United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Changes to the "Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Work Place Drug Testing Programs"

	 
UNITED STATES
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION &
OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

August 4, 1994


NRC ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER 94-09:  CHANGES TO THE "MANDATORY GUIDELINES FOR
FEDERAL WORK PLACE DRUG TESTING PROGRAMS"


Addressees

All holders of operating licenses or construction permits for nuclear power
reactors, and all licensees authorized to possess or transport Category I
nuclear materials.

Purpose

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this administrative
letter to inform addressees of changes made by the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) to its "Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace
Drug Testing Programs" (HHS Guidelines).  This administrative letter does not
transmit or imply any new requirements or staff positions.  No specific action
or written response is required.

Background

On June 9, 1994, HHS published a revision to its HHS Guidelines in the
Federal Register (59 FR 29908).  A copy of that Federal Register notice is
being sent directly to Fitness-for-Duty (FFD) Program Managers.

The NRC extensively used the HHS Guidelines in preparing Appendix A to
Part 26 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 26).  The
staff is preparing proposed amendments to 10 CFR Part 26, including
Appendix A, to incorporate lessons learned since the FFD programs began and to
address the changes made to the HHS Guidelines.  However, the NRC will not
publish the final revision to Part 26 for some time.

Discussion

The change in the HHS Guidelines that could have the greatest effect on
licensees is the reduction in the cutoff level for initial screening tests for
marijuana from 100 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml.  HHS, through its laboratory
certification program, will confirm the ability of each laboratory to perform
tests at the 50 ng/ml level.  HHS expects that most of the laboratory testing
will be done at this cutoff level.  The Department of Transportation regulated
programs and the testing of Federal employees are to be conducted under the
lower levels by September 1, 1994.




9407290416AL 94-09
August 4, 1994
Page 2 of 2


The NRC anticipates that certified laboratories may propose that licensees
test specimens at the lower cutoff level to improve efficiency and possibly
reduce cost.  The provisions of 10 CFR 26.24(b), which permit the use of lower
levels, allow licensees to test at this lower level if they so choose.

This administrative letter requires no specific action or written response.
If you have any questions, please contact one of the contacts below or the
appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) project manager.


/s/'d bu RFBurnett  /s/'d by BKGrimes


Robert F. Burnett, Director Brian K. Grimes, Director
Division of Fuel Cycle SafetyDivision of Operating Reactor Support
  and Safeguards                    Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Office of Nuclear Material Safety
  and Safeguards

Contacts:  Loren L. Bush, NRR
 (301) 504-2944

           Charles Gaskin, NMSS
           (301) 415-8116

Attachment:
List of Recently Issued NRC Administrative Letters

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