NRC Notice to Workers
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
Notice to Employees
Standards For Protection Against Radiation (Part 20); Notices Instructions And Reports To Workers; Inspections (Part 19); Employee Protection
- What Is The Nuclear Regulatory Commission?
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an independent Federal regulatory agency responsible for licensing and inspecting nuclear power plants and other commercial uses of radioactive materials.
- What Does The NRC Do?
- The NRC's primary responsibility is to ensure that workers and the public are protected from unnecessary or excessive exposure to radiation and that nuclear facilities, including power plants, are constructed to high quality standards and operated in a safe manner. The NRC does this by establishing requirements in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) and in licenses issued to nuclear users.
- What Responsibility Does My Employer Have?
Any company that conducts activities licensed by the NRC must comply with the NRC's requirements. If a company violates NRC requirements, it can be fined or have its license modified, suspended or revoked.
Your employer must tell you which NRC radiation requirements apply to your work and must post NRC Notices of Violation involving radiological working conditions.
- What Is My Responsibility?
- For your own protection and the protection of your co-workers, you should know how NRC requirements relate to your work and should obey them. If you observe violation of the requirements or have a safety concern, you should report them.
- What If I Cause A Violation?
- If you engaged in deliberate misconduct that may cause a violation of the NRC requirements, or would have caused a violation if it had not been detected, or deliberately provided inaccurate or incomplete information to either the NRC or to your employer, you may be subject to enforcement action. If you report such a violation, the NRC will consider the circumstances surrounding your reporting in determining the appropriate enforcement action, if any.
- How Do I Report Violations And Safety Concerns?
- If you believe that violations of NRC rules or the terms of the license have occurred, or if you have a safety concern, you should report them immediately to your supervisor. You may report violations or safety concerns directly to the NRC. However, the NRC encourages you to raise your concerns with the licensee since it is the licensee who has the primary responsibility for, and is most able to ensure, safe operation of nuclear facilities. If you choose to report your concern directly to the NRC, you may report this to an NRC inspector or call or write to the NRC Regional Office serving your area. If you Send your concern in writing, it will assist the NRC in protecting your identity if you clearly state in the beginning of your letter that you have a safety concern or that you are submitting an allegation. The NRC's toll-free SAFETY HOTLINE for reporting safety concerns is listed below. The addresses for the NRC Reigional Offices and the toll-free telephone numbers are also listed below.
- What If I Work With Radioactive Material Or In The Vicinity Or A Radioactive Source?
- If you work with radioactive materials or near a radiation source, the amount of radiation exposure that you are permitted to receive may be limited by NRC regulations. The limits on your exposure are contained in sections 20.1201, 20.1207, and 20.1208 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 20) depending on the part of the regulations to which your employer is subject. While these are the maximum allowable limits, your employer should also keep your radiation exposure as far below those limits as "reasonably achievable."
- May I Get A Record Of My Radiation Exposure?
- Yes. Your employer is required to advise you of your dose annually if you are exposed to radiation for which monitoring was required by NRC. In addition you may request a written report of your exposure when you leave your job.
- How Are Violations Of NRC Requirements Identified?
- NRC conducts regular inspections at licensed facilities to assure compliance with NRC requirements. In addition, your employer and site contractors conduct their own inspections to assure compliance. All inspectors are protected by Federal law. Interference with them may result in criminal prosecution for a Federal offense.
- May I Talk With An NRC Inspector?
- Yes. NRC inspectors want to talk to you if you are worried about radiation safety or have other safety concerns about licensed activities, such as the quality of construction or operations at your facility. Your employer may not prevent you from talking with an inspector. The NRC will make all reasonable efforts to protect your identitty where appropriate and possible.
- May I Request An Inspection?
- Yes. If you beieve that your employer has not corrected violations involving radiological working conditions, you may request an inspection. Your request should be addressed to the nearest NRC Regional Office and must describe the alleged violation in detail. It must be signed by you or your representative.
- How Do I Contact The NRC?
- Notify an NRC inspector on-site or call the nearest NRC Regional Office in your geographical area (see map below). If you call the NRC's toll-free SAFETY HOTLINE during normal business hours, your call will automatically be directed to the NRC Reigional Office for your geographical area. If you call after normal business hours, your call will be directed to the NRC's Headquarters Operations Center, which is manned 24 hours a day.
- Can I Be Fired For Raising A Safety Issue?
