[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 112 (Friday, June 12, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28111-28147]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-13582]



[[Page 28111]]

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

Part II





Nuclear Regulatory Commission





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



10 CFR Parts 50 and 52



Consideration of Aircraft Impacts for New Nuclear Power Reactors; Final 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 74 , No. 112 / Friday, June 12, 2009 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 28112]]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Parts 50 and 52

RIN 3150-AI19
[NRC-2007-0009]


Consideration of Aircraft Impacts for New Nuclear Power Reactors

AGENCY: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) 
is amending its regulations to require applicants for new nuclear power 
reactors to perform a design-specific assessment of the effects of the 
impact of a large, commercial aircraft. The applicant is required to 
use realistic analyses to identify and incorporate design features and 
functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator actions, 
that either the reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains 
intact, and either spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is 
maintained. These requirements apply to applicants for new construction 
permits; new operating licenses that reference a new construction 
permit; new standard design certifications; renewal of any of the four 
existing design certifications if the design has not previously been 
amended to comply with the rule; new standard design approvals; 
manufacturing licenses that don't reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, or that reference a standard 
design certification issued before the effective date of the rule which 
has not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined licenses 
that don't reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule. In addition, these amendments 
contain requirements for control of changes to any design features or 
functional capabilities credited to show that the facility can 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact.

ADDRESSES: You can access publicly available documents related to this 
document using the following methods:
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
search for documents filed under Docket ID [NRC-2007-0009]. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Ms. Carol Gallagher 301-492-3668; e-mail 
[email protected].
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied for a fee publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, Public 
File Area O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland.
    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): 
Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are 
available electronically at the NRC's electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this page, the public can gain 
entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC's public 
documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems 
in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's PDR 
reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to 
[email protected].

DATES: The effective date is July 13, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stewart Schneider, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone 301-415-4123; e-mail: 
[email protected] or Ms. Nanette Gilles, Office of New 
Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone 301-415-1180; e-mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction
II. Currently Operating Power Reactors
III. Currently Approved Standard Design Certifications and Combined 
Licenses Referencing These Certifications
IV. Renewal of an Operating License, Standard Design Certification, 
Combined License, or Manufacturing License
V. New Nuclear Power Reactors
    A. Introduction
    B. Description of Beyond-Design-Basis Aircraft Impact
    C. Aircraft Impact Assessment
VI. Responses to Public Comments
    A. Overview of Public Comments
    B. Responses to Specific Requests for Comments
    C. Responses to Remaining Comments
VII. Section-by-Section Analysis
VIII. Guidance
IX. Availability of Documents
X. Agreement State Compatibility
XI. Voluntary Consensus Standards
XII. Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact: Availability
XIII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
XIV. Regulatory Analysis
XV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification
XVI. Backfit Analysis
XVII. Congressional Review Act

I. Introduction

    The Commission believes that it is prudent for nuclear power plant 
designers to take into account the potential effects of the impact of a 
large, commercial aircraft. The Commission has determined that the 
impact of a large, commercial aircraft is a beyond-design-basis event, 
and the NRC's requirements that apply to the design, construction, 
testing, operation, and maintenance of design features and functional 
capabilities for design basis events will not apply to design features 
or functional capabilities selected by the applicant solely to meet the 
requirements of this final rule (aircraft impact rule). The NRC's 
approach to aircraft impacts is consistent with its previous approach 
to beyond-design-basis events. The objective of this rule is to require 
nuclear power plant \1\ designers to perform a rigorous assessment of 
the design to identify design features and functional capabilities that 
could provide additional inherent protection to withstand the effects 
of an aircraft impact (i.e., meet the rule's acceptance criteria). This 
rule should result in new nuclear power reactor facilities being more 
inherently robust with regard to an aircraft impact than if they were 
designed in the absence of this final rule. This final rule provides an 
enhanced level of protection beyond that which is provided by the 
existing adequate protection requirements, which all operating power 
reactors are required to meet.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The requirements of the final aircraft impact rule may 
apply, in some contexts, to the designer who is responsible for, or 
seeks certification or regulatory approval of something less than a 
complete nuclear power plant (e.g., a nuclear reactor without site-
specific elements such as the ultimate heat sink). For ease of 
discussion in the remainder of this Supplementary Information, 
reference to a ``nuclear power plant designer'' or ``facility 
designer'' is meant to include, in the appropriate context, a 
designer of something less than a complete nuclear power plant, but 
is at least as encompassing as a ``nuclear reactor.'' Similarly, a 
reference to the design of a ``facility'' also encompasses, in the 
appropriate context, the design of something less than a complete 
nuclear power plant (e.g., the design of a reactor).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The final rule requirement to perform a design-specific assessment 
to identify design features and functional capabilities applies to 
applicants for new construction permits; new operating licenses that 
reference a new construction permit; new standard design 
certifications; renewal of any of the four existing design 
certifications if the design has not previously been amended to comply 
with the final rule; new standard design approvals; manufacturing 
licenses that don't reference a standard design certification

[[Page 28113]]

or standard design approval, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined licenses that 
don't reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule. All of these applicants as a 
whole are referred to as ``applicants for new nuclear power reactors'' 
throughout the remainder of the Supplementary Information for this 
final rule. These applicants are required to perform an assessment of 
the effects on the designed facility of the impact of a large, 
commercial aircraft. Using realistic analyses, applicants must identify 
and incorporate into the design those design features and functional 
capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator action, that the 
reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains intact and spent 
fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained (herein after 
referred to as the acceptance criteria). Applicants are required to 
describe how such design features and functional capabilities meet the 
acceptance criteria of the rule. Applicants and licensees are subject 
to requirements for the control of changes to the design features and 
functional capabilities identified as a result of complying with this 
final rule.
    The Commission-approved design basis threat (DBT) does not include 
an aircraft attack. The NRC published its final DBT rule in the Federal 
Register on March 19, 2007 (72 FR 12705) (Title 10, Sec.  73.1, 
``Purpose and scope,'' of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 
73.1)). Two well-established bases support the exclusion of aircraft 
attacks from the DBT. First, it is not reasonable to expect a licensee 
with a private security force using weapons legally available to it to 
be able to defend against such an attack. Second, such an act is in the 
nature of an attack by an enemy of the United States (U.S.). Power 
reactor licensees are not required to design their facilities or 
otherwise provide measures to defend against such an attack, as 
provided by 10 CFR 50.13, ``Attacks and destructive acts by enemies of 
the United States; and defense activities.''
    The Commission has addressed aircraft attacks by regulatory means 
other than the DBT rule in 10 CFR 73.1. By order dated February 25, 
2002 (Interim Compensatory Measures (ICM) Order), the Commission 
required all operating power reactor licensees to develop and adopt 
mitigative strategies to cope with large fires and explosions from any 
cause, including beyond-design-basis aircraft impacts (67 FR 9792; 
March 4, 2002). The Commission first proposed incorporating the 
continuing requirement to provide for such mitigative measures in the 
NRC's regulations in the proposed 10 CFR part 73 power reactor security 
requirements (71 FR 62663; October 26, 2006), specifically, the 
proposed Appendix C to 10 CFR part 73, ``Licensee Safeguards 
Contingency Plans.'' During development of the power reactor security 
final rule, the NRC determined that several significant changes to the 
proposed rule language would be needed to adequately address 
stakeholder comments and associated implementation concerns. To address 
these comments and concerns, the NRC proposed to relocate the 
provisions from 10 CFR part 73 to a new paragraph (hh) in 10 CFR 50.54, 
``Conditions of licenses,'' in a supplement to the power reactor 
security requirements proposed rule (73 FR 19443; April 10, 2008). On 
March 27, 2009 (74 FR 13925), the Commission published a final rule 
amending existing security regulations and adding new security 
requirements pertaining to current and future nuclear power reactors 
that included the new provisions in 10 CFR 50.54(hh). All current and 
future power reactors are required to comply with the requirements in 
10 CFR 50.54(hh), which were promulgated on the basis of adequate 
protection of public health and safety and common defense and security.
    The current requirements, in conjunction with the revisions to 10 
CFR 50.54 to address loss of large areas of the plant due to explosions 
or fires, will continue to provide adequate protection of the public 
health and safety and the common defense and security. Nevertheless, 
the Commission has decided to also require applicants for new nuclear 
power reactors to incorporate into their design additional features to 
show that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. 
This final rule to address the capability of new nuclear power reactors 
relative to an aircraft impact is based both on enhanced public health 
and safety and enhanced common defense and security, but is not 
necessary for adequate protection. Rather, this rule's goal is to 
enhance the facility's inherent robustness at the design stage.
    Requiring applicants for new nuclear power reactors to perform a 
rigorous aircraft impact assessment and identify and incorporate into 
their design those design features and functional capabilities that 
address the effects of a beyond-design-basis aircraft impact is 
consistent with the NRC's historic approach to beyond-design-basis 
events and with the NRC's position in its ``Policy Statement on Severe 
Reactor Accidents Regarding Future Designs and Existing Plants'' (50 FR 
32138; August 8, 1985). The policy statement notes, ``The Commission 
expects that vendors engaged in designing new standard [or custom] 
plants will achieve a higher standard of severe accident safety 
performance than their prior designs.'' The NRC reiterated that 
regulatory approach in its ``Policy Statement on the Regulation of 
Advanced Nuclear Power Plants'' (59 FR 35461; July 12, 1994), when it 
stated, ``The Commission expects that advanced reactors would provide 
enhanced margins of safety and/or utilize simplified, inherent, 
passive, or other innovative means to accomplish their safety 
functions.'' These concepts continue to be NRC policy as reflected in 
the NRC's 2008 ``Policy Statement on the Regulation of Advanced 
Reactors'' (73 FR 60612; October 14, 2008). This regulatory approach 
has demonstrated its success, as all designs subsequently submitted to 
and certified by the Commission represent substantial improvement in 
safety for operational events and accidents. The final aircraft impact 
rule will further enhance the safety of new nuclear power plants for 
aircraft impacts and is consistent with these policy statements.
    The Commission considered the appropriate location for requirements 
on an aircraft impact assessment during its deliberations on the 
security assessment rulemaking (draft 10 CFR 73.62) proposed by the NRC 
staff in SECY-06-0204, ``Proposed Rulemaking--Security Assessment 
Requirements for New Nuclear Power Reactor Designs (RIN 3150-AH92),'' 
dated September 26, 2006. In its Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) on 
SECY-06-0204, dated April 24, 2007, the Commission disapproved the 
staff's recommended rulemaking as described in SECY-06-0204. The 
Commission directed the NRC staff to include the aircraft impact 
assessment requirements in 10 CFR part 52, ``Licenses, Approvals, and 
Certifications for Nuclear Power Plants,'' to encourage reactor 
designers to incorporate practical measures at an early stage in the 
design process.
    As a result of the Commission's SRM, the NRC published a proposed 
rule for comment in the Federal Register (72 FR 56287; October 3, 
2007). The proposed rule would have required applicants to assess the 
effects of the impact of a

[[Page 28114]]

large, commercial aircraft on the nuclear power facility. Based on the 
insights gained from the assessment, the applicant would have been 
required to include in its application a description and evaluation of 
design features, functional capabilities, and strategies to avoid or 
mitigate, to the extent practicable, the effects of the aircraft impact 
with reduced reliance on operator actions. The public comment period 
for the proposed rule closed on December 17, 2007. A public meeting was 
held during the public comment period to discuss the proposed rule and 
to address any questions on the proposed rule. The NRC received 32 
comment letters from industry representatives, public interest groups, 
and concerned citizens on the proposed rule.
    This final rule revises 10 CFR parts 50, ``Domestic Licensing of 
Production and Utilization Facilities,'' and 52 to require applicants 
for new nuclear power reactors to perform a design-specific assessment 
of the effects of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. The 
applicant is required to identify and incorporate into the design those 
design features and functional capabilities to show that the facility 
can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact with reduced use of 
operator actions. This aircraft impact rule, along with provisions in 
the NRC's power reactor security rule, including the addition of the 
provisions in 10 CFR 50.54(hh), and voluntarily-submitted safeguards 
assessments, render as duplicative and, therefore, unnecessary the 
draft proposed rule (10 CFR 73.62) to require security assessments. The 
draft proposed security assessment rule would have required a security 
assessment which would include mitigation of large fires and 
explosions, a target set analysis, and design features to protect 
target sets against DBTs. The provisions of that draft proposed rule 
applicable to large fires and explosions from an aircraft impact are 
subsumed by this final aircraft impact rule and by the addition of the 
provisions in 10 CFR 50.54(hh). Sufficient target set provisions are 
included in the NRC's changes to 10 CFR 73.55, ``Requirements for 
physical protection of licensed activities in nuclear power reactors 
against radiological sabotage,'' which applicants for new facilities 
will have to satisfy. Designers of new nuclear power reactors are 
encouraged to account for the provisions for mitigation of large fires 
and explosions in the facility design so as to minimize more costly, 
post-design features to meet those requirements. Design certification 
and combined license applicants are voluntarily submitting security 
assessments that identify design features to protect target sets 
against DBTs. Accordingly, the draft proposed 10 CFR 73.62 is not 
necessary.
    This new aircraft impact assessment rule complements the revisions 
to 10 CFR 50.54(hh) to mitigate the effects of large fires and 
explosions. The 10 CFR 50.54(hh) provisions on mitigating large fires 
and explosions codify the adequate protection requirement imposed on 
existing operating reactors by ICM Order, Item B.5.b. The 10 CFR 
50.54(hh) provisions, therefore, are necessary for adequate protection 
and must remain in regulations that are applicable to all currently 
operating reactors and must be satisfied by all newly licensed power 
reactors. Current reactor licensees have already developed and 
implemented procedures to comply with the 10 CFR 50.54(hh) 
requirements, and would not require any additional action to comply 
with those rule provisions. New applicants for and new holders of 
operating licenses under 10 CFR part 50 and combined licenses under 10 
CFR part 52 will be required to develop and implement procedures that 
will employ mitigating strategies similar to those now employed by 
current licensees to maintain or restore core cooling, containment, and 
spent fuel pool cooling capabilities under the circumstances associated 
with loss of large areas of the plant due to explosions or fire. The 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.54(hh) relate to the development of 
procedures for addressing certain events that are the cause of large 
fires and explosions that affect a substantial portion of the nuclear 
power plant, and are not limited or directly linked to an aircraft 
impact. The rule contemplates that the initiating event for such large 
fires and explosions could be any number of DBT or beyond-DBT events. 
In addition, the NRC regards 10 CFR 50.54(hh) as necessary for 
reasonable assurance of adequate protection to public health and safety 
and common defense and security. This is consistent with the NRC's 
designation of the orders on which 10 CFR 50.54(hh) is based as being 
necessary for reasonable assurance of adequate protection.
    In contrast to the adequate protection requirements of 10 CFR 
50.54(hh), this aircraft impact final rule will enhance safety and 
security by requiring an assessment of newly designed facilities to 
show that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. 
New nuclear power reactor applicants will be subject to both the 
requirements of the aircraft impact rule and the requirements in 10 CFR 
50.54(hh). The overall objective of these rules is to enhance a nuclear 
power plant's capabilities to withstand the effects of a large fire or 
explosion, whether caused by an aircraft impact or other event, from 
the standpoints of both design and operation. The impact of a large 
aircraft on the nuclear power plant is regarded as a beyond-design-
basis event. In light of the NRC's view that effective mitigation of 
the effects of events causing large fires and explosions (including the 
impact of a large, commercial aircraft) can be provided through 
operational actions, the NRC believes that the mitigation of the 
effects of aircraft impacts through design should be regarded as a 
safety enhancement which is not necessary for adequate protection. 
Therefore, the aircraft impact rule--unlike 10 CFR 50.54(hh)--is 
regarded as a safety enhancement, which is not necessary for adequate 
protection.
    The NRC regards the aircraft impact and 10 CFR 50.54(hh) 
rulemakings to be complementary in scope and objective. The aircraft 
impact rule focuses on enhancing the design of future nuclear power 
plants to withstand large, commercial aircraft impacts, with reduced 
use of operator actions. The provisions of 10 CFR 50.54(hh) focus on 
ensuring that the nuclear power plant's licensees will be able to 
implement effective mitigation measures for large fires and explosions, 
including (but not explicitly limited to) those caused by the impact of 
a large, commercial aircraft.
    Consideration of a rule to require applicants for new nuclear power 
reactors to perform an aircraft impact assessment and describe design 
features and functional capabilities addressing such impacts, which are 
beyond-design-basis scenarios, is similar to the Commission's 
consideration in the mid-1980's of new rules addressing accidents more 
severe than design basis accidents. The 1985 ``Policy Statement on 
Severe Reactor Accidents'' explained the Com mission's conclusion that, 
although it was proposing criteria to show new reactor designs to be 
acceptable for severe accident concerns, then-existing plants posed no 
undue risk to public health and safety, and thus, there was no need for 
action on operating reactors based on severe accident risks. The 
Commission's reasoning in the severe accident context supports its 
conclusion that although new nuclear power reactors should be assessed 
for aircraft impacts and designed to show that they can withstand the 
effects of an aircraft impact, existing reactors and designs

