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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
COMMISSION POLICY STATEMENT ON
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
ACTION: Final Commission Policy Statement on Fitness for Duty of Nuclear
SUMMARY: This statement presents the policy of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) with respect to fitness for duty and describes the activities that the NRC will use to execute its responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of the public. To provide reasonable assurance that ałł nuclear power plant personnel working ON AND INSPECTING SAFETY RELATED SYSTEMS AT CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATING SITES AND in vital areas at operating plants SITES are fit for duty, licensees and applicants wiłł ARE EXPECTED TO develop and implement fitness for duty programs in accordance with THIS POLICY STATEMENT AND guidelines developed by the industry. Phe-guide+ines-wiłł-be-previćed-te-the-NRG fer-review-and-semment. It remains the continuing responsibility of the NRC to independently evaluate applieant INDUSTRY development and ++ eensee implementation of fitness for duty programs to ensure that desired results are achieved. Nothing in this Policy Statement limits NRC's authority or responsibility to follow up on operational events, TO CONDUCT INSPECTIONS AS DEEMED NECESSARY, TO ENSURE THAT PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION IS TAKEN WHERE FITNESS FOR DUTY PROGRAMS ARE INADEQUATE OR APPROPRIATE ACTION HAS NOT BEEN TAKEN, or its TO USE enforcement authority when regulatory requirements are not met OR HEALTH AND SAFETY CONCERNS ARE EVIDENT. However, while evaluating
the effectiveness of this guidance, the NRC intends to exercise discretion in
enforcement matters related to fitness for duty programs for nuclear-power plant personnel and refrain-fron-new TO SUSPEND FURTHER rulemaking in this area for a period of at least twe-year's EIGHTEEN MONTHS from the effective date of this Policy Statement.
EFFECTIVE DATE: (Upon publication in the Federal Register).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Loren Bush, Operating Reactor Programs
Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555, telephone (301) 492-8080.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recognizes drug and alcohol abuse and emotional stress problems to be a social, medical, and safety problem affecting every segment of our society. Given the pervasiveness of the problem it must be recognized that it exists to some extent in the nuclear industry. Prudence, therefore, requires that the Commission consider additional appropriate measures to provide reasonable assurance that a-persen-whe-is-under-the-influenee-st ałeehei-er-ether-drugsy-en-whe-is-etherwise-unfit-fer-dutyr-is-net-ałłewed te-eentinue-weeking NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PERSONNEL WORKING ON AND INSPECTING SAFETY RELATED SYSTEMS AT CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATING SITES AND in a vital areas at an operating Ruekear-pewer-plant SITES ARE FIT FOR DUTY.
The nuclear power industry, through programs developed and coordinated by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations
(INP0), has made and is continuing to make substantial progress in this area.
A Task Force on Drug Abuse Problems, Policies, and Programs established by EEI's Industrial Relations Executive Advisory Committee, developed guidelines to help the industry address the issue of how to establish comprehensive fitness for duty programs. An EEI document entitled, "EEI Guide to Effective Drug and Alcohol/FITNESS FOR DUTY Policy Development," was formally published and mailed PROVIDED to all nuclear utility Chief Executive Officers, IN AUGUST 1985. INPO HAS AGREED TO ENHANCE ITS PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES AND CRITERIA FOR FITNESS FOR DUTY WHICH WILL BE USED IN CONDUCTING CORPORATE AND PLANT EVALUATIONS. ALL NUCLEAR UTILITIES HAVE INDICATED THAT FITNESS FOR DUTY PROGRAMS WHICH MEET THE EEI GUIDELINES WILL BE ESTABLISHED BY MARCH 1986.
A series of EEI sponsored regional conferences in the fitness for duty area provided a forum for discussion of industry concerns related to development and implementation of fitness for duty programs. Topics addressed at the conferences included union participation, legal aspects, training, and methods for handling controlled substances. As a result of increased awareness in this area, the nuclear industry has worked to develop and implement improved fitness for duty programs. These programs concentrate on the training of managers, supervisors, and security personnel in methods for identifying and
dealing with personnel potentially unfit for duty.
On August 2, 1982, the Commission published in the Federal Register a proposed rule on fitness for duty (47 FR 33980). The proposed rule would have required licensees to establish and implement written procedures for ensuring that personnel in a nuclear power plant are fit for duty. The Commission has decided to withdraw-the-ruže SUSPEND Fl/RTHER RULEMAKING subject to successful implementation of fitness for duty programs by the industry as described in this Policy Statement. NRC is publishing a separate notice in the Federal Register analyzing the comments on the proposed rule, and explaining that it may reinitiate the rulemaking after the twe-year EIGHTEEN MONTH period if
The following statement sets forth the Commission's policy AND EXPECTATIONS ON INDUSTRY en fitness for duty PROGRAMS and describes how it will execute its
responsibilities in this area to ensure the health and safety of the public.
The Commission recognizes that the industry, through the initiatives of the Nuclear Utility Management and Human Resources Committee (NUMARC), EEI and INP0, has made progress in developing programs to improve nuclear utility employee fitness for duty programs and in their implementation. While some of these efforts have only recently been initiated, the Commission realizes the importance of industry's initiative and wishes to encourage further self
Subject to the continued success of industry's programs and NRC's abłłity-te meniter ASSESSMENT OF their ongoing effectiveness, the Commission will refrain frem-new SUSPEND FURTHER rulemaking in the area of fitness for duty for a minimum period of twe-years EIGHTEEN MONTHS from the effective date of this Policy Statement. While the Commission is deferring rulemaking in this area in recognition of the industry efforts to date, the NRC can only exercise this flexibility as long as the industry programs produce the desired results. NRC continues to have the responsibility for independently evaluating applicants' and licensees' efforts in the fitness for duty area to ensure that the desired results are achieved and for evaluating the possible need for further NRC action based on the success of industry programs during this twe-year EIGHTEEN MONTH period.
THE COMMISSION CONSIDERS THE INVOLVEMENT IN ILLEGAL DRUGS BY NUCLEAR-POWER
THE COMMISSION EXPECTS THE INDUSTRY PROGRAM AND EACH APPLICANT AND LICENSEE TO PROVIDE REASONABLE ASSURANCE THAT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PERSONNEL WORKING ON AND INSPECTING SAFETY RELATED SYSTEMS AT CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATING SITES AND IN VITAL AREAS AT OPERATING SITES ARE FIT FOR DUTY, I.E.; NOT UNDER THE influence OF ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS OR OTHERWISE MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY IMPAIRED. THE COMMISSION ALSO EXPECTS LICENSEES TO ESTABLISH PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO PROVIDING A DRUG FREE WORK ENVIRONMENT.