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Evaluating Project Aim 2020: Preparing to Transform the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has experienced significant changes over the last five years. NRC developed Project Aim 2020 (Project Aim) to improve the agency’s planning and operational functions. Project Aim set out to identify key strategies and recommendations to transform the agency during the next five years to enhance the NRC’s ability to plan and execute its mission in a more effective, efficient, and agile manner.

The NRC requested the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) to conduct an independent assessment of Project Aim. The Academy’s review of Project Aim consisted of two reports:

  1. an evaluation of Project Aim processes; and
  2. an assessment of the Project Aim final report.

The Academy reports were prepared by a professional Study Team, in consultation with an experienced Focus Group of five Academy Fellows and one non-Fellow. The Study Team and Focus Group utilized their knowledge of strategic planning and organizational change management in their evaluation of the NRC’s efforts, providing the NRC with several pragmatic recommendations as the agency pursues an important organizational transformation.

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Key Findings

This report contains an assessment of strengths and individual recommendations to guide further NRC actions. It is divided into the following key elements:

  • The overall concept of “One NRC” that can be employed to symbolize a consistent, unifying theme of the project’s recommendations;
  • The communication and implementation plan;
  • Setting strategy and metrics; and
  • Areas that the leadership can address to minimize significant challenges, risks, and uncertainties in the NRC’s future operating environment.

Recommendations

Section 1: “One NRC”

Section 2: Communication Plan

Section 3: Implementation Plan

Section 4: Strategies and Metrics

Section 5: Addressing Challenges Beyond Project Aim 2020