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NRC Discontinues Rulemaking Related to Role of Third Parties in Access Authorization and FFD Determinations

The NRC has discontinued its rulemaking activity, titled “Access Authorization and Fitness-for-Duty Determinations.” This rulemaking effort originated in 2015 with SECY-15-0149, “Role of Third-Party Arbitrators in Licensee Access Authorization and Fitness-for-Duty Determinations at Nuclear Power Plants.” In this SECY, NRC staff provided options to address the role of third parties in licensee access authorization and fitness-for-duty determinations. These options included: (1) a rulemaking to clarify that only licensees can make final access authorization or fitness-for-duty decisions; (2) development of a Commission policy statement that would clarify that only licensees can make final access authorization or fitness-for-duty decisions; or (3) maintaining the status quo. In a subsequent SRM the Commission directed staff to proceed with the rulemaking. Recently, NRC staff concluded that allowing a third party to overturn access authorization and fitness-for-duty determinations does not pose a significant safety or security threat. Staff notes that licensees maintain and implement defense-in-depth security programs that ensure individuals are trustworthy and reliable and fit for duty. Therefore, NRC staff does not feel there is a need to develop a rulemaking addressing the role of third parties in access authorizations and fitness-for-duty determinations.

To view the Federal Register notice, click here.