National Defense Authorization Act Continues NNSA Program re Voluntary Phasing Out of Cesium Chloride Blood Irradiation Devices

On August 13, 2018, President Donald J. Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Public Law No. 115-232).  Amongst other things, the law directs the Administrator for Nuclear Security to continue working toward the voluntary phasing out of the use of blood irradiation devices in the United States that rely on cesium chloride by December 31, 2027.

The law authorizes the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to continue its current program to pay up to 50% of the per-device replacement costs and 100% of the disposition costs.  The law includes specified reporting requirements about the program to Congress.

The relevant text is as follows:


(a)  Goal.—The Administrator for Nuclear Security shall ensure that the goal of the covered programs is eliminating the use of blood irradiation devices in the United States that rely on cesium chloride by December 31, 2027.

(b)  Implementation.—To meet the goal specified by subsection (a), the Administrator shall carry out the covered programs in a manner that—

(1) is voluntary for owners of blood irradiation devices;

(2) allows for the United States, subject to the review of the Administrator, to pay up to 50 percent of the per-device cost of replacing blood irradiation devices covered by the programs;

(3) allows for the United States to pay up to 100 percent of the cost of removing and disposing of cesium sources retired from service by the programs; and

(4) replaces such devices with x-ray irradiation devices or other devices approved by the Food and Drug Administration that provide significant threat reduction as compared to cesium chloride irradiators.

(c)  Duration.—The Administrator shall carry out the covered programs until December 31, 2027.

(d)  Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the covered programs, including—

(1) identification of each cesium chloride blood irradiation device in the United States, including the number, general location, and user type;

(2) a plan for achieving the goal established by subsection (a);

(3) a methodology for prioritizing replacement of such devices that takes into account irradiator age and prior material security initiatives;

(4) in consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, a strategy identifying any legislative, regulatory, or other measures necessary to constrain the introduction of new cesium chloride blood irradiation devices;

(5) identification of the annual funds required to meet the goal established by subsection (a); and

(6) a description of the disposal path for cesium chloride sources under the covered programs.

(e)  Assessment.—The Administrator shall submit an assessment to the appropriate congressional committees by September 20, 2023, of the results of the actions on the covered programs under this section, including—

(1) the number of replacement irradiators under the covered programs;

(2) the life-cycle costs of the programs, including personnel training, maintenance, and replacement costs for new irradiation devices;

(3) the cost-effectiveness of the covered programs;

(4) an analysis of the effectiveness of the new irradiation devices’ technology; and

(5) a forecast of whether the Administrator will meet the goal established in subsection (a).

(f)  Definitions.—In this section:

(1)  APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES.—The term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(A) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives; and

(B) the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate.

(2) COVERED PROGRAMS.—The term “covered programs” means the following programs of the Office of Radiological Security of the National Nuclear Security Administration:

(A) The Cesium Irradiator Replacement Program.

(B) The Off-Site Source Recovery Program.


For additional information, please see the following link to the bill:

Vermont Yankee’s Used Fuel Placed in Dry Storage

On August 2, 2018, Holtec International announced the successful completion of the largest defueling project of a Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) in the United States.  According to Holtec, the project was completed in record time.

Entergy Nuclear signed a contract with Holtec to expeditiously defuel the Vermont Yankee spent fuel pool.  The overall project scope included construction of a second ISFSI pad, security expansion, engineering, licensing, manufacturing, delivering and loading of 45 HI-STORM cask systems, all on a turnkey basis.

For additional information, please contact Erika Grandrimo at (856) 797-0900, ext. 3920 or at

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds June Meeting

On June 9, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the June 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the May 12, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. UST Program Overview and Summary of Proposed Changes to R-311, Underground Storage Tank Rules (Information Item Only)
  1. Administrative Rules
  1. Approve for filing with the Division of Administrative Rules a Five-Year Review Notice and Statement of Continuation for the Following Radiation Control Rules: R313-12 General Provisions; R313-14 Violations and Escalated Enforcement; R313-16 General Requirements Applicable to the Installation, Registration, Inspection and Use of Radiation Machines; R313-17 Administrative Procedures; R313-18 Notices, Instructions, Reports to Workers by Licensees of Registrants; R313-19 Requirements to General Applicability to Licensing of Radioactive Materials; R313-22 Specific Licenses; R313-25 License Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste; R313-28 Use of X-Rays in the Healing Arts; R313-32 Medical Uses of Radioactive Material; R313-36 Special Requirements for Industrial Radiographic Operations; and, R313-70 Payments, Categories and Types of Fees (Board Action Item)
  1. Final Adoption of Amendments to Hazardous Waste Rules R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-264 and R315-273 (Board Action Item)
  1. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and a 30-day Public Comment Period for Amendments to the Hazardous Waste Rules R315-261 and to Set and Effective Date of August 15, 2016 (Board Action Item)
  1. Final Adoption of Proposed Changes to Radiation Control Rules R313-19 and R313-22 to Incorporate Changes Made by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (Board Action Item)
  1. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Section
  1. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Dispose of Waste Containing High Subcategory Mercury by Stabilization Rather than Retort and Recovery (Board Action Item)
  1. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Not Be Required to Meet Land Disposal Restriction Treatment Standard for PCBs (Board Action Item)

