[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 39 (Thursday, February 27, 1997)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8885-8906]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-4704]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 62, No. 39 / Thursday, February 27, 1997 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 8885]]



NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Parts 170 and 171

RIN 3150-AF 55


Revision of Fee Schedules; 100% Fee Recovery, FY 1997

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend 
the licensing, inspection, and annual fees charged to its applicants 
and licensees. The proposed amendments are necessary to implement the 
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA-90), which mandates 
that the NRC recover approximately 100 percent of its budget authority 
in Fiscal Year (FY) 1997 less amounts appropriated from the Nuclear 
Waste Fund (NWF). The amount to be recovered for FY 1997 is 
approximately $462.3 million.

DATES: The comment period expires March 31, 1997. Comments received 
after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the 
NRC is able to ensure only that comments received on or before this 
date will be considered. Because OBRA-90 requires that NRC collect the 
FY 1997 fees by September 30, 1997, requests for extensions of the 
comment period will not be granted.

ADDRESSES: Mail written comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Docketing and Services 
Branch. Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland 20852, between 7:45 am and 4:15 pm Federal workdays. 
(Telephone 301-415-1678). Copies of comments received may be examined 
at the NRC Public Document Room at 2120 L Street, NW. (Lower Level), 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. For information on submitting comments 
electronically, see the discussion under Electronic Access in the 
Supplementary Information Section.
    The agency workpapers that support these proposed changes to 10 CFR 
parts 170 and 171 may be examined at the NRC Public Document Room at 
2120 L Street, NW. (Lower Level), Washington, DC 20555-0001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: C. James Holloway, Jr., Office of the 
Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, Telephone 301-415-6213.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background.
II. Proposed Action.
III. Section-by-Section Analysis.
IV. Electronic Access.
V. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion.
VI. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement.
VII. Regulatory Analysis.
VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis.
IX. Backfit Analysis.

I. Background

    Public Law 101-508, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 
(OBRA-90), enacted November 5, 1990, requires that the NRC recover 
approximately 100 percent of its budget authority, less the amount 
appropriated from the Department of Energy (DOE) administered NWF, for 
FYs 1991 through 1995 by assessing fees. OBRA-90 was amended in 1993 to 
extend the NRC's 100 percent fee recovery requirement through FY 1998.
    The NRC assesses two types of fees to recover its budget authority. 
First, license and inspection fees, established in 10 CFR part 170 
under the authority of the Independent Offices Appropriation Act 
(IOAA), 31 U.S.C. 9701, recover the NRC's costs of providing 
individually identifiable services to specific applicants and 
licensees. Examples of the services provided by the NRC for which these 
fees are assessed are the review of applications for the issuance of 
new licenses, approvals or renewals, and amendments to licenses or 
approvals. Second, annual fees, established in 10 CFR part 171 under 
the authority of OBRA-90, recover generic and other regulatory costs 
not recovered through 10 CFR part 170 fees.
    On April 12, 1996 (61 FR 16203), the NRC published its final rule 
establishing the licensing, inspection, and annual fees necessary for 
the NRC to recover approximately 100 percent of its budget authority 
for FY 1996, less the appropriation received from the Nuclear Waste 
Fund. Several changes to the fees assessed for FY 1996 were adopted by 
the NRC. These changes were highlighted in the final rule (61 FR 16203; 
April 12, 1996) and bear on the approach for establishing annual fees 
set forth in this proposed rule.

II. Proposed Action

    The NRC is proposing to amend its licensing, inspection, and annual 
fees to recover approximately 100 percent of its FY 1997 budget 
authority, including the budget authority for its Office of the 
Inspector General, less the appropriations received from the NWF and 
the General Fund. For FY 1997, the NRC's budget authority is $476.8 
million, of which $11.0 million has been appropriated from the NWF. In 
addition, $3.5 million has been appropriated from the General Fund for 
activities related to commercial vitrification of waste stored at the 
Department of Energy Hanford, Washington, site. The FY 1997 
appropriation statute states that the $3.5 million appropriated for 
regulatory reviews and other activities pertaining to waste stored at 
the Hanford, Washington, site shall be excluded from license fee 
revenues notwithstanding 42 U.S.C. 2214. Therefore, NRC is required to 
collect approximately $462.3 million in FY 1997 through 10 CFR part 170 
licensing and inspection fees and 10 CFR part 171 annual fees.
    The total amount to be recovered for FY 1997, and therefore the 
total fees, is the same as the amount estimated for recovery for FY 
1996. However, the distribution of the total amount to be collected 
between the two types of fees is different. The NRC estimates that 
approximately $96 million would be recovered in FY 1997 from fees 
assessed under 10 CFR part 170 and other receipts compared to $120.5 
million in FY 1996. The remaining $366.3 million in FY 1997 would be 
recovered through the 10 CFR part 171 annual fees. Because the 10 CFR 
part 170 fees and other offsetting receipts for FY 1997 is below the 
estimate for FY 1996, annual fees must increase. The lower estimate for 
10 CFR part 170 fees plus other changes cause an 8.2 percent increase 
in FY 1997 annual fees compared to FY

[[Page 8886]]

1996. These changes are more fully explained in Section B. The 
following examples illustrate the changes in annual fees.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               FY 1997  
                                                  FY 1996      proposed 
                                                 annual fee   annual fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Class of Licensees:                                                     
  Power reactors..............................   $2,746,000   $2,972,000
  Nonpower reactors...........................       52,800       57,200
  High enriched uranium fuel facility.........    2,403,000    2,600,000
  Low enriched uranium fuel facility..........    1,179,000    1,276,000
  UF6 conversion facility.....................      597,800      647,000
  Uranium mills...............................       57,000       61,600
Typical materials licenses:                                             
  Radiographers...............................       13,000       14,000
  Well loggers................................        7,500        8,200
  Gauge users.................................        1,600        1,700
  Broad scope medical.........................       21,700       23,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because the final FY 1997 fee rule will be a ``major'' final action 
as defined by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996, the NRC's fees for FY 1997 would become effective 60 days after 
publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. The NRC will 
send a bill for the amount of the annual fee upon publication of the FY 
1997 final rule to reactors and major fuel cycle facilities. For these 
licensees, payment would be due on the effective date of the FY 1997 
rule. Those materials licensees whose license anniversary date during 
FY 1997 falls before the effective date of the final FY 1997 final rule 
will be billed during the anniversary month of the license and continue 
to pay annual fees at the FY 1996 rate in FY 1997. Those materials 
licensees whose license anniversary date falls on or after the 
effective date of the FY 1997 final rule would be billed at the FY 1997 
revised rates during the anniversary month of the license and payment 
would be due on the date of the invoice.

A. Amendments to 10 CFR Part 170: Fees for Facilities, Materials, 
Import and Export Licenses, and Other Regulatory Services

    The NRC proposes three amendments to 10 CFR part 170 and one change 
in practice under part 170. These amendments would not change the 
underlying basis for the regulation--that fees be assessed to 
applicants, persons, and licensees for specific identifiable services 
rendered. The amendments also comply with the guidance in the 
Conference Committee Report on OBRA-90 that fees assessed under the 
Independent Offices Appropriation Act (IOAA) recover the full cost to 
the NRC of identifiable regulatory services each applicant or licensee 
receives.
    First, the NRC is proposing to amend Sec. 170.11 of the 
Commission's fee regulations to add an exemption provision for those 
amendments to materials portable gauge licenses referencing NUREG 1556 
that would change only the name of the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). 
This proposed change is consistent with the proposed regulatory 
approach outlined in draft NUREG-1556, Volume 1, entitled 
``Consolidated Guidance About Materials Licenses, Program-Specific 
Guidance About Portable Gauge Licenses'' issued October 3, 1996, for 
public comment. No amendment fees would be assessed for the amendments 
to portable gauge licenses because the regulatory program proposed in 
the final NUREG-1556, Volume 1, would include commitments from the 
licensee concerning RSO qualifications and if those commitments are 
included in the amendment application, then a technical review is not 
required. The NRC expects NUREG 1556 to be finalized before the final 
fee rule becomes effective. If not, then this proposed change will not 
be included in the final fee regulation.
    Second, the NRC proposes that the two professional hourly rates 
established in FY 1996 in Sec. 170.20 be revised based on the FY 1997 
budget. These proposed rates would be based on the FY 1997 direct FTEs 
and that portion of the FY 1997 budget that either does not constitute 
direct program support (contractual services costs) or is not recovered 
through the appropriation from the NWF or the General Fund. These rates 
are used to determine the part 170 fees. The NRC is proposing to 
establish a rate of $131 per hour ($233,055 per direct FTE) for the 
reactor program. This rate would be applicable to all activities whose 
fees are based on full cost under Sec. 170.21 of the fee regulations. A 
second rate of $125 per hour ($222,517 per direct FTE) is proposed for 
the nuclear materials and nuclear waste program. This rate would be 
applicable to all materials activities whose fees are based on full 
cost under Sec. 170.31 of the fee regulations. In the FY 1996 final fee 
rule, these rates were $128 and $120 respectively.
    The two rates are based on cost center concepts adopted in FY 1995 
(60 FR 32225; June 20, 1995) and used for NRC budgeting purposes. In 
implementing cost center concepts, all budgeted resources are assigned 
to cost centers to the extent they can be distinguished. These costs 
include all salaries and benefits, contract support, and travel that 
support each cost center activity.
    Third, the NRC proposes to adjust the current part 170 licensing 
and inspection fees in Secs. 170.21 and 170.31 for applicants and 
licensees to reflect both the changes in the revised hourly rates and 
the results of the review required by the Chief Financial Officers 
(CFO) Act. To comply with the requirements of the CFO Act, the NRC has 
evaluated historical professional staff hours used to process a 
licensing action (new license and amendment) for those materials 
licensees whose fees are based on the average cost method (flat fees). 
This review also included new license and amendment applications for 
import and export licenses.
    Evaluation of the historical data shows that the average number of 
professional staff hours needed to complete materials licensing actions 
should be increased in some categories and decreased in others to 
reflect the costs incurred in completing the licensing actions. Thus, 
the revised average professional staff hours reflect the changes in the 
NRC licensing review program that have occurred since FY 1995. The 
proposed licensing fees are based on the revised average professional 
staff hours needed to process the licensing actions multiplied by the 
proposed nuclear materials professional hourly rate for FY 1997 of $125 
per hour. The data for the average number of professional staff hours 
needed to complete licensing actions were last updated in FY 1995 (60 
FR 32218; June 20, 1995). For new materials licenses, the proposed 
licensing fees for FY 1997 are increased in approximately 70 percent of 
the categories, while the proposed fees for materials amendments would 
increase in over 60 percent of the categories.
    In addition to the above rule changes, the NRC is clarifying how it 
would recover the costs of post-implementation reviews of changes 
licensees make without prior NRC review; for example, changes under 
Secs. 50.54, 50.59 and 70.32. The NRC is announcing here that licensees 
would be billed for post-implementation review of these changes under 
Secs. 170.21 and 170.31, beginning with the effective date of the FY 
1997 final fee rule. There will be no change in how fees are assessed 
for any pre-implementation interactions, including any review prior to 
licensee submissions, between NRC and licensees. As in the past, any 
pre-implementation interaction should not

[[Page 8887]]

be fee bearing. It is noted the NRC plans to inform reactor licensees 
in the near future that their submittals under Sec. 50.54 (a), (p) and 
(q) should not ask for pre-implementation reviews; instead, licensees 
are required to perform their analyses, implement their changes (if the 
analyses show that the changes do not degrade plans the NRC has already 
approved), and make their submittals under the relevant subsection of 
Sec. 50.54. The NRC will then verify that the changes are in compliance 
with Sec. 50.54.
    In summary, the NRC is proposing to:
    (1) Revise the two 10 CFR part 170 hourly rates;
    (2) Revise the licensing (application and amendment) fees assessed 
under 10 CFR part 170 in order to comply with the CFO Act's requirement 
that fees be revised to reflect the cost to the agency of providing the 
service;
    (3) Add a provision to the regulations exempting from 10 CFR part 
170 fees certain amendments to materials portable gauge licenses issued 
in accordance with NUREG-1556; and
    (4) Charge under part 170 for post-implementation quality assurance 
plan, safeguards contingency plan and emergency plan changes

B. Amendments to 10 CFR part 171: Annual Fees for Reactor Operating 
Licenses, and Fuel Cycle Licenses and Materials Licenses, Including 
Holders of Certificates of Compliance, Registrations, and Quality 
Assurance Program Approvals and Government Agencies Licensed by NRC

    The NRC proposes six amendments to 10 CFR part 171. First, the NRC 
proposes to amend Sec. 171.13 to revise the language to indicate that 
if the NRC is unable to publish a fee rule with an effective date 
within the current fiscal year, then the NRC would continue to assess 
fees on the same basis as the previous fiscal year. The NRC believes 
that it will be able to publish an effective fee rule within a current 
fiscal year as it has done since FY 1991. However, as a contingency the 
NRC believes the rule should be amended to permit NRC to meet the 
requirements of OBRA-90 in the case that unforeseen events prevent NRC 
from publishing a new rule during a fiscal year.
    Second, the NRC proposes to amend Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 to revise 
the annual fees for FY 1997 to recover approximately 100 percent of the 
FY 1997 budget authority, less fees collected under 10 CFR part 170 and 
funds appropriated from the NWF and the General Fund. In the FY 1995 
final rule, the NRC stated that it would stabilize annual fees as 
follows. Beginning in FY 1996, the NRC would adjust the annual fees 
only by the percentage change (plus or minus) in NRC's total budget 
authority unless there was a substantial change in the total NRC budget 
authority or the magnitude of the budget allocated to a specific class 
of licensees. If either case occurred, the annual fee base would be 
recalculated (60 FR 32225; June 20, 1995). The NRC also indicated that 
the percentage change would be adjusted based on changes in 10 CFR part 
170 fees and other adjustments as well as on the number of licensees 
paying the fees.
    In the FY 1996 final rule, the NRC stabilized the annual fees by 
establishing the annual fees for all licensees at a level of 6.5 
percent below the FY 1995 annual fees. In this FY 1997 proposed rule, 
the NRC intends to follow the same method as used in FY 1996. Because 
the total amount estimated for recovery through fees in FY 1997 is 
identical to the amount to be recovered in FY 1996, establishing new 
baseline fees is not warranted for FY 1997. While the total amount 
collected is the same, the distribution between part 170 and 171 fees 
would change. In FY 1996, 26% was estimated to be collected from 10 CFR 
part 170 fees. This decreases to 21% in FY 1997. Therefore, to recover 
100 percent of the budget, 10 CFR part 171 annual fees must increase in 
FY 1997 compared to FY 1996. The NRC is establishing the FY 1997 annual 
fees for all licensees at a level of 8.2 percent above the FY 1996 
annual fees. The 8.2 percent increase results primarily from a 
reduction in the amount of the budget recovered for 10 CFR part 170 
fees, a reduction in other offsetting adjustments, and reduction in the 
number of licensees paying annual fees. In addition, the NRC has made 
adjustments to recognize that all fees billed in a fiscal year are not 
collected in that year. Table I shows the total budget and amounts of 
fee billed and collected for FY 1996 and FY 1997.

  Table I.--Calculation of the Percentage Change to the FY 1996 Annual  
                                  Fees                                  
                          [Dollars in millions]                         
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       FY96       FY97  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Budget......................................     $473.3     $476.8
  Less NWF........................................      -11.0      -11.0
  Less General Fund (Hanford Tanks)...............  .........       -3.5
                                                   ---------------------
Total Fee Base....................................      462.3      462.3
  Less Part 170 Fees..............................      114.5       96.0
                                                   ---------------------
  Less other receipts.............................    \1\ 6.0  .........
Part 171 Fee Collections Required.................      341.8      366.3
Part 171 Billing Adjustments: \2\                   .........  .........
Small Entity Allowance............................        4.9        5.0
Unpaid FY 1997 bills..............................  .........        3.0
Payments from prior year bills....................  .........        2.0
                                                   ---------------------
    Subtotal......................................        4.9        6.0
                                                   =====================
    Total Part 171 Billing........................      346.7      372.3
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ $6 million in excess collections from FY 1995 were available to     
  reduce FY 1996 annual fees.                                           
\2\ These adjustments are necessary to ensure that the ``billed'' amount
  results in the required collections. Positive amounts indicate amounts
  billed that will not be collected in FY 1997.                         

