United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Post-Investigation ADR Program: Alternative Dispute Resolution Administered by Cornell University's Institute on Conflict Resolution (NUREG/BR-0317)

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Publication Information

Date Published: January 2005

Office of Enforcement
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001


The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is using alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to promote improved effectiveness of the enforcement program through efficient, timely, and amicable resolution of investigation findings. ADR includes a variety of processes that emphasize creative, cooperative approaches to handling conflicts in lieu of adversarial procedures. Parties in ADR remain in control of the decision on whether to participate in the process and whether to agree to any resolution. In other words, the process is completely voluntary, and any party may withdraw from the negotiation at any time.

The term ''Post-Investigation ADR'' refers to the use of ADR after the NRC Office of Investigations (OI) has completed its investigation and an enforcement panel has concluded that pursuit of an enforcement action appears to be warranted. Post-Investigation ADR may be used to resolve cases involving discrimination or other wrongdoing (1) prior to the predecisional enforcement conference, (2) after the initial enforcement action is taken, or (3) after imposition of a civil penalty and prior to a hearing request.

Mediation is the process normally used in the NRC's Post-Investigation ADR program. Mediation is a voluntary, informal process where a skilled, unbiased neutral (the mediator) is agreed to by both parties (usually the NRC and the licensee involved in the enforcement action) and works with the parties in an attempt to reach resolution. The mediator uses consensus building skills and knowledge of negotiation to help parties find creative solutions.

For more information about the NRC's Early ADR Program, see Alternative Dispute Resolution or contact the Early ADR Program Administrator at the Institute on Conflict Resolution, Catherwood Library Tower, Ives Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (or by phone at 877-733-9415).

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