[[Page 28115]]

provide adequate protection of the public health and safety and common 
defense and security.
    The NRC is making several changes from the proposed rule 
requirements in this final rule. First, based on consideration of 
public comments, the NRC is revising the criteria necessary to comply 
with the final rule. The proposed rule would have required applicants 
for new nuclear power reactors to perform a design-specific assessment 
of the effects of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. Based 
upon the insights gained from the aircraft impact assessment, the 
applicant would have been required to include a description and 
evaluation of the design features, functional capabilities, and 
strategies to avoid or mitigate the effects of the applicable, beyond-
design-basis aircraft impact and describe how such design features, 
functional capabilities, and strategies avoid or mitigate, to the 
extent practicable, the effects of the applicable aircraft impact with 
reduced reliance on operator actions. The evaluation of such design 
features, functional capabilities, and strategies would have been 
required to include core cooling capability, containment integrity, and 
spent fuel pool integrity. In the final rule, applicants continue to be 
required to perform a design-specific assessment of the effects of the 
impact of a large, commercial aircraft. In addition, the applicant is 
required to use realistic analyses to identify and incorporate into the 
design those design features and functional capabilities which show, 
with reduced use of operator action, that the reactor core remains 
cooled or the containment remains intact and spent fuel cooling or 
spent fuel pool integrity is maintained. The final rule removes 
references to considering the practicality of including the design 
features and functional capabilities identified as a result of the 
assessment. The acceptance criteria in the rule must be shown to be met 
to achieve compliance with the rule's requirements.
    The Commission ultimately decided that the final rule should 
require applicants to show that, in the event of an aircraft impact at 
a nuclear power plant, the reactor core would remain cooled or the 
containment structure would remain intact and spent fuel cooling or 
spent fuel pool integrity would be maintained. With implementation of 
this final rule, applicants for new nuclear power reactors can use 
realistic analyses to assess their designs but cannot rely solely on 
operator actions to meet the acceptance criteria. The Commission 
continues to believe that subsequent generations of plants to be built 
in the U.S. will be inherently more capable of resisting beyond design 
basis events, including aircraft impacts, due to safety improvements 
previously incorporated into these designs. The addition of this rule, 
revised to include specific acceptance criteria, will provide 
additional assurance that all reasonable design measures were taken to 
add additional margin beyond the adequate protection standard that is 
being met through compliance with 10 CFR 50.54(hh). The addition of 
specific acceptance criteria to this rule adds regulatory stability and 
predictability that is not achievable with criteria that must only be 
met ``to the extent practical.'' Acceptance criteria that are based on 
functional requirements provide a benchmark that can be assessed for 
the purpose of determining compliance with this rule, yet provide the 
distinction necessary to keep enhancements implemented for a beyond-
design-basis event separate from design requirements necessary to meet 
10 CFR part 100, ``Reactor site criteria.''
    The NRC is also expanding the class of applicants that are required 
to comply with this rule based on consideration of public comments and 
implementation issues. In one change, the NRC is applying the final 
rule to 10 CFR part 50 license applicants as well as applicants under 
10 CFR part 52. The final rule requires both new power reactor 
construction permit applicants and operating license applicants to 
perform the required assessment and include the description of the 
identified design features and functional capabilities in their 
applications. The NRC is applying the final rule to applicants at both 
the construction permit and operating license stages because it is not 
until the operating license stage that the applicant is required to 
provide the NRC with its final design. The NRC can issue a construction 
permit based on preliminary design information. Therefore, the NRC 
believes it is necessary to require applicants to perform the aircraft 
impact assessment at both stages and to include the required 
information in both applications based on the level of design 
information available at the time of each application. These changes 
are reflected in the addition of new paragraphs (a)(13) and (b)(12) in 
10 CFR 50.34, ``Contents of construction permit and operating license 
applications; technical information,'' requiring all applicants for a 
construction permit or operating license which are subject to 10 CFR 
50.150(a) (proposed 10 CFR 52.500) to submit the information required 
by 10 CFR 50.150(b) as a part of their application. Paragraph (a) of 10 
CFR 50.150 has similarly been revised.
    In making these additions, the NRC is making it clear that the 
requirements are not meant to apply to current or future operating 
license applications for which construction permits were issued before 
the effective date of this final rule. This is because existing 
construction permits are likely to involve designs which are 
essentially complete and may involve sites where construction has 
already taken place. Applying the final rule to operating license 
applications for which there are existing construction permits could 
result in an unwarranted financial burden to change a design for a 
plant that is partially constructed. Such a financial burden is not 
justifiable in light of the fact that the NRC considers the events to 
which the aircraft impact rule is directed to be beyond-design-basis 
events and compliance with the rule is not needed for adequate 
protection to public health and safety or common defense and security. 
Moreover, such operating license applicants will be required to comply 
with the requirements in 10 CFR 50.54(hh) to identify actions to 
mitigate the effects of large fires and explosions, including those 
caused by aircraft impacts. For these reasons, the NRC is not requiring 
operating license applicants with an existing construction permit to 
comply with the final rule.
    The NRC is also adding requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(c) (proposed 
10 CFR 52.502) for controlling changes to the information required by 
10 CFR 50.150(b) to be included in the preliminary safety analysis 
report (PSAR) by a construction permit applicant and the final safety 
analysis report (FSAR) by an operating license applicant. The NRC is 
applying the same change control requirements to construction permit 
and operating license holders as it is applying to combined license 
holders. If the permit holder or licensee changes the information 
required by 10 CFR 50.34 to be included in the PSAR or FSAR, then the 
permit holder or licensee must consider the effect of the changed 
feature or capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 
50.150(a) and amend the information required by 10 CFR 50.34 to be 
included in the PSAR or FSAR to describe how the modified design 
features and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    Because the final rule is applicable to applicants under both 10 
CFR parts 50

[[Page 28116]]

and 52, the NRC is relocating the aircraft impact assessment 
requirements that were contained in proposed 10 CFR 52.500 to a new 
section, 10 CFR 50.150. This change is also consistent with the recent 
revision to 10 CFR part 52, where the NRC took a comprehensive approach 
to reorganizing 10 CFR part 52 and making conforming changes throughout 
10 CFR Chapter I, ``Nuclear Regulatory Commission,'' to reflect the 
licensing and approval processes in 10 CFR part 52. In making 
conforming changes involving 10 CFR part 50 provisions in that 
rulemaking, the NRC adopted the general principle of keeping technical 
requirements in 10 CFR part 50 and maintaining applicable procedural 
requirements in 10 CFR part 52. For these reasons, the NRC is 
relocating the proposed aircraft impact requirements from proposed 10 
CFR 52.500 to 10 CFR 50.150.
    Based on public comments, the NRC is making the requirements in 10 
CFR 50.150 applicable to the four existing design certifications in 10 
CFR part 52, appendices A through D, at their first renewal if the 
design has not previously been amended to comply with the final rule. 
This change is discussed in detail in Section IV, ``Renewal of an 
Operating License, Standard Design Certification, Combined License, or 
Manufacturing License,'' of this document.
    The NRC is also making several changes to the terminology that was 
used in the proposed rule. In the proposed rule, 10 CFR 52.500 stated 
that applicants for new nuclear power reactors were required to perform 
a design-specific assessment of the effects on the designed facility of 
the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. Based on the insights 
gained from that assessment, applicants would have been required to 
include a description and ``evaluation'' of the design features, 
functional capabilities, and strategies to avoid or mitigate the 
effects of the applicable aircraft impact. Reference to such an 
``evaluation'' was made throughout the Supplementary Information in the 
proposed rule. However, the NRC determined that the term ``evaluation'' 
was used in more than one context and concluded that such inconsistent 
use could cause confusion. In the final rule, the NRC has eliminated 
the use of the term ``evaluation'' in the rule language. The new 
requirements governing what covered applicants are required to submit 
in their applications (10 CFR 50.150(b)) states that applicants must 
submit a description of the design features and functional capabilities 
identified in the assessment and a description of how the identified 
design features and functional capabilities meet the assessment 
requirements.
    Another area where the NRC is changing the terminology used in the 
final aircraft impact rule is the elimination of the term, 
``strategies.'' The proposed aircraft impact rule required the 
assessment to include a description of the design features, functional 
capabilities, and strategies to avoid or mitigate the effects of the 
applicable, beyond-design-basis aircraft impact (proposed 10 CFR 
52.500(c)). Neither the proposed rule nor its Supplementary Information 
defined ``strategies.'' Upon consideration, the NRC has decided to 
eliminate that term in the final rule. A ``strategy'' is typically 
associated with human action and may, therefore, appear to conflict 
with the direction in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1) of the final aircraft impact 
rule that there should be ``reduced use of operator actions.'' In 
addition, the aircraft impact rule is focused only on design, and was 
not intended to address or impose requirements on the operation of a 
facility. By using the term, ``strategies'' in the proposed aircraft 
impact rule, there is a real possibility that stakeholders may 
erroneously interpret the aircraft impact rule as requiring a designer 
to address as part of the aircraft impact rule the requirements in 10 
CFR 50.54(hh) to mitigate the effects of large fires and explosions. 
This would be an unnecessary duplication of effort, and would require 
consideration of procedural and operational matters at an early stage, 
which is not the NRC's intent and may not be the optimal time for 
consideration of operational matters. For these reasons, the NRC is 
dropping its use of the term ``strategies'' in the final rule. Thus, 
under 10 CFR 50.150(b), the relevant applicants need only include in 
their applications a description of the relevant identified design 
features and functional capabilities, and need not address strategies. 
The elimination of the term ``strategies,'' does not, however, relieve 
applicants from the responsibility to consider reducing use of operator 
actions in performance of the aircraft impact assessment and 
identification of design features and functional capabilities to comply 
with this final rule.
    In addition, the NRC's decision to remove the need for the designer 
to identify design ``strategies'' does not obviate the need for the 
designer to determine, when considering potential design features and 
functional capabilities, whether there are responsive actions and 
strategies (e.g., firefighting) that the nuclear power plant licensee 
could take to mitigate the effects of the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft that would be made possible, or whose effectiveness could be 
enhanced, by inclusion of such features and capabilities in the design. 
One objective of the final aircraft impact rule is that the designer 
identifies and includes in the design those features and capabilities 
to support the eventual development of effective response and 
mitigation actions and strategies at the facility licensing stage which 
make possible or enhance the capability of the plant licensee to 
respond to aircraft impacts. The NRC believes that it is reasonable for 
the designer to include appropriate design features and functional 
capabilities to support practical responsive actions and strategies 
that the plant licensee could implement. The plant licensee should not 
be precluded from using an effective responsive action and strategy, 
simply because the designer failed to include a well-placed design 
feature that is necessary for an effective responsive action (e.g., a 
wall, a water outlet, a control panel).
    Finally, the Commission is adding a requirement in the final rule 
that any changes to the detailed aircraft impact parameters set forth 
in guidance shall be approved by the Commission.

II. Currently Operating Power Reactors

    The Commission has determined that the existing designs of 
currently operating nuclear power plants, together with the security 
program actions mandated by the NRC's orders (some of which are 
codified in the NRC's final DBT rulemaking and others of which are 
incorporated into other NRC regulations) provide an adequate level of 
protection to public health and safety and common defense and security 
against aircraft impacts. As a result of the events of September 11, 
2001, the NRC has undertaken a series of actions to provide continued 
reasonable assurance of adequate protection to public health and safety 
and common defense and security at the U.S. commercial nuclear power 
facilities. The NRC has assessed the potential vulnerabilities of 
operating nuclear power reactors to aircraft impacts, and it has issued 
orders and provided associated guidance to licensees for implementing a 
range of mitigative strategies. The results of these aircraft impact 
assessments were derived from evaluation of plant damage mechanisms 
(e.g., structural failures, shock and vibration effects, and fire 
effects). The NRC ensured that implementation of the February 25, 2002, 
ICM Order included measures to mitigate such scenarios.

[[Page 28117]]

    The Commission's ICM Order, Item B.5.b, established the requirement 
for licensees to implement certain mitigation measures at existing 
power reactors for these beyond-design-basis events. This requirement 
was specifically intended to address ``losses of large areas of a 
(reactor) plant due to fires and explosions.'' The Commission has since 
incorporated this requirement into 10 CFR 50.54 in the power reactor 
security rulemaking. Under the provisions of 10 CFR 50.54, future 
license applicants must identify and implement mitigative measures 
similar to those required for currently operating nuclear power plants.
    On March 19, 2007 (72 FR 12705), the Commission published a final 
rule amending the DBT in 10 CFR 73.1. The DBT rule describes general 
attributes that nuclear power plant licensees must defend against with 
high assurance. This rulemaking enhanced the DBT by codifying 
generically applicable security requirements similar to those 
previously imposed by the Commission's April 29, 2003, DBT Orders.
    On the basis of the previous information, the NRC concludes that 
existing power reactors pose no undue risk to public health and safety 
or common defense and security from the effects of an aircraft impact 
based on the Commission's specified aircraft impact characteristics. 
Therefore, the NRC is not applying this final rule to existing 
operating nuclear power plants.

III. Currently Approved Standard Design Certifications and Combined 
Licenses Referencing These Certifications

    Based upon consideration of public comments, the NRC has decided 
that the designs of all newly designed and constructed nuclear power 
plants (i.e., those designed and constructed after July 13, 2009) must 
comply with the aircraft impact rule. The NRC agreed with the majority 
of commenters who stated that the underlying objectives of the aircraft 
impact rule would not be fully achieved if a subset of new nuclear 
power plant applicants--namely, those applicants who reference one of 
the four existing design certifications--is not required to comply with 
the aircraft impact rule. This decision stems from acknowledgement of 
the views expressed by a wide range of stakeholders in favor of 
requiring all new nuclear power plants to meet the requirements of the 
aircraft impact rule. Thus, the NRC is requiring that all new nuclear 
power plants in the U.S. be required to use designs that comply with 
the aircraft impact rule.
    In evaluating this change, the NRC considered regulatory approaches 
that could be used if a combined license application references one of 
the four currently approved standard design certifications in 
Appendices A through D of 10 CFR part 52 which has not been voluntarily 
amended to comply with the aircraft impact rule. The NRC considered 
whether the combined license applicant should be required to perform 
the assessment of aircraft impacts itself and use the design features 
and functional capabilities identified as the result of its assessment 
in the design of their plant, but with no obligation to modify the 
referenced design certification. A second approach considered by the 
NRC would require that the four currently approved design 
certifications be amended by the original design certification 
applicant to comply with the aircraft impact rule within a short time 
after issuance of the final aircraft impact rule. The NRC also 
considered a third approach, whereby the NRC would require that the 
four currently approved design certifications be amended to comply with 
the aircraft impact rule (without specifying who is responsible for 
prosecuting the amendment), but only if they are referenced in a 
combined license application. This approach would also restrict the NRC 
from issuing a combined license referencing one of the four currently 
approved design certifications, unless it had been amended to comply 
with the aircraft impact rule (again, without specifying who is 
responsible for prosecuting the amendment). The NRC has determined that 
the first approach should be adopted in the aircraft impact rule (i.e., 
the combined license applicant be required to perform the assessment of 
aircraft impacts and incorporate design features and functional 
capabilities into the design of the applicant's facility with no 
concurrent obligation to modify the referenced design certification). 
The NRC believes that this approach will ensure that a nuclear power 
plant which is constructed using one of the currently approved design 
certifications will nonetheless meet the aircraft impact rule without 
unnecessary delays associated with amending the referenced design 
certification rule. The NRC recognizes that the first approach may 
result in less standardization of design features and functional 
capabilities addressing aircraft impact for nuclear power plants 
referencing one of the four currently approved design certifications. 
However, the NRC believes that, as a practical matter, given the likely 
small number of combined license applications referencing one of the 
four currently approved design certifications which has not been 
amended to comply with the rule, any reduction in standardization is 
likely to be minimal.
    However, the NRC has also decided that if any of the four currently 
approved design certifications are not amended to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule by the end of the initial period of effectiveness 
and an applicant seeks to renew the design certification, then the 
certified design must be amended to comply with the aircraft impact 
rule before the renewal is approved by the NRC under the provisions of 
10 CFR 52.57 through 10 CFR 52.61. The NRC's determination in this 
regard is discussed in Section IV, ``Renewal of an Operating License, 
Standard Design Certification, Combined License, or Manufacturing 
License,'' of this document. The NRC has concluded that it should use 
the same criteria for evaluating voluntary requests for amendments to 
existing design certifications as it uses for evaluating new 
applications for design certifications, to ensure consistency among all 
new reactor designs.

