Title 10 Part 820
Title 10 → Chapter III → Part 820
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR
Title 10 Part 820
PART 820—PROCEDURAL RULES FOR DOE NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES
§820.3 Separation of functions.
§820.4 Conflict of interest.
§820.6 Computation and extension of time.
§820.7 Questions of policy or law.
§820.8 Evidentiary matters.
§820.9 Special assistant.
§820.10 Office of the docketing clerk.
§820.11 Information requirements.
§820.12 Classified, confidential, and controlled information
§820.13 Direction to NNSA contractors.
§820.14 Whistleblower protection.
§820.22 Informal conference.
§820.23 Consent order.
§820.24 Preliminary notice of violation.
§820.25 Final notice of violation.
§820.26 Enforcement adjudication.
§820.28 Prehearing actions.
§820.30 Post-hearing filings.
§820.31 Initial decision.
§820.32 Final order.
§820.33 Default order.
§820.34 Accelerated decision.
§820.35 Ex parte discussions.
§820.36 Filing, form, and service of documents.
§820.37 Participation in an adjudication.
§820.38 Consolidation and severance.
§820.81 Amount of penalty.
Appendix A to Part 820—General Statement of Enforcement Policy
Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2201; 2282(a); 7191; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 50 U.S.C. 2410.
Source: 58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, unless otherwise noted.
§820.1 Purpose and scope.
(a) Scope. This part sets forth the procedures to govern the conduct of persons involved in DOE nuclear activities and, in particular, to achieve compliance with the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements by all persons subject to those requirements.
(b) Questions not addressed by these rules. Questions that are not addressed in this part shall be resolved at the discretion of the DOE Official.
(c) Exclusion. Activities and facilities covered under E.O. 12344, 42 U.S.C. 7158 note, pertaining to Naval nuclear propulsion are excluded from the requirements of subparts D and E of this part regarding interpretations and exemptions related to this part. The Deputy Administrator for Naval Reactors or his designee will be responsible for formulating, issuing, and maintaining appropriate records of interpretations and exemptions for these facilities and activities.
[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 71 FR 68732, Nov. 28, 2006]
(a) The following definitions apply to this part:
Act or AEA means the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
Administrative Law Judge means an Administrative Law Judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105.
Consent Agreement means any written document, signed by the Director and a person, containing stipulations or conclusions of fact or law and a remedy acceptable to both the Director and the person.
Contractor means any person under contract (or its subcontractors or suppliers) with the Department of Energy with the responsibility to perform activities or to supply services or products that are subject to DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements.
Department means the United States Department of Energy or any predecessor agency.
Director means the DOE Official to whom the Secretary has assigned the authority to issue Notices of Violation under subpart B of this part, including the Director of Enforcement, or his designee. With regard to activities and facilities covered under E.O. 12344, 42 U.S.C. 7158 note, pertaining to Naval nuclear propulsion, the Director shall mean the Deputy Administrator for Naval Reactors or his designee.
Docketing Clerk means the Office in DOE with which documents for an enforcement action must be filed and which is responsible for maintaining a record and a public docket for enforcement actions commencing with the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation. It is also the Office with which interpretations, exemptions, and any other documents designated by the Secretary shall be filed.
DOE means the United States Department of Energy or any predecessor agency.
DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements means the set of rules, regulations, orders, and other requirements relating to nuclear safety adopted by DOE to govern the conduct of persons in connection with any DOE nuclear activity and includes any program, plan, or other provision required to implement these rules, regulations, orders, or other requirements. DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements include the following:
(i) 10 CFR part 830;
(ii) 10 CFR part 835;
(iii) 10 CFR 820.11;
(iv) Compliance Orders issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 820, subpart C; and
(v) 10 CFR 708.43, to the extent that subject activities concern nuclear safety.
DOE Official means the person, or his designee, in charge of making a decision under this part.
Enforcement adjudication means the portion of the enforcement process that commences when a respondent requests an on-the-record adjudication of the assessment of a civil penalty and terminates when a Presiding Officer files an initial decision.
Exemption means the final order that sets forth the relief, waiver, or release, either temporary or permanent, from a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, as granted by the appropriate Secretarial Officer pursuant to the provisions of subpart E of this part.
Filing means, except as otherwise specifically indicated, the completion of providing a document to the Office of the Docketing Clerk and serving the document on the person to whom the document is addressed.
Final Notice of Violation means a document issued by the Director in which the Director determines that the respondent has violated or is continuing to violate a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement and includes:
(i) A statement specifying the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement to which the violation relates;
(ii) A concise statement of the basis for the determination;
(iii) Any remedy, including the amount of any civil penalty;
(iv) A statement explaining the reasoning behind any remedy; and
(v) If the Notice assesses a civil penalty, notice of respondent's right:
(A) To waive further proceedings and pay the civil penalty;
(B) To request an on-the-record adjudication of the assessment of the civil penalty; or
(C) To seek judicial review of the assessment of the civil penalty.
Final Order means an order of the Secretary that represents final agency action and, where appropriate, imposes a remedy with which the recipient of the order must comply.
General Counsel means the General Counsel of DOE or his designee.
Hearing means an on-the-record enforcement adjudication open to the public and conducted under the procedures set forth in subpart B of this part.
Initial Decision means the decision filed by the Presiding Officer based upon the record of the enforcement adjudication out of which it arises.
Interpretation means a statement by the General Counsel concerning the meaning or effect of the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement which relates to a specific factual situation but may also be a ruling of general applicability where the General Counsel determines such action to be appropriate.
NNSA means the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Nuclear Statute means any statute or provision of a statute that relates to a DOE nuclear activity and for which DOE is responsible.
Party means the Director and the respondent in an enforcement adjudication under this part.
Person means any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, public or private institution, group, Government agency, any State or political subdivision of, or any political entity within a State, any foreign government or nation or any political subdivision of any such government or nation, or other entity and any legal successor, representative, agent or agency of the foregoing; provided that person does not include the Department or the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For purposes of civil penalty assessment, the term also includes affiliated entities, such as a parent corporation.
Preliminary Notice of Violation means a document issued by the Director in which the Director sets forth the preliminary conclusions that the respondent has violated or is continuing to violate a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement and includes:
(i) A statement specifying the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement to which the violation relates;
(ii) A concise statement of the basis for alleging the violation;
(iii) Any proposed remedy, including the amount of any proposed civil penalty; and
(iv) A statement explaining the reasoning behind any proposed remedy.
Presiding Officer means the Administrative Law Judge designated to be in charge of an enforcement adjudication who shall conduct a fair and impartial hearing, assure that the facts are fully elicited, adjudicate all issues, avoid delay, and shall have authority to:
(i) Conduct an adjudicatory hearing under this part;
(ii) Rule upon motions, requests, and offers of proof, dispose of procedural requests, and issue all necessary orders;
(iii) Exercise the authority set forth in §820.8;
(iv) Admit or exclude evidence;
(v) Hear and decide questions of fact, law, or discretion, except for the validity of regulations and interpretations issued by DOE;
(vi) Require parties to attend conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues, or the expedition of the proceedings;
(vii) Draw adverse inferences against a party that fails to comply with his orders;
(viii) Do all other acts and take all measures necessary for the maintenance of order and for the efficient, fair and impartial adjudication of issues arising in proceedings governed by these rules.
Remedy means any action necessary or appropriate to rectify, prevent, or penalize a violation of the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, including the assessment of civil penalties, the requirement of specific actions, or the modification, suspension or recision of a contract.
Respondent means any person to whom the Director addresses a Notice of Violation.
Secretarial Officer means an individual who is appointed to a position in the Department by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate or the head of a departmental element who is primarily responsible for the conduct of an activity under the Act. With regard to activities and facilities covered under E.O. 12344, 42 U.S.C. 7158 note, pertaining to Naval nuclear propulsion, Secretarial Officer means the Deputy Administrator for Naval Reactors.
Secretary means the Secretary of Energy or his designee.
(b) Terms defined in the Act and not defined in these rules are used consistent with the meanings given in the Act.
(c) As used in this part, words in the singular also include the plural and words in the masculine gender also include the feminine and vice versa, as the case may require.
[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 71 FR 68732, Nov. 28, 2006; 72 FR 31921, June 8, 2007; 81 FR 94913, Dec. 27, 2016]
§820.3 Separation of functions.
(a) Separation of functions. After a respondent requests an on-the-record adjudication of an assessment of a civil penalty contained in a Final Notice of Violation, no person shall participate in a decision-making function in an enforcement proceeding if he has been, is or will be responsible for an investigative or prosecutorial function related to that proceeding or if he reports to the person responsible for the investigative or prosecutorial function.
(b) Director. The Director shall be responsible for the investigation and prosecution of violations of the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. After the request for an enforcement adjudication, the Director shall not discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with a DOE Official or any person likely to advise the DOE Official in the decision of the proceeding.
(c) Presiding Officer. A Presiding Officer shall perform no duties inconsistent with his responsibilities as a Presiding Officer, and will not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of any officer or employee engaged in the performance of an investigative or prosecutorial function. The Presiding Officer may not consult any person other than a member of his staff or a special assistant on any fact at issue unless on notice and opportunity for all parties to participate, except as required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law.
§820.4 Conflict of interest.
A DOE Official may not perform functions provided for in this part regarding any matter in which he has a financial interest or has any relationship that would make it inappropriate for him to act. A DOE Official shall withdraw at any time from any action in which he deems himself disqualified or unable to act for any reason. Any interested person may at any time request the General Counsel to disqualify a DOE Official or request that the General Counsel disqualify himself. In the case of an enforcement adjudication, a motion to disqualify shall be made to the Presiding Officer. The request shall be supported by affidavits setting forth the grounds for disqualification of the DOE Official. A decision shall be made as soon as practicable and information may be requested from any person concerning the matter. If a DOE Official is disqualified or withdraws from the proceeding, a qualified individual who has none of the infirmities listed in this section shall replace him.
(a) General rule. Any document filed with the Docketing Clerk must be served on the addressee of the document and shall not be considered filed until service is complete and unless accompanied by proof of service; provided that the filing with the Docketing Clerk of any document addressed to the DOE Official shall be considered service on the DOE Official.
(b) Service in an Enforcement Adjudication. Any document filed in an enforcement adjudication must be served on all other participants in the adjudication.
(c) Who may be served. Any paper required to be served upon a person shall be served upon him or upon the representative designated by him or by law to receive service of papers. When an attorney has entered an appearance on behalf of a person, service must be made upon the attorney of record.
(d) How service may be made. Service may be made by personal delivery, by first class, certified or registered mail or as otherwise authorized or required by the DOE Official. The DOE Official may require service by express mail.
(e) When service is complete. Service upon a person is complete:
(1) By personal delivery, on handing the paper to the individual, or leaving it at his office with his clerk or other person in charge or, if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein or, if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at his usual place of residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing there;
(2) By mail, on deposit in the United States mail, properly stamped and addressed; or
(3) By any other means authorized or required by the DOE Official.
(f) Proof of service. Proof of service, stating the name and address of the person on whom served and the manner and date of service, shall be shown for each document filed, and may be made by:
(1) Written acknowledgement of the person served or his counsel;
(2) The certificate of counsel if he has made the service;
(3) The affidavit of the person making the service; or
(4) Any other means authorized or required by the DOE Official.
(g) Deemed service. If a document is deemed filed under this part, then the service requirements shall be deemed satisfied when the document is deemed filed.
§820.6 Computation and extension of time.
