NRC established on-line nuclear material reporting system

Published 10 November 2006

From the construction to the pharmaceutical industries, many companies rely on sealed and bonded radioactive materials; the National Source Tracking System now requires next-day notification of purchases; data will be used to identify and track suspicious transactions

Now this is the kind of government oversight of which we can approve. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), typically known for promulgating rules related to nuclear power plants, is taking steps to bring other types of radioactive material under control. The layman may not realize it, but such material is used in a number of unexpected industries, including oil and gas, construction, and food and medicine, and the government has long recognized the need to keep track of it all. A new NRC rule takes on the challenge by establishing a Web-based National Source Tracking System that requires next-day reporting of transactions involving radioactive substances. The rule is intended to shore up previously existing but uncoordinated licensing requirements for companies and individuals in the named industries.

This is not the first time the NRC has created such a system, but this is the first to require mandatory compliance. The new rule covers “sealed sources of radioactive material that are either sealed in a capsule or closely bonded to a nonradioactive substrate that effectively locks the material in place,” FCW reported. Licensees — who can choose to use the Internet or fax machine — will have to report transactions involving radioactive material by the close of the next business day. The idea is to create actionable information about the location of radioactive material, as well as create a database for use in spotting suspcious transfers. Government agencies other than the NRC will have limited access to the data.

-read more in Brian Robinson’s FCWreport