United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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The NRC's Plain Writing Action Plan, Reports, and News

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is committed to using plain writing for every “covered document” that we issue or substantially revise. As described in The Plain Writing Act of 2010, a “covered document” meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Is relevant to obtaining any Federal benefit or service or filing taxes;
  • Provides information about any Federal benefit or service; or
  • Explains to the public how to comply with a requirement.

Based on this definition, by October 13, 2011, we will follow Our Plain Writing Guidance for our public Web site, Blog postings, correspondence, forms, and brochures. We will also use plain writing for all notices that inform you of meetings and significant actions. We will even use plain writing for specialized technical publications, but we will consider the needs and subject matter expertise of our intended audience. In addition, we will use plain writing to develop licenses, license amendments, and guidance documents. Such documents are primarily intended for our licensees, who are technically proficient in nuclear matters. Nonetheless, we believe that these documents must be clear, concise, and well-organized because they explain how to comply with NRC requirements. In cases where these documents must necessarily be written in considerable technical detail, we will develop a brief executive summary to make the content accessible and easy for you to understand.

For additional detail, see the following topics on this page:

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The NRC’s Plain Writing Action Plan

On July 12, 2011, the NRC published an initial report that describes our plan for implementing the requirements of The Plain Writing Act of 2010. We invite you to Contact Us to offer your thoughts about this report. For a discussion of plain writing at the NRC, see our related Blog posting, entitled "Are We Writing in Plain English?"

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The NRC’s Plain Writing Act Compliance Reports

In its Final Guidance on Implementing the Act, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) instructed Federal agencies to publish annual reports describing their continuing compliance with The Plain Writing Act of 2010. Consistent with that guidance, the following table lists all annual reports issued to date to document our progress and compliance.

Date Description
04/24/2013 2013 Plain Writing Act Compliance Annual Report
04/13/2012 2012 Plain Writing Act Compliance Annual Report

In addition, we survey agency stakeholders on an annual basis as part of our self-assessment of the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Program. These surveys include questions to assess our success in issuing inspection reports that are relevant, useful, and written in plain language. See Stakeholder Feedback for a discussion of the survey results since 1999.

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News About Plain Writing at the NRC

The following table lists the News Releases, Federal Register Notices, and other communications that the NRC has issued in connection with our Plain Writing Initiative.

This page includes links to files in non-HTML format. See Plugins, Viewers, and Other Tools for more information.

Date Description
08/07/2012 Getting Settled In (NRC Blog)
11/02/2011 Taking Out The “Gov Speak” (NRC Blog)
06/09/2011 NRC Launches Plain Writing Section on Website
02/15/2011 Are We Writing in Plain English? (NRC Blog)
03/18/2004 Communications Talking Points for Meeting of the International Nuclear Regulators Association
08/06/2003 Report of the Task Force on External Communications
02/23/2001 OIG Audit Report: “Review of NRC’s Quality Assurance Process for Official Documents” (OIG-01-A-02)

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, November 15, 2013