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Notice

In the Matter of: Licensees Authorized To Possess Radioactive Material Quantities of Concern; Order Imposing Fingerprinting and Criminal History Records Check Requirements for Unescorted Access to Certain Radioactive Material (Effective Immediately)

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 11159

I

The Licensees identified in Attachment 1 [1] to this Order hold licenses issued in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended, by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission), authorizing them to possess items containing radioactive materials in quantities of concern. These materials and the quantities of concern are identified in Attachment 2 to this Order. Section 652 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which became law on August 8, 2005, amended section 149 of the AEA to require fingerprinting and a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identification and criminal history records check for “any individual who is permitted unescorted access to radioactive materials or other property subject to regulation by the Commission that the Commission determines to be of such significance to the public health and safety or the common defense and security as to warrant fingerprinting and background checks.” Section 149 of the AEA also requires that “all fingerprints obtained by a licensee or applicant * * * shall be submitted to the Attorney General of the United States through the Commission for identification and a criminal history records check.” NRC has decided to implement this requirement, prior to the completion of a future rulemaking, which will implement these provisions of the EPAct, because a deliberate malevolent act by an individual with unescorted access to these radioactive materials has the potential to result in significant adverse impacts to the public health and safety. Individuals or classes of individual listed in 10 CFR 73.61 (72 FR 4945 (February 2, 2007)) are relieved from the fingerprinting and FBI identification and criminal history records check requirements of section 149. Individuals listed in Attachment 3, Paragraph 3 have already satisfied the requirements of section 149 of the AEA and therefore do not need to take additional action. Therefore, as set forth in this Order and in accordance with section 149 of the AEA, as amended by the EPAct, the Commission is imposing additional requirements for unescorted access to certain radioactive material.

II

Subsequent to the terrorist events of September 11, 2001, the NRC issued the Increased Controls (IC) Orders (EA-05-090) [2] to certain Licensees (IC Licensees, Licensees) who are authorized to possess radioactive material in quantities of concern. These Orders increased the Licensees' control over their sources in order to prevent unintended radiation exposure and malicious acts. One specific requirement imposed by the IC Orders required Licensees to conduct background checks to determine the trustworthiness and reliability of individuals needing unescorted access to radioactive materials. “Access” to these radioactive materials means that an individual could exercise some physical control over the material or devices containing the material. Prior to the enactment of the EPAct, the NRC did not have the authority, except in the case of power reactor Licensees, to require Licensees to submit fingerprints for FBI identification and criminal history records checks of individuals being considered for unescorted access to radioactive materials subject to NRC regulations. The Commission has determined that radioactive materials possessed by IC Licensees are considered of such significance to the public health and safety as to warrant fingerprinting and FBI identification and criminal history records checks for such persons. Therefore, in accordance with section 149 of the AEA, as amended by the EPAct, the Commission is imposing the fingerprinting and FBI identification and criminal history records check requirements, as set forth in this Order, including those requirements identified in Attachment 3 to this Order on all IC Licensees identified in Attachment 1 to this Order, which are currently authorized to possess radioactive materials in quantities of concern. These requirements will remain in effect until the Commission determines otherwise.

In addition, pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202, because of the potentially significant adverse impacts associated with a deliberate malevolent act by an individual with unescorted access to radioactive materials quantities of concern, I find that the public health and safety require that this Order be effective immediately.

III

Accordingly, pursuant to sections 81, 149, 161b, 161i, 161o, 182, and 186 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 2.202, 10 CFR parts 30 and 33, it is hereby ordered, effective immediately, that all licensees identified in attachment 1 to this order shall comply with the requirements of this order as follows:

A. 1. The Licensee shall, within ninety (90) days of the date of this Order, establish and maintain a fingerprinting program that meets the requirements of Attachment 3 of this Order for individuals that require unescorted access to certain radioactive materials.

2. Within ninety (90) days of the date of this Order, the Licensee shall provide under oath or affirmation, a certification that the Trustworthiness and Reliability (T&R) Official (an individual with the responsibility to determine the trustworthiness and reliability of another individual requiring unescorted access to the radioactive materials identified in Attachment 2) is deemed trustworthy and reliable by the Licensee as required in paragraph B.2 of this Order.

