Public Involvement in Enforcement

Public involvement and information about the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's activities is a cornerstone of strong, fair regulation of the nuclear industry. The NRC recognizes the public's interest in the proper regulation of nuclear activities and provides opportunities for citizens to make their opinions known. This page describes the various ways the public may get involved in the NRC's enforcement program.

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NOTE: Please be aware that any comments that you submit to the NRC will be considered a public record and entered into the agency's electronic record keeping system.

Commenting on the Enforcement Policy or Program

The public may always provide general comments on the enforcement program or Enforcement Policy. If you would like to send a comment, please use our online form to Contact Us About Enforcement.

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Status of OE-lead Agency Initiatives

NRC Enforcement Policy

The NRC Enforcement Policy (Policy) sets forth the general principles governing the NRC's enforcement program and the Commission's expectations regarding the process to be used by the staff to assess and disposition violations of NRC requirements.  Revisions to the Policy are periodically made to reflect any changes to the Commission's expectations regarding the NRC's enforcement program.

Public Involvement in the Revisions to the Enforcement Policy

Prior to revising the Policy, the NRC will normally publish a notice of availability of draft changes and request for comments on proposed revisions to the Policy in the Federal Register.  During the comment period, members of the public may provide comments on the proposed changes.  Additional information, including proposed changes to the Policy, is located at the NRC's Enforcement Policy page.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

The enforcement Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Process pilot program concluded. The results of the pilot indicated that the use of ADR in certain kinds of enforcement cases was generally successful. Based on the results of the pilot, improvements were made to the ADR process and the agency will continue to use this process for certain kinds of enforcement cases.

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Meetings and Workshops

From time to time, the NRC conducts meetings or workshops to address specific enforcement issues. These meetings may be conducted in the Washington, D.C. area or in the areas around the NRC's four regional offices. In some cases, meetings may be held in the community near a nuclear power plant or other facility to make it easier for the public to participate. Meetings and workshops will be listed on our Public Meeting Schedule page.

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Attending Predecisional Enforcement and Regulatory Conferences

Predecisional enforcement conferences are often held with a licensee, a vendor, or other person before the NRC makes its final decision on a significant enforcement action. Regulatory Conferences are conducted (in lieu of predecisional enforcement conferences) when apparent violations are associated with findings evaluated by the reactor oversight process's Significance Determination Process. In most cases, these conferences are open to public observation. See our page on Upcoming Conferences.

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Hearing Opportunities in Enforcement Proceedings

The NRC provides opportunities for members of the public to request hearings in enforcement proceedings listed or noticed in the Federal Register.

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Reporting Safety or Security Concerns

Often workers at nuclear power plants or members of the public raise concerns that safety rules are not being followed at the facilities where they work or near where they live. The NRC has established a formal process for reviewing and resolving these concerns.

The NRC encourages workers in the nuclear industry to take their concerns directly to their employer because he or she has the primary responsibility for maintaining safe operations. However, should employees not be satisfied by company response or choose to bring their safety concerns directly to the NRC, they may Report a Safety or Security Concern through NRC's toll-free safety hotline. Any member of the public may voice safety concerns in this same manner. Learn more by visiting our Allegations page or consulting our brochure "Reporting Safety Concerns."

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Petitions for Enforcement Action Under 10 CFR 2.206

In accordance with Part 2.206 of NRC's regulations, any member of the public may raise potential health and safety issues in a petition to the NRC requesting that the NRC take specific enforcement action regarding a licensed, operating facility. To learn more about this process, see our detailed instructions: Petition the NRC To Take an Enforcement Action.

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