[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 18 (Monday, January 28, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5838-5840]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01672]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2013-0014]


NRC Enforcement Policy

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Policy revision; issuance and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
revision to its Enforcement Policy (Enforcement Policy or Policy) to 
incorporate changes directed by the Commission, to make other changes 
proposed and evaluated by the staff, and to make minor edits.

DATES: This revision is effective on January 28, 2013. Comments on this 
revision should be submitted on or before February 27, 2013, and will 
be considered by the NRC before the next Enforcement Policy revision.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this revision to the Policy by searching http://www.regulations.gov 
under Docket ID NRC-2013-0014. You may submit comments by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0014. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do 
not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact 
us at 301-415-1677.
     Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission at 301-415-1101.
     Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff.
     Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal 
workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677. For additional direction on 
accessing information and submitting comments, see ``Accessing 
Information and

[[Page 5839]]

Submitting Comments'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this 
document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicole Coleman, Office of Enforcement, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; telephone: 
301-415-1048, email: Nicole.Coleman@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0014 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this revision of the Policy. 
You may access information related to this revision of the Policy, 
which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0014.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access public documents online in the NRC Library at 
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select 
``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS 
Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each 
document referenced in this document (if that document is available in 
ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The 
NRC Enforcement Policy is available in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML12340A295.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC maintains the 
Enforcement Policy on its Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/enforcement/enforce-pol.html.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0014 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in you 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background

    The purpose of this Policy revision is to: (1) Incorporate changes 
directed by the Commission in the Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM), 
SRM-SECY-09-0190, ``Revisions to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
Enforcement Policy,'' December 30, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML093200520);(2) make other changes proposed and evaluated by the 
staff; and (3) make minor edits.
    On December 30, 2009, in SECY-09-0190, the NRC staff submitted to 
the Commission a proposed major revision of the Enforcement Policy. In 
SECY-09-0190, the NRC staff committed to provide an opportunity for 
public comments on the revision after it had been in effect for about 
18 months. In SRM-SECY-09-0190, the Commission approved the revised 
Policy and directed the NRC staff to evaluate certain items for 
inclusion in the next proposed revision to the Policy. On September 30, 
2010 (75 FR 60485), the NRC published the revised Policy in the Federal 
Register.
    In addition to the direction given to the NRC staff in SRM-SECY-09-
0190, the NRC staff evaluated other Policy changes that were presented 
to the Commission for approval and inclusion in the 2012 Policy 
revision.
    The NRC staff solicited comments on proposed changes to the Policy 
in documents published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2011 (76 
FR 54986), and December 6, 2011 (76 FR 76192).

III. Summary of Substantive Changes to the Enforcement Policy

1. Credit for Fuel Cycle Licensee Corrective Action Programs

    The NRC is revising Section 2.3.2, Non-Cited Violation, to provide 
fuel cycle licensees (and all other licensees or nonlicensees) with 
credit for a corrective action program (CAP) for certain severity level 
(SL) IV violations. Presently, this CAP credit for certain SL IV 
violations is only available to power reactor licensees. This revision 
would allow fuel cycle licensees (and all other licensees or 
nonlicensees) with credit for an NRC-approved CAP to have NRC-
identified SL IV violations treated as noncited violations (NCVs) if 
certain other criteria are met.

2. Noncited Violation Credit to Nonlicensees

    The NRC is revising Section 2.3.2.b, All Other Licensees, to 
clarify that NCVs may also be issued to nonlicensees when they meet the 
NCV criteria stated in Section 2.3.2.b.

3. Civil Penalties

    The NRC is making several changes to Section 2.3.4, Civil Penalty, 
related to the civil penalty assessment process. Under the current 
Policy, the NRC will assess at least a base civil penalty for 
violations involving loss of control of radioactive materials. The NRC 
is revising the Policy to remove such language. The intent is to 
maintain the existing lost source policy to issue at least a civil 
penalty while giving the NRC staff the flexibility to disposition those 
cases where a licensee has lost NRC regulated material, but took 
immediate action to recover it, in a timely manner, with little or no 
risk to the public while the material was not in the licensee's 
control. In such cases where loss of control is the issue, rather than 
actual loss of material, the normal civil penalty assessment process 
would be used. Notwithstanding the normal civil penalty assessment 
process, the Policy will also allow the use of discretion and 
imposition of a civil penalty in cases in which a licensee has lost 
required control of its regulated radioactive material.
    The NRC is revising the Policy to also provide criteria and 
examples for the use of daily civil penalties. This revision will 
provide factors for the NRC staff to consider when evaluating the 
appropriateness of daily civil penalties for continuing violations of 
at least moderate significance (i.e., at least a SL III).
    The NRC is revising the Policy to point out that civil penalties 
are considered for SL I, II, and III violations. However, this revision 
emphasizes that the civil penalty process described in Section 2.3.4 
should be followed to determine the appropriateness of any civil 
penalty.