    As shown in Table I, the total amount of annual fees to be billed 
in FY 1997 is $25.6M ($372.3-$346.7) or 7.4 percent higher than the 
amount that was to be billed in annual fees in FY 1996. The NRC notes 
that the reduction in the estimates of 10 CFR part 170 fees for FY 1997 
is primarily in the areas relating to the review of applications for 
reactor operating licenses and the review of standard plant 
applications. In addition, for the first time the estimates take into 
consideration an allowance for bad debt by estimating billings in the 
fiscal year that are not projected to be collected in that fiscal year 
and collections received in the current fiscal year as a result of 
billings from a prior fiscal year. These adjustments to the annual fees 
will allow the NRC to come closer to meeting its obligation to recover 
approximately 100 percent of its budget authority through the 
assessment of fees.
    In addition to changes in 10 CFR part 170 fees and other 
adjustments, the number of licensees to pay fees in FY 1997 has 
decreased compared to FY 1996. This decrease in the number of licensees 
paying fees causes annual fees to increase by an additional 0.8 
percent. For example, the Haddam Neck power reactor has ceased 
operations and the fuel has been permanently removed from the reactor. 
Therefore, the utility will pay only a partial annual fee in FY 1997. 
In addition, Massachusetts is expected to become an Agreement State in 
FY 1997 and approximately 425 NRC licenses will be transferred to 
Massachusetts. These licenses are projected to pay only one half of the 
annual fee.

[[Page 8888]]

    Third, an annual fee is proposed in Sec. 171.16(d), fee Category 
1.E., for each certificate of compliance issued to the United States 
Enrichment Corporation (USEC) on November 26, 1996, to operate the two 
gaseous diffusion plants (GDPs) located at Paducah, Kentucky and at 
Piketon, Ohio. The NRC intends to assume regulatory jurisdiction over 
the two plants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on March 3, 
1997.
    Fourth, Footnote 1 of 10 CFR 171.16(d) would be amended to provide 
for a waiver of annual fees for FY 1997 for those materials licensees, 
and holders of certificates, registrations, and approvals who either 
filed for termination of their licenses or approvals or filed for 
possession only/storage licenses before October 1, 1996, and 
permanently ceased licensed activities entirely by September 30, 1996. 
All other licensees and approval holders who held a license or approval 
on October 1, 1996, are subject to FY 1997 annual fees. This change is 
being made in recognition of the fact that since the final FY 1996 rule 
was published in April 1996, some licensees have filed requests for 
termination of their licenses or certificates with the NRC. Other 
licensees have either called or written to the NRC since the FY 1996 
final rule became effective requesting further clarification and 
information concerning the annual fees assessed. The NRC is responding 
to these requests as quickly as possible. However, the NRC was unable 
to respond and take action on all such requests before the end of the 
fiscal year on September 30, 1996. Similar situations existed after the 
FY 1991-1995 rules were published, and in those cases, the NRC provided 
an exemption from the requirement that the annual fee is waived only 
when a license is terminated before October 1 of each fiscal year.
    Fifth, the NRC is proposing to amend the proration provisions in 
Sec. 171.17 for reactor and materials licensees. The reactor provision 
in Sec. 171.17(a) would be revised to reflect the changes in 10 CFR 
part 50 relating to the decommissioning of power reactors which became 
effective August 28, 1996 (61 FR 39278). The materials provision would 
be amended to recognize that licenses transferred to an Agreement State 
as a result of a new Agreement are effectively terminated by the NRC, 
for annual fee purposes, on the date that the Agreement with the State 
becomes effective.
    Sixth, Sec. 171.19 would be amended to update fiscal year 
references and to credit the partial payments made by certain licensees 
in FY 1997 either toward their total annual fee to be assessed or to 
make refunds, if necessary. This section would also be amended to 
modify the annual fee billing schedule for materials licenses 
terminated and new materials licenses issued during the fiscal year.
    The NRC will send a bill to reactors and major fuel cycle 
facilities for the amount of the annual fee upon publication of the FY 
1997 final rule. For these licensees, payment will be due on the 
effective date of FY 1997 rule. Those materials licensees whose license 
anniversary date during FY 1997 falls before the effective date of the 
final FY 1997 rule will be billed during the anniversary month of the 
license and continue to pay annual fees at the FY 1996 rate in FY 1997. 
Those materials licensees whose license anniversary date falls on or 
after the effective date of the final FY 1997 rule would be billed, at 
the FY 1997 revised rates, during the anniversary month of the license 
and payment would be due on the date of the invoice.
    The proposed amendments to 10 CFR part 171 do not change the 
underlying basis for 10 CFR part 171; that is, charging a class of 
licensees for NRC costs attributable to that class of licensees. The 
proposed changes are consistent with the NRC's FY 1995 final rule 
indicating that, for the period FY 1996-1999, the expectation is that 
annual fees would be adjusted by the percentage change (plus or minus) 
to the NRC's budget authority adjusted for NRC offsetting receipts and 
the number of licensees paying annual fees.

III. Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following analysis of those sections that would be amended by 
this proposed rule provides additional explanatory information. All 
references are to Title 10, Chapter I, U.S. Code of Federal 
Regulations.

Part 170

Section 170.11  Exemptions
    This section would be amended to add a new paragraph indicating 
that amendments to materials portable gauge licenses issued in 
accordance with NUREG 1556 that change only the name of the Radiation 
Safety Officer (RSO) would be exempt from amendment fees. This change 
is consistent with the recent Business Process Redesign (BPR) 
initiative and NUREG-1556, Volume 1, issued for public comment October 
3, 1996 (61 FR 51729). No amendment fees would be assessed for the 
amendments issued in accordance with NUREG 1556 to portable gauge 
licenses because the regulatory program would include commitments from 
the licensee concerning RSO qualifications and if those commitments are 
included in the amendment application then there would be no technical 
review conducted by the NRC. The NRC expects NUREG 1556 to be finalized 
before the final fee rule becomes effective. If not, then this proposed 
change will not be included in the final fee regulation.
Section 170.20  Average Cost per Professional Staff-Hour
    This section would be amended to establish two professional staff-
hour rates based on FY 1997 budgeted costs--one for the reactor program 
and one for the nuclear material and nuclear waste program. 
Accordingly, the NRC reactor direct staff-hour rate for FY 1997 for all 
activities whose fees are based on full cost under Sec. 170.21 would be 
$131 per hour, or $233,055 per direct FTE. The NRC nuclear material and 
nuclear waste direct staff-hour rate for all materials activities whose 
fees are based on full cost under Sec. 170.31 would be $125 per hour, 
or $222,517 per direct FTE. The rates are based on the FY 1997 direct 
FTEs and NRC budgeted costs that are not recovered through the 
appropriation from the NWF or the General Fund. The NRC has continued 
the use of cost center concepts established in FY 1995 in allocating 
certain costs to the reactor and materials programs in order to more 
closely align budgeted costs with specific classes of licensees. The 
method used to determine the two professional hourly rates is as 
follows:
    1. Direct program FTE levels are identified for both the reactor 
program and the nuclear material and waste program.
    2. Direct contract support, which is the use of contract or other 
services in support of the line organization's direct program, is 
excluded from the calculation of the hourly rate because the costs for 
direct contract support are charged directly through the various 
categories of fees.
    3. All other direct program costs (i.e., Salaries and Benefits, 
Travel) represent ``in-house'' costs and are to be allocated by 
dividing them uniformly by the total number of direct FTEs for the 
program. In addition, salaries and benefits plus contracts for general 
and administrative support are allocated to each program based on that 
program's salaries and benefits. This method results in the following 
costs which are included in the hourly rates.

[[Page 8889]]



   Table II.--FY 1997 Budget Authority to Be Included in Hourly Rates   
                          [Dollars in millions]                         
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Reactor      Materials 
                                                 program       program  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Salary and Benefits.........................        $155.3         $48.4
Allocated Agency Management and Support.....          42.5          13.2
                                             ---------------------------
      Subtotal..............................         197.8          61.6
General and Administrative Support (G&A):                               
    Program Travel and Other Support........           9.6           2.5
    Allocated Agency Management and Support.          72.1          22.4
                                             ---------------------------
      Subtotal..............................          81.7          24.9
Less offsetting receipts....................            .1              
                                             ---------------------------
      Total Budget Included in Hourly Rate..         279.4          86.5
Program Direct FTEs.........................       1,196.9         388.7
Rate per Direct FTE.........................     233,055       222,517  
Professional Hourly Rate....................         131           125  
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dividing the $279.4 million budget for the reactor program by the 
number of reactor program direct FTEs (1196.9) results in a rate for 
the reactor program of $233,055 per FTE for FY 1997. Dividing the $86.5 
million budget for the nuclear materials and nuclear waste program by 
the number of program direct FTEs (388.7) results in a rate of $222,517 
per FTE for FY 1997. The Direct FTE Hourly Rate for the reactor program 
would be $131 per hour (rounded to the nearest whole dollar). This rate 
is calculated by dividing the cost per direct FTE ($233,055) by the 
number of productive hours in one year (1776 hours) as indicated in the 
revised OMB Circular A-76, ``Performance of Commercial Activities.'' 
The Direct FTE Hourly Rate for the materials program would be $125 per 
hour (rounded to the nearest whole dollar). This rate is calculated by 
dividing the cost per direct FTE ($222,517) by the number of productive 
hours in one year (1776 hours). The FY 1997 rate is slightly higher 
than the FY 1996 rate due in part to the Federal pay raise given to all 
Federal employees in January 1996.
Section 170.21  Schedule of Fees for Production and Utilization 
Facilities, Review of Standard Reference Design Approvals, Special 
Projects, Inspections and Import and Export Licenses
    The NRC is proposing to revise the licensing and inspection fees in 
this section, which are based on full-cost recovery, to reflect FY 1997 
budgeted costs and to recover costs incurred by the NRC in providing 
licensing and inspection services to identifiable recipients. The fees 
assessed for services provided under the schedule are based on the 
professional hourly rate, as shown in Sec. 170.20, for the reactor 
program and any direct program support (contractual services) costs 
expended by the NRC. Any professional hours expended on or after the 
effective date of the final rule will be assessed at the FY 1997 hourly 
rate for the reactor program, as shown in Sec. 170.20. The fees in 
Sec. 170.21 for the review of import and export licensing, facility 
Category K, would be adjusted for FY 1997 to reflect both the increase 
in the hourly rate and the revised average professional staff hours 
needed to process certain types of licensing actions.
    For those applications currently on file and pending completion, 
footnote 2 of Sec. 170.21 would be revised to provide that professional 
hours expended up to the effective date of the final rule will be 
assessed at the professional rates in effect at the time the service 
was rendered. For topical report applications currently on file that 
are still pending completion of the review, and for which review costs 
have reached the applicable fee ceiling established by the July 2, 1990 
rule, the costs incurred after any applicable ceiling was reached 
through August 8, 1991, will not be billed to the applicant. Any 
professional hours expended for the review of topical report 
applications, amendments, revisions, or supplements to a topical report 
on or after August 9, 1991, are assessed at the applicable rate 
established by Sec. 170.20.
Section 170.31  Schedule of Fees for Materials Licenses and Other 
Regulatory Services, Including Inspections and Import and Export 
Licenses
    The licensing and inspection fees in this section, which are based 
on full-cost recovery, would be modified to recover the FY 1997 costs 
incurred by the NRC in providing licensing and inspection services to 
identifiable recipients. The fees assessed for services provided under 
the schedule would be based on both the professional hourly rate as 
shown in Sec. 170.20 for the materials program and any direct program 
support (contractual services) costs expended by the NRC. Licensing 
fees based on the average time to review an application (``flat'' fees) 
would be adjusted to reflect both the revised average professional 
staff hours needed to process a licensing action (new license and 
amendment) and the increase in the professional hourly rate from $120 
per hour in FY 1996 to $125 per hour in FY 1997.
    As previously indicated, the CFO Act requires that the NRC conduct 
a biennial review of fees and other charges imposed by the agency for 
its services and revise those charges to reflect the costs incurred in 
providing the services. Consistent with the CFO Act requirement, the 
NRC has completed its most recent review of license fees assessed by 
the agency. The review focused on the flat fees that are charged to 
nuclear materials users for licensing actions (new licenses and 
amendments). The full cost license and inspection fees (e.g., for fuel 
cycle facilities) and annual fees were not included in this biennial 
review because the hourly rate for full cost fees and the annual fees 
are reviewed and updated annually in order to recover 100 percent of 
the NRC budget authority.
    To determine the licensing flat fees for materials licensees and 
applicants, the NRC uses historical data to determine the average 
number of professional hours required to perform a licensing action for 
each license category. These average hours are multiplied by the 
proposed materials program professional hourly rate of $125 per hour 
for FY 1997. The review indicated that the NRC needed to

[[Page 8890]]

modify the average number of hours on which the current licensing flat 
fees are based in order to recover the cost of providing licensing 
services. The average number of hours required for licensing actions 
was last reviewed and modified in 1995 (60 FR 32218; June 20, 1995). 
Thus the revised hours used to determine the proposed fees for FY 1997 
reflect the changes in the licensing program that have occurred since 
that time. For new licenses, the proposed fees for FY 1997 are 
increased in approximately 70 percent of the fee categories, while the 
proposed fees for amendments have increased in over 60 percent of the 
fee categories.
    The ``flat'' fees in Sec. 170.31 for the review of import and 
export licensing applications have increased from FY 1996 as a result 
of the increase in the hourly rate and the results of the biennial 
review. The proposed licensing ``flat'' fees are applicable to fee 
categories 1.C and 1.D; 2.B and 2.C; 3.A through 3.P; 4.B through 9.D, 
10.B, 15.A through 15.E and 16. Applications filed on or after the 
effective date of the final rule would be subject to the fees in this 
proposed rule.
    The amounts of the materials licensing ``flat'' fees were rounded 
off so that the amounts would be de minimis and the resulting flat fee 
would be convenient to the user. Fees that are greater than $1,000 but 
are less than $100,000 are rounded to the nearest $100. Fees that are 
greater than $100,000 are rounded to the nearest $1,000. Fees under 
$1,000 are rounded to the nearest $10.
    For those licensing, inspection, and review fees that are based on 
full-cost recovery (cost for professional staff hours plus any 
contractual services), the materials program hourly rate of $125, as 
shown in Sec. 170.20, would apply to those professional staff hours 
expended on or after the effective date of the final rule.
    In addition to the above rule changes, the NRC is clarifying how it 
would recover the costs of post-implementation reviews of changes 
licensees make without prior NRC review; for example, changes under 
Secs. 50.54, 50.59 and 70.32. The NRC is announcing here that licensees 
would be billed for post-implementation reviews of these changes under 
Secs. 170.21 and 170.31, beginning with the effective date of the FY 
1997 final fee rule. There will be no change in how fees are assessed 
for any pre-implementation interactions including any review prior to 
licensee submissions, between the NRC and licensees. As in the past, 
any pre-implementation interaction will not be fee-bearing. It is noted 
that the NRC plans to inform reactor licensees in the near future that 
their submittals under Sec. 50.54(a), (p) and (q) should not ask for 
pre-implementation reviews; instead, licensees are required to perform 
their analyses, implement their changes (if the analyses show that the 
changes do not degrade plans the NRC has already approved), and make 
their submittals under the relevant subsection of Sec. 50.54. The NRC 
will then verify that the changes are in compliance with Sec. 50.54.

