NRC Orders Criminal History Checks to Access Radioactive Material
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an order Dec. 5 to nearly
1,000 licensees to begin fingerprinting and criminal history checks for
all people granted unescorted access to certain radioactive materials.
The order applies to NRC licensees in industry, academia and
medicine that are licensed to possess "radioactive materials in
quantities of concern" from a security perspective. These quantities
are essentially equivalent to Category 1 and Category 2 sources as
defined in the International Atomic Energy Agency's Code of Conduct on
the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources.
The order implements requirements contained in the Energy Policy Act
of 2005. The agency plans to develop a proposed rule to make the new
requirements part of its regulations. The order is being issued to
implement the requirement while the rule is being developed.
The order, including details of how the new requirements are to be implemented, will be published soon in the Federal Register.
The identities of licensees receiving the order are considered
sensitive information and will not be released. The order applies to
licensees in the 16 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and
U.S. territories where the NRC has regulatory authority. The 16 states
under NRC jurisdiction are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii,
Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The 34 agreement states that regulate radioactive materials under
agreements with the NRC will issue similar requirements to their
licensees within 180 days.
For more information, contact NRC at http://www.nrc.gov.