To provide aid to states when there has been a nuclear incident. The Canadian provinces Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan are also members of this compact.
A party state or its officers or employees who provide aid outside of their home state will not be legally responsible for acting or failing to act. An individual who provides aid outside of their home jurisdiction will have the same legal protections as if they are in their home state.
An individual who provides aid outside of their home jurisdiction will have the same powers, duties, rights, and privileges as if they were in their home state.
An individual who is injured or killed while performing aid outside of their home state will be entitled to workers' compensation from their home state as if the injury or death occurred in their home state.
The Western Interstate Nuclear Compact, hereinafter called "the compact," is hereby enacted into law and entered into with all other states legally joining therein, in the form substantially as follows: Article I. Policy and Purpose. The party states recognize that the proper employment of scientific and technological discoveries and advances in nuclear and related fields and direct and collateral application and adaptation of processes and techniques developed in connection therewith, properly correlated with the other resources of the region, can assist substantially in the industrial progress of the West and the further development of the economy of the region. They also recognize that optimum benefit from nuclear and related scientific or technological resources, facilities and skills require systematic encouragement, guidance, assistance, and promotion from the party states on a cooperative basis. It is the policy of the party states to undertake this cooperation on a continuing basis. It is the purpose of this compact to provide the instruments and framework for such a cooperative effort in nuclear and related fields, to enhance the economy of the West and contribute to the individual and community well-being of the region's people. Article II. The Board. (a) There is hereby created an agency of the party states to be known as the "Western Interstate Nuclear Board" (hereinafter called the board). The board shall be composed of one member from each party state designated or appointed in accordance with the law of the state which the member represents and serving and subject to removal in accordance with such law. A member of the board may provide for the discharge of the member's duties and the performance of the member's functions thereon (either for the duration of the term of the member or for any lesser period of time) by a deputy or assistant, if the laws of the member's state make specific provisions for this. The federal government may be represented without vote if provision is made by federal law for such representation. (b) The board members of the party states are each entitled to one vote on the board. No action of the board is binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of all members representing the party states are present and unless a majority of the total number of votes on the board are cast in favor of it. (c) The board shall have a seal. (d) The board shall elect annually, from among its members, a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a treasurer. The board shall appoint and fix the compensation of an executive director who shall serve at its pleasure and who shall also act as secretary, and who, together with the treasurer, and such other personnel as the board may direct, shall be bonded in such amounts as the board may require. (e) The executive director, with the approval of the board, shall appoint and remove or discharge such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of the board's functions irrespective of the civil service, personnel or other merit system laws of any of the party states. (f) The board may establish and maintain, independently or in conjunction with any one or more of the party states, or its institutions or subdivisions, a suitable retirement system for its full-time employees. Employees of the board are eligible for social security coverage in respect of old age and survivors insurance if the board takes such steps as are necessary under federal law to participate in such a program of insurance as a governmental agency or unit. The board may establish and maintain or participate in such additional programs of employee benefits as may be appropriate. (g) The board may borrow, accept, or contract for the services of personnel from any state or the United States or any subdivision or agency thereof, from any interstate agency, or from any institution, person, firm or corporation. (h) The board may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations, and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials and services (conditional or otherwise) from any state or the United States or any subdivision or agency thereof, or interstate agency, or from any institution, person, firm, or corporation, and may receive, utilize, and dispose of them. The nature, amount and conditions, if any, attendant upon any donation or grant accepted under this paragraph or upon any borrowing under paragraph (g) of this Article, together with the identity of the donor, grantor or lender, shall be detailed in the annual report of the board. (i) The board may establish and maintain such facilities as may be necessary for the transacting of its business. The board may acquire, hold, and convey real and personal property and any interest therein. (j) The board shall adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations for the conduct of its business, and has the power to amend and rescind these bylaws, rules and regulations. The board shall publish its bylaws, rules, and regulations in convenient form and shall file a copy of them, and shall also file a copy of any amendments to them, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the party states. (k) The board annually shall make to the governor of each party state, a report covering the activities of the board for the preceding year, and embodying such recommendations as may have been adopted by the board, which report shall be transmitted to the legislature of the state. The board may issue such additional reports as it considers desirable. Article III. Finances. (a) The board shall submit to the governor or designated officer or officers of each party state a budget of its estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of that jurisdiction for presentation to its legislature. (b) Each of the board's budgets of estimated expenditures shall contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be appropriated by each of the party states. Each of the board's requests for appropriations under a budget of estimated expenditures shall be apportioned equally among the party states. Subject to appropriation by their respective legislatures, the board shall be provided with such funds by each of the party states as are necessary to provide the means of establishing and maintaining facilities, a staff of personnel, and such activities as may be necessary to fulfill the powers and duties imposed upon and entrusted to the board. (c) The board may meet any of its obligations in whole or in part with funds available to it under Article II (h) of this compact, if the board takes specific action setting aside such funds prior to the incurring of any obligations to be met in whole or in part in this manner. Except where the board makes use of funds available to it under Article II (h) of this compact, the board