IV. Renewal of an Operating License, Standard Design Certification, 
Combined License, or Manufacturing License

    This rulemaking does not require updating the assessment of 
aircraft impacts required by 10 CFR 50.150 as part of an application 
for either a renewed operating license under 10 CFR part 54, 
``Requirements for Renewal of Operating Licenses for Nuclear Power 
Plants,'' a renewed design certification under 10 CFR 52.57, 
``Application for renewal,'' a renewed combined license under 10 CFR 
52.107, ``Application for renewal,'' and 10 CFR part 54, or a renewed 
manufacturing license under 10 CFR 52.177, ``Application for renewal.'' 
The NRC's requirement for assessment of large, commercial aircraft 
impacts is not an aging-related matter, nor is it based on time-limited 
considerations. Hence, aircraft impacts under the final rule are 
outside the scope of any operating license or combined license renewal 
proceeding under 10 CFR part 54, and neither operating nor combined 
license holders need to update the assessment required by 10 CFR 
50.150(b) at the license renewal stage.
    With regard to design certifications and manufacturing licenses 
which comply with the aircraft impact rule upon initial issuance or 
upon amendment, the NRC believes that their renewal review should not 
include a

[[Page 28118]]

reassessment of aircraft impacts and possible changes to the design to 
include new design features and functional capabilities. In the NRC's 
view, there will not be any significant benefit to requiring applicants 
for renewal to reassess the design's vulnerability to aircraft impacts 
absent a Commission-approved change in the detailed parameters on 
aircraft impact characteristics set forth in guidance for use in the 
aircraft impact assessment. As discussed later in Section V.B, 
``Description of Beyond-Design-Basis Aircraft Impact,'' of the 
Supplementary Information for this final rule, the final rule requires 
that the design-specific impact assessment use the Commission-specified 
aircraft impact characteristics as described in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(2) and 
changes to the detailed parameters on aircraft impact characteristics 
set forth in guidance shall be approved by the Commission. Because this 
final rule is intended to provide added protection against the effects 
of a beyond-design-basis event, the choice of aircraft impact 
characteristics and the scenario used for this assessment will not be 
linked to threat assessments or to any evolution of aircraft design. 
Therefore, there is no need to require a reassessment at the design 
certification or manufacturing license renewal stage. In addition, 
mandating a change to the design at the renewal stage would pose an 
undue burden on those licensees who have referenced the design 
certification in their license, or used the manufactured reactor at 
their facility. Under 10 CFR 52.63(a)(3) and 10 CFR 52.171(a)(2), the 
NRC requires that any modification it imposes on a design certification 
rule or on the design of a manufactured reactor be applied to all 
plants referencing the certified design or reactor manufactured under 
the manufacturing license, except those to which the modification has 
been rendered technically irrelevant. If the NRC were to require 
reassessment of the design at renewal, this could cause licensees who 
have already designed and constructed their plants (or used a 
manufactured reactor) to modify their plants to come into conformance 
with the reassessed design. Such modifications are likely to be costly. 
Given the NRC's determination that the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft is a beyond-design-basis event, the imposition of such costs 
as the result of reassessment at design certification or manufacturing 
license renewal does not seem warranted. Moreover, once the design 
features and functional capabilities for addressing an aircraft impact 
have been incorporated into a nuclear power plant's design, the goal of 
this final rule has been achieved in that consideration of aircraft 
impacts has been factored into the design. In any event, 10 CFR 52.59, 
which establishes limited finality control over the NRC's renewal of 
design certifications, does permit the NRC to impose modifications to 
the design at design certification renewal under certain circumstances 
(see 10 CFR 52.59(b)(1) through (3)). Accordingly, given that future 
design certifications and manufacturing licenses must, under the final 
aircraft impact rule, meet the requirements of the rule upon initial 
issuance, the NRC has decided that these design certifications and 
manufacturing licenses need not be required by rule to update the 
aircraft impact assessment at the time of renewal.
    However, upon consideration of these factors in relation to the 
renewal of the four currently approved design certifications, the NRC 
has come to the conclusion that if any of these four design 
certifications have not been updated in the first 15-year duration of 
effectiveness, then the design must be amended to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule at the time of renewal under 10 CFR 52.57 through 
52.61. In this situation, the NRC believes that regulatory consistency, 
predictability, and efficiency all favor requiring any of the four 
current design certifications which have not been amended to meet the 
aircraft impact rule at the time of renewal of the design certification 
to comply with the aircraft impact rule as part of the renewal process.
    The NRC's determination is reflected in the final rule as an 
amendment to 10 CFR 52.59(a). As revised, paragraph (a) requires the 
NRC to find, at the first renewal of any of the four currently approved 
design certifications, that the renewed design (i.e., the design which 
is being approved for use in the renewed term of the design 
certification rule) complies with the requirements of the aircraft 
impact rule.
    The NRC has determined, consistent with the intent of 10 CFR 
52.59(b), that requiring the renewed design to comply with the aircraft 
impact rule constitutes a substantial increase in protection to public 
health and safety. The reasons supporting this determination are set 
forth in Section XVI, ``Backfit Analysis,'' of the Supplementary 
Information for this final rule. The NRC wishes to emphasize that 
imposing this requirement on the renewal of the four currently approved 
design certifications does not represent any substantial decrease in 
the commercial interests of the original applicants for these design 
certifications (or their successors in interests). Accordingly, the NRC 
concludes that the four currently approved design certifications, if 
they have not already been amended to comply with the aircraft rule, 
must comply with the rule the first time any of those design 
certifications are renewed.
    The NRC notes that one of the consequences of the NRC's 
determination that each of the four currently approved design 
certifications must comply with the aircraft impact rule if renewed, is 
that there may be increased public confidence in the safety of the 
renewed designs. The NRC's view is based upon public comments from 
several stakeholders urging that the four design certifications be 
required to comply with the aircraft impact rule.

V. New Nuclear Power Reactors

A. Introduction

    Under this final rule, relevant applicants for new nuclear power 
reactors are required to:
     Perform an assessment of the effects on the designed 
facility of a beyond-design-basis aircraft impact.
     Using realistic analyses, identify and incorporate into 
the design those design features and functional capabilities to show, 
with reduced use of operator action, that the facility can withstand 
the effects of an aircraft impact (i.e., that the rule's acceptance 
criteria are met).
     Describe how such design features and functional 
capabilities show, with reduced use of operator action, that the 
facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact.
    This final rule is based on the premise that it is desirable for 
newly-constructed power reactors to be designed to withstand the 
effects of an aircraft impact through design features or functional 
capabilities that reduce or eliminate the need for operator actions. 
Because this type of consideration is more effectively done during the 
development of the design itself, the NRC directs the requirements of 
this final rule at plant designers.
    The NRC does not expect plant designers to demonstrate that design 
features alone, without operator action or mitigative response activity 
as required under 10 CFR 50.54(hh), will completely address the effects 
of the aircraft impact. The NRC recognizes that the decision to rely on 
design features (as opposed to operator action or mitigative strategies 
required under 10 CFR 50.54(hh)) is complex, and often involves a set 
of trade-offs between competing considerations. The NRC's goal is to 
have the designer implement

[[Page 28119]]

a rigorous assessment process to ensure that the design process 
constitutes a reasoned approach for assessing the plant design to 
identify design features and functional capabilities to show that the 
facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact.

B. Description of Beyond-Design-Basis Aircraft Impact

    Since September 11, 2001, the Commission has used state-of-the art 
technology to assess the effects of aircraft impacts on nuclear power 
plants. As part of a comprehensive review of security for NRC-licensed 
facilities, the NRC conducted detailed, site-specific engineering 
studies of a limited number of nuclear power plants to assess potential 
vulnerabilities of deliberate attacks involving large, commercial 
aircraft. In conducting these studies, the NRC consulted national 
experts from several Department of Energy laboratories using state-of-
the-art structural and fire analyses. The agency also used realistic 
predictions of accident progression and radiological consequences.
    This final rule presents a general description of the aircraft 
impact characteristics that are required to be used to perform the 
beyond-design-basis aircraft impact assessment. The assessment must be 
based on the beyond-design-basis impact of a large, commercial aircraft 
used for long distance flights in the U.S., with aviation fuel loading 
typically used in such flights, and an impact speed and angle of impact 
considering the ability of both experienced and inexperienced pilots to 
control large, commercial aircraft at the low altitude representative 
of a nuclear power plant's low profile.
    Beyond these general characteristics, the NRC will specify for 
plant designers in a safeguards information (SGI) guidance document 
more detailed parameters describing the large, commercial aircraft 
impact that are considered appropriate for use in the required 
assessment. Although the detailed aircraft impact assessment parameters 
will be described in an SGI guidance document and will not be publicly 
available because of their potential value to terrorists, the following 
description of some of the factors used in selecting the parameters is 
offered to foster a better understanding of this final rulemaking. 
Changes to these detailed parameters on aircraft impact characteristics 
set forth in this guidance shall be approved by the Commission.
    1. The aircraft used by the terrorists on September 11, 2001. The 
NRC staff has reviewed the results of the September 11, 2001 attacks on 
the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The NRC has used these reviews 
in previous studies for operating reactors. The NRC also used these 
reviews to make its decisions with respect to this final rulemaking.
    2. Communications with other U.S. Government agencies. Since 
September 11, 2001, the NRC has worked closely with the Department of 
Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and other agencies, both 
to understand their information on terrorist threats and to communicate 
the NRC's study results.
    3. Communications with foreign governments. A number of foreign 
governments are considering the construction of new nuclear power 
plants. The NRC is communicating with the regulatory authorities in 
these countries to understand their requirements and to convey its own 
results and plans.
    4. Evaluations of commercial aircraft. The NRC has studied the 
types, numbers, and characteristics of commercial aircraft flown in 
U.S. airspace.
    Because this final rule is intended to provide added protection 
against the effects of a beyond-design-basis event, the choice of 
aircraft impact characteristics and the scenario used for this 
assessment will not be linked to threat assessments or to any evolution 
of aircraft design. The final rule requires that the design-specific 
impact assessment use the Commission-specified aircraft impact 
characteristics as described in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(2) (proposed 10 CFR 
52.500(b)). As stated previously, more specific details about the 
aircraft impact characteristics will be contained in a separate 
guidance document under SGI controls. Because this guidance document 
containing more detailed aircraft impact assessment parameters will be 
SGI, the document will only be made available to those individuals with 
a need-to-know and who are otherwise qualified to have access to SGI. 
Plant designers (including their employees and agents) who meet the 
Commission's requirements for access to SGI will have access to the 
guidance document containing these more detailed parameters to perform 
the assessments required by this final rule.

C. Aircraft Impact Assessment

Technical Issues
    Because the aircraft impact is a beyond-design-basis event, the 
methods and acceptance criteria used should be based on realistic 
assumptions. The aircraft impact assessment is expected to include the 
items detailed in the following paragraphs:
    1. Consideration of aircraft impact characteristics. The assessment 
must consider the impact of a large, commercial aircraft of the type 
currently in use for long distance flights in the U.S. as described 
previously in this document and in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(2). More detailed 
aircraft impact assessment parameters that are considered appropriate 
for use in this assessment will be contained in a separate guidance 
document under SGI controls.
    2. Plant functions, structures, systems, components, and locations 
to be assessed. The critical functions required to be evaluated in the 
aircraft impact assessment include core cooling capability, 
containment, spent fuel cooling capability, and spent fuel pool 
integrity. Evaluation of the survivability of these critical functions 
should consider not only the key components, but also power supplies, 
cable runs, and other components that support these functions. The 
assessment may take credit for the availability of both safety and non-
safety equipment. The assessment should evaluate whether the structures 
containing equipment that provides these critical functions are likely 
to be affected by the specified large, commercial aircraft impact. 
Factors to be considered in the assessment include the size and 
location of the structures and the presence of external impediments to 
impact.
    3. Damage mechanisms. The assessment should model the structural 
response, shock and vibration effects, and fire effects of the aircraft 
impact.
    a. Structural assessment. The structural assessment should be based 
on a detailed structural model of the plant taking into account the 
nonlinear materials and geometric behavior. The assessment should 
consider both local and global (plant-wide) behavior, as well as 
thermal effects resulting from fire.
    b. Shock assessment. The assessment should evaluate both the local 
and global (plant-wide) shock and vibration effects resulting from the 
aircraft impact.
    c. Fire assessment. The fire assessment should consider the extent 
of structural damage and aviation fuel deposition, if any, spread 
within the impacted buildings. The assessment should consider both 
short- and long-term fire effects.
    4. Consideration of potential responsive actions and strategies in 
identifying design features and functional capabilities. In determining

[[Page 28120]]

design features and functional capabilities, the designer is expected 
to consider the potential responsive actions and strategies in 
determining what design features and functional capabilities to adopt. 
After considering potential actions and strategies, the designer may 
identify design features and functional strategies that would 
facilitate the implementation and/or enhance the effectiveness of such 
responsive actions and strategies. An objective of the rule is to 
ensure that practical actions and strategies that the nuclear power 
plant licensee could use to respond to the effects of an aircraft 
impact are not precluded by the design and are available as effective 
options through inclusion of appropriate design features and functional 
capabilities.
Regulatory Treatment of the Assessment
    The aircraft impact assessment will be subject to inspection by the 
NRC and, therefore, must be maintained by the applicant along with the 
rest of the information that forms the basis for the relevant 
application, consistent with paragraph (b) of 10 CFR 52.0, ``Scope; 
applicability of 10 CFR Chapter I provisions,'' 10 CFR 50.70, 
``Inspections,'' and 10 CFR 50.71, ``Maintenance of records, making of 
reports.'' The applicant is not required to submit the aircraft impact 
assessment--as opposed to the ``description of the identified design 
features and functional capabilities'' required by 10 CFR 50.150(b) 
(proposed 10 CFR 52.500(c))--to the NRC in its application.
    Under the final rule, the NRC will confirm that the information 
required by 10 CFR 50.150(b) is included in the applicant's PSAR or 
FSAR, namely, the description of the design features and functional 
capabilities identified as a result of the assessment and a description 
of how those features and capabilities show, with reduced use of 
operator action, that the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 
50.150(a)(1) are met. The NRC will review the information contained in 
the application and reach conclusions as to whether the applicant has: 
(1) Adequately described design features and functional capabilities in 
accordance with the aircraft impact rule; and (2) conducted an 
assessment reasonably formulated to identify design features and 
functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator action, 
that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. The 
NRC's decision on an application subject to 10 CFR 50.150 will be 
separate from any NRC determination that may be made with respect to 
the adequacy of the impact assessment which the rule does not require 
be submitted to the NRC. Therefore, the adequacy of the impact 
assessment may not be the subject of a contention submitted as part of 
a petition to intervene under 10 CFR 2.309, ``Hearing requests, 
petitions to intervene, requirements for standing, and contentions.'' A 
person who seeks NRC rulemaking action with respect to a proposed 
standard design certification on the basis that the requirements of the 
rule with respect to the identification and description of design 
features and functional capabilities has not been met could submit 
comments in the notice and comment phase of that rulemaking. A person 
who seeks rulemaking action after the NRC has adopted a final design 
certification rule on the basis that the impact assessment performed 
for that design certification is inadequate could submit a petition for 
rulemaking under 10 CFR 2.802, ``Petition for rulemaking,'' and 10 CFR 
2.803, ``Determination of petition,'' seeking to amend the standard 
design certification. A person who seeks agency enforcement-related 
action on a combined license or manufacturing license on the basis of 
an inadequate impact assessment could file a petition under 10 CFR 
2.206, ``Requests for action under this subpart.''
    Applicants are only required to submit a description of the 
identified design features and functional capabilities identified as a 
result of the assessment in their PSAR or FSAR, together with a 
description of how the identified design features and functional 
capabilities comply with the rule's requirements. Applicants subject to 
the aircraft impact rule must make the complete aircraft impact 
assessment available for NRC inspection at the applicants' offices or 
their contractors' offices, upon NRC request in accordance with 10 CFR 
50.70, 10 CFR 50.71, and Section 161.c of the Atomic Energy Act of 
1954, as amended. The NRC expects that, generally, the information that 
it needs to perform its review of the application to assess the 
applicant's compliance with 10 CFR 50.150 will be that information 
contained in the applicant's FSAR. However, if the NRC believes, during 
the course of its review of the application, that the application 
contains incomplete or insufficient descriptions of the design features 
and functional capabilities included in the design, or insufficient 
discussions of how those features and capabilities show, with reduced 
use of operator action, that the facility can withstand the effects of 
an aircraft impact, then the NRC may request additional information or 
may review the assessment prior to issuance of the design 
certification, approval, or license, as applicable.
    The NRC will confirm that the impact assessment was performed 
consistent with the regulatory requirements, but, consistent with the 
previous discussion, the NRC's confirmation will proceed independently 
of the NRC's licensing or approval action on the relevant application. 
The NRC may take appropriate enforcement action for any violations of 
applicable NRC requirements, including, but not limited to, 10 CFR 
50.150, ``Aircraft impact assessment;'' 10 CFR 50.5 and 10 CFR 52.4, 
``Deliberate misconduct;'' and 10 CFR 50.9 and 10 CFR 52.6, 
``Completeness and accuracy of information.'' A failure to perform the 
assessment will be a violation of the rule. The NRC expects the 
assessment to be rigorous. Any assessment that is inadequate to 
reasonably assess the aircraft impact or to identify design features or 
functional capabilities could be considered a violation of the rule.
    For design certifications, design approvals, and manufacturing 
license which are subject to and/or have been determined by the NRC to 
be in compliance with the aircraft impact rule, issue resolution (in 
accordance with the applicable NRC regulations and law) will be 
accorded to the aircraft impact assessment, the descriptions of the 
design features and functional capabilities required to be included in 
the application, and the description of how the identified design 
features and functional capabilities meet the requirements of this 
final rule. Furthermore, the NRC has concluded in this final rulemaking 
that issue resolution also extends to the exclusion of design features 
and functional capabilities which have not been included in the 
facility design. This position represents a change from the NRC's 
proposed position as presented in the proposed rule's statement of 
consideration (see 72 FR 56292, third column (October 3, 2007)). The 
NRC's changed position on this matter stems from a review of the issue 
resolution provision in design certification rulemaking. Under the 
``Issue Resolution'' section for each of the four current design 
certifications, the NRC included the following statement: ``A 
conclusion that a matter is resolved includes the finding that 
additional or alternative structures, systems, and components, design 
features, design criteria, testing, analyses, acceptance criteria or 
justification are not necessary for the [design which is certified].'' 
10 CFR part 52, Appendices A through D,