(a) Computation. In computing any period of time set forth in this part, except as otherwise provided, the day of the event from which the designated period begins to run shall not be included. Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays shall be included. When a stated time expires on a Saturday, Sunday or Federal legal holiday, the stated time period shall be extended to include the next business day.
(b) Extensions of time. A DOE Official may grant an extension of any time period set forth in this part.
(c) Service by mail. Where a pleading or document is served by mail, five (5) days shall be added to the time allowed by these rules for the filing of a responsive pleading or document. Where a pleading or document is served by express mail, only two (2) days shall be added.
§820.7 Questions of policy or law.
(a) Certification. There shall be no interlocutory appeal from any ruling order, or action decision of a DOE Official except as permitted by this section. A Presiding Officer in an enforcement adjudication may certify, in his discretion, a question to the Secretary, when the order or ruling involves an important question of law or policy concerning which there is substantial grounds for difference of opinion, and either an immediate decision will materially advance the ultimate termination of the proceeding, or subsequent review will be inadequate or ineffective.
(b) Decision. The certified question shall be decided as soon as practicable. If the Secretary determines that the question was improvidently certified, or if he takes no action within thirty days of the certification, the certification is dismissed. The Secretary may decide the question on the basis of the submission made by the Presiding Officer or may request further information from any person.
§820.8 Evidentiary matters.
(a) General. A DOE Official may obtain information or evidence for the full and complete investigation of any matter related to a DOE nuclear activity or for any decision required by this part. A DOE Official may sign, issue and serve subpoenas; administer oaths and affirmations; take sworn testimony; compel attendance of and sequester witnesses; control dissemination of any record of testimony taken pursuant to this section; subpoena and reproduce books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, contracts, agreements, or other relevant records or tangible evidence including, but not limited to, information retained in computerized or other automated systems in possession of the subpoenaed person.
(b) Special Report Orders. A DOE Official may issue a Special Report Order (SRO) requiring any person involved in a DOE nuclear activity or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of DOE to file a special report providing information relating to a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, the Act, or a Nuclear Statute, including but not limited to written answers to specific questions. The SRO may be in addition to any other reports required by this part.
(c) Extension of Time. The DOE Official who issues a subpoena or SRO pursuant to this section, for good cause shown, may extend the time prescribed for compliance with the subpoena or SRO and negotiate and approve the terms of satisfactory compliance.
(d) Reconsideration. Prior to the time specified for compliance, but in no event more than 10 days after the date of service of the subpoena or SRO, the person upon whom the document was served may request reconsideration of the subpoena or SRO with the DOE Official who issued the document. If the subpoena or SRO is not modified or rescinded within 10 days of the date of the filing of the request, the subpoena or SRO shall be effective as issued and the person upon whom the document was served shall comply with the subpoena or SRO within 20 days of the date of the filing. There is no administrative appeal of a subpoena or SRO.
(e) Service. A subpoena or SRO shall be served in the manner set forth in §820.5, except that service by mail must be made by registered or certified mail.
(f) Fees. (1) A witness subpoenaed by a DOE Official shall be paid the same fees and mileage as paid to a witness in the district courts of the United States.
(2) If a subpoena is issued at the request of a person other than an officer or agency of the United States, the witness fees and mileage shall be paid by the person who requested the subpoena. However, at the request of the person, the witness fees and mileage shall be paid by the DOE if the person shows:
(i) The presence of the subpoenaed witness will materially advance the proceeding; and
(ii) The person who requested that the subpoena be issued would suffer a serious hardship if required to pay the witness fees and mileage. The DOE Official issuing the subpoena shall make the determination required by this subsection.
(g) Enforcement. If any person upon whom a subpoena or SRO is served pursuant to this section, refuses or fails to comply with any provision of the subpoena or SRO, an action may be commenced in the United States District Court to enforce the subpoena or SRO.
(h) Certification. (1) Documents produced in response to a subpoena shall be accompanied by the sworn certification, under penalty of perjury, of the person to whom the subpoena was directed or his authorized agent that a diligent search has been made for each document responsive to the subpoena, and to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief all such documents responsive to the subpoena are being produced unless withheld on the grounds of privilege pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section.
(2) Any information furnished in response to an SRO shall be accompanied by the sworn certification under penalty of perjury of the person to whom it was directed or his authorized agent who actually provides the information that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief a diligent effort has been made to provide all information required by the SRO, and all information furnished is true, complete, and correct unless withheld on grounds of privilege pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section.
(3) If any document responsive to a subpoena is not produced or any information required by an SRO is not furnished, the certification shall include a statement setting forth every reason for failing to comply with the subpoena or SRO.
(i) Withheld information. If a person to whom a subpoena or SRO is directed withholds any document or information because of a claim of attorney-client or other privilege, the person submitting the certification required by paragraph (h) of this section also shall submit a written list of the documents or the information withheld indicating a description of each document or information, the date of the document, each person shown on the document as having received a copy of the document, each person shown on the document as having prepared or been sent the document, the privilege relied upon as the basis for withholding the document or information, a memorandum of law supporting the claim of privilege, and an identification of the person whose privilege is being asserted.
(j) Statements/testimony. (1) If a person's statement/testimony is taken pursuant to a subpoena, the DOE Official shall determine whether the statement/testimony shall be recorded and the means by which it is recorded.
(2) A person whose statement/testimony is recorded may procure a copy of the transcript by making a written request for a copy and paying the appropriate fees. Upon proper identification, any potential witness or his attorney has the right to inspect the official transcript of the witness' own statement or testimony.
(k) Sequestration. The DOE Official may sequester any person who furnishes documents or gives testimony. Unless permitted by the DOE Official, neither a witness nor his attorney shall be present during the examination of any other witnesses.
(l) Attorney. (1) Any person whose statement or testimony is taken may be accompanied, represented and advised by his attorney; provided that, if the witness claims a privilege to refuse to answer a question on the grounds of self-incrimination, the witness must assert the privilege personally.
(2) The DOE Official shall take all necessary action to regulate the course of testimony and to avoid delay and prevent or restrain contemptuous or obstructionist conduct or contemptuous language. The DOE Official may take actions as the circumstances may warrant in regard to any instances where any attorney refuses to comply with directions or provisions of this section.
§820.9 Special assistant.
A DOE Official may appoint a person to serve as a special assistant to assist the DOE Official in the conduct of any proceeding under this part. Such appointment may occur at any appropriate time. A special assistant shall be subject to the disqualification provisions in §820.5. A special assistant may perform those duties assigned by the DOE Official, including but not limited to, serving as technical interrogators, technical advisors and special master.
§820.10 Office of the docketing clerk.
(a) Docket. The Docketing Clerk shall maintain a docket for enforcement actions commencing with the issuance of a Preliminary Notice of Violation, interpretations issued pursuant to subpart D of this part, exemptions issued pursuant to subpart E of this part, and any other matters designated by the Secretary. A docket for an enforcement action shall contain all documents required to be filed in the proceeding.
(b) Public inspection. Subject to the provisions of law restricting the public disclosure of certain information, any person may, during Department business hours, inspect and copy any document filed with the Docketing Clerk. The cost of duplicating documents shall be borne by the person seeking copies of such documents. The DOE Official may waive this cost in appropriate cases.
(c) Transcript. Except as otherwise provided in this part, after the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation, all hearings, conferences, and other meetings in the enforcement process shall be transcribed verbatim. A copy of the transcript shall be filed with the Docketing Clerk promptly. The Docketing Clerk shall serve all participants with notice of the availability of the transcript and shall furnish the participants with a copy of the transcript upon payment of the cost of reproduction, unless a participant can show that the cost is unduly burdensome.
§820.11 Information requirements.
(a) Any information pertaining to a nuclear activity provided to DOE by any person or maintained by any person for inspection by DOE shall be complete and accurate in all material respects.
(b) No person involved in a DOE nuclear activity shall conceal or destroy any information concerning a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, a Nuclear Statute, or the Act.
§820.12 Classified, confidential, and controlled information
(a) General rule. The DOE Official in charge of a proceeding under this part may utilize any procedures deemed appropriate to safeguard and prevent disclosure of classified, confidential, and controlled information, including Restricted Data and National Security Information, to unauthorized persons, with minimum impairment of rights and obligations under this part.
(b) Obligation to protect restricted information. Nothing in this part shall relieve any person from safeguarding classified, confidential, and controlled information, including Restricted Data or National Security Information, in accordance with the applicable provisions of federal statutes and the rules, regulations, and orders of any federal agency.
§820.13 Direction to NNSA contractors.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, and pursuant to section 3213 of Pub. L. 106-65, as amended (codified at 50 U.S.C. 2403), the NNSA, rather than the Director, signs, issues and serves the following actions that direct NNSA contractors:
(2) Orders to compel attendance;
(3) Disclosures of information or documents obtained during an investigation or inspection;
(4) Preliminary notices of violations; and
(5) Final notices of violations.
(b) The NNSA Administrator shall act after consideration of the Director's recommendation.
[72 FR 31921, June 8, 2007]
§820.14 Whistleblower protection.
(a) Covered acts. An act of retaliation (as defined in 10 CFR 708.2) by a DOE contractor, prohibited by 10 CFR 708.43, that results from a DOE contractor employee's involvement in an activity listed in 10 CFR 708.5(a) through (c) may constitute a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement if it concerns nuclear safety.
(b) Commencement of investigation. The Director may not initiate an investigation or take any other action under this part with respect to an alleged act of retaliation by a DOE contractor until 180 days after an alleged violation of 10 CFR 708.43 occurs.
(c) Administrative or judicial proceedings. The Director shall immediately suspend any ongoing activities under this part and suspend any time limits under this part when an administrative or judicial proceeding commences based on the same alleged act of retaliation. While an administrative or judicial proceeding, including appeals, is pending, the Director may not exercise any authority under this part based on an alleged violation of 10 CFR 708.43, including issuing enforcement letters, subpoenas, orders to compel attendance, Consent Orders, Preliminary Notices of Violation, or Final Notices of Violation. Once such a proceeding commences, the Director shall not conduct any activities under this part until sixty days after a final decision of an agency or court finds that a retaliation occurred, or otherwise makes a final disposition of the matter on procedural grounds without explicitly finding that retaliation did not occur.
(d) Final decision. For the purposes of this section, a final decision of an agency or court includes any of the following:
(1) A final agency decision pursuant to 10 CFR part 708;
(2) A final decision or order of the Secretary of Labor pursuant to 29 CFR part 24;
(3) A decision by the Secretary upon a report by the Inspector General;
(4) A decision by a federal or state court.
(e) Evidentiary record. If a final decision of an agency or court finds that retaliation occurred, the Director may obtain and use information collected as part of those proceedings. The Director has discretion to give appropriate weight to information obtained from these proceedings and to initiate and conduct further investigation if the Director deems necessary, particularly with regard to the relationship between the retaliation and nuclear safety.
(f) Underlying nuclear safety requirements. Notwithstanding the commencement of an administrative or judicial proceeding based on an alleged act of retaliation, this section shall not prevent the Director from taking any action consistent with this part regarding compliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements other than 10 CFR 708.43.
[81 FR 94914, Dec. 27, 2016]
Subpart B—Enforcement Process
§820.20 Purpose and scope.
(a) Purpose. This subpart establishes the procedures for investigating the nature and extent of violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, for determining whether a violation of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has occurred, for imposing an appropriate remedy, and for adjudicating the assessment of a civil penalty.
