WASHINGTON (CN) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not trace small amounts of radioactive material released for health and research purposes under rules in effect since 1961, according to NRC regulations proposed to create a tracking system for all radioactive material.
Under current regulations, small quantities of radioactive material, usually uranium or thorium, used for medical or research purposes, are exempt from the licensing requirements imposed on energy producers and national research labs, and no licensing is required if a licensee transfers it.
Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the NRC and other national security agencies have been concerned about the potential for using trace amounts of radioactive material to create so called “dirty bombs.”
Under the proposed regulations, redistribution of radioactive material would no longer be allowed under a general license, and a specific license would be required for each individual transfer down the line.
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