NRC ends probation of Mississippi’s Agreement State regulatory program

December 13, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear News

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is discontinuing probation on Mississippi’s program for regulating the use of radioactive materials. According to the NRC, the decision is the result of the agency’s review earlier this year that found the state has made significant progress in addressing several areas of unsatisfactory performance.

Repeat probation: The NRC placed Mississippi’s program on probation in September 2022, marking the second time the agency has taken such action.

Last year’s NRC review of Mississippi’s program concluded it was “adequate to protect public health and safety but needs improvement and [is] not compatible with the NRC’s program.” This year’s review noted significant improvements in inspection, licensing, staff training, and incident and allegation handling.

NRC eye: Mississippi’s Agreement State program will remain under heightened oversight, which involves frequent interaction with NRC staff, including bimonthly conference calls and periodic status reports. The NRC will formally review Mississippi’s progress again in about two years.

Member states: Mississippi is one of 39 states that have entered into agreements with the NRC to provide them with the regulatory authority to license and regulate certain nuclear materials users within their borders. The NRC retains an oversight role and periodically assesses the states’ programs for adequacy and compatibility with NRC regulations. The NRC also maintains responsibility for regulating commercial nuclear power plants.

Docs: The NRC staff’s 2023 report on Mississippi’s program, the commission’s approval of the staff’s recommendation to discontinue probation, and NRC chair Christopher Hanson’s letter to Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves are available on the NRC’s website.

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