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Who We Are

The mission of the Radiation Health Branch is to support the beneficial use of radiation, evaluate and control the hazards associated with the use of radiation and protect the citizens of the commonwealth from unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a Nuclear Regulatory Commission agreement state with regulatory control for oversight of all Atomic Energy Act activities in Kentucky, except federal facilities and certain special nuclear material. Kentucky maintains state regulations at least as restrictive as federal regulations.

Kentucky also uses the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors suggested state regulations to provide uniformity on a national level.

The Radiation Health Program is responsible for licensing, registering and certifying all uses of radiation. It also conducts inspections, reviews and validates environmental surveillance data and manages compliance activities. Additionally, it is responsible for statewide emergency response to radiological incidents and emergencies and is equipped to respond to these events 24 hours a day.

The Radiation Health Program reviews and validates all data related to the Maxey Flats Disposal Site currently undergoing Superfund remediation under a court-ordered consent decree. Maxey Flats Disposal Site information is available from the Radiation Health Program.

Radiation Health Branch Sections

Radioactive Materials

The Radioactive Materials section deals with licensing and control of any natural or man-made material that always emits ionizing radiation. 

Radiation Producing Machines 

The Radiation Producing Machines section deals with licensing and control of machines that can emit ionizing radiation at specific times. 

Please note effective July 12, 2012, the Radiation Operator Certification Program was placed under the authority of the Kentucky Board of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (KBMIRT). This program no longer operates under the Cabinet for Health and  Family Services, Radiation Health Branch.  

Radiation/Environmental Monitoring

The Radiation/Environmental Monitoring section is responsible for taking samples from various sites throughout the state and analyzing them to verify that no harmful levels of radiation are present in the air, ground or water supplies.

Applicable Statutes

Kentucky Revised Statute chapter 211 mandates the cabinet and Radiation Control Program to conduct programs for all sources of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

KRS 211.842(3): The Cabinet for Health Services shall develop and conduct programs for evaluation and control of hazards associated with the use of sources of ionizing, non-ionizing and electronic product radiation.

KRS 211.859 establishes the Central Midwest Interstate Low-level Radioactive Waste Compact to conduct programs related to tracking and disposal of radioactive waste in the region.

KRS 211.870 and KRS 211.890 address operators of radiation producing machines.

KRS 211.990 addresses penalties for violation of radiation administrative regulations.

KRS 45.850 mandates funding for monitoring nuclear waste disposal sites owned by the commonwealth to be provided as a major program cost in the executive budget for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.