In 1964, the Atomic Energy Commission (now the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission) and Florida signed an agreement empowering the state to license and regulate radioactive materials users.
Today the program licenses more than 1,400 users, including hospitals, universities, industrial facilities, doctors, roofing companies, a food irradiator, and a medical product irradiator. The radioactive material employed by these users may be contained in a medical pharmaceutical or inside an industrial device such as a moisture density gauge or a static eliminator. The license is a dynamic document. Each year the program issues over 1,600 license amendments, or changes requested by the licensee, to accommodate the licensees' needs and industry's changing needs in the use of radioactive materials.
Each materials license is valid for 5 years. Program staff inspects each licensee periodically from every 6 months to every 5 years depending on the type of license. During the inspection, which may take 100 hours or more at a large facility, the inspector takes direct radiation readings and interviews and observes personnel. The inspector also reviews records, and if necessary, collects samples from equipment surfaces and the general environment which are later analyzed for contamination at the department's radiation laboratory.
The inspector then discusses the preliminary inspection findings with the licensee during an exit interview and, within 30 days of the inspection, program staff sends a letter requiring corrective action of any deficiencies. If the licensee has significant violations or fails to correct the deficiencies, the department may impose an administrative fine or modify, suspend, or revoke the license.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission audits agreement state programs. Florida's audit results are available online.