The Catholic University of America


Summary of Federal Laws

Environmental Laws

Energy Reorganization Act of 1974
42 U.S.C. 5801 et seq
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
10 C.F.R. Chapter 1

10 CFR Part 810*Assistance to Foreign Atomic Energy Activities


Governs the handling, storage, and disposal of radioactive materials. See the General Statement of Policy and

Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions (July 1995) at Appendix C to 10 C.F.R. Part 2. This guide is useful for responding to notice of violations. The training requirements for all individuals who, in the course of employment, are likely to receive an occupation dose in excess of 100 mrem (1 mSv) in a one-year period are set forth at 10 C.F.R. § 19.12. This law also has reporting requirements (10 C.F.R. § 19.13, § 20.1101 and § 2203) as well as license requirements.

Guidance to the Revised Part 810 Regulation, May 2016

The Department of Energy (DOE) has statutory authority to permit participation or engagement in foreign development or production of special nuclear material, such as transferring unclassified nuclear technology or providing assistance to foreign nationals, countries or entities. In accordance with § 57 b.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (AEA), persons may engage, directly or indirectly, in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the United States only upon authorization by the Secretary of Energy, with the concurrence of the Department of State (DOS) and after consulting with the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Commerce (DOC), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).1 This requirement, as implemented by DOE, applies to technology transfers and assistance related to certain nuclear fuel-cycle activities, commercial nuclear power plants, and research and test reactors. Covered transfers may include the transfer of physical documents or electronic media, electronic transfers or the transfer of knowledge and expertise. See also the Part 810 FAQ.

January 2009 NRC Fact Sheet on Radiocative Exit Signs

Those entities with more than 500 self luminous EXIT signs containing the radiocative gas tritium (H-3) will receive a notice from the NRC requiring them to assess compliance with NRC and state law and report to the NRC within 60 days. See the NRC news release on this.

The NRC requires proper recordkeeping and disposal of all radioactive materials. A damaged or broken sign could require an expensive clean up. Schools with these signs are considered a general licensee for NRC purposes and are required to follow these rules:

  • must NOT remove the labeling or radioactive symbol, or abandon a sign;
  • must properly dispose of an unused sign (see below);
  • must report to the NRC or the appropriate Agreement State any lost, stolen or broken signs;
  • must inform the NRC or an Agreement State of a name change, change of address or replacement of a general licensee's designated representative;
  • must NOT give away or sell the sign to another individual, company or institution unless the device is to remain in use at its original intended location; in such a case, the transferor is to notify the recipient of the regulatory requirements and must notify the NRC or Agreement State of the transfer within 30 days.

Tritium EXIT signs must NOT be disposed of as normal trash. To dispose of a sign properly, a general licensee must transfer the sign to a specific licensee. This would typically be a manufacturer, distributor, licensed radioactive waste broker, or a licensed low-level radioactive waste disposal facility. These facilities may charge a fee for this service.

Within 30 days of disposing of a sign, the general licensee is required to file a report to the NRC or Agreement State that includes:

  • the device manufacturer's (or distributor's) name, model number and serial number;
  • the name, address, and license number of the person receiving the device; and
  • the date of the transfer.

Reports should be sent to Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, ATTN: GLTS, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001.


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updated 3-31-18