[[Page 28121]]

paragraph IV.A. There is nothing exceptional about the technical 
requirements in the aircraft impact rule which suggests that this 
provision on issue resolution should not also apply to matters 
addressed by the aircraft impact rule. Accordingly, as part of this 
final rulemaking the NRC adopts a different position on the scope of 
issue resolution with respect to excluded design features and 
functional capabilities.
    Once the applicant completes the impact assessment and identifies 
in the FSAR the design features and functional capabilities that it has 
incorporated into its design, the goal of this final rule has been 
achieved. Accordingly, the final rule does not require the impact 
assessment to be updated by either: (1) An operating license holder; 
(2) a design certification applicant following the NRC's adoption of a 
final standard design certification rule; (3) a design approval holder; 
(4) a manufacturing license applicant or holder whose application 
references a design certification or design approval; (5) a combined 
license applicant or holder whose application references a design 
certification, design approval, or manufactured reactor; or (6) a 
combined license or manufacturing license holder who is required to 
prepare its own assessment. However, if a permit holder, licensee, 
approval holder, or design certification applicant makes a change to 
the information required to be included in their PSAR or FSAR, then 
they will be required to consider the effect of the change on the 
original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and amend the 
information required to be included in the PSAR or FSAR. These 
requirements are discussed in more detail later in this section. Also, 
a construction permit holder will need to update its initial assessment 
when it is preparing to submit its operating license application 
because it is only at the operating license stage that the applicant 
will be seeking NRC approval of its final design. No applicant or 
licensee will be required to update the assessment in an application 
for renewal under either 10 CFR 52.57, 10 CFR 52.107, 10 CFR 52.177 or 
10 CFR part 54. An applicant for renewal of one of the currently 
approved design certifications which has not been amended to comply 
with the aircraft impact rule will have to perform an aircraft impact 
assessment before submitting its renewal application.
Record Retention Requirements
    The provisions of 10 CFR 50.71(c) require that records that are 
required by the regulations in 10 CFR parts 50 or 52 must be retained 
for the period specified by the appropriate regulation. If a retention 
period is not otherwise specified, the licensee must retain these 
records until the Commission terminates the facility license. Because 
10 CFR 50.150(a) (proposed 10 CFR 52.500(b)) requires the performance 
of the aircraft impact assessment, it falls under the category of 
``records that are required by the regulations'' and therefore, the 
licensee will be required to retain the assessment until the Commission 
terminates the facility license. The NRC also expects to add specific 
provisions to each standard design certification rule for a design 
covered by 10 CFR 50.150 governing retention of the aircraft impact 
assessment by both the applicant for the design certification 
(including an applicant after the Commission has adopted a final 
standard design certification rule) and a licensee who references that 
design certification. The NRC will require applicants and licensees to 
retain the assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) throughout the 
pendency of the application and for the term of the certification or 
license (including any period of renewal). For all applicants, the 
supporting documentation retained onsite should describe the 
methodology used in performing the assessment, including the 
identification of potential design features and functional capabilities 
to show that the acceptance criteria in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1) will be 
met.
Identification of Design Features and Functional Capabilities
    The final rule requires designers of new facilities to describe how 
the design features and functional capabilities identified in 
performance of the aircraft impact assessment show, with reduced use of 
operator action, that the facility can withstand the effects of an 
aircraft impact (i.e., that the rule's acceptance criteria are met). 
Plant structures critical to maintaining facility safety functions 
should be designed such that an impact does not result in structural 
failure, and aircraft parts and jet fuel do not enter the structures. 
In circumstances in which an impact results in aircraft parts and jet 
fuel entering structures or affecting equipment, plant structures and 
layouts should be evaluated with respect to maintaining key safety 
functions (core cooling, containment, spent fuel cooling, and spent 
fuel pool integrity) by addressing equipment survivability following 
the entry of aircraft parts and jet fuel. Key safety functions should 
be accomplished notwithstanding the resulting internal damage from 
structural loads, shock and vibration, and fire.
    As discussed previously, the Commission has issued orders to 
operating plants requiring mitigation of the effects of losing large 
areas of the plant from fires and explosions. These requirements 
include some reliance on operator actions, such as realigning systems 
to ensure continued core cooling following the loss of a large area. 
Because this final rule applies to newly designed facilities before 
construction of the facility, the Commission expects that improvements 
can be made in the plant's design that may be even more effective than 
operator actions credited in operating plants. Thus, these designs 
should have reduced reliance, relative to current operating plants, on 
operator actions.
    Nuclear power plants are inherently very robust, secure structures 
designed to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and 
other severe events. They have redundant and diverse safety equipment 
so that if an active component becomes unavailable, another component 
or system will satisfy its function. The results of the Commission's 
evaluation of postulated aircraft impacts on operating reactors 
reinforced the value of design features such as the following:
     Reinforced concrete walls.
     Redundancy and spatial separation of key systems, 
structures and components.
     Diversity of power supplies.
     Compartmentalization of interior structures with pressure 
resisting concrete walls and doors.
    The NRC expects the required assessment to consider such design 
features and functional capabilities and of possible improvements in 
these and other features and capabilities for addressing aircraft 
impacts.
Control of PSAR or FSAR Information
    Design features or functional capabilities credited for showing 
that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact 
should be described in Chapter 19 of the FSAR, which addresses severe 
accidents. The design features may include structures or features 
unchanged from the plant design as it existed before the aircraft 
impact assessment (e.g., an existing wall is found to be effective), 
structures or features included in the plant design but enhanced to 
improve the response to an aircraft impact (e.g., an existing wall is 
made stronger), or new structures or features added solely to address 
aircraft impacts (e.g., a new wall). The regulatory treatment of the 
design

[[Page 28122]]

features (e.g., how changes to the features are controlled) depends on 
which of the previously mentioned categories apply. For example, a 
design feature added specifically to address the effects of an aircraft 
impact will be controlled only by requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(c) 
(proposed 10 CFR 52.502) added in this final rule or requirements that 
the NRC expects to add to future design certifications that will be 
subject to 10 CFR 50.150 (proposed 10 CFR 52.500). A safety-related 
structure credited in the aircraft impact assessment as a design 
feature will continue to be controlled by Appendix B to 10 CFR part 50, 
``Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel 
Reprocessing Plants,'' 10 CFR part 21, ``Reporting of Defects and 
Noncompliance,'' and other regulations establishing technical and 
administrative requirements on the non-aircraft impact functions, in 
addition to the requirements for control of features to address 
aircraft impacts.
    For all applicants and licensees subject to 10 CFR 50.150, control 
of changes to any design features or functional capabilities credited 
for showing that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft 
impact will be governed by the requirements in a new paragraph (c), 
``Control of changes,'' of 10 CFR 50.150. For construction permits 
which are subject to 10 CFR 50.150, paragraph (c)(1) requires that, if 
the permit holder changes the information required by 10 CFR 
50.34(a)(13) to be included in the PSAR, then the permit holder must 
consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the 
original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and amend the 
information required by 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13) to be included in the PSAR 
to describe how the modified design features and functional 
capabilities continue to meet the assessment requirements in the 
aircraft impact rule. Because this final rule addresses a beyond-
design-basis event, the NRC has determined that it is appropriate to 
apply the same standard to any licensee-proposed changes to features 
and capabilities that were applied during the original evaluation of 
those design features and functional capabilities.
    Paragraph (c)(2) of 10 CFR 50.150 provides that, for operating 
licenses which are subject to the aircraft impact rule (i.e., operating 
licenses for which the underlying construction permits are issued after 
July 13, 2009), if the licensee changes the information required by 10 
CFR 50.34(b)(12) to be included in the FSAR, then the licensee shall 
consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the 
original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(b) and amend the 
information required by 10 CFR 50.34(b)(12) to be included in FSAR to 
describe how the modified design features and functional capabilities 
continue to meet the assessment requirements in the aircraft impact 
rule.
    Paragraph (c)(3) of 10 CFR 50.150 governs changes to a design 
feature or functional capability described in a standard design 
certification. Such changes may not be made generically except by 
notice and comment rulemaking (see 10 CFR 52.63, ``Finality of standard 
design certifications,'' paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2)) and such a 
change must meet one of the criteria in 10 CFR 52.63(a)(1). All 
referencing combined licenses must implement any generic change to a 
design certification rule, as required by 10 CFR 52.63(a)(3). The NRC 
acknowledges that the applicant for a standard design certification is 
not directly responsible for maintaining the FSAR information once a 
final design certification rule is adopted by the NRC. Nonetheless, the 
NRC continues to believe, for the reasons set forth in the 
Supplementary Information for the first design certification rulemaking 
(see 62 FR 25800; May 19, 1997, at 25813-25814, 25826), that the 
original standard design certification applicant should be required to 
maintain the accuracy of the design certification information. 
Therefore, in future standard design certification rulemakings, the NRC 
expects to continue its practice of adopting a records management 
requirement analogous to Section X.A of the four existing standard 
design certification rules. In addition, any applicant for an amendment 
to a design certification is also subject to the records management 
requirement. In the case of amendment requests submitted by someone 
other than the original applicant, the NRC may need to develop 
appropriate rule language to reflect the record management 
responsibilities for information (including SGI and proprietary 
information) that was developed by applicants other than the original 
applicant. For combined license holders subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) 
(i.e., a licensee whose application does not reference a standard 
design certification, standard design approval, or manufactured 
reactor, or that reference a standard design certification issued 
before the effective date of the rule which has not been amended to 
comply with the rule), 10 CFR 50.150(c)(4)(i) states that if the 
licensee changes the information required by 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47) to be 
included in the FSAR, then the licensee shall consider the effect of 
the changed feature or capability on the original assessment required 
by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and amend the information required by 10 CFR 
52.79(a)(47) to be included in the FSAR to describe how the modified 
design features and functional capabilities continue to meet the 
acceptance criteria in the aircraft impact rule.
    Paragraph (c)(4)(ii) of 10 CFR 50.150 governs combined license 
applicants or holders which are not subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) and 
states that proposed departures from the information required by 10 CFR 
52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the referenced standard 
design certification are governed by the change control requirements in 
the applicable design certification rule. The NRC expects to add a new 
change control provision to future design certification rules subject 
to 10 CFR 50.150 (including amendments to any of the four existing 
design certifications) to govern combined license applicants and 
holders referencing the design certification that request a departure 
from the design features or functional capabilities in the referenced 
design certification. The new change control provision will require 
that, if the applicant or licensee changes the information required by 
10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the standard design 
certification, then the applicant or licensee shall consider the effect 
of the changed feature or capability on the original assessment 
required by 10 CFR 50.150(a). The applicant or licensee must also 
describe in a change to the FSAR (i.e., a plant-specific departure from 
the generic design control document), how the modified design features 
and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in the aircraft impact rule. An applicant or licensee's 
submittal of this updated information to the NRC will be governed by 
the reporting requirements in the applicable design certification rule. 
The NRC expects to continue, in future standard design certification 
rulemakings, its practice of adopting reporting requirements analogous 
to Section X.B of the four existing standard design certification 
rules. Licensees making changes to design features or capabilities 
included in the certified design may also need to develop alternate 
means to cope with the loss of large areas of the plant from explosions 
or fires to comply with the requirements in 10 CFR 50.54(hh).
    Paragraph (c)(4)(iii) of 10 CFR 50.150 governs combined license 
applicants or

[[Page 28123]]

holders which are not subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) but reference a 
manufactured reactor which is subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a). For such 
applicants and licensees, proposed departures from the information 
required by 10 CFR 52.157(f)(32) to be included in the FSAR for the 
manufacturing license are governed by the applicable requirements in 10 
CFR 52.171(b)(2). Paragraph (b)(2) of 10 CFR 52.171 allows an applicant 
or licensee who references or uses a nuclear power reactor manufactured 
under a manufacturing license under this subpart to request a departure 
from the design characteristics, site parameters, terms and conditions, 
or approved design of the manufactured reactor. The Commission may 
grant a request only if it determines that the departure will comply 
with the requirements of 10 CFR 52.7 and that the special circumstances 
outweigh any decrease in safety that may result from the reduction in 
standardization caused by the departure.
    Generic changes for manufacturing licenses which are subject to 10 
CFR 51.150(a) are addressed in 10 CFR 50.150(c)(5)(i), which states 
that generic changes to the information required by 10 CFR 
52.157(f)(32) to be included in the FSAR are governed by the applicable 
requirements of 10 CFR 52.171. Under the provisions of 10 CFR 52.171, 
``Finality of manufacturing licenses; Information requests,'' the 
holder of a manufacturing license may not make changes to the design 
features or functional capabilities described in the FSAR without prior 
Commission approval. The request for a change to the design must be in 
the form of an application for a license amendment, and must meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.90, ``Application for amendment of license, 
construction permit, or early site permit,'' and 10 CFR 50.92, 
``Issuance of amendment.''
    Paragraph (c)(5)(ii) of 10 CFR 50.150 governs manufacturing 
licenses which are not subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a). Similar to a 
combined license application, in a manufacturing license application 
referencing a design certification, departures from the information 
required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the 
referenced standard design certification are governed by the change 
control requirements in the applicable design certification rule.
    There are no provisions in 10 CFR 50.150(c) governing changes to a 
standard design approval because a design feature or functional 
capability described in a standard design approval may not be changed 
generically except under an application for a new design approval. 
There are no provisions in 10 CFR part 52 for making generic changes to 
a standard design approval. Paragraph (a) of 10 CFR 52.145, ``Finality 
of standard design approvals; information requests,'' states that an 
approved design must be used by and relied upon by the NRC staff and 
the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards in their review of any 
individual facility license application that incorporates by reference 
a standard design approval unless there exists significant new 
information that substantially affects the earlier determination or 
other good cause. Therefore, any changes to a design feature or 
functional capability described in a standard design approval will be 
subject to review by the NRC in any application that references the 
design approval. Note that 10 CFR 52.131, ``Scope of subpart,'' states 
that an applicant may submit standard designs for a nuclear power 
reactor or major portions thereof. To the extent that a standard design 
approval is issued for only a portion of a nuclear power reactor, any 
applicant referencing that design approval will have to separately 
comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.150 for any portion of the 
design not addressed in the design approval issued by the NRC.

VI. Responses to Public Comments

A. Overview of Public Comments

    The public comment period for the proposed rule closed on December 
17, 2007. The NRC received 32 comment letters on the proposed rule. Of 
those comments, 31 commenters were in favor of requiring aircraft 
impact assessments on nuclear power plants; one commenter was against 
requiring an aircraft impact assessment. Several commenters also 
endorsed other commenters' views, where some provided comments in 
addition to those they endorsed. No commenters supported the rule 
exactly as proposed.
    Due to the large number of comments received and the length of the 
responses provided, this section of the final rule only provides a 
summary of the categories of comments with a general description of the 
resolution of those comments. The detailed description of the comments 
and the NRC responses are available electronically at the NRC's 
electronic Reading Room, ADAMS Accession No. ML090610124.
    The proposed aircraft impact rule was published in advance of 
publication of draft NRC guidance for implementing the rule. The NRC 
indicated in the proposed rule that commenters on the proposed rule 
need not await the publication of the draft guidance to comment 
meaningfully on the proposed rule (see 72 FR 56298; October 3, 2007). 
The NRC only received one comment suggesting that either the proposed 
rule language or information on the aircraft impact characteristics 
which was provided in the Supplementary Information for the proposed 
rule prevented or significantly impeded the commenter from 
understanding the proposed rule or commenting on it. Moreover, as 
described in the following discussion, the NRC received many comments 
effectively (if not explicitly) directed at one or more aspects of the 
aircraft impact characteristics. Accordingly, the NRC concludes that 
the NRC provided sufficient information on the proposed aircraft impact 
rule to allow the public a meaningful opportunity to comment on the 
proposed rule's requirements.

B. Responses to Specific Requests for Comments

    In Section VIII of the Supplementary Information for the proposed 
rule, the NRC posed eight questions for which it solicited stakeholder 
comments. In the following paragraphs, these questions are restated, 
comments received from stakeholders are summarized, and the NRC 
resolution of the public comments is presented.
    1. Inclusion of impact assessment in application. The proposed rule 
does not require that the assessment of aircraft impacts that would be 
mandated by proposed 10 CFR 52.500(b) be included in the FSAR or 
otherwise submitted as part of the application for a standard design 
certification, standard design approval, combined license, or 
manufacturing license. However, the NRC is proposing that a description 
of the design features, functional capabilities, and strategies 
credited by the applicant to avoid or mitigate the effects of the 
applicable, beyond-design-basis aircraft impact be included in the FSAR 
submitted with the relevant application. In addition, the FSAR must 
contain an evaluation of how such design features, functional 
capabilities, and strategies to avoid or mitigate, to the extent 
practicable, the effects of the applicable aircraft impact with reduced 
reliance on operator actions. The NRC is seeking specific comments on 
the desirability, or lack thereof, of requiring, in the final rule, 
that applicants include the aircraft impact assessment required by 
proposed 10 CFR 52.500(b) in the FSAR or another part of the 
application.
    Commenters' Response: The three industry commenters who addressed 
this question (Nuclear Energy Institute

[[Page 28124]]

(NEI), Morgan Lewis, and AREVA Nuclear Power (AREVA NP)) indicated that 
the impact assessment should not be included with the application. NEI 
indicated that a description [of the assessment] and the evaluation 
under 10 CFR 52.500(c) need to be included. In a separate comment, NEI 
expressed its view that the submittal on aircraft impacts would be 
classified as a safeguards information document.
    NRC Response: The final rule does not require that the assessment 
of aircraft impacts be included in the PSAR or FSAR or otherwise 
submitted as part of the application for a construction permit, 
operating license, standard design certification, standard design 
approval, combined license, or manufacturing license. However, 10 CFR 
50.150(b) does require that a description of the design features and 
functional capabilities credited by the applicant to show that the 
facility can withstand the effects of the aircraft impact be included 
in the PSAR or FSAR submitted with the relevant application. In 
addition, the PSAR or FSAR must contain a description of how such 
design features and functional capabilities meet the acceptance 
criteria in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1). The aircraft impact assessment will be 
subject to inspection by the NRC and, therefore, must be maintained by 
the applicant along with the rest of the information that forms the 
basis for the relevant application. The NRC expects that, generally, 
the information that it needs to perform its review of the application 
to assess the applicant's compliance with 10 CFR 50.150 will be that 
information contained in the applicant's PSAR or FSAR. For these 
reasons, the final rule does not require applicants to submit the 
aircraft impact assessment to the NRC.
    2. Acceptance criteria. The acceptance criterion contained in 
proposed 10 CFR 52.500 by which the NRC may judge the required 
assessment and evaluation is the practicability criterion addressed in 
paragraph (c), that is, that the applicant must describe how the 
``design features, functional capabilities, and strategies avoid or 
mitigate, to the extent practicable, the effects of the applicable 
aircraft impact with reduced reliance on operator actions.'' The NRC is 
considering adding an additional acceptance criterion to proposed 10 
CFR 52.500 for judging the acceptability of the applicant's aircraft 
impact assessment and evaluation. The NRC is seeking specific comments 
on the desirability, or lack thereof, of adding an additional 
acceptance criterion in the final rule beyond the proposed rule's 
practicability criterion. Such an additional acceptance criterion could 
read, for example:

    The application must also describe how such design features, 
functional capabilities, and strategies will provide reasonable 
assurance that any release of radioactive materials to the 
environment will not produce public exposures exceeding 10 CFR part 
100 guidelines.

