[ RadSafe ] Possession of yellowcake

Rees, Brian G brees at lanl.gov
Tue Jul 26 15:08:30 CDT 2016


Thank you, and now I understand why I've heard different things too!


From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu <radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu> on behalf of Joseph Shonka <jjshonka at shonka.com>
Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 1:23:51 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Possession of yellowcake


I assume you mean under no license or under a general license, and for the
US.  I would think that an inquiry to the NRC could provide the
authoritative answer (rather than RADSAFE).

However, from my experience, in Georgia, I believe that you could purchase
~1 lb of natural uranium and possess up to ~30 pounds under a general
license.  10CFR40.22 defines a general license for "small quantities of
source material." The upper limit on the quantity of uranium considered
"small quantity" depends on the chemical form.  1.5 kg for a liquid or
powder and 7 kg for a solid piece such as a DU penetrator (sabot) round
(although most people have small rounds << 1 kg).  The general license may
still require you to disclose how the uranium was disposed of.  For
example, I think the general license for 1 uCi of Am-241 in a residential
smoke detector is that you should mail the old smoke detector back to the
manufacturer, although I don't know what fraction of smoke detectors are
disposed of that way.  The general license scope depends on the use of the

So to answer, I think you can posess 1.5 kg of yellowcake under a general
license per 10CFR40.22 since it is a powder.  A licensed facility can
possess quantities that are permitted in their license.

Joe Shonka

On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 2:54 PM, Rees, Brian G <brees at lanl.gov> wrote:

> I've heard various things, but what does the law say about possessing
> yellowcake?
> Thanks,
> Brian Rees
> P.S. A reference would be appreciated too....
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