(b) Basis for civil penalties. DOE may assess civil penalties against any person subject to the provisions of this part who has entered into an agreement of indemnification under 42 U.S.C. 2210(d) (or any subcontractor or supplier thereto), unless exempted from civil penalties as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, on the basis of a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement.
(c) Exemptions. With respect to a violation occurring under a contract entered into before August 8, 2005, the following contractors, and subcontractors and suppliers to that prime contract only, are exempt from the assessment of civil penalties under this subpart with respect to the activities specified below:
(1) The University of Chicago for activities associated with Argonne National Laboratory;
(2) The University of California for activities associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory;
(3) American Telephone and Telegraph Company and its subsidiaries for activities associated with Sandia National Laboratories;
(4) University Research Association, Inc. for activities associated with FERMI National Laboratory;
(5) Princeton University for activities associated with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory;
(6) The Associated Universities, Inc. for activities associated with the Brookhaven National Laboratory; and
(7) Battelle Memorial Institute for activities associated with Pacific Northwest Laboratory.
(d) Nonprofit educational institutions. With respect to a violation occurring under a contract entered into before August 8, 2005, any educational institution that is considered nonprofit under the United States Internal Revenue Code shall receive automatic remission of any civil penalty assessed under this part.
(e) Limitation for not-for-profits. With respect to any violation occurring under a contract entered into on or after August 8, 2005, in the case of any not-for-profit contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, the total amount of civil penalties paid under this part may not exceed the total amount of fees paid by DOE to that entity within the U.S. Government fiscal year in which the violation occurs.
(f) Not-for-profit. For purposes of this part, a “not-for-profit” contractor, subcontractor, or supplier is one for which no part of the net earnings of the contractor, subcontractor, or supplier inures to the benefit of any natural person or for-profit artificial person.
[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 74 FR 11843, Mar. 20, 2009; 81 FR 94914, Dec. 27, 2016]
(a) The Director may initiate and conduct investigations and inspections relating to the scope, nature and extent of compliance by a person with the Act and the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements and take such action as he deems necessary and appropriate to the conduct of the investigation or inspection, including any action pursuant to §820.8.
(b) Any person may request the Director to initiate an investigation or inspection pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section. A request for an investigation or inspection shall set forth the subject matter or activity to be investigated or inspected as fully as possible and include supporting documentation and information. No particular forms or procedures are required.
(c) Any person who is requested to furnish documentary evidence, information or testimony in an investigation or during an inspection shall be informed, upon written request, of the general purpose of the investigation or inspection.
(d) Information or documents that are obtained during any investigation or inspection shall not be disclosed unless the Director directs or authorizes the public disclosure of the investigation. Upon such authorization, the information or documents are a matter of public record and disclosure is not precluded by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and 10 CFR part 1004. A request for confidential treatment of information for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act shall not prevent disclosure by the Director if disclosure is determined to be in the public interest and otherwise permitted or required by law.
(e) During the course of an investigation or inspection any person may submit at any time any document, statement of facts or memorandum of law for the purpose of explaining the person's position or furnish information which the person considers relevant to a matter or activity under investigation or inspection.
(f) If facts disclosed by an investigation or inspection indicate that further action is unnecessary or unwarranted, the investigation may be closed without prejudice to further investigation or inspection by the Director at any time that circumstances so warrant.
(g) The Director may issue enforcement letters that communicate DOE's expectations with respect to any aspect of the requirements of DOE's Nuclear Safety Requirements, including identification and reporting of issues, corrective actions, and implementation of DOE's Nuclear Safety Requirements, provided that an enforcement letter may not create the basis for any legally enforceable requirement pursuant to this part.
(h) The Director may sign, issue and serve subpoenas.
[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 72 FR 31921, June 8, 2007]
§820.22 Informal conference.
The Director may convene an informal conference to discuss any situation that might be a violation of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, its significance and cause, any correction taken or not taken by the person, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and any other useful information. The Director may compel a person to attend the conference. This conference will not normally be open to the public and there shall be no transcript.
§820.23 Consent order.
(a) Settlement policy. DOE encourages settlement of an enforcement proceeding at any time if the settlement is consistent with the objectives of the Act and the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. The Director and a person may confer at any time concerning settlement. These settlement conferences shall not be open to the public and there shall be no transcript.
(b) Consent order. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, DOE may at any time resolve any or all issues in an outstanding enforcement proceeding with a Consent Order. A Consent Order must be signed by the Director and the person who is its subject, or a duly authorized representative, must indicate agreement to the terms contained therein and must be filed. A Consent Order need not constitute an admission by any person that the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement has been violated, nor need it constitute a finding by the DOE that such person has violated the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement. A Consent Order shall, however, set forth the relevant facts which form the basis for the Order and what remedy, if any, is imposed.
(c) Effect on enforcement adjudication. If a Consent Order is signed after the commencement of an enforcement adjudication, the adjudication of the issues subject to the Consent Order shall be stayed until the completion of the Secretarial Review Process. If the Consent Order becomes a Final Order, the adjudication shall be terminated or modified as specified in the Order.
(d) Secretarial review. A Consent Order shall become a Final Order 30 days after it is filed unless the Secretary files a rejection of the Consent Order or a Modified Consent Order. A Modified Consent Order shall become a Final Order if the Director and the person who is its subject sign it within 15 days of its filing.
§820.24 Preliminary notice of violation.
(a) If the Director has reason to believe a person has violated or is continuing to violate a provision of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, he may file a Preliminary Notice of Violation. The Notice and any transmittal documents shall contain sufficient information to fairly apprise the respondent of the facts and circumstances of the alleged violations and the basis of any proposed remedy, and to properly indicate what further actions are necessary by or available to respondent.
(b) Within 30 days after the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation, the respondent shall file a reply.
(c) The reply shall be in writing and signed by the person filing it. The reply shall contain a statement of all relevant facts pertaining to the situation that is the subject of the Notice. The reply shall state any facts, explanations and arguments which support a denial that a violation has occurred as alleged; demonstrate any extenuating circumstances or other reason why the proposed remedy should not be imposed or should be mitigated; and furnish full and complete answers to the questions set forth in the Notice. Copies of all relevant documents shall be submitted with the reply. The reply shall include a discussion of the relevant authorities which support the position asserted, including rulings, regulations, interpretations, and previous decisions issued by DOE.
(d) The respondent may terminate an enforcement action if the reply agrees to comply with the proposed remedy and waives any right to contest the Notice or the remedy. If a respondent elects this option, the Preliminary Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order upon the filing of the reply.
§820.25 Final notice of violation.
(a) General rule. If, after reviewing the reply submitted by the respondent, the Director determines that a person violated or is continuing to violate a provision of the Act or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, he may file a Final Notice of Violation. The Final Notice shall concisely state the determined violation, any designated penalty, and further actions necessary by or available to respondent.
(b) Effect of final notice. (1) If a Final Notice of Violation does not contain a civil penalty, it shall be deemed filed as a Final Order 15 days after the Final Notice is filed unless the Secretary files a Final Order which modifies the Final Notice.
(2) If a Final Notice of Violation contains a civil penalty, the respondent must file within 30 days after the filing of the Final Notice:
(i) A waiver of further proceedings;
(ii) A request for an on-the-record adjudication; or
(iii) A notice of intent to seek judicial review.
(c) Effect of waiver. If a respondent waives further proceedings, the Final Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order enforceable against the respondent. The respondent must pay any civil penalty set forth in the Notice of Violation within 60 days of the filing of waiver unless the Director grants additional time.
(d) Effect of request. If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication, then an enforcement adjudication commences.
(e) Effect of notice of intent. If a respondent files a Notice of Intent, the Final Notice of Violation shall be deemed a Final Order enforceable against the respondent.
(f) Amendment. The Director may amend the Final Notice of Violation at any time before an action takes place pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. An amendment shall add fifteen days to the time periods under paragraph (b) of this section.
(g) Withdrawal. The Director may withdraw the Final Notice of Violation, or any part thereof, at any time before an action under paragraph (b) of this section.
§820.26 Enforcement adjudication.
If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication, an enforcement adjudication is initiated and the Docketing Clerk shall notify the Secretary who shall appoint an Administrative Law Judge to be the Presiding Officer.
(a) General. If a respondent files a request for an on-the-record adjudication pursuant to §820.25, a written answer to the Final Notice of Violation shall be filed at the same time the request is filed.
(b) Contents of the answer. The answer shall clearly and directly admit, deny or explain each of the factual allegations contained in the Final Notice of Violation with regard to which respondent has any knowledge, information or belief. Where respondent has no knowledge, information or belief of a particular factual allegation and so states, the allegation is deemed denied. The answer shall also state the circumstance or argument that is alleged to constitute the grounds of defense and the facts that respondent intends to place at issue.
(c) Failure to admit, deny, or explain. Failure of respondent to admit, deny, or explain any material factual allegation contained in the Final Notice of Violation constitutes an admission of the allegation.
(d) Amendment of the answer. The respondent may amend the answer to the Final Notice of Violation upon motion granted by the Presiding Officer.
§820.28 Prehearing actions.
(a) General. The Presiding Officer shall establish a schedule for the adjudication and take such other actions as he determines appropriate to conduct the adjudication in a fair and expeditious manner.
(b) Prehearing conference. The Presiding Officer, at any time before a hearing begins, may direct the parties and their counsel, or other representatives, to appear at a conference before him to consider, as appropriate:
(1) The settlement of the case;
(2) The simplification of issues and stipulation of facts not in dispute;
(3) The necessity or desirability of amendments to pleadings;
(4) The exchange of exhibits;
(5) The limitation of the number of expert or other witnesses;
(6) Setting a time and place for the hearing; and
(7) Any other matters that may expedite the disposition of the proceeding.
(c) Exchange of witness lists and documents. Unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer, at least five (5) days before any prehearing conference, each party shall make available to all other parties, as appropriate, the names of the expert and other witnesses it intends to call, together with a brief narrative summary of their expected testimony, and copies of all documents and exhibits that each party intends to introduce into evidence. Documents and exhibits shall be marked for identification as ordered by the Presiding Officer. Documents that have not been exchanged and witnesses whose names have not been exchanged shall not be introduced into evidence or allowed to testify without permission of the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer shall allow the parties reasonable opportunity to review new evidence.
(d) Prehearing conference order. The Presiding Officer shall prepare an order incorporating any action taken at the conference. The summary shall incorporate any written stipulations or agreements of the parties and all rulings and appropriate orders containing directions to the parties.
(e) Alternative to prehearing conference. If a prehearing conference is unnecessary or impracticable, the Presiding Officer, on motion or sua sponte, may direct the parties to make appropriate filings with him to accomplish any of the objectives set forth in this section.
(f) Other discovery. (1) Except as provided by paragraph (c) of this section, further discovery under this section shall be permitted only upon determination by the Presiding Officer:
(i) That such discovery will not in any way unreasonably delay the proceeding;
(ii) That the information to be obtained is not otherwise obtainable; and
(iii) That such information has significant probative value.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall order depositions upon oral questions only upon a showing of good cause and upon a finding that:
(i) The information sought cannot be obtained by alternative methods; or
(ii) There is substantial reason to believe that relevant and probative evidence may otherwise not be preserved for presentation by a witness at the hearing.
(3) Any party to the proceeding desiring an order to take further discovery shall make a motion therefor. Such a motion shall set forth:
(i) The circumstances warranting the taking of the discovery;
(ii) The nature of the information expected to be discovered; and
(iii) The proposed time and place where it will be taken. If the Presiding Officer determines that the motion should be granted, he shall issue an order for the taking of such discovery together with the conditions and terms thereof.