Part 171

Section 171.13  Notice
    The language in this section would be revised to indicate that in 
the unlikely event the NRC is unable to publish a fee rule with an 
effective date within the current fiscal year, then the NRC would 
continue to assess fees at the same rates as the previous fiscal year. 
The NRC believes that it will be able to publish an effective fee rule 
within a current fiscal year as it has done since FY 1991 when 100 
percent fee recovery was initiated. However, the possibility exists 
that the NRC might be unable to establish fees for a current fiscal 
year through the notice and comment process. Therefore, as a 
contingency plan for meeting the requirement of OBRA-90, the NRC is 
proposing to amend Sec. 171.13 to indicate that if the NRC is unable to 
promulgate a final fee rule within a current fiscal year, then fees 
would continue to be assessed at the same rates as the previous fiscal 
year. The NRC will continue to work diligently to publish the fee rules 
at the earliest possible time during the fiscal year.
Section 171.15  Annual Fee: Reactor Operating Licenses
    The annual fees in this section would be revised as described 
below. Paragraphs (a), (b), (c) (1), (c)(2), (e), and (f) would be 
revised to comply with the requirement of OBRA-90 that the NRC recover 
approximately 100 percent of its budget for FY 1997.
    Paragraph (b) would be revised in its entirety to establish the FY 
1997 annual fee for operating power reactors and to change fiscal year 
references from FY 1996 to FY 1997. The fees would be established by 
increasing FY 1996 annual fees (prior to rounding) by 8.2 percent. In 
the FY 1995 final rule, the NRC stated it would stabilize annual fees 
by adjusting the annual fees only by the percentage change (plus or 
minus) in NRC's total budget authority and adjustments based on changes 
in 10 CFR part 170 fees as well as in the number of licensees paying 
the fees. The first adjustment to the annual fees using this method 
occurred in FY 1996 when all annual fees were decreased 6.5 percent 
below the FY 1995 annual fees. The activities comprising the base FY 
1995 annual fee and the FY 1995 additional charge (surcharge) are 
listed in paragraphs (b) and (c) for convenience purposes.
    With respect to Big Rock Point, a smaller, older reactor, the NRC 
proposes to grant a partial exemption from the FY 1997 annual fees 
similar to FY 1996 based on a request filed with the NRC in accordance 
with Sec. 171.11.
    Each operating power reactor, except Big Rock Point, would pay an 
annual fee of $2,972,000 in FY 1997.
    Paragraph (e) would be revised to show the amount of the FY 1997 
annual fee for nonpower (test and research) reactors. In FY 1997, the 
proposed fee of $57,200 is 8.2 percent above the FY 1996 level. The NRC 
will continue to grant exemptions from the annual fee to Federally-
owned and State-owned research and test reactors that meet the 
exemption criteria specified in Sec. 171.11(a)(2).
    Paragraph (f) would be revised to change fiscal year date 
references.
Section 171.16  Annual Fees: Materials Licensees, Holders of 
Certificates of Compliance, Holders of Sealed Source and Device 
Registrations, Holders of Quality Assurance Program Approvals, and 
Government Agencies Licensed by the NRC
    Section 171.16(c) covers the fees assessed for those licensees that 
can qualify as small entities under NRC size standards. The NRC will 
continue to assess two fees for licensees that qualify as small 
entities under the NRC's size standards. In general, licensees with 
gross annual receipts of $350,000 to $5 million pay a maximum fee of 
$1,800. A second or lower-tier small entity fee of $400 is in place for 
small entities with gross annual receipts of less than $350,000 and 
small governmental jurisdictions with a population of less than 20,000. 
No change in the amount of the small entity fees is being proposed 
because the small entity fees are not based on the budget but are 
established at a level to reduce the impact of fees on small entities. 
The small entity fees are shown in the proposed rule for convenience. A 
materials licensee may pay a reduced annual fee if the licensee 
qualifies as a small entity under the NRC's size standards and 
certifies that it is a small entity using NRC Form 526.
    Section 171.16(d) would be revised to establish the FY 1997 annual 
fees for materials licensees, including

[[Page 8891]]

Government agencies, licensed by the NRC. These fees were determined by 
increasing the FY 1996 annual fees (prior to rounding) by 8.2 percent.
    In addition, an annual fee is proposed in Sec. 171.16(d), fee 
Category 1.E., for each Certificate of Compliance issued to the USEC on 
November 26, 1996, to operate the two gaseous diffusion plants (GDPs) 
located at Paducah, Kentucky, and at Piketon, Ohio. The NRC announced 
its intent to issue the compliance certificates to USEC on September 
19, 1996 (61 FR 49360). The NRC intends to assume regulatory 
jurisdiction over the two plants from DOE on March 3, 1997. Because the 
two plants have been certified in FY 1997, the NRC is proposing to 
establish an annual fee of $2,600,000 for each of these two facilities. 
The NRC methodology for determining annual fees for major fuel 
facilities was explained in the FY 1995 final fee rule published in the 
Federal Register on June 20, 1995 (60 FR 32234). As indicated in the 
Federal Register, the methodology can be applied to determine annual 
fees for new licenses or certificates. The NRC has applied the 
methodology to the USEC facilities and has concluded that the relative 
weighted safety and safeguards factors for these facilities is similar 
to a high enriched uranium facility. Therefore, the NRC is proposing to 
establish the annual fee for each USEC uranium enrichment facility at 
$2,600,000, the same as that for a high enrichment facility (fee 
category 1.A.(1)(a)). Because the certifications would be in effect for 
the last six months of FY 1997, the NRC would assess one-half of the 
annual fee or $1,300,000 to USEC for each certificate for the last half 
of FY 1997.
    The amount or range of the FY 1997 annual fees for all materials 
licensees is summarized as follows:

                  Materials Licenses Annual Fee Ranges                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Category of license                      Annual fees           
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part 70--High enriched fuel facility.  $2,600,000.                      
Part 70--Low enriched fuel facility..  1,276,000.                       
Part 40--UF6 conversion facility.....  647,000.                         
Part 40--Uranium recovery facilities.  22,300 to 61,600.                
Part 30--Byproduct Material Licenses.  490 to 23,5001.\1\               
Part 71--Transportion of Radioactive   1,000 to 78,700.                 
 Material.                                                              
Part 72--Independent Storage of Spent  282,000.                         
 Nuclear Fuel.                                                          
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 \1\ Excludes the annual fee for a few military ``master'' materials    
  licenses of broad-scope issued to Government agencies, which is       
  $420,000.                                                             

    Footnote 1 of 10 CFR 171.16(d) would be amended to provide a waiver 
of the annual fees for materials licensees, and holders of 
certificates, registrations, and approvals, who either filed for 
termination of their licenses or approvals or filed for possession 
only/storage only licenses before October 1, 1996, and permanently 
ceased licensed activities entirely by September 30, 1996. All other 
licensees and approval holders who held a license or approval on 
October 1, 1996, are subject to the FY 1997 annual fees.
Section 171.17  Proration
    The NRC is proposing to amend the proration provisions in 
Sec. 171.17 for reactor and materials licenses. Paragraph (a) would be 
amended to reflect the changes in 10 CFR part 50 relating to the 
decommissioning of power reactors which became effective August 28, 
1996 (61 FR 39278). Reactor annual fees would be prorated based on the 
requirements of Sec. 50.82(a)(2) that upon docketing of the 
certifications for permanent cessation of operations and permanent 
removal of fuel from the reactor vessel or when a final legally 
effective order to permanently cease operations has come into effect, 
the 10 CFR Part 50 license no longer authorizes operation of the 
reactor or emplacement or retention of fuel into the reactor vessel. 
Previously the proration of reactor annual fees was based on the date 
of issuance of the possession only license (POL).
    Paragraph (b) would be amended to recognize that materials licenses 
transferred to a new Agreement State are considered terminated by the 
NRC for annual fee purposes, on the date that the Agreement with the 
State becomes effective. The State of Massachusetts is expected to 
become an Agreement State in FY 1997 and approximately 425 licenses 
will be transferred to the State on the effective date of the 
Agreement. The NRC would assess the annual fees for those licenses 
being transferred to the State of Massachusetts using the current 
proration provisions of Sec. 171.17(b) whereby the licenses would be 
considered terminated on the effective date of the Agreement with 
Massachusetts.
    New licenses issued during FY 1997 would receive a prorated annual 
fee in accordance with the current proration provision of Sec. 171.17. 
For example, those new materials licenses issued during the period 
October 1 through March 31 of the FY will be assessed one-half the 
annual fee in effect on the anniversary date of the license. New 
materials licenses issued on or after April 1, 1997, will not be 
assessed an annual fee for FY 1997. Thereafter, the full annual fee is 
due and payable each subsequent fiscal year on the anniversary date of 
the license. Beginning June 11, 1996, (the effective date of the FY 
1996 final rule), affected materials licensees will be subject to the 
annual fee in effect on the anniversary date of the license. Affected 
licensees who are not sure of the anniversary date of their materials 
license should check the original issue date of the license.
Section 171.19  Payment
    Paragraph (b) would be revised to give credit for partial payments 
made by certain licensees in FY 1997 toward their FY 1997 annual fees. 
The NRC anticipates that the first, second, and third quarterly 
payments for FY 1997 will have been made by operating power reactor 
licensees and some large materials licensees before the final rule 
becomes effective. Therefore, the NRC would credit payments received 
for those quarterly annual fee assessments toward the total annual fee 
to be assessed. The NRC would adjust the fourth quarterly bill to 
recover the full amount of the revised annual fee or to make refunds, 
as necessary. Payment of the annual fee is due on the date of the 
invoice and interest accrues from the invoice date. However, interest 
will be waived if payment is received within 30 days from the invoice 
date.
    Paragraph (c) would be revised to update fiscal year references. 
Paragraph (d) would be revised to modify the billing schedule for 
terminated materials licenses and new materials licenses. Licenses 
subject to the annual fee that are terminated during the fiscal year 
but prior to the anniversary month of the license will be billed upon 
termination for the fee in effect at the time of the billing. New 
licenses subject to the annual fee will be billed in the month the 
license is issued or in the next available monthly billing for the fee 
in effect on the anniversary date of the license. Thereafter, annual 
fees for new licenses will be assessed in the anniversary month of the 
license.
    As in FY 1996, the NRC would continue to bill annual fees for most

[[Page 8892]]

materials licenses on the anniversary date of the license (licensees 
whose annual fees are $100,000 or more will continue to be assessed 
quarterly). The annual fee assessed will be the fee in effect on the 
license anniversary date. This proposed rule applies to those materials 
licenses in the following fee categories: 1.C. and 1.D.; 2.A.(2) 
through 2.C.; 3.A. through 3.P.; 4.A. through 9.D., and 10.B. For 
annual fee purposes, the anniversary date of the materials license is 
considered to be the first day of the month in which the original 
materials license was issued. For example, if the original materials 
license was issued on June 17 then, for annual fee purposes, the 
anniversary date of the materials license is June 1 and the licensee 
would continue to be billed in June of each year for the annual fee in 
effect on June 1. Materials licensees with anniversary dates in FY 1997 
before the effective date of the FY 1997 final rule will be billed 
during the anniversary month of the license and continue to pay annual 
fees at the FY 1996 rate in FY 1997. Those materials licensees with 
license anniversary dates falling on or after the effective date of the 
FY 1997 final rule would be billed, at the FY 1997 revised rates, 
during their anniversary month of their license and payment would be 
due on the date of the invoice.
    During the past six years many licensees have indicated that, 
although they held a valid NRC license authorizing the possession and 
use of special nuclear, source, or byproduct material, they were either 
not using the material to conduct operations or had disposed of the 
material and no longer needed the license. In response, the NRC has 
consistently stated that annual fees are assessed based on whether a 
licensee holds a valid NRC license that authorizes possession and use 
of radioactive material. Whether or not a licensee is actually 
conducting operations using the material is a matter of licensee 
discretion. The NRC cannot control whether a licensee elects to possess 
and use radioactive material once it receives a license from the NRC. 
Therefore, the NRC reemphasizes that the annual fee will be assessed 
based on whether a licensee holds a valid NRC license that authorizes 
possession and use of radioactive material. To remove any uncertainty, 
the NRC issued minor clarifying amendments to 10 CFR 171.16, footnotes 
1 and 7 on July 20, 1993 (58 FR 38700).

IV. Electronic Access

    Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted through the Internet 
by addressing electronic mail to INTERNET:[email protected] Comments may 
also be submitted electronically, in either ASCII text or WordPerfect 
format (version 5.1 or later), by calling the NRC Electronic Rulemaking 
Bulletin Board (BBS) on FEDWORLD.
    The BBS is an electronic information system operated by the 
National Technical Information Service of the Department of Commerce. 
The purpose of this BBS is to facilitate public participation in the 
NRC regulatory process, particularly rulemakings. This proposed 
rulemaking is available for review and comment on the BBS. The BBS may 
be accessed using a personal computer, a modem, and one of the commonly 
available communications software packages, or directly via the 
Internet.
    The NRC rulemaking bulletin board (rulemaking subsystem) on 
FEDWORLD can be accessed directly by using a personal computer and 
modem, and dialing the toll free number 1-800-303-9672.
    Communication software parameters should be set as follows: parity 
to none, data bits to 8, and stop bits to 1 (N,8,1). Using ANSI or VT-
100 terminal emulation, the NRC rulemaking subsystem can then be 
accessed by selecting the ``Rules Menu'' option from the ``NRC Main 
Menu.'' For further information about options available for NRC at 
FEDWORLD consult the ``Help/Information Center'' from the ``NRC Main 
Menu.'' Users will find the ``FEDWORLD Online User's Guides'' 
particularly helpful.
    The NRC subsystem on FEDWORLD also can be accessed by a direct dial 
phone number for the main FEDWORLD BBS at 703-321-3339, or by using 
Telnet via Internet: fedworld.gov. Using the 703 number to contact 
FEDWORLD, the NRC subsystem will be accessed from the main FEDWORLD 
menu by selecting the ``Regulatory, Government Administration and State 
Systems,'' then selecting ``Regulatory Information Mall.'' At that 
point, a menu will be displayed that has the option ``U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission'' that will take you to the NRC Online main menu. 
The NRC Online area also can be accessed directly by typing ``/go nrc'' 
at a FEDWORLD command line. If you access NRC from FEDWORLD's main 
menu, you may return to FEDWORLD by selecting the ``Return to 
FEDWORLD'' option from the NRC Online Main Menu. However, if you access 
NRC at FEDWORLD by using NRC's toll-free number, you will have full 
access to all NRC systems, but you will not have access to the main 
FEDWORLD system.
    If you contact FEDWORLD using Telnet, you will see the NRC area and 
menus, including the ``Rules Menu.'' Although you will be able to 
download documents and leave messages, you will not be able to write 
comments or upload files. If you contact FEDWORLD using File Transfer 
Program (FTP), all files can be accessed and downloaded, but uploads 
are not allowed, and all you will see is a list of files without 
descriptions (normal Gopher look). An index file listing all files 
within a subdirectory, with descriptions, is available. There is a 15-
minute time limit for FTP access.
    Although FEDWORLD can be accessed through the World Wide Web as 
well, like FTP, that mode only provides access for downloading files 
and does not display the NRC ``Rules Menu.''
    For more information on NRC bulletin boards call Mr. Arthur Davis, 
Systems Integration and Development Branch, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555, telephone 301-415-5780; e-mail 
AXD[email protected].

V. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion

    The NRC has determined that this proposed rule is the type of 
action described in categorical exclusion 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1). 
Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor an 
environmental impact assessment has been prepared for the proposed 
regulation. By its very nature, this regulatory action does not affect 
the environment, and therefore, no environmental justice issues are 
raised.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This proposed rule contains no information collection requirements 
and, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

VII. Regulatory Analysis

    With respect to 10 CFR part 170, this proposed rule was developed 
pursuant to Title V of the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 
1952 (IOAA) (31 U.S.C. 9701) and the Commission's fee guidelines. When 
developing these guidelines the Commission took into account guidance 
provided by the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4, 1974, in its decision of 
National Cable Television Association, Inc. v. United States, 415 U.S. 
36 (1974) and Federal Power Commission v. New England Power Company, 
415 U.S. 345 (1974). In these decisions, the Court held that the IOAA 
authorizes an agency to charge fees for

[[Page 8893]]

special benefits rendered to identifiable persons measured by the 
``value to the recipient'' of the agency service. The meaning of the 
IOAA was further clarified on December 16, 1976, by four decisions of 
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: National Cable 
Television Association v. Federal Communications Commission, 554 F.2d 
1094 (D.C. Cir. 1976); National Association of Broadcasters v. Federal 
Communications Commission, 554 F.2d 1118 (D.C. Cir. 1976); Electronic 
Industries Association v. Federal Communications Commission, 554 F.2d 
1109 (D.C. Cir. 1976) and Capital Cities Communication, Inc. v. Federal 
Communications Commission, 554 F.2d 1135 (D.C. Cir. 1976). These 
decisions of the Courts enabled the Commission to develop fee 
guidelines that are still used for cost recovery and fee development 
purposes.
    The Commission's fee guidelines were upheld on August 24, 1979, by 
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Mississippi Power 
and Light Co. v. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 601 F.2d 223 (5th 
Cir. 1979), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1102 (1980). The Court held that--
    (1) The NRC had the authority to recover the full cost of providing 
services to identifiable beneficiaries;
    (2) The NRC could properly assess a fee for the costs of providing 
routine inspections necessary to ensure a licensee's compliance with 
the Atomic Energy Act and with applicable regulations;
    (3) The NRC could charge for costs incurred in conducting 
environmental reviews required by NEPA;
    (4) The NRC properly included the costs of uncontested hearings and 
of administrative and technical support services in the fee schedule;
    (5) The NRC could assess a fee for renewing a license to operate a 
low-level radioactive waste burial site; and
    (6) The NRC's fees were not arbitrary or capricious.
    With respect to 10 CFR part 171, on November 5, 1990, the Congress 
passed Public Law 101-508, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1990 (OBRA-90) which required that for FYs 1991 through 1995, 
approximately 100 percent of the NRC budget authority be recovered 
through the assessment of fees. OBRA-90 was amended in 1993 to extend 
the 100 percent fee recovery requirement for NRC through FY 1998. To 
accomplish this statutory requirement, the NRC, in accordance with 
Sec. 171.13, is publishing the proposed amount of the FY 1997 annual 
fees for operating reactor licensees, fuel cycle licensees, materials 
licensees, and holders of Certificates of Compliance, registrations of 
sealed source and devices and QA program approvals, and Government 
agencies. OBRA-90 and the Conference Committee Report specifically 
state that--
    (1) The annual fees be based on the Commission's FY 1997 budget of 
$476.8 million less the amounts collected from Part 170 fees and the 
funds directly appropriated from the NWF to cover the NRC's high level 
waste program and the general fund related to commercial vitrification 
of waste at the Department of Energy Hanford, Washington site.
    (2) The annual fees shall, to the maximum extent practicable, have 
a reasonable relationship to the cost of regulatory services provided 
by the Commission; and
    (3) The annual fees be assessed to those licensees the Commission, 
in its discretion, determines can fairly, equitably, and practicably 
contribute to their payment.
    10 CFR Part 171, which established annual fees for operating power 
reactors effective October 20, 1986 (51 FR 33224; September 18, 1986), 
was challenged and upheld in its entirety in Florida Power and Light 
Company v. United States, 846 F.2d 765 (D.C. Cir. 1988), cert. denied, 
490 U.S. 1045 (1989).
    The NRC's FY 1991 annual fee rule was largely upheld by the D.C. 
Circuit Court of Appeals in Allied Signal v. NRC, 988 F.2d 146 (D.C. 
Cir. 1993).

