Summary - Commission Consultation; Open Predecisional Enforcement Conferences; NCVs; Risk
On December 10, 1996, the Commission published revisions to the Enforcement Policy that addressed four issues. The first modification revised the list of enforcement matters on which the NRC staff must consult with the Commission. Based on the staff's experience in implementing the Policy and the rarity of occasions when the Commission deviated from staff recommendations, Section III of the Policy was modified to reduce the number of situations on which the staff must consult with the Commission prior to taking action. The second modification revised the Policy to provide that most predecisional enforcement conferences will be open to public observation. The decision to modify Section V of the Policy came at the end of a trial program that began on July 10, 1992, that provided for conducting approximately 25 percent of all conferences open for public observation. The third modification clarified the circumstances in which a licensee-identified violation will be treated as a Non-Cited Violation. The criterion in Section VII.B.1(a) was modified by deleting the reference to licensee-identification through an event to make it clear that use of discretion is not automatic if the violation is identified through an event. The forth modification included additional guidance that stated that risk was an appropriate consideration in developing enforcement sanctions. Section IV was modified to state that in considering the significance of a violation, that risk is an appropriate consideration. Section VII.A.1(e) was also modified to state that exercise of discretion should be considered in situations where the violation has resulted in substantial increase in risk, including cases in which the duration of the violation has contributed to the substantial increase.