WASHINGTON (CN) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has updated its regulations on the use of small quantities of radioactive material in products used in industry and in the general public.
The revisions include creation of new exemption from licensing for a class of products containing sealed sources of radioactive material used in industrial settings, additional registration requirements for the sealed sources themselves, and a broader definition of the “societal benefit” requirement needed for devices to qualify for existing class exemptions.
The new class of products exempted from having to obtain licenses for individual devices because the sealed source in the device has been registered with the NRC includes industrial equipment like static eliminators and ion generators containing polonium-210, beta backscatter and transmission devices, electron capture detectors for gas chromatographs and x-ray fluorescence analyzers.
Unless they are included in an exempted class, most products containing radioactive material must obtain a license from the NRC. The new rules make getting such a license easier by requiring that most sealed sources of radioactive material be preregistered and approved for uses and that new product licenses applications can rely on the health and safety information in the registration rather than developing new data for every device.
An existing class exemption for products like smoke detectors, that use sealed sources to detect gases or aerosols, has been expanded to include devices for detection of drugs.
Class exemptions are granted for types of products that have a defined social benefit, use preregistered radiation sources and meet other health and safety needs. Until now, the social benefit for gas and aerosol detectors included a definition that said they were “designed to protect life or property from fires and airborne hazards.” The new regulations change the definition of social benefit to require products to be designed to protect health, safety and property.”