United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Enforcement Authority and Regulations

Authority. The NRC's enforcement jurisdiction is drawn from the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended, and the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) of 1974, as amended.

Section 161 of the AEA authorizes the NRC to conduct inspections and investigations and to issue orders.

Section 186 of the AEA authorizes the NRC to revoke licenses under certain circumstances.

Section 234 of the AEA authorizes the NRC to impose civil penalties not to exceed $100,000 per violation per day.

The maximum civil penalty amount is adjusted every 4 years by the Debt Collection Act of 1996 and is currently $140,000 per violation, per day.

Regulations. The NRC's regulations are found in Chapter I of Title 10, "Energy," of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Chapter I is divided into Parts 1 through 199. The following are the principal parts governing enforcement:

  • Part 2.201 - procedures for issuing Notices of Violation
  • Part 2.202 - procedures for issuing orders
  • Part 2.203 - procedures for settlement and compromise
  • Part 2.204 - procedures for issuing demands for information
  • Part 2.205 - procedures for issuing civil penalties
  • Part 2.206 - procedures for members of the public to request enforcement action under this subpart

The NRC's policies and procedures in initiating enforcement actions and the responsibilities of the presiding officers and the Commission in reviewing these actions is included in the NRC's Enforcement Policy.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 12, 2013