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Radioactive Materials

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Angela Leek, Interim Bureau Chief

radioactive materials section logo

In 1984, 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapter 136C was amended to give the Governor authority to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to regulate the use of all radioactive materials in Iowa. The agreement was signed in 1985, and January 1, 1986, Iowa became the 28th Agreement State. A regulatory program was established to enforce the appropriate provisions of 641 Iowa Administrative Code, Chapters 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, and 45 relative to radioactive materials. Staff of the Bureau license and inspect approximately 175 radioactive material licensees. The state maintains this agreement through periodic NRC reviews.

Licensing, registration, inspection and enforcement are the main components of the Iowa RAM Program.

Ionizing radiation can be instrumental in the improvement of health, welfare and productivity if used properly. Radiation can be hazardous to people if they are exposed to it in significant amounts. Through the licensing, registration, inspection and enforcement program, the Iowa RAM Program regulates the possession and use of radioactive material to help ensure public health and safety.

In addition to the duties listed above, RAM Program Staff also have the following responsibilities:

  • Specific license issuance, renewal, amendment and terminations.
  • Site inspections of all specific licensees. Inspection frequency is based on threat to public health and safety. 25 different categories of licensees including medical, industrial radiography, industrial portable moisture/density gauges, and academia or private research and development.
  • Security inspections of licensees that are subject to "Increased Controls".
  • Registration of generally licensed material and medical oncology/industrial radiation producing machines.
  • Industrial Radiographer testing program.
  • Tracking of radioactive shipments in Iowa.
  • Off site response organization responsible for protection of the public during a nuclear power plant accident.
  • Station operator for the Des Moines location of the Environmental Protection Agency RadNet air monitoring station.
  • Training of first responders including but not limited to regional Hazardous Materials Teams, Iowa State Patrol, and Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers.
  • After hours contact for any radiological emergency in the State of Iowa.