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The Radiological Health Program works to protect the public and the environment from unnecessary exposure to radiation and radioactive substances. The program is involved in the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, a recently shut down nuclear power plant in Vernon. The program also:
- inspects radioactive materials and x-ray instrument use and security
- provides licenses to users of radioactive materials
- provides registrations to x-ray facilities
- manages the statewide radiological and nuclear emergency response and recovery program
- conducts radiological environmental sampling in coordination with the Health Department Laboratory
- works with the Department of Public Safety and State emergency preparedness teams to prevent and respond to radiological or nuclear incidents
Radiological health staff are equipped and trained to protect public health in any radiological or nuclear emergency and to support other State agencies during emergencies. The State’s Preventive Radiological Nuclear Detection Program prepares law enforcement and the Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team (VHMRT) to identify and secure illegal or improper uses of radioactive materials. Learn more about radiological emergency preparedness
For radiological emergencies, call the Vermont Emergency Management Watch Officer at 800-347-0488. This number is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Watch Officer will contact the Radiological Health Program so they can respond as appropriate.
On October 1, 2019, the State of Vermont will enter into an agreement with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to take over the jurisdiction for the regulation of most radioactive materials possession, usage and storage. On that date, most people who possess and use radioactive materials in Vermont will become licensees of the State of Vermont. However, Vermont Yankee will remain in the jurisdiction of the NRC.
Radiological Health staff provide guidance to Vermonters on non-ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields (EMFs) such as those from electric power transmission lines, radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices (like smart meters and cell phones), ultraviolet radiation and lasers.