(4) When the information sought to be obtained is within the control of one of the parties, failure to comply with an order issued pursuant to this paragraph may lead to the inference that the information to be discovered would be adverse to the party from whom the information was sought, or the issuance of a default order under 820.38.
(a) General. Except as otherwise provided by this part or the Presiding Officer, a hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Presiding Officer shall have the discretion to admit all evidence that is not irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious, or otherwise unreliable or of little probative value, if he believes the evidence might facilitate the fair and expeditious resolution of the proceeding. But such evidence may be reasonably limited by the Presiding Officer in scope and length in order to permit prompt resolution of the proceeding. In the presentation, admission, disposition, and use of evidence, the Presiding Officer shall preserve the confidentiality of trade secrets and other commercial and financial information, and shall protect classified and unclassified controlled nuclear information, as well as any other information protected from public disclosure pursuant to law or regulation. The confidential, trade secret, or classified or otherwise protected status of any information shall not, however, preclude its being introduced into evidence. The Presiding Officer may make such orders as may be necessary to consider such evidence in camera, including the preparation of a supplemental initial decision to address questions of law, fact, or discretion that arise out of that portion of the evidence that is confidential, includes trade secrets, is classified, or is otherwise protected.
(b) Subpoenas. The attendance of witnesses or the production of documentary evidence may be required by subpoena.
(c) Examination of witnesses. There shall be no direct oral testimony by witnesses, except as permitted by the Presiding Officer. In lieu of oral testimony, the Presiding Officer shall admit into the record as evidence verified written statements of fact or opinion prepared by a witness. The admissibility of the evidence contained in the statement shall be subject to the same rules as if the testimony were produced under oral examination. Before any such statement is read or admitted into evidence, the witness shall have delivered a copy of the statement to the Presiding Officer and the opposing counsel not less than 10 days prior to the date the witness is scheduled to testify. The witness presenting the statement shall swear or affirm that the statement is true and accurate to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief and shall be subject to appropriate oral cross-examination upon the contents thereof provided such cross-examination is not unduly repetitious.
(d) Burden of presentation; burden of persuasion. The Director has the burden of going forward with and of proving that the violation occurred as set forth in the Notice of Violation and that the proposed civil penalty is appropriate. Following the establishment of a prima facie case, respondent shall have the burden of presenting and of going forward with any defense to the allegations set forth in the Notice of Violation. Each matter of controversy shall be determined by the Presiding Officer upon a preponderance of the evidence.
§820.30 Post-hearing filings.
Within fifteen days after the filing of the transcript of the hearing, or within such longer time as may be fixed by the Presiding Officer, any party may file for the consideration of the Presiding Officer, proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a proposed order, together with briefs in support thereof. Reply briefs may be filed within ten days of the filing of briefs. All filings shall be in writing, shall be served upon all parties, and shall contain adequate references to the record and authorities relied on.
§820.31 Initial decision.
(a) Initial Decision. The Presiding Officer shall file an Initial Decision as soon as practicable after the period for filing reply briefs under 820.30 has expired. The Initial Decision shall contain findings of fact, conclusions regarding all material issues of law or discretion, as well as reasons therefor, any remedy and a proposed Final Order. A party may file comments on an Initial Decision within fifteen days of its filing.
(b) Amount of civil penalty. If the Presiding Officer determines that a violation has occurred and that a civil penalty is appropriate, the Initial Decision shall set forth the dollar amount of the civil penalty. If the Presiding Officer decides to assess a penalty different in amount from the penalty assessed in the Final Notice of Violation, the Initial Decision shall set forth the specific reasons for the increase or decrease.
§820.32 Final order.
(a) Effect of Initial Decision. The Initial Decision shall be deemed filed as a Final Order thirty days after the filing of the Initial Decision unless the Secretary files a Final Order that modifies the Initial Decision or the Secretary files a Notice of Review.
(b) Notice of review. If the Secretary files a Notice of Review, he shall file a Final Order as soon as practicable after completing his review. The Secretary may, at his discretion, order additional procedures, remand the matter or modify the remedy, including an increase or decrease in the amount of the civil penalty from the amount recommended to be assessed in the Initial Decision.
(c) Payment of a civil penalty. The respondent shall pay the full amount of any civil penalty assessed in the Final Order within thirty (30) days after the Final Order is filed unless otherwise agreed by the parties.
§820.33 Default order.
(a) Default. The Presiding Officer, upon motion by a party or the filing of a Notice of Intent to issue a Default Order sua sponte, may find a party to be in default if the party fails to comply with the provisions of this part or an order of the Presiding Officer. The alleged defaulting party shall have ten days to answer the motion or the Notice of Intent. No finding of default shall be made against the respondent unless the Director presents sufficient evidence to the Presiding Officer to establish a prima facie case against the respondent. Default by respondent constitutes, for purposes of the pending action only, an admission of all facts alleged in the Final Notice of Violation and a waiver of respondent's rights to an on-the-record adjudication of such factual allegations. Default by the Director shall result in an order to dismiss the Final Notice of Violation with prejudice.
(b) Effect of default order. When the Presiding Officer finds a default has occurred, he shall file a Default Order against the defaulting party. This order shall constitute an Initial Decision.
(c) Contents of a default order. A Default Order shall include findings of fact showing the grounds for the order, conclusions regarding all material issues of fact, law or discretion, and the remedy.
§820.34 Accelerated decision.
(a) General. The Presiding Officer, upon motion of any party or sua sponte, may at any time render an Accelerated Decision in favor of the Director or the respondent as to all or any part of the adjudication, without further hearing or upon such limited additional evidence, such as affidavits, as he may require, if no genuine issue of material fact exists and a party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, as to all or any part of the adjudication. In addition, the Presiding Officer, upon motion of the respondent, may render at any time an Accelerated Decision to dismiss an action without further hearing or upon such limited additional evidence as he requires, on the basis of failure to establish a prima facie case or other grounds that show no right to relief on the part of the Director.
(b) Effect of Accelerated Decision. (1) If an Accelerated Decision is rendered as to all the issues and claims in the adjudication, the decision constitutes an Initial Decision of the Presiding Officer, and shall be filed with the Docketing Clerk.
(2) If an Accelerated Decision is rendered on less than all issues or claims in the adjudication, the Presiding Officer shall determine what material facts exist without substantial controversy and what material facts remain controverted in good faith. He shall thereupon file an interlocutory order specifying the facts that appear substantially uncontroverted, and the issues and claims upon which the adjudication will proceed.
§820.35 Ex parte discussions.
At no time after a respondent has requested an on-the-record adjudication of the assessment of a civil penalty shall a DOE Official, or any person who is likely to advise a DOE Official in the decision on the case, discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with any interested person outside DOE, with any DOE staff member who performs a prosecutorial or investigative function in such proceeding or a factually related proceeding, or with any representative of such person. Any ex parte memorandum or other communication addressed to a DOE Official during the pendency of the proceeding and relating to the merits thereof, by or on behalf of any party shall be regarded as argument made in the proceeding and shall be served upon all other parties. Any oral communication shall be set forth in a written memorandum and served on all other parties. The other parties shall be given an opportunity to reply to such memorandum or communication.
§820.36 Filing, form, and service of documents.
(a) Filing in an enforcement proceeding. The original and three copies of any document in an enforcement proceeding shall be filed with the Docketing Clerk commencing with the filing of a Preliminary Notice of Violation.
(b) Form of documents in an enforcement proceeding. (1) Except as provided herein, or by order of the DOE Official, there are no specific requirements as to the form of documents filed in an enforcement proceeding.
(2) The first page of every document shall contain a caption identifying the respondent and the docket number.
(3) The original of any document (other than exhibits) shall be signed by the person filing it or by his counsel or other representative. The signature constitutes a representation by the signer that he has read the pleading, letter or other document, that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief, the statements made therein are true, and that it is not interposed for delay.
(4) The initial document filed by any person shall contain his name, address and telephone number. Any changes in this information shall be communicated promptly to the Docketing Clerk and all participants to the proceeding. A person who fails to furnish such information and any changes thereto shall be deemed to have waived his right to notice and service under this part.
(5) The Docketing Clerk may refuse to file any document that does not comply with this section. Written notice of such refusal, stating the reasons therefor, shall be promptly given to the person submitting the document. Such person may amend and resubmit any document refused for filing.
§820.37 Participation in an adjudication.
(a) Parties. In an enforcement adjudication, the Director and the respondent shall be the only parties; provided that the Presiding Officer may permit a person to intervene as a party if the person demonstrates it could be liable in the event a civil penalty is assessed.
(b) Appearances. Any party to an enforcement adjudication may appear in person or by counsel or other representative. A partner may appear on behalf of a partnership and an officer may appear on behalf of a corporation. Persons who appear as counsel or other representative must conform to the standards of conduct and ethics required of practitioners before the courts of the United States.
(c) Amicus Curiae. Persons not parties to an enforcement adjudication who wish to file briefs may so move. The motion shall identify the interest of the person and shall state the reasons why the proposed amicus brief is desirable. If the motion is granted, the Presiding Officer shall issue an order setting the time for filing such brief. An amicus curiae is eligible to participate in any briefing after his motion is granted, and shall be served with all briefs, reply briefs, motions, and orders relating to issues to be briefed.
§820.38 Consolidation and severance.
(a) Consolidation. The Presiding Officer may, by motion or sua sponte, consolidate any or all matters at issue in two or more enforcement adjudications under this part where there exists common parties or common questions of fact or law, consolidation would expedite and simplify consideration of the issues, and consolidation would not adversely affect the rights of parties engaged in otherwise separate adjudications.
(b) Severance. The Presiding Officer may, by motion or sua sponte, for good cause shown order any enforcement adjudication severed with respect to any or all parties or issues.
(a) General. All motions in an enforcement adjudication except those made orally, shall be in writing, state the grounds therefor with particularity, set forth the relief or order sought, and be accompanied by any affidavit, certificate, other evidence, or legal memorandum relied upon.
(b) Answer to motions. Except as otherwise specified by a particular provision of this part or by the Presiding Officer, a party shall have the right to file a written answer to the motion of another party within 10 days after the filing of such motion. The answer shall be accompanied by any affidavit, certificate, other evidence, or legal memorandum relied upon. If no answer is filed within the designated period, the party may be deemed to have waived any objection to the granting of the motion. The Presiding Officer may set a shorter or longer time for an answer, or make such other orders concerning the disposition of motions as he deems appropriate.
(c) Decision. The Presiding Officer shall rule on a motion as soon as practicable after the filing of the answer. The decision of the Presiding Officer on any motion shall not be subject to administrative appeal.
Subpart C—Compliance Orders
§820.40 Purpose and scope.
This subpart provides for the issuance of Compliance Orders to prevent, rectify or penalize violations of the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement and to require action consistent with the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement.
§820.41 Compliance order.
The Secretary may issue to any person involved in a DOE nuclear activity a Compliance Order that:
(a) Identifies a situation that violates, potentially violates, or otherwise is inconsistent with the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement;
(b) Mandates a remedy or other action; and,
(c) States the reasons for the remedy or other action.
§820.42 Final order.
A Compliance Order is a Final Order that constitutes a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement that is effective immediately unless the Order specifies a different effective date.
Within fifteen days of the issuance of a Compliance Order, the recipient of the Order may request the Secretary to rescind or modify the Order. A request shall not stay the effectiveness of a Compliance Order unless the Secretary issues an order to that effect.
§820.50 Purpose and scope.
