April 12, 2006
Last year, Section 651(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulatory authority over naturally occurring and accelerator produced radioactive material (NARM). Legislators only gave the NRC an 18-month time period to promulgate the new regulations. Over the weekend, the NRC released the proposed draft NARM rule package submitted to the Commissioners for review in an effort to give the public extended notification. The following is text from the NRC website…
"The Commission Paper (SECY-06-0069, Proposed Rule: Requirements for Expanded Definition of Byproduct Material (RIN: 3150-AH84)) and the associated enclosures, including the draft proposed rule package, are being made publicly available to provide additional time for stakeholders' review before the public comment period begins. The Commission is currently reviewing the proposed rule package and will be voting on it at a later date. Therefore, the draft proposed rule package, which includes the draft Federal Register notice, draft Environmental Assessment, and the draft Regulatory Analysis for the proposed rule, only represents the staff's recommendation. The content of the proposed rule may be changed by the Commission before publication."
"The NRC is not soliciting comments on the draft proposed rule package. After the Commission approves the proposed rule, and it is published in the Federal Register, then all interested persons may submit comments on the proposed rule during the 45-day public comment period. The public comment period will begin on the day the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. Information on how to submit public comments will be provided in the Federal Register notice."
The Society of Nuclear Medicine NRC Task Force and partner organizations have been active in the NRC’s public rulemaking process for NARM since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed, and will continue to work to ensure the availability of radiopharmaceuticals essential for nuclear medicine patient care is not adversely affected by the proposed regulations. The SNM encourages individuals with cyclotron facilities to review the NARM documentation provided by the NRC and send impressions/criticisms to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SNM will post notification of the proposed NARM rule when it is approved by the Commission and released for public comment in the near future.