An "Agreement State" is one in which its Governor has signed an agreement with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) under which the NRC discontinues its regulatory authority over certain radioactive materials in that state, and this authority is assumed by the state government. After a five-year period of preparation, Massachusetts became the 30th Agreement State on March 21, 1997. This occurred only after the NRC found that the Commonwealth had the staff, experience and regulatory authority to assume the responsibility.
Under the Commonwealth's agreement with NRC, the Massachusetts Radiation Control Program (RCP) regulates all non-federal entities in the Commonwealth that possess, use, transfer, receive and/or distribute radioactive material. This regulatory program is conducted in accordance with nationally accepted standards and using state regulations which are compatible with federal ones. After becoming an Agreement State Program, the RCP underwent major growth and expansion, and created the Radioactive Materials Unit which operates under an annual budget based on retained revenue.
Applicants are also encouraged to follow the program-specific licensing guidance provided for in U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s NUREG-1556 series upon submitting applications to the agency.