In a rare legal challenge related to fees the NRC charges nuclear licensees for its services, the US Court of Federal Claims recently held that the costs of certain NRC services provided in connection with Confirmatory Orders (COs) are not recoverable via hourly bills to individual licensees.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) revised regulations regarding the medical use of byproduct material became effective on January 14, 2019—six months after being published in final form, and nearly a decade after the proposed rulemaking. See Medical Use of Byproduct Material—Medical Event Definitions, Training and Experience, and Clarifying Amendments, 83 Fed. Reg. 33,046 (July 16, 2018).
The NRC issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) on December 17, 2018, to the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Company (Wolf Creek) finding that the company violated 10 CFR 50.7, the NRC regulation protecting reactor licensee employees and contractors from retaliation for raising nuclear safety concerns.
In late September, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) made public a White Paper that it had initially issued internally to the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) in March 2012.
The second recommendation was to “clarify IMC 0612 Appendix B screening questions, so that they are readily understood and easily applied.” NRR and the regions chose to “revise guidance in IMC 0612 to improve the minor examples by tying each minor example to a screening question.” A subject matter expert from each region is working on revising the examples, and NRR plans to issue a revision to IMC 0612 by June 30, 2019.
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.
The NRC recently published an updated brochure on its “Pre-Investigation Alternative Dispute Resolution Program,” which affords licensees the opportunity to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve an individual’s allegation of discrimination for raising nuclear safety concerns prior to the start of an NRC Office of Investigations (OI) investigation. There are two types of Pre-Investigation ADR: (1) NRC-sponsored “Early ADR”; and (2) licensee-sponsored ADR. The brochure does not reveal any changes to the NRC’s Pre-Investigation ADR Program, which does not encompass technical safety concerns. Nonetheless, the program offers licensees and their contractors an opportunity to avoid an investigation into a discrimination allegation and other possible benefits, so it worth reviewing how the program works.
Active criminal investigations involving “no-poaching” agreements are underway.
A recent LawFlash by our antitrust lawyers explains that the focus on “no-poaching” agreements is part of a growing trend for competition enforcers in the United States, the European Union, and Asia.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Investigations (OI) recently published its Office of Investigations Annual Report FY 2017, which provides an overview of OI’s activities during the past fiscal year.