The NRC Wants to Put the “U” in Strategic Plan

Francine Goldberg
Senior Advisor for Performance Management

 

Well, we do realize there is no “u” in “strategic plan,” but the NRC is drafting its 2014-2018 road map and we want your input before we finalize it.

Picture1The plan is updated every four years and is used to guide our work. You may not be aware that all of NRC’s business lines (operating reactors, new reactors, fuel facilities, nuclear materials, etc.) link their annual plans to the strategic plan and all our senior executive performance plans are linked to it as well.

If you’re familiar with our previous Strategic Plan, you’ll notice our mission and strategic goals remain basically unchanged, but the new plan does contain some new components. For example, a vision statement has been added to emphasize the importance, not only of what we achieve, but of how we regulate And there are now three strategic objectives, one for safety and two for security.

Each objective has associated strategies and key activities that will be used to achieve them. For example, this is one of the strategies for the safety objective along with three key activities:

Ensure the NRC’s readiness to respond to incidents and emergencies involving NRC-licensed facilities and radioactive materials, and other events of domestic and international interest.

·        Use operational experience and lessons learned from emergency-preparedness exercises to inform the regulatory activities.

·        Coordinate with federal, state, local, and tribal partners to strengthen national readiness and response capabilities.

·        Employ outreach before, during, and after emergency-preparedness exercises, and increase collaboration and sharing of best practices and lessons learned after emergency-preparedness exercises and incidents.

The goal of the comment period is to take advantage of the collective knowledge of the public – there is a “u” in public, after all — to make sure our plan is as good as it can be.

Picture1Why should you take the time to comment? Well, perhaps you are aware of a key external factor that we have missed that could affect the strategies and activities we have planned. Or maybe you have ideas for additional strategies or activities we need to focus on to achieve one of our objectives. This is your opportunity to weigh in and tell us if we are addressing the issues of importance to you. 

All comments will be reviewed and incorporated, as appropriate, into a revised plan. The disposition of substantive comments will be included in a Commission paper transmitting the resulting plan to the Commission for their final review and approval. 

Please submit your comments online through the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov using Docket ID NRC-2013-0230; or by mail to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Office of Administration, Mail Stop:  3WFN-06-44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The comment period is coming quickly. It closes on 04/04/2014. Comments on this blog post cannot be considered, so please use the official channels. More information is also available in the Federal Register Notice.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

6 thoughts on “The NRC Wants to Put the “U” in Strategic Plan”

  1. The NRC independently reviews any information and analysis plants submit in response to regulatory requirements, and the agency will perform its own confirmatory analysis when warranted. Plants must provide acceptable justification for any deviations from NRC-endorsed procedures and guidance for carrying out required work.

    Scott Burnell

  2. Thanks for your prompt informative response. I have placed my comments on the record, so to speak, in the manner you indicated. Perhaps the strategic plan is not the place for these specific comments but I sincerely hope these issues are being rigorously evaluated by the NRC. I appreciate what you said about the NRC overseeing how nuclear plant licensees are evaluating safety concerns but I am still concerned that there will be tremendous pressure exerted by nuclear plant owners to keep their huge investment viable. Has the NRC considered a total independent review of selected plants that are especially susceptible to these safety issues?

  3. Thanks for reading the plan and providing this comment. We hope you will submit it through regulations.gov as described in the last paragraph of the blog post. That way, it will be sure to get full consideration during our comment review process. This link will take you directly the page you need:
    http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2013-0230-0001 .

    The strategic plan is designed as a high-level document setting the general direction of the agency. It does not include specifics, such as you mention in your comment. To address your concerns, however, we should say that the NRC has established exactly how these flooding reevaluations should be conducted, and the resulting reviews will be scrutinized by NRC staff to confirm they met the criteria for a quality evaluation. Finally, the NRC will review actions taken or proposed by licensees in response to these reevaluated hazards to ensure that public health and safety continues to be protected.

    Fran Goldberg

  4. Thanks for this great suggestion! Although it is not possible for us to do this for the current version of the Strategic Plan, our plan is updated every four years and we’ll consider it for next time.

    Fran Goldberg

  5. NRC Strategic Plan Does Not Adequately Address Real Nuclear Safety & Security Issues. Please consider the following…

    1. Catastrophic Failure of Dams Upstream of Nuclear Plants

    There have been 700 dam failures in the US since 1975. In the US 34 nuclear plants lie downstream from more than 50 dams. Therefore, the cumulative likelihood of a least one plant being affected by a dam failure is too high to ignore – especially since these risks do not include the possibility of earthquakes or sabotage. Dams as a weapon of mass destruction cannot be ignored. Such a dam failure would result not only in a huge public safety calamity but a Fukushima-type nuclear accident. The NRC is allowing each nuclear plant to perform its own re-evaluation of flooding risks. How can these “evaluations” be anything but biased and self-serving? Furthermore, the NRC does not require that these analyses consider catastrophic dam failure due to terrorist attack or a severe earthquake. I see nothing in the NRC Strategic Plan that adequately addresses this significant nuclear safety and security issue.

    2. Interim Centralized High Level Waste Storage Area
    The NRC Strategic Plan only mentions the high level waste repository at Yucca Mountain. There has been little real progress in sitting such a facility in decades. The NRC has no plan whatsoever to allow for a centralized, interim, ground-level, away-from-reactor-site storage facility in a secure location. A suitable secure place would be at an existing large military reservation. Allowing dangerous high-level waste to accumulate at over 100 different locations in the US is atrocious. An act of terrorism at any one of these sites would not only result in a huge radioactivity release but a fire that would render the reactor(s) on-site uncontrollable and would eventually result in a core melt situation.

  6. Asking for input is a good start but the NRC could do a much better job by posting all these suggestions on the web so that others could then “like” and or post comments about them; all of which would make the discussion process far better for both the NRC and everyone that depends upon them!

    If the NRC spent a small percentage of what they spend to “help” the nuclear Industry (with grants and funding studies) on enabling as many public groups as possible contribute to the NRC’s dialogue then we would have a far better discussion.

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