    Commenters' Response: Three industry commenters (NEI, Morgan Lewis, 
and AREVA NP) opposed the use of 10 CFR part 100 dose limits as 
acceptance criteria for the aircraft impact rule. NEI and Morgan Lewis 
asserted that the use of 10 CFR part 100 dose limits would imply that 
the aircraft impact is a design basis event, inasmuch as 10 CFR part 
100 dose limits are used to evaluate the acceptability of design 
features addressing design basis events. Use of 10 CFR part 100 dose 
limits, therefore, could be misinterpreted and result in unnecessary 
expenditure of industry and NRC resources. As an alternative, NEI 
suggested that the NRC adopt the following functional acceptance 
criteria: (1) Demonstrate that the reactor core remains cooled or the 
containment remains intact; and (2) demonstrate that spent fuel cooling 
or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained.
    NRC Response: The NRC agrees with the commenters' recommendations 
for alternative acceptance criteria and agrees that 10 CFR part 100 
dose limits should not be used for the purpose of this rule. The NRC 
decided not to adopt an additional acceptance criterion based on 10 CFR 
part 100 dose limits in the final rule for the reasons outlined by the 
commenters, namely, that the 10 CFR part 100 limits are limits that the 
NRC uses to judge compliance with design basis requirements. The NRC is 
revising the criteria necessary to comply with the final rule 
consistent with one commenter's suggestion. In the final rule, 
applicants continue to be required to perform a design-specific 
assessment of the effects of the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft. In addition, the final rule requires applicants to use 
realistic analyses to identify and incorporate into the design those 
design features and functional capabilities to show that, with reduced 
use of operator action: (1) The reactor core remains cooled or the 
containment remains intact, and (2) spent fuel cooling or spent fuel 
pool integrity is maintained. The final rule removes references to 
considering the practicality of including the design features and 
functional capabilities identified as a result of the assessment. The 
acceptance criteria in the rule must be shown to be met to achieve 
compliance with the rule's requirements.
    3. Records retention. The proposed rule relies on the general 
record retention requirements in 10 CFR 50.71(c) for retention of the 
assessment required by proposed 10 CFR 52.500 for combined license and 
manufacturing license applicants subject to proposed 10 CFR 52.500. The 
NRC intends to similarly rely on a general design certification rule 
provisions for retention of the assessment required by proposed 10 CFR 
52.500 for design certification applicants and combined license and 
manufacturing license holders that reference a design certification. 
The NRC is requesting specific comments on whether, in lieu of the 
specific design certification rule provisions or reliance on 10 CFR 
50.71(c), the NRC should adopt as part of the final 10 CFR 52.500 
rulemaking a specific provision that would explicitly mandate the 
retention of the assessment. Such a provision would be included in an 
additional paragraph of final 10 CFR 52.500, and would set forth the 
proposed period of retention. Inclusion of a generic records retention 
requirement in final 10 CFR 52.500 would preclude the need for the NRC 
to include a specific records retention provision in each standard 
design certification subject to final 10 CFR 52.500. The NRC requests 
comments on whether such a provision should be included in final 10 CFR 
52.500, together with specific reasons in support of the commenter's 
position.
    The NRC also requests comments on the appropriate period for 
retention of the assessment, evaluation, and supporting documentation. 
The NRC is considering the following alternatives:
     For a standard design certification, combined license, and 
manufacturing license the period of NRC review prior to NRC final 
action on the application.
     For a standard design certification and manufacturing 
license, the duration of the design certification or manufacturing 
license (i.e., the period during which the design certification or 
manufactured reactor may be referenced, including any renewal).
     For a standard design certification or manufacturing 
license, until the licensee of the final referencing license has 
submitted a certification under 10 CFR 50.82(a), or the final 
referencing license has been terminated.
     For a combined license, when the licensee has submitted a 
certification under 10 CFR 50.82(a), or the combined license has been 
terminated.
    Commenters' Response: All the industry commenters (NEI, Morgan 
Lewis, and AREVA NP) who

[[Page 28125]]

commented on this question stated that the existing NRC records 
retention requirements are sufficient. AREVA NP also stated that the 
records retention requirements should apply to design certification 
holders for the time that the design certification is in effect.
    NRC Response: The NRC agrees with the commenters. No changes were 
made to the proposed rule's record retention requirements in the final 
rule. The final rule relies on the general record retention 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.71(c) for retention of the assessment for 
combined license and manufacturing license holders subject to 10 CFR 
50.150. The NRC intends to similarly rely on general design 
certification rule provisions for retention of the assessment required 
by proposed 10 CFR 50.150 for design certification applicants and 
combined license and manufacturing license holders that reference a 
design certification.
    4. Requests to amend existing standard design certifications to 
address aircraft impacts. The NRC has concluded that it does not need 
to apply the proposed rule to the four currently approved standard 
design certifications, as discussed in detail in Section III of the 
Supplementary Information of the proposed rule. Nonetheless, the 
original applicant (or another qualified entity) may request an 
amendment to the standard design certification to add design features, 
functional capabilities, or strategies in accordance with the 
requirements of 10 CFR 52.500. The NRC encourages such requests for 
amendment by the applicants for the four current standard design 
certifications because it will further enhance the already high levels 
of safety and security provided by these reactor designs. These design 
modifications may be implemented in different ways as described in 
Section III of the Supplementary Information of the proposed rule. 
However, under the proposed rule, there are no standards, other than 
those contained in 10 CFR 52.63(a), for judging changes to the design 
to address the effects of an aircraft impact. The NRC requests specific 
comments on whether it should use the same criterion to judge 
amendments to an existing design certification as it would use on a new 
design certification applicant under the proposed 10 CFR 52.500.
    Commenters' Response: One industry commenter (NEI) stated that 
voluntary requests to amend existing design certifications to address 
aircraft impacts should be held to the same standard as new design 
certification applications, because to do otherwise would introduce 
inconsistency into the regulatory process. One industry commenter 
(Morgan Lewis) agreed with the NEI position, adding that if the holder 
of an existing design certification does not voluntarily comply with 
the rule, then combined license applicants that reference that design 
certification will still be required to comply with the proposed 10 CFR 
73.55 amendment, and these applicants would not receive the benefits of 
any design changes in response to the proposed rule on aircraft 
impacts. As encouraged by the proposed rule, some commenters noted that 
reactor vendors with existing design certifications may voluntarily 
request the NRC to amend the design certifications to address aircraft 
impacts. Some commenters stated that the NRC should use the same 
criteria for evaluating such requests for amendments to existing design 
certifications as it uses for evaluating new applications for design 
certifications. Some commenters also stated that combined license 
applicants that reference the amendment to a design certification that 
voluntarily complies with the aircraft impact rule should be treated 
the same as a combined license applicant that references a new design 
certification that is required to comply with the aircraft impact rule.
    NRC Response: The NRC agrees with the commenters that the NRC 
should use the same criteria for evaluating voluntary requests for 
amendments to currently approved design certifications as it uses for 
evaluating new applications for design certifications. To ensure 
consistency among all new reactor designs, the NRC must apply the same 
criteria to voluntary requests for amendments to existing design 
certifications as it uses for evaluating new applications for design 
certifications or applications for combined licenses that reference a 
design certification that has not been amended to address the aircraft 
impact rule.
    The NRC has determined, consistent with the proposed aircraft 
impact rule, that the four currently approved standard design 
certifications in Appendices A through D to 10 CFR part 52 should not 
be required to comply with the final aircraft impact rule during the 
period of effectiveness of the initial certification period. However, 
an applicant for renewal of one of the currently approved design 
certifications that has not been previously amended to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule must comply with the rule during renewal. 
Therefore, the original applicants for the four existing design 
certifications (or their successors in interest) are not required to 
submit applications to recertify their designs as complying with the 
final aircraft impact rule, except at renewal if the certifications 
have not voluntarily been amended previously. However, based upon NRC's 
consideration of public comments and its assessment of alternative 
regulatory approaches for ensuring that all newly designed and 
constructed nuclear power plants comply with the aircraft impact rule, 
the NRC has decided that the best regulatory approach is to require any 
combined license applicant referencing one of these four existing 
design certifications to comply with the aircraft impact rule, unless 
the referenced design certification has been amended to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule.
    The NRC's decision on the regulatory approach for achieving the 
objective that all newly-designed and constructed nuclear power plants 
comply with the aircraft impact rule stems from: (1) NRC's 
acknowledgement of the view--expressed by a wide range of 
stakeholders--that public confidence in future nuclear power reactors 
will be enhanced by requiring all newly-constructed nuclear power 
plants, including those based upon one of the four currently approved 
design certifications, to meet the requirements of the aircraft impact 
rule; and (2) NRC's assessment that there appears to be little or no 
commercial interest at this time by domestic U.S. entities in using 
certain design certifications. The NRC agrees with the view, expressed 
by many stakeholders across a wide spectrum of interests and 
background, that the underlying objectives of the aircraft impact rule 
would not be fully achieved if a subset of future nuclear power plant 
applicants--namely, those applicants who reference one of the four 
existing design certifications--are not required to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule. Thus, the NRC has decided that all future nuclear 
power plants to be constructed and operated in the U.S. should use 
designs which comply with the final aircraft impact rule. However, 
given that objective, the NRC believes that it should adopt a 
regulatory approach for achieving that objective in a manner that does 
not unduly affect the resource planning of potential combined license 
applicants considering referencing one of the currently approved design 
certifications. To adopt a regulatory approach which mandates a delay 
in NRC action on a combined license application referencing one of the 
four currently approved until that design certification is amended to 
comply with the aircraft impact rule

[[Page 28126]]

seems unduly restrictive, especially where the combined license 
applicant is ready and willing to comply with the aircraft impact rule. 
Accordingly, the NRC determined that it would adopt the regulatory 
approach reflected in the final rule.
    5. Applicability to future 10 CFR part 50 license applicants. The 
NRC is proposing to apply the requirements in proposed 10 CFR 52.500 to 
10 CFR part 52 applicants only, specifically, to applicants for 
standard design certifications issued after the effective date of the 
final rule that do not reference a standard design approval; standard 
design approvals issued after the effective date of the final rule; 
combined licenses issued after the effective date of the final rule 
that do not reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor; and manufacturing licenses issued 
after the effective date of the final rule that do not reference a 
standard design certification or standard design approval. However, the 
NRC is considering extending the applicability of the proposed 10 CFR 
52.500 requirements to future applicants for construction permits under 
10 CFR part 50. The NRC requests specific comments on the desirability, 
or lack thereof, of extending, to future 10 CFR part 50 construction 
permit applicants, the applicability of the proposed requirements to 
perform an aircraft impact assessment and to evaluate the design 
features, functional capabilities, and strategies to avoid or mitigate, 
to the extent practicable, the effects of the applicable, beyond-
design-basis aircraft impact.
    Commenters' Response: One industry commenter (NEI) recommended that 
future applicants for new construction permits under 10 CFR part 50 
should be required to meet the rule, but that current holders of 
construction permits, including those whose plants are essentially 
complete, should not be required to comply with the rule. The commenter 
suggested that plants with an existing construction permit and plants 
where construction is essentially complete should be subject to the 
same requirements as operating plants, which are required to have 
mitigation actions for large area fires and explosions. To require 
otherwise would be impractical and result in a financial burden in 
changing a design that is essentially built.
    NRC Response: The NRC agrees with the commenter that future 
applicants for new construction permits under 10 CFR part 50 should be 
required to meet the rule, but that current holders of construction 
permits should not be required to comply with the rule. The NRC is 
making the final rule applicable to 10 CFR part 50 license applicants 
as well as applicants under 10 CFR part 52 to maintain consistency in 
the technical requirements that are applied to new applicants under 10 
CFR parts 50 and 52. The final rule requires both new power reactor 
construction permit applicants and operating license applicants to 
perform the required assessment and include the description of the 
identified design features and functional capabilities in their 
applications. The final rule is being applied to applicants at both 
construction permit and operating license stage because it is not until 
the operating license stage that the applicant is required to provide 
the NRC with its final design. The NRC can issue a construction permit 
based on preliminary design information. Therefore, the NRC believes it 
is necessary to require applicants to perform the aircraft impact 
assessment at both stages and to include the required information in 
both applications based on the level of design information available at 
the time of each application.
    In making these additions, the NRC is making it clear that the 
requirements are not meant to apply to operating license applications 
for which construction permits were issued before the effective date of 
this final rule. This is because existing construction permits are 
likely to involve designs which are essentially complete and may 
involve sites where construction has already taken place. Applying the 
final rule to operating license applications for which there are 
existing construction permits could result in an undue financial burden 
to change a design for a plant that is partially constructed. Such a 
financial burden is not justifiable in light of the fact that the NRC 
considers the events to which the aircraft impact rule is directed to 
be beyond-design-basis events and compliance with the rule is not 
needed for adequate protection to public health and safety or common 
defense and security. Moreover, such operating license applicants will 
be required to comply with the requirements in 10 CFR 50.54(hh) to 
identify actions to mitigate the effects of large fires and explosions, 
including those caused by aircraft impacts. For these reasons, the NRC 
is not requiring operating license applicants with an existing 
construction permit to comply with the final rule.
    6. Addition of technical requirements to 10 CFR part 52. In the 
recent revision to 10 CFR part 52, the NRC took a comprehensive 
approach to reorganizing 10 CFR part 52 and making conforming changes 
throughout 10 CFR Chapter I, ``Nuclear Regulatory Commission,'' to 
reflect the licensing and approval processes in 10 CFR part 52. In that 
rulemaking, the NRC reviewed the existing regulations in 10 CFR Chapter 
I to determine if the existing regulations needed to be modified to 
reflect the licensing and approval processes in 10 CFR part 52. In 
making conforming changes involving 10 CFR part 50 provisions, the NRC 
adopted the general principle of keeping the technical requirements in 
10 CFR part 50 and maintaining all applicable procedural requirements 
in 10 CFR part 52. This proposed aircraft impact rule represents a 
departure from that general principle in that it proposes to include 
specific technical requirements in 10 CFR part 52 and would create a 
separate subpart for inclusion of future, similar, technical 
requirements. The NRC is considering relocating the proposed aircraft 
impact requirements from 10 CFR 52.500 to a new section in 10 CFR part 
50 to maintain the general principle it established in the 
comprehensive 10 CFR part 52 rulemaking. The NRC requests specific 
comments on the desirability, or lack thereof, of relocating the 
proposed aircraft impact requirements from 10 CFR 52.500 to a new 
section in 10 CFR part 50.
    Commenters' Response: One industry commenter (NEI) stated that the 
requirements should be placed in 10 CFR part 52 because the assessment 
relates to a beyond-design-basis event and is intended to apply to 
design certifications. One industry commenter (Morgan Lewis) generally 
agreed with NEI, but stated if the aircraft impact rule's requirements 
are to be imposed on future 10 CFR part 50 construction permit 
applicants, then the requirements should be included in 10 CFR part 50, 
consistent with the general principle established in the recent 10 CFR 
part 52 rulemaking (72 FR 49352; August 28, 2007).
    NRC Response: The NRC is relocating the aircraft impact 
requirements from 10 CFR 52.500 as proposed to new section 10 CFR 
50.150. Similarly, requirements for the control of changes to FSAR 
information is relocated from 10 CFR 52.502 as proposed to 10 CFR 
50.150(c). These sections were relocated to maintain the general 
principle that the NRC established in the comprehensive 10 CFR part 52 
rulemaking, that is, to maintain the technical requirements in 10 CFR 
part 50 for plants licensed under 10 CFR part 52. Furthermore, because 
the final rule is also applicable to applicants for new construction 
permits

[[Page 28127]]

and operating licenses under 10 CFR part 50, the relocation of the 
aircraft impact assessment requirements to 10 CFR part 50 is necessary.
    7. Applicability to design approvals and manufacturing licenses. 
The proposed rule would apply to future design approvals or 
manufacturing licenses. In the recent comprehensive rulemaking on 10 
CFR part 52, the NRC strived for a high level of consistency in the 
requirements for design certifications, design approvals, and 
manufacturing licenses, given the similarity in the regulatory 
functions of these three processes. However, it is not clear that there 
will be future design approval applications, in light of the NRC's 
recent determination to remove the design approval as a prerequisite 
for obtaining a design certification. Similarly, there does not appear 
to be any near-term interest in obtaining a manufacturing license for 
the manufacture of a nuclear power plant. Therefore, the NRC is 
considering eliminating the applicability of the proposed 10 CFR 52.500 
requirements to future applicants for design approvals and 
manufacturing licenses. The NRC requests specific comments on the 
desirability, or lack thereof, of eliminating the applicability of the 
proposed 10 CFR 52.500 requirements to future applicants for design 
approvals and manufacturing licenses.
    Commenters' Response: One industry commenter (NEI) stated that the 
proposed rule's requirements should not be applied to future applicants 
for design approvals and manufacturing licenses, but provided no 
rationale for its recommendation. One industry commenter (Morgan Lewis) 
indicated that this issue is difficult to evaluate at this time, and it 
would be better to defer consideration of this issue, inasmuch as the 
NRC could later amend the rule as necessary.
    NRC Response: The NRC disagrees with the commenters because the 
scope of and reviews for design approvals and manufacturing licenses 
are essentially the same as for design certifications. The NRC sees no 
benefit in deferring the decision on applicability to design approvals 
and manufacturing licenses to a later time. Therefore, the final rule 
applies to future design approval or manufacturing license applicants.
    8. Scope of design evaluated. The proposed 10 CFR 52.500 would be 
applicable to all standard design certifications, standard design 
approvals, and manufacturing licenses issued after the effective date 
of the final rule and to all combined licenses issued after the 
effective date of the final rule that do not reference a standard 
design certification, standard design approval, or manufacturing 
license. However, the proposed rule does not address the difference in 
the scope of the facility design that would be considered by an 
applicant for a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufacturing license and the scope of the design that 
would be considered by a combined license applicant. For a standard 
design certification, standard design approval, or manufacturing 
license, the applicant is required to address only a subset of the 
facility design that a combined license applicant is required to 
address. In general, a design certification, design approval, or 
manufacturing license applicant is required to address such items as 
the reactor core, reactor coolant system, instrumentation and control 
systems, electrical systems, containment system, other engineered 
safety features, auxiliary and emergency systems, power conversion 
systems, radioactive waste handling systems, and fuel handling systems. 
In contrast, a combined license applicant also must address site-
specific design features, such as the ultimate heat sink. Combined 
license applicants that do not reference a design certification, design 
approval, or manufactured reactor could address such site-specific 
design features in their evaluation of design features, functional 
capabilities, and strategies to avoid or mitigate, to the extent 
practicable, the effects of the applicable aircraft impact with reduced 
reliance on operator actions. However, the proposed rule does not 
impose any requirements on a combined license applicant that references 
a design certification, design approval, or manufactured reactor with 
regard to addressing the potential effects of an aircraft impact on 
such site-specific portions of the design. The proposed rule could, 
therefore, introduce an inconsistency in the treatment of combined 
license applicants that reference a design certification, design 
approval, or manufactured reactor and combined license applicants that 
submit a custom design. Therefore, to ensure consistent treatment of 
all combined license applicants, the NRC is considering an alternative 
approach in the final rule. One approach that the NRC is considering is 
to adopt additional requirements for combined license applicants that 
reference a design certification, design approval, or manufactured 
reactor that would require such applicants to evaluate that portion of 
the design excluded from the design certification, design approval, or 
manufactured reactor for additional design features, functional 
capabilities, or strategies to avoid or mitigate, to the extent 
practicable, the effects of the applicable aircraft impact with reduced 
reliance on operator actions. Alternatively, the NRC is considering 
limiting the scope of the evaluation for combined license applicants 
not referencing a design certification, design approval, or 
manufactured reactor to that portion of the design that would otherwise 
be covered in a design certification, design approval, or manufacturing 
license application, which would include the majority of the facility 
considered most vulnerable to an aircraft impact. The NRC requests 
specific comments on the desirability, or lack thereof, of adopting one 
of these alternative approaches in the final rule.
    Commenters' Response: Two industry commenters (NEI and Morgan 
Lewis) argued that the scope of the aircraft impact assessment for 
combined license applicants should be the same scope as the assessment 
required for a new design certification. This would ensure consistency 
among all combined license applicants regardless of whether they 
reference or not reference a design certification, and would cover the 
majority of the portion of the plant design which is considered most 
vulnerable to an aircraft impact.
    NRC Response: The NRC disagrees with the commenters. The NRC 
believes that the greatest benefit from implementation of this final 
rule will be achieved by having each applicant consider as much of the 
facility design as possible when it is performing the aircraft impact 
assessment. Design certification, design approval, and manufactured 
reactor applicants will only logically be able to consider that part of 
the facility design within the scope of the certification, approval, or 
license. However, combined license applicants that do not reference a 
design certification, design approval, or manufactured reactor, or 
reference one of the four currently approved design certifications 
which has not been previously amended to comply with the aircraft 
impact rule, will have the entire facility design available for 
consideration. This means, as a practical matter, that the scope of the 
overall plant design which is subject to the aircraft impact rule's 
requirements may be greater for a ``custom'' combined license applicant 
who does not reference a design certification, design approval, or 
manufactured reactor. The NRC believes it is preferable to benefit from 
this broader review for those combined license applicants that must 
perform the aircraft impact assessment than it is to limit their review 
to the

