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Offline Nukehopeful

Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« on: Oct 27, 2013, 12:47 »
Hi all

While I'm familiar with national security clearances and the SF 86/85, I hadn't heard of UA until I was
offered a job with a contractor that helps design nuke facilities.
Its not clear to me what are (if any) the differences between obtaining UA and a security clearance.
Is the scope for a UA narrower than a secret clearance, are they handled by private security firms or
do they go to DISCO like a contractor clearance would - that sort of thing.

I didn't find any current topics that address this specifically, so if I'm reinventing the wheel here just
point me to the right thread.

thanks

Offline Rennhack

Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #1 on: Oct 27, 2013, 01:23 »
They are synonyms.

There is a topic on the second page of this section Titled "Security Information Defined" that defines all terms and explains them.


« Last Edit: Oct 27, 2013, 06:01 by Rennhack »

Offline Nukehopeful

Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #2 on: Oct 27, 2013, 06:07 »
Thanks Rennhack - so if I've read everything correctly,  "unescorted access" is a general term used in the industry meaning you have a "clearance", and from there its just a matter of matching up the DOE's NRC-U, -R or L, Q levels with the DODs classified, secret, TS etc.

I imaging the process and paperwork are very similar as well

Offline Rennhack

Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #3 on: Oct 28, 2013, 12:54 »
That is correct.  DOE L is similar to DOD secret. DOE Q is like DOD top secret.  NRC clearances are a little different. They have U & R, and sometimes L & Q (which are the same as DOE L and Q)... but for workers at a power plant its either U or R.

10 CFR 11: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part011/

NRC-"R" special nuclear material access authorization means an administrative determination based upon a national agency check with law and credit investigation that an individual in the course of employment is eligible to work at a job falling within the criterion of ยง 11.11(a)(2).

NRC-"U" special nuclear material access authorization means an administrative determination based upon a single scope background investigation, normally conducted by the Office of Personnel Management, that an individual in the course of employment is eligible to work at a job falling within the criterion of 11.11(a)(1) or 11.13.

Special nuclear material access authorization means an administrative determination that an individual (including a contractor or consultant) who is employed by or is an applicant for employment with an affected Commission contractor, licensee of the Commission, or contractor of a licensee of the Commission may work at a job which affords access to or control over special nuclear material and that permitting the individual to work at that job would not be inimical to the common defense and security.
« Last Edit: Oct 28, 2013, 06:07 by Rennhack »

Offline Nukehopeful

Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #4 on: Oct 28, 2013, 12:42 »
This might be a new question - but it seems that the NRC is focusing on handling/moving nuke material - just as someone in the DOD would have direct access to sensitive information. 
If you are designing a system or observing how operators work and not accessing material are you less likely to need these clearances - or is anyone who can enter a plant need them?

Thanks for all your feedback!

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Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #5 on: Oct 28, 2013, 12:53 »
If you are going to be entering the protected area (operating area and surrounding grounds / support facilities) for long term, you will need Unescorted Access.
If you are only going to be in engineering / training offices, these are often outside the protected area.
The utility (not the Contractor) determines if you need access to do the job they hired the contractor to fulfill.

If you go inside the fence, the utility will generally require UA. You have access to material / plant systems / etc.

Hope this helps.  :)
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Offline Nukehopeful

Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #6 on: Oct 28, 2013, 01:09 »
Yes - that helps, thank you. This position would involve observing training sessions/verifying procedures and new designs - not live operations. I wasn't sure if the training centers were in the protected area. At most there could be a tour of an operational control room, but not unescorted. 

Very helpful forum here - thanks for the info

chuckdhuff

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Re: Unescorted Access vs Security clearance
« Reply #7 on: Oct 28, 2013, 03:00 »
Yes - that helps, thank you. This position would involve observing training sessions/verifying procedures and new designs - not live operations. I wasn't sure if the training centers were in the protected area. At most there could be a tour of an operational control room, but not unescorted.  

Very helpful forum here - thanks for the info

The training buildings are not typically in the protected area but the cafeteria usually is. Keep that in mind unless you want to bring your lunch everyday. In my experience, even training department personnel who are on contract are sent through the UA process. The only way I could see it not happening is if it was for a short duration job like 30 days or less.

I was once told that the cost to the utility for the UA authorization process is ~$5,000.00 per person.
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2013, 09:56 by ksheed12 »

 


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