3. The Licensee shall, in writing, within sixty (60) days of the date of this Order, notify the Commission, (1) if it is unable to comply with any of the requirements described in this Order or in Attachment 3 to this Order, (2) if compliance with any of the requirements is unnecessary in its specific circumstances, or (3) if implementation of any of the requirements would cause the Licensee to be in violation of the provisions of any Commission regulation or its license. The notification shall provide the Licensee's justification for seeking relief from or variation of any specific requirement.

4. The Licensee shall complete implementation of the program established in accordance with paragraph A.1 of this Order by August 19, 2008. In addition to the notifications in paragraphs 2 and 3 above, the Licensee shall notify the Commission within twenty-five (25) days after they have achieved full compliance with the requirements described in Attachment 3 to this Order. If by August 19, 2008, the Licensee is unable, due to circumstances beyond its control, to complete implementation of this Order, the Licensee shall submit a written Start Printed Page 11160request to the Commission explaining the need for an extension of time to implement the requirements. The request shall provide the Licensee's justification for seeking more time to comply with the requirements of this Order.

5. Licensees shall notify the NRC's Headquarters Operations Office at 301-816-5100 within 24 hours if the results from a FBI identification and criminal history records check indicate that an individual is identified on the FBI's Terrorist Screening Data Base.

B. 1. Except as provided in paragraph E for individuals who are currently approved for unescorted access, the Licensee shall grant access to radioactive material in Attachment 2 in accordance with the requirements of IC.1. of the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090) and the requirements of this Order.

2. The T&R Official, if he/she does not require unescorted access, must be deemed trustworthy and reliable by the Licensee in accordance with the requirements of IC.1. of the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090) before making a determination regarding the trustworthiness and reliability of another individual. If the T&R Official requires unescorted access, the Licensee must consider the results of fingerprinting and the review of an FBI identification and criminal history records check as a component in approving a T&R Official.

C. Prior to requesting fingerprints from any individual, the Licensee shall provide a copy of this Order to that person.

D. Upon receipt of the results of FBI identification and criminal history records checks, the Licensee shall control such information as specified in the “Protection of Information” section of Attachment 3 of this Order and in requirement IC.5 of the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090).

E. The Licensee shall make determinations on continued unescorted access for persons currently granted unescorted access, by August 19, 2008, based upon the results of the fingerprinting and FBI identification and criminal history records check. The Licensee may allow any individual who currently has unescorted access to certain radioactive materials in accordance with the IC Order to continue to have unescorted access, pending a decision by the T&R Official. After August 19, 2008, no individual may have unescorted access to radioactive materials without a determination by the T&R Official (based upon fingerprinting, an FBI identification and criminal history records check and a previous trustworthiness and reliability determination) that the individual may have unescorted access to such materials.

F. 1. The Licensee shall comply with and to the extent the recipient of this Order is also the recipient of the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090), paragraph IC 1.b is superceded by the following:

For individuals employed by the licensee for three years or less, and for non-licensee personnel, such as physicians, physicists, house-keeping personnel, and security personnel under contract, trustworthiness and reliability shall be determined, at a minimum, by verifying employment history, education, personal references, and fingerprinting and the review of an FBI identification and criminal history records check. The licensee shall also, to the extent possible, obtain independent information to corroborate that provided by the employee (i.e. seeking references not supplied by the individual). For individuals employed by the licensee for longer than three years, trustworthiness and reliability shall be determined, at a minimum, by a review of the employees' employment history with the licensee and fingerprinting and an FBI identification and criminal history records check.

2. The Licensee shall comply with and to the extent the recipient of this Order is also the recipient of Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090), Paragraph IC 1.c of that prior Order is superceded by, the following:

Service provider licensee employees shall be escorted unless determined to be trustworthy and reliable by an NRC-required background investigation. Written verification attesting to or certifying the person's trustworthiness and reliability shall be obtained from the licensee providing the service.

3. For Licensees who have previously received the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090), “Table 1: Radionuclides of Concern” is superseded by Attachment 2 to include Ra-226. The previous Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090) will, therefore, also apply to Ra-226 as noted in Attachment 2.

Licensee responses to A.1, A.2., A.3. and A.4., above shall be submitted to the Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555. Licensee responses shall be marked as “Security-Related Information—Withhold Under 10 CFR 2.390.”

The Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, may, in writing, relax or rescind any of the above conditions upon demonstration of good cause by the Licensee.

IV

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.202, the Licensee must, and any other person adversely affected by this Order may, submit an answer to this Order within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. In addition, the Licensee and any other person adversely affected by this Order may request a hearing of this Order within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the time to request a hearing. A request for extension of time must be made, in writing, to the Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, and include a statement of good cause for the extension.

The answer may consent to this Order. If the answer includes a request for a hearing, it shall, under oath or affirmation, specifically set forth the matters of fact and law on which the Licensee relies and the reasons as to why the Order should not have been issued. If a person other than the Licensee requests a hearing, that person shall set forth with particularity the manner in which his interest is adversely affected by this Order and shall address the criteria set forth in 10 CFR 2.309(d).

A request for a hearing must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing Rule, which became effective on October 15, 2007. The E-Filing Final Rule was issued on August 28, 2007, (72 FR 49,139). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve documents over the internet or, in some cases, to mail copies on electronic optical storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek a waiver in accordance with the procedures described below.

To comply with the procedural requirements associated with E-Filing, at least five (5) days prior to the filing deadline the requestor must contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV, or by calling (301) 415-1677, to request (1) A digital ID certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any NRC proceeding in which it is participating; and/or (2) creation of an electronic docket for the proceeding (even in instances when the requestor (or its counsel or representative) already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Each requestor will need to Start Printed Page 11161download the Workplace Forms ViewerTM to access the Electronic Information Exchange (EIE), a component of the E-Filing system. The Workplace Forms ViewerTM is free and is available at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​install-viewer.html. Information about applying for a digital ID certificate also is available on NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​apply-certificates.html.

Once a requestor has obtained a digital ID certificate, had a docket created, and downloaded the EIE viewer, it can then submit a request for a hearing through EIE. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the filer submits its document through EIE. To be timely, electronic filings must be submitted to the EIE system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an e-mail notice confirming receipt of the document. The EIE system also distributes an e-mail notice that provides access to the document to the NRC Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. Therefore, any others who wish to participate in the proceeding (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request is filed so that they may obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

A person filing electronically may seek assistance through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html or by calling the NRC technical help line, which is available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The help line number is (800) 397-4209 or locally, (301) 415-4737.

Participants who believe that they have good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file a motion, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by (1) First-class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service.

Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at: http://ehd.nrc.gov/​EHD_​Proceeding/​home.asp, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, or a Presiding Officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, Participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their works.

If a hearing is requested by the Licensee or a person whose interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an Order designating the time and place of any hearing. If a hearing is held the issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this Order should be sustained.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202(c)(2)(i), the Licensee may, in addition to requesting a hearing, at the time the answer is filed or sooner, move the presiding officer to set aside the immediate effectiveness of the Order on the ground that the Order, including the need for immediate effectiveness, is not based on adequate evidence but on mere suspicion, unfounded allegations, or error.

In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions specified in section III above shall be final twenty (20) days from the date of this Order without further order or proceedings. If an extension of time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the provisions specified in section III shall be final when the extension expires if a hearing request has not been received.

An answer or a request for hearing shall not stay the immediate effectiveness of this order.

Start Signature

Dated this 21st day of February, 2008.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Charles L. Miller,

Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs.

