U.S. NRC Blog

Transparent, Participate, and Collaborate

Category Archives: General

Keeping the NRC’s Rules Up to Date

Anthony de Jesus
Regulations Specialist

NRC’s regulations (found in 10 CFR, Code of Federal Regulations) are very important. They are how we do our job of protecting people and the environment.

10cfrtwopartjpgOur rules cover these three main areas:

  • Commercial reactors for generating electric power and research and test reactors used for research, testing, and training.
  • Materials – Uses of nuclear materials in medical, industrial, and academic settings and facilities that produce nuclear fuel.
  • Waste – Transportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear materials and waste, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities from service.

To keep all these rules, on all these topics, up-to-date, we use a single process, called the Common Prioritization of Rulemaking, to prioritize our rulemaking activities.

Each year we identify the rules already under development and any new rules that need to be written. Using the same criteria, we rank by priority, every rule, regardless of the regulatory area. This way we ensure that we are focusing our resources on the high priority rules that most contribute to the NRC’s key strategic goals of safety and security. Through this annual review we also monitor the progress of our rulemaking activities and develop budget estimates for preparing new rules.

rulemaking web 1Because the NRC is committed to transparency, participation, and collaboration in our regulatory activities, we created a new “Rulemaking Priorities” Web page. This page allows us to provide periodic updates concerning rulemaking developments, which responds to a recommendation proposed by the Administrative Conference of the United States.

Our new page provides the rulemaking activities identified and prioritized through our Common Prioritization of Rulemaking process. From this page you can access the methodology that NRC staff uses to prioritize our rulemaking activities.

Each rulemaking activity listed on this new Web page is linked to further information on that rulemaking, including:

  • an abstract that describes the rule
  • a prioritization score
  • a justification describing how the rule was prioritized
  • estimated target dates for completion of the rule

We plan to update the web page regularly so this information remains up to date. We hope this new page will help you understand how the NRC prioritizes its rulemaking activities. After all, our regulations are at the heart of what the NRC does for a living.

Throwback Thursday – The Commission Briefing

tbtjune25This grim 1970s NRC Commission Briefing includes (from left to right): John Ahearne, Richard T. Kennedy, Joseph M. Hendrie, Victor Gilinsky and Peter A. Bradford. What is your guess for the topic of the briefing?

In Honor of June – Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

fruitsandvegJune isn’t just about Father’s Day and graduations. It’s also Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month. In honor of that designation, we bring you this question: Which of these fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring radioactive potassium?

  1. a) White potatoes
  2. b) Carrots
  3. c) Lima beans
  4. d) Bananas
  5. e) All of the above

Continually Improving Search to Enhance Openness

Patricia Hall
Chief, Information and Data Operations Branch

The NRC prides itself on being an open and transparent organization and we have an extensive web site and a comprehensive online document system to prove it. We also provide a handy search tool that facilitates some 5000 to 8000 search requests on the average work day.

searchBecause we understand that sometimes it can still be a bit difficult to easily find what you’re looking for we have improved our search function effective immediately.

Located at the top of each page at www.nrc.gov, the search retains many of the features of the prior site search. You can still:

  • Search the whole web site and the public part of the ADAMS document library
  • Refine your search in a variety of ways
  • Sort your results by relevance or date

Now, though, there are several new features. Your search will include thumbnail images (if images are part of the document) and you can search not just the website but also the agency’s social media platforms, including the blog, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. You can also search the site glossary of nuclear terms.

Search suggestions will appear as you type in the search and there is a link on the results page to save your current search results for later viewing or sharing.

searchBut there’s more! New collection searches will be available for several types of NRC Generic Communications, including Information Notices, Regulatory Issue Summaries, Generic Letters, Bulletins, and Circulars. Searches of the Commission Speeches collection will include links to filter by specific NRC Commissioners and searches of the News Releases collection will include links to filter by NRC region.

This new and improved search aligns more closely with the search experience at www.google.com, so you can expect a level of user friendliness from our search similar to what they would expect with a Google search. For example, when you enter a search phrase consisting of several words, Google search will bring up Web pages and documents containing instances of the entire phrase before those matching only the individual words. Web pages and documents containing more instances of your exact phrase will be favored in the ranking, as will those where the phrase occurs in the title or near the top of the document.

We hope you will find the improved search tool easier to use and your searches to be more fruitful. If you have additional suggestions for improvements, please put them in the comments below.

Note: The graphic is just an illustration. The Search box looks exactly the same as it did previously.


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