73 FR 32641, June 10, 2008, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This part implements section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2168) which prohibits the unauthorized dissemination of certain unclassified Government information. This information identified by the term “Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information” (UCNI) consists of certain design and security information concerning nuclear facilities, nuclear materials, and nuclear weapons.
(b) This part:
(1) Provides for the review of information prior to its designation as UCNI;
(2) Describes how information is determined to be UCNI;
(3) Establishes minimum physical protection standards for documents and material containing UCNI;
(4) Specifies who may have access to UCNI; and,
(5) Establishes a procedure for the imposition of penalties on persons who violate section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act or any regulation or order of the Secretary issued under section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act, including this part.
(c) This part does not apply to information controlled under 10 U.S.C. 128 by the Department of Defense.
This part applies to any person who is or was authorized access to UCNI, requires authorized access to UCNI, or attempts to gain or gains unauthorized access to UCNI.
The Department of Energy (DOE) strives to make information publicly available to the fullest extent possible. Therefore, this part must be interpreted and implemented to apply the minimum restrictions needed to protect the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security consistent with the requirement in section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act to prohibit the unauthorized dissemination of UCNI.
As used in this part:
Atomic Energy Act means the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).
Atomic energy defense programs means Government activities, equipment, and facilities that are capable of:
(1) Developing, producing, testing, sampling, maintaining, repairing, modifying, assembling or disassembling, using, transporting, or retiring nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons; or
(2) Producing, using, or transporting nuclear material that could be used in nuclear weapons or military-related utilization facilities.
Authorized Individual means a person who has routine access to UCNI under § 1017.20.
Component means any operational, experimental, or research-related part, subsection, design, or material used in the manufacture or utilization of a nuclear weapon, nuclear explosive device, or nuclear weapon test assembly.
Denying Official means a DOE official designated under 10 CFR 1004.2(b) who is authorized to deny a request for unclassified information that is exempt from release when requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Director means the DOE Official, or his or her designee, to whom the Secretary has assigned responsibility for enforcement of this part.
Document means the physical medium on or in which information is recorded, regardless of its physical form or characteristics.
DOE means the United States Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Essential technology-related information means technical information whose unauthorized dissemination could significantly increase the likelihood of the illegal production of a nuclear weapon.
Exploitable security-related information means information whose unauthorized dissemination could significantly increase the likelihood of the theft, diversion, or sabotage of nuclear material, equipment, or facilities.
Government means the Executive Branch of the United States Government.
Government information means any fact or concept, regardless of its physical form or characteristics, that is owned by, produced by or for, or otherwise controlled by the United States Government, including such facts or concepts that are provided by the Government to any person, including persons who are not employees of the Government.
Guidance means detailed written instructions that describe decisions made by the Secretary or his/her designee issued under Subpart B of these regulations concerning what specific information is UCNI.
Illegal production means the production or manufacture of a nuclear weapon in violation of either domestic (e.g., the Atomic Energy Act) or international (e.g., the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons) law.
In transit means the physical movement of a nuclear weapon, a component of a nuclear weapon containing nuclear material, or nuclear material from one part to another part of a facility or from one facility to another facility. An item is considered “in transit” until it has been relinquished to the custody of the authorized recipient and is in storage at its ultimate destination. An item in temporary storage pending shipment to its ultimate destination is “in transit.”
Limited access means access to specific UCNI granted by the cognizant DOE Program Secretarial Officer or a Deputy or Associate Administrator of the NNSA to an individual not eligible for routine access (see § 1017.21).
Material means a product (e.g., a part or a machine) or substance (e.g., a compound or an alloy), regardless of its physical form or characteristics.
Need to know means a determination made by an Authorized Individual that a person requires access to specific UCNI to perform official duties or other Government-authorized activities.
Nuclear material means special nuclear material, byproduct material, or source material as defined by sections 11.aa., 11.e., and 11.z., respectively, of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2014 aa., e., and z), or any other material used in the production, testing, utilization, or assembly of nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons that the Secretary determines to be nuclear material under § 1017.9(a).
Nuclear weapon means atomic weapon as defined in section 11.d. of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2014 d).
Person means any person as defined in section 11.s. of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2014 s) or any affiliate or parent corporation thereof.