This subpart provides for interpretations of the Act, Nuclear Statutes, and DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. Any written or oral response to any written or oral question which is not provided pursuant to this subpart does not constitute an interpretation and does not provide any basis for action inconsistent with the Act, a Nuclear Statute, or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement.
§820.51 General Counsel.
The General Counsel shall be the DOE Official responsible for formulating and issuing any interpretation concerning the Act, a Nuclear Statute or a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement.
The General Counsel may utilize any procedure which he deems appropriate to comply with his responsibilities under this subpart. All interpretations issued under this subpart must be filed with the Office of the Docketing Clerk which shall maintain a docket for interpretations.
Subpart E—Exemption Relief
§820.60 Purpose and scope.
This subpart provides for exemption relief from provisions of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements at nuclear facilities.
§820.61 Secretarial officer.
The Secretarial Officer who is primarily responsible for the activity to which a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement relates may grant a temporary or permanent exemption from that requirement as requested by any person subject to its provisions; provided that, the Secretarial Officer responsible for environment, safety and health matters shall exercise this authority with respect to provisions relating to radiological protection of workers, the public and the environment. This authority may not be further delegated.
The criteria for granting an exemption to a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement are determinations that the exemption:
(a) Would be authorized by law;
(b) Would not present an undue risk to public health and safety, the environment, or facility workers;
(c) Would be consistent with the safe operation of a DOE nuclear facility; and
(d) Involves special circumstances, including the following:
(1) Application of the requirement in the particular circumstances conflicts with other requirements; or
(2) Application of the requirement in the particular circumstances would not serve or is not necessary to achieve its underlying purpose, or would result in resource impacts which are not justified by the safety improvements; or
(3) Application of the requirement would result in a situation significantly different than that contemplated when the requirement was adopted, or that is significantly different from that encountered by others similarly situated; or
(4) The exemption would result in benefit to human health and safety that compensates for any detriment that may result from the grant of the exemption; or
(5) Circumstances exist which would justify temporary relief from application of the requirement while taking good faith action to achieve compliance; or
(6) There is present any other material circumstance not considered when the requirement was adopted for which it would be in the public interest to grant an exemption.
The Secretarial Officer shall utilize any procedures deemed necessary and appropriate to comply with his responsibilities under this subpart. All exemption decisions must set forth in writing the reasons for granting or denying the exemption, and if granted, the basis for the determination that the criteria in §820.62 have been met and the terms of the exemption. All exemption decisions must be filed with the Office of the Docketing Clerk which shall maintain a docket for exemption decisions issued pursuant to this subpart.
§820.64 Terms and conditions.
An exemption may contain appropriate terms and conditions including, but not limited to, provisions that :
(a) Limit its duration;
(b) Require alternative action;
(c) Require partial compliance; or
(d) Establish a schedule for full or partial compliance.
§820.65 Implementation plan.
With respect to a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement for which there is no regulatory provision for an implementation plan or schedule, an exemption may be granted to establish an implementation plan which reasonably demonstrates that full compliance with the requirement will be achieved within two years of the effective date of the requirement without a determination of special circumstances under §820.62(d).
Within fifteen (15) days of the filing of an exemption decision by a Secretarial Officer, the person requesting the exemption may file a Request to Review with the Secretary, or the Secretary may file, sua sponte, a Notice of Review. The Request to Review shall state specifically the respects in which the exemption determination is claimed to be erroneous, the grounds of the request, and the relief requested.
§820.67 Final order.
If no filing is made under §820.66, an exemption decision becomes a Final Order fifteen (15) days after it is filed by a Secretarial Officer. If filing is made under §820.66, an exemption decision becomes a Final Order 45 days after it is filed by a Secretarial Officer, unless the Secretary stays the effective date or issues a Final Order that modifies the decision.
Subpart F—Criminal Penalties
§820.70 Purpose and scope.
This subpart provides for the identification of criminal violations of the Act or DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements and the referral of such violations to the Department of Justice.
If a person subject to the Act or the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has, by act or omission, knowingly and willfully violated, caused to be violated, attempted to violate, or conspired to violate any section of the Act or any applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, the person shall be subject to criminal sanctions under the Act.
§820.72 Referral to the Attorney General.
If there is reason to believe a criminal violation of the Act or the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has occurred, DOE may refer the matter to the Attorney General of the United States for investigation or prosecution.
Subpart G—Civil Penalties
Source: 62 FR 46184, Sept. 2, 1997, unless otherwise noted.
§820.80 Basis and purpose.
This subpart implements the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Act) (Pub. L. 101-410), as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-134, section 31001) and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-74, section 701). 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. As amended, the Act requires each agency head to adjust by regulation each civil monetary penalty provided by law within the jurisdiction of the Federal agency by the inflation adjustment specified in 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. This subpart increases the civil penalty amount specified in 42 U.S.C. 2282a.
[62 FR 46184, Sept. 2, 1997, as amended at 81 FR 41794, June 28, 2016]
§820.81 Amount of penalty.
Any person subject to a penalty under 42 U.S.C. 2282a shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $214,097 for each such violation. If any violation under 42 U.S.C. 2282a is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation for the purpose of computing the applicable civil penalty.
[62 FR 46184, Sept. 2, 1997, as amended at 74 FR 66033, Dec. 14, 2009; 79 FR 19, Jan. 2, 2014; 81 FR 41794, June 28, 2016; 81 FR 96352, Dec. 30, 2016; 83 FR 1292, Jan. 11, 2018; 83 FR 66083, Dec. 26, 2018; 85 FR 830, Jan. 8, 2020]
Appendix A to Part 820—General Statement of Enforcement Policy
(a) This policy statement sets forth the general framework through which the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will seek to ensure compliance with its enforceable nuclear safety regulations and orders (hereafter collectively referred to as DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements) and, in particular, exercise the civil penalty authority provided to DOE in the Price Anderson Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. 2282a (PAAA). The policy set forth herein is applicable to violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements by DOE contractors who are indemnified under the Price Anderson Act, 42 U.S.C. 2210(d), and their subcontractors and suppliers (hereafter collectively referred to as DOE contractors). This policy statement is not a regulation and is intended only to provide general guidance to those persons subject to DOE's Nuclear Safety Requirements as specified in the PAAA. It is not intended to establish a “cookbook” approach to the initiation and resolution of situations involving noncompliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. Rather, DOE intends to consider the particular facts of each noncompliance situation in determining whether enforcement sanctions are appropriate and, if so, the appropriate magnitude of those sanctions. DOE may well deviate from this policy statement when appropriate in the circumstances of particular cases. This policy statement is not applicable to activities and facilities covered under E.O. 12344, 42 U.S.C. 7158 note, pertaining to Naval nuclear propulsion.
(b) Both the Department of Energy Organization Act, 42 U.S.C. 7101, and the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2011, require DOE to protect the public health and safety, as well as the safety of workers at DOE facilities, in conducting its nuclear activities, and grant DOE broad authority to achieve this goal.
(c) The DOE goal in the compliance arena is to enhance and protect the radiological health and safety of the public and worker at DOE facilities by fostering a culture among both the DOE line organizations and the contractors that activity seeks to attain and sustain compliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. The enforcement program and policy have been developed with the express purpose of achieving safety inquisitiveness and voluntary compliance. DOE will establish effective administrative processes and positive incentives to the contractors for the open and prompt identification and reporting of noncompliances, and the initiation of comprehensive corrective actions to resolve both the noncompliance conditions and the program or process deficiencies that led to noncompliance.
(d) In the development of the DOE enforcement policy, DOE recognizes that the reasonable exercise of its enforcement authority can help to reduce the likelihood of serious incidents. This can be accomplished by providing greater emphasis on a culture of safety in existing DOE operations, and strong incentives for contractors to identify and correct noncompliance conditions and processes in order to protect human health and the environment. DOE wants to facilitate, encourage, and support contractor initiatives for the prompt identification and correction of problems. These initiatives and activities will be duly considered in exercising enforcement discretion.
(e) The PAAA provides DOE with the authority to compromise, modify, or remit civil penalties with or without conditions. In implementing the PAAA, DOE will carefully consider the facts of each case of noncompliance and will exercise appropriate discretion in taking any enforcement action. Part of the function of a sound enforcement program is to assure a proper and continuing level of safety vigilance. The reasonable exercise of enforcement authority will be facilitated by the appropriate application of safety requirements to nuclear facilities and by promoting and coordinating the proper contractor and DOE safety compliance attitude toward those requirements.
The purpose of the DOE enforcement program is to promote and protect the radiological health and safety of the public and workers at DOE facilities by:
a. Ensuring compliance by DOE contractors with applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements.
b. Providing positive incentives for a DOE contractor's:
(1) Timely self-identification of nuclear safety deficiencies,
(2) Prompt and complete reporting of such deficiencies to DOE,
(3) Root cause analyses of nuclear safety deficiencies,
(4) Prompt correction of nuclear safety deficiencies in a manner which precludes recurrence, and
(5) Identification of modifications in practices or facilities that can improve public or worker radiological health and safety.
c. Deterring future violations of DOE requirements by a DOE contractor.
d. Encouraging the continuous overall improvement of operations at DOE nuclear facilities.
III. Statutory Authority
Section 17 of the PAAA makes most DOE contractors covered by the DOE Price-Anderson indemnification system, and their subcontractors and suppliers, subject to civil penalties for violations of applicable DOE nuclear safety rules, regulations and orders. 42 U.S.C. 2282a. Furthermore, section 18 of the PAAA makes all employees of DOE contractors, and their subcontractors and suppliers, subject to criminal penalties, including monetary penalties and imprisonment, for knowing and willful violations of applicable DOE nuclear safety rules, regulations and orders. 42 U.S.C. 2273(c). Suspected, or alleged, criminal violations are referred to the Department of Justice for appropriate action. 42 U.S.C. 2271. Therefore, DOE's enforcement authority and policy will apply only to civil penalties since decisions on criminal violations are the responsibility of the Department of Justice. However, referral of a case to the Department of Justice does not preclude DOE from taking civil enforcement action in accordance with this policy statement. Such actions will be coordinated with the Department of Justice to the extent practicable.
(a) The Director, as the principal enforcement officer of DOE, has been delegated the authority to:
(1) Conduct enforcement inspections, investigations, and conferences;
(2) Issue Notices of Violations and proposed civil penalties, Enforcement Letters, Consent Orders, and subpoenas; and
(3) Issue orders to compel attendance and disclosure of information or documents obtained during an investigation or inspection.
(b) The NNSA Administrator, pursuant to section 3212 (b)(9) of Public Law 106-65 (codified at 50 U.S.C. 2402 (b)(9)), as amended, has authority over and responsibility for environment, safety and health operations within NNSA and is authorized to sign, issue and serve the following actions that direct NNSA contractors:
(2) Orders to compel attendance;
(3) Disclosure of information or documents obtained during an investigation or inspection;
(4) Preliminary Notices of Violations; and
(5) Final Notices of Violations.
The NNSA Administrator acts after consideration of the Director's recommendation.
V. Procedural Framework
(a) 10 CFR part 820 sets forth the procedures DOE will use in exercising its enforcement authority, including the issuance of Notices of Violation and the resolution of contested enforcement actions in the event a DOE contractor elects to litigate contested issues before an Administrative Law Judge.
