On September 25, 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has entered into an agreement with the State of Wyoming to transfer regulatory authority to the state over certain radioactive materials. With this action, Wyoming becomes the 38th state to sign such an agreement with the NRC. Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead and NRC Chair Kristine Svinicki signed the agreement in Cheyenne.
With the agreement, the NRC transfers to Wyoming the responsibility for licensing, rulemaking, inspection and enforcement activities necessary to regulate source material involved in uranium or thorium milling and the management and disposal of milling waste, or mill tailings. Fourteen uranium recovery licenses will be transferred to Wyoming’s jurisdiction. The NRC retains jurisdiction over any commercial nuclear power plants (there currently are none in Wyoming), federal agencies using certain radioactive materials in the state and uses of radioactive material other than uranium and thorium milling activities. Before entering into the agreement, the NRC determined that Wyoming’s radiation control program is adequate to protect public health and safety and is compatible with NRC regulations.
Thirty-seven other states have signed similar agreements with the NRC. They include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
Copies of the agreement, the Governor’s request/supporting documents, public comments and the NRC staff assessment are available on the NRC website at www.nrc.gov. For additional information, please contact David McIntyre at (301) 415-8200.