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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111 PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Section 5K Nuclear reactors; monitoring and surveillance; charges and assessments

Section 5K. (A) The department, subject to appropriation, shall adopt rules and regulations that monitor the use and release of nuclear materials, source materials, or radioactive materials, whether irradiated or not, as they pertain to the operation of nuclear reactors.

(B) The department shall, subject to appropriation, establish and maintain a monitoring and surveillance program for all nuclear reactors. Such a program shall include, but not be limited to, the following activities:—

(1) The department, subject to appropriation, shall create a network of monitoring stations not all in fixed locations, to ascertain the movement, dispersal and reconcentration of any radioactive materials originating from nuclear reactors, whether in gaseous, liquid or solid form. For the purpose of this section, the department may utilize, (I) equipment owned and operated by the department, (II) equipment maintained and operated by the nuclear reactor operators either directly or indirectly and (III) the data obtained therefrom.

(2) The department shall, subject to appropriation, conduct periodic surveys to determine the extent and seriousness of radiation doses received by humans and animal life resulting from the reconcentration of radioactive materials, released from nuclear reactors. Such surveys and monitoring programs may be conducted in cooperation with other departments or agencies of the commonwealth or of any other state, or with the federal environmental protection agency the nuclear regulatory commission, or any other federal agency, or with any other suitable qualified persons or institutions.

(3) The department shall, subject to appropriation, make inspections either announced or unannounced, of each nuclear reactor installation or site located within the commonwealth. For the purposes of such inspections, the department is hereby specifically authorized to enter at any time (I) upon the site of said nuclear reactor installation whether said reactor is proposed, under construction, or in operation and (II) any buildings or facilities thereon, as may be necessary, in the judgment of the department, to determine compliance with its rules and regulations adopted under the provisions of this section. Subject to appropriation, the commissioner may appoint and remove inspectors to comply with the provisions of this section. Said inspectors shall have all the power and authority of inspectors as defined by section nine of this chapter.

(C) The department shall, subject to appropriation, publish and make available to the general public or to any interested party on a semi-annual basis, for each operating nuclear reactor, a summary and discussion of the results of the monitoring and surveillance program for the previous six months, including the results of any surveys completed under provisions of clause (2) of paragraph (B).

The summary for each nuclear reactor shall include, at a minimum: (1) a comparison of actual emissions and emission rates of radioactive materials, whether in a liquid or gaseous form, with those allowed by the technical specifications appearing in the facility operating license of the reactor; (2) the estimated radiation doses received as a result of said emissions at various geographical locations under various occupancy assumptions; (3) a comparison of said estimated doses with applicable federal exposure guidelines; and (4) a listing and discussion of all accidents or abnormal occurrences, as defined by 42 USC sec. 5848, that were reported to the nuclear regulatory commission, pursuant to 42 USC secs. 5841 to 5849, inclusive, to rules and regulations promulgated under the authority of said statute, or to the requirements of the facility operating license of nuclear reactors.

(D) To support the development and operation of a state radiation monitoring program, the operators of nuclear reactors shall have reasonable charges levied against them.

(E) The department is hereby authorized to make an assessment against the operator of each existing and proposed nuclear power plant in the commonwealth in an amount equal to the costs incurred in the prior fiscal year by the department’s radiation control program in the performance of its duties under this section. The department is hereby further authorized to make a collection, based on that assessment, of monies from said operators of nuclear power plants to defray the cost of such activities. Said amount shall not exceed $180,000 per annum, per facility, which shall be expended for any such facility, including, but not be limited to, a facilities located in the town of Rowe and in the town of Plymouth, and in Seabrook, New Hampshire. The department shall send notice of its assessment to the individual company against which the assessment is made, and said company shall pay such assessment within 30 days of the notice of the assessment; provided, however, that such company shall have a reasonable opportunity to submit objections concerning said assessment to the department for review. If, after completion of such review, the department determines the assessment is valid, the department shall issue a demand for such assessment, and the company against which such assessment is made shall pay such assessment immediately. If a company subject to assessment under this section fails to pay the assessment within 30 days of the notice of the assessment, or fails to pay the demand for assessment upon completion of the final review, whichever occurs later, the department may refer such matter to the department of revenue for the collection of the assessment in accordance with applicable enforcement provisions pursuant to chapter 62C. The amount so collected shall be deposited into the General Fund and credited to the department.

(F) The department of public health shall stockpile thyroid-blocking agents according to regulations promulgated by the department for cities and towns located within a 10 mile radius of a nuclear power plant. The department may make an assessment against the operator of each nuclear power plant in the commonwealth and electric companies in the commonwealth which own, in whole or in part, or purchase power from the Seabrook nuclear power plant. For purposes of this section, electric companies shall be defined as persons, firms, associations and private corporations which own or operate works or distribute electricity in the commonwealth; but the term electric companies shall not include municipalities or municipal light plants. The department may make a collection based on this assessment directly from the electric companies and from the operator of each existing nuclear power plant and deposit the monies into the Radiation Control Trust account.

(G) The department shall maintain supplies of thyroid-blocking agents according to regulations promulgated by the department for cities and towns located in Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket counties, as well as in the area known as Cape Ann in Essex county. This section shall take effect in any city or town in which its governing body votes to accept the stockpiling of thyroid-blocking agents. The department may make an assessment against the operator of each existing nuclear power plant in the commonwealth and electric companies in the commonwealth which own, in whole or in part, or purchase power from the Seabrook nuclear power plant. For purposes of this section, electric companies shall be defined as all persons, firms, associations and private corporations which own or operate works or distribute electricity in the commonwealth; but the term electric companies shall not include municipalities or municipal light plants. The department may make a collection based on this assessment directly from the electric companies and from the operator of each existing nuclear power plant and deposit the monies into the Radiation Control Trust account.

(H) The department shall procure and maintain adequate supplies of potassium iodide tablets approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration for use in the emergency planning zones and in the areas known as Cape Ann in Essex county and Cape Cod and the Islands, which surround any nuclear power generating facility established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the event of an occurrence, incident or other abnormal circumstance involving the release of radiation or other radiological hazards that may have a significant adverse effect on the health or safety of the people of the commonwealth. A change in federal law with respect to funding the potassium iodide tablets shall in no event result in a liability to the commonwealth.