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Information Notice No. 92-37: Implementation of the Deliberate Misconduct Rule
UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS WASHINGTON, D.C. 20555 May 8, 1992 NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 92-37: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DELIBERATE MISCONDUCT RULE Addressees All Nuclear Regulatory Commission Materials Licensees Purpose The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is issuing this notice to describe to licensees a recent enforcement action and to alert licensees and their employees that, under the Deliberate Misconduct Rule, they can be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties for deliberately violating or causing a licensee to violate NRC requirements, or deliberately submitting to the NRC, a licensee or its contractor, information that is materially incomplete or inaccurate. It is expected that recipients will review this notice, distribute it to responsible staff, and consider actions, as appropriate, to ensure compliance with NRC requirements. However, suggestions contained in this information notice are not new NRC requirements; therefore no written response is required. Description of Circumstances The Department of Justice recently initiated a prosecution resulting in an indictment against a licensee and the licensee's president. The licensee's president pled guilty to conspiring to improperly dispose of three scales containing nuclear byproduct material and was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $30,000. Criminal proceedings involving the licensee's president are ongoing. These findings were based on an investigation conducted by NRC's Office of Investigation (OI) which concluded that the scales had been improperly disposed of through burial and that several individuals may have conspired to deceive NRC about the disposal of the scales. The OI investigation followed special inspections conducted by NRC. The inspections involved several unsuccessful attempts to find three nuclear weigh scales. Based on the results of these inspections and the subsequent investigation, NRC determined that certain of the licensees activities were not conducted in full compliance with NRC requirements as they involved the unauthorized and improper disposal of licensed material and that certain individuals had provided inaccurate and misleading information to NRC. Discussion NRC requires a high standard of compliance and accountability from licensees. NRC also requires all licensees to provide NRC with complete and accurate 9205040270 . IN 92-37 May 8, 1992 Page 2 of 2 information, and that records required to be kept, and information provided to the Commission, both oral and written, be accurate and complete in all material aspects. Deliberate misconduct, by licensed or unlicensed individuals, resulting in violations, such as the unauthorized disposal of licensed material, falsification of records, or false or misleading statements, undermines the NRC's confidence that these individuals will conduct themselves in a manner that adequately protects public health and safety, when participating in future licensed activities. The "Deliberate Misconduct" rule (56 FR 40664) provides a basis for enforcement action directly against any person, licensed or unlicensed, who deliberately causes a violation of NRC requirements or deliberately submits information that is materially incomplete or inaccurate. Actions against individuals involved in such violations may include civil penalties, orders to modify, suspend, or revoke licenses, and orders to the individuals restricting future involvement by the individual in any licensed activities. The aforementioned case is an example of a situation where such enforcement actions will be applied, in future cases, against specific individuals. Furthermore, the NRC intends to refer to the U.S. Department of Justice for consideration for criminal prosecution cases involving individuals who deliberately cause a violation of NRC requirements. Licensees and their employees should refer to the Deliberate Misconduct rule for a more complete discussion of its scope. This information notice requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about the information in this notice, please call one of the technical contacts listed below, or the appropriate regional office. Richard E. Cunningham, Director Division of Industrial and Medical Nuclear Safety Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards Technical contacts: Jamnes L. Cameron, RIII (708) 388-5636 Susan L. Greene, NMSS (301) 504-2686 Attachments: 1. List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices 2. List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices .
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