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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Authority of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Require a Proliferation Risk Assessment as Part of a Uranium Enrichment Facility License Application

Todd Garvey
Legislative Attorney

This memorandum responds to your request for information relating to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s authority to prescribe the necessary contents of certain license applications. Specifically, you asked whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Commission) has existing authority to require that applicants seeking a license to operate a uranium enrichment facility1 submit a “proliferation risk assessment.”2 as part of the license application. Given that the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) provides the Commission with broad authority to promulgate mandatory licensing criteria for the use of nuclear materials and the operation of nuclear facilities.—where such criteria has a nexus to the common defense, health, or safety.— it would appear that adequate statutory authority currently exists to permit the Commission to mandate, by regulation, that applicants seeking a license to operate a uranium enrichment facility provide the Commission with an assessment detailing the proliferation risks associated with the facility.

Date of Report: March 27, 2012
Number of Pages: 4
Order Number: M-032712
Price: $19.95

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