Production facility means:
(1) Any equipment or device capable of producing special nuclear material in such quantity as to be of significance to the common defense and security or in such manner as to affect the health and safety of the public; or
(2) Any important component part especially designed for such equipment or device.
(3) For the purposes of this part, equipment and devices described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition include only:
(i) Government uranium isotope enrichment equipment or devices and any other uranium isotope enrichment equipment or devices that use related technology provided by the Government; or
(ii) Government plutonium production reactors, isotope enrichment equipment or devices, and separation and purification equipment or devices and other such equipment or devices that use related technology provided by the Government.
Reviewing Official means an individual authorized under § 1017.14(a) to make a determination, based on guidance, that a document or material contains UCNI.
Routine access means access to UCNI granted by an Authorized Individual to an individual eligible to receive UCNI under § 1017.20 in order to perform official duties or other Government-authorized activities.
Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.
Special nuclear material means:
(1) Plutonium, uranium enriched in the isotope 233 or in the isotope 235, and any other material which DOE or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, pursuant to the provisions of section 51 of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2071), determines to be special nuclear material, but does not include source material; or
(2) Any material artificially enriched by any of the foregoing, but does not include source material.
Unauthorized dissemination means the intentional or negligent transfer of UCNI to any person other than an Authorized Individual or a person granted limited access to UCNI under § 1017.21.
Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information or UCNI means certain unclassified Government information concerning nuclear facilities, materials, weapons, and components whose dissemination is controlled under section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act and this part.
Utilization facility means:
(1) Any equipment or device, or any important component part especially designed for such equipment or device, except for a nuclear weapon, that is capable of making use of special nuclear material in such quantity as to be of significance to the common defense and security or in such manner as to affect the health and safety of the public. For the purposes of this part, such equipment or devices include only Government equipment or devices that use special nuclear material in the research, development, production, or testing of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon components, or nuclear material capable of being used in nuclear weapons; or
(2) Any equipment or device, or any important component part especially designed for such equipment or device, except for a nuclear weapon, that is peculiarly adapted for making use of nuclear energy in such quantity as to be of significance to the common defense and security or in such manner as to affect the health and safety of the public. For the purposes of this part, such equipment or devices include only:
(i) Naval propulsion reactors;
(ii) Military reactors and power sources that use special nuclear material;
(iii) Tritium production reactors; and,
(iv) Government research reactors.
(a) Any person may request a deviation, or condition that diverges from the norm and that is categorized as:
(1) A variance (i.e., an approved condition that technically varies from a requirement in these regulations);
(2) A waiver (i.e., an approved nonstandard condition that deviates from a requirement in these regulations and which, if uncompensated, would create a potential or real vulnerability); or
(3) An exception (i.e., an approved deviation from a requirement in these regulations for which DOE accepts the risk of a safeguards and security vulnerability) according to the degree of risk involved.
(b) In writing, the person must:
(1) Identify the specific requirement for which the deviation is being requested;
(2) Explain why the deviation is needed; and,
(3) If appropriate, describe the alternate or equivalent means for meeting the requirement.
(c) DOE employees must submit such requests according to internal directives. DOE contractors must submit such requests according to directives incorporated into their contracts. Other individuals must submit such requests to the Office of Classification, Office of Health, Safety and Security, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290. The Office of Classification's decision must be made within 30 days.
The Secretary, or his or her designee, determines whether information is UCNI. These determinations are incorporated into guidance that each Reviewing Official and Denying Official consults in his or her review of a document or material to decide whether the document or material contains UCNI.
To be identified as UCNI, the information must meet each of the following criteria:
(a) The information must be Government information as defined in § 1017.4;
(b) The information must concern atomic energy defense programs as defined in § 1017.4;
(c) The information must fall within the scope of at least one of the three subject areas eligible to be UCNI in § 1017.8;
(d) The information must meet the adverse effect test described in § 1017.10; and
(e) The information must not be exempt from being UCNI under § 1017.11.
To be eligible for identification as UCNI, information must concern at least one of the following categories:
(a) The design of production or utilization facilities as defined in this part;
(b) Security measures (including security plans, procedures, and equipment) for the physical protection of production or utilization facilities or nuclear material, regardless of its physical state or form, contained in these facilities or in transit; or
(c) The design, manufacture, or utilization of nuclear weapons or components that were once classified as Restricted Data, as defined in section 11y. of the Atomic Energy Act.
