Information Notice No. 90-81: Fitness for Duty

                                UNITED STATES
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                              December 24, 1990

Information Notice No. 90-81:  FITNESS FOR DUTY 


All U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) materials and non-power reactor 


This information notice is to inform licensees not currently subject to 
NRC-required fitness-for-duty programs, of the importance the NRC places on 
the drug-free workplace concept in all aspects of nuclear material usage, 
management, and handling.  The notice also describes Federal legislation 
that may impact such licensees with respect to fitness-for-duty issues and 
briefly describes the status of regulatory activities in this area. 


On November 18, 1988, the Congress, in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 
(Public Law 100-690), established a national policy of a drug-free America 
by 1995.  It also enacted Title V, Subtitle D, the Drug-Free Workplace Act 
of 1988, (the Act), which requires that entities who have been awarded a 
Federal contract for procurement of $25,000 or more and entities who have 
been awarded a grant provide a drug-free workplace.  The requirements of 
this statute are applicable to NRC licensees who are Federal contractors or 
grant recipients. 

In part, the Act calls for affected entities to certify to the contracting 
or grantor's agency that it will provide a drug-free workplace through the 
following measures: 

     x    The publication of a statement of policy regarding a drug-free 
          workplace, outlining actions to be taken for violations of the 
     x    The establishment of a drug-free awareness program;
     x    The distribution of the statement of policy to employees engaged 
          in the contract activities;
     x    The establishment of certain conditions of employment based on the 
          drug-free workplace concept;
     x    The timely notification to the contracting agency of employee drug 
          convictions; and
     x    The establishment of a good-faith effort to continue to maintain a 
          drug-free workplace through these measures.


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                                                       December 24, 1990
                                                       Page 2 of 3

In addition, Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act provides that persons 
convicted of possession or distribution of controlled substances may be 
declared by a sentencing court to be ineligible for Federal benefits.  A 
"Federal benefit" is defined in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act to include any 
professional or commercial license provided by an agency of the United 
States or appropriated funds of the United States. 

Thus, all individuals who are applicants for or holders of an NRC specific 
or general license or who conduct licensed activities authorized by an NRC 
license should know that, pursuant to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, a conviction 
for possession or distribution of a controlled substance may result in loss 
of eligibility for an NRC license, denial or revocation of an NRC license, 
or removal from NRC-licensed activities. 


Drug and alcohol abuse is a social, medical, and safety problem affecting 
every segment of our society.  The NRC recognizes that such abuse may also 
exist among persons who possess and use nuclear materials.  The Commission 
believes it prudent for all licensees to manage licensed activities so that 
every person who is under the influence of alcohol or any other substance, 
legal or illegal, that affects his/her ability to safely perform duties 
associated with the use of nuclear materials, would not have access to: (1) 
hazardous nuclear material; (2) safety or safeguards systems; or (3) 
equipment that contains radioactive material of a nature that, if 
mishandled, might be harmful to that person, co-workers, or the public.  

Individuals should also know that, even if a conviction for possession or 
distribution of a controlled substance does not result in a declaration of 
ineligibility for Federal benefits by the sentencing court, the NRC may, in 
accordance with its independent responsibility to protect the public health 
and safety and the common defense and security, act on its own to deny, 
revoke, suspend, or modify a license or remove an individual from licensed 
activities, upon such conviction. 

For Category I fuel facilities and shipments subject to 10 CFR 73.20, the 
Commission plans to promulgate a rule that would impose specific fitness-
for-duty requirements.  Individuals affected would include those who have 
direct access to significant quantities of strategic special nuclear 
material, those who are directly responsible for protecting the material, 
and those who are responsible for transporting the material. 

Fitness-for-duty program requirements for other licensees have either been 
established or are under consideration by the NRC.  Nuclear power reactor 
licensees are subject to the Commission's fitness-for-duty regulations in 10 
CFR Part 26.  This regulation requires, among other things, that facility 
licensees conduct random testing for drug and alcohol use and impose 
sanctions against individuals who violate program requirements. 

                                                       IN 90-81
                                                       December 24, 1990
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This information notice requires no specific action or written response.  If 
you have any questions about the information in this notice, please contact 
one of the 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 

                              Charles E. Rossi, Director 
                              Division of Operational Events Assessment 
                              Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 

Technical Contacts:  L. L. Bush, Jr., NRR
                     (301) 492-0944

                     R. O'Connell, NMSS
                     (301) 492-0627

Legal Contact:       R. Fonner, OGC
                     (301) 492-1643

1.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
2.  List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices

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