Low-Level Waste Disposal Licensing

Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, NRC can relinquish authority for regulation of radioactive materials to the States upon request by them and a demonstration that the State has a regulatory program that is adequate and compatible with NRC's. NRC exercised this option for low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities. NRC Agreement States license all operating low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities in the United States, currently three facilities. Licensees may apply to an Agreement State for periodic renewal of a license.

For additional information on Licensed facilities, see the following:

Roles of the NRC and Agreement States

In order for an Agreement State to license a low-level waste disposal facility, the State regulations for low-level waste disposal must be compatible with NRC's regulations in 10 CFR Part 61. NRC also conducts periodic reviews of Agreement State programs, as part of NRC's Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program, to determine if they continue to be adequate and compatible with NRC's. If requested, NRC provides assistance to the Agreement States on low-level radioactive waste disposal issues.

If NRC were to receive a license application from a non-Agreement State for a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility, NRC would review the application in accordance with the procedural and technical requirements in 10 CFR Part 61.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, June 08, 2020