United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Summary - Assessing Significance; Elimination of Regulatory Significance; 10 CFR 50.59; Responsibilities

On November 9, 1999, the Commission published a complete revision of its Enforcement Policy in the Federal Register (64 FR 61142). The revision to the Enforcement Policy eliminated the term "regulatory significance" and with it the practice of escalating the severity level of a violation based on aggregation or repetitiveness. Under the revised Enforcement Policy, the NRC will consider the actual and potential safety consequences of a violation, whether it was willful, and its potential for impacting the NRC's ability to perform its regulatory function. The latter term encompasses a variety of reporting failures such as the failure to provide complete and accurate information to the NRC or the failure to notify the NRC of changes in licensed activities. In considering potential safety consequences, the revised Policy specifically states that risk information will be used whenever possible to increase or decrease the severity level of a violation. The revision made additional changes, including changes to conform to recent revisions to the requirements of Part 50.59 of the Commission's regulations, "Changes, tests and experiments," as well as editorial corrections and language clarification to assure consistency with recent policy changes. The intent of this Policy revision was to move towards a more risk-informed and performance-based approach.


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012