may not incur any obligation before the allotment of funds by the party jurisdictions adequate to meet the obligation. (d) Any expenses and any other costs for each member of the board in attending board meetings shall be met by the board. (e) The board shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the board shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the board shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant and the report of the audit shall be included in and become a part of the annual report of the board. (f) The accounts of the board shall be open at any reasonable time for inspection to persons authorized by the board, and duly designated representatives of governments contributing to the board's support. Article IV. Advisory Committees. The board may establish such advisory and technical committees as it considers necessary, membership on which may include but is not limited to private citizens, expert and lay personnel, representatives of industry, labor, commerce, agriculture, civic associations, medicine, education, voluntary health agencies, and officials of local, state and federal government, and may cooperate with and use the services of any of these committees and the organizations which they represent in furthering any of its activities under this compact. Article V. Powers. The board has power to (1) encourage and promote cooperation among the party states in the development and utilization of nuclear and related technologies and their application to industry and other fields; (2) ascertain and analyze on a continuing basis the position of the West with respect to the employment in industry of nuclear and related scientific findings and technologies; (3) encourage the development and use of scientific advances and discoveries in nuclear facilities, energy, materials, products, by-products, and all other appropriate adaptations of scientific and technological advances and discoveries; (4) collect, correlate, and disseminate information relating to the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, materials, and products, and other products and processes resulting from the application of related science and technology; (5) encourage the development and use of nuclear energy, facilities, installations, and products as part of a balanced economy; (6) conduct, or cooperate in conducting, programs of training for state and local personnel engaged in any aspects of: (A) nuclear industry, medicine, or education, or the promotion or regulation thereof; (B) applying nuclear scientific advances or discoveries, and any industrial, commercial or other processes resulting therefrom; (C) the formulation or administration of measures designed to promote safety in any matter related to the development, use or disposal of nuclear energy, materials, products, by-products, installations, or wastes, or to safety in the production, use and disposal of any substances peculiarly related thereto; (7) organize and conduct, or assist and cooperate in organizing and conducting, demonstrations or research in any of the scientific, technological or industrial fields to which this compact relates; (8) undertake such nonregulatory functions with respect to nonnuclear sources of radiation as may promote the economic development and general welfare of the West; (9) study industrial, health, safety, and other standards, laws, codes, rules, regulations, and administrative practices in or related to nuclear fields; (10) recommend such changes in, or amendments or additions to the laws, codes, rules, regulations, administrative procedures and practices or local laws or ordinances of the party states or their subdivisions in nuclear and related fields, as in its judgment may be appropriate; any such recommendations shall be made through the appropriate state agency, with due consideration of the desirability of uniformity but shall also give appropriate weight to any special circumstances which may justify variations to meet local conditions; (11) consider and make recommendations designed to facilitate the transportation of nuclear equipment, materials, products, by-products, wastes, and any other nuclear or related substances, in such manner and under such conditions as will make their availability or disposal practicable on an economic and efficient basis; (12) consider and make recommendations with respect to the assumption of and protection against liability actually or potentially incurred in any phase of operations in nuclear and related fields; (13) advise and consult with the federal government concerning the common position of the party states or assist party states with regard to individual problems where appropriate in respect to nuclear and related fields; (14) cooperate with the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Office of Science and Technology, or any agencies successor to these, any other officer or agency of the United States, and any other governmental unit or agency or officer thereof, and with any private persons or agencies in any of the fields of its interest; (15) act as licensee, contractor or sub-contractor of the United States government or any party state with respect to the conduct of any research activity requiring a license or contract and operate the research facility or undertake any program pursuant thereto; however this power shall be exercised only in connection with the implementation of one or more other powers conferred upon the board by this compact; (16) prepare, publish and distribute (with or without charge) such reports, bulletins, newsletters or other materials as it considers appropriate; (17) ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances, and conditions as may bring about the prevention and control of nuclear incidents in the area comprising the party states, to coordinate the nuclear incident prevention and control plans and the work relating thereto of the appropriate agencies of the party states and to facilitate the rendering of aid by the party states to each other in coping with nuclear incidents; the board may formulate and, in accordance with need from time to time, revise a regional plan or regional plans for coping with nuclear incidents within the territory of the party states as a whole or within any subregion or subregions of the geographic area covered by this compact; a nuclear incident plan in force under this paragraph shall designate the official or agency in each party state covered by the plan who shall coordinate requests for aid under Article VI of this compact and the furnishing of aid in response to the requests; unless the party states concerned expressly otherwise agree, the board shall not administer the summoning and dispatching of aid, but this function shall be undertaken directly by the designated agencies and officers of the party states; however, the plan or plans of the board in force pursuant to this paragraph shall provide for reports to the board concerning the occurrence of nuclear incidents and the requests for aid on account of them, together with summaries of the actual working and effectiveness of mutual aid in particular instances; from time to time, the board shall analyze the information gathered from reports of aid under Article VI and such other instances of mutual aid as may have come to its attention, so that experience in the rendering of this aid may be available; (18) prepare, maintain, and implement a regional plan or regional plans for carrying out the duties, powers, or functions conferred upon the board by this compact; (19) undertake responsibilities imposed or necessarily involved with regional participation