The NRC and Agreement State radiation control programs have been set up by regulators for the safe handling, use and storage of contract equipment. These programs have always included the safety of contract equipment as an integral part of their health and safety mission, as it is a matter of controlling and minimizing the risk of exposure to workers and the public. Following the events of September 11, 2001, NRC and the agreement states developed and implemented enhanced security measures. For the purposes of this policy statement, public health and safety include the physical protection of contract equipment. The purpose of this statement of principle for the State Program agreement is to describe the respective roles and responsibilities of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the State Agreement in the management of programs implemented under Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended (AEA).  Section 274 gives NRC broad authority to establish a unique relationship between the federal government and the federal states in the management of regulatory programs related to the protection of public health and safety in the industrial, medical, commercial and research use of contract equipment. This statement of principle replaces the September 1997 Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement State Programs policy statement and the Declaration of Principles and Guidelines for the Contracting State Program. These areas include aspects related to licensing, inspection and enforcement, response to incidents and allegations, and safety controls for the production and distribution of sealed sources and equipment. In addition, communication using a set of nationally recognized terms with a common understanding, ensuring an appropriate level of public health and safety protection, which is uniform and stable at the federal level, and assessing the effectiveness of national programmes and agreements for the regulation of contract equipment with respect to the protection of public health and public safety are essential for the maintenance of the NMP.
NRC and States Parties are responsible for ensuring adequate protection of public health and public safety in the management of their respective regulatory programs, including the physical protection of contract equipment. As a result, NRC and contracting state programs have the necessary legislative authority, the implementation of organizational structure and procedures, and financial and human resources to effectively manage a radiation control program that ensures adequate protection of public health and safety. 2. For proposals other than those that are the subject of a bilateral agreement, the evaluation and approval process on a case-by-case basis is streamlined to achieve safer, faster and more open decision-making.