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§ 26.31 Drug and alcohol testing.

(a) General. To provide a means to deter and detect substance abuse, licensees and other entities who are subject to this part shall implement drug and alcohol testing programs for individuals who are subject to this subpart.

(b) Assuring the honesty and integrity of FFD program personnel. (1) Licensees and other entities who are subject to this subpart shall carefully select and monitor FFD program personnel, as defined in § 26.4(g), based on the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and shall implement measures to ensure that these standards are maintained. The measures must ensure that the honesty and integrity of these individuals are not compromised and that FFD program personnel are not subject to influence attempts attributable to personal relationships with any individuals who are subject to testing, an undetected or untreated substance abuse problem, or other factors. At a minimum, these measures must include the following considerations:

(i) Licensees and other entities shall complete appropriate background investigations, credit and criminal history checks, and psychological assessments of FFD program personnel before assignment to tasks directly associated with administration of the FFD program. The background investigations, credit and criminal history checks, and psychological assessments that are conducted to grant unescorted access authorization to individuals under a nuclear power plant licensee's access authorization program are acceptable to meet the requirements of this paragraph. The credit and criminal history checks and psychological assessments must be updated nominally every 5 years;

(ii) Individuals who have personal relationships with a donor may not perform any assessment or evaluation procedures, including, but not limited to, determinations of fitness. These personal relationships may include, but are not limited to, supervisors, coworkers within the same work group, and relatives of the donor;

(iii) Except if a directly observed collection is required, a collector who has a personal relationship with the donor may collect specimens from the donor only if the integrity of specimen collections in these instances is assured through the following means:

(A) The collection must be monitored by an individual who does not have a personal relationship with the donor and who is designated by the licensee or other entity for this purpose, including, but not limited to, security force or quality assurance personnel; and

(B) Individuals who are designated to monitor collections in these instances shall be trained to monitor specimen collections and the preparation of specimens for transfer or shipping under the requirements of this part;

(iv) If a specimen must be collected under direct observation, the collector or an individual who serves as the observer, as permitted under § 26.115(e), may not have a personal relationship with the donor; and

(v) FFD program personnel shall be subject to a behavioral observation program designed to assure that they continue to meet the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When an MRO and MRO staff are on site at a licensee's or other entity's facility, the MRO and MRO staff shall be subject to behavioral observation.

(2) Licensees and other entities may rely on a local hospital or other organization that meets the requirements of 49 CFR Part 40, "Procedures for Department of Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs" (65 FR 41944; August 9, 2001) to collect specimens for drug and alcohol testing from the FFD program personnel listed in § 26.4(g).

(c) Conditions for testing. Licensees and other entities shall administer drug and alcohol tests to the individuals who are subject to this subpart under the following conditions:

(1) Pre-access. In order to grant initial, updated, or reinstated authorization to an individual, as specified in subpart C of this part;

(2) For cause. In response to an individual's observed behavior or physical condition indicating possible substance abuse or after receiving credible information that an individual is engaging in substance abuse, as defined in § 26.5;

(3) Post-event. As soon as practical after an event involving a human error that was committed by an individual who is subject to this subpart, where the human error may have caused or contributed to the event. The licensee or other entity shall test the individual(s) who committed the error(s), and need not test individuals who were affected by the event whose actions likely did not cause or contribute to the event. The individual(s) who committed the human error(s) shall be tested if the event resulted in—

(i) A significant illness or personal injury to the individual to be tested or another individual, which within 4 hours after the event is recordable under the Department of Labor standards contained in 29 CFR 1904.7, "General Recording Criteria," and subsequent amendments thereto, and results in death, days away from work, restricted work, transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, or other significant illness or injury as diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness;

(ii) A radiation exposure or release of radioactivity in excess of regulatory limits; or

(iii) Actual or potential substantial degradations of the level of safety of the plant;

(4) Follow-up. As part of a follow-up plan to verify an individual’s continued abstinence from substance abuse; and

(5) Random. On a statistically random and unannounced basis, so that all individuals in the population subject to
testing have an equal probability of being selected and tested.

