KEY TRENDS IN LAW AND POLICY REGARDING
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
The NRC recently issued a final rule in the Federal Register, along with a corresponding update to its Enforcement Policy, that updated the maximum amounts of civil monetary penalties it can impose for violations. Because these amounts are adjusted annually for inflation, the maximum civil penalties jumped for the second year in a row, reflecting the continued inflationary environment in the broader economy.
The NRC staff recently provided the Commission with their annual Reactor Oversight Process (ROP) Self-Assessment for Calendar Year 2021 (SECY-22-0029). These annual self-assessments have been part of the ROP since the ROP was implemented in 2000 and are used by the Commission, the NRC staff, and stakeholders to monitor the performance of the ROP and identify areas for improvement.
The NRC recently revised its Enforcement Manual (Manual) to consolidate and expand its guidance on the process for resolving licensee challenges to certain enforcement actions. The biggest change to the Manual is the creation of a new Section 2.8 on “Disputed Violations” that merges into one section the disputed violation resolution process for all enforcement actions other than those associated with NRC orders.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final rule in the Federal Register on January 14 updating the maximum amounts of civil monetary penalties it can impose. Reflecting the price challenges in the larger US economy, the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts dramatically increased over the prior year as a result of the rise of inflation.