End Signature

Attachment 1: List of Applicable Materials Licensees

Redacted

Attachment 2: Table 1: Radionuclides of Concern

Table 1.—Radionuclides of Concern

RadionuclideQuantity of concern 1 (TBq)Quantity of concern 2 (Ci)
Am-2410.616
Am-241/Be0.616
Cf-2520.25.4
Cm-2440.514
Co-600.38.1
Cs-137127
Gd-15310270
Ir-1920.822
Pm-14740011,000
Pu-2380.616
Pu-239/Be0.616
Ra-226 50.411
Se-75254
Sr-90 (Y-90)10270
Tm-1702005,400
Start Printed Page 11162
Yb-169381
Combinations of radioactive materials listed above 3See Footnote Below 4
1 The aggregate activity of multiple, collocated sources of the same radionuclide should be included when the total activity equals or exceeds the quantity of concern.
2 The primary values used for compliance with this Order are TBq. The curie (Ci) values are rounded to two significant figures for informational purposes only.
3 Radioactive materials are to be considered aggregated or collocated if breaching a common physical security barrier (e.g., a locked door at the entrance to a storage room) would allow access to the radioactive material or devices containing the radioactive material.
4 If several radionuclides are aggregated, the sum of the ratios of the activity of each source, i of radionuclide, n, A(i,n), to the quantity of concern for radionuclide n, Q(n), listed for that radionuclide equals or exceeds one. [(aggregated source activity for radionuclide A) ÷ (quantity of concern for radionuclide A)] + [(aggregated source activity for radionuclide B) ÷ (quantity of concern for radionuclide B)] + etc..... ≥1.
5 On August 31, 2005, the NRC issued a waiver, in accordance to Section 651(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, for the continued use and/or regulatory authority of Naturally Occurring and Accelerator-Produced Material (NARM), which includes Ra-226. The NRC plans to terminate the waiver in phases, beginning November 30, 2007, and ending on August 7, 2009. The NRC has authority to regulate discrete sources of Ra-226, but has refrained from exercising that authority until the date of an entity's waiver termination. For entities that possess Ra-226 in quantities of concern, this Order becomes effective upon waiver termination. For information on the schedule for an entity's waiver termination, please refer to the NARM Toolbox Web site at http://nrc-stp.ornl.gov/​narmtoolbox.html.

Attachment 3: Specific Requirements Pertaining to Fingerprinting and Criminal History Records Checks

The new fingerprinting requirements supplement previous requirements issued by the Increased Controls Order (EA-05-090).

Licensees currently have a program to grant unescorted access to individuals. As required by condition A.1 of the Order, Licensees shall modify its current trustworthiness and reliability program to include the following:

1. Each Licensee subject to the provisions of this attachment shall fingerprint each individual who is seeking or permitted unescorted access to risk significant radioactive materials equal to or greater than the quantities listed in attachment 2. The Licensee shall review and use the information received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identification and criminal history records check and ensure that the provisions contained in the subject Order and this attachment are satisfied.

2. The Licensee shall notify each affected individual that the fingerprints will be used to secure a review of his/her criminal history record and inform the individual of the procedures for revising the record or including an explanation in the record, as specified in the “Right to Correct and Complete Information” section of this attachment.

3. Fingerprints for unescorted access need not be taken if an employed individual (e.g., a Licensee employee, contractor, manufacturer, or supplier) is relieved from the fingerprinting requirement by 10 CFR 73.61, or any person who has been favorably-decided by a U.S. Government program involving fingerprinting and an FBI identification and criminal history records check (e.g. National Agency Check, Transportation Worker Identification Credentials in accordance with 49 CFR Part 1572, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives background checks and clearances in accordance with 27 CFR Part 555, Health and Human Services security risk assessments for possession and use of select agents and toxins in accordance with 42 CFR Part 73, Hazardous Material security threat assessment for hazardous material endorsement to commercial drivers license in accordance with 49 CFR Part 1572, Customs and Border Patrol's Free and Secure Trade Program [1] ) within the last five (5) calendar years, or any person who has an active federal security clearance (provided in the latter two cases that they make available the appropriate documentation [2] ). Written confirmation from the Agency/employer which granted the federal security clearance or reviewed the FBI criminal history records results based upon a fingerprint identification check must be provided. The Licensee must retain this documentation for a period of three (3) years from the date the individual no longer requires unescorted access to certain radioactive material associated with the Licensee's activities.

4. All fingerprints obtained by the Licensee pursuant to this Order must be submitted to the Commission for transmission to the FBI. Additionally, the Licensee shall submit a certification of the trustworthiness and reliability of the T&R Official as determined in accordance with paragraph B.2 of this Order.

5. The Licensee shall review the information received from the FBI and consider it, in conjunction with the trustworthiness and reliability requirements of the IC Order (EA-05-090), in making a determination whether to grant unescorted access to certain radioactive materials.

6. The Licensee shall use any information obtained as part of a criminal history records check solely for the purpose of determining an individual's suitability for unescorted access to risk significant radioactive materials equal to or greater than the quantities listed in attachment 2.