(a) The Secretary may determine that a material other than special nuclear material, byproduct material, or source material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act is included within the scope of the term “nuclear material” if it meets the following criteria:
(1) The material is used in the production, testing, utilization, or assembly of nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapons; and
(2) Unauthorized acquisition of the material could reasonably be expected to result in a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security because the specific material:
(i) Could be used as a hazardous radioactive environmental contaminant; or
(ii) Could be of significant assistance in the illegal production of a nuclear weapon.
In order for information to be identified as UCNI, it must be determined that the unauthorized dissemination of the information under review could reasonably be expected to result in a significant adverse effect on the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security by significantly increasing the likelihood of:
(a) Illegal production of a nuclear weapon; or
(b) Theft, diversion, or sabotage of nuclear material, equipment, or facilities.
Information exempt from this part includes:
(a) Information protected from disclosure under section 147 of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2167) that is identified as Safeguards Information and controlled by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission;
(b) Basic scientific information (i.e., information resulting from research directed toward increasing fundamental scientific knowledge or understanding rather than any practical application of that knowledge);
(c) Radiation exposure data and all other personal health information; and,
(d) Information concerning the transportation of low level radioactive waste.
Information, documents, and material must not be identified as being or containing UCNI in order to:
(a) Conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;
(b) Prevent embarrassment to a person or organization;
(c) Restrain competition; or,
(d) Prevent or delay the release of any information that does not properly qualify as UCNI.
The Office of Classification or successor office shall issue a report by the end of each quarter that identifies any new information that has been determined for the first time to be UCNI during the previous quarter, explains how each such determination meets the criteria in § 1017.7, and explains why each such determination protects from disclosure only the minimum amount of information necessary to protect the health and safety of the public or the common defense and security. A copy of the report may be obtained by writing to the Office of Classification, Office of Health, Safety and Security, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290.
(a) Reviewing Official -
(1) Authority. A Reviewing Official with cognizance over the information contained in a document or material is authorized to determine whether the document or material contains UCNI based on applicable guidance. A Reviewing Official marks or authorizes the marking of the document or material as specified in § 1017.16.
(2) Request for designation. Procedures for requesting that a DOE Federal or contractor employee be designated as a Reviewing Official are contained in Departmental directives issued by the Secretary. DOE may also designate other Government agency employees, contractors, or other individuals granted routine access under § 1017.20 as Reviewing Officials.
(3) Designation. Prior to being designated as a Reviewing Official, each employee must receive training approved by DOE that covers the requirements in these regulations and be tested on his or her proficiency in using applicable UCNI guidance. Upon successful completion of the training and test, he or she is designated as a Reviewing Official only while serving in his or her current position for a maximum of 3 years. The employee does not automatically retain the authority when he or she leaves his or her current position. The employee cannot delegate this authority to anyone else, and the authority may not be assumed by another employee acting in the employee's position. At the end of 3 years, if the position still requires the authority, the employee must be retested and redesignated by DOE as a Reviewing Official.
(b) Individuals approved to use DOE or joint DOE classification guidance -
(1) Authority. Other Government agency employees who are approved by DOE or another Government agency to use classification guidance developed by DOE or jointly by DOE and another Government agency may also be approved to review documents for UCNI and to make UCNI determinations. This authority is limited to the UCNI subject areas contained in the specific classification guidance that the individual has been approved to use.
(2) Designation. Individuals must be designated this authority in writing by the appropriate DOE or other Government agency official with cognizance over the specific DOE or joint DOE classification guidance.
(c) Denying Official -
(1) Authority. A DOE Denying Official for unclassified information with cognizance over the information contained in a document is authorized to deny a request made under statute (e.g., the FOIA, the Privacy Act) or the mandatory review provisions of Executive Order 12958, as amended, “Classified National Security Information,” and its successor orders, for all or any portion of the document that contains UCNI. The Denying Official bases his or her denial on applicable guidance, ensuring that the Reviewing Official who determined that the document contains UCNI correctly interpreted and applied the guidance.
