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The NRC, or Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is a United States government agency that was established by the Energy Regorganization Act in 1974, and was first opened January 19, 1975. The NRC took over the role of oversite of Nuclear Energy from the AEC, or Atomic Energy Commission. The oversite of nuclear weapons, as well as the promotion of nuclear power, was transferred to the Department of Energy by the same act, thereby eliminating the AEC.

Like its predecessor, the AEC, the NRC oversees Reactor safety, Reactor licensing and renewal, material safety and licensing, and waste management (storage and disposal).

Headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, the NRC is broken down into 4 regions:

  • Region I, located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, oversees the north-eastern United States.
  • Region II, located in Atlanta, Georgia, oversees the south-eastern United States.
  • Region III, located in Lisle, Illinois, oversees the northern mid-western United States
  • Region IV, located in Arlington, Texas, oversees the southern midwestern and the western United States.

These four regions oversee the operation of 104 Power Producing Reactors (for a list of currently licensed power reactors, go to http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/list-power-reactor-units ), and 36 Non-power Producing Reactors (for a list of non-power producing reactors, go to http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/list-nonpower-reactors ). This oversight is done on several levels, for example:

  • Each site has Resident Inspectors, who monitor day to day operations
  • Numerous special inspection teams, with many different specialties, routinely conduct inspections at each site
  • Whistle-blower reports are investigated by special teams

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