[ RadSafe ] Re: Sealed Source Disposal

Chris Alston ALSTONCJ at gunet.georgetown.edu
Thu May 31 12:58:13 CDT 2007


Part of the problem, in the USA, is that we're really only semi-federalized..  That is, the individual states (of which there are fifty, you will recall) can write their own regulations, which have the force of law, and which can be, and frequently are, more restrictive than the federal regulations.  Also, licensure is, for many entities, done by the state, rather than the federal government.  E.g., in California, there are manufacturers of radioactive sources whose licensure is such that the purchaser of a source can only return sources to them as part of a one-to-one exchange.  So, if you originally bought two sources, which are now spent, but you've decided that you can get by with only one, the manufacturer will only accept a return of one of the spent sources.  Now you have to find an alternate, and much more expensive, path to get rid of the thing.  It would be great, if we were to have a binding national rule like the European one.  Local politics, however, probably preclude it.

My answer will for sure not help for your US problem, but it should be 
helpful for legislators: In Europe the distributors of instruments including 
radioactive sources- including Ni-63 ones - have to take the sources back 
(and are obliged to dispose them of properly) after the life time of the 
instrument and after changes in the configuration. 
What is the problem in the USA to endorse a similar legislation? 
Best regards, 
Franz Schoenhofer, PhD 
MinRat i.R. 
Habicherg. 31/7 
A-1160 Wien/Vienna 


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