Thursday, May 10, 2007

Green NRC Non-Cited Violations Amount to No Regulatory Control

Found a finding in a GAO report from 2003 rather interesting, as it clearly points out the fallacy of NRC's non-regulatory Green non-cited regulatory enforcement policies for their licensees. With almost every licensee violation now non-cited, we are less safe, and their is no real incentive for the licensees to do better. The green rating, color coded system needs to go. A violation of 10 CFR rules is that, a violation, and when one is found, it should be cited, and the licensee FINED.
First, NRC inspectors often used a process that minimized the significance of security problems found in annual inspections by classifying them as “non-cited violations” if the problem had not been identified frequently in the past or if the problem had no direct, immediate, adverse consequences at the time it was identified. Non- cited violations do not require a written response from the licensee and do not require NRC inspectors to verify that the problem has been corrected. For example, guards at one plant failed to physically search several individuals for metal objects after a walk-through detector and a hand-held scanner detected metal objects in their clothing. The unchecked individuals were then allowed unescorted access throughout the plant’s protected area. By making extensive use of non-cited violations for serious problems, NRC may overstate the level of security at a power plant and reduce the likelihood that needed improvements are made.

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