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Current Issues
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Program Overview
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Sanctions for Discrimination Against Employees Who Raise Safety Concerns
Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Public Involvement
Contact Us About Enforcement
Related Documents
Significant Enforcement Actions
Notices of Enforcement Discretion
Office of Enforcement Annual Reports
History of Enforcement Policy

Public Involvement in Enforcement

Public involvement and information about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's activities is a cornerstone of strong, fair regulation of the nuclear industry. The NRC recognizes the public's interest in the proper regulation of nuclear activities and provides opportunities for citizens to make their opinions known. This page describes the various ways the public may get involved in the NRC's enforcement program.

On this page:

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NOTE: Please be aware that any comments that you submit to the NRC will be considered a public record and entered into the agency's electronic record keeping system.

Commenting on the Enforcement Policy or Program

The public may always provide general comments on the enforcement program or Enforcement Policy. If you would like to send a comment, please use our online form to Contact Us About Enforcement.

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Status of OE-lead Agency Initiatives

Proposed Revision to Enforcement Policy

A notice was published on September 15, 2008, (73 FR 53286), announcing that NRC is now soliciting written comments from interested parties on a proposed revision to the Enforcement Policy. (A notice was published on January 25, 2007, (72 FR 3429) announcing that the NRC was undertaking a major revision of the Enforcement Policy to clarify the use of terms and update the Policy, removing outdated information and adding information addressing enforcement issues in areas that are not currently directly addressed in the Policy.) The proposed revised Enforcement Policy is available at NRC’s Electronic Reading Room or accessible via ADAMS Accession Number ML082520457.

To provide comment, please utilize the web link below. The NRC will accept comments on the proposed revised Enforcement Policy on or before November 14, 2008. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. As noted in the FRN, comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods:

  • Provide Comment exit icon
  • Note: Upon selecting "Provide Comment," you will be transferred to exit icon. government Web site, your comments can be provided through the portal entitled "Search Documents" by typing in the key search phrase of "NRC-2008-0497.

  • Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: search on Docket ID: NRC-2008-0497

  • Mail comments to: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rulemaking, Directives, and Editing Branch, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: T-6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001.

  • Hand-deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, between the hours of 7:45 am and 4:15 pm, Federal workdays.

For Further Information Contact: Doug Starkey, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-001; E-mail:, Telephone: (301) 415-3456; Fax Number: (301) 415-3431 or see our Contact Us form.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The enforcement Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Process pilot program concluded. The results of the pilot indicated that the use of ADR in certain kinds of enforcement cases was generally successful. Based on the results of the pilot, improvements were made to the ADR process and the agency will continue to use this process for certain kinds of enforcement cases.

Enforcement Actions Involving Individuals/Discrimination Task Group (DTG)

During CY 2006, no changes were made to Section VIII of the Enforcement Policy which addresses enforcement actions against individuals. The most recent revision was proposed by an internal NRC working group chaired by OE to evaluate and propose recommendations to this section of the Enforcement Policy. The proposed revision was published in the Federal Register on March 9, 2001, and sought stakeholder feedback on the proposed revision.

The NRC received comments from several stakeholders including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). The staff evaluated these comments; however, since the Discrimination Task Group (DTG) was considering a related question, namely whether hearing rights should be granted to individuals who receive NOVs, revision to Section VIII was placed on hold pending issuance of the DTG Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM). Issued on March 26, 2003, the DTG SRM provided the staff with the Commission’s direction to "fully explore the policy and resource implications of providing hearing rights (either formal or informal) to individuals subject to an NOV in connection with violations of the employee protection regulations."

During the ADR pilot program, the staff engaged in mediation with individuals as well as licensees. Although it was a challenge to coordinate and honor confidentiality issues, the staff, as well as some external stakeholders, believed that ADR offered an opportunity to resolve these matters in a positive manner. The ADR pilot program offered individuals creative actions meeting the agency’s interest in deterrence and compliance. In addition, the staff allowed individuals to gain their employer’s agreement to certain actions prior to finalizing a settlement agreement. Consequently, the staff concluded in SECY-06-0102, that offering ADR to individuals accused of wrongdoing provides the alternative process for individuals the Commission directed the staff to continue considering in the DTG SRM.

The Enforcement Policy will be revised to incorporate the use of ADR for individuals subject to an NOV in connection with violations of the employee protection regulations.

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Meetings and Workshops

From time to time, the NRC conducts meetings or workshops to address specific enforcement issues. These meetings may be conducted in the Washington, D.C. area or in the areas around the NRC's four regional offices. In some cases, meetings may be held in the community near a nuclear power plant or other facility to make it easier for the public to participate. Meetings and workshops will be listed here as well as on our Public Meeting Schedule page.

Meeting Notice and Agenda

[No meeting is currently scheduled]


[No workshop is currently scheduled]

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Attending Predecisional Enforcement and Regulatory Conferences

Predecisional enforcement conferences are often held with a licensee, a vendor, or other person before the NRC makes its final decision on a significant enforcement action. Regulatory Conferences are conducted (in lieu of predecisional enforcement conferences) when apparent violations are associated with findings evaluated by the reactor oversight process's Significance Determination Process. In most cases, these conferences are open to public observation. See our page on Upcoming Conferences.

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Hearing Opportunities in Enforcement Proceedings

The NRC provides opportunities for members of the public to request hearings in enforcement proceedings. See Hearing Opportunities and License Applications for current information on opportunities to request a hearing in major enforcement proceedings.

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Reporting Safety or Security Concerns

Often workers at nuclear power plants or members of the public raise concerns that safety rules are not being followed at the facilities where they work or near where they live. The NRC has established a formal process for reviewing and resolving these concerns.

The NRC encourages workers in the nuclear industry to take their concerns directly to their employer because he or she has the primary responsibility for maintaining safe operations. However, should employees not be satisfied by company response or choose to bring their safety concerns directly to the NRC, they may Report a Safety or Security Concern through NRC's toll-free safety hotline. Any member of the public may voice safety concerns in this same manner. Learn more by visiting our Allegations page or consulting our brochure "Reporting Safety Concerns."

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Petitions for Enforcement Action Under 10 CFR 2.206

In accordance with Part 2.206 of NRC's regulations, any member of the public may raise potential health and safety issues in a petition to the NRC requesting that the NRC take specific enforcement action regarding a licensed, operating facility. To learn more about this process, see our detailed instructions: Petition the NRC To Take an Enforcement Action.

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Monday, September 15, 2008