(b) Pursuant to 10 CFR 820.22, the Director initiates the civil penalty process by issuing a Preliminary Notice of Violation and Proposed Civil Penalty (PNOV). The DOE contractor is required to respond in writing to the PNOV, either admitting the violation and waiving its right to contest the proposed civil penalty and paying it, admitting the violation but asserting the existence of mitigating circumstances that warrant either the total or partial remission of the civil penalty, or denying that the violation has occurred and providing the basis for its belief that the PNOV is incorrect. After evaluation of the DOE contractor's response, the Director of Enforcement may determine that no violation has occurred, that the violation occurred as alleged in the PNOV but that the proposed civil penalty should be remitted in whole or in part, or that the violation occurred as alleged in the PNOV and that the proposed civil penalty is appropriate notwithstanding the asserted mitigating circumstances. In the latter two instances, the Director will issue a Final Notice of Violation (FNOV) or an FNOV and Proposed Civil Penalty.
(c) An opportunity to challenge a proposed civil penalty either before an Administrative Law Judge or in a United States District Court is provided in the PAAA, 42 U.S.C. 2282a(c), and 10 CFR part 820 sets forth the procedures associated with an administrative hearing, should the contractor opt for that method of challenging the proposed civil penalty. A formal administrative enforcement proceeding pursuant to section 554 of the Administrative Procedures Act is not initiated until the DOE contractor against which a civil penalty has been proposed requests an administrative hearing rather than waiving its right to contest the civil penalty and paying it. However, it should be emphasized that DOE encourages the voluntary resolution of a noncompliance situation at any time, either informally prior to the initiation of an administrative proceeding or by consent order after a formal proceeding has begun.
VI. Severity of Violations
(a) Violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements have varying degrees of safety significance. Therefore, the relative importance of each violation must be identified as the first step in the enforcement process. Violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements are categorized in three levels of severity to identify their relative safety significance, and Notices of Violation are issued for noncompliance which, when appropriate, propose civil penalties commensurate with the severity level of the violation(s) involved.
(b) Severity Level I has been assigned to violations that are the most significant and Severity Level III violations are the least significant. Severity Level I is reserved for violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements which involve actual or high potential for adverse impact on the safety of the public or workers at DOE facilities. Severity level II violations represent a significant lack of attention or carelessness toward responsibilities of DOE contractors for the protection of public or worker safety which could, if uncorrected, potentially lead to an adverse impact on public or worker safety at DOE facilities. Severity Level III violations are less serious but are of more than minor concern: i.e., if left uncorrected, they could lead to a more serious concern. In some cases, violations may be evaluated in the aggregate and a single severity level assigned for a group of violations.
(c) Isolated minor violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements will not be the subject of formal enforcement action through the issuance of a Notice of Violation. However, these minor violations will be identified as noncompliances and tracked to assure that appropriate corrective/remedial action is taken to prevent their recurrence, and evaluated to determine if generic or specific problems exist. If circumstances demonstrate that a number of related minor noncompliances have occurred in the same time frame (e.g. all identified during the same assessment), or that related minor noncompliances have recurred despite prior notice to the DOE contractor and sufficient opportunity to correct the problem, DOE may choose in its discretion to consider the noncompliances in the aggregate as a more serious violation warranting a Severity Level III designation, a Notice of Violation and a possible civil penalty.
(d) The severity level of a violation will be dependent, in part, on the degree of culpability of the DOE contractor with regard to the violation. Thus, inadvertent or negligent violations will be viewed differently than those in which there is gross negligence, deception or wilfulness. In addition to the significance of the underlying violation and level of culpability involved, DOE will also consider the position, training and experience of the person involved in the violation. Thus, for example, a violation may be deemed to be more significant if a senior manager of an organization is involved rather than a foreman or non-supervisory employee. In this regard, while management involvement, direct or indirect, in a violation may lead to an increase in the severity level of a violation and proposed civil penalty, the lack of such involvement will not constitute grounds to reduce the severity level of a violation or mitigate a civil penalty. Allowance of mitigation in such circumstances could encourage lack of management involvement in DOE contractor activities and a decrease in protection of public and worker health and safety.
(e) Other factors which will be considered by DOE in determining the appropriate severity level of a violation are the duration of the violation, the past performance of the DOE contractor in the particular activity area involved, whether the DOE contractor had prior notice of a potential problem, and whether there are multiple examples of the violation in the same time frame rather than an isolated occurrence. The relative weight given to each of these factors in arriving at the appropriate severity level will be dependent on the circumstances of each case.
(f) DOE expects contractors to provide full, complete, timely, and accurate information and reports. Accordingly, the severity level of a violation involving either failure to make a required report or notification to the DOE or an untimely report or notification, will be based upon the significance of, and the circumstances surrounding, the matter that should have been reported. A contractor will not normally be cited for a failure to report a condition or event unless the contractor was actually aware, or should have been aware of the condition or event which it failed to report.
VII. Enforcement Conferences
(a) Should DOE determine, after completion of all assessment and investigation activities associated with a potential or alleged violation of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a violation has actually occurred, and the violation may warrant a civil penalty or issuance of an enforcement order, DOE will normally hold an enforcement conference with the DOE contractor involved prior to taking enforcement action. DOE may also elect to hold an enforcement conference for potential violations which would not ordinarily warrant a civil penalty or enforcement order but which could, if repeated, lead to such action. The purpose of the enforcement conference is to assure the accuracy of the facts upon which the preliminary determination to consider enforcement action is based, discuss the potential or alleged violations, their significance and causes, and the nature of and schedule for the DOE contractor's corrective actions, determine whether there are any aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and obtain other information which will help determine the appropriate enforcement action.
(b) DOE contractors will be informed prior to a meeting when that meeting is considered to be an enforcement conference. Such conferences are informal mechanisms for candid pre-decisional discussions regarding potential or alleged violations and will not normally be open to the public. In circumstances for which immediate enforcement action is necessary in the interest of public or worker health and safety, such action will be taken prior to the enforcement conference, which may still be held after the necessary DOE action has been taken.
VIII. Enforcement Letter
(a) In cases where DOE has decided not to conduct an investigation or inspection or issue a Preliminary Notice of Violation(PNOV), DOE may send an Enforcement Letter to the contractor, signed by the Director. Enforcement Letters issued to NNSA contractors will be coordinated with the Principal Deputy Administrator of the NNSAprior to issuance. The Enforcement Letter isintended to communicate the basis of the decision not to pursue enforcement action for a noncompliance. The Enforcement Letter isintended to inform contractors of the desired level of nuclear safety performance. It may be used when DOE concludes the specific noncompliance at issue is not of the level of significance warranted to conduct an investigation or inspection or for issuance of a PNOV. Even where a noncompliance may be significant, the Enforcement Letter recognizes that the contractor's actions may have attenuated the need for enforcement action. The Enforcement Letter will typically recognize how the contractor handled the circumstances surrounding the noncompliance, address additional areas requiring the contractor's attention, and address DOE's expectations for corrective action.
(b) In general, Enforcement Letters communicate DOE's expectations with respect to any aspect of the requirements contained in the Department's nuclear safety rules, including identification and reporting of issues, corrective actions, and implementation of the contractor's nuclear safety program. DOE might, for example, wish to recognize some action of the contractor that is of particular benefit to nuclear safety performance that is a candidate for emulation by other contractors. On the other hand, DOE may wish to bring a program shortcoming to the attention of the contractor that, but for the lack of nuclear safety significance of the immediate issue, might have resulted in the issuance of a PNOV. An Enforcement Letter is not an enforcement action.
(c) With respect to many noncompliances, DOE may decide not to send an Enforcement Letter. When DOE decides that a contractor has appropriately corrected a noncompliance or that the significance of the noncompliance is sufficiently low, it may close out its review simply through an annotation in the DOE Noncompliance Tracking System (NTS). A closeout of a noncompliance with or without an Enforcement Letter may only take place after DOE has confirmed that corrective actions have been completed. Closeout of any NNSA contractor noncompliance will be coordinated with NNSA prior to closeout.
IX. Enforcement Actions
a. This section describes the enforcement sanctions available to DOE and specifies the conditions under which each may be used. The basic sanctions are Notices of Violation and civil penalties. In determining whether to impose enforcement sanctions, DOE will consider enforcement actions taken by other Federal or State regulatory bodies having concurrent jurisdiction, e.g., instances which involve NRC licensed entities which are also DOE contractors, and in which the NRC exercises its own enforcement authority.
b. The nature and extent of the enforcement action is intended to reflect the seriousness of the violation involved. For the vast majority of violations for which DOE assigns severity levels as described previously, a Notice of Violation will be issued, requiring a formal response from the recipient describing the nature of and schedule for corrective actions it intends to take regarding the violation. Administrative actions, such as determination of award fees where DOE contracts provide for such determinations, will be considered separately from any civil penalties that may be imposed under this Enforcement Policy. Likewise, imposition of a civil penalty will be based on the circumstances of each case, unaffected by any award fee determination.
1. Notice of Violation
a. A Notice of Violation (either a Preliminary or Final Notice) is a document setting forth the conclusion of the DOE Office of Nuclear Safety and Environment that one or more violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements has occurred. Such a notice normally requires the recipient to provide a written response which may take one of several positions described in Section V of this policy statement. In the event that the recipient concedes the occurrence of the violation, it is required to describe corrective steps which have been taken and the results achieved; remedial actions which will be taken to prevent recurrence; and the date by which full compliance will be achieved.
b. DOE will use the Notice of Violation as the standard method for formalizing the existence of a violation and, in appropriate cases as described in this section, the notice of violation will be issued in conjunction with the proposed imposition of a civil penalty. In certain limited instances, as described in this section, DOE may refrain from the issuance of an otherwise appropriate Notice of Violation. However, a Notice of Violation will virtually always be issued for willful violations, if past corrective actions for similar violations have not been sufficient to prevent recurrence and there are no other mitigating circumstances, or if the circumstances otherwise warrant increasing Severity Level III violations to a higher severity level.
c. DOE contractors are not ordinarily cited for violations resulting from matters not within their control, such as equipment failures that were not avoidable by reasonable quality assurance measures, proper maintenance, or management controls. With regard to the issue of funding, however, DOE does not consider an asserted lack of funding to be a justification for noncompliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements.
Should a contractor believe that a shortage of funding precludes it from achieving compliance with one or more DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, it must pursue one of two alternative courses of action. First, it may request, in writing, an exemption from the requirement(s) in question from the appropriate Secretarial Officer (SO), explicitly addressing the criteria for exemptions set forth in 10 CFR 820.62. A justification for continued operation for the period during which the exemption request is being considered should also be submitted. In such a case, the SO must grant or deny the request in writing, explaining the rationale for the decision. Second, if the criteria for approval of an exemption cannot be demonstrated, the contractor, in conjunction with the SO, must take appropriate steps to modify, curtail, suspend or cease the activities which cannot be conducted in compliance with the DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement(s) in question.
d. DOE expects the contractors which operate its facilities to have the proper management and supervisory systems in place to assure that all activities at DOE facilities, regardless of who performs them, are carried out in compliance with all DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. Therefore, contractors are normally held responsible for the acts of their employees and subcontractor employees in the conduct of activities at DOE facilities. Accordingly, this policy should not be construed to excuse personnel errors.
e. Finally, certain contractors are explicitly exempted from the imposition of civil penalties pursuant to the provisions of the PAAA, 42 U.S.C. 2282a(d), for activities conducted at specified facilities. See 10 CFR 820.20(c). In addition, in fairness to non-profit educational institutions, the Department has determined that they should be likewise exempted. See 10 CFR 820.20(d). However, compliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements is no less important for these facilities than for other facilities in the DOE complex which work with, store or dispose of radioactive materials. Indeed, the exempted contractors conduct some of the most important nuclear-related research and development activities performed for the Department. Therefore, in order to serve the purposes of this enforcement policy and to emphasize the importance the Department places on compliance with all of its nuclear safety requirements, DOE intends to issue Notices of Violation to the exempted contractors and non-profit educational institutions when appropriate under this policy statement, notwithstanding the statutory and regulatory exemptions from the imposition of civil penalties.