under such cooperative programs of the federal government as are useful in connection with the fields covered by this compact. Article VI. Mutual Aid. (a) When a party state, or any state or local governmental authorities in a party state, request aid from any other party state under this compact in coping with a nuclear incident, it shall be the duty of the requested state to render all possible aid to the requesting state which is consonant with the maintenance of protection of its own people. (b) When the officers or employees of any party state are rendering outside aid pursuant to the request of another party state under this compact, the officers or employees of such a state shall, under the direction of the authorities of the state to which they are rendering aid, have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities as comparable officers and employees of the state to which they are rendering aid. (c) No party state or its officers or employees rendering outside aid under this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission on their part while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection with rendering the aid. (d) All liability that may arise either under the laws of the requesting state or under the laws of the aiding state or under the laws of a third state on account of or in connection with a request for aid, shall be assumed and borne by the requesting state. (e) Any party state rendering outside aid under this compact shall be reimbursed by the party state receiving the aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of any equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries and maintenance of officers, employees and equipment incurred in connection with such requests; however, nothing contained in this compact prevents any assisting party state from assuming the loss, damage, expense or other cost or from loaning the equipment or from donating the services to the receiving party state without charge or cost. (f) Each party state shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured officers and employees and the representatives of deceased officers and employees in case officers or employees sustain injuries or death while rendering outside aid under this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within the state by or in which the officer or employee was regularly employed. Article VII. Supplementary Agreements. (a) To the extent that the board has not undertaken an activity or project which would be within its power under the provisions of Article V of this compact, any two or more of the party states (acting by their duly constituted administrative officials) may enter into supplementary agreements for the undertaking and continuance of such an activity or project. Any such agreement shall specify the purpose or purposes, its duration and the procedure for termination of it or withdrawal from it, the method of financing and allocating the costs of the activity or project, and other matters that may be necessary or appropriate. No supplementary agreement entered into under this article becomes effective before its submission to and approval by the board. The board shall give this approval unless it finds that the supplementary agreement or activity or project contemplated by the agreement is inconsistent with the provisions of this compact or a program or activity conducted by or participated in by the board. (b) Unless all of the party states participate in a supplementary agreement, any cost or costs of it shall be borne separately by the states which are parties to it. However, the board may administer or otherwise assist in the operation of any supplementary agreement. (c) No party to a supplementary agreement entered into under this article may be relieved by it of any obligation or duty assumed by that party state under or pursuant to this compact, except that timely and proper performance of the obligation or duty by means of the supplementary agreement may be offered as performance pursuant to the compact. (d) The provisions of this article apply to supplementary agreements and activities under them, but may not be construed to repeal or impair any authority which officers or agencies of party states may have under other laws to undertake cooperative arrangements or projects. Article VIII. Other Laws and Relations. Nothing in this compact may be construed to (1) permit or require any person or other entity to avoid or refuse compliance with any law, rule, regulation, order or ordinance of a party state or subdivision thereof now or hereafter made, enacted or in force; (2) limit, diminish, or otherwise impair jurisdiction exercised by the Atomic Energy Commission, any agency successor to it, or any other federal department, agency or officer pursuant to and in conformity with any valid and operative act of Congress; nor limit, diminish, affect, or otherwise impair jurisdiction exercised by any officer or agency of a party state, except to the extent that the provisions of this compact may provide therefor; (3) alter the relations between and respective internal responsibilities of the government of a party state and its subdivisions; (4) permit or authorize the board to own or operate any facility, reactor, or installation for industrial or commercial purposes. Article IX. Eligible Parties, Entry Into Force and Withdrawal. (a) Any or all of the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible to become party to this compact. (b) As to any eligible party state, this compact becomes effective when its legislature enacts it into law. However, it does not become initially effective until enacted into law by five states. (c) Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing it, but no such withdrawal may take effect until two years after the governor of the withdrawing state has given notice in writing of the withdrawal to the governors of all other party states. No withdrawal affects any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state before the time of the withdrawal. (d) Guam and American Samoa, or either of them, may participate in the compact to such extent as may be mutually agreed by the board and the duly constituted authorities of Guam or American Samoa, as the case may be. However, this participation may not include the furnishing or receipt of mutual aid under Article VI, unless that article has been enacted or otherwise adopted so as to have the full force and effect of law in the jurisdiction affected. Neither Guam nor American Samoa is entitled to voting participation on the board, unless it has become a full party to the compact. Article X. Severability and Construction. The provisions of this compact and of any supplementary agreement entered into under it are severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact or such a supplementary agreement is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating state or of the United States or the applicability of it to any government, agency, person, or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact or such a supplementary agreement and the applicability of it to any government, agency, person or circumstance is not affected thereby. If this compact or any supplementary agreement entered into under it is held contrary to the constitution of any state participating in it, the compact or the supplementary agreement shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the state affected as to all severable matters. The provisions of this compact and of any supplementary agreement entered into under it shall be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes thereof.