PDR Reference Services and Resources
Members of the public interested in detailed, technical information about nuclear facilities and NRC licensees will find the Public Document Room (PDR) to be a comprehensive research center for NRC public documents. See the following topics for details of PDR services and resources on this page:
The PDR collection consists of a variety of agency documents, including NRC NUREG-series publications, Weekly Information Reports, transcripts of Commission meetings, existing and proposed regulations and amendments, material from NRC's licensing dockets, and correspondence on technical, legal, and policy matters. See Reference Materials and Document Holdings and Organization for details.
Older materials are maintained in microfiche and paper. More recent materials are available in electronic form. Users may have documents from the collection, with some exceptions, reproduced for a fee. See Copy Service and Fees for details.
The PDR technical reference librarians can assist you in identifying and retrieving NRC information from various resources and formats including information
- At the NRC Web site
- In the ADAMS PARS, a system that contains the full text of NRC documents released since November 1999
- In the ADAMS PLL, which contains bibliographic information for pre-ADAMS documents and a few in full text
- In microfiche archives of pre-ADAMS documents
The PDR staff can also help with
- ADAMS installation and access questions
- ADAMS hardware and software issues
- Arranging free ADAMS training (available at the PDR in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.)
- Conducting searches for patrons (however, regular users are encouraged to learn to search and retrieve from the databases independently)
- Explaining how to order copies of documents
Searches and Printouts of Electronic Holdings
To help users find documents, the PDR provides access to the online document system: the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).
The ADAMS Publicly Available Records System (PARS) database contains bibliographic citations and full text of public records released since November 1, 1999, with the exception of certain large documents that may only be available in paper or CD-ROM. ADAMS can be accessed onsite, using the terminals in the PDR, or offsite using the instructions found on the ADAMS page at this Web site. ADAMS does not require a password.
The ADAMS Public Legacy Library (PLL) contains descriptive citations indexing the majority of documents placed in the PDR after October 1978 and selected documents for 1967 through 1978.
The librarians can perform searches on ADAMS PARS and/or PLL and generate printouts upon request. Printouts of limited size can be printed and held for pickup or mailed. Search results can also be downloaded and e-mailed as ASCII (plain text) files.
Access to Paper and Microfiche Holdings
The PDR provides access to a complete archive of NRC pre-ADAMS publicly available documents that are still retained as agency records in paper and/or microfiche and in some other formats in special cases.
Access to Electronic Holdings
The NRC sometimes makes its documents available on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. The PDR has many of these discs in its collection. However, they can neither be copied nor read by the equipment in the PDR. Members of the public can request copies of the discs through the PDR copy service. See Copy Service and Fees.
Equipment Available to the Public
Members of the public may view and print pages or documents from the NRC Web site and search the Web-based ADAMS database from public computers in the PDR without charge. A microfiche reader/scanner is also available for printing or saving documents from the PDR's microfiche collection. The public may e-mail these PDF documents to themselves, or bring a blank CD-ROM on which to copy the documents. The use of flash drives is not allowed on the public PDR computers due to computer security considerations.
Offsite users may order documents from the reference staff. A reference librarian will verify the citations and give the PDR copy service the order for the documents. See Copy Service and Fees.
Presentations and Handouts
Public Document Room Services Handout
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, June 09, 2020