[[Page 28128]]

scope of the design that would otherwise be considered by, for example, 
a design certification applicant. The NRC believes its approach is 
preferable to that suggested by the commenters even though it results 
in combined license applicants that reference a certified design, 
design approval, or manufactured reactor assessing a different scope of 
the facility design than a ``custom'' combined license applicant. The 
NRC believes that, as a result of such an approach, combined license 
holders that reference a certified design, design approval, or 
manufactured reactor will likely need to do more work to comply with 
the proposed requirements for licensees to develop and adopt mitigative 
strategies to cope with large fires and explosions in 10 CFR 50.54(hh) 
than will a ``custom'' combined license holder that has assessed the 
entire facility at the design stage in accordance with this final rule. 
For these reasons, the NRC has not made any changes to the assessment 
requirements for combined license applicants in the final rule.

C. Responses to Remaining Comments

    The comments were separated into 11 categories based on their 
relevance to particular topics. The comments and responses contained in 
the first category are summarized in Section VI.B of the Supplementary 
Information of this document. The comments and responses contained in 
the second through the eleventh category are summarized in the 
following paragraphs.
    The second category addresses the overall need to address aircraft 
impacts. Some commenters supported, while others opposed, requiring an 
aircraft impact assessment. No changes were made to the proposed rule 
as a result of these comments. The NRC believes that requiring new 
plant designers or combined license applicants to perform this 
assessment will result in new plants having additional inherent 
protection against the effects of an aircraft impact.
    The third category addresses the scope of applicants and licensees 
that the rule is applicable to. Some commenters suggested that the rule 
should also apply to all currently operating nuclear power reactors, 
reactors with spent fuel in onsite pool storage structures, combined 
license applicants (regardless of the design being referenced), and 
currently approved design certifications. Other commenters suggested 
not applying the rule to currently operating reactors. The final rule 
does not apply to currently operating reactors but does apply to all 
applicants for new nuclear power reactors. It also applies to the four 
currently approved design certifications, but only at renewal if they 
have not been voluntarily amended to comply with the aircraft impact 
rule.
    The fourth category addresses adequate protection and consideration 
of aircraft impacts as a beyond-design-basis event. Some commenters 
agreed that aircraft impacts should be treated as a beyond-design-basis 
event, while others opposed the treatment of aircraft impacts as a 
beyond-design-basis event. Others suggested that NRC does not have the 
statutory authority to require consideration of the effects of an 
action in the nature of an attack by an enemy of the U.S. The NRC did 
not make any change to the proposed rule's treatment of these issues. 
The final rule continues to identify an aircraft impact as a beyond-
design-basis event.
    The fifth category addresses the Commission's specified aircraft 
characteristics. Some commenters suggested that the general description 
of aircraft characteristics is adequate, whereas others suggested that 
the proposed aircraft characteristics are not adequate. The description 
of the aircraft characteristics has not changed in the final rule.
    The sixth category addresses the aircraft impact assessment. Some 
commenters suggested that the assessment needs to consider all real 
consequences of the aircraft impact, while other commenters suggested 
that the assessment should use standardized and validated models and be 
based on practical and realistic criteria, assumptions, and 
methodologies. The assessment requirements are not changed from the 
proposed rule. The final rule requires the assessment to be rigorous 
and performed using realistic assumptions.
    The seventh category addresses the evaluation of design features, 
functional capabilities, and strategies as described in the proposed 
rule. Some commenters suggested providing acceptance criteria in the 
rule, clarifying the NRC's intent in using the term ``avoid,'' 
requiring features which would prevent the impact from occurring, 
preventing the applicant from implementing design tradeoffs which would 
negatively impact safety, and providing additional guidance on the 
intent of the terms ``to the extent practical'' and ``reduced reliance 
on operator actions.'' The final rule does provide explicit acceptance 
criteria to judge the results of the assessment and eliminates the use 
of the phrases ``avoid or mitigate'' and ``to the extent practical.'' 
In addition, the final rule provides additional clarification on the 
intent of the term ``reduced use of operator actions.''
    The eighth category addresses issue resolution and regulatory 
implementation issues. Some commenters suggested that the final rule 
should clarify that the assessment and evaluation are part of the 
design certification rulemaking and provide issue resolution for 
subsequent combined license applicants, and that contentions on their 
adequacy will not be entertained in individual combined license 
proceedings. Other commenters suggested that the aircraft impact 
assessment need not be updated as part of a license renewal 
application, and others suggested that the design features incorporated 
into the design under a design certification are not part of the 
plant's physical security requirements and, therefore, not subject to 
review at the combined license stage. The final rule reflects that the 
NRC will review the information required to be submitted under 10 CFR 
50.150(b) and will accord issue resolution. The NRC agreed, in general, 
with the comment that the aircraft impact assessment need not be 
updated as part of a license renewal application, with one exception. 
The NRC has added provisions in the final rule that have the effect of 
requiring each of the four currently approved design certifications to 
comply with the aircraft impact rule at the time of renewal, if that 
design has not been previously amended to comply with the aircraft 
impact rule. The NRC agrees that the design features selected by the 
designer and incorporated into a design certification are not subject 
to review at the combined license stage from the standpoint of 
compliance with the aircraft impact rule. However, the NRC disagrees 
with the view that design features incorporated into a design 
certification as a result of the aircraft impact rule would not be 
subject to a physical security review under 10 CFR part 73 during a 
combined license application proceeding where the design certification 
is referenced.
    The ninth category addresses protection of safeguards and other 
sensitive information. Some commenters suggested that the aircraft 
characteristics should not be provided in the rule nor should details 
of the design features that protect against aircraft impacts be 
described in licensing applications. One commenter suggested that the 
proposed rule's failure to provide detailed aircraft parameters 
prevents meaningful involvement from the public and experts in industry 
and academia, and that the relevant September 11, 2001 aircraft 
parameters have been previously

[[Page 28129]]

published in publicly available government documents. The NRC maintains 
the position from the proposed rule that the general information on 
aircraft characteristics provided in the rule is sufficient for the 
purposes of public comment, and no changes were made to the final rule 
as a result of these comments.
    The tenth category addresses compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act. Some commenters suggested that the NRC should 
prepare an environmental impact statement because the rule is a major 
federal action significantly affecting the environment and should 
consider alternatives to the proposed rule. The final rule did not 
change as a result of these comments because the rulemaking does not 
constitute a ``major federal action significantly affecting the quality 
of the human environment.''
    The eleventh category addresses other comments that did not 
logically fit into the other categories. Commenters suggested 
considering other threats, not permitting siting of new reactors within 
5 miles of an airport, and that the aircraft impact assessment is an 
aging-related matter. The final rule did not change as a result of 
these comments.

VII. Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 50.8 Information Collection Requirements: OMB Approval

    This section, which lists all information collections in 10 CFR 
part 50 which have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB), is revised by adding a reference to 10 CFR 50.150, the aircraft 
impact rule. As discussed below, under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
Statement, the OMB has approved the information collection and 
reporting requirements in the final aircraft impact rule. No specific 
requirement or prohibition is imposed on applicants or licensees in 
this section.

Section 50.34 Contents of Construction Permit and Operating License 
Applications; Technical Information

    This section describes the technical information which must be 
provided in applications for construction permits and operating 
licenses subject to 10 CFR 50.150. New paragraphs (a)(13) and (b)(12) 
require each application for a construction permit and operating 
license subject to the aircraft impact rule to include the information 
required to be submitted to the NRC by 10 CFR 50.150.

Section 50.150 Aircraft Impact Assessment

    The aircraft impact rule, Sec.  50.150, is a new requirement 
applicable at the design stage for new nuclear power facilities. The 
aircraft impact rule requires a design-specific assessment of the 
effects on the facility of the impact of a large commercial aircraft, 
and incorporation of design features and functional capabilities to 
show (using realistic analyses), with reduced use of operator actions, 
that: (1) The reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains 
intact; and (2) spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is 
maintained. The aircraft impact rule was included in 10 CFR part 52 and 
designated as 10 CFR 52.500 at the proposed rule stage, but is now 
included in 10 CFR part 50 and redesignated as 10 CFR 50.150. This is 
consistent with the NRC's intention that this technical requirement 
applies to licenses under part 50 as well as licenses and regulatory 
approvals under part 52.
Paragraph (a) Assessment Requirements
    Paragraph (a) sets forth the requirements for an assessment of 
aircraft impact to be applied to the design of new nuclear power 
facilities. Paragraph (a) also contains the key provisions relating to 
the nature of the aircraft impact characteristics to be utilized when 
performing the assessment. The requirements relating to the assessment 
are separated into two paragraphs, (a)(1) and (a)(2), to help readers 
distinguish between the assessment of aircraft impact, and the 
characteristics of the aircraft impact that must be used by the 
facility designer in performing the assessment. Finally, paragraph 
(a)(3) lists the licenses, certifications, and regulatory approvals 
involving nuclear power reactor design to which the assessment 
requirements in paragraph (a) apply.
Paragraph (a)(1) Assessment
    Paragraph (a)(1) requires a design-specific assessment of the 
effects of an impact of a large commercial aircraft on a nuclear power 
reactor facility. As discussed in the section-by-section analysis for 
paragraph (a)(3), every new nuclear power plant will meet the aircraft 
impact rule, which is one of the NRC's key objectives.
    Conceptually, the assessment required by the aircraft impact rule 
has two aspects. The first is consideration of the effects on the 
facility of the impact of a large commercial aircraft. The second 
aspect is a showing that design features and functional capabilities 
incorporated into the design meet, with reduced use of operator 
actions, the acceptance criteria in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii). The 
designer may perform both aspects of the assessment using realistic 
analyses (discussed in greater detail below). The aircraft impact 
characteristics that must be used by the designer in performing the 
assessment are defined in paragraph (a)(2) of the rule. In showing that 
the design features and functional capabilities incorporated into the 
design meet the requirements of paragraph (a), the designer should use 
a structured process requiring consideration of the insights gained 
when assessing the effects on the facility of the aircraft impact. The 
NRC recognizes that a designer's approach for implementing the rule may 
differ, depending upon the stage of completion of the facility design 
when this final rule is adopted or the design process that the designer 
chooses to employ. For example, if a facility design is largely or 
entirely completed when this rule becomes effective--as in the case of 
the current design applications under review by the NRC--the designer 
may focus on features and capabilities already included in the design 
or on potential enhancements of such features and capabilities, and 
then identify any additional features and capabilities. By contrast, a 
designer who has not yet commenced detailed design activities may 
decide to use an iterative screening process for identifying features 
and capabilities. By setting forth performance-based objectives, the 
aircraft impact rule does not require the designer to use a specific 
methodology, process or approach for identifying design features and 
functional capabilities that meet the acceptance criteria in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i) and (ii) with reduced use of operator actions. The designer 
may choose any number of ways to meet these performance requirements.
    By a ``design-specific'' assessment, the NRC means that the impact 
assessment must address the specific design of the facility which is 
either the subject of a construction permit, operating license, 
standard design certification, standard design approval, combined 
license, or manufacturing license application. The aircraft impact rule 
uses the term ``facility,'' for convenience, although the NRC 
recognizes that the scope of design addressed in a design approval, 
design certification, and manufactured reactor may be less than the 
complete facility and will be limited to non-site-specific portions of 
the facility.
    In performing the assessment, the aircraft rule specifies that 
``realistic analyses'' be used. Analyses include

[[Page 28130]]

both quantitative methods and approaches, either deterministic or 
probabilistic, and qualitative methods and approaches, including the 
use of expert panels. An assessment may use quantitative and/or 
qualitative analyses. Regardless of the method or combination of 
methods employed by the designer, it must be reasonable and technically 
acceptable. This can be shown by demonstrating that the analytical 
techniques being used are generally accepted by the relevant 
professional/technical practitioners for performing best-estimate 
analysis for the given application. An analysis may not be rejected by 
the NRC in a licensing or rulemaking (design certification) proceeding 
(or otherwise challenged by an interested person in a hearing 
contention) on the basis that a more accurate analysis (i.e., one that 
more closely reflects actual data or more accurately models a known 
physical phenomenon) is possible. In this context, ``realistic'' is a 
relative term and is simply intended to avoid requiring the designer to 
utilize conservative or bounding assumptions in recognition of the 
NRC's determination that the impact of a large commercial aircraft is a 
beyond-design-basis event. However, the designer is free to utilize 
bounding or more conservative approaches in order to account for 
uncertainties, or to reduce the cost of analysis at its option. The NRC 
may not require, and an interested person in a hearing contention or in 
a design certification rulemaking comment may not argue, that the 
designer must use a conservative, as opposed to a realistic, analysis, 
or vice versa. Rather, the NRC's review should be focused on (and any 
interested person in a hearing contention may only raise an issue with 
respect to) whether the designer's analyses are within the bounds of 
known data, known physical phenomena, and use professionally-accepted 
approaches.
    ``Design features and functional capabilities'' represent design 
alternatives that could be included in the design of a facility. Design 
features are structures, systems, and components (SSCs), including the 
physical arrangement of such SSCs. Examples of design features are 
major structures such as reinforced concrete walls and slabs; 
redundancy and spatial separation of key SSCs; and diversity of power 
supplies. Functional capabilities are key characteristics of such SSCs 
that result in their contribution to withstanding the effects of the 
aircraft impact. Examples of such functional capabilities are the flow 
capacity of a pump, the load carrying capacity of a wall, and the 
electrical capacity of power supplies. When identifying potential 
design features and functional capabilities for inclusion in the 
design, the designer is expected to consider whether these design 
features and functional capabilities would facilitate the 
implementation and/or enhance the effectiveness of practical responsive 
and mitigation actions that the nuclear power plant licensee could 
implement. For example, if the designer determines that a fire load due 
to the aircraft impact in a specific area could be extinguished or 
controlled through the placement of a standpipe and hose near the area, 
or that a fire affecting critical components with a limited time-
temperature rating could be more quickly controlled with a larger 
amount of water delivered through a larger than normally-specified 
pipe, then the designer should consider the design feature of a new 
standpipe and hose, or the functional capability of a greater capacity 
(larger diameter) pipe.
    The aircraft impact rule establishes two sets of acceptance 
criteria in paragraph (a)(1), each containing two sub-criteria:
    (i) The reactor core remains cooled, or the containment remains 
intact; and
    (ii) Spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained.
    The acceptance criteria in both paragraphs (a)(1)(i) and (ii) must 
be met in order for the NRC to find that the requirements of the 
aircraft impact rule have been satisfied; it is not sufficient, for 
example, to satisfy the criterion of paragraph (a)(1)(i) but to fail 
the criterion of paragraph (a)(1)(ii).
    Each criterion is expressed in the form of an alternative: within 
each criterion, only one of the sub-criteria needs to be satisfied in 
order to show compliance with the aircraft impact rule. The order of 
the sub-criteria does not reflect any requirement with respect to the 
logical order in which the NRC expects a designer to determine if each 
criterion is satisfied. For the first criterion in paragraph (a)(1)(i), 
the NRC prefers that designers identify design features and functional 
capabilities to demonstrate that, with reduced use of operator actions, 
the reactor core remains cooled. If core cooling can be maintained with 
the identified design features and functional capabilities (and with 
reduced use of operator action), then the designer need not identify 
and incorporate design features and functional capabilities to show 
that the containment remains intact. Otherwise, the designer must 
identify design features and functional capabilities that show that the 
containment remains intact. Likewise, a designer is afforded the 
flexibility under the aircraft impact rule of truncating the analysis 
and simply demonstrating that the containment remains intact.
    For the second criterion in paragraph (a)(1)(ii), the NRC prefers 
that designers identify and incorporate design features and functional 
capabilities to demonstrate that, with reduced use of operator action, 
spent fuel pool integrity is maintained. If the applicant can show that 
spent fuel pool integrity can be maintained with the applicant's 
identified design features and functional capabilities, then no further 
consideration of design features and functional capabilities to 
maintain spent fuel cooling is necessary. However, if spent fuel pool 
integrity cannot be shown to be maintained, then spent fuel cooling 
must be maintained. Likewise, the aircraft impact rule affords the 
designer the flexibility of simply showing that spent fuel cooling can 
be maintained without first considering spent fuel pool integrity. The 
NRC reiterates, however, that the aircraft impact assessment must 
consider the effects of the aircraft impact on all four key safety 
functions--core cooling, containment, spent fuel cooling, and spent 
fuel pool integrity.
    There are only two bases for either an NRC determination or an 
interested person's contention that the acceptance criteria in 
paragraph (a)(1) have not been met. One is that the analyses utilized 
by the designer in showing that the acceptance criteria have been met 
are not technically acceptable. The other basis is that the design 
features and functional capabilities overall do not involve any reduced 
use of operator actions. The NRC does not expect each design feature 
and functional capability incorporated into the design to involve 
reduced use of operator actions; the overall reduction in use of 
operator actions must be judged for the complete set of design features 
and functional capabilities relied upon in the assessment to show that 
both acceptance criteria in paragraph (a)(1)(i) and (ii) have been met. 
However, as discussed below, the NRC does not intend that the use of 
operator actions be reduced without consideration of countervailing 
considerations. In addition, the NRC does not intend to require 
consideration--much less inclusion in its design--of a design feature 
or functional capability that could have adverse safety or security 
consequences under a different operational or accident scenario.
    The acceptance criteria in paragraph (a)(1) focus on the functions 
of core cooling capability, containment, spent fuel cooling capability, 
and spent fuel

