[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 45 (Thursday, March 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14843-14844]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05306]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2013-0046]


Temporary Scope Expansion of the Post-Investigation Alternative 
Dispute Resolution Program

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of temporary scope expansion.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is expanding the 
scope of the post-investigation Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 
Program for a 1-year pilot period. The NRC and its licensees are the 
parties to this form of ADR. Currently, post-investigation ADR is used 
in the NRC's Enforcement Program for cases involving discrimination and 
other wrongdoing after the NRC's Office of Investigations has completed 
an investigation substantiating the allegation. The pilot ADR Program 
will expand post-investigation ADR to include all escalated non-willful 
(traditional) enforcement cases with proposed civil penalties (this 
will not include violations associated with findings assessed through 
the Reactor Oversight Process (ROP) \1\).
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    \1\ Reference to the ROP includes the construction ROP.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0046 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document, which the NRC 
possesses and is publicly available, using any of the following 
methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0046. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available 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.
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Russell Arrighi, telephone: 301-415-
0205, email Russell.Arrighi@nrc.gov; or Maria Schwartz, telephone: 301-
415-1888, email Maria.Schwartz@nrc.gov. Both of these individuals can 
also be contacted by mail at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Office of Enforcement, Concerns Resolution Branch, Washington, DC 
20555-0001.

Background

    The term ``ADR'' refers to a number of voluntary processes, such as 
mediation and facilitated dialogues that can be used to assist parties 
in resolving disputes and potential conflicts. These techniques involve 
the use of a neutral

[[Page 14844]]

third party, either from within the agency or from outside the agency, 
and are voluntary processes in terms of the decision to participate, 
the type of process used, and the content of the final agreement. 
Federal agency experience with ADR has demonstrated that the use of 
these techniques can result in more efficient resolution of issues, 
more effective outcomes, and improved relationships between the agency 
and the other party.
    On August 14, 1992 (57 FR 36678), the NRC issued a general policy 
statement which supports and encourages the use of ADR in NRC 
activities. On September 8, 2003, the Commission approved an NRC staff 
proposal to develop and implement a pilot ADR Program to evaluate the 
use of ADR in handling allegations or findings of discrimination and 
other wrongdoing. (see the staff requirements memorandum (SRM) for 
SECY-03-0115, ``Alternative Dispute Resolution Review Team (ART) Pilot 
Program Recommendations for Using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 
Techniques in the Handling of Discrimination and Other External 
Wrongdoing Issues'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML030170277). In response to 
the SRM, the NRC staff proposed a pilot ADR Program to evaluate the use 
of ADR in the Enforcement Program in SECY-04-0044, ``Proposed Pilot 
Program for the Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the 
Enforcement Program,'' dated March 12, 2004 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML040550473). The Commission approved the pilot ADR Program (August 13, 
2004; 69 FR 50219), and the NRC staff began implementing it in 
September 2004.
    In SECY-06-0102, ``Evaluation of the Pilot Program on the Use of 
Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Allegation and Enforcement 
Programs,'' dated May 5, 2006 (ADAMS Accession No. ML061110254), the 
NRC staff provided the Commission with the results of the evaluation of 
the pilot ADR Program. The NRC staff concluded that implementation of 
the pilot ADR Program was successful. The Program was effective, 
timely, and generally viewed positively by both internal and external 
stakeholders. Accordingly, the staff indicated its intent to continue 
to use ADR in both the Allegation and Enforcement Programs while 
obtaining Commission approval for the changes necessary to formalize 
the use of ADR in the Allegation and Enforcement Policy documents. 
Since ADR program implementation, the NRC has reached settlement 
agreements with licensees (or contractors) and individuals, and has 
issued subsequent ADR confirmatory orders in more than 90 enforcement 
cases.
    On December 16, 2010, the NRC Chairman issued a memorandum, ``ADR 
Implementation and Assessment'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML12030A228) 
tasking the NRC staff to conduct a comprehensive review of the ADR 
program, including determining if it should be expanded. On September 
6, 2011 (76 FR 55136), the NRC solicited nominations of individuals to 
participate on a panel to discuss ADR program implementation and 
whether changes could be made to make it more effective, transparent, 
and efficient. On October 17, 2011 (76 FR 64124), the NRC announced its 
intention to hold a public meeting to solicit feedback from its 
stakeholders on the ADR Program. During the November 8, 2011 public 
meeting, the NRC external stakeholders expressed support for the 
expansion of the ADR Program to the extent possible.
    For purposes of discussing the expansion of the ADR program, it is 
necessary to distinguish between the two types of programs, early ADR 
and post-investigation ADR. These programs differ because of the 
parties involved. In early ADR, a licensee or contractor engages in 
mediation with its employee; where as in post-investigation ADR, the 
NRC engages in mediation with the subject of a potential enforcement 
action.
    In SECY-12-0161, ``Status Update, Tasks Related to Alternative 
Dispute Resolution in the Allegation and Enforcement Programs,'' dated 
November 28, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12321A145), the NRC staff 
notified the Commission of its intent to expand the scope of post-
investigation ADR and offer it as an option for escalated non-willful 
(traditional) enforcement cases with proposed civil penalties for a 1-
year pilot period. The expansion of the Program does not include 
violations associated with findings assessed through the ROP. The 
current program for post-investigation ADR is limited to discrimination 
and other wrongdoing cases.
    At the completion of the 1-year period, the NRC staff will evaluate 
the results of the pilot ADR Program and seek Commission approval for 
the permanent inclusion in the Enforcement Policy if the expanded scope 
is deemed beneficial to the advancement of the agency's mission.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This Notification does not contain any information collections and, 
therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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 OMB Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of February 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Roy P. Zimmerman,
Director, Office of Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2013-05306 Filed 3-6-13; 8:45 am]
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