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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering a request from Vermont Gov. Philip B. Scott for the NRC to discontinue, and for Vermont to assume, regulatory authority over certain radioactive materials in the state.

If the NRC approves the request, Vermont will become the 39th state to sign an agreement.

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Under the proposed agreement, Vermont would accept the responsibility for licensing, rulemaking, inspection and enforcement activities related to the industrial, medical and academic uses of radioactive material. The NRC would transfer 36 specific licenses for radioactive material to Vermont’s jurisdiction.

By law, the NRC would retain jurisdiction over the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is currently decommissioning, as well as federal agencies using certain nuclear material in the state.

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Before entering into the agreement, the NRC must determine Vermont’s radiation control program is adequate to protect public health and safety, and is compatible with the NRC’s regulations.

The proposed agreement between the NRC and Vermont, and the NRC staff’s draft assessment of the Vermont program, ended up published June 25 for public comment in the Federal Register and will be repeated weekly for four weeks. Comments may be submitted through July 25 on the federal government’s rulemaking website under Docket ID NRC-2019-0114.

Copies of the proposed agreement, the governor’s request and supporting documents, and the NRC draft staff assessment are available on the NRC website.

Thirty-eight other states have signed similar agreements with the NRC: 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, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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