7. The Licensee shall document the basis for its determination whether to grant, or continue to allow unescorted access to risk significant radioactive materials equal to or greater than the quantities listed in attachment 2.

Prohibitions

A Licensee shall not base a final determination to deny an individual unescorted access to certain radioactive material solely on the basis of information received from the FBI involving: an arrest more than one (1) year old for which there is no information of the disposition of the case, or an arrest that resulted in dismissal of the charge or an acquittal.

A Licensee shall not use information received from a criminal history check obtained pursuant to this Order in a manner that would infringe upon the Start Printed Page 11163rights of any individual under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, nor shall the Licensee use the information in any way which would discriminate among individuals on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, or age.

Right To Correct and Complete Information

Prior to any final adverse determination, the Licensee shall make available to the individual the contents of any criminal records obtained from the FBI for the purpose of assuring correct and complete information. Written confirmation by the individual of receipt of this notification must be maintained by the Licensee for a period of one (1) year from the date of the notification.

If, after reviewing the record, an individual believes that it is incorrect or incomplete in any respect and wishes to change, correct, or update the alleged deficiency, or to explain any matter in the record, the individual may initiate challenge procedures. These procedures include either direct application by the individual challenging the record to the agency (i.e., law enforcement agency) that contributed the questioned information, or direct challenge as to the accuracy or completeness of any entry on the criminal history record to the Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation Identification Division, Washington, DC 20537-9700 (as set forth in 28 CFR part 16.30 through 16.34). In the latter case, the FBI forwards the challenge to the agency that submitted the data and requests that agency to verify or correct the challenged entry. Upon receipt of an Official communication directly from the agency that contributed the original information, the FBI Identification Division makes any changes necessary in accordance with the information supplied by that agency. The Licensee must provide at least ten (10) days for an individual to initiate an action challenging the results of an FBI identification and criminal history records check after the record is made available for his/her review. The Licensee may make a final unescorted access to certain radioactive material determination based upon the criminal history record only upon receipt of the FBI's ultimate confirmation or correction of the record. Upon a final adverse determination on unescorted access to certain radioactive material, the Licensee shall provide the individual its documented basis for denial. Unescorted access to certain radioactive material shall not be granted to an individual during the review process.

Protection of Information

1. Each Licensee who obtains a criminal history record on an individual pursuant to this Order shall establish and maintain a system of files and procedures for protecting the record and the personal information from unauthorized disclosure.

2. The Licensee may not disclose the record or personal information collected and maintained to persons other than the subject individual, his/her representative, or to those who have a need to access the information in performing assigned duties in the process of determining unescorted access to certain radioactive material. No individual authorized to have access to the information may re-disseminate the information to any other individual who does not have a need-to-know.

3. The personal information obtained on an individual from a criminal history record check may be transferred to another Licensee if the Licensee holding the criminal history record check receives the individual's written request to re-disseminate the information contained in his/her file, and the gaining Licensee verifies information such as the individual's name, date of birth, social security number, sex, and other applicable physical characteristics for identification purposes.

4. The Licensee shall make criminal history records, obtained under this section, available for examination by an authorized representative of the NRC to determine compliance with the regulations and laws.

5. The Licensee shall retain all fingerprint and criminal history records from the FBI, or a copy if the individual's file has been transferred, for three (3) years after termination of employment or determination of unescorted access to certain radioactive material (whether unescorted access was approved or denied). After the required three (3) year period, these documents shall be destroyed by a method that will prevent reconstruction of the information in whole or in part.

End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  Attachment 1 contains sensitive information and will not be released to the public.

Back to Citation

2.  Subsequently, the IC Order requirements were imposed through license condition on new or amended NRC licenses authorizing the possession of radioactive materials in quantities of concern as identified in Attachment 2 to this Order.

Back to Citation

1.  The FAST program is a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Customs and Border Patrol and the governments of Canada and Mexico to coordinate processes for the clearance of commercial shipments at the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders. Participants in the FAST program, which requires successful completion of a background records check, may receive expedited entrance privileges at the northern and southern borders.

Back to Citation

2.  This documentation must allow the T&R Official to verify that the individual has fulfilled the unescorted access requirements of Section 149 of the AEA by submitting to fingerprinting and an FBI identification and criminal history records check.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. E8-3921 Filed 2-28-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P