§ 25.17 Approval for processing applicants for access authorization.

(a) Access authorizations must be requested for licensee employees or other persons (e.g., 10 CFR part 2, subpart I) who need access to classified information in connection with activities under 10 CFR parts 50, 52, 54, 60, 63, 70, 72, or 76.

(b) The request must be submitted to the facility CSA. If the NRC is the CSA, the procedures in § 25.17 (c) and (d) will be followed. If the NRC is not the CSA, the request will be submitted to the CSA in accordance with procedures established by the CSA. The NRC will be notified of the request by a letter that includes the name, Social Security number and level of access authorization.

(c) The request must include a completed personnel security packet (see § 25.17(d)) and request form (NRC Form 237) signed by a licensee, licensee contractor official, or other authorized person.

(d)(1) Each personnel security packet submitted must include the following completed forms:

(i) Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP), SF–86 Questionnaire for National Security Positions;

(ii) Two standard fingerprint cards (FD-258);

(iii) Security Acknowledgment (NRC Form 176); and

(iv) Other related forms where specified in accompanying instructions (NRC Form 254).

(2) Only a Security Acknowledgment (NRC Form 176) need be completed by any person possessing an active access authorization, or who is being processed for an access authorization, by another Federal agency. The active or pending access authorization must be at an equivalent level to that required by the NRC and be based on an adequate investigation not more than five years old.

(e) To avoid delays in processing requests for access authorizations, each security packet should be reviewed for completeness and correctness (including legibility of response on the forms) before submittal.

(f) The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) bills the NRC for the cost of each background investigation conducted in support of an application for access authorization (application). The combined cost of the DCSA investigation and the NRC’s application processing overhead (NRC processing fee) are recovered through an access authorization fee imposed on applicants for access authorization.

(1) Each application for access authorization, renewal, or change in level must be accompanied by a remittance, payable to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is equal to the NRC access authorization fee. This fee must be determined using the following formula: the DCSA investigation billing rates on the day the NRC receives the application + the NRC processing fee = the NRC access authorization fee. The NRC processing fee is determined by multiplying the DCSA investigation billing rate on the day the NRC receives the application by 90.2 percent (i.e., DCSA rate × 90.2 percent).

(2) Updated DCSA investigation billing rates are published periodically in a Federal Investigations Notice (FIN) issued by the DCSA's Federal Investigative Services. Copies of the current DCSA investigation billing rates schedule can be obtained by contacting the NRC’s Personnel Security Branch, Division of Facilities Security, Office of Administration by email to Licensee_Access_Authorization_Fee.Resource@nrc.gov.

(3) The NRC’s Information Access Authority Program (IAAP) is considered reimbursable work representing services provided to an organization for which the NRC is entitled payment. The NRC is authorized to receive and retain fees from licensees for services performed. The NRC’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer periodically reviews the fees charged for IAAP and makes recommendations on revising those charges to reflect costs incurred by the NRC in providing those services. The reviews are performed using cost analysis techniques to determine the direct and indirect costs. Based on this review, the IAAP fees are adjusted to reflect the current cost for the program. IAAP requests for reciprocity will be charged a flat fee rate of $95.00 as referenced in paragraph (f)(4) of this section. This flat fee is aligned with the level of effort that has been expended by DCSA to process reciprocity requests, and accounts for inflation as well as recovery of the appropriate cost for conducting the investigations. Copies of the current NRC access authorization fee may be obtained by contacting the NRC’s Personnel Security Branch, Division of Facilities and Security, Office of Administration by email at: Licensee_Access_Authorization_Fee.Resource@nrc.gov. Any change in the NRC’s access authorization fee will be applicable to each access authorization request received on or after the effective date of the DCSA’s most recently published investigation billing rates schedule.

(4) Certain applications from individuals having current Federal access authorizations may be processed more expeditiously and at less cost because the Commission, at its discretion, may decide to accept the certification of access authorization and investigative data from other Federal Government agencies that grant personnel access authorizations.

(i) Applications for reciprocity will be processed at the NRC flat fee rate of $95 per request, as referenced in the following table:

The NRC application fee for an access authorization of type . . . NRC fee rate
(A) NRC–L based on certification of comparable investigation1 $95
(B) NRC–Q based on certification of comparable investigation2 95

1 If the NRC determines, based on its review of available data, that a Tier 3 investigation is necessary, the appropriate NRC–L fee will be assessed as shown in appendix A to this part before the conduct of the investigation.
2 If the NRC determines, based on its review of available data, that a Tier 5 investigation is necessary, the appropriate NRC–Q fee will be assessed as shown in appendix A to this part before the conduct of the investigation.

(ii) Applicants shall, in cases where reciprocity is not acceptable and it is necessary to perform a background investigation, be charged the appropriate fee referenced in appendix A to this part. Applicants shall calculate the access authorization fee according to the stated formula (i.e., DCSA rate × 90.2 percent).

[62 FR 17687, Apr. 11, 1997; 68 FR 62512, Nov. 5, 2003; 70 FR 32227, June 2, 2005; 72 FR 27408, May 16, 2007; 77 FR 26153, May 3, 2012; 77 FR 46258, Aug. 3, 2012; 86 FR 43401, Aug. 9, 2021; 87 FR 45241, Jul. 28, 2022]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, September 30, 2022