(d) General requirements for drug and alcohol testing—(1) Substances tested. At a minimum, licensees and other
entities shall test for marijuana metabolite, cocaine metabolite, opiates (codeine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine),
amphetamines (amphetamine, methamphetamine), phencyclidine, adulterants, and alcohol.

(i) In addition, licensees and other entities may consult with local law enforcement authorities, hospitals, and drug counseling services to determine whether other drugs with abuse potential are being used in the geographical locale of the facility and by the local workforce that may not be detected in the panel of drugs and drug metabolites specified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section.

(A) When appropriate, the licensee or other entity may add other drugs identified under paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section to the panel of substances for testing, but only if the additional drugs are listed in Schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act [21 U.S.C. 812].

(B) The licensee or other entity shall establish appropriate cutoff limits for these substances.

(C) The licensee or other entity shall establish rigorous testing procedures for these substances that are consistent with the intent of this part, so that the MRO can evaluate the use of these substances.

(D) The licensee or other entity may not conduct an analysis for any drug or drug metabolites except those identified in paragraph (d)(1) of this section unless the assay and cutoff levels to be used are certified in writing as scientifically sound and legally defensible by an independent, qualified forensic toxicologist who has no relationships with manufacturers of the assays or instruments to be used or the HHS-certified laboratory that will conduct the testing for the licensee or other entity, which could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. The forensic toxicologist may not be an employee of the licensee or entity, and shall either be a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology or currently holds, has held, or is eligible to hold, the position of Responsible Person at an HHS-certified laboratory, as specified in § 26.155(a). All new assays and cutoff levels must be properly validated consistent with established forensic toxicological standards before implementation. Certification of the assay and cutoff levels is not required if the HHS Guidelines are revised to authorize use of the assay in testing for the additional drug or drug metabolites and the licensee or other entity uses the cutoff levels established in the HHS Guidelines for the drug or drug metabolites, or if the licensee or other entity received written approval of the NRC to test for the additional drug or drug metabolites before April 30, 2008.

(ii) When conducting post-event, followup, and for-cause testing, as defined in § 26.31(c), licensees and other entities may test for any drugs listed on Schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act [21 U.S.C. 812] that an individual is suspected of having abused, and may consider any drugs or metabolites so detected when determining appropriate action under subpart D of this part. If the drug or metabolites for which testing will be performed under this paragraph are not included in the FFD program's drug panel, the assay and cutoff levels to be used in testing for the additional drugs must be certified by a forensic toxicologist under paragraph (d)(1)(i)(D) of this section. Test results that fall below the established cutoff levels may not be considered when determining appropriate action under subpart D of this part, except if the specimen is dilute and the licensee or other entity has requested the HHS-certified laboratory to evaluate the specimen under §§ 26.163(a)(2) or 26.185(g)(3).

(iii) The licensee or other entity shall document the additional drug(s) for which testing will be performed in written policies and procedures in which the substances for which testing will be performed are described.

(2) Random testing. Random testing must—

(i) Be administered in a manner that provides reasonable assurance that individuals are unable to predict the time periods during which specimens will be collected. At a minimum, the FFD program shall—

(A) Take reasonable steps to either conceal from the workforce that collections will be performed during a scheduled collection period or create the appearance that specimens are being collected during a portion of each day on at least 4 days in each calendar week at each site. In the latter instance, the portions of each day and the days of the week must vary in a manner that cannot be predicted by donors; and

(B) Collect specimens on an unpredictable schedule, including weekends, backshifts, and holidays, and at various times during a shift;

(ii) At a minimum, be administered by the FFD program on a nominal weekly frequency;

(iii) Require individuals who are selected for random testing to report to the collection site as soon as reasonably practicable after notification, within the time period specified in the FFD program policy;

(iv) Ensure that all individuals in the population subject to testing have an equal probability of being selected and tested;

(v) Require that individuals who are off site when selected for testing, or who are on site and are not reasonably available for testing when selected, shall be tested at the earliest reasonable and practical opportunity when both the donor and collectors are available to collect specimens for testing and without prior notification to the individual that he or she has been selected for testing;

(vi) Provide that an individual completing a test is immediately eligible for another unannounced test; and

(vii) Ensure that the sampling process used to select individuals for random testing provides that the number of random tests performed annually is equal to at least 50 percent of the population that is subject to the FFD program.

