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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 481. Virginia Radiation Protection Regulations
6/6/2020

12VAC5-481-510. Expiration and Termination of Licenses and Decommissioning of Sites and Separate Building or Outdoor Areas.

A. Except as provided in 12VAC5-481-520, a specific license shall expire at the end of the specified day in the month and year stated in the license. If an application for license renewal has been filed at least 30 days prior to the expiration date stated in the existing license and the agency denies the renewal application, the license shall expire on the date as stated in the determination of denial. If an application for license renewal is filed less than 30 days from the expiration date stated in the existing license, the agency may deny the renewal application and the license shall expire on the expiration date stated in the license.

B. A specific license revoked by the agency expires at the end of the day on the date of the agency's final determination, or on the expiration date stated in the determination, or as otherwise provided by an agency order.

C. A specific license remains valid, with respect to possession of radioactive material, until the agency notifies the licensee in writing that the license is terminated. While the license is valid, the licensee shall do all of the following:

1. Limit actions involving radioactive material to those related to decommissioning and other activities related to preparation for release for unrestricted use.

2. Continue to control entry to restricted areas until they are suitable for release for unrestricted use and the agency notifies the licensee in writing that the license is terminated.

D. A licensee shall do all of the following:

1. Notify the agency within 60 days of any of the following:

a. Expiration of the license pursuant to subsections A or B of this section.

b. The licensee's deciding to permanently cease principal activities at the entire site or in any separate building or outdoor area that contains residual radioactivity such that the building or outdoor area is unsuitable for release in accordance with agency requirements.

c. The absence of conduct of any principal activities under the license for a period of 24 months.

d. The absence of conduct of any principal activities for a period of 24 months in any separate building or outdoor area that contains residual radioactivity such that the building or outdoor area is unsuitable for release in accordance with agency requirements.

2. If any separate building or outdoor area contains residual radioactivity so that the building or outdoor area is unsuitable for release, do one of the following:

a. Begin decommissioning its site, separate building or outdoor area if a decommissioning plan has been previously approved by the agency.

b. Submit a decommissioning plan within 12 months if required by subsection F of this section and begin decommissioning upon approval of that plan.

E. Concurrent with the notification required by subsection D of this section, the licensee shall maintain in effect all decommissioning financial assurances established by the licensee pursuant to 12VAC5-481-450 C in conjunction with a license issuance or renewal or as required by this section. The amount of the financial assurance shall be increased, or may be decreased, as appropriate, to cover the detailed cost estimate for decommissioning established pursuant to subdivision H 5 of this section. Following approval of the decommissioning plan and with the agency's approval, a licensee may reduce the amount of the financial assurance as decommissioning proceeds and radiological contamination is reduced at the site.

F. A licensee shall submit a decommissioning plan to the agency if required by license condition or if the procedures and activities necessary to carry out decommissioning of the site, separate building or outdoor area have not been previously approved by the agency and the procedures and activities may adversely effect the health and safety of workers or the public. The procedures may not be carried out prior to the agency's approval of the decommissioning plan. Examples of applicable procedures and activities include any of the following cases:

1. Procedures that would involve techniques not applied routinely during cleanup or maintenance operations.

2. Procedures by which workers would be entering areas not normally occupied where surface contamination and radiation levels are significantly higher than routinely encountered during operation.

3. Procedures that could result in significantly greater airborne concentrations of radioactive materials than are present during operation.

4. Procedures that could result in significantly greater releases of radioactive material to the environment than those associated with operation.

G. The agency may approve an alternate schedule for submittal of a decommissioning plan required pursuant to subsection D of this section if the agency determines that the alternative schedule is necessary to the effective conduct of decommissioning operations and presents no undue risk from radiation to the public health and safety and is otherwise in the public interest.

H. The proposed decommissioning plan for the site or separate building or outdoor area shall include all of the following elements:

1. A description of the conditions of the site, separate building or outdoor area sufficient to evaluate the acceptability of the plan.

2. A description of planned decommissioning activities.

3. A description of methods used to ensure protection of workers and the environment against radiation hazards during decommissioning.

4. A description of the planned final radiation survey.

5. An updated detailed cost estimate for decommissioning, comparison of that estimate with present funds set aside for decommissioning, and a plan for assuring the availability of adequate funds for completion of decommissioning.

6. For decommissioning plans calling for completion of decommissioning later than 24 months after plan approval, a justification for the delay based on the criteria in subsection J of this section.

I. Except as provided in subsection H of this section, a licensee shall complete decommissioning of the site or separate building or outdoor area no later than 24 months following the initiation of decommissioning. When decommissioning involves the entire site, a licensee shall request license termination no later than 24 months following the initiation of decommissioning.

J. The agency may approve a request for an alternative schedule for completion of decommissioning of the site, separate building or outdoor area, and license termination if appropriate, if the agency determines that the alternative is warranted after consideration of all the following:

1. Whether it is technically feasible to complete decommissioning within the allotted 24-month period.

2. Whether sufficient waste disposal capacity is available to allow completion of decommissioning within the allotted 24-month period.

3. Whether a significant volume reduction in wastes requiring disposal will be achieved by allowing short-lived radionuclides to decay.

4. Whether a significant reduction in radiation exposure to workers may be achieved by allowing short-lived radionuclides to decay.

5. Other site-specific factors which the agency may consider appropriate on a case-by-case basis, such as the regulatory requirements of other government agencies, court decisions, ground-water treatment activities, monitored natural ground-water restoration, actions that could result in more environmental harm than deferred cleanup, and other factors beyond the control of the licensee.

K. As the final step in decommissioning, a licensee shall do all the following:

1. Certify the disposition of all licensed material, including accumulated wastes, by submitting a completed agency form for disposition of radioactive materials or equivalent information.

2. Conduct a radiation survey of the premises where the licensed activities were carried out and submit a report of the results of this survey, unless the licensee demonstrates in some other manner that the premises are suitable for release in accordance with the criteria for decommissioning in 12VAC5-481-1161.

3. Report levels of gamma radiation in units of millisieverts (microroentgen) per hour at one meter from surfaces, and report levels of radioactivity, including alpha and beta, in units of megabecquerels per 100 square centimeters, disintegrations per minute per 100 square centimeters or microcuries per 100 square centimeters - removable and fixed - for surfaces, megabecquerels (microcuries) per milliliter for water, and becquerels (picocuries) per gram for solids such as soils or concrete.

4. Specify the survey instruments used and certify that each instrument is properly calibrated and tested.

L. The agency shall terminate a specific license, including an expired license, by written notice to the licensee when the agency determines all of the following have occurred:

1. Radioactive material has been properly disposed of.

2. Reasonable effort has been made to eliminate residual radioactive contamination, if present.

3. The licensee has filed with the agency sufficient information, including a radiation survey, to demonstrate that the premises are suitable for release in accordance with the criteria for decommissioning in 12VAC5-481-1161.

4. The licensee has submitted records required under 12VAC5-481-571 to the agency.

Statutory Authority

§ 32.1-229 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 22, Issue 25, eff. September 20, 2006; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 18, eff. June 12, 2008.

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