United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Fitness-for-Duty Programs

The NRC requires certain nuclear facilities to have fitness-for-duty programs to provide reasonable assurance that nuclear facility personnel are trustworthy, will perform their tasks in a reliable manner, are not under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal, that may impair their ability to perform their duties, and are not mentally or physically impaired from any cause that can adversely affect their ability to safely and competently perform their duties.

In the 1980s, the NRC began to focus on the integral role humans play in the safe operation of a nuclear power plant and certain fuel cycle facilities. In 1989, the NRC published requirements for Fitness-for-Duty Programs in 10 CFR Part 26. These regulations required nuclear power plant licensees to implement a Fitness-for-Duty (FFD) Program for all personnel having unescorted access to the protected areas of their facilities and other personnel with particular types of access.   When the Commission approved Part 26, it directed the staff to continue to analyze licensee programs, assess the effectiveness of the regulations, and recommend appropriate improvements or changes.  As a result, Part 26 has been amended several times.  For instance, an amendment to Part 26 in 1993 required strategic special nuclear material licensees to implement FFD Programs for personnel with certain access or duties.

To learn about future meetings, see our public meetings schedule page.

If you would like to provide comments about our program or contact someone in the NRC about the FFD Program, please contact us.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 12, 2013