Low-Level Waste Disposal Regulations, Guidance, and Communications

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NRC's regulations are found in Chapter I of Title 10, "Energy," of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Chapter I is divided into Parts 1 through 199. The following are the principal parts governing low-level waste:

10 CFR 20.2002 is a general provision that allows for other disposal methods, different from those already defined in the regulations, provided that doses are maintained as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA) and within the dose limits of Part 20.

10 CFR 20.2001 provides the general requirements for disposal, and paragraph (a) requires that a licensee only dispose of licensed material using the methods listed in that paragraph. The authorized method of disposal listed in paragraph (a)(1) is "transfer to an authorized recipient as provided in § 20.2006 or in the regulations in parts 30, 40, 60, 61, 63, 70, and 72 of this chapter."

Agreement States' regulations must be compatible with the NRC's, as applicable.

See also, information on all NRC Rules and Petitions. The NRC welcomes Public Involvement in Rulemaking, and invites the public to comment on proposed rules and policies, licensing actions, and draft technical documents. We announce public comment opportunities in the Federal Register and on our Documents for Comment page.


Regulatory Guides are issued in 10 divisions and are intended to aid licensees in implementing regulations. The guides most applicable to low level waste disposal are in Division 4, Environmental and Siting.

Web (HTML) versions of some regulatory guides are available for viewing or downloading. Those available are highlighted in the index to our Regulatory Guide Document Collection. All active final and draft guides are also available in NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).

Other Guidance Documents that may be useful to licensees and other stakeholders are:

  • Standard Review Plan for the Review of a License Application for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility (NUREG-1200)
  • Environmental Standard Review Plan for the Review of a License Application for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility (NUREG-1300)
  • Standard Format and Content of a License Application for a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility (NUREG-1199)
  • Licensing of Alternative Methods of Disposal of Low-Level Radioactive Waste (NUREG-1241)
  • Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR Part 61, Draft Report for Comment (NUREG-2175)

Other Reports of Interest

  • A Guide to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 10 CFR Part 61 (NUREG/BR-0121)
  • A Performance Assessment Methodology for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities (NUREG-1573)
  • History and Framework of Commercial Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management in the United States: ACNW White Paper (NUREG-1853)

Web (HTML) versions of some guidance documents are available in our NUREG-series document collection. Some are also are available in ADAMS (see our table listing their availability).

The NRC staff has consolidated the Low-Level Waste guidance documents and Extended Storage of LLRW - Reference on the NRC Website.


Generic Communications are NRC's primary method of sending information to specific classes of licensees. There are several types: