United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Office of Investigations FY 2006 Annual Report (NUREG-1830, Volume 3)

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Publication Information

Date Published: February 2007

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Executive Summary

This report provides the Commission with the results of cases completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) Office of Investigations (OI) during fiscal year (FY) 2006 (reference SRM COMJC-89-8, dated June 30, 1989). This is the 18th OI annual report.

As stated in the NRC's Strategic Plan for FY 2004–FY 2009, the NRC's mission is to license and regulate the Nation's civilian use of byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials to ensure adequate protection of public health and safety, promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment. The NRC's vision is excellence in regulating the safe and secure use and management of radioactive materials for the public good. The mission and vision provide the framework for the agency's strategies and goals, which in turn guide the allocation of resources across the agency. OI aligns with the agency's regulatory programs and supports its strategic objective to enable the use and management of radioactive materials and nuclear fuels for beneficial civilian purposes in a manner that protects public health and safety and the environment, promotes the security of our Nation, and ensures that regulatory actions are open, effective, efficient, realistic, and timely.

OI conducts investigations of alleged wrongdoing by individuals or organizations that are NRC licensees or certificate holders, applicants for NRC licenses or certificates, or vendors or contractors thereto. Additionally, during the course of an investigation, OI may discover potentially safety-significant issues that are not related to wrongdoing. OI forwards this information to the technical staff in a timely manner for appropriate action. OI also provides assistance to the staff when requested. Generally, “assists to staff” are matters of regulatory concern for which the staff has requested OI's investigative expertise but which do not involve a specific allegation of wrongdoing.

OI consists of four regionally based field offices reporting to OI Headquarters. OI reports to the Deputy Executive Director for Materials, Waste, Research, State, Tribal and Compliance Programs and supports the reactor and materials programs. In FY 2006, on the average, there were 30 special agents and 7 operational support staff nationwide. The average experience of an OI special agent in FY 2006 was approximately 18 years in Federal law enforcement.

During FY 2006, NRC received 610 allegations regarding potential violations of its rules, regulations, or requirements. The 610 allegations represent a 5% decrease from the 642 received in FY 2005.

The total number of cases in the OI inventory during FY 2006 was 266, a 1% increase from 264 in FY 2005. Of the 266 cases, 57 were assists to staff. OI closed 215 of the cases, or 81% of the total inventory. The appendix to this report contains a statistical summary of cases opened and closed during FY 2006.

In FY 2006, OI continued to focus on increasing effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity in management, organizational, and process-related activities.

Significant achievements during FY 2006:

  • Of the 161 investigations closed by OI, 99% developed sufficient information to reach a conclusion regarding wrongdoing. This exceeded OI's performance goal of 90%.

  • Of the 159 investigations closed with sufficient information to reach a conclusion regarding wrongdoing, 81% were closed in 10 months or less. This exceeded OI's performance goal of 80%.

  • Of the 54 assists to staff closed, 85% were completed within 90 days, exceeding OI's performance goal of 70%.

  • OI processed 72 actions resulting from FOIA requests during FY 2006.

  • OI participated in various Department of Justice Anti-Terrorism Advisory Councils related to national security concerns and counterterrorism.

  • During FY 2006, OI investigative findings were considered in approximately 36% of the agency's escalated enforcement items.1

1An escalated enforcement item is an action involving Severity Level I, II, or III violations; violations with white, yellow, or red significant determination process findings; civil penalties; orders; and impositions.
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