(a) Reviewing documents for UCNI. Anyone who originates or possesses a document that he or she thinks may contain UCNI must send the document to a Reviewing Official for a determination before it is finalized, sent outside of his or her organization, or filed. If the originator or possessor must send the document outside of his or her organization for the review, he or she must mark the front of the document with “Protect as UCNI Pending Review” and must transmit the document in accordance with the requirements in § 1017.27. The Reviewing Official must first determine whether the document is widely disseminated in the public domain, which means that the document under review is publicly available from a Government technical information service or depository library, for example, or that it can be found in a public library or an open literature source, or it can be accessed on the Internet using readily available search methods.
(1) If the document is determined to be widely disseminated in the public domain, it cannot be controlled as UCNI. The Reviewing Official returns the document to the person who sent it to the Reviewing Official and informs him or her why the document cannot be controlled as UCNI. This does not preclude control of the same information as UCNI if it is contained in another document that is not widely disseminated.
(2) If the document is not determined to be widely disseminated in the public domain, the Reviewing Official evaluates the information in the document using guidance to determine whether the document contains UCNI. If the Reviewing Official determines that the document does contain UCNI, the Reviewing Official marks or authorizes the marking of the document as specified in § 1017.16. If the Reviewing Official determines that the document does not contain UCNI, the Reviewing Official returns the document to the person who sent it and informs him or her that the document does not contain UCNI. For documentation purposes, the Reviewing Official may mark or authorize the marking of the document as specified in § 1017.17(b).
(3) If no applicable guidance exists, but the Reviewing Official thinks the information should be identified as UCNI, then the Reviewing Official must send the document to the appropriate official identified in applicable DOE directives issued by the Secretary or his or her designee. The Reviewing Official should also include a written recommendation as to why the information should be identified as UCNI.
(b) Review exemption for documents in files. Any document that was permanently filed prior to May 22, 1985, is not required to be reviewed for UCNI while in the files or when retrieved from the files for reference, inventory, or similar purposes as long as the document will be returned to the files and is not accessible by individuals who are not Authorized Individuals for the UCNI contained in the document. However, when a document that is likely to contain UCNI is removed from the files for dissemination within or outside of the immediate organization, it must be reviewed by a Reviewing Official with cognizance over the information.
(c) Reviewing material for UCNI. Anyone who produces or possesses material that he or she thinks may contain or reveal UCNI must consult with a Reviewing Official for a determination. If the Reviewing Official determines that the material does contain or reveal UCNI, the Reviewing Official marks or authorizes the marking of the material as specified in § 1017.16(b).
(a) Marking documents. If a Reviewing Official determines that a document contains UCNI, the Reviewing Official must mark or authorize the marking of the document as described in this section.
(1) Front marking. The following marking must appear on the front of the document:
Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information Not for Public Dissemination
Unauthorized dissemination subject to civil and criminal sanctions under section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2168).
(2) Page marking. The marking “Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information” must be placed on the bottom of the front of the document and on the bottom of each interior page of the document that contains text or if more convenient, on the bottom of only those interior pages that contain UCNI. The page marking must also be placed on the back of the last page. If space limitations do not allow for use of the full page marking, the acronym “UCNI” may be used as the page marking.
(3) Classified documents. UCNI front and page markings are not applied to a classified document that also contains UCNI. If a classified document is portion marked, the acronym “UCNI” is used to indicate those unclassified portions that contain UCNI.
(4) Obsolete “May Contain UCNI” marking. The “May Contain UCNI” marking is no longer used. Any document marked with the “May Contain UCNI” marking is considered to contain UCNI and must be protected accordingly until a Reviewing Official or Denying Official determines otherwise. The obsolete “May Contain UCNI” marking reads as follows:
Not for Public Dissemination May contain Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information subject to section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 U.S.C. 2168). Approval by the Department of Energy prior to release is required.
(a) Document or material no longer contains UCNI. A Reviewing Official with cognizance over the information in a document or material marked as containing UCNI may determine that the document or material no longer contains UCNI. A Denying Official may also determine that such a document or material no longer contains UCNI. The official making this determination must base it on applicable guidance and must ensure that any UCNI markings are crossed out (for documents) or removed (for material). The official marks or authorizes the marking of the document (or the material, if space allows) as follows:
Does Not Contain Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information
(Name and organization)
(b) Document or material does not contain UCNI. A Reviewing Official with cognizance over the information in a document or material may confirm that an unmarked document or material does not contain UCNI based on applicable guidance. No UCNI markings are required in this case; however, for documentation purposes, the Reviewing Official may mark or may authorize the marking of the document or material with the same marking used in § 1017.17(a).
