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Radiation in Medicine: A Need for Regulatory Reform
Fees cover both development and administration of regulations. Licensing fees charged to health care facilities to meet the cost of the existing NRC program are becoming increasingly expensive as more states become Agreement States. The reason is that the NRC program and overhead costs do not drop, but the costs are spread over institutions in fewer and fewer states.
Congress ordered the NRC to recover 100 percent of its costs from user fees, and thus all NRC costs have been divided among the institutions it licenses. Congress also permitted the NRC to discontinue its authority over states interested in entering into formal agreements with the NRC, becoming Agreement States subject to NRC oversight. These Agreement States do not bear any of the NRC's costs. As more states have decided to become Agreement States, the NRC's costs have declined somewhat, but not nearly in proportion to the number of institutions it licenses. The result is rapidly rising fees levied on the institutions it does license, and this in turn increases the pressure for the remaining states to become Agreement States. This existing system is unfair. Only NRC-licensed institutions should bear the NRC's costs of licensing and inspection, whereas the costs of developing standards should be borne by all institutions, whether or not they are located in NRC-regulated states.
C:Recommendations to the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors and to the States
C1. The committee recommends that the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors incorporate into itsSuggested State Regulationsfor Control of Radiationany relevant concepts from 10 CFR Part 35 that are not already integrated in those suggested regulations.
The CRCPD, comprising the radiation control programs in the 50 states (except Wyoming), the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, has developed and improved model state legislation for the regulation of all of ionizing radiation in medicine. The model legislation was first crafted by the Council of State Governments in 1962 and is revised periodically, most recently in 1991. On an ongoing basis the CRCPD has reviewed and revised its suggested state regulations in accordance with evolving scientific and technical information. Although the committee has determined that provisions in 10 CFR Part 35 need not be regulated at the federal level, it does encourage the CRCPD to undertake a systematic review and analysis of the concepts in Part 35 for possible adoption where relevant and appropriate.
C2. The committee recommends that all state legislatures enact enabling legislation to incorporate the regulation of reactor-generated byproducts into existing state regulatory programs.