ABSTRACT

Nuclear Regulation: NRC Staff Have Not Fully Accepted Planned Changes, Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property, and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 848KB]

"According to our survey results, the vast majority of NRCs staff feel personally responsible for the quality of their work and believe that their work contributes to protecting public health and safety. They also generally believe that NRCs management supports their efforts in this regard. With respect to NRCs efforts to change its regulatory approach, however, the staff expressed less favorable views. A large number of NRCs staff do not believe that management is effectively leading the change process or involving them in the changes being made. With respect to the change to risk-informed regulation, in particular, almost half of the staff who responded to the survey said that the approach could be effective, but only about one-fourth believe that NRCs staff have bought in to the process. Relatedly, many staff expressed concern about a central element of risk-informed regulation- the new oversight process to assess the performance of nuclear power plants. For example, 60 percent of the staff who expressed an opinion about the oversight process believe that it will reduce plant safety margins. Responding to a recommendation that we made in an earlier report, NRCs staff expect to provide the Commission with a draft comprehensive strategy for moving to a risk-informed regulatory approach in February 2000. NRC will then seek public comments on the strategy, and it may then take another year before NRC has an implementation roadmap. Until the roadmap is available, NRCs staff will not have a clear appreciation of their role in implementing the various activities, the type of training they will receive, and the interrelationship of the various activities."

Report Number:
GAO/RCED-00-29
Publisher:
Date:
2000-01
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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