If a document or material marked as containing UCNI is under consideration for decontrol and falls under the cognizance of another DOE organization or other Government agency, the Reviewing Official or Denying Official must coordinate the decontrol review with that DOE organization or other Government agency. Any disagreement concerning the control or decontrol of any document or material that contains UCNI that was originated by or for DOE or another Government agency is resolved by the Secretary or his or her designee.
A person may only have access to UCNI if he or she has been granted routine access by an Authorized Individual (see § 1017.20) or limited access by the DOE Program Secretarial Officer or NNSA Deputy or Associate Administrator with cognizance over the UCNI (see § 1017.21). The Secretary, or his or her designee, may impose additional administrative controls concerning the granting of routine or limited access to UCNI to a person who is not a U.S. citizen.
(a) Authorized Individual. The Reviewing Official who determines that a document or material contains UCNI is the initial Authorized Individual for that document or material. An Authorized Individual, for UCNI in his or her possession or control, may determine that another person is an Authorized Individual who may be granted access to the UCNI, subject to limitations in paragraph (b) of this section, and who may further disseminate the UCNI under the provisions of this section.
(b) Requirements for routine access. To be eligible for routine access to UCNI, the person must have a need to know the UCNI in order to perform official duties or other Government-authorized activities and must be:
(1) A U.S. citizen who is:
(i) An employee of any branch of the Federal Government, including the U.S. Armed Forces;
(ii) An employee or representative of a State, local, or Indian tribal government;
(iii) A member of an emergency response organization;
(iv) An employee of a Government contractor or a consultant, including those contractors or consultants who need access to bid on a Government contract;
(v) A member of Congress or a staff member of a congressional committee or of an individual member of Congress;
(vi) A Governor of a State, his or her designated representative, or a State government official;
(vii) A member of a DOE advisory committee; or,
(viii) A member of an entity that has entered into a formal agreement with the Government, such as a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or similar arrangement; or,
(2) A person who is not a U.S. citizen but who is:
(i) A Federal Government employee or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
(ii) An employee of a Federal Government contractor or subcontractor;
(iii) A Federal Government consultant;
(iv) A member of a DOE advisory committee;
(v) A member of an entity that has entered into a formal agreement with the Government, such as a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or similar arrangement;
(vi) An employee or representative of a State, local, or Indian tribal government; or,
(vii) A member of an emergency response organization when responding to an emergency; or,
(3) A person who is not a U.S. citizen but who needs to know the UCNI in conjunction with an activity approved by the DOE Program Secretarial Officer or NNSA Deputy or Associate Administrator with cognizance over the UCNI.
(a) A person who is not eligible for routine access to specific UCNI under § 1017.20 may request limited access to such UCNI by sending a written request to the DOE Program Secretarial Officer or NNSA Deputy or Associate Administrator with cognizance over the information. The written request must include the following:
(1) The name, current residence or business address, birthplace, birth date, and country of citizenship of the person submitting the request;
(2) A description of the specific UCNI for which limited access is being requested;
(3) A description of the purpose for which the UCNI is needed; and,
(4) Certification by the requester that he or she:
(i) Understands and will follow these regulations; and
(ii) Understands that he or she is subject to the civil and criminal penalties under Subpart F of this part.
(b) The decision whether to grant the request for limited access is based on the following criteria:
(1) The sensitivity of the UCNI for which limited access is being requested;
(2) The approving official's evaluation of the likelihood that the requester will disseminate the UCNI to unauthorized individuals; and,
(3) The approving official's evaluation of the likelihood that the requester will use the UCNI for illegal purposes.
(c) Within 30 days of receipt of the request for limited access, the appropriate DOE Program Secretarial Officer or NNSA Deputy or Associate Administrator must notify the requester if limited access is granted or denied, or if the determination cannot be made within 30 days, of the date when the determination will be made.
(d) A person granted limited access to specific UCNI is not an Authorized Individual and may not further disseminate the UCNI to anyone.
