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, 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, 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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