VIII. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The NRC is required by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1990 to recover approximately 100 percent of its budget authority 
through the assessment of user fees. OBRA-90 further requires that the 
NRC establish a schedule of charges that fairly and equitably allocates 
the aggregate amount of these charges among licensees.
    This proposed rule establishes the schedules of fees that are 
necessary to implement the Congressional mandate for FY 1997. The 
proposed rule results in an increase in the annual fees charged to all 
licensees, and holders of certificates, registrations, and approvals. 
The Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, prepared in accordance with 5 
U.S.C. 604, is included as Appendix A to this proposed rule. The Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA) was 
signed into law on March 29, 1996. The SBREFA requires all Federal 
agencies to prepare a written compliance guide for each rule for which 
the agency is required by 5 U.S.C. 604 to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis. Therefore, in compliance with the law, Attachment 
1 to the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (Appendix A to this document) 
is the small entity compliance guide for FY 1997.

IX. Backfit Analysis

    The NRC has determined that the backfit rule, 10 CFR 50.109, does 
not apply to this proposed rule and that a backfit analysis is not 
required for this proposed rule. The backfit analysis is not required 
because these proposed amendments do not require the modification of or 
additions to systems, structures, components, or the design of a 
facility or the design approval or manufacturing license for a facility 
or the procedures or organization required to design, construct or 
operate a facility.

List of Subjects

10 CFR Part 170

    Byproduct material, Import and export licenses, Intergovernmental 
relations, Non-payment penalties, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power 
plants and reactors, Source material, Special nuclear material.

10 CFR Part 171

    Annual charges, Byproduct material, Holders of certificates, 
registrations, approvals, Intergovernmental relations, Non-payment 
penalties, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, Source 
material, Special nuclear material.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and 5 U.S.C. 553, the NRC is 
proposing to adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 170 and 
171.

PART 170--FEES FOR FACILITIES, MATERIALS, IMPORT AND EXPORT 
LICENSES, AND OTHER REGULATORY SERVICES UNDER THE ATOMIC ENERGY ACT 
OF 1954, AS AMENDED

    1. The authority citation for part 170 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 31 U.S.C. 9701, 96 Stat. 1051; sec. 301, Pub. L. 92-
314, 86 Stat. 222 (42 U.S.C. 2201w); sec. 201, Pub. L. 93-4381, 88 
Stat. 1242, as amended (42 U.S.C. 5841); sec. 205, Pub. L. 101-576, 
104 Stat. 2842, (31 U.S.C. 901).

    2. In Sec. 170.11, paragraph (a)(11) is added to read as follows:


Sec. 170.11  Exemptions.

    (a) * * *
    (11) Materials portable gauge licenses issued in accordance with 
NUREG-1556 that are amended to change only the name of the Radiation 
Safety Officer. This exemption does not apply to those materials 
portable gauge licenses that

[[Page 8894]]

also authorize possession and use of nuclear materials for other 
activities.
* * * * *
    3. Section 170.20 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 170.20  Average cost per professional staff-hour.

    Fees for permits, licenses, amendments, renewals, special projects, 
part 55 requalification and replacement examinations and tests, other 
required reviews, approvals, and inspections under Secs. 170.21 and 
170.31 that are based upon the full costs for the review or inspection 
will be calculated using the following applicable professional staff-
hour rates:

                                                                        
                                                                        
                                                                        
Reactor Program (Sec.  170.21 Activities)..  $131 per                   
                                             hour.                      
Nuclear Materials and Nuclear Waste Program  125 per                    
 (Sec.  170.31 Activities).                  hour.                      
                                                                        

    4. In Sec. 170.21, the introductory text, Category K, and footnotes 
1 and 2 to the table are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 170.21  Schedule of fees for production and utilization 
facilities, review of standard referenced design approvals, special 
projects, inspections and import and export licenses.

    Applicants for construction permits, manufacturing licenses, 
operating licenses, import and export licenses, approvals of facility 
standard reference designs, requalification and replacement 
examinations for reactor operators, and special projects and holders of 
construction permits, licenses, and other approvals shall pay fees for 
the following categories of services.

                        Schedule of Facility Fees                       
                     [see footnotes at end of table]                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Facility categories and type of fees                Fees1 2        
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        
*                  *                  *                  *              
K. Import and export licenses:                                          
    Licenses for the import and export only of                          
     production and utilization facilities or                           
     the export only of components for                                  
     production and utilization facilities                              
     issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 110:                                
        1. Application for import or export of                          
         reactors and other facilities and                              
         exports of components which must be                            
         reviewed by the Commissioners and the                          
         Executive Branch, for example,                                 
         actions under 10 CFR 110.40(b):                                
            Application--new license..........  $8,100                  
            Amendment.........................  $8,100                  
        2. Application for export of reactor                            
         and other components requiring                                 
         Executive Branch review only, for                              
         example, those actions under 10 CFR                            
         110.41(a) (1)-(8):                                             
                Application--new license......  $5,000                  
                Amendment.....................  $5,000                  
        3. Application for export of                                    
         components requiring foreign                                   
         government assurances only:                                    
                Application--new license......  $2,900                  
                Amendment.....................  $2,900                  
        4. Application for export of facility                           
         components and equipment not                                   
         requiring Commissioner review,                                 
         Executive Branch review, or foreign                            
         government assurances:                                         
                Application--new license......  $1,300                  
                Amendment.....................  $1,300                  
        5. Minor amendment of any export or                             
         import license to extend the                                   
         expiration date, change domestic                               
         information, or make other revisions                           
         which do not require in-depth                                  
         analysis or review:                                            
                Amendment.....................  $190                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Fees will not be charged for orders issued by the Commission        
  pursuant to Sec.  2.202 of this chapter or for amendments resulting   
  specifically from the requirements of these types of Commission       
  orders. Fees will be charged for approvals issued under a specific    
  exemption provision of the Commission's regulations under Title 10 of 
  the Code of Federal Regulations (e.g., Secs.  50.12, 73.5) and any    
  other sections now or hereafter in effect regardless of whether the   
  approval is in the form of a license amendment, letter of approval,   
  safety evaluation report, or other form. Fees for licenses in this    
  schedule that are initially issued for less than full power are based 
  on review through the issuance of a full power license (generally full
  power is considered 100 percent of the facility's full rated power).  
  Thus, if a licensee received a low power license or a temporary       
  license for less than full power and subsequently receives full power 
  authority (by way of license amendment or otherwise), the total costs 
  for the license will be determined through that period when authority 
  is granted for full power operation. If a situation arises in which   
  the Commission determines that full operating power for a particular  
  facility should be less than 100 percent of full rated power, the     
  total costs for the license will be at that determined lower operating
  power level and not at the 100 percent capacity.                      
\2\ Full cost fees will be determined based on the professional staff   
  time and appropriate contractual support services expended. For       
  applications currently on file and for which fees are determined based
  on the full cost expended for the review, the professional staff hours
  expended for the review of the application up to the effective date of
  the final rule will be determined at the professional rates in effect 
  at the time the service was provided. For those applications currently
  on file for which review costs have reached an applicable fee ceiling 
  established by the June 20, 1984, and July 2, 1990, rules but are     
  still pending completion of the review, the cost incurred after any   
  applicable ceiling was reached through January 29, 1989, will not be  
  billed to the applicant. Any professional staff-hours expended above  
  those ceilings on or after January 30, 1989, will be assessed at the  
  applicable rates established by Sec.  170.20, as appropriate, except  
  for topical reports whose costs exceed $50,000. Costs which exceed    
  $50,000 for any topical report, amendment, revision or supplement to a
  topical report completed or under review from January 30, 1989,       
  through August 8, 1991, will not be billed to the applicant. Any      
  professional hours expended on or after August 9, 1991, will be       
  assessed at the applicable rate established in Sec.  170.20. In no    
  event will the total review costs be less than twice the hourly rate  
  shown in Sec.  170.20.                                                
                                                                        
            *                *                *                *        
         *                *                *                            

    5. Section 170.31 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 170.31  Schedule of fees for materials licenses and other 
regulatory services, including inspections, and import and export 
licenses.

    Applicants for materials licenses, import and export licenses, and 
other regulatory services and holders of materials licenses, or import 
and export licenses shall pay fees for the following categories of 
services. This schedule includes fees for health and safety and 
safeguards inspections where applicable.

[[Page 8895]]



                       Schedule of Materials Fees                       
                     [See footnotes at end of table]                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Category of materials licenses and type of fees                         
                      \1\                              Fee \2\ \3\      
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Special nuclear material:                                            
    A. Licenses for possession and use of 200                           
     grams or more of plutonium in unsealed                             
     form or 350 grams or more of contained U-                          
     235 in unsealed form or 200 grams or more                          
     of U-233 in unsealed form. This includes                           
     applications to terminate licenses as well                         
     as licenses authorizing possession only:                           
        License, Renewal, Amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    B. Licenses for receipt and storage of                              
     spent fuel at an independent spent fuel                            
     storage installation (ISFSI):                                      
        License, Renewal, Amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    C. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     special nuclear material in sealed sources                         
     contained in devices used in industrial                            
     measuring systems, including x-ray                                 
     fluorescence analyzers: \4\                                        
        Application--New license...............  $580.                  
        Amendment..............................  $390.                  
    D. All other special nuclear material                               
     licenses, except licenses authorizing                              
     special nuclear material in unsealed form                          
     in combination that would constitute a                             
     critical quantity, as defined in Sec.                              
     150.11 of this chapter, for which the                              
     licensee shall pay the same fees as those                          
     for Category 1A: \4\                                               
        Application--New license...............  $780.                  
        Amendment..............................  $300.                  
    E. Licenses or certificates for                                     
     construction and operation of a uranium                            
     enrichment facility                                                
        Application............................  $125,000.              
        License, Renewal, Amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
2. Source material:                                                     
    A. (1) Licenses for possession and use of                           
     source material in recovery operations                             
     such as milling, in-situ leaching, heap-                           
     leaching, refining uranium mill                                    
     concentrates to uranium hexafluoride, ore                          
     buying stations, ion exchange facilities                           
     and in processing of ores containing                               
     source material for extraction of metals                           
     other than uranium or thorium, including                           
     licenses authorizing the possession of                             
     byproduct waste material (tailings) from                           
     source material recovery operations, as                            
     well as licenses authorizing the                                   
     possession and maintenance of a facility                           
     in a standby mode:                                                 
        License, Renewal, Amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    (2) Licenses that authorize the receipt of                          
     byproduct material, as defined in section                          
     11e(2) of the Atomic Energy Act, from                              
     other persons for possession and disposal                          
     except those licenses subject to fees in                           
     Category 2.A.(1)                                                   
        License, renewal, amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    (3) Licenses that authorize the receipt of                          
     byproduct material, as defined in section                          
     11e(2) of the Atomic Energy Act, from                              
     other persons for possession and disposal                          
     incidental to the disposal of the uranium                          
     waste tailings generated by the licensee's                         
     milling operations, except those licenses                          
     subject to the fees in Category 2.A.(1)                            
        License, renewal, amendment............  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    B. Licenses which authorize the possession,                         
     use and/or installation of source material                         
     for shielding:                                                     
        Application--New license...............  $130.                  
        Amendment..............................  $290.                  
    C. All other source material licenses:                              
        Application--New license...............  $3,700.                
        Amendment..............................  $580.                  
3. Byproduct material:                                                  
    A. Licenses of broad scope for possession                           
     and use of byproduct material issued                               
     pursuant to parts 30 and 33 of this                                
     chapter for processing or manufacturing of                         
     items containing byproduct material for                            
     commercial distribution:                                           
        Application--New license...............  $3,900.                
        Amendment..............................  $550.                  
    B. Other licenses for possession and use of                         
     byproduct material issued pursuant to Part                         
     30 of this chapter for processing or                               
     manufacturing of items containing                                  
     byproduct material for commercial                                  
     distribution:                                                      
        Application--New license...............  $1,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $580.                  
    C. Licenses issued pursuant to Secs.                                
     32.72, 32.73, and/or 32.74 of this chapter                         
     authorizing the processing or                                      
     manufacturing and distribution or                                  
     redistribution of radiopharmaceuticals,                            
     generators, reagent kits and/or sources                            
     and devices containing byproduct material.                         
     This category does not apply to licenses                           
     issued to nonprofit educational                                    
     institutions whose processing or                                   
     manufacturing is exempt under 10 CFR                               
     170.11(a)(4). These licenses are covered                           
     by fee Category 3D                                                 
        Application--New license...............  $7,100.                
        Amendment..............................  $650.                  
    D. Licenses and approvals issued pursuant                           
     to Secs.  32.72, 32.73, and/or 32.74 of                            
     this chapter authorizing distribution or                           
     redistribution of radiopharmaceuticals,                            
     generators, reagent kits and/or sources or                         
     devices not involving processing of                                
     byproduct material. This category includes                         
     licenses issued pursuant to Secs.  32.72,                          
     32.73, and/or 32.74 to nonprofit                                   
     educational institutions whose processing                          
     or manufacturing is exempt under 10 CFR                            
     170.11(a)(4)                                                       
        Application--New license...............  $2,000.                
        Amendment..............................  $440.                  
    E. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     byproduct material in sealed sources for                           
     irradiation of materials in which the                              
     source is not removed from its shield                              
     (self-shielded units):                                             
        Application--New license...............  $1,100.                
        Amendment..............................  $390.                  

