Astounding Facts about the NRC and Radioactive Materials: Part II

Brenda Akstulewicz
Regulatory Information Conference Assistant

As promised, here are some more interesting bits of information about the NRC and nuclear history and science.

washingmachine• The indicator lights in early appliances ─ such as clothes washers and dryers, coffeemakers, and stereos ─ used Krypton–85, a radioactive isotope.

• The Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs consults with 31 federally recognized Native American tribes on proposed new uranium recovery projects in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.

• The NRC performs classified reviews of new Naval Reactor submarine and aircraft carrier reactor plants and provides advice to the Navy on the designs. This practice was initiated by President Kennedy in the 1960s.female

• Three women, including the current chairman, Allison Macfarlane have held the title of Chairman, Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The other two are Shirley Jackson and Greta Dicus.

• From 2007 to 2012, NRC received 68 petitions for rulemaking. Of those, 21 were denied and 17 were either fully considered or partially considered in the rulemaking process. The remaining 30 are under staff review.

• In the past five years, the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research has issued 244 new or revised regulatory guides, withdrawn 43 guides, and determined another 48 guides to be acceptable as written.

• Glenn T. Seaborg, the scientist who discovered plutonium, was also a chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission – the predecessor of the NRC.

florida• In 1992 Hurricane Andrew struck the Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Southern Florida, which prompted the NRC and FEMA to enter into a “Memorandum of Understanding” regarding emergency preparedness.

• NRC’s longest serving commissioner was Commissioner Edward McGaffigan. He served 11 years (from1996-2007) after appointments twice by President Clinton and once by President Bush. He died while still serving on the Commission.

• There are 438 nuclear power reactors operating worldwide.

exitsigns• Tritium gas is used to illuminate exit signs in buildings so they will function without power. Promethium-147 and Krypton-85 are approved by the NRC for use in exits signs.

• On average, NRC expends 6,160 hours of inspection effort at each operating reactor site each year.

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

5 thoughts on “Astounding Facts about the NRC and Radioactive Materials: Part II”

  1. Since you mentioned Glen Seaborg, why not the first and only woman to lead the AEC – Dixie Lee Ray?

  2. The NRC needs staff to audit measurements to specifications for PCBs used to control nuclear reactors.

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