Federal law prohibits an employer from firing or otherwise discriminating against your for bringin safety concerns to the attention of your employer or the NRC. You may not be fired or discriminated against because you:
- ask the NRC to enforce its rules against your employer;
- refuse to engage in activities which violate NRC requirements;
- provide information or are about to provide information to the NRC or your employer about violations of requirements or safety concerns;
- are about to ask for, or testify, help, or take part in, an NRC, Congressional, or any Federal or State proceeding.
- What Forms Of Discrimination Are Prohibited?
- It is unlawful for an employer to fire you or discriminate against you with respect to pay, benefits, or working conditions because you help the NRC or raise a safety issue, or otherwise discourage you from engaging in protected activities.
- How Am I Protected From Discrimination?
- It is unlawful for an employer to fire you or discriminate against you with respect to pay, benefits, or working conditions because you help the NRC or raise a safety issue or otherwise discourage you from engaging in protected activities. Violations of Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5851) include the harassment and itimidation by employers of (i) employees who bring safety concerns directly to their employers or to the NRC; (ii) employees who have refused to engage in an unlawful practice, provided that the employee has identified the illegality to the employer; (iii) employees who have testified or are about to testify before Congress or in any Federal or State proceeding regarding any provision (or proposed provision) of the ERA or the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954; (iv) employees who have commenced or caused to be commenced a proceeding for the administration or enforcement of any requirement imposed under the ERA or AEA or who have, or are about to, testify, assist, or participate in such a proceeding.
- How Do I File A Discrimination Complaint?
- If you believe that you have been discriminated against for bringing violations or safety concerns to the NRC or your employer, you may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) pursuant to Section 211 of the ERA. Your complaint must describe the firing or discrimination and must be filed within 180 days of the occurrence. Filing an allegation, complaint, or request for action with the NRC does not extend the requirement to file a complaint witht he DOL within 180 days. You must file the complaint with the DOL. The NRC cannot file the complaint for you.
- Send complaints to:
Office of the Administrator
Wage and Hour Division, Room S3502
Employment Standards Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
- or any local office of the DOL, Wage and Hour Division. Check your telephone directory under U.S. Government listings.
- What Can The Department Of Labor Do?
- If your complaint involves a violation of Section 211 of the ERA by your employer, it is the DOL, NOT THE NRC, that provides the process for obtaining a personal remedy. The DOL will notify the employer that the complaint has been filed and will investigate your complaint.
- If the DOL finds that your employer has unlawfully discriminated against you, it may order that you be reinstated, receive back pay, or be compensated for any injury suffered as a result of the discrimination.
- What Will The NRC Do?
The NRC will evaluate each allegation of harassment, intimidation, or discrimination. Following this evaluation, an investigator from the NRC's Office of Investigations may interview you and review available documentation. Based on the evaluation, and if applicable, the interview, the NRC will assign a priority and a decision will be made whether to pursue the matter futher though an investigation. The assigned priority is based on the specifics of the case and its significance relative to other ongoing investigations. The NRC may not pursue an investigationto the point that a conclusion can be made whether the harassment, intimidation, or dicrimination actually occurred. Even if NRC decides not to pursue an investigation, if you have filed a complaint with DOL, the NRC will monitor the results of the DOL investigation.
If the NRC or DOL finds that unlawful discrimination has occurred, the NRC may issue a Notice of Violation to your employer, impose a fine, or suspend, modify, or revoke your employer's NRC license.
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regional Office Locations
A representative of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can be contacted by employees who wish to register complaints or concerns about radiological working conditions or other matters regarding compliance with Commission rules and regulations at the following addresses and telephone numbers.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region I
475 Allendale Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406-1415
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region II
101 Marietta St., N.W., Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30323-0199
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region III
801 Warrenville Road
Lisle, IL 60137-5927
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region IV
611 Ryan Plaza Drive, Suite 400
Arlington, TX 76011-8064
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
1450 Maria Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94596-5368
To report safety concerns or violations of NRC requirements by your employer, telephone:
NRC Safety Hotline
To report incidents involving fraud, waste, or abuse by an NRC employee or NRC contractor, telepone:
Office Of The Inspector General Hotline
All of this information may be found in NRC FORM 3. If you are involved with radioactive materials in your lab contact the Radiation safety office for a copy. If you wish to have a personal copy, contact the Government Printing Office and ask for GPO:1993 0-353-638