material, this holds true for all applications of ionizing radiation in medicine. As early as 1949, California consulted the NCRP in an effort to regulate protection of workers exposed to ionizing radiation. In its response, the NCRP seemed more concerned that state regulations not disturb the national uniformity of radiation protection and less concerned that states move toward self-regulation (Taylor, 1981).
When the AEA assigned to the AEC the responsibility for encouraging civilian applications of nuclear energy, together with the exclusive jurisdiction for ensuring health and safety associated with these applications, state governments raised objections. After extended debate, Congress in 1959 revised the 1954 act to establish the Agreement State Program in which AEC responsibilities for health and safety may be delegated to a state. In 1962, Kentucky became the first Agreement State.
Several amendments to the Agreement State Program have been added over the years. In 1978, Congress instructed the NRC to review state programs periodically for compliance, and in 1980 it gave the NRC power to suspend state programs that do not meet minimum standards. In 1995, the NRC applied its quality management rule to all Agreement States.
The CRCPD, established in 1968, is a voluntary network of state and local government officials responsible for radiation regulation and enforcement. The CRCPD periodically updates its Suggested State Regulations for Control of Radiation, a publication first issued in 1962 by the Council of State Governments. Most state and local radiation protection programs are based on these suggested guidelines. Despite the fact that the CRCPD is composed of radiation regulators, it has no regulatory authority of its own.
As mentioned above, Congress acted in 1959 to provide a statutory framework for the federal government to relinquish to the states some of its regulatory authority concerning radioactive nuclear and byproduct materials. NRC authority is transferred to a state through a formal agreement between the governor and the NRC. The NRC must conclude that the state's radiation control program "is in accordance with the requirements of [applicable parts of the AEA] and in all other respects compatible with the Commission's program for regulation of such materials, and that the State program is adequate to protect the public health and safety. …" States, for their part, must pass enabling legislation compatible with NRC requirements to establish their authority to enter into these agreements. Once they have done so, and the NRC finds them capable of enforcing the requirements, then state assumption of authority may become effective on the date the agreement is signed.
Although Agreement States regulate their own licensing and enforcement decisions, the NRC maintains significant authority over the states. Biennially, the NRC's Management Review Board reviews each state's performance to ensure that the state's program is adequate and that the state's requirements do not deviate significantly from those of the NRC. The Management Review Board is