2. Civil Penalty
a. A civil penalty is a monetary penalty that may be imposed for violations of applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, including Compliance Orders. See 10 CFR 820.20(b). Civil penalties are designed to emphasize the need for lasting remedial action, deter future violations, and underscore the importance of DOE contractor self-identification, reporting and correction of violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements.
b. Absent mitigating circumstances as described below, or circumstances otherwise warranting the exercise of enforcement discretion by DOE as described in this section, civil penalties will be proposed for Severity Level I and II violations. Civil penalties will be proposed for Severity Level III violations which are similar to previous violations for which the contractor did not take effective corrective action. “Similar” violations are those which could reasonably have been expected to have been prevented by corrective action for the previous violation. DOE normally considers civil penalties only for similar Severity Level III violations that occur over a reasonable period of time to be determined at the discretion of DOE.
c. DOE will impose different base level civil penalties considering the severity level of the violation(s) by Price-Anderson indemnified contractors. Table 1 shows the daily base civil penalties for the various categories of severity levels. However, as described above in Section IV, the imposition of civil penalties will also take into account the gravity, circumstances, and extent of the violation or violations and, with respect to the violator, any history of prior similar violations and the degree of culpability and knowledge.
d. Regarding the factor of ability of DOE contractors to pay the civil penalties, it is not DOE's intention that the economic impact of a civil penalty be such that it puts a DOE contractor out of business. Contract termination, rather than civil penalties, is used when the intent is to terminate these activities. The deterrent effect of civil penalties is best served when the amount of such penalties takes this factor into account. However, DOE will evaluate the relationship of affiliated entities to the contractor (such as parent corporations) when it asserts that it cannot pay the proposed penalty.
e. DOE will review each case involving a proposed civil penalty on its own merits and adjust the base civil penalty values upward or downward appropriately. As indicated above, Table 1 identifies the daily base civil penalty values for different severity levels. After considering all relevant circumstances, civil penalties may be escalated or mitigated based upon the adjustment factors described below in this section. In no instance will a civil penalty for any one violation exceed the statutory limit, as periodically adjusted for inflation as required by law. However, it should be emphasized that if the DOE contractor is or should have been aware of a violation and has not reported it to DOE and taken corrective action despite an opportunity to do so, each day the condition existed may be considered as a separate violation and, as such, subject to a separate civil penalty. Further, as described in this section, the duration of a violation will be taken into account in determining the appropriate severity level of the base civil penalty.
Table 1—Severity Level Base Civil Penalties
|Severity level||Base civil penalty amount (percentage of maximum civil penalty per violation per day)|
3. Adjustment Factors
a. DOE's enforcement program is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve compliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements, and civil penalties are not collected to swell the coffers of the United States Treasury, but to emphasize the importance of compliance and to deter future violations. The single most important goal of the DOE enforcement program is to encourage early identification and reporting of nuclear safety deficiencies and violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements by the DOE contractors themselves rather than by DOE, and the prompt correction of any deficiencies and violations so identified. DOE believes that DOE contractors are in the best position to identify and promptly correct noncompliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. DOE expects that these contractors should have in place internal compliance programs which will ensure the detection, reporting and prompt correction of nuclear safety-related problems that may constitute, or lead to, violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements before, rather than after, DOE has identified such violations. Thus, DOE contractors will almost always be aware of nuclear safety problems before they are discovered by DOE. Obviously, public and worker health and safety is enhanced if deficiencies are discovered (and promptly corrected) by the DOE contractor, rather than by DOE, which may not otherwise become aware of a deficiency until later on, during the course of an inspection, performance assessment, or following an incident at the facility. Early identification of nuclear safety-related problems by DOE contractors has the added benefit of allowing information which could prevent such problems at other facilities in the DOE complex to be shared with all appropriate DOE contractors.
b. Pursuant to this enforcement philosophy, DOE will provide substantial incentive for the early self-identification, reporting and prompt correction of problems which constitute, or could lead to, violations of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. Thus, application of the adjustment factors set forth below may result in no civil penalty being assessed for violations that are identified, reported, and promptly and effectively corrected by the DOE contractor.
c. On the other hand, ineffective programs for problem identification and correction are unacceptable. Thus, for example, where a contractor fails to disclose and promptly correct violations of which it was aware or should have been aware, substantial civil penalties are warranted and may be sought, including the assessment of civil penalties for continuing violations on a per day basis.
d. Further, in cases involving willfulness, flagrant DOE-identified violations, repeated poor performance in an area of concern, or serious breakdown in management controls, DOE intends to apply its full statutory enforcement authority where such action is warranted.
4. Identification and Reporting
Reduction of up to 50% of the base civil penalty shown in Table 1 may be given when a DOE contractor identifies the violation and promptly reports the violation to the DOE. In weighing this factor, consideration will be given to, among other things, the opportunity available to discover the violation, the ease of discovery and the promptness and completeness of any required report. No consideration will be given to a reduction in penalty if the DOE contractor does not take prompt action to report the problem to DOE upon discovery, or if the immediate actions necessary to restore compliance with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements or place the facility or operation in a safe configuration are not taken.
5. Self-Identification and Tracking Systems
a. DOE strongly encourages contractors to self-identify noncompliances with DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements before the noncompliances lead to a string of similar and potentially more significant events or consequences. When a contractor identifies a noncompliance through its own self-monitoring activity, DOE will normally allow a reduction in the amount of civil penalties, regardless of whether prior opportunities existed for contractors to identify the noncompliance. DOE will normally not allow a reduction in civil penalties for self-identification if significant DOE intervention was required to induce the contractor to report a noncompliance.
b. Self-identification of a noncompliance is possibly the single most important factor in considering a reduction in the civil penalty amount. Consideration of self-identification is linked to, among other things, whether prior opportunities existed to discover the violation, and if so, the age and number of such opportunities; the extent to which proper contractor controls should have identified or prevented the violation; whether discovery of the violation resulted from a contractor's self-monitoring activity; the extent of DOE involvement in discovering the violation or in prompting the contractor to identify the violation; and the promptness and completeness of any required report. Self-identification is also considered by DOE in deciding whether to pursue an investigation.
c. DOE has established a voluntary Noncompliance Tracking System (NTS) which allows contractors to elect to report noncompliances. In the guidance document supporting the NTS (DOE-HDBK-1089-95), DOE has established reporting thresholds for reporting items of noncompliance of potentially greater safety significance into the NTS. Contractors may, however, use their own self-tracking systems to track noncompliances below the reporting threshold. This self-tracking is considered to be acceptable self-reporting as long as DOE has access to the contractor's system and the contractor's system notes the item as a noncompliance with a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement. For noncompliances that are below the reportability thresholds, DOE will credit contractor self-tracking as representing self-reporting. If an item is not reported in NTS but only tracked in the contractor's system and DOE subsequently finds the facts and their safety significance have been significantly mischaracterized, DOE will not credit the internal tracking as representing appropriate self-reporting.
6. Self-Disclosing Events
a. DOE expects contractors to demonstrate acceptance of responsibility for safety of the public, workers, and the environment and to proactively identify noncompliance conditions in their programs and processes. In deciding whether to reduce any civil penalty proposed for violations revealed by the occurrence of a self-disclosing event, DOE will consider the ease with which a contractor could have discovered the noncompliance and the prior opportunities that existed to discover the noncompliance. When the occurrence of an event discloses noncompliances that the contractor could have or should have identified before the event, DOE will not generally allow a reduction in civil penalties for self-identification, even if the underlying noncompliances were reported to DOE. If a contractor simply reacts to events that disclose potentially significant consequences or downplays noncompliances which did not result in significant consequences to workers, the public, and the environment, such contractor actions do not lead to the improvement in nuclear safety contemplated by the Act.
b. The key test is whether the contractor reasonably could have detected any of the underlying noncompliances that contributed to the event. Examples of events that provide opportunities to identify noncompliances include, but are not limited to:
(1) prior notifications of potential problems such as those from DOE operational experience publications or vendor equipment deficiency reports;
(2) normal surveillance, quality assurance assessments, and post-maintenance testing;
(3) readily observable parameter trends; and
(4) contractor employee or DOE observations of potential safety problems. Failure to utilize these types of events and activities to address noncompliances may result in higher civil penalty assessments or a DOE decision not to reduce civil penalty amounts.
c. For example, a critique of the event might find that one of the root causes was a lack of clarity in a Radiation Work Permit (RWP) which led to improper use of anti-contamination clothing and resulting uptake of contamination by the individual. DOE could subsequently conclude that no reduction in civil penalties for self-identification should be allowed since the event itself disclosed the inadequate RWP and the contractor could have, through proper independent assessment or by fostering a questioning attitude by its workers and supervisors, identified the inadequate RWP before the event.
d. Alternatively, if, following a self-disclosing event, DOE found that the contractor's processes and procedures were adequate and the contractor's personnel generally behaved in a manner consistent with the contractor's processes and procedures, DOE could conclude that the contractor could not have been reasonably expected to find the single procedural noncompliance that led to the event and thus, might allow a reduction in civil penalties.
7. Corrective Action To Prevent Recurrence
The promptness (or lack thereof) and extent to which the DOE contractor takes corrective action, including actions to identify root cause and prevent recurrence, may result in up to a 50% increase or decrease in the base civil penalty shown in Table 1. For example, very extensive corrective action may result in reducing the proposed civil penalty as much as 50% of the base value shown in Table 1. On the other hand, the civil penalty may be increased as much as 50% of the base value if initiation or corrective action is not prompt or if the corrective action is only minimally acceptable. In weighing this factor, consideration will be given to, among other things, the appropriateness, timeliness and degree of initiative associated with the corrective action. The comprehensiveness of the corrective action will also be considered, taking into account factors such as whether the action is focused narrowly to the specific violation or broadly to the general area of concern.
8. DOE's Contribution to a Violation
There may be circumstances in which a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement results, in part or entirely, from a direction given by DOE personnel to a DOE contractor to either take, or forbear from taking an action at a DOE facility. In such cases, DOE may refrain from issuing an NOV, and may mitigate, either partially or entirely, any proposed civil penalty, provided that the direction upon which the DOE contractor relied is documented in writing, contemporaneously with the direction. It should be emphasized, however, that pursuant to 10 CFR 820.50, no interpretation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement is binding upon DOE unless issued in writing by the General Counsel. Further, as discussed in this section of this policy statement, lack of funding by itself will not be considered as a mitigating factor in enforcement actions.
9. Exercise of Discretion
Because DOE wants to encourage and support DOE contractor initiative for prompt self-identification, reporting and correction of problems, DOE may exercise discretion as follows:
a. In accordance with the previous discussion, DOE may refrain from issuing a civil penalty for a violation which meets all of the following criteria:
(1) The violation is promptly identified and reported to DOE before DOE learns of it.
(2) The violation is not willful or a violation that could reasonably be expected to have been prevented by the DOE contractor's corrective action for a previous violation.
(3) The DOE contractor, upon discovery of the violation, has taken or begun to take prompt and appropriate action to correct the violation.