[[Page 8896]]

                                                                        
    F. Licenses for possession and use of less                          
     than 10,000 curies of byproduct material                           
     in sealed sources for irradiation of                               
     materials in which the source is exposed                           
     for irradiation purposes. This category                            
     also includes underwater irradiators for                           
     irradiation of materials where the source                          
     is not exposed for irradiation purposes                            
        Application--New license...............  $2,000.                
        Amendment..............................  $450.                  
    G. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     10,000 curies or more of byproduct                                 
     material in sealed sources for irradiation                         
     of materials in which the source is                                
     exposed for irradiation purposes. This                             
     category also includes underwater                                  
     irradiators for irradiation of materials                           
     where the source is not exposed for                                
     irradiation purposes                                               
        Application--New license...............  $4,700.                
        Amendment..............................  $760.                  
    H. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart A of                         
     part 32 of this chapter to distribute                              
     items containing byproduct material that                           
     require device review to persons exempt                            
     from the licensing requirements of Part 30                         
     of this chapter, except specific licenses                          
     authorizing redistribution of items that                           
     have been authorized for distribution to                           
     persons exempt from the licensing                                  
     requirements of part 30 of this chapter:                           
        Application--New license...............  $2,800.                
        Amendment..............................  $1,000.                
    I. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart A of                         
     part 32 of this chapter to distribute                              
     items containing byproduct material or                             
     quantities of byproduct material that do                           
     not require device evaluation to persons                           
     exempt from the licensing requirements of                          
     part 30 of this chapter, except for                                
     specific licenses authorizing                                      
     redistribution of items that have been                             
     authorized for distribution to persons                             
     exempt from the licensing requirements of                          
     part 30 of this chapter:                                           
        Application--New license...............  $4,500.                
        Amendment..............................  $1,100.                
    J. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart B of                         
     part 32 of this chapter to distribute                              
     items containing byproduct material that                           
     require sealed source and/or device review                         
     to persons generally licensed under part                           
     31 of this chapter, except specific                                
     licenses authorizing redistribution of                             
     items that have been authorized for                                
     distribution to persons generally licensed                         
     under part 31 of this chapter:                                     
        Application--New license...............  $1,800.                
        Amendment..............................  $310.                  
    K. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart B of                         
     part 32 of this chapter to distribute                              
     items containing byproduct material or                             
     quantities of byproduct material that do                           
     not require sealed source and/or device                            
     review to persons generally licensed under                         
     part 31 of this chapter, except specific                           
     licenses authorizing redistribution of                             
     items that have been authorized for                                
     distribution to persons generally licensed                         
     under Part 31 of this chapter:                                     
        Application--New license...............  $1,000.                
        Amendment..............................  $350.                  
    L. Licenses of broad scope for possession                           
     and use of byproduct material issued                               
     pursuant to parts 30 and 33 of this                                
     chapter for research and development that                          
     do not authorize commercial distribution:                          
        Application--New license...............  $5,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $780.                  
    M. Other licenses for possession and use of                         
     byproduct material issued pursuant to part                         
     30 of this chapter for research and                                
     development that do not authorize                                  
     commercial distribution:                                           
        Application--New license...............  $1,900.                
        Amendment..............................  $640.                  
    N. Licenses that authorize services for                             
     other licensees, except:                                           
        (1) Licenses that authorize only                                
         calibration and/or leak testing                                
         services are subject to the fees                               
         specified in fee Category 3P; and                              
        (2) Licenses that authorize waste                               
         disposal services are subject to the                           
         fees specified in fee Categories 4A,                           
         4B, and 4C:                                                    
            Application--New license...........  $2,100.                
            Amendment..........................  $510.                  
    O. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     byproduct material issued pursuant to part                         
     34 of this chapter for industrial                                  
     radiography operations:                                            
        Application--New license...............  $4,400.                
        Amendment..............................  $700.                  
    P. All other specific byproduct material                            
     licenses, except those in Categories 4A                            
     through 9D:                                                        
        Application--New license ..............  $750.                  
        Amendment .............................  $350.                  
4. Waste disposal and processing:                                       
    A. Licenses specifically authorizing the                            
     receipt of waste byproduct material,                               
     source material, or special nuclear                                
     material from other persons for the                                
     purpose of contingency storage or                                  
     commercial land disposal by the licensee;                          
     or licenses authorizing contingency                                
     storage of low-level radioactive waste at                          
     the site of nuclear power reactors; or                             
     licenses for receipt of waste from other                           
     persons for incineration or other                                  
     treatment, packaging of resulting waste                            
     and residues, and transfer of packages to                          
     another person authorized to receive or                            
     dispose of waste material:                                         
        License, renewal, amendment............                         
        Full Cost Inspections..................  Full Cost.             
    B. Licenses specifically authorizing the                            
     receipt of waste byproduct material,                               
     source material, or special nuclear                                
     material from other persons for the                                
     purpose of packaging or repackaging the                            
     material. The licensee will dispose of the                         
     material by transfer to another person                             
     authorized to receive or dispose of the                            
     material:                                                          
        Application--New license...............  $2,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $540.                  

[[Page 8897]]

                                                                        
    C. Licenses specifically authorizing the                            
     receipt of prepackaged waste byproduct                             
     material, source material, or special                              
     nuclear material from other persons. The                           
     licensee will dispose of the material by                           
     transfer to another person authorized to                           
     receive or dispose of the material:                                
        Application--New license...............  $2,300.                
        Amendment..............................  $230.                  
5. Well logging:                                                        
    A. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     byproduct material, source material, and/                          
     or special nuclear material for well                               
     logging, well surveys, and tracer studies                          
     other than field flooding tracer studies:                          
        Application--New license...............  $3,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $850.                  
    B. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     byproduct material for field flooding                              
     tracer studies:                                                    
        License, renewal, amendment............  Full Cost.             
6. Nuclear laundries:                                                   
    A. Licenses for commercial collection and                           
     laundry of items contaminated with                                 
     byproduct material, source material, or                            
     special nuclear material:                                          
        Application--New license...............  $6,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $1,000.                
7. Medical licenses:                                                    
    A. Licenses issued pursuant to parts 30,                            
     35, 40, and 70 of this chapter for human                           
     use of byproduct material, source                                  
     material, or special nuclear material in                           
     sealed sources contained in teletherapy                            
     devices:                                                           
        Application--New license...............  $3,600.                
        Amendment..............................  $400.                  
    B. Licenses of broad scope issued to                                
     medical institutions or two or more                                
     physicians pursuant to parts 30, 33, 35,                           
     40, and 70 of this chapter authorizing                             
     research and development, including human                          
     use of byproduct material, except licenses                         
     for byproduct material, source material,                           
     or special nuclear material in sealed                              
     sources contained in teletherapy devices:                          
        Application--New license...............  $3,900.                
        Amendment..............................  $740.                  
    C. Other licenses issued pursuant to parts                          
     30, 35, 40, and 70 of this chapter for                             
     human use of byproduct material, source                            
     material, and/or special nuclear material,                         
     except licenses for byproduct material,                            
     source material, or special nuclear                                
     material in sealed sources contained in                            
     teletherapy devices:                                               
        Application--New license...............  $1,800.                
        Amendment..............................  $460.                  
8. Civil defense:                                                       
    A. Licenses for possession and use of                               
     byproduct material, source material, or                            
     special nuclear material for civil defense                         
     activities:                                                        
        Application--New license...............  $590.                  
        Amendment..............................  $410.                  
9. Device, product, or sealed source safety                             
 evaluation:                                                            
    A. Safety evaluation of devices or products                         
     containing byproduct material, source                              
     material, or special nuclear material,                             
     except reactor fuel devices, for                                   
     commercial distribution:                                           
        Application--each device...............  $3,700.                
        Amendment--each device.................  $610.                  
    B. Safety evaluation of devices or products                         
     containing byproduct material, source                              
     material, or special nuclear material                              
     manufactured in accordance with the unique                         
     specifications of, and for use by, a                               
     single applicant, except reactor fuel                              
     devices:                                                           
        Application--each device...............  $2,200.                
        Amendment--each device.................  $1,100.                
    C. Safety evaluation of sealed sources                              
     containing byproduct material, source                              
     material, or special nuclear material,                             
     except reactor fuel, for commercial                                
     distribution:                                                      
        Application--each source...............  $940.                  
        Amendment--each source.................  $630.                  
    D. Safety evaluation of sealed sources                              
     containing byproduct material, source                              
     material, or special nuclear material,                             
     manufactured in accordance with the unique                         
     specifications of, and for use by, a                               
     single applicant, except reactor fuel:                             
        Application--each source...............  $480.                  
        Amendment--each source.................  $160.                  
10. Transportation of radioactive material:                             
    A. Evaluation of casks, packages, and                               
     shipping containers:                                               
        Approval, Renewal, Amendment...........  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    B. Evaluation of 10 CFR Part 71 quality                             
     assurance programs:                                                
        Application--Approval..................  $350.                  
        Amendment..............................  $640.                  
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    11. Review of standardized spent fuel                               
     facilities:                                                        
        Approval, Renewal, Amendment...........  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
    12. Special projects: \5\                                           
        Approvals and preapplication/licensing   Full Cost.             
         activities.                                                    
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
13. A. Spent fuel storage cask Certificate of                           
 Compliance:                                                            
        Approvals..............................  Full Cost.             
        Amendments, revisions, and supplements.  Full Cost.             

[[Page 8898]]

                                                                        
        Reapproval.............................  Full Cost.             
    B. Inspections related to spent fuel         Full Cost.             
     storage cask Certificate of Compliance.                            
    C. Inspections related to storage of spent   Full Cost.             
     fuel under Sec.  72.210 of this chapter.                           
14. Byproduct, source, or special nuclear                               
 material licenses and other approvals                                  
 authorizing decommissioning, decontamination,                          
 reclamation, or site restoration activities                            
 pursuant to 10 CFR parts 30, 40, 70, and 72 of                         
 this chapter:                                                          
        Approval, Renewal, Amendment...........  Full Cost.             
        Inspections............................  Full Cost.             
15. Import and Export licenses:                                         
    Licenses issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 110                         
     of this chapter for the import and export                          
     only of special nuclear material, source                           
     material, tritium and other byproduct                              
     material, heavy water, or nuclear grade                            
     graphite.                                                          
                                                                        
    A. Application for export or import of high                         
     enriched uranium and other materials,                              
     including radioactive waste, which must be                         
     reviewed by the Commissioners and the                              
     Executive Branch, for example, those                               
     actions under 10 CFR 110.40(b). This                               
     category includes application for export                           
     or import of radioactive wastes in                                 
     multiple forms from multiple generators or                         
     brokers in the exporting country and/or                            
     going to multiple treatment, storage or                            
     disposal facilities in one or more                                 
     receiving countries.                                               
        Application--new license...............  $8,100.                
        Amendment..............................  $8,100.                
    B. Application for export or import of                              
     special nuclear material, source material,                         
     tritium and other byproduct material,                              
     heavy water, or nuclear grade graphite,                            
     including radioactive waste, requiring                             
     Executive Branch review but not                                    
     Commissioner review. This category                                 
     includes application for the export or                             
     import of radioactive waste involving a                            
     single form of waste from a single class                           
     of generator in the exporting country to a                         
     single treatment, storage and/or disposal                          
     facility in the receiving country.                                 
        Application--new license...............  $5,000.                
        Amendment..............................  $5,000.                
    C. Application for export of routine                                
     reloads of low enriched uranium reactor                            
     fuel and exports of source material                                
     requiring only foreign government                                  
     assurances under the Atomic Energy Act.                            
        Application--new license...............  $2,900.                
        Amendment..............................  $2,900.                
    D. Application for export or import of                              
     other materials, including radioactive                             
     waste, not requiring Commissioner review,                          
     Executive Branch review, or foreign                                
     government assurances under the Atomic                             
     Energy Act. This category includes                                 
     application for export or import of                                
     radioactive waste where the NRC has                                
     previously authorized the export or import                         
     of the same form of waste to or from the                           
     same or similar parties, requiring only                            
     confirmation from the receiving facility                           
     and licensing authorities that the                                 
     shipments may proceed according to                                 
     previously agreed understandings and                               
     procedures.                                                        
        Application--new license...............  $1,300.                
        Amendment..............................  $1,300.                
    E. Minor amendment of any export or import                          
     license to extend the expiration date,                             
     change domestic information, or make other                         
     revisions which do not require in-depth                            
     analysis, review, or consultations with                            
     other agencies or foreign governments.                             
        Amendment..............................  $190.                  
16. Reciprocity:                                                        
    Agreement State licensees who conduct                               
     activities under the reciprocity                                   
     provisions of 10 CFR 150.20                                        
        Application (initial filing of Form      $1,100.                
         241).                                                          
        Revisions..............................  $200.                  
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Types of fees--Separate charges, as shown in the schedule, will be  
  assessed for preapplication consultations and reviews and applications
  for new licenses and approvals, issuance of new licenses and          
  approvals, amendments and certain renewals to existing licenses and   
  approvals, safety evaluations of sealed sources and devices, and      
  certain inspections. The following guidelines apply to these charges: 
(a) Application fees. Applications for new materials licenses and       
  approvals; applications to reinstate expired, terminated or inactive  
  licenses and approvals except those subject to fees assessed at full  
  costs, and applications filed by Agreement State licensees to register
  under the general license provisions of 10 CFR 150.20, must be        
  accompanied by the prescribed application fee for each category,      
  except that:                                                          
(1) Applications for licenses covering more than one fee category of    
  special nuclear material or source material must be accompanied by the
  prescribed application fee for the highest fee category; and          
(2) Applications for licenses under Category 1E must be accompanied by  
  the prescribed application fee of $125,000.                           
(b) License/approval/review fees. Fees for applications for new licenses
  and approvals and for preapplication consultations and reviews subject
  to full cost fees (fee Categories 1A, 1B, 1E, 2A, 4A, 5B, 10A, 11, 12,
  13A, and 14) are due upon notification by the Commission in accordance
  with Sec.  170.12 (b), (e), and (f).                                  
(c) Renewal/reapproval fees. Applications subject to full cost fees (fee
  Categories 1A, 1B, 1E, 2A, 4A, 5B, 10A, 11, 13A, and 14) are due upon 
  notification by the Commission in accordance with Sec.  170.12(d).    
(d) Amendment/Revision Fees.                                            
(1) Applications for amendments to licenses and approvals and revisions 
  to reciprocity initial applications, except those subject to fees     
  assessed at full costs, must be accompanied by the prescribed         
  amendment/revision fee for each license/revision affected. An         
  application for an amendment to a license or approval classified in   
  more than one fee category must be accompanied by the prescribed      
  amendment fee for the category affected by the amendment unless the   
  amendment is applicable to two or more fee categories in which case   
  the amendment fee for the highest fee category would apply. For those 
  licenses and approvals subject to full costs (fee Categories 1A, 1B,  
  1E, 2A, 4A, 5B, 10A, 11, 12, 13A, and 14), amendment fees are due upon
  notification by the Commission in accordance with Sec.  170.12(c).    
(2) An application for amendment to a materials license or approval that
  would place the license or approval in a higher fee category or add a 
  new fee category must be accompanied by the prescribed application fee
  for the new category.                                                 
(3) An application for amendment to a license or approval that would    
  reduce the scope of a licensee's program to a lower fee category must 
  be accompanied by the prescribed amendment fee for the lower fee      
  category.                                                             
(4) Applications to terminate licenses authorizing small materials      
  programs, when no dismantling or decontamination procedure is         
  required, are not subject to fees.                                    

[[Page 8899]]

                                                                        
(e) Inspection fees. Inspections resulting from investigations conducted
  by the Office of Investigations and nonroutine inspections that result
  from third-party allegations are not subject to fees. The fees        
  assessed at full cost will be determined based on the professional    
  staff time required to conduct the inspection multiplied by the rate  
  established under Sec.  170.20 plus any applicable contractual support
  services costs incurred. Inspection fees are due upon notification by 
  the Commission in accordance with Sec.  170.12(g).                    
\2\ Fees will not be charged for orders issued by the Commission        
  pursuant to 10 CFR 2.202 or for amendments resulting specifically from
  the requirements of these types of Commission orders. However, fees   
  will be charged for approvals issued under a specific exemption       
  provision of the Commission's regulations under Title 10 of the Code  
  of Federal Regulations (e.g., 10 CFR 30.11, 40.14, 70.14, 73.5, and   
  any other sections now or hereafter in effect) regardless of whether  
  the approval is in the form of a license amendment, letter of         
  approval, safety evaluation report, or other form. In addition to the 
  fee shown, an applicant may be assessed an additional fee for sealed  
  source and device evaluations as shown in Categories 9A through 9D.   
\3\ Full cost fees will be determined based on the professional staff   
  time and appropriate contractual support services expended. For those 
  applications currently on file and for which fees are determined based
  on the full cost expended for the review, the professional staff hours
  expended for the review of the application up to the effective date of
  the final rule will be determined at the professional rates in effect 
  at the time the service was provided. For applications currently on   
  file for which review costs have reached an applicable fee ceiling    
  established by the June 20, 1984, and July 2, 1990, rules, but are    
  still pending completion of the review, the cost incurred after any   
  applicable ceiling was reached through January 29, 1989, will not be  
  billed to the applicant. Any professional staff-hours expended above  
  those ceilings on or after January 30, 1989, will be assessed at the  
  applicable rates established by Sec.  170.20, as appropriate, except  
  for topical reports whose costs exceed $50,000. Costs which exceed    
  $50,000 for each topical report, amendment, revision, or supplement to
  a topical report completed or under review from January 30, 1989,     
  through August 8, 1991, will not be billed to the applicant. Any      
  professional hours expended on or after August 9, 1991, will be       
  assessed at the applicable rate established in Sec.  170.20. The      
  minimum total review cost is twice the hourly rate shown in Sec.      
  170.20.                                                               
\4\ Licensees paying fees under Categories 1A, 1B, and 1E are not       
  subject to fees under Categories 1C and 1D for sealed sources         
  authorized in the same license except in those instances in which an  
  application deals only with the sealed sources authorized by the      
  license. Applicants for new licenses that cover both byproduct        
  material and special nuclear material in sealed sources for use in    
  gauging devices will pay the appropriate application fee for fee      
  Category 1C only.                                                     
\5\ Fees will not be assessed for requests/reports submitted to the NRC:
(a) In response to a Generic Letter or NRC Bulletin that does not result
  in an amendment to the license, does not result in the review of an   
  alternate method or reanalysis to meet the requirements of the Generic
  Letter, or does not involve an unreviewed safety issue;               
(b) In response to an NRC request (at the Associate Office Director     
  level or above) to resolve an identified safety or environmental      
  issue, or to assist NRC in developing a rule, regulatory guide, policy
  statement, generic letter, or bulletin; or                            
(c) As a means of exchanging information between industry organizations 
  and the NRC for the purpose of supporting generic regulatory          
  improvements or efforts.                                              

PART 171--ANNUAL FEES FOR REACTOR OPERATING LICENSES, AND FUEL 
CYCLE LICENSES AND MATERIALS LICENSES, INCLUDING HOLDERS OF 
CERTIFICATES OF COMPLIANCE, REGISTRATIONS, AND QUALITY ASSURANCE 
PROGRAM APPROVALS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LICENSED BY THE NRC

    6. The authority citation for part 171 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: Sec. 7601, Pub. L. 99-272, 100 Stat. 146, as amended 
by sec. 5601, Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330, as amended by Sec. 
3201, Pub. L. 101-239, 103 Stat. 2106 as amended by sec. 6101, Pub. 
L. 101-508, 104 Stat. 1388, (42 U.S.C. 2213); sec. 301, Pub. L. 92-
314, 86 Stat. 222 (42 U.S.C. 2201(w)); sec. 201, 88 Stat. 1242, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 5841); sec. 2903, Pub. L. 102-486, 106 Stat. 
3125, (42 U.S.C. 2214 note).

