The Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG) has developed 24 recommendations to be considered by States, Federal agencies and industry representatives in implementing individual contributions towards a timely and comprehensive solution. The full report can be found here.


Acquisition and Accumulation

  • Promote the reuse of sources already in inventory and the use of alternate technologies.
  • Potential buyers of sealed sources should be educated about the cost of storage, transportation and disposal.
  • Federal research agencies should give preference to grant applicants using sources in inventory and require budgeting for life-cycle costs.

Enhanced Regulatory Controls

  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) should develop robust financial assurance requirements for all licensees.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should consider an annual fee for sources in possession.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should incorporate procedures in their inspection programs to review length of, reason for, and location of storage.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should establish a two-year limit on the storage of disused sources and have authority to direct the disposition of disused sources.
  • The NRC should address the national security threat by amending its regulations to require specific licenses for at least certain Category 3 sources.
  • The NRC should expand the National Source Tracking System (NSTS) to track Category 3 sources.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should require “date last used” in the NSTS.
  • The NRC-Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) program should be adequately funded to address orphaned/abandoned sources.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should require manufacturers and suppliers to dispose of sources that cannot be recycled on an annual basis.
  • The NRC should work with sited compacts to ensure the agency’s actions do not create orphaned sources from foreign countries.

Timely Reuse, Recycle or Disposal

  • The EPA should conduct a study to identify measures to promote the reuse and recycling of sources.
  • A “source exchange” program should be created.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should encourage licensees to take advantage of the Texas Compact disposal facility.
  • The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) should identify several foreign Type B shipping containers and certify them for use in the U.S.
  • The NRC and Agreement States should develop a process to warn licensees at least 1 year prior to the container certificate expiration date.
  • The NRC and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) should work cooperatively to increase the availability of Type B containers.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) should contract a market study to determine the demand for Type B containers and whether there is sufficient profit potential for the private sector to produce them.
  • Congress should continue to fund the NNSA activities for the collection of sources that do not meet waste acceptance criteria of commercial disposal facilities.
  • The NNSA should consider shifting a portion of its resources for the Source Collection and Threat Reduction (SCATR) program and Off-Site Source Recovery Program (OSRP) to the creation of an outreach program to educate licensees on life-cycle obligations related to sealed sources.
  • States with Class B and C disposal facilities should review their policies, waste acceptance criteria, and alternate approaches methodology in NRC’s Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP) to potentially allow disposal of higher activity sources.
  • The Texas compact should continue to allow disposal of sealed sources from outside the compact.