NRC to Amend Rules on Medical Uses of Radioactive Materials

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved amendments to its requirements for medical uses of radioactive materials. A final rule—approved on August 17, 2017—modifies 10 CFR Part 35 and makes conforming changes to Parts 30 and 32.  The rule will be published in the coming months in the Federal Register after NRC staff makes certain revisions directed by the Commission.

Overview  According to an NRC press release issued in mid-August 2017, the changes will:

  •   amend the definition of medical events associated with permanent implant brachytherapy;
  •   update training and experience requirements for authorized users, medical physicists, radiation safety officers and nuclear pharmacists;
  •   address a petition the NRC received seeking to recognize the qualifications of board certified physicists and radiation safety officers not specifically named on a license;
  •   change requirements for measuring molybdenum contamination and reporting generator tests that exceed allowed concentration levels;
  •   allow associate radiation safety officers to be named on a medical license; and,
  •   make several minor clarifications.

Background  While implementing the current regulations, the need for the revisions was identified by NRC staff, stakeholders, and the NRC’s Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes (ACMUI).  On July 21, 2014, a proposed rule appeared in the Federal Register for 120 days of public comment.  The final rule takes those comments into consideration and provides responses to them.

For additional information, please contact David McIntyre of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.