    7. Section 171.13 is revised to read as follows.


Sec. 171.13  Notice.

    The annual fees applicable to an operating reactor and to a 
materials licensee, including a Government agency licensed by the NRC, 
subject to this part and calculated in accordance with Secs. 171.15 and 
171.16, will be published as a notice in the Federal Register as soon 
as is practicable but no later than the third quarter of FY 1997 and 
1998. The annual fees will become due and payable to the NRC in 
accordance with Sec. 171.19 except as provided in Sec. 171.17. 
Quarterly payments of the annual fees of $100,000 or more will continue 
during the fiscal year and be based on the applicable annual fees as 
shown in Secs. 171.15 and 171.16 of the regulations until a notice 
concerning the revised amount of the fees for the fiscal year is 
published by the NRC. If the NRC is unable to publish a final fee rule 
that becomes effective during the current fiscal year, then fees would 
be assessed based on the rates in effect for the previous fiscal year.
    8. In Sec. 171.15, paragraphs (a), (b), (c) introductory text, 
(c)(1), (c)(2), (e), and (f) are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 171.15  Annual fees: Reactor operating licenses.

    (a) Each person licensed to operate a power, test, or research 
reactor shall pay the annual fee for each unit for which the person 
holds an operating license at any time during the Federal FY in which 
the fee is due, except for those test and research reactors exempted in 
Sec. 171.11 (a)(1) and (a)(2).
    (b) The FY 1997 uniform annual fee for each operating power reactor 
which must be collected by September 30, 1997, is $2,972,000. This fee 
has been determined by adjusting the FY 1996 annual fee upward by 8.2 
percent. In the FY 1995 final rule, the NRC stated it would stabilize 
annual fees by adjusting the annual fees only by the percentage change 
(plus or minus) in NRC's total budget authority and adjustments based 
on changes in 10 CFR part 170 fees as well as on the number of 
licensees paying the fees. The first adjustment to the annual fees 
using this method occurred in FY 1996 when all annual fees were 
decreased 6.5 percent below the FY 1995 annual fees. The FY 1995 annual 
fee was comprised of a base annual fee and an additional charge 
(surcharge). The activities comprising the base FY 1995 annual fee are 
as follows:
    (1) Power reactor safety and safeguards regulation except licensing 
and inspection activities recovered under 10 CFR part 170 of this 
chapter.
    (2) Research activities directly related to the regulation of power 
reactors.
    (3) Generic activities required largely for NRC to regulate power 
reactors, e.g., updating part 50 of this chapter, or operating the 
Incident Response Center.
    (c) The activities comprising the FY 1995 surcharge are as follows:
    (1) Activities not attributable to an existing NRC licensee or 
class of licensees; e.g., reviews submitted by other government 
agencies (e.g., DOE) that do not result in a license or are not 
associated with a license; international cooperative safety program and 
international safeguards activities; low-level waste disposal generic 
activities; uranium enrichment generic activities; and
    (2) Activities not currently assessed under 10 CFR Part 170 
licensing and inspection fees based on existing Commission policy, 
e.g., reviews and inspections conducted of nonprofit educational 
institutions, and costs that would not be collected from small entities 
based on Commission policy in accordance with the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.
* * * * *
    (e) The FY 1997 annual fees for licensees authorized to operate a 
nonpower (test and research) reactor licensed under part 50 of this 
chapter,

[[Page 8900]]

except for those reactors exempted from fees under Sec. 171.11(a), are 
as follows:

Research reactor................................................$57,200
Test reactor....................................................$57,200

    (f) For FY 1997 and FY 1998, annual fees for operating reactors 
will be calculated and assessed in accordance with Sec. 171.13.
    9. In Sec. 171.16, the introductory text of paragraph (c) and 
paragraphs (c)(1), (c)(4), (d), and (e) are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 171.16  Annual Fees: Materials Licensees, Holders of Certificates 
of Compliance, Holders of Sealed Source and Device Registrations, 
Holders of Quality Assurance Program Approvals and Government agencies 
licensed by the NRC.

* * * * *
    (c) A licensee who is required to pay an annual fee under this 
section may qualify as a small entity. If a licensee qualifies as a 
small entity and provides the Commission with the proper certification, 
the licensee may pay reduced annual fees for FY 1997 as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Maximum annual
 Small businesses not engaged in manufacturing and small      fee per   
  not-for-profit organizations (gross annual receipts)       licensed   
                                                             category   
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$350,000 to $5 million..................................          $1,800
Less than $350,000......................................             400
Manufacturing entities that have an average of 500                      
 employees or less:                                                     
  35 to 500 employees...................................           1,800
  Less than 35 employees................................             400
Small Governmental Jurisdictions (Including publicly                    
 supported educational institutions) (Population):                      
  20,000 to 50,000......................................           1,800
  Less than 20,000......................................             400
Educational Institutions that are not State or Publicly                 
 Supported, and have 500 Employees or Less:                             
  35 to 500 employees...................................           1,800
  Less than 35 employees................................             400
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) A licensee qualifies as a small entity if it meets the size 
standards established by the NRC (See 10 CFR 2.810).
* * * * *
    (4) For FY 1997, the maximum annual fee a small entity is required 
to pay is $1,800 for each category applicable to the license(s).
    (d) The FY 1997 annual fees for materials licensees and holders of 
certificates, registrations or approvals subject to fees under this 
section are shown below. The FY 1997 annual fees, which must be 
collected by September 30, 1997, have been determined by adjusting 
upward the FY 1996 annual fees by 8.2 percent. In the FY 1995 final 
rule, the NRC stated it would stabilize annual fees by adjusting the 
annual fees only by the percentage change (plus or minus) in NRC's 
total budget authority and adjustments based on changes in 10 CFR part 
170 fees as well as on the number of licensees paying the fees. The 
first adjustment to the annual fees using this method occurred in FY 
1996 when all annual fees were decreased 6.5 percent below the FY 1995 
annual fees. The FY 1995 annual fee was comprised of a base annual fee 
and an additional charge (surcharge). The activities comprising the FY 
1995 surcharge are shown for convenience in paragraph (e) of this 
section.

   Schedule of Materials Annual Fees and Fees for Government Agencies   
                             Licensed by NRC                            
                     [See footnotes at end of table]                    
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Annual fees 
             Category of materials licenses                 \1\ \2\ \3\ 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Special nuclear material:                                            
    A. (1) Licenses for possession and use of U-235 or                  
     plutonium for fuel fabrication activities.                         
        (a) Strategic Special Nuclear Material:                         
            Babcock & Wilcox SNM-42.....................      $2,600,000
            Nuclear Fuel Services SNM-124...............       2,600,000
        (b) Low Enriched Uranium in Dispersible Form                    
         Used for Fabrication of Power Reactor Fuel:                    
            Combustion Engineering (Hematite) SNM-33....       1,276,000
            General Electric Company SNM-1097...........       1,276,000
            Siemens Nuclear Power SNM-1227..............       1,276,000
            Westinghouse Electric Company SNM-1107......       1,276,000
    (2) All other special nuclear materials licenses not                
     included in Category 1.A.(1) which are licensed for                
     fuel cycle activities                                              
        (a) Facilities with limited operations:                         
            B&W Fuel Company SNM-1168...................         508,000
        (b) All Others:                                                 
            General Electric SNM-960....................         345,000
    B. Licenses for receipt and storage of spent fuel at                
     an independent spent fuel storage installation                     
     (ISFSI)............................................         282,000
    C. Licenses for possession and use of special                       
     nuclear material in sealed sources contained in                    
     devices used in industrial measuring systems,                      
     including x-ray fluorescence analyzers.............           1,300
    D. All other special nuclear material licenses,                     
     except licenses authorizing special nuclear                        
     material in unsealed form in combination that would                
     constitute a critical quantity, as defined in Sec.                 
     150.11 of this chapter, for which the licensee                     
     shall pay the same fees as those for Category                      
     1.A.(2)............................................           3,000
    E. Licenses or certificates for the operation of a                  
     uranium enrichment facility........................       2,600,000
2. Source material:                                                     
    A. (1) Licenses for possession and use of source                    
     material for refining uranium mill concentrates to                 
     uranium hexafluoride...............................         647,000
        (2) Licenses for possession and use of source                   
         material in recovery operations such as                        
         milling, in-situ leaching, heap-leaching, ore                  
         buying stations, ion exchange facilities and in                
         processing of ores containing source material                  
         for extraction of metals other than uranium or                 
         thorium, including licenses authorizing the                    
         possession of byproduct waste material                         
         (tailings) from source material recovery                       
         operations, as well as licenses authorizing the                
         possession and maintenance of a facility in a                  
         standby mode.                                                  
            Class I facilities \4\......................          61,600
            Class II facilities \4\.....................          34,800
            Other facilities \4\........................          22,300
        (3) Licenses that authorize the receipt of                      
         byproduct material, as defined in Section                      
         11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act, from other                   
         persons for possession and disposal, except                    
         those licenses subject to the fees in Category                 
         2.A.(2) or Category 2.A.(4)....................          45,200

[[Page 8901]]

                                                                        
        (4) Licenses that authorize the receipt of                      
         byproduct material, as defined in Section                      
         11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act, from other                   
         persons for possession and disposal incidental                 
         to the disposal of the uranium waste tailings                  
         generated by the licensee's milling operations,                
         except those licenses subject to the fees in                   
         Category 2.A.(2)...............................           8,000
    B. Licenses which authorize only the possession, use                
     and/or installation of source material for                         
     shielding..........................................             490
    C. All other source material licenses...............           8,700
3. Byproduct material:                                                  
    A. Licenses of broad scope for possession and use of                
     byproduct material issued pursuant to parts 30 and                 
     33 of this chapter for processing or manufacturing                 
     of items containing byproduct material for                         
     commercial distribution............................          16,600
    B. Other licenses for possession and use of                         
     byproduct material issued pursuant to part 30 of                   
     this chapter for processing or manufacturing of                    
     items containing byproduct material for commercial                 
     distribution.......................................           5,600
    C. Licenses issued pursuant to Secs.  32.72, 32.73,                 
     and/or 32.74 of this chapter authorizing the                       
     processing or manufacturing and distribution or                    
     redistribution of radiopharmaceuticals, generators,                
     reagent kits and/or sources and devices containing                 
     byproduct material. This category also includes the                
     possession and use of source material for shielding                
     authorized pursuant to part 40 of this chapter when                
     included on the same license. This category does                   
     not apply to licenses issued to nonprofit                          
     educational institutions whose processing or                       
     manufacturing is exempt under 10 CFR 171.11(a)(1).                 
     These licenses are covered by fee Category 3D......          11,200
    D. Licenses and approvals issued pursuant to Secs.                  
     32.72, 32.73, and/or 32.74 of this chapter                         
     authorizing distribution or redistribution of                      
     radiopharmaceuticals, generators, reagent kits and/                
     or sources or devices not involving processing of                  
     byproduct material. This category includes licenses                
     issued pursuant to Secs.  32.72, 32.73 and 32.74 to                
     nonprofit educational institutions whose processing                
     or manufacturing is exempt under 10 CFR                            
     171.11(a)(1). This category also includes the                      
     possession and use of source material for shielding                
     authorized pursuant to part 40 of this chapter when                
     included on the same license.......................           4,400
    E. Licenses for possession and use of byproduct                     
     material in sealed sources for irradiation of                      
     materials in which the source is not removed from                  
     its shield (self-shielded units)...................           3,200
    F. Licenses for possession and use of less than                     
     10,000 curies of byproduct material in sealed                      
     sources for irradiation of materials in which the                  
     source is exposed for irradiation purposes. This                   
     category also includes underwater irradiators for                  
     irradiation of materials in which the source is not                
     exposed for irradiation purposes...................           3,800
    G. Licenses for possession and use of 10,000 curies                 
     or more of byproduct material in sealed sources for                
     irradiation of materials in which the source is                    
     exposed for irradiation purposes. This category                    
     also includes underwater irradiators for                           
     irradiation of materials in which the source is not                
     exposed for irradiation purposes...................          19,600
    H. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart A of part 32                 
     of this chapter to distribute items containing                     
     byproduct material that require device review to                   
     persons exempt from the licensing requirements of                  
     part 30 of this chapter, except specific licenses                  
     authorizing redistribution of items that have been                 
     authorized for distribution to persons exempt from                 
     the licensing requirements of part 30 of this                      
     chapter............................................           5,000
    I. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart A of part 32                 
     of this chapter to distribute items containing                     
     byproduct material or quantities of byproduct                      
     material that do not require device evaluation to                  
     persons exempt from the licensing requirements of                  
     part 30 of this chapter, except for specific                       
     licenses authorizing redistribution of items that                  
     have been authorized for distribution to persons                   
     exempt from the licensing requirements of part 30                  
     of this chapter....................................           8,900
    J. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart B of part 32                 
     of this chapter to distribute items containing                     
     byproduct material that require sealed source and/                 
     or device review to persons generally licensed                     
     under part 31 of this chapter, except specific                     
     licenses authorizing redistribution of items that                  
     have been authorized for distribution to persons                   
     generally licensed under part 31 of this chapter...           3,800
    K. Licenses issued pursuant to subpart B of part 31                 
     of this chapter to distribute items containing                     
     byproduct material or quantities of byproduct                      
     material that do not require sealed source and/or                  
     device review to persons generally licensed under                  
     part 31 of this chapter, except specific licenses                  
     authorizing redistribution of items that have been                 
     authorized for distribution to persons generally                   
     licensed under part 31 of this chapter.............           3,200
    L. Licenses of broad scope for possession and use of                
     byproduct material issued pursuant to parts 30 and                 
     33 of this chapter for research and development                    
     that do not authorize commercial distribution......          12,300
    M. Other licenses for possession and use of                         
     byproduct material issued pursuant to part 30 of                   
     this chapter for research and development that do                  
     not authorize commercial distribution..............           5,500
    N. Licenses that authorize services for other                       
     licensees, except:                                                 
        (1) Licenses that authorize only calibration and/               
         or leak testing services are subject to the                    
         fees specified in fee Category 3P; and                         
        (2) Licenses that authorize waste disposal                      
         services are subject to the fees specified in                  
         fee Categories 4A, 4B, and 4C                             6,100
    O. Licenses for possession and use of byproduct                     
     material issued pursuant to part 34 of this chapter                
     for industrial radiography operations. This                        
     category also includes the possession and use of                   
     source material for shielding authorized pursuant                  
     to part 40 of this chapter when authorized on the                  
     same license.......................................          14,000
    P. All other specific byproduct material licenses,                  
     except those in Categories 4A through 9D...........           1,700
4. Waste disposal and processing:                                       
    A. Licenses specifically authorizing the receipt of                 
     waste byproduct material, source material, or                      
     special nuclear material from other persons for the                
     purpose of contingency storage or commercial land                  
     disposal by the licensee; or licenses authorizing                  
     contingency storage of low-level radioactive waste                 
     at the site of nuclear power reactors; or licenses                 
     for receipt of waste from other persons for                        
     incineration or other treatment, packaging of                      
     resulting waste and residues, and transfer of                      
     packages to another person authorized to receive or                
     dispose of waste material..........................     \5\ 102,000
    B. Licenses specifically authorizing the receipt of                 
     waste byproduct material, source material, or                      
     special nuclear material from other persons for the                
     purpose of packaging or repackaging the material.                  
     The licensee will dispose of the material by                       
     transfer to another person authorized to receive or                
     dispose of the material............................          14,400

