U.S. NRC Blog

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OIG Audit Looks at Security for Decommissioning Reactors

Brett M. Baker
Assistant Inspector General for Audits

An Office of the Inspector General audit of the NRC’s oversight of security at decommissioning reactors is now available here. The audit set out to determine whether NRC’s oversight of security at decommissioning reactors provides for adequate protection of radioactive structures, systems and components.

oigThe NRC regulates the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, a process during which a plant is removed from service and the residual radioactivity is reduced to a level that permits release of the property and termination of its license. The NRC has rules governing power plant decommissioning that protect workers and the public during the process, and regulations for the management of worker fatigue.

The OIG found that the agency’s oversight of security at decommissioning reactors provides for adequate protection of radioactive structures, systems, and components. However, opportunities exist for program improvement.

The audit found that NRC regulations lack clarity on which elements of fitness-for-duty decommissioning licensees must implement. In addition, the NRC lacks regulatory requirements for a fatigue management program for decommissioning licensees.

The NRC is taking steps to address the issues. Presently, there are ongoing rulemaking efforts in the area of decommissioning. Additionally, the NRC recently finalized a report to document lessons learned associated with permanent power reactor shutdowns that occurred from 2013 – 2016.

The OIG audit report makes recommendations to clarify which fitness-for-duty elements licensees must implement to meet the requirements of the insider mitigation program; and to establish requirements for a fatigue management program.

NRC management stated their general agreement with the audit findings and recommendations.

3 responses to “OIG Audit Looks at Security for Decommissioning Reactors

  1. Nikohl Vandel March 1, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I bet there’s some job openings with all the old reactors going down now. I’m just wondering, are y’all cool or is the declaration of the federal hiring freeze affecting that security? While I think this is the kind of stuff good government money can be spent on, I know others would disagree. I like money spent on nuclear capabilities more than money spent on killing other humans I don’t even know. Thanks for the audit link! <3nikiV

    • danmorris23 March 7, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      I agree. Put money into production (or generation) rather than destruction. Nothing beats nuclear power.

      • Nikohl Vandel March 8, 2017 at 11:42 am

        Well, we need to really put some good money into destruction because the old nuclear plants are soooooo toxic we need to clean and recycle the waste.

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