should regulate materials that could result in doses exceeding 100 mrem/year and that sufficient volumes of materials may be handled under 10 CFR 40.13(a) and 40.13(c)(1)(vi) to be considered for regulation.

The NRC provided a general summary of the NUREG Executive Summary and the Introduction, including general information as to why the study was completed, the methodology used, and limitations. Additionally, NRC discussed specific sections of Chapter 3 which are of interest to the working group (Sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3., and 3.9). There was a general discussion of the types of materials/products that are used/processed under 10 CFR 40.13.

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Presentation, Charles Simmons

Charles Simmons, a representative of the zirconium industry, made a presentation to the group on information about the zirconium industry, including typical uses, processes, and dose information. NRC invited Mr. Simmons to the meeting to provide additional information on the zirconium industry since a review of draft NUREG-1717 showed a high potential for exposure in this industry.

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General Discussion

The NRC informed the group that it had met with representatives with the State Department regarding international treaties and potential impacts if any changes are recommended to 10 CFR 40.13. The staff will work closely with the State Department as the need arises as the group progresses in its work.

There was a general discussion as to whether Pre-UMTRCA mill tailings with greater than 0.05% U and Th will be considered source material subject to NRC regulation. NRC staff is preparing an answer to that question, and the Office of the General Counsel and the Commissioners will be asked to approve any interpretation made on this matter.

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The next working group meeting is tentatively scheduled for June or July 2001.

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