Nuclear Security Regulation in the United States: An Overview of U.S. NRC Functions and Activities
The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was created as an independent agency by the United States Congress in 1974 to ensure the safe use of radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes. Both the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 give the NRC the responsibility for ensuring that the peaceful uses of nuclear energy “make the maximum contribution to the common defense and security and the national welfare.” To achieve these ends, the NRC regulates commercial nuclear power plants and other uses of nuclear materials through licensing, inspection and enforcement of its requirements. These requirements are based on U.S. administrative law. In the field of nuclear security, the NRC regulates the following aspects of nuclear power plant activity: Physical Security; Access Authorization; Access Control; Security Equipment; Protective Strategy; Security Training; and Fitness for Duty. This paper will give an overview of the U.S. NRC security related regulatory functions and activities and explain how the NRC achieves its mission of “promoting the common defense and security” specifically as it relates to nuclear reactors.
KeywordsNuclear security Nuclear regulation NRC
Mr. Kutlesa contributed this article in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or the United States Government.
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