(a) An Authorized Individual who grants routine access to specific UCNI under § 1017.20 to a person who is not an employee or contractor of the DOE must notify the person receiving the UCNI of protection requirements described in this subpart and any limitations on further dissemination.
(b) A DOE Program Secretarial Officer or NNSA Deputy or Associate Administrator who grants limited access to specific UCNI under § 1017.21 must notify the person receiving the UCNI of protection requirements described in this subpart and any limitations on further dissemination.
An Authorized Individual or a person granted limited access to UCNI under § 1017.21 must maintain physical control over any document or material marked as containing UCNI that is in use to prevent unauthorized access to it.
A document or material marked as containing UCNI must be stored to preclude unauthorized disclosure. When not in use, documents or material containing UCNI must be stored in locked receptacles (e.g., file cabinet, desk drawer), or if in secured areas or facilities, in a manner that would prevent inadvertent access by an unauthorized individual.
A document marked as containing UCNI may be reproduced without the permission of the originator to the minimum extent necessary consistent with the need to carry out official duties, provided the reproduced document is marked and protected in the same manner as the original document.
A document marked as containing UCNI must be destroyed, at a minimum, by using a cross-cut shredder that produces particles no larger than 1/4-inch wide and 2 inches long. Other comparable destruction methods may be used. Material containing or revealing UCNI must be destroyed according to agency directives.
(a) Physically transmitting UCNI documents or material.
(1) A document or material marked as containing UCNI may be transmitted by:
(i) U.S. First Class, Express, Certified, or Registered mail;
(ii) Any means approved for transmission of classified documents or material;
(iii) An Authorized Individual or person granted limited access under § 1017.21 as long as physical control of the package is maintained; or,
(iv) Internal mail services.
(2) The document or material must be packaged to conceal the presence of the UCNI from someone who is not authorized access. A single, opaque envelope or wrapping is sufficient for this purpose. The address of the recipient and the sender must be indicated on the outside of the envelope or wrapping along with the words “TO BE OPENED BY ADDRESSEE ONLY.”
(b) Transmitting UCNI documents over telecommunications circuits. Encryption algorithms that comply with all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and standards for the protection of unclassified controlled information must be used when transmitting UCNI over a telecommunications circuit (including the telephone, facsimile, radio, e-mail, Internet).
UCNI may be processed or produced on any AIS that complies with the guidance in OMB Circular No. A-130, Revised, Transmittal No. 4, Appendix III, “Security of Federal Automated Information Resources,” or is certified for classified information.
(a) Regulations. Any person who violates a UCNI security requirement of any of the following is subject to a civil penalty under this part:
(1) 10 CFR Part 1017 - Identification and Protection of Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information; or
(2) Any other DOE regulation related to the safeguarding or security of UCNI if the regulation provides that violation of its provisions may result in a civil penalty pursuant to section 148 of the Act.
(b) Compliance order. If, without violating a requirement of any regulation issued under section 148, a person by an act or omission causes, or creates a risk of, the loss, compromise or unauthorized disclosure of UCNI, the Secretary may issue a compliance order to that person requiring the person to take corrective action and notifying the person that violation of the compliance order is subject to a notice of violation and assessment of a civil penalty. If a person wishes to contest the compliance order, the person must file a notice of appeal with the Secretary within 15 days of receipt of the compliance order.
(c) Amount of penalty. The Director may propose imposition of a civil penalty for violation of a requirement of a regulation under paragraph (a) of this section or a compliance order issued under paragraph (b) of this section, not to exceed $278,786 for each violation.
(d) Settlements. The Director may enter into a settlement, with or without conditions, of an enforcement proceeding at any time if the settlement is consistent with the objectives of DOE's UCNI protection requirements.
(e) Enforcement conference. The Director may convene an informal conference to discuss any situation that might be a violation of the Act, 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.
(f) Investigations. The Director may conduct investigations and inspections relating to the scope, nature and extent of compliance by a person with DOE security requirements specified in these regulations and take such action as the Director deems necessary and appropriate to the conduct of the investigation or inspection, including signing, issuing and serving subpoenas.
(g) Preliminary notice of violation.
