[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 50 (Wednesday, March 16, 2005)]
[Pages 12908-12909]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-5119]




NRC Enforcement Policy

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Policy statement.


SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is announcing its 
intent to use the NRC public Web site and the NRC's Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System

[[Page 12909]]

(ADAMS) to communicate its ``General Statement of Policy and Procedure 
for NRC Enforcement Actions--Enforcement Policy,'' to discontinue 
publication of the paper document, NUREG-1600, and to simplify the 
official policy statement title. The NRC is taking these actions 
because the policy statement is available electronically on the NRC 
public Web site and is widely known as the ``NRC Enforcement Policy.''

DATES: Comments on this initiative may be submitted on or before April 
15, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rules 
and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of 
Administration, Mail Stop: T6D59, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville 
Pike, Rockville, Maryland, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Federal 
workdays. Copies of comments received may be examined at the NRC Public 
Document Room, Room O1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. You may 
also e-mail comments to [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ren[eacute]e Pedersen, Senior 
Enforcement Specialist, Office of Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, (301) 415-2742, e-mail 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Commission first published its ``General 
Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions--
Enforcement Policy,'' (Enforcement Policy) on October 7, 1980 (45 FR 
66754). The Policy was codified as Appendix C to Part 2 of Title 10 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations to provide widespread dissemination. 
However, the Enforcement Policy has always included a statement 
recognizing that it is a policy statement and not a regulation. An 
underlying basis of the Enforcement Policy reflected throughout it is 
that the determination of the appropriate sanction requires the 
exercise of discretion such that each action is tailored to the 
particular factual situation.
    On June 30, 1995, the NRC announced that it was removing the 
Enforcement Policy from the Code of Federal Regulations (60 FR 34380). 
This action was part of an enforcement program review, to avoid any 
interpretation that the policy should be construed as a regulation. To 
continue to ensure widespread dissemination, the NRC published the 
Enforcement Policy in its NUREG-series publications as NUREG-1600 and 
continued to publish revisions to the Enforcement Policy in the Federal 
Register. NUREG-1600 was first published in July of 1995. The last 
complete revision that was issued as a NUREG-series publication (NUREG-
1600) was dated May 1, 2000. However, the Enforcement Policy has been 
revised on multiple occasions (as published in the Federal Register) 
without being republished as a NUREG document.
    The NRC maintains the current Enforcement Policy on its Web site at 
http://www.nrc.gov, select What We Do, Enforcement, then Enforcement 
Policy. The Enforcement Web site also includes a history of the 
Enforcement Policy by including and/or referencing the Federal Register 
notice for each policy revision since it was first published in 1980. 
This section of the Web site will continue to be updated with any 
future revisions to the Enforcement Policy.
    Preparation and publication of the NUREG is costly and consumes 
resources, personnel, and paper. The Commission believes that 
widespread dissemination of the NRC's Enforcement Policy can now be 
accomplished more effectively and efficiently by posting it on the NRC 
public Web site and maintaining it in ADAMS. Continuing to publish 
material in hard copy when the information is currently and promptly 
available electronically is not consistent with the Congressional 
mandate to maximize the value of Information Technology acquisitions 
and the direction the NRC has taken with its implementation of ADAMS. 
The staff will continue to publish revisions to the Enforcement Policy 
in the Federal Register. Additionally, the staff will continue its 
practice of sending printed copies of the most current Enforcement 
Policy to those licensees and individuals being considered for 
significant enforcement action who may not have access to the Web site; 
and to any interested stakeholder upon request.
    On July 13, 2000, the NRC made a similar announcement in the 
Federal Register proposing to discontinue publishing NUREG-0940, 
``Enforcement Actions: Significant Actions Resolved,'' (65 FR 43383). 
The NRC only received comments supporting this initiative.
    For the above reasons, the Commission believes that publication of 
NUREG-1600 is no longer needed. In addition, in keeping with plain 
English initiatives, the staff believes that it is appropriate to 
simplify the official title from, ``General Statement of Policy and 
Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions--Enforcement Policy,'' to ``NRC 
Enforcement Policy.''

    Dated at Rockville, MD, this 10th day of March, 2005.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 05-5119 Filed 3-15-05; 8:45 am]