Vulnerability Disclosure Policy

 Version 2.1 – June 3, 2021

On this page:


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is committed to ensuring the security of the American public by protecting their information from unwarranted disclosure. This policy is intended to give security researchers clear guidelines for conducting vulnerability discovery activities and to convey our preferences in how to submit discovered vulnerabilities to us.

This policy describes what systems and types of research are covered under this policy, how to send us vulnerability reports, and how long we ask security researchers to wait before publicly disclosing vulnerabilities.

We want security researchers to feel comfortable reporting vulnerabilities they've discovered – as set out in this policy – so we can fix them and keep our users safe. We have developed this policy to reflect our values and uphold our sense of responsibility to security researchers who share their expertise with us in good faith.

To top of page


If you make a good faith effort to comply with this policy during your security research, we will consider your research to be authorized. We will work with you to understand and resolve the issue quickly, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will not recommend or pursue legal action related to your research. Should legal action be initiated by a third party against you for activities that were conducted in accordance with this policy, we will make this authorization known.

To top of page


Under this policy, "research" means activities in which you:

  • Notify us as soon as possible after you discover a real or potential security issue.

  • Make every effort to avoid privacy violations, degradation of user experience, disruption to production systems, and destruction or manipulation of data.

  • Only use exploits to the extent necessary to confirm a vulnerability's presence. Do not use an exploit to compromise or exfiltrate data, establish command line access and/or persistence, to modify anything on the host, or use the exploit to "pivot" to other systems.

  • Provide us a reasonable amount of time to be mutually agreed upon to resolve the issue before you disclose it publicly.

  • Do not submit a high volume of low-quality reports.

Once you've established that a vulnerability exists or encounter any sensitive data (including personally identifiable information, financial information, or proprietary information or trade secrets of any party), you must stop your test, notify us immediately, and not disclose this data to anyone else.

To top of page

Test methods

The following test methods are not authorized:

  • Network denial of service (DoS or DDoS) tests or other tests that impair access to or damage a system or data (such as intrusive testing)

  • Physical testing (e.g. office access, open doors, tailgating), social engineering (e.g. phishing, vishing), or any other non-technical vulnerability testing

To top of page


This policy applies to all NRC managed systems that are accessible from the Internet.  This includes the following registered domains:

  • All publicly accessible websites in the domain

  • All publicly accessible websites in the domain

Any service not expressly listed above, such as any connected services, are excluded from the scope of this policy and are not authorized for testing. Additionally, vulnerabilities found on federal systems on components from our vendors fall outside of this policy's scope and should be reported directly to the NRC and to the vendor according to their disclosure policy (if any). If you aren't sure whether a system or endpoint is in scope or not, contact us at before continuing your research or at the security contact for the system's domain name listed in the .gov WHOIS.

To top of page

Reporting a vulnerability

Information submitted under this policy will be used for defensive purposes only – to mitigate or remediate vulnerabilities.  If your findings include newly discovered vulnerabilities that affect all users of a product or service and not solely the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, we may share your report with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, where it will be handled under their coordinated vulnerability disclosure process. We will not share your name or contact information without express permission.

We accept vulnerability reports via Acceptable message formats are plain text, rich text, and HTML.  We will only accept .TXT, .GIF, and .JPG/JPEG file types as message attachments. Reports may be submitted anonymously.  If you share contact information, we will acknowledge receipt of your report within five (5) business days.

What we would like to see from you:

In order to help us triage and prioritize submissions, we recommend that your reports:
  • Describe the vulnerability, where it was discovered, and the potential impact of exploitation.

  • Offer a detailed description of the steps needed to reproduce the vulnerability (proof of concept scripts or screenshots are helpful).

  • Submit the information in English, if possible.

What you can expect from us:

When you choose to share your contact information with us, we commit to coordinating with you as openly and as quickly as possible.
  • Within five (5) business days, we will acknowledge that your report has been received.

  • To the best of our ability, we will confirm the existence of the vulnerability to you and be as transparent as possible about what steps we are taking during the remediation process, including on issues or challenges that may delay resolution.

  • We will maintain an open dialogue to discuss issues.

To top of page


Questions regarding this policy may be sent to We also invite you to contact us with suggestions for improving this policy.

To top of page

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, June 04, 2021