[[Page 8902]]

                                                                        
    C. Licenses specifically authorizing the receipt of                 
     prepackaged waste byproduct material, source                       
     material, or special nuclear material from other                   
     persons. The licensee will dispose of the material                 
     by transfer to another person authorized to receive                
     or dispose of the material.........................           7,700
5. Well logging:                                                        
    A. Licenses for possession and use of byproduct                     
     material, source material, and/or special nuclear                  
     material for well logging, well surveys, and tracer                
     studies other than field flooding tracer studies...           8,200
    B. Licenses for possession and use of byproduct                     
     material for field flooding tracer studies.........          13,200
6. Nuclear laundries:                                                   
    A. Licenses for commercial collection and laundry of                
     items contaminated with byproduct material, source                 
     material, or special nuclear material..............          14,700
7. Medical licenses:                                                    
    A. Licenses issued pursuant to parts 30, 35, 40, and                
     70 of this chapter for human use of byproduct                      
     material, source material, or special nuclear                      
     material in sealed sources contained in teletherapy                
     devices. This category also includes the possession                
     and use of source material for shielding when                      
     authorized on the same license.....................          10,300
    B. Licenses of broad scope issued to medical                        
     institutions or two or more physicians pursuant to                 
     parts 30, 33, 35, 40, and 70 of this chapter                       
     authorizing research and development, including                    
     human use of byproduct material except licenses for                
     byproduct material, source material, or special                    
     nuclear material in sealed sources contained in                    
     teletherapy devices. This category also includes                   
     the possession and use of source material for                      
     shielding when authorized on the same license \9\..          23,500
    C. Other licenses issued pursuant to parts 30, 35,                  
     40, and 70 of this chapter for human use of                        
     byproduct material, source material, and/or special                
     nuclear material except licenses for byproduct                     
     material, source material, or special nuclear                      
     material in sealed sources contained in teletherapy                
     devices. This category also includes the possession                
     and use of source material for shielding when                      
     authorized on the same license \9\.................           4,700
8. Civil defense:                                                       
    A. Licenses for possession and use of byproduct                     
     material, source material, or special nuclear                      
     material for civil defense activities..............           1,800
9. Device, product, or sealed source safety evaluation:                 
    A. Registrations issued for the safety evaluation of                
     devices or products containing byproduct material,                 
     source material, or special nuclear material,                      
     except reactor fuel devices, for commercial                        
     distribution.......................................           7,200
    B. Registrations issued for the safety evaluation of                
     devices or products containing byproduct material,                 
     source material, or special nuclear material                       
     manufactured in accordance with the unique                         
     specifications of, and for use by, a single                        
     applicant, except reactor fuel devices.............           3,700
    C. Registrations issued for the safety evaluation of                
     sealed sources containing byproduct material,                      
     source material, or special nuclear material,                      
     except reactor fuel, for commercial distribution...           1,600
    D. Registrations issued for the safety evaluation of                
     sealed sources containing byproduct material,                      
     source material, or special nuclear material,                      
     manufactured in accordance with the unique                         
     specifications of, and for use by, a single                        
     applicant, except reactor fuel.....................             780
10. Transportation of radioactive material:                             
    A. Certificates of Compliance or other package                      
     approvals issued for design of casks, packages, and                
     shipping containers................................                
        Spent Fuel, High-Level Waste, and plutonium air                 
         packages.......................................         \6\ N/A
        Other Casks.....................................         \6\ N/A
    B. Approvals issued of 10 CFR part 71 quality                       
     assurance programs                                                 
        Users and Fabricators...........................          78,700
        Users...........................................           1,000
11. Standardized spent fuel facilities..................         \6\ N/A
12. Special Projects....................................         \6\ N/A
13. A. Spent fuel storage cask Certificate of Compliance         \6\ N/A
    B. General licenses for storage of spent fuel under                 
     10 CFR 72.210......................................         282,000
14. Byproduct, source, or special nuclear material                      
 licenses and other approvals authorizing                               
 decommissioning, decontamination, reclamation, or site                 
 restoration activities pursuant to 10 CFR parts 30, 40,                
 70, and 72.............................................         \7\ N/A
15. Import and Export licenses..........................         \8\ N/A
16. Reciprocity.........................................         \8\ N/A
17. Master materials licenses of broad scope issued to                  
 Government agencies....................................         420,000
18. Department of Energy:                                               
    A. Certificates of Compliance.......................   \10\1,166,000
    B. Uranium Mill Tailing Radiation Control Act                       
     (UMTRCA) activities................................       1,961,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Annual fees will be assessed based on whether a licensee held a     
  valid license with the NRC authorizing possession and use of          
  radioactive material during the fiscal year. However, the annual fee  
  is waived for those materials licenses and holders of certificates,   
  registrations, and approvals who either filed for termination of their
  licenses or approvals or filed for possession only/storage licenses   
  prior to October 1, 1996, and permanently ceased licensed activities  
  entirely by September 30, 1996. Annual fees for licensees who filed   
  for termination of a license, downgrade of a license, or for a POL    
  during the fiscal year and for new licenses issued during the fiscal  
  year will be prorated in accordance with the provisions of Sec.       
  171.17. If a person holds more than one license, certificate,         
  registration, or approval, the annual fee(s) will be assessed for each
  license, certificate, registration, or approval held by that person.  
  For licenses that authorize more than one activity on a single license
  (e.g., human use and irradiator activities), annual fees will be      
  assessed for each category applicable to the license. Licensees paying
  annual fees under Category 1.A.(1). are not subject to the annual fees
  of Category 1.C and 1.D for sealed sources authorized in the license. 
\2\ Payment of the prescribed annual fee does not automatically renew   
  the license, certificate, registration, or approval for which the fee 
  is paid. Renewal applications must be filed in accordance with the    
  requirements of parts 30, 40, 70, 71, or 72 of this chapter.          
\3\ For FY 1998, fees for these materials licenses will be calculated   
  and assessed in accordance with Sec.  171.13 and will be published in 
  the Federal Register for notice and comment.                          
\4\ A Class I license includes mill licenses issued for the extraction  
  of uranium from uranium ore. A Class II license includes solution     
  mining licenses (in-situ and heap leach) issued for the extraction of 
  uranium from uranium ores including research and development licenses.
  An ``other'' license includes licenses for extraction of metals, heavy
  metals, and rare earths.                                              

[[Page 8903]]

                                                                        
\5\ Two licenses have been issued by NRC for land disposal of special   
  nuclear material. Once NRC issues a LLW disposal license for byproduct
  and source material, the Commission will consider establishing an     
  annual fee for this type of license.                                  
\6\ Standardized spent fuel facilities, parts 71 and 72 Certificates of 
  Compliance, and special reviews, such as topical reports, are not     
  assessed an annual fee because the generic costs of regulating these  
  activities are primarily attributable to the users of the designs,    
  certificates, and topical reports.                                    
\7\ Licensees in this category are not assessed an annual fee because   
  they are charged an annual fee in other categories while they are     
  licensed to operate.                                                  
\8\ No annual fee is charged because it is not practical to administer  
  due to the relatively short life or temporary nature of the license.  
\9\ Separate annual fees will not be assessed for pacemaker licenses    
  issued to medical institutions who also hold nuclear medicine licenses
  under Categories 7B or 7C.                                            
\10\ This includes Certificates of Compliance issued to DOE that are not
  under the Nuclear Waste Fund.                                         

    (e) The activities comprising the FY 1995 surcharge are as follows:
    (1) LLW disposal generic activities;
    (2) Activities not attributable to an existing NRC licensee or 
classes of licensees; e.g., international cooperative safety program 
and international safeguards activities; support for the Agreement 
State program; site decommissioning management plan (SDMP) activities 
and
    (3) Activities not currently assessed under 10 CFR part 170 
licensing and inspection fees based on existing law or Commission 
policy, e.g., reviews and inspections conducted of nonprofit 
educational institutions and Federal agencies; activities related to 
decommissioning and reclamation and costs that would not be collected 
from small entities based on Commission policy in accordance with the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act.
* * * * *
    10. In Sec. 171.17, introductory text, paragraphs (a), (b) 
introductory text, and (b)(1) are revised to read as follows:


Sec. 171.17  Proration.

    Annual fees will be prorated for NRC licensees as follows:
    (a) Reactors. The annual fee for reactors (power and nonpower) that 
are subject to fees under this part and are granted a license to 
operate on or after October 1 of a Fiscal Year is prorated on the basis 
of the number of days remaining in the fiscal year. Thereafter, the 
full fee is due and payable each subsequent fiscal year. Licensees who 
have requested amendment to withdraw operating authority permanently 
during the fiscal year will be prorated based on the number of days 
during the fiscal year the license was in effect before docketing of 
the certifications for permanent cessation of operations and permanent 
removal of fuel from the reactor vessel or when a final legally 
effective order to permanently cease operations has come into effect.
    (b) Materials licenses (including fuel cycle licenses). (1) New 
licenses and terminations. The annual fee for a materials license that 
is subject to fees under this part and issued on or after October 1 of 
the FY is prorated on the basis of when the NRC issues the new license. 
New licenses issued during the period October 1 through March 31 of the 
FY will be assessed one-half the annual fee for that FY. New licenses 
issued on or after April 1 of the FY will not be assessed an annual fee 
for that FY. Thereafter, the full fee is due and payable each 
subsequent FY. The annual fee will be prorated for licenses for which a 
termination request or a request for a POL has been received on or 
after October 1 of a FY on the basis of when the application for 
termination or POL is received by the NRC provided the licensee 
permanently ceased licensed activities during the specified period. 
Licenses for which applications for termination or POL are filed during 
the period October 1 through March 31 of the FY are assessed one-half 
the annual fee for the applicable category(ies) for that FY. Licenses 
for which applications for termination or POL are filed on or after 
April 1 of the FY are assessed the full annual fee for that FY. 
Materials licenses transferred to a new Agreement State during the FY 
are considered terminated by the NRC, for annual fee purposes, on the 
date that the Agreement with the State becomes effective; therefore, 
the same proration provisions will apply as if the licenses were 
terminated.
* * * * *
    11. In Sec. 171.19, paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec. 171.19  Payment.

* * * * *
    (b) For FYs 1997 and FY 1998, the Commission will adjust the fourth 
quarterly bill for operating power reactors and certain materials 
licensees to recover the full amount of the revised annual fee. If the 
amounts collected in the first three quarters exceed the amount of the 
revised annual fee, the overpayment will be refunded. All other 
licensees, or holders of a certificate, registration, or approval of a 
QA program will be sent a bill for the full amount of the annual fee on 
the anniversary date of the license. Payment is due on the invoice date 
and interest accrues from the date of the invoice. However, interest 
will be waived if payment is received within 30 days from the invoice 
date.
    (c) For FYs 1997 and 1998, annual fees in the amount of $100,000 or 
more and described in the Federal Register notice pursuant to 
Sec. 171.13 must be paid in quarterly installments of 25 percent as 
billed by the NRC. The quarters begin on October 1, January 1, April 1, 
and July 1 of each fiscal year.
    (d) For FYs 1997 and 1998, annual fees of less than $100,000 must 
be paid as billed by the NRC. As established in FY 1996, materials 
license annual fees that are less than $100,000 are billed on the 
anniversary of the license. The materials licensees that are billed on 
the anniversary date of the license are those covered by fee categories 
1.C. and 1.D.; 2.A.(2) through 2.C.; 3.A. through 3.P.; 4.B. through 
9.D.; and 10.B. For annual fee purposes, the anniversary date of the 
license is considered to be the first day of the month in which the 
original license was issued by the NRC. Beginning June 11, 1996, the 
effective date of the FY 1996 final rule, licensees that are billed on 
the license anniversary date will be assessed the annual fee in effect 
on the anniversary date of the license. Materials licenses subject to 
the annual fee that are terminated during the fiscal year but prior to 
the anniversary month of the license will be billed upon termination 
for the fee in effect at the time of the billing. New materials 
licenses subject to the annual fee will be billed in the month the 
license is issued or in the next available monthly billing for the fee 
in effect on the anniversary date of the license. Thereafter, annual 
fees for new licenses will be assessed in the anniversary month of the 
license.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of February, 1997.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Ronald M. Scroggins,
Acting Chief Financial Officer.

Appendix A to This Proposed Rule--Regulatory Flexibility Analysis for 
the Amendments to 10 CFR Part 170 (License Fees) and 10 CFR Part 171 
(Annual Fees)

I. Background

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended, (5 U.S.C. 
601 et seq.) establishes as a principle of regulatory practice that 
agencies endeavor to fit regulatory and informational requirements, 
consistent with

[[Page 8904]]

applicable statutes, to a scale commensurate with the businesses, 
organizations, and government jurisdictions to which they apply. To 
achieve this principle, the Act requires that agencies consider the 
impact of their actions on small entities. If the agency cannot 
certify that a rule will not significantly impact a substantial 
number of small entities, then a regulatory flexibility analysis is 
required to examine the impacts on small entities and the 
alternatives to minimize these impacts.
    To assist in considering these impacts under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA), first the NRC adopted size standards for 
determining which NRC licensees qualify as small entities (50 FR 
50241; December 9, 1985). These size standards were clarified 
November 6, 1991 (56 FR 56672). On April 7, 1994 (59 FR 16513), the 
Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule changing its 
size standards. The SBA adjusted its receipts-based size standards 
levels to mitigate the effects of inflation from 1984 to 1994. On 
November 30, 1994 (59 FR 61293), the NRC published a proposed rule 
to amend its size standards. After evaluating the two comments 
received, a final rule that would revise the NRC's size standards as 
proposed was developed and approved by the SBA on March 24, 1995. 
The NRC published the final rule revising its size standards on 
April 11, 1995 (60 FR 18344). The revised standards became effective 
May 11, 1995. The revised standards adjusted the NRC receipts-based 
size standards from $3.5 million to $5 million to accommodate 
inflation and to conform to the SBA final rule. The NRC also 
eliminated the separate $1 million size standard for private 
practice physicians and applied a receipts-based size standard of $5 
million to this class of licensees. This mirrored the revised SBA 
standard of $5 million for medical practitioners. The NRC also 
established a size standard of 500 or fewer employees for business 
concerns that are manufacturing entities. This standard is the most 
commonly used SBA employee standard and is the standard applicable 
to the types of manufacturing industries that hold an NRC license.
    The NRC used the revised standards in the final FY 1995 and FY 
1996 fee rules and proposes to continue their use in this FY 1997 
proposed rule. The small entity fee categories in Sec. 171.16(c) of 
this proposed rule reflect the changes in the NRC's size standards 
adopted in FY 1995. A new maximum small entity fee for manufacturing 
industries with 35 to 500 employees was established at $1,800 and a 
lower-tier small entity fee of $400 was established for those 
manufacturing industries with less than 35 employees. The lower-tier 
receipts-based threshold of $250,000 was raised to $350,000 to 
reflect approximately the same percentage adjustment as that made by 
the SBA when they adjusted the receipts-based standard from $3.5 
million to $5 million. The NRC believes that continuing these 
actions for FY 1997 will reduce the impact of annual fees on small 
businesses. The NRC size standards are codified at 10 CFR 2.810.
    Public Law 101-508, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1990 (OBRA-90), requires that the NRC recover approximately 100 
percent of its budget authority, less appropriations from the 
Nuclear Waste Fund, for Fiscal Years (FY) 1991 through 1995 by 
assessing license and annual fees. OBRA-90 was amended in 1993 to 
extend the 100 percent recovery requirement for NRC through 1998. 
For FY 1991, the amount for collection was approximately $445.3 
million; for FY 1992, approximately $492.5 million; for FY 1993 
about $518.9 million; for FY 1994 about $513 million; for FY 1995 
about $503.6 million; for FY 1996 about $462.3 million and the 
amount to be collected in FY 1997 is approximately $462.3 million.
    To comply with OBRA-90, the Commission amended its fee 
regulations in 10 CFR parts 170 and 171 in FY 1991 (56 FR 31472; 
July 10, 1991) in FY 1992, (57 FR 32691; July 23, 1992) in FY 1993 
(58 FR 38666; July 20, 1993) in FY 1994 (59 FR 36895; July 20, 1994) 
in FY 1995 (60 FR 32218; June 20, 1995) and in FY 1996 (61 FR 16203) 
based on a careful evaluation of over 1,000 comments. These final 
rules established the methodology used by NRC in identifying and 
determining the fees assessed and collected in FYs 1991-1996.
    The NRC indicated in the FY 1995 final rule that it would 
attempt to stabilize annual fees as follows. Beginning in FY 1996, 
it would adjust the annual fees only by the percentage change (plus 
or minus) in NRC's total budget authority unless there was a 
substantial change in the total NRC budget authority or the 
magnitude of the budget allocated to a specific class of licensees, 
in which case the annual fee base would be recalculated (60 FR 
32225; June 20, 1995). The NRC also indicated that the percentage 
change would be adjusted based on changes in the 10 CFR part 170 
fees and other adjustments as well as an adjustment for the number 
of licensees paying the fees. As a result, the NRC is proposing to 
establish the FY 1997 annual fees for all licensees at 8.2 percent 
above the FY 1996 annual fees. Because the total amount to be 
recovered through fees in FY 1997 is identical to the amount 
estimated for recovery in FY 1996, the NRC believes that 
establishing new baseline fees for FY 1997 is not warranted.
    Public Law 104-121, the Contract with America Advancement Act of 
1996 was signed into law on March 29, 1996. Title III of the law is 
entitled the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 
1996 (SBREFA). The SBREFA has two purposes. The first is to reduce 
regulatory burdens imposed by Federal agencies on small businesses, 
nonprofit organizations and governmental jurisdictions. The second 
is to provide the Congress with the opportunity to review agency 
rules before they go into effect. Under this legislation, the NRC 
fee rule, published annually, is considered a ``major'' rule and 
therefore must be reviewed by Congress and the Comptroller General 
before the rule becomes effective. Section 312 of the Act provides 
that for each rule for which an agency prepared a final regulatory 
flexibility analysis, the agency shall prepare a guide to assist 
small entities in complying with the rule. A regulatory flexibility 
analysis is prepared for the proposed and final NRC fee rules as 
implemented by 10 CFR part 170 and 171 of the Commission's 
regulations. Therefore, in compliance with the law, Attachment 1 to 
this Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is the small entity compliance 
guide for FY 1997.

