United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Protocol for Accompaniment on NRC Inspections

HPPOS-108 PDR-9111210256

See the memorandum from R. K. Hoefling to F. Brenneman dated November 2, 1982. It provides a list of approved terms and conditions under which individuals are allowed to accompany NRC inspectors as observers on inspections of nuclear power plants.

The State of Pennsylvania expressed an interest in having personnel of their Department of Environmental Resources accompany NRC regional-based or resident inspectors as observers on inspections of nuclear plants located within that state.

A protocol was developed for signature for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that allowed persons employed by the Department of Environmental Resources to accompany NRC staff on inspections, under the following conditions:

  1. Specific approval for each accompaniment will be obtained from NRC Region I Office prior to accompanying an NRC inspection.
  2. Accompaniment is limited to no more than two individuals on any single inspection.
  3. Individuals accompanying NRC inspectors shall not, in any manner, interfere with the orderly conduct of the inspection. NRC inspectors are authorized to refuse to permit continued accompaniment by an individual whose conduct interferes with a fair and orderly inspection or whose conduct does not follow the terms and conditions included within this Protocol. The reports of information obtained by State participants under this Protocol should be subject to supervisory review as are all findings of NRC Inspectors.
  4. NRC inspectors will not normally object to the presence of individuals accompanying them during inspections or discussions with the licensee regarding inspection matters covered by the accompaniment. The NRC reserves the right to exclude such individuals on a case-by-case basis from any portion of an inspection or a discussion if the presence of such individuals has the potential for impeding the inspector's ability to carry out his/her inspection.
  5. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this Protocol, individuals accompanying NRC inspectors will not normally be provided access to proprietary information or information concerning the physical security plan for a facility. Exceptions to this provision will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may require execution of appropriate non-disclosure agreements.
  6. Individuals accompanying NRC inspectors pursuant to this Protocol do so at their own risk. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will accept no responsibility for injuries and exposures to harmful substances which may occur to such individuals during the inspection and will assume no liability for any incidents associated with the accompaniment. Individuals accompanying NRC inspectors agree to waive all claims of liability against the Commission.
  7. The NRC will not make arrangements for the persons accompanying the NRC inspector to gain access to the licensee's facility, but will inform the licensee that the NRC has no objection to the specific individuals accompanying the NRC inspectors. Arrangements to gain access to the licensee's facilities are the responsibility of the accompanying individual, subject to not disclosing the date of the inspection.

Regulatory references: None

Subject codes: 12.18, 12.19

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, June 09, 2015