Enforcement ADR, formerly known as "post-investigation ADR", refers to the use of mediation either (1) anytime after an investigation by the NRC's Office of Investigations is complete and an enforcement panel concludes that pursuit of an enforcement action appears warranted or (2) for nonwillful, traditional cases with the potential for civil penalties. Discrimination and other wrongdoing cases are the two types of enforcement cases eligible for mediation after an investigation is complete. In SECY-06-0102, dated May 5, 2006, the Staff notified the Commission that, in enforcing those two types of cases, it would also include other non-wrongdoing apparent violations, if any, associated with the event that gave rise to the willful apparent violations to ensure comprehensive results.
On January 21, 2015, the Commission approved expanding the use of ADR within its Enforcement program. ADR is now also available for escalated nonwillful (traditional) enforcement cases, with the potential for civil penalties (not including violations associated with findings assessed through the Reactor Oversight Process (ROP).
Enforcement ADR is offered at three stages of the enforcement process:
- Prior to a pre-decisional enforcement conference;
- After the initial enforcement action (e.g. issuance of a Notice of Violation); and
- After imposition of a civil penalty and prior to a hearing request.
The following is a summary of the other major components of the Enforcement ADR program:
- The parties are the NRC and the licensee (or contractor/individual)
- The program is totally voluntary
- No one is required, obligated, or forced to engage in, or continue with, mediation
- Cornell is the neutral administrator of the program with whom the NRC has a contract. Cornell administers the day-to-day activities of the program and provides mediators
- The parties equally share the expenses and fees of the mediator
- Mediation is confidential, with the exception of the actual settlement terms
- The terms of any settlement agreement are typically confirmed by order with the issuance of a confirmatory order. The confirmatory order is a public document
- The NRC typically issues a press release following the issuance of a confirmatory order. The confirmatory order explains the case's enforcement process and the settlement terms
- ADR Brochure