CT lawmakers seek shift in oversight of nuclear materials

Connecticut regulators are poised to take a more direct role in overseeing much of the radioactive materials used in medicine, industry and academic labs under a bi-partisan bill making its way through the state legislature.

The legislation would help clear the way for Connecticut to become the 40th state to reach an agreement with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to transfer oversight of radioisotopes and certain other nuclear materials — such as those used in PET scans, radioactive dating and other everyday uses — to state officials. 

Under each of the agreements, the NRC retains its jurisdiction over radioactive material used in power plants, as well as spent nuclear fuel.

Lawmakers agreed to take up the bill at the request of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, whose agency would assume the responsibility of licensing and inspecting users of covered materials, as well as impounding sources of radiation that may pose an immediate safety or environmental risks.

Dykes said that assuming oversight of nuclear materials would streamline regulatory efforts, and provide a more localized connection between regulators and those entities covered by the agreement.

“DEEP has been working with NRC during the multi-year review process to align statutory and regulatory processes, and to complete the necessary training for DEEP radiation staff to implement all of the requirements and thereby meet all federal programmatic requirements,” Dykes wrote in testimony to lawmakers.

The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee on Monday became the third panel to sign off on the bill, meaning it will likely be sent to the House floor for consideration. So far, each of the three votes have come with broad bi-partisan support. 

“Basically, it’s a public safety bill and a consumer protection bill which is focusing on giving the authority to the commissioner of DEEP

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3-Year Diploma In Medicine: Committee Suggests Specific Restrictions

(MENAFN- IANS) Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) The 15-member committee, formed by the West Bengal Health Department to explore possibility of introducing Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal for a three-year diploma course in medicine in the state, is of the opinion that the new system cannot be introduced without imposing stringent restrictions on the area of activities of these diploma doctors.
Sources from the state health department said that the first condition is that there cannot be a creation of a separate medical cadre in the state other than the two existing cadres of Directorate of Health Service and Directorate of Medical Education Service.
The second restriction as suggested by the committee members, sources said, is that the diploma doctors will not provide birth and death certificates.
“These are the two areas of restrictions which all the members of the committee have agreed upon in its first meeting on Monday. Each member of the committee has been asked to submit their written opinion on this count in the next meeting of the committee after seven days,” a senior official of the state health department said on condition of anonymity.
Prominent faces from the city’s medical fraternity like noted maxillofacial surgeon Srijon Mukherjee feel that there should be some additional restrictions on the diploma doctors. According to them, certain areas of treatment should be restricted for such diploma doctors and there should be a proper monitoring system to ensure that they never cross the line under any circumstance.
“Secondly, the operations sphere of such diploma doctors should be restricted only to the primary health centres,” Dr Mukherjee told IANS.
Since the chief minister suggested the introduction of a three-year diploma course in medicine last week, the proposal faced severe opposition from the medical fraternity in the state, who said that
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