The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Practice of Submitting Information to the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board

Gao ID: EMD-78-42 March 6, 1978

The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 requires that a public hearing be held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) before a license to construct a nuclear powerplant can be issued. The hearing is conducted by an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, and reviews are conducted by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Appeal Board and NRC.

In response to criticism of procedures used to provide information to the licensing board, the NRC staff changed its procedures for notifying the boards of new and important information. These changes have improved the staff reporting practices, but there were still instances where the boards were not notified of important information. These instances appeared to have been caused by the officials' handling of information rather than by deficiencies in procedures. New procedures are being developed for improving the staff practice of submitting information to the boards. No efforts seem to have been made by NRC to evaluate the board members' performance, establish minimum qualifications for personnel, and determine if more formalized training is needed.


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