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EPA Issues ANPR Updating Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) requesting public comment and information on potential approaches to updating the EPA’s ‘‘Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations’’ (40 CFR Part 190). First issued in 1977, these standards limit radiation releases and doses to the public from normal operation of nuclear power plants and other uranium fuel cycle facilities (including, for example, facilities involved in the fabrication, use and reprocessing of uranium fuel). The NRC is responsible for implementing and enforcing these standards.  The EPA is considering updating the standards because of several factors, including the projected growth of nuclear power, scientific advances, long-term on-site storage of spent nuclear fuel (which was not contemplated at the time the standards were issued), the renewal of nuclear reactor licenses, and concerns about ground water contamination.  These standards were the earliest radiation rules developed by the EPA and are based on nuclear power technology and the understanding of radiation biology current at that time.  Comments are due on June 4, 2014.

To access the Federal Register notice , click here.