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    The NRC is also adding a new section, Section 4.3.1, Civil 
Penalties to Individuals Who Release Safeguards Information, to provide 
an assessment tool for the NRC staff to determine civil penalties for 
violations of unauthorized release of safeguards information (SGI) by 
individuals. The NRC is also revising Section 8.0, Table of Base Civil 
Penalties, to include a base civil penalty of $3,500 for individuals 
who release SGI.

4. Orders

    The NRC is revising Section 2.3.5, Orders, to clarify that Orders 
may be immediately effective, without prior opportunity for a hearing, 
whenever the NRC determines that the public health, safety interest, or 
common defense and security so requires, or if the violation or conduct 
causing the violation is willful.

5. Inaccurate and Incomplete Information

    The NRC is adding a new Section 2.3.11, Inaccurate and Incomplete 
Information, to provide guidance to the NRC staff for issues involving 
inaccurate and incomplete information. The wording for this new section 
is taken essentially verbatim from the November 28, 2008, version of 
the Policy, Section IX, Inaccurate and Incomplete Information. This 
section was not included in the September 30, 2010, revision to the 
Policy.

6. Reporting of Defects

    The NRC is adding a new Section 2.3.12, Reporting of Defects and 
Noncompliance, to provide guidance to the NRC staff for issues 
involving contractors that supply products or services for use in 
nuclear activities. The wording for this new section is taken 
essentially verbatim from the November 28, 2008, version of the Policy, 
Section X, Enforcement Action Against Nonlicensees. This section was 
not included in the September 30, 2010, revision to the Policy.

7. Predecisional Enforcement Conference

    The NRC is revising Section 2.4.1, Predecisional Enforcement 
Conference, in its entirety to provide clear and consistent guidance 
that allows licensees and individuals to respond to apparent violations 
before final escalated enforcement action is taken. The revised text 
states, in part, that to the extent practicable, the NRC will consider 
the licensee's response before taking enforcement action.

8. Alternative Dispute Resolution

    The NRC is revising Section 2.4.3, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 
to update the alternative dispute resolution guidance.

9. Enforcement Actions Involving Individuals

    The NRC is revising Section 4.0, Enforcement Actions Involving 
Individuals, to provide guidance for handling potentially damaging or 
disqualifying information involving an individual's trustworthiness and 
reliability, which may affect an individual's unescorted access 
authorization to licensee facilities.

10. Violation Examples

    The NRC is revising Section 6.0, Violation Examples, by adding 
several new violation examples and revising several of the current 
examples. The sub-sections within Section 6.0 that are being revised 
include the violation examples related to licensed operators, facility 
construction (parts 50 and 52 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), licensees and fuel cycle facilities), emergency 
preparedness, inaccurate and incomplete information, and failure to 
make a required report. The NRC is adding violation examples related to 
export and import activities.

11. Glossary

    The NRC is revising the following definitions in Section 7.0, 
Glossary: actual consequences, apparent violation, lost source policy, 
substantial potential for exposures or releases in excess of the 
applicable limits in 10 CFR part 20, and traditional enforcement. The 
NRC is also adding definitions for certificate holders and nonlicensees 
for purposes of the Policy.

12. Table of Base Civil Penalties

    In Section 8.0, Table A, Table of Base Civil Penalties, the NRC is 
revising the title of Category ``c'' by replacing the wording ``Fuel 
fabricators authorized to possess Category III quantities of SNM 
[special nuclear material] * * *'' with the wording ``All other fuel 
fabricators, including facilities under construction * * *''. This 
change will ensure that Table A addresses fuel facilities under 
construction.

IV. Procedural Requirements

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This Policy statement does not contain new or amended information 
collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing requirements were approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Approval Number 3150-0136.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a request for information or an information collection 
requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid 
OMB control number.

Congressional Review Act

    In accordance with the Congressional Review Act of 1996, the NRC 
has determined that this action is not a major rule and has verified 
this determination with the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs of OMB.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of January 2013.
Andrew L. Bates,
Acting Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2013-01672 Filed 1-25-13; 8:45 am]
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