This rulemaking would align 10 CFR part 26 drug testing requirements with the future guidelines to be issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Currently, HHS is developing updated guidelines that are expected to be issued in 2016. These guidelines will broaden the urine drug panel to include semi-synthetic opiates (e.g., oxy- and hydro-prescription drugs), and enable the use of oral fluid for drug testing. These guidelines are also expected to introduce hair testing standards, which staff would expect to address in this rulemaking likely for use in pre-access authorization testing.
This rulemaking also proposes to amend the Commission's regulations to strengthen technical provisions associated with drug testing requirements and enhance other requirements necessary to provide reasonable assurance that persons who have unescorted access to NRC-licensed facilities are fit for duty. Specifically, this rulemaking will propose to address marijuana legalization/re-scheduling; synthetic marijuana; cathinones (e.g., street drug "bath salts"); prescription shopping; drug cocktailing; access to state databases for prescription medications; use of a spouse’s prescription; expansion of for-cause testing provisions; synthetic urine and other adulteration/subversion issues; three petitions for rulemaking (i.e., PRM-26-4, PRM-26-7, and PRM-26-8); and other issues identified through inspector and licensee lessons learned. Conforming changes will also be assessed to better align the part 26 requirements with similar requirements in part 55 and part 73.