History of Enforcement Policy - Background
The NRC's enforcement authority under the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) and the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) is broad, such as the authority to issue civil penalties of up to $130,000 per violation per day. In recognition that violations occur in a variety of activities and have varying levels of significance, the Commission set out to create an enforcement framework with graduated sanctions to reflect this diversity. The first versions of the Enforcement Policy were staff documents giving guidance on how enforcement actions should be prepared and issued to licensees of the NRC and its predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The experience gained in using these criteria helped to shape the guidance issued as a formal Commission Enforcement Policy in October 1980.