(1) In order to begin a proceeding to impose a civil penalty under this part, the Director shall notify the person by a written preliminary notice of violation sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, of:
(i) The date, facts, and nature of each act or omission constituting the alleged violation;
(ii) The particular provision of the regulation or compliance order involved in each alleged violation;
(iii) The proposed remedy for each alleged violation, including the amount of any civil penalty proposed;
(iv) The right of the person to submit a written reply to the Director within 30 calendar days of receipt of such preliminary notice of violation; and,
(v) The fact that upon failure of the person to pay any civil penalty imposed, the penalty may be collected by civil action.
(2) A reply to a preliminary notice of violation must contain a statement of all relevant facts pertaining to an alleged violation. The reply must:
(i) State any facts, explanations, and arguments that support a denial of the alleged violation;
(ii) Demonstrate any extenuating circumstances or other reason why a proposed remedy should not be imposed or should be mitigated;
(iii) Discuss the relevant authorities that support the position asserted, including rulings, regulations, interpretations, and previous decisions issued by DOE;
(iv) Furnish full and complete answers to any questions set forth in the preliminary notice; and
(v) Include copies of all relevant documents.
(3) If a person fails to submit a written reply within 30 calendar days of receipt of a preliminary notice of violation:
(i) The person relinquishes any right to appeal any matter in the preliminary notice; and
(ii) The preliminary notice, including any remedies therein, constitutes a final order.
(4) The Director, at the request of a person notified of an alleged violation, may extend for a reasonable period the time for submitting a reply or a hearing request letter.
(h) Final notice of violation.
(1) If a person submits a written reply within 30 calendar days of receipt of a preliminary notice of violation, the Director must make a final determination whether the person violated or is continuing to violate an UCNI security requirement.
(2) Based on a determination by the Director that a person has violated or is continuing to violate an UCNI security requirement, the Director may issue to the person a final notice of violation that concisely states the determined violation, the amount of any civil penalty imposed, and further actions necessary by or available to the person. The final notice of violation also must state that the person has the right to submit to the Director, within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the notice, a written request for a hearing under paragraph (i) of this section.
(3) The Director must send a final notice of violation by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 30 calendar days of the receipt of a reply.
(i) If a final notice of violation does not contain a civil penalty, it shall be deemed a final order 15 days after the final notice is issued.
(ii) If a final notice of violation contains a civil penalty, the person must submit to the Director within 30 days after the issuance of the final notice:
(A) A waiver of further proceedings; or
(B) A request for an on-the-record hearing under paragraph (i) of this section.
(5) If a person waives further proceedings, the final notice of violation shall be deemed a final order enforceable against the person. The person must pay the civil penalty set forth in the notice of violation within 60 days of the filing of waiver unless the Director grants additional time.
(6) If a person files a request for an on-the-record hearing, then the hearing process commences.
(7) The Director may amend the final notice of violation at any time before the time periods specified in paragraphs (h)(4)(i) or (h)(4)(ii) of this section expire. An amendment shall add 15 days to the time period under paragraph (h)(4) of this section.
(1) Any person who receives a final notice of violation under paragraph (h) of this section may request a hearing concerning the allegations contained in the notice. The person must mail or deliver any written request for a hearing to the Director within 30 calendar days of receipt of the final notice of violation.
(2) Upon receipt from a person of a written request for a hearing, the Director shall:
(i) Appoint a Hearing Counsel; and
(ii) Select an administrative law judge appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105, to serve as Hearing Officer.
(j) Hearing Counsel. The Hearing Counsel:
(1) Represents DOE;
(2) Consults with the person or the person's counsel prior to the hearing;
(3) Examines and cross-examines witnesses during the hearing; and
(4) Enters into a settlement of the enforcement proceeding at any time if settlement is consistent with the objectives of the Act and DOE security requirements.
(k) Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer:
(1) Is responsible for the administrative preparations for the hearing;
(2) Convenes the hearing as soon as is reasonable;
(3) Administers oaths and affirmations;
(4) Issues subpoenas, at the request of either party or on the Hearing Officer's motion;
(5) Rules on offers of proof and receives relevant evidence;
(6) Takes depositions or has depositions taken when the ends of justice would be served;
(7) Conducts the hearing in a manner which is fair and impartial;
(8) Holds conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues by consent of the parties;
(9) Disposes of procedural requests or similar matters;
(10) Requires production of documents; and,
(11) Makes an initial decision under paragraph (n) of this section.
