United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Frequently Asked Questions About Generic Issues Program

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What Is a Generic Issue?

A Generic Issue is a well-defined, discrete, technical or security issue, the risk/or safety significance of which can be adequately determined, and which: 1) applies to two or more facilities and/or licensees/certificate holders, or holders of other regulatory approvals (including design certification rules); 2) affects public health and safety, the common defense and security, or the environment; 3) is not already being processed under an existing program or process; and 4) can be resolved by new or revised regulation, policy, or guidance or voluntary industry initiatives. A generic issue may lead to regulatory changes that either enhance safety, or reduce unnecessary regulatory burden.

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How Is a Generic Issue Identified?

NRC staff or members of the public may propose a GI when issues are identified that indicate or suggest there might be weaknesses in NRC rules and regulations to ensure public health and safety and security for nuclear matters. Weaknesses may include deficiencies in regulations or excessive burden.

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How Is a Generic Issue Submitted?

Persons who wish to report emergencies or who wish to report violations should follow the procedures listed under Report a Safety or Security Concern. Persons who wish to submit a proposed GI should complete the Form for Public to Propose a Generic Issue (GI). For electronic submittal, follow the instructions on the form. Alternately, you can send the completed form in US Mail to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Generic Issues Program, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Mail Stop C-2C07M.

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What Is the Process for Resolving Generic Issues?

The agency's GIP process for resolving GIs is described in MD 6.4. It includes five distinct stages that may be exercised: Identification, Acceptance Review, Screening, Safety / Risk Assessment, and Regulatory Assessment. During each stage, staff determines if the issue needs more information, if the issue proceeds to the next stage, or recommends that the issue exit the GIP. When issues exit the GIP, the possible outcomes include: no action, further research, transfer to appropriate regulatory programs, or possible industry initiative. In any case, the GIP provides feedback to the person proposing the GI (requestor) of the outcome at each stage. Issues that proceed through all five stages result in regulatory solutions being provided to program offices for implementation and verification.

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How Is Progress in Resolving Generic Issues Tracked?

Progress in resolving generic issues that NRC identified for regulation and guidance development is published quarterly in the Generic Issue Management Control System (GIMCS), which is available in the Public Document Room or from the Public Available Records (PARS) component of the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).

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Where Is the Complete List of Generic Issues?

The resolutions of all resolved generic safety issues and the partial assessments of all remaining unresolved generic issues are published in Resolution of Generic Safety Issues (NUREG-0933). GIs identified since the previous publication of NUREG-0933 are identified in the quarterly GIMCS reports.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, July 15, 2013