(4) The DOE contractor has taken, or has agreed to take, remedial action satisfactory to DOE to preclude recurrence of the violation and the underlying conditions which caused it.
b. DOE may refrain from proposing a civil penalty for a violation involving a past problem, such as in engineering design or installation, that meets all of the following criteria:
(1) It was identified by a DOE contractor as a result of a formal effort such as a Safety System Functional Inspection, Design Reconstitution program, or other program that has a defined scope and timetable which is being aggressively implemented and reported;
(2) Comprehensive corrective action has been taken or is well underway within a reasonable time following identification; and
(3) It was not likely to be identified by routine contractor efforts such as normal surveillance or quality assurance activities.
c. DOE will not issue a Notice of Violation for cases in which the violation discovered by the DOE contractor cannot reasonably be linked to the conduct of that contractor in the design, construction or operation of the DOE facility involved, provided that prompt and appropriate action is taken by the DOE contractor upon identification of the past violation to report to DOE and remedy the problem.
d. DOE may refrain from issuing a Notice of Violation for an item of noncompliance that meets all of the following criteria:
(1) It was promptly identified by the DOE nuclear entity;
(2) It is normally classified at a Severity Level III;
(3) It was promptly reported to DOE;
(4) Prompt and appropriate corrective action will be taken, including measures to prevent recurrence; and
(5) It was not a willful violation or a violation that could reasonably be expected to have been prevented by the DOE contractor's corrective action for a previous violation.
e. DOE may refrain from issuing a Notice of Violation for an item of noncompliance that meets all of the following criteria:
(1) It was an isolated Severity Level III violation identified during a Tiger Team inspection conducted by the Office of Health, Safety and Security during an inspection or integrated performance assessment conducted by the Office of Nuclear Safety and Environment, or during some other DOE assessment activity.
(2) The identified noncompliance was properly reported by the contractor upon discovery.
(3) The contractor initiated or completed appropriate assessment and corrective actions within a reasonable period, usually before the termination of the onsite inspection or integrated performance assessment.
(4) The violation is not willful or one which could reasonably be expected to have been prevented by the DOE contractor's corrective action for a previous violation.
f. In situations where corrective actions have been completed before termination of an inspection or assessment, a formal response from the contractor is not required and the inspection or integrated performance assessment report serves to document the violation and the corrective action. However, in all instances, the contractor is required to report the noncompliance through established reporting mechanisms so the noncompliance issue and any corrective actions can be properly tracked and monitored.
g. If DOE initiates an enforcement action for a violation at a Severity Level II or III and, as part of the corrective action for that violation, the DOE contractor identifies other examples of the violation with the same root cause, DOE may refrain from initiating an additional enforcement action. In determining whether to exercise this discretion, DOE will consider whether the DOE contractor acted reasonably and in a timely manner appropriate to the safety significance of the initial violation, the comprehensiveness of the corrective action, whether the matter was reported, and whether the additional violation(s) substantially change the safety significance or character of the concern arising out of the initial violation.
h. It should be emphasized that the preceding paragraphs are solely intended to be examples indicating when enforcement discretion may be exercised to forego the issuance of a civil penalty or, in some cases, the initiation of any enforcement action at all. However, notwithstanding these examples, a civil penalty may be proposed or Notice of Violation issued when, in DOE's judgment, such action is warranted on the basis of the circumstances of an individual case.
X. Procurement of Products or Services and the Reporting of Defects
(a) DOE's enforcement policy is also applicable to subcontractors and suppliers to DOE Price-Anderson indemnified contractors. Through procurement contracts with these DOE contractors, subcontractors and suppliers are generally required to have quality assurance programs that meet applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements. Suppliers of products or services provided in support of or for use in DOE facilities operated by Price-Anderson indemnified contractors are subject to certain requirements designed to ensure the high quality of the products or services supplied to DOE facilities that could, if deficient, adversely affect public or worker safety. DOE regulations require that DOE be notified whenever a DOE contractor obtains information reasonably indicating that a DOE facility (including its structures, systems and components) which conducts activities subject to the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended or DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements either fails to comply with any provision of the Atomic Energy Act or any applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement, or contains a defect or has been supplied with a product or service which could create or result in a substantial safety hazard.
(b) DOE will conduct audits and assessments of its contractors to determine whether they are ensuring that subcontractors and suppliers are meeting their contractual obligations with regard to quality of products or services that could have an adverse effect on public or worker radiological safety, and ensure that DOE contractors have in place adequate programs to determine whether products or services supplied to them for DOE facilities meet applicable DOE requirements and that substandard products or services are not used by Price-Anderson indemnified contractors at the facilities they operate for DOE. As part of the effort of ensuring that contractual and regulatory requirements are met, DOE may also audit or assess subcontractors and suppliers. These assessments could include examination of the quality assurance programs and their implementation by the subcontractors and suppliers through examination of product quality.
(c) When audits or assessments determine that subcontractors or suppliers have failed to comply with applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements or to fulfill contractual commitments designed to ensure the quality of a safety significant product or service, enforcement action will be taken. Notices of Violations and civil penalties will be issued, as appropriate, for DOE contractor failures to ensure that their subcontractors and suppliers provide products and services that meet applicable DOE requirements. Notices of Violations and civil penalties will also be issued to subcontractors and suppliers of DOE contractors which fail to comply with the reporting requirements set forth in any other applicable DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements.
XI. Inaccurate and Incomplete Information
(a) A violation of DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements for failure to provide complete and accurate information to DOE, 10 CFR 820.11, can result in the full range of enforcement sanctions, depending upon the circumstances of the particular case and consideration of the factors discussed in this section. Violations involving inaccurate or incomplete information or the failure to provide significant information identified by a DOE contractor normally will be categorized based on the guidance in section VI, “Severity of Violations”.
(b) DOE recognizes that oral information may in some situations be inherently less reliable than written submittals because of the absence of an opportunity for reflection and management review. However, DOE must be able to rely on oral communications from officials of DOE contractors concerning significant information. In determining whether to take enforcement action for an oral statement, consideration will be given to such factors as
(b)(1) The degree of knowledge that the communicator should have had regarding the matter in view of his or her position, training, and experience;
(b)(2) The opportunity and time available prior to the communication to assure the accuracy or completeness of the information;
(b)(3) The degree of intent or negligence, if any, involved;
(b)(4) The formality of the communication;
(b)(5) The reasonableness of DOE reliance on the information;
(b)(6) The importance of the information that was wrong or not provided; and
(b)(7) The reasonableness of the explanation for not providing complete and accurate information.
(c) Absent gross negligence or willfulness, an incomplete or inaccurate oral statement normally will not be subject to enforcement action unless it involves significant information provided by an official of a DOE contractor. However, enforcement action may be taken for an unintentionally incomplete or inaccurate oral statement provided to DOE by an official of a DOE contractor or others on behalf of the DOE contractor, if a record was made of the oral information and provided to the DOE contractor thereby permitting an opportunity to correct the oral information, such as if a transcript of the communication or meeting summary containing the error was made available to the DOE contractor and was not subsequently corrected in a timely manner.
(d) When a DOE contractor has corrected inaccurate or incomplete information, the decision to issue a citation for the initial inaccurate or incomplete information normally will be dependent on the circumstances, including the ease of detection of the error, the timeliness of the correction, whether DOE or the DOE contractor identified the problem with the communication, and whether DOE relied on the information prior to the correction. Generally, if the matter was promptly identified and corrected by the DOE contractor prior to reliance by DOE, or before DOE raised a question about the information, no enforcement action will be taken for the initial inaccurate or incomplete information. On the other hand, if the misinformation is identified after DOE relies on it, or after some question is raised regarding the accuracy of the information, then some enforcement action normally will be taken even if it is in fact corrected.
(e) If the initial submission was accurate when made but later turns out to be erroneous because of newly discovered information or advance in technology, a citation normally would not be appropriate if, when the new information became available, the initial submission was corrected.
(f) The failure to correct inaccurate or incomplete information that the DOE contractor does not identify as significant normally will not constitute a separate violation. However, the circumstances surrounding the failure to correct may be considered relevant to the determination of enforcement action for the initial inaccurate or incomplete statement. For example, an unintentionally inaccurate or incomplete submission may be treated as a more severe matter if a DOE contractor later determines that the initial submission was in error and does not correct it or if there were clear opportunities to identify the error.
XII. Secretarial Notification and Consultation
The Secretary will be provided written notification of all enforcement actions involving proposed civil penalties. The Secretary will be consulted prior to taking action in the following situations:
a. Proposals to impose civil penalties in an amount equal to or greater than the statutory limit, as periodically adjusted for inflation as required by law;
b. Any proposed enforcement action that involves a Severity Level I violation;
c. Any action the Director believes warrants the Secretary's involvement; or
d. Any proposed enforcement action on which the Secretary asks to be consulted.
XIII. Whistleblower Enforcement Policy
a. DOE contractors may not retaliate against any employee because the employee has taken any actions listed in 10 CFR 708.5(a) through(c), including disclosing information, participating in proceedings, or refusing to participate in certain activities. DOE contractor employees may seek relief for allegations of retaliation through one of several mechanisms, including filing a complaint with DOE pursuant to 10 CFR part 708 (part 708), the Department of Labor (DOL) under sec. 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act (sec. 211), implemented in 29 CFR part 24, or the DOE Inspector General (IG).
b. An act of retaliation by a DOE contractor, prohibited by 10 CFR 708.43, that results from a DOE contractor employee's involvement in an activity listed in 10 CFR 708.5(a) through (c), may constitute a violation of a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement under 10 CFR part 820 if it concerns nuclear safety. To avoid the potential for inconsistency with one of the mechanisms available to an aggrieved DOE contractor employee alleging retaliation referenced in section XIII.a, the Director will not take any action under this part with respect to an alleged violation of 10 CFR 708.43 until a request for relief under one of these mechanisms, if any, has been fully adjudicated, including appeals. With respect to an alleged retaliation, the Director will generally only take action that is consistent with the findings of a final decision of an agency or court. If a final decision finds that retaliation occurred, the Department will consider whether that retaliation constitutes a violation of §708.43, and if so, whether to take action under part 820. If a final decision finds that no retaliation occurred, the Director will generally not take any action under part 820 with respect to the alleged retaliation absent significant new information that was not available in the prior proceeding. If a final decision dismisses a complaint on procedural grounds without explicitly finding that retaliation did not occur, the Director may take further action under part 820 that is not inconsistent with the final decision.
c. DOE encourages its contractors to cooperate in resolving whistleblower complaints raised by contractor employees in a prompt and equitable manner. Accordingly, in considering what remedy is appropriate for an act of retaliation concerning nuclear safety, the Director will take into account the extent to which a contractor cooperated in proceedings for remedial relief.
d. In considering what remedy is appropriate for an act of retaliation concerning nuclear safety, the Director will also consider the egregiousness of the particular case including the level of management involved in the alleged retaliation and the specificity of the acts of retaliation.
e. When the Director undertakes an investigation of an allegation of DOE contractor retaliation against an employee under part 820, the Director will apprise persons interviewed and interested parties that the investigative activity is being taken pursuant to the nuclear safety procedures of part 820 and not pursuant to the procedures of part 708.
[58 FR 43692, Aug. 17, 1993, as amended at 62 FR 52481, Oct. 8, 1997; 65 FR 15220, Mar. 22, 2000; 71 FR 68732, Nov. 28, 2006; 72 FR 31921, June 8, 2007; 81 FR 41794, June 28, 2016; 81 FR 94914, Dec. 27, 2016]