« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

What is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission?


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was established after the Atomic Energy Commission was dissolved in 1974, is an independent federal agency tasked with regulating nuclear materials, radioactive waste, nuclear reactors and nuclear security. The NRC works to protect public health and the environment by overseeing the safe use of radioactive materials. Its duties include writing regulations and policies, judging related legal issues and inspecting nuclear facilities. The commission regulates only civilian nuclear material uses, not nuclear weapons. Headquartered in Maryland, the NRC had a budget of about $1 billion in 2016 and about 4,000 employees.