II. Impact on Small Entities

    The comments received on the proposed FY 1991-1996 fee rule 
revisions and the small entity certifications received in response 
to the final FY 1991-1996 fee rules indicate that NRC licensees 
qualifying as small entities under the NRC's size standards are 
primarily those licensed under the NRC's materials program. 
Therefore, this analysis will focus on the economic impact of the 
annual fees on materials licensees.
    The Commission's fee regulations result in substantial fees 
being charged to those individuals, organizations, and companies 
that are licensed under the NRC materials program. Of these 
materials licensees, about 20 percent (approximately 1,400 
licensees) have requested small entity certification in the past. In 
FY 1993, the NRC conducted a survey of its materials licensees. The 
results of this survey indicated that about 25 percent of these 
licensees could qualify as small entities under the current NRC size 
standards.
    The commenters on the FY 1991-1994 proposed fee rules indicated 
the following results if the proposed annual fees were not modified:

--Large firms would gain an unfair competitive advantage over small 
entities. One commenter noted that a small well-logging company (a 
``Mom and Pop'' type of operation) would find it difficult to absorb 
the annual fee, while a large corporation would find it easier. 
Another commenter noted that the fee increase could be more easily 
absorbed by a high-volume nuclear medicine clinic. A gauge licensee 
noted that, in the very competitive soils testing market, the annual 
fees would put it at an extreme disadvantage with its much larger 
competitors because the proposed fees would be the same for a two-
person licensee as for a large firm with thousands of employees.
--Some firms would be forced to cancel their licenses. One 
commenter, with receipts of less than $500,000 per year, stated that 
the proposed rule would, in effect, force it to relinquish its soil 
density gauge and license, thereby reducing its ability to do its 
work effectively. Another commenter noted that the rule would force 
the company and many other small businesses to get rid of the 
materials license altogether. Commenters stated that the proposed 
rule would result in about 10 percent of the well-logging licensees 
terminating their licenses immediately and approximately 25 percent 
terminating their licenses before the next annual assessment.
--Some companies would go out of business. One commenter noted that 
the proposal would put it, and several other small companies, out of 
business or, at the very least, make it hard to survive.
--Some companies would have budget problems. Many medical licensees 
commented that, in these times of slashed reimbursements, the 
proposed increase of

[[Page 8905]]

the existing fees and the introduction of additional fees would 
significantly affect their budgets. Another noted that, in view of 
the cuts by Medicare and other third party carriers, the fees would 
produce a hardship and some facilities would experience a great deal 
of difficulty in meeting this additional burden.

    Over the past five years, approximately 2,900 license, approval, 
and registration terminations have been requested. Although some of 
these terminations were requested because the license was no longer 
needed or licenses or registrations could be combined, indications 
are that other termination requests were due to the economic impact 
of the fees.
    The NRC continues to receive written and oral comments from 
small materials licensees. These commenters previously indicated 
that the $3.5 million threshold for small entities was not 
representative of small businesses with gross receipts in the 
thousands of dollars. These commenters believe that the $1,800 
maximum annual fee represents a relatively high percentage of gross 
annual receipts for these ``Mom and Pop'' type businesses. 
Therefore, even the reduced annual fee could have a significant 
impact on the ability of these types of businesses to continue to 
operate.
    To alleviate the continuing significant impact of the annual 
fees on a substantial number of small entities, the NRC considered 
alternatives, in accordance with the RFA. These alternatives were 
evaluated in the FY 1991 rule (56 FR 31472; July 10, 1991) in the FY 
1992 rule (57 FR 32691; July 23, 1992), in the FY 1993 rule (58 FR 
38666; July 20, 1993); in the FY 1994 rule (59 FR 36895; July 20, 
1994); in the FY 1995 rule (60 FR 32218; June 20, 1995) and in the 
FY 1996 rule (61 FR 16203; April 12, 1996). The alternatives 
considered by the NRC can be summarized as follows.

--Base fees on some measure of the amount of radioactivity possessed 
by the licensee (e.g., number of sources).
--Base fees on the frequency of use of the licensed radioactive 
material (e.g., volume of patients).
--Base fees on the NRC size standards for small entities.

    The NRC has reexamined the FY 1991-1996 evaluations of these 
alternatives. Based on that reexamination, the NRC continues to 
believe that establishment of a maximum fee for small entities is 
the most appropriate option to reduce the impact on small entities.
    The NRC established, and is proposing to continue for FY 1997, a 
maximum annual fee for small entities. The RFA and its implementing 
guidance do not provide specific guidelines on what constitutes a 
significant economic impact on a small entity. Therefore, the NRC 
has no benchmark to assist it in determining the amount or the 
percent of gross receipts that should be charged to a small entity. 
For FY 1997, the NRC will rely on the analysis previously completed 
that established a maximum annual fee for a small entity and the 
amount of costs that must be recovered from other NRC licensees as a 
result of establishing the maximum annual fees.
    The NRC continues to believe that the 10 CFR part 170 license 
fees (application and amendment), or any adjustments to these 
licensing fees during the past year, do not have a significant 
impact on small entities. In issuing this proposed rule for FY 1997, 
the NRC concludes that the 10 CFR part 170 materials license fees do 
not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities and that the 10 CFR part 171 maximum annual small entity 
fee of $1,800 be continued.
    By maintaining the maximum annual fee for small entities at 
$1,800, the annual fee for many small entities is reduced while at 
the same time materials licensees, including small entities, pay for 
most of the FY 1997 costs attributable to them. The costs not 
recovered from small entities are allocated to other materials 
licensees and to operating power reactors. However, the amount that 
must be recovered from other licensees as a result of maintaining 
the maximum annual fee is not expected to increase significantly. 
Therefore, the NRC is continuing, for FY 1997, the maximum annual 
fee (base annual fee plus surcharge) for certain small entities at 
$1,800 for each fee category covered by each license issued to a 
small entity.
    While reducing the impact on many small entities, the Commission 
agrees that the maximum annual fee of $1,800 for small entities, 
when added to the part 170 license fees, may continue to have a 
significant impact on materials licensees with annual gross receipts 
in the thousands of dollars. Therefore, as in FY 1992-1996, the NRC 
is proposing to continue the lower-tier small entity annual fee of 
$400 for small entities with relatively low gross annual receipts. 
The lower-tier small entity fee of $400 also applies to 
manufacturing concerns, and educational institutions not State or 
publicly supported, with less than 35 employees. This lower-tier 
small entity fee was first established in the final rule published 
in the Federal Register on April 17, 1992 (57 FR 13625) and now 
includes manufacturing companies with a relatively small number of 
employees.

III. Summary

    The NRC has determined the 10 CFR part 171 annual fees 
significantly impacts a substantial number of small entities. A 
maximum fee for small entities strikes a balance between the 
requirement to collect 100 percent of the NRC budget and the 
requirement to consider means of reducing the impact of the fee on 
small entities. On the basis of its regulatory flexibility analyses, 
the NRC concludes that a maximum annual fee of $1,800 for small 
entities and a lower-tier small entity annual fee of $400 for small 
businesses and not-for-profit organizations with gross annual 
receipts of less than $350,000, small governmental jurisdictions 
with a population of less than 20,000, small manufacturing entities 
that have less than 35 employees and educational institutions that 
are not State or publicly supported and have less than 35 employees 
reduces the impact on small entities. At the same time, these 
reduced annual fees are consistent with the objectives of OBRA-90. 
Thus, the proposed fees for small entities maintain a balance 
between the objectives of OBRA-90 and the RFA. Therefore, the 
analysis and conclusions established in the FY 1991-1996 rules 
remain valid for this proposed rule for FY 1997. In compliance with 
Public Law 104-121, a small entity compliance guide has been 
prepared by NRC and is shown as Attachment 1 to this Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis.

Attachment 1 to Appendix A

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Small Entity Compliance Guide, 
Fiscal Year 1997

Contents

Introduction
NRC Definition of Small Entity
NRC Small Entity Fees
Instructions for Completing NRC Form 526

Introduction

    The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 
(SBREFA) requires all Federal agencies to prepare a written guide 
for each ``major'' final action as defined by the Act. The NRC's fee 
rule published annually to comply with the Omnibus Budget 
Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA-90) which requires the NRC to 
collect approximately 100 percent of its budget authority each year 
through fees meets the thresholds for being considered ``major'' 
under the SBREFA. Therefore, in compliance with the law, this small 
entity compliance guide has been prepared for FY 1997. The purpose 
of this guide is to assist small entities in complying with the NRC 
fee rule.
    This guide is designed to aid NRC materials licensees. The 
information provided in this guide may be used by licensees to 
determine whether they qualify as a small entity under NRC 
regulations and are therefore eligible to pay reduced FY 1997 annual 
fees assessed under 10 CFR part 171. Licensees who meet NRC's size 
standards for a small entity must complete NRC Form 526 in order to 
qualify for the reduced annual fee. NRC Form 526 will accompany each 
annual fee invoice mailed to materials licensees. The completed 
form, along with the appropriate small entity fee payment copy of 
the invoice, should be mailed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, License Fee and Accounts Receivable Branch, PO Box 
954514, St. Louis, MO 63195-4514.
    The NRC, in compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 
1980 (RFA), has established separate annual fees for those materials 
licensees who meet the NRC's size standards for small entities. 
These size standards, developed in consultation with the Small 
Business Administration, were revised by the NRC effective May 11, 
1995. The small entity size standards are found in 10 CFR 2.810 of 
the NRC's regulations. To comply with the RFA, the NRC has 
established two tiers of small entity fees. These fees are found in 
10 CFR 171.16(c) of the fee regulations.

NRC Definition of Small Entity

    The NRC has defined small entity in consultation with the Small 
Business Administration. The definition is codified in NRC's 
regulations at 10 CFR 2.810. Under the NRC regulation, small 
entities are:

[[Page 8906]]

    1. Small business--a for-profit concern that provides a service 
or a concern not engaged in manufacturing with average gross 
receipts of $5 million or less over its last 3 completed fiscal 
years;
    2. Manufacturing industry--a manufacturing concern with an 
average number of 500 or fewer employees based upon employment 
during each pay period for the preceding 12 calendar months;
    3. Small organization--a not-for-profit organization which is 
independently owned and operated and has annual gross receipts of $5 
million or less;
    4. Small governmental jurisdiction--a government of a city, 
county, town, township, village, school district or special district 
with a population of less than 50,000;
    5. Small educational institution--an educational institution 
supported by a qualifying small governmental jurisdiction, or one 
that is not state or publicly supported and has 500 or fewer 
employees.1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ An educational institution referred to in the size standards 
is an entity whose primary function is education, whose programs are 
accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or 
association, who is legally authorized to provide a program of 
organized instruction or study, who provides an educational program 
for which it awards academic degrees, and whose educational programs 
are available to the public.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

NRC Small Entity Fees

    The NRC has established two tiers of small entity fees for 
licensees that qualify under the NRC's size standards. Currently, 
these fees are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Maximum 
                                                                 annual 
                                                                fee per 
                                                                licensed
                                                                category
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Small Business Not Engaged in Manufacturing and Small Not-For           
 Profit Organizations (Gross Annual Receipts):                          
  $350,000 to $5 million.....................................     $1,800
  Less than $350,000.........................................        400
Manufacturing entities that have an average of 500 employees            
 or less:                                                               
  35 to 500 employees........................................      1,800
  Less than 35 employees.....................................        400
Small Governmental Jurisdictions (Including publicly                    
 supported educational institutions) (Population):                      
    20,000 to 50,000.........................................      1,800
    Less than 20,000.........................................        400
Educational Institutions that are not State or Publicly                 
 Supported, and have 500 Employees or Less:                             
  35 to 500 employees........................................      1,800
  Less than 35 employees.....................................        400
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To pay a reduced annual fee, a licensee must use NRC Form 526, 
enclosed with the fee bill, to certify that it meets NRC's size 
standards for a small entity. About 1,400 licensees certify each 
year that they qualify as a small entity under the NRC size 
standards and pay a reduced annual fee. Approximately 900 licensees 
pay the small entity fee of $1,800 while 500 licensees pay the 
lower-tier small entity fee of $400.

Instructions for Completing NRC Form 526

    1. File a separate NRC Form 526 for each annual fee invoice 
received.
    2. Complete all items on NRC Form 526 as follows:
    a. The license number and invoice number must be entered exactly 
as they appear on the annual fee invoice.
    b. The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code should be 
entered if it is known.
    c. The licensee's name and address must be entered as they 
appear on the invoice. Name and/or address changes for billing 
purposes must be annotated on the invoice. Correcting the name and/
or address on NRC Form 526 or on the invoice does not constitute a 
request to amend the license. Any request to amend a license are to 
be submitted to the respective licensing staffs in the NRC Regional 
or Headquarters Offices.
    d. Check the appropriate size standard under which the licensee 
qualifies as a small entity. Check one box only. Note the following:
    (1) The size standards apply to the licensee, not the individual 
authorized users listed in the license.
    (2) Gross annual receipts as used in the size standards includes 
all revenue in whatever form received or accrued from whatever 
sources, not solely receipts from licensed activities.
    (3) A licensee who is a subsidiary of a large entity does not 
qualify as a small entity.
    (4) The owner of the entity, or an official empowered to act on 
behalf of the entity, must sign and date the small entity 
certification.
    3. The NRC sends invoices to its licensees for the full annual 
fee, even though some entities qualify for reduced fees as a small 
entity. Licensees who qualify as a small entity and file NRC Form 
526, which certifies eligibility for small entity fees may pay the 
reduced fee, which for a full year is either $1,800 or $400, for 
each fee category shown on the invoice depending on the size of the 
entity. Licensees granted a license during the first six months of 
the fiscal year and licensees who file for termination or for a 
possession only license and permanently cease licensed activities 
during the first six months of the fiscal year pay only 50 percent 
of the annual fee for that year. Such an invoice states the ``Amount 
Billed Represents 50% Proration.'' This means the amount due from a 
small entity is not the prorated amount shown on the invoice but 
rather one-half of the maximum annual fee shown on NRC Form 526 for 
the size standard under which the licensee qualifies resulting in a 
fee of (either $900 or $200) for each fee category billed instead of 
the full annual fee of $1,800 or $400.
    4. A new small entity form is required to be filed with the NRC 
each fiscal year in order to qualify for reduced fees for that 
fiscal year. Because a licensee's ``size,'' or the size standards, 
may change from year to year, the invoice reflects the full fee and 
a new form must be completed and returned for the fee to be reduced 
to the small entity fee. LICENSEES WILL NOT BE ISSUED A NEW INVOICE 
FOR THE REDUCED AMOUNT. The completed form, the payment of the 
appropriate small entity fee, and the ``Payment Copy'' of the 
invoice should be mailed to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
License Fee and Accounts Receivable Branch, P.O. Box 954514, St. 
Louis, MO 63195-4514.
    5. Questions regarding fee bills may be posed orally or in 
writing. Please call the licensing fee staff at 301-415-7554 or 
write to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555, Attention: Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

[FR Doc. 97-4704 Filed 2-26-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P