(l) Rights of the person at the hearing. The person may:
(1) Testify or present evidence through witnesses or by documents;
(2) Cross-examine witnesses and rebut records or other physical evidence, except as provided in paragraph (m)(4) of this section;
(3) Be present during the entire hearing, except as provided in paragraph (m)(4) of this section; and
(4) Be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel of the person's choosing.
(m) Conduct of the hearing.
(1) DOE shall make a transcript of the hearing.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (m)(4) of this section, the Hearing Officer may receive any oral or documentary evidence, but shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence.
(3) Witnesses shall testify under oath and are subject to cross-examination, except as provided in paragraph (m)(4) of this section.
(4) The Hearing Officer must use procedures appropriate to safeguard and prevent unauthorized disclosure of classified information, UCNI, or any other information protected from public disclosure by law or regulation, with minimum impairment of rights and obligations under this part. The UCNI status shall not, however, preclude information from being introduced into evidence. The Hearing Officer may issue such orders as may be necessary to consider such evidence in camera including the preparation of a supplemental initial decision to address issues of law or fact that arise out of that portion of the evidence that is protected.
(5) DOE has the burden of going forward with and of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred as set forth in the final notice of violation and that the proposed civil penalty is appropriate. The person to whom the final notice of violation has been addressed shall have the burden of presenting and of going forward with any defense to the allegations set forth in the final notice of violation. Each matter of controversy shall be determined by the Hearing Officer upon a preponderance of the evidence.
(n) Initial decision.
(1) The Hearing Officer shall issue an initial decision as soon as practicable after the hearing. The initial decision shall contain findings of fact and conclusions regarding all material issues of law, as well as reasons therefor. If the Hearing Officer determines that a violation has occurred and that a civil penalty is appropriate, the initial decision shall set forth the amount of the civil penalty based on:
(i) The nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations;
(ii) The violator's ability to pay;
(iii) The effect of the civil penalty on the person's ability to do business;
(iv) Any history of prior violations;
(v) The degree of culpability; and,
(vi) Such other matters as justice may require.
(2) The Hearing Officer shall serve all parties with the initial decision by certified mail, return receipt requested. The initial decision shall include notice that it constitutes a final order of DOE 30 days after the filing of the initial decision unless the Secretary files a 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, at his discretion, may order additional proceedings, remand the matter, or modify the amount of the civil penalty assessed in the initial decision. DOE shall notify the person of the Secretary's action under this paragraph in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested. The person against whom the civil penalty is assessed by the final order shall pay the full amount of the civil penalty assessed in the final order within 30 days unless otherwise agreed by the Director.
(o) Collection of penalty.
(1) The Secretary may request the Attorney General to institute a civil action to collect a penalty imposed under this section.
(2) The Attorney General has the exclusive power to uphold, compromise or mitigate, or remit any civil penalty imposed by the Secretary under this section and referred to the Attorney General for collection.
(p) Direction to NNSA.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, the NNSA Administrator, rather than the Director, signs, issues, serves, or takes the following actions that direct NNSA employees, contractors, subcontractors, or employees of such NNSA contractors or subcontractors:
(ii) Orders to compel attendance;
(iii) Disclosures of information or documents obtained during an investigation or inspection;
(iv) Preliminary notices of violation; and,
(v) Final notice of violations.
(2) The Administrator shall act after consideration of the Director's recommendation. If the Administrator disagrees with the Director's recommendation, and the disagreement cannot be resolved by the two officials, the Director may refer the matter to the Deputy Secretary for resolution.
[73 FR 32641, June 10, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 66033, Dec. 14, 2009; 79 FR 20, Jan. 2, 2014; 81 FR 41796, June 28, 2016; 81 FR 96353, Dec. 30, 2016; 83 FR 1293, Jan. 11, 2018; 83 FR 66084, Dec. 26, 2018; 85 FR 831, Jan. 8, 2020; 86 FR 2957, Jan. 14, 2021]
Any person who violates section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act or any regulation or order of the Secretary issued under section 148 of the Atomic Energy Act, including these regulations, may be subject to a criminal penalty under section 223 of the Atomic Energy Act (42 U.S.C. 2273). In such case, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for investigation and possible prosecution.