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duties safely, is not allowed access to a vital area at a
nuclear power plant.
The nuclear power industry, with assistance from programs developed and coordinated by EEI and the Institute of Nuclear . Power Operations (INPO), has made and is continuing to make
substantial progress in this area.
A Task Force on Drug Abuse Problems, Policies, and Programs established in 1982 by EEI's Industrial Relations Division Executive Advisory Committee, published guidelines in 1983 to help the industry address the issue of how to establish comprehensive fitness for duty programs. they were subsequently revised in 1985 as the "EEI Guide to Effective Drug and Alcohol/ Fitness for Duty Policy Development" and were provided to
all nuclear utilities.
A series of EEI sponsored regional conferences in the fitness for duty area in 1982 and 1983 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. An industrywide conference sponsored by EEI in October 1985 provided the basis for additional discussions on fitness for duty based on the current EEI guidelines which had been expanded to
include information on chemical testing. 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 others in methods for identifying
and dealing with personnel potentially unfit for duty.
On August 5, 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. Due to the initiatives taken by the nuclear industry, the Commission has decided to defer implementation of the rule subject te 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 its intent to reassess the possible need for rulemaking after an 18-month period, if circumstances warrant. The following statement sets forth the Commission's policy on fitness for duty and describes how it will execute its responsibilities in this area to
ensure the health and safety of the public. POLICY STATEMENT
The Commission recognizes that the industry, through the
initiatives of the Nuclear Utility Management and Resources
committee (NUMARC), EEI, and INPO, has made progress in developing and implementing nuclear utility employee fitness for duty programs. The Commission stresses the importance of industry's
initiative and wishes to encourage further such self-improvement.
Subject to the continued success of industry's programs and NRC's ability to monitor the effectiveness of those programs, the Commission will refrain from new rulemaking on fitness for duty for a minimum of 18 months from the effective date of this Policy Statement. The Commission's decision to defer implementation of rulemaking in this area is in recognition of industry efforts to date and the intent of the industry to utilize the EEI Guidelines in developing fitness for duty programs. The Commission will exercise this deference as long as the industry programs produce the desired results. However, the Commission continues to be responsible for evaluating licensees' efforts in the fitness for duty area to verify effectiveness of the industry programs. The Commission will reassess the possible need for further NRC action based on
the success of those programs during the l8-month period.
At the Commission's request, the industry agreed to undertake
performance objectives and criteria for its periodic
-6evaluations to include appropriate criteria for fitness for duty. Copies of the documents describing the program elements and criteria for fitness for duty programs developed by the
industry are provided to NRC for review and comment.
The NRC will evaluate the effectiveness of utility fitness for duty programs by its normal review of industry activities, through reviews of INPO program status and evaluation reports, periodic NRC observation of INPO evaluations, and direct inspections conducted by the NRC's Performance Appraisal Teams, Regional Office, and Resident Inspectors. NRC will
also monitor the progress of individual licensee programs.
By way of further guidance to licensees, Commission expectations of licensee programs for fitness for duty of nuclear power
plant personnel may be summarized as follows:
O It is Commission policy that the sale, use, or
areas at nuclear plant sites is unacceptable.
O It is Commission policy that persons within protected
to perform their duties in any way related to safety.
A provision that the sale, use, or possession
from nuclear power plant activities.
A provision that any other sale, possession,
discharge from nuclear power plant activities.
Effective monitoring and testing procedures
to vital areas are fit for duty.