The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued interim guidance on June 15 for dispositioning Severity Level (SL) IV violations that do not have an associated performance deficiency (PD). The interim guidance states that these violations will instead be issued to licensees without any required review by NRC headquarters. According to the NRC, this interim guidance is designed to reduce NRC Staff resources that previously were necessary for associated exercises of enforcement discretion by the Offices of Enforcement and Nuclear Reactor Oversight. The NRC believes these resource expenditures are “unwarranted in light of the very low safety significance of these violations, the fact that similar violations with an associated PD wouldn’t normally require such a review, and the fact that the violation needs to be corrected by the licensee regardless of whether or not a PD exists.”
This interim guidance can be used for non-willful and NRC-identified, licensee-identified, or self-revealed SL IV violations without an associated PD, as long as the violation meets the criteria described in Section 2.3.2 of the Enforcement Policy for disposition as a non-cited violation. An NRC-identified or self-revealed SL IV violation without an associated PD must be documented according to Table 3 in Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC) 0611. A licensee-identified SL IV without an associated PD must be documented according to Table 8 in IMC 0611. Violations dispositioned using this interim guidance also will not be assigned a Reactor Oversight Process (ROP) color. SL I, II, and III violations without an associated PD that are being considered for enforcement discretion will continue to follow existing guidance in Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC 0611).