United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Summary - Responsibilities; Severity Level Categorization; Elimination of Civil Penalties for Severity Level IV Violations; Minimum Civil Penalties for Certain Overexposure, Loss or Release of Licensed Material; Revision to Civil Penalty Adjustment Factors; Expanded Use of Civil Penalty Discretion; Additional Examples in Supplements

The most recent major revision to the existing Enforcement Policy was issued in February 1992. The modification reflected the reorganization of enforcement functions and clarified the responsibilities of the DEDOs, OE, and other offices conducting inspection activities. Expanded guidance on severity levels was included, specifying criteria for escalating a violation's severity based on willfulness, repetitiveness, or aggregation. Base CPs were proposed for SL IV violations, and CPs for SL V violations were eliminated. The use of enforcement discretion was expanded in this revision, providing for (1) increases or decreases in CPs after application of the standard guidance; (2) use of discretion for SL II violations; and (3) use of NCVs for licensee-identified and corrected willful violations of low safety significance committed by relatively low-level individuals. Minimum CPs were established for certain overexposures and loss or release of licensed material. Additional examples were added to Supplements I, VI, and VIII, and the Supplement III (Safeguards) examples were revised to better focus on safety significance. In addition, further changes were made to the CP adjustment factors. The "Identification and Reporting" factor was changed to eliminate reporting as a consideration (noting that a reporting failure would instead be considered for a separate violation). "Identification" was also clarified to allow 25% mitigation for a self-disclosing event. "Corrective Action" was expanded to consider both immediate and long-term corrective action. Guidance on past performance was expanded to focus on overall "licensee performance." "Prior Opportunity to Identify" was revised to specifically allow consideration of the licensee's opportunities for identifying the violation through surveillances, audits, and other internal findings. "Multiple Occurrences" was clarified to apply normally only when the violations under consideration had the same root cause. "Duration" was broadened to include not only continuing violations, but single violations for which the impact continued for more than one day.


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012