[[Page 28131]]

pool integrity following the aircraft impact. These four functions are 
applicable to light water reactors (LWRs), and each may not be 
applicable to non-LWR reactor designs, or may have to be supplemented 
by other key functions. When reviewing non-LWR designs, the NRC will 
evaluate the applicability of the acceptance criteria set forth in the 
aircraft impact rule and the possible need for other criteria. If 
necessary, the NRC will issue exemptions and impose supplemental 
criteria to be used in the aircraft impact assessment for such non-LWR 
designs. The NRC believes this regulatory approach is preferable to 
excluding non-LWRs from the applicability of the aircraft rule, because 
such an exclusion could be interpreted in an erroneous manner as 
reflecting the NRC's belief that non-LWRs need not be designed against 
large, commercial aircraft impacts.
    The design features and functional capabilities selected by the 
designer must show that the acceptance criteria in the aircraft impact 
rule can be met with ``reduced use of operator action.'' In this 
context, ``operator action'' includes actions of operators in the 
control room or at alternative control panels or control areas to 
control the reactor and the nuclear facility. This means that active 
operator intervention and initiation of responsive action to maintain 
core cooling or an intact containment, and spent fuel cooling or spent 
fuel pool integrity should be reduced. The designer need not strive to 
achieve the absolute minimum in operator action. The NRC recognizes 
that there may be countervailing considerations that weigh against 
reducing to the absolute minimum the use of operator action to show 
that the acceptance criteria in the aircraft impact rule are met. The 
NRC expects the designer to identify and consider in a reasonable 
process the goal of incorporating design features and functional 
capabilities which achieve the acceptance criteria in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i) and (ii) with reduced use of operator action.
Paragraph (a)(2) Aircraft Impact Characteristics
    The assessment required by paragraph (a) of the aircraft impact 
rule must be based on the aircraft impact characteristics specified in 
paragraph (a)(2). The characteristics of the aircraft impact must be 
that of a large, commercial aircraft used for long distance flights in 
the United States, with aviation fuel loading typically used for such 
flights. The rule refers to long distance flights ``in the United 
States,'' which means those which originate and terminate in the United 
States (i.e., domestic flights).
    The NRC's guidance on the aircraft impact characteristics will be 
contained in guidance documents. The guidance will include the time-
force curve, or loading function, that is derived from the aircraft 
impact characteristics for use in applicants' assessment of the 
aircraft impact. In the case of a combined license applicant that is 
required to perform an aircraft impact assessment, the applicant could 
take credit for site-specific topographic features (e.g., mountains) 
and siting features (e.g., the existence of non-plant structures) to 
limit the directions from which the plant could experience an impact.
    Footnote 1 to paragraph (a)(2) states that changes to the detailed 
parameters on aircraft impact characteristics set forth in guidance 
shall be approved by the Commission. This footnote ensures that changes 
to the guidance on the aircraft characteristics will not be made 
without Commission consideration and approval.
Paragraph (a)(3) Applicability
    As set forth in paragraph (a)(3), the assessment requirement for 
the aircraft impact rule applies to: (1) Construction permits under 10 
CFR part 50 issued after July 13, 2009; (2) operating licenses for 
which the underlying construction permits were issued after July 13, 
2009; (3) design certifications issued after July 13, 2009; (4) the 
four currently approved design certifications in 10 CFR part 52, 
appendices A through D at the time of renewal, but only if they have 
not been amended to comply with the aircraft impact rule by that time; 
(5) standard design approvals issued after July 13, 2009; (6) combined 
licenses issued under 10 CFR part 52 which either do not reference a 
standard design certification, standard design approval, or 
manufactured reactor, or reference one of the four currently approved 
design certifications if the referenced design has not been amended to 
comply with the aircraft impact rule; and (7) manufacturing licenses 
that do not reference a standard design approval or standard design 
certification meeting the requirements of this section.
    Applicants for operating licenses under part 50 whose underlying 
construction permits were issued before the aircraft impact rule need 
not (but may voluntarily choose to) comply with the aircraft impact 
rule. The NRC notes that the applicability of the aircraft impact rule 
is dependent upon the date of the NRC's final action on an application, 
and not the date of filing of the application. Thus, a combined license 
issued after the effective date of the final 10 CFR 50.150 rule will be 
subject to the requirements of the rule, even if its application was 
filed before the effective date of the final 10 CFR 50.150 rule.
    Combined licenses and manufacturing licenses which do not reference 
a standard design certification meeting the requirements of this rule 
are subject to the assessment requirement in paragraph (a)(1). However, 
combined license applicants that choose to reference a design for which 
a design certification application has been docketed but not granted 
need not perform the assessment required by paragraph (a), assuming 
that the combined license which is issued references a final design 
certification rule which complies with the aircraft impact rule. This 
is an acknowledgement that, under 10 CFR 52.55(c), an applicant for a 
combined license may, at its own risk, reference in its application a 
design for which a design certification application has been docketed 
but not granted.
    Certain combined license applicants need not perform a plant-
specific assessment to comply with the aircraft impact rule. If the 
combined license application references a design certification, design 
approval, or manufactured reactor which complies (or will comply, upon 
amendment of the design certification by the time of issuance of the 
combined license) with the assessment requirements of the aircraft 
impact rule, then the combined license applicant need not perform an 
assessment to comply with the aircraft impact rule. This means, as a 
practical matter, that the scope of the overall plant design which is 
subject to the aircraft impact rule's requirements may be greater for a 
``custom'' combined license applicant who does not reference a design 
certification, design approval, or manufactured reactor which complies 
(or will comply) with the aircraft impact rule.
    Analogous to the combined license applicant, a manufacturing 
license applicant who does not reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval which has complied with the 
aircraft impact rule, must comply with the aircraft impact rule by 
performing the assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a). The scope of 
the assessment is limited to the scope of the design of the reactor to 
be approved for manufacture.
    The four currently approved design certifications are not required 
to comply with the aircraft impact rule except upon renewal if the 
design certification

[[Page 28132]]

has not already been amended to comply with the aircraft impact rule. 
The original design certification applicant may, at any time, 
voluntarily request an amendment to the design certification rule to 
recertify the design certification as complying with the aircraft 
impact rule. The NRC notes that persons or entities other than the 
original design certification applicant may also request such an 
amendment of one of the four currently approved design certifications. 
However, such an application must provide the full set of information 
required by the aircraft impact rule, including, as necessary, 
information which substitutes for the proprietary and safeguards 
information provided in the original design certification proceeding, 
but which is not available for use in the design certification 
amendment proceeding. The amendment of the design certification to 
reflect compliance with the aircraft impact rule will be accomplished 
through rulemaking.
    As a result of these provisions, every newly constructed nuclear 
power plant will meet the aircraft impact rule, which is the NRC's key 
objective in adopting this final aircraft impact rule.
Paragraph (b) Content of Application
    Paragraph (b) requires the PSAR or FSAR for each license, 
certification, and regulatory approval application which is subject to 
10 CFR 50.150(a) to include certain specified information related to 
compliance with the rule. This information consists of: (1) A 
description of the design features and functional capabilities which 
the applicant has selected (identified) for inclusion in the design to 
show that the facility can withstand the effects of the aircraft 
impact; and (2) a concise description of how the identified design 
features and functional capabilities meet the assessment requirements 
in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1). The application should summarize the bases for 
the applicant's determination that the selected features and 
capabilities incorporated into the facility design show, with reduced 
use of operator actions, that the acceptance criteria in 10 CFR 
50.150(a)(1) are met. The 10 CFR 50.150(b) information must be included 
in the PSAR or FSAR in accordance with 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13), 10 CFR 
50.34(b)(12), 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28), 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47), 10 CFR 
52.137(a)(26), or 10 CFR 52.157(f)(32) and should address only those 
features and capabilities selected by the applicant for inclusion in 
the plant design to address aircraft impacts.
    The description of the features and capabilities should be 
equivalent in detail to descriptions of other design features and 
functional capabilities addressing beyond-design-basis events or severe 
accidents which are required to be described in the license, 
certification, or approval application.
    Inclusion of any SGI in the information submitted in the FSAR as 
part of a relevant application must be in accordance with applicable 
requirements in 10 CFR part 73. The NRC will process and address 
requests for access to this information from the general public in 
accordance with the NRC's existing regulations and procedures.
    The NRC reiterates that aircraft impact is not a design basis 
event. Therefore, the design and construction of features and 
capabilities designated by the designer as meeting the aircraft impact 
rule's requirements need not meet the ``special treatment'' 
requirements applicable to safety-related and important to safety 
structures, systems, and components.
Paragraph (c) Control of Changes
    Paragraph (c) clarifies the requirements governing changes to 
information in the PSAR or FSAR which reflects the results of 
compliance with the aircraft impact rule for each of the licensing or 
certification processes subject to the aircraft impact rule. In the 
proposed aircraft impact rule, the provisions governing changes to such 
information were in proposed 10 CFR 52.502.
    The PSAR or FSAR information required by the aircraft impact rule 
which is subject to the change control requirement in paragraph (c) are 
the descriptions of the design features and functional capabilities 
incorporated into the final design of the nuclear power facility and 
the description of how the identified design features and functional 
capabilities meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1). 
Not all of the actual change controls are presented in paragraph (c). 
Instead, most of the sections in paragraph (c) cite to an existing 
regulation presenting the FSAR change controls for that type of license 
or certification. Thus, in many cases, paragraph (c) is simply a 
``pointer'' to the already-existing change controls. However, in all 
cases, the objective of the change controls remains the same: To 
determine whether the design of the facility, as changed or modified, 
is shown to withstand the effects of the aircraft impact with reduced 
use of operator actions. In other words, the applicant or licensee must 
continue to show, with the modified design, that the acceptance 
criteria in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1) are met with reduced use of operator 
actions. The rule does not require an applicant or a licensee 
implementing a design change to redo the complete aircraft impact 
assessment to evaluate the effects of the change. The NRC believes it 
may be possible to demonstrate that a design change is bounded by the 
original design or that the change provides an equivalent level of 
protection, without redoing the original assessment.
    Paragraph (c)(1) provides that, for construction permits which are 
subject to the aircraft impact rule, if the permit holder changes the 
information required by 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13) to be included in the PSAR, 
then the permit holder shall consider the effect of the changed feature 
or capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) 
and amend the information required by 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13) to be 
included in PSAR to describe how the modified design features and 
functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment requirements in 
10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    Paragraph (c)(2) provides that, for operating licenses which are 
subject to the aircraft impact rule (i.e., operating licenses for which 
the underlying construction permits are issued after July 13, 2009), if 
the licensee changes the information required by 10 CFR 50.34(b)(12) to 
be included in the FSAR, then the licensee shall consider the effect of 
the changed feature or capability on the original assessment required 
by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and amend the information required by 10 CFR 
50.34(b)(12) to be included in the FSAR to describe how the modified 
design features and functional capabilities continue to meet the 
assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    Paragraph (c)(3) provides that, for design certifications which are 
subject to the aircraft impact rule, generic changes to the information 
required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR are governed 
by the applicable requirements of 10 CFR 52.63. A design feature or 
functional capability described in a standard design certification may 
not be changed in the design certification except by notice and comment 
rulemaking (see 10 CFR 52.63(a)(1) and (2)), and such a change must 
meet one of the criteria in 10 CFR 52.63(a)(1). Any generic change to a 
design certification rule must be implemented by all referencing 
combined licenses, as required by 10 CFR 52.63(a)(3).
    Paragraph (c)(4)(i) provides that, for combined licenses which are 
subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) (i.e., combined licenses that do not 
reference a design certification, design approval, or

[[Page 28133]]

manufactured reactor that complies with the rule), if the licensee 
changes the information required by 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47) to be included 
in the FSAR, then the licensee shall consider the effect of the changed 
feature or capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 
50.150 and amend the information required by 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47) to be 
included in the FSAR to describe how the modified design features and 
functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment requirements in 
10 CFR 50.150(a)(1). The NRC believes that, because this rule addresses 
a beyond-design-basis event, it is appropriate to apply the same 
standard that was applied during the original assessment of design 
features and functional capabilities to any licensee-proposed changes 
to such features and capabilities.
    Paragraph (c)(4)(ii) provides that, for combined license applicants 
or holders which are not subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), but reference a 
standard design certification which is subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), 
proposed departures from the information required by 10 CFR 
52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the referenced standard 
design certification are governed by the change control requirements in 
the applicable design certification rule. The NRC expects to add a new 
change control provision to future design certification rules subject 
to 10 CFR 50.150(a) (including amendments to any of the four existing 
design certifications) to govern combined license applicants and 
holders referencing the design certification that request a departure 
from the design features or functional capabilities in the referenced 
design certification. The new change control provision will require 
that, if the applicant or licensee changes the information required by 
10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the FSAR for the standard design 
certification, then the applicant or licensee shall consider the effect 
of the changed feature or capability on the original assessment 
required by 10 CFR 50.150(a). The applicant or licensee must also 
describe in a change to the FSAR (i.e., a plant-specific departure from 
the generic design control document), how the modified design features 
and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    Paragraph (c)(4)(iii) provides that, for combined license 
applicants or holders which are not subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) but 
reference a manufactured reactor which is subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), 
proposed departures from the information required by 10 CFR 
52.157(f)(32) to be included in the FSAR for the manufacturing license 
are governed by the applicable requirements in 10 CFR 52.171(b)(2). 
Paragraph (b)(2) of 10 CFR 52.171 allows an applicant or licensee who 
references or uses a nuclear power reactor manufactured under a 
manufacturing license under this subpart to request a departure from 
the design characteristics, site parameters, terms and conditions, or 
approved design of the manufactured reactor. The Commission may grant a 
request only if it determines that the departure will comply with the 
requirements of 10 CFR 52.7 and that the special circumstances outweigh 
any decrease in safety that may result from the reduction in 
standardization caused by the departure.
    Paragraph (c)(5)(i) provides that, for manufacturing licenses which 
are subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), generic changes to the information 
required by 10 CFR 52.157(f)(32) to be included in the FSAR are 
governed by the applicable requirements of 10 CFR 52.171. Paragraph 
(b)(1) of 10 CFR 52.171 does not allow the holder of a manufacturing 
license to make changes to the design of the nuclear power reactor 
authorized to be manufactured without prior Commission approval. Any 
request for a change to the design must be in the form of an 
application for a license amendment, and must meet the requirements of 
10 CFR 50.90 and 10 CFR 50.92.
    Paragraph (c)(5)(ii) provides that, for manufacturing license 
applicants or holders which are subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), proposed 
departures from the information required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be 
included in the FSAR for the referenced standard design certification 
are governed by the change control requirements in the applicable 
design certification rule.

Section 52.47 Contents of Applications; Technical Information

    Section 52.47 identifies the required technical information to be 
included in an application for a standard design certification. The 
final rule revises this section by adding a new paragraph (a)(28) 
requiring that the FSAR contain the information required by 10 CFR 
50.150, ``Aircraft impact assessment.'' This information, as contained 
in paragraph (b) of 10 CFR 50.150, is:
    1. A description of the design features and functional capabilities 
identified in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1); and
    2. A description of how such design features and functional 
capabilities meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    The 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) requirement applies only to those standard 
design certification applications which are subject to 10 CFR 50.150, 
that is, those design certifications issued after the effective date of 
the final rule (see 10 CFR 50.150(a)). Thus, any standard design 
certification application that is docketed and under review by the NRC 
but has not yet been issued in final form as of the effective date of 
10 CFR 50.150 must amend its application to include the information 
required by 10 CFR 50.150.

Section 52.59 Criteria for Renewal

    Section 52.59 establishes the criteria which must be met in order 
for the NRC to renew a standard design certification. The final rule 
revises paragraph (a) by adding a requirement that the Commission 
shall, the first time one of the four existing design certifications is 
to be renewed, find that the renewed design complies with the 
applicable requirements of the aircraft impact rule if the design 
certification has not already been amended to comply with the aircraft 
impact rule. This finding would be in addition to the (implicit) 
findings which the Commission must make under paragraph (a). The 
findings need only be made the first time the design certification is 
renewed. Once the design certification has been amended or renewed to 
reflect compliance with the aircraft impact rule, there is no need for 
the NRC to remake the finding of compliance with the aircraft impact 
rule nor does the design or the assessment have to be upgraded for 
purposes of aircraft impact rule compliance in any subsequent amendment 
or renewal.

Section 52.79 Contents of Applications; Technical Information in Final 
Safety Analysis Report

    Section 52.79 identifies the required technical information to be 
included in an FSAR submitted in a combined license application under 
10 CFR part 52, subpart C, Combined Licenses. The final rule revises 
this section by adding a new paragraph (a)(47) requiring that the FSAR 
contain the information required by 10 CFR 50.150. This is the same 
type of information that an applicant for a standard design 
certification will need to submit, namely, the following:
    1. A description of the design features and functional capabilities 
identified in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1); and
    2. A description of how such design features and functional 
capabilities meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).