(3) Drug testing. (i) Testing of urine specimens for drugs and validity, except validity screening and initial drug and validity tests performed by licensee testing facilities under paragraph (d)(3)(ii) of this section, must be performed in a laboratory that is certified by HHS for that purpose, consistent with its standards and procedures for certification. Specimens sent to HHS-certified laboratories must be subject to initial validity and initial drug testing by the laboratory. Specimens that yield positive initial drug test results or are determined by initial validity testing to be of questionable validity must be subject to confirmatory testing by the laboratory, except for invalid specimens that cannot be tested. Licensees and other entities shall ensure that laboratories report results for all specimens sent for testing, including blind performance test samples.

(ii) Licensees and other entities may conduct validity screening, initial validity, and initial drug tests of urine aliquots to determine which specimens are valid and negative and need no further testing, provided that the licensee's or other entity's staff possesses the necessary training and skills for the tasks assigned, the staff's qualifications are documented, and adequate quality controls for the testing are implemented.

(iii) At a minimum, licensees and other entities shall apply the cutoff levels specified in § 26.163(a)(1) for initial drug testing at either the licensee testing facility or HHS-certified laboratory, and in § 26.163(b)(1) for confirmatory drug testing at the HHS-certified laboratory. At their discretion, licensees and other entities may implement programs with lower cutoff levels in testing for drugs and drug metabolites.

(A) If a licensee or other entity implements lower cutoff levels, and the MRO determines that an individual has violated the FFD policy using the licensee's or other entity's more stringent cutoff levels, the individual shall be subject to all management actions and sanctions required by the licensee's or other entity's FFD policy and this part, as if the individual had a confirmed positive drug test result using the cutoff levels specified in this subpart. The licensee or other entity shall document the more stringent cutoff levels in any written policies and procedures in which cutoff levels for drug testing are described.

(B) The licensee or other entity shall uniformly apply the cutoff levels listed in § 26.163(a)(1) for initial drug testing and in § 26.163(b)(1) for confirmatory drug testing, or any more stringent cutoff levels implemented by the FFD program, to all tests performed under this part and equally to all individuals who are tested under this part, except as permitted in §§ 26.31(d)(1)(ii), 26.163(a)(2), and 26.165(c)(2).

(C) In addition, the scientific and technical suitability of any more stringent cutoff levels must be evaluated and certified, in writing, by a forensic toxicologist who meets the requirements set forth in § 26.31(d)(1)(i)(D). Certification of the more stringent cutoff levels is not required if the HHS Guidelines are revised to lower the cutoff levels for the drug or drug metabolites in Federal workplace drug testing programs and the licensee or other entity implements the cutoff levels published in the HHS Guidelines, or if the licensee or other entity received written approval of the NRC to test for lower cutoff levels before April 30, 2008.

(4) Alcohol testing. Initial tests for alcohol must be administered by breath or oral fluids analysis using alcohol analysis devices that meet the requirements of § 26.91(a). If the initial test shows a BAC of 0.02 percent or greater, a confirmatory test for alcohol must be performed. The confirmatory test must be performed with an EBT that meets the requirements of § 26.91(b).

(5) Medical conditions. (i) If an individual has a medical condition that makes collection of breath, oral fluids, or urine specimens difficult or hazardous, the MRO may authorize an alternative evaluation process, tailored to the individual case, to meet the requirements of this part for drug and alcohol testing. The alternative process must include measures to prevent subversion and achieve results that are comparable to those produced by urinalysis for drugs and breath analysis for alcohol.

(ii) If an individual requires medical attention, including, but not limited to, an injured worker in an emergency medical facility who is required to have a post-event test, treatment may not be delayed to conduct drug and alcohol testing.

(6) Limitations of testing. Specimens collected under NRC regulations may only be designated or approved for testing as described in this part and may not be used to conduct any other analysis or test without the written permission of the donor. Analyses and tests that may not be conducted include, but are not limited to, DNA testing, serological typing, or any other medical or genetic test used for diagnostic or specimen identification purposes.

[73 FR 17184 Mar. 31, 2008; 74 FR 38327 Aug. 3, 2009]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014