Radiation Law and Legal Definition

There are laws at the federal and state levels, which vary by state, regulating radiation. Ionizing radiation generally refers to gamma rays and x rays; alpha and beta particles, high-speed electrons, neutrons, protons and other nuclear particles; but not sound or radio waves or visible, infrared or ultraviolet light. Byproducts include any radioactive material, except special nuclear material, yielded in, or made radioactive by, exposure to the radiation incident to the process of producing or utilizing special nuclear material.

Because of health and safety concerns, laws regulate the licensing and practices of those involved in the manufacture, storage, or transportation of radioactive materials. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has primary authority over defining the materials subject to regulation. Some of the duties of agencies responsible for radiation exposure and radioactive materials include to:

1.Develop and conduct programs for evaluation of hazards associated with use of sources of ionizing radiation;

2.Develop programs with due regard for compatibility with federal programs for regulation of by-product, source and special nuclear materials;

3.Formulate, adopt, promulgate and repeal codes, rules and regulations relating to control of sources of ionizing radiation with due regard for compatibility with the regulatory programs of the federal government;

4.Advise, consult and cooperate with other agencies of the state, the federal government, other states and interstate agencies, political subdivisions and with groups concerned with control of sources of ionizing radiation;

5.Have the authority to accept and administer loans, grants or other funds or gifts, conditional or otherwise, in furtherance of its functions, from the federal government and from other sources, public or private;

6.Encourage, participate in or conduct studies, investigations, training, research and demonstrations relating to control of sources of ionizing radiation; and

7.Collect and disseminate information relating to control of sources of ionizing radiation.