VII.   Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  1. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting and Discussion of Possible Board Tours/Dates

VIII.  Adjourn


The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.

The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at

Texas LLRW Disposal Compact Commission to Meet

April 7, 2016 in Andrews County, Texas

On April 7, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) will hold a regularly scheduled meeting in Andrews County, Texas.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  It will be held in the Glorietta Room at the Business and Technology Center, which is located at 201 NW Ave. D in Andrews County, Texas.

There will be no live-feed available.  However, the meeting will be recorded and made available on the Public Meetings page of the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at

The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting.  Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • discussions and possible action on conditions for import associated with Thermo Process Instruments import agreement;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair to execute a contract for an auditor to conduct annual audits each year as required by Article III, Section 3.04(5) of the Texas Compact Commission Consent Act;
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair not to exceed $25,000 to contract with a person to provide technical and support services for the Texas Compact Commission from May 1, 2016 through August 31, 2016;
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair to acquire office space on behalf of the Texas Compact Commission in Austin, Texas in order to meet the requirement of Article III, Section 3.04(3) of the Texas Compact Commission Consent Act that the Commission be located in the capitol city of the host state;
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Consulting Supervisory Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016 and 2017; and,
  • adjourn.

The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.


For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at

Ohio Scrap Metal Facilities Receive Shipments Containing LLRW

By press release dated February 24, 2016, the Ohio Department of Health (DOH) announced that “[s]crap metal facilities in Canton, Mansfield and Massillon received shipments containing low-levels of radiation.” The Ohio DOH release stated that the exact source of the radiation that contaminated the scrap metal is being investigated. “The contaminated scrap metal is securely contained and does not pose a health risk to the facilities’ employees or the general public,” states the Ohio DOH release.

The following day, on February 25, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) put out a press release stating that it was notified on February 23 “that recycle scrap contaminated with radioactive material was shipped from a PSC Metals, Inc. facility in Beaver Falls, PA, to two facilities in Ohio.” According to the Pennsylvania DEP release, “[a] radium-226 source of unknown origin was accidentally shredded with other materials, then shipped to processing facilities in Ohio.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been notified of the incident. PCS Metals has hired a licensed decontamination provider to develop a plan for cleanup at the Beaver Falls scrap yard and the Ohio sites, as well as for safe disposal of the contaminated scrap metal.

Ohio DOH radiation protection staff was on-site at all three facilities to conduct radiation testing and to ensure planning for the safe disposal of the contaminated scrap metal. According to the Ohio DOH release, radiation surveys of contaminated scrap metal:

  •   delivered to PCS Metals, Inc. in Canton showed a highest reading of 70 microrem per hour, which is equivalent to less than one-tenth of the radiation dose from a chest x-ray; and,
  •   delivered to PCS Metals, Inc. in Massillon showed a highest reading of 25 millirem per hour, which is equivalent to the radiation dose from two-and-a-half chest x-rays within one hour.

The Ohio DOH release states that contaminated scrap metal delivered to Tube City, Inc. in Mansfield was not unloaded and instead redirected to PCS Metals’ Canton facility. Surveys of employee clothing, locker areas and break rooms at both PCS Metals locations did not show any radiation contamination.

A team from Pennsylvania DEP’s Radiation Protection Program took extensive readings at the Beaver Falls scrapyard. “Elevated readings were found on one large metal shredder and on gloves used by two workers,” states the Pennsylvania DEP release. “DEP is performing additional testing to ensure that there was no skin contamination. Radium-226 can be harmful if ingested.”

The Pennsylvania DEP release goes on to state that preliminary tests on the workers who operated the Beaver Falls machine showed no contamination, but that results are still pending. The Pennsylvania DEP release further states that the shredder has been isolated and that there is no indication that there is any contamination at the site, nor outside the scrapyard property.