[[Page 28134]]

    Only those combined licenses issued after the effective date of the 
final rule that do not reference a standard design certification, 
standard design approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a 
standard design certification issued before the effective date of the 
final rule which has not been amended to address the requirements of 10 
CFR 50.150, are subject to 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47). Thus, a combined 
license application filed after the effective date of 10 CFR 50.150 and 
referencing a standard design certification, standard design approval, 
or manufactured reactor subject to the proposed rule, or referencing 
one of the four current standard design certifications (ABWR, System 
80+, AP600, and AP1000) which has been amended to address the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.150 will not have to separately include the 
information required by 10 CFR 50.150 because it will be incorporated 
by reference to the standard design or manufactured reactor. This is 
consistent with the requirements of 10 CFR 52.79(c), (d), and (e) which 
state that, if the combined license application references a standard 
design certification, standard design approval, or manufactured 
reactor, then the FSAR need not contain information or analyses 
submitted to the Commission in connection with the design 
certification, design approval, or manufacturing license, as 
applicable. By contrast, a combined license applicant not referencing a 
standard design certification, standard design approval, or 
manufactured reactor whose application is docketed and under review by 
the NRC but for which a license has not yet been issued as of the 
effective date of 10 CFR 50.150, must amend its application to include 
the information required by 10 CFR 50.150.

Section 52.137 Contents of Applications; Technical Information

    Section 52.137 identifies the required technical information to be 
included in an application for a standard design approval. The final 
rule revises this section by adding a new paragraph (a)(26) requiring 
that the FSAR contain the information required by 10 CFR 50.150. This 
information, as currently presented in paragraph (b) of 10 CFR 50.150 
is:
    1. A description of the design features and functional capabilities 
identified in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1); and
    2. A description of how such design features and functional 
capabilities meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    The 10 CFR 52.137(a)(26) requirement applies only to those standard 
design approval applications which are subject to 10 CFR 50.150, that 
is, those design approvals issued after the effective date of the final 
rule (see 10 CFR 50.150(a)). Thus, any standard design approval 
application that is docketed and under review by the NRC but has not 
yet been issued in final form as of the effective date of 10 CFR 50.150 
must amend its application to include the information required by final 
10 CFR 50.150.

Section 52.157 Contents of Applications; Technical Information in Final 
Safety Analysis Report

    Section 52.157 identifies the required technical information to be 
included in an application for a manufacturing license. The final rule 
revises this section by adding a new paragraph (f)(32) requiring that 
the FSAR contain the information required by 10 CFR 50.150. This 
information, as currently presented in paragraph (b) of 10 CFR 50.150, 
is limited to the following:
    1. A description of the design features and functional capabilities 
identified in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1); and
    2. A description of how such design features and functional 
capabilities meet the assessment requirements in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1).
    The 10 CFR 52.157(f)(32) requirement applies only to those 
manufacturing license applications which are subject to 10 CFR 
50.150(a)(1), that is, those manufacturing licenses that do not 
reference a design certification or design approval complying with 10 
CFR 50.150. Thus, any manufacturing license application that is 
docketed and under review by the NRC but has not yet been issued in 
final form as of the effective date of 10 CFR 50.150 must amend its 
application to include the information required by 10 CFR 50.150.

VIII. Guidance

    The NRC staff expects to issue new regulatory guidance on the 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.150 that will endorse guidance being prepared 
by NEI. This guidance is intended to provide an acceptable method by 
which relevant applicants can perform the assessment of aircraft 
impacts to meet the requirements of 10 CFR 50.150. The final rule 
requires that the design-specific impact assessment use the aircraft 
impact characteristics specified in the rule. A more detailed 
description of the aircraft impact parameters that are considered 
appropriate for use in the assessment will be presented in the NRC's 
regulatory guidance. Any future changes to the detailed parameters on 
aircraft impact characteristics set forth in the guidance will be 
approved by the Commission. Because the portion of this regulatory 
guidance describing the detailed aircraft impact characteristics is 
likely to contain SGI, that portion of the document will only be made 
available to those individuals with a need-to-know, and who are 
otherwise qualified to have access to SGI. A version of the document 
without the SGI will be made publicly available. Publication of the 
draft regulatory guidance is planned to coincide with publication of 
the final rule.

IX. Availability of Documents

    The NRC is making the following documents available to interested 
persons through one or more of the following methods as indicated.
    Public Document Room (PDR). The NRC PDR is located at 11555 
Rockville Pike, Public File Area O1 F21, Rockville, Maryland 20852, e-
mail [email protected].
    Regulations.gov (Web). These documents may be viewed and downloaded 
electronically through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov, Docket number NRC-2007-0009.
    NRC's Electronic Reading Room (ERR). The NRC's public electronic 
reading room is located at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Document                            PDR      Web                ERR (ADAMS)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SECY-06-0204, ``Proposed Rulemaking--Security Assessment        X        X   ML062300068
 Requirements for New Nuclear Power Reactor Designs (RIN
 3150-AH92)'' (September 28, 2006).
Staff Requirements Memorandum for SECY-06-0204 (April 24,       X        X   ML071140119
 2007).
Regulatory History Index for the October 3, 2007 proposed       X        X   ML073511644
 rule.
Federal Register Notice..................................       X        X   ML090220527
Environmental Assessment.................................       X        X   ML090610123
Response to Public Comments..............................       X        X   ML090610124
SECY-08-0152, ``Final Rule--Consideration of Aircraft           X        X   ML082670873
 Impacts for New Nuclear Power Reactors (RIN 3150-AI19)''
 (October 15, 2008).

[[Page 28135]]

 
Staff Requirements Memorandum for SECY-08-0152 (February        X        X   ML090480610
 17, 2009).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

X. Agreement State Compatibility

    Under the ``Policy Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of 
Agreement States Programs,'' approved by the Commission on June 20, 
1997, and published in the Federal Register (62 FR 46517; September 3, 
1997), this rule is classified as compatibility ``NRC.'' Compatibility 
is not required for Category ``NRC'' regulations. The NRC program 
elements in this category are those that relate directly to areas of 
regulation reserved to the NRC by the Atomic Energy Act or the 
provisions of 10 CFR. Although an Agreement State may not adopt program 
elements reserved to the NRC, it may wish to inform its licensees of 
certain requirements via a mechanism that is consistent with the 
particular State's administrative procedure laws. Category ``NRC'' 
regulations do not confer regulatory authority on the State.

XI. Voluntary Consensus Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995, 
Public Law 104-113, requires that Federal agencies use technical 
standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus 
standards bodies unless using such a standard is inconsistent with 
applicable law or is otherwise impractical. In this final rule, the NRC 
is amending its regulations to require applicants for new nuclear power 
reactors to perform a design-specific assessment of the effects of the 
impact of a large, commercial aircraft. The applicant is required to 
use realistic analyses to identify and incorporate design features and 
functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator actions, 
that either the reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains 
intact, and either spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is 
maintained. These requirements apply to applicants for new construction 
permits; new operating licenses that reference a new construction 
permit; new standard design certifications, renewal of any of the four 
existing design certifications if the design has not previously been 
amended to comply with the final rule; new standard design approvals; 
manufacturing licenses that do not reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, or that reference a standard 
design certification issued before the effective date of the rule which 
has not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined licenses 
that do not reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule. In addition, these amendments 
contain requirements for control of changes to any design features or 
functional capabilities credited for showing that the facility can 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. This regulatory action 
does not establish standards with which all applicants must comply. For 
these reasons, the Commission concludes that this action does not 
constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally 
applicable requirements.

XII. Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact: Availability

    The Commission has determined under the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Commission's regulations in 
subpart A to 10 CFR part 51, that this rule is not a major Federal 
action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment 
and, therefore, an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not 
required. As presented in the final environmental assessment, this 
action will not have a significant environmental impact because it 
applies only to applicants for new nuclear power reactors and requires 
them to use realistic analyses to identify and incorporate design 
features and functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of 
operator actions, that either the reactor core remains cooled or the 
containment remains intact, and either spent fuel cooling or spent fuel 
pool integrity is maintained, and because the standards and 
requirements applicable to radiological releases and effluents are not 
affected by this rulemaking.
    The NRC requested public comments on any aspect of the 
environmental assessment. Three public comments were received that 
discussed the need for the preparation of an EIS for the aircraft 
impact rulemaking. The NRC responded that because the adoption of this 
rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting 
the environment, an EIS was not prepared for this rulemaking. The NRC 
also requested the views of the States on the environmental assessment 
for this rule. No State comments were received. Availability of the 
final environmental assessment is provided in Section IX of this 
document.

XIII. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    The final rule contains new or amended information collection 
requirements contained in 10 CFR parts 50 and 52 that are subject to 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). These 
requirements were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, 
approval numbers 3150-0011 and 3150-0151.
    The burden to the public for these information collections is 
estimated to average 2,186.7 hours per response. This includes the time 
for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering 
and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
information collection. Send comments on any aspect of these 
information collections, including suggestions for reducing the burden, 
to the Records and FOIA/Privacy Services Branch (T-5 F53), U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or by Internet 
electronic mail to [email protected]; and to the Desk 
Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, NEOB-10202, 
(3150-0011), Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a request for information or an information collection 
requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid 
OMB control number.

XIV. Regulatory Analysis

    The NRC has prepared a regulatory analysis on this final rule and 
has included it in this Federal Register document. The analysis 
examines the costs and benefits of the alternatives considered by the 
NRC. No public comments were received on the proposed regulatory 
analysis.

1. Statement of the Problem and Objective

    This final rule amends 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 52 to require 
applicants for new nuclear power reactors to

[[Page 28136]]

perform a design-specific assessment of the effects of the impact of a 
large, commercial aircraft. The applicant is required to use realistic 
analyses to identify and incorporate design features and functional 
capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator actions, that either 
the reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains intact, and 
either spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained. 
These requirements apply to applicants for new construction permits; 
new operating licenses that reference a new construction permit; new 
standard design certifications; renewal of any of the four existing 
design certifications if the design has not previously been amended to 
comply with the final rule; new standard design approvals; 
manufacturing licenses that do not reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, or that reference a standard 
design certification issued before the effective date of the rule which 
has not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined licenses 
that don't reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule. In addition, these amendments 
contain requirements for control of changes to any design features or 
functional capabilities credited for showing that the facility can 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. The objective of this rule 
is to require nuclear power plant designers to perform a rigorous 
assessment of the design to identify design features and functional 
capabilities that could provide additional inherent protection to show, 
with reduced use of operator actions, that either the reactor core 
remains cooled or the containment remains intact, and either spent fuel 
cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained.

2. Identification of Regulatory Alternatives

    The only alternative considered was to conduct a rulemaking to 
require applicants to perform an aircraft impact assessment on new 
nuclear power reactors because the Commission directed the NRC staff in 
a staff requirements memorandum dated April 24, 2007, to revise the 
regulations. However, the NRC considers the no-action alternative as 
the baseline from which to measure the costs and benefits of the final 
rule.
    The regulations in 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 52 are being 
amended for applicants for new nuclear power reactors to require these 
applicants to perform a design-specific assessment of the effects of 
the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. Applicants for new nuclear 
power reactors are required to use realistic analyses to identify and 
incorporate design features and functional capabilities to show, with 
reduced use of operator actions, that either the reactor core remains 
cooled or the containment remains intact, and either spent fuel cooling 
or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained. This rule should result in 
new nuclear power reactor facilities being more inherently robust with 
regard to an aircraft impact than if they were designed in the absence 
of this final rule.

3. Analysis of Values and Impacts of Final Rulemaking

3.1 Identification of Affected Attributes
    The NRC identified the attributes that the regulatory action could 
affect by using the list of potential attributes provided in Chapter 5 
of NUREG/BR-0184, ``Regulatory Analysis Technical Evaluation 
Handbook,'' issued January 1997. Affected attributes include the 
following:
    Public Health (Accident). The regulatory action will reduce the 
risk that public health will be affected by the release of radioactive 
materials to the environment from the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft on a nuclear power plant.
    Occupational Health (Accident). The regulatory action will reduce 
the risk that occupational health will be affected by the release of 
radioactive materials to the environment from the impact of a large, 
commercial aircraft on a nuclear power plant.
    Offsite Property. The regulatory action will reduce the risk that 
offsite property will be affected by the release of radioactive 
materials to the environment from the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft on a nuclear power plant.
    Onsite Property. The regulatory action will reduce the risk that 
onsite property will be affected by the release of radioactive 
materials to the environment from the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft on a nuclear power plant.
    Industry Implementation. The regulatory action will require 
applicants for new nuclear power reactors to perform a design-specific 
assessment of the effects of the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft. Applicants for new nuclear power reactors are required to use 
realistic analyses to identify and incorporate design features and 
functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator actions, 
that either the reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains 
intact, and either spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is 
maintained. Applicants will incur costs to develop an SGI program, 
perform the assessment, and incorporate the results into the design.
    Industry Operation. The regulatory action will require applicants 
and licensees for new nuclear power reactors to retain the aircraft 
impact assessment throughout the pendency of the application and for 
the term of the certification or license (including any period of 
renewal). Applicants and licensees will incur costs to retain the 
assessment and supporting documentation.
    NRC Implementation. Under the regulatory action, the NRC will incur 
costs to develop guidance on performing an aircraft impact assessment 
and to review the actions taken by the applicant to comply with the 
aircraft impact rule.
    Improvements in Knowledge. The regulatory action will improve 
knowledge with regard to an aircraft impact by ensuring that nuclear 
power plant designers perform a rigorous assessment of the design to 
identify design features and functional capabilities that could provide 
additional inherent protection to withstand the effects of an aircraft 
impact.
    Safeguards and Security Considerations. The regulatory action to 
address the capability of new nuclear power reactors relative to an 
aircraft impact is based both on enhanced public health and safety and 
enhanced common defense and security, but is not necessary for adequate 
protection. Rather, this rule's goal is to enhance the facility's 
inherent robustness at the design stage.
3.2 Methodology
    This section describes the process used to evaluate benefits and 
costs associated with the regulatory action. The benefits (values) come 
from any desirable changes in the affected attributes which are solely 
qualitative for the regulatory action; the costs (impacts or burdens) 
come from any undesirable changes in the affected attributes (e.g., 
monetary costs, increased exposures). As described in Section 3.1 of 
this regulatory analysis, the attributes expected to be affected 
include public health (accident), occupational health (accident), 
offsite property, onsite property, industry implementation, industry 
operation, NRC implementation, improvements in knowledge, and 
safeguards and security considerations.

[[Page 28137]]

    When possible, a cost-benefit analysis quantifies the overall costs 
and benefits of the regulatory options relative to each of these 
attributes. This analysis relies on a qualitative evaluation of several 
of the affected attributes (public health, occupational health, offsite 
property, onsite property, improvements in knowledge, and safeguards 
and security considerations) because of the difficulty in quantifying 
the impact of this rulemaking. The regulatory action will affect these 
attributes through the associated reduction in the risks of aircraft 
impact damage to the plant resulting in the inability to maintain 
either reactor core cooling or an intact containment, and either spent 
fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity.
    The remaining attributes (industry implementation, industry 
operation, and NRC implementation) are evaluated quantitatively. 
Quantitative analysis requires a characterization of the universe, 
including factors such as the number of applicants and the scope of the 
aircraft impact assessment being performed. The NRC analyzed 
incremental costs and benefits of the regulatory action relative to the 
baseline (i.e., the no-action alternative described in Section 2 of 
this regulatory analysis).
    Under OMB guidance and NUREG/BR-0058, Revision 4, ``Regulatory 
Analysis Guidelines of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,'' issued 
September 2004, the results of the cost analysis are presented as 
discounted flows of funds using 3- and 7-percent real discount rates.
3.3 Data
    The NRC derived information from industry announcements on the 
estimated number of applications submitted for a new standard design 
certification, renewal of an existing design certification, and a 
combined license that references a currently approved standard design 
certification. Data used was obtained during September 2008. The NRC 
staff applied its professional judgment in this analysis given the 
uncertainty in the number of applications for a new construction 
permit; new operating license; new standard design approval; 
manufacturing license that does not reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, or that references a 
standard design certification issued before the effective date of the 
rule which has not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined 
license that does not reference a standard design certification, 
standard design approval, or manufactured reactor, or that references a 
standard design certification issued before the effective date of the 
rule which has not been amended to comply with the rule.
3.4 Assumptions
    The regulatory action will apply only to applicants for new 
construction permits; new operating licenses that reference a new 
construction permit; new standard design certifications, renewal of any 
of the four existing design certifications if the design has not 
previously been amended to comply with the final rule; new standard 
design approvals; manufacturing licenses that don't reference a 
standard design certification or standard design approval, or that 
reference a standard design certification issued before the effective 
date of the rule which has not been amended to comply with the rule; 
and combined licenses that don't reference a standard design 
certification, standard design approval, or manufactured reactor, or 
that reference a standard design certification issued before the 
effective date of the rule which has not been amended to comply with 
the rule. It will not apply to a construction permit, operating 
license, standard design approval, or standard design certification 
(except at renewal) issued before the effective date of the final rule.
3.5 Analysis
    For Sections 3.5.1 through 3.5.10, the cost-benefit analysis of the 
regulatory action is based on the assumed number of applicants in each 
category. In each case, industry will incur both implementation and 
operation costs. Furthermore, because all of the benefits are measured 
qualitatively in this analysis, only costs are included in these 
subsections.
    This analysis uses $100 and $105 per hour for NRC and industry 
staff rates, respectively. In the analysis done for the proposed rule, 
an NRC hourly staff rate of $105 was used. This value was recently 
revised to account for the changing composition of the NRC staff and 
re-baselining of estimates of hours for training, annual leave, etc. In 
addition, the NRC has reassessed the cost to purchase an appropriate 
SGI container and lock. This analysis uses $1,200, rather than the 
$2,500 used for the proposed rule analysis.
    The annual results are derived as present values using the 3- and 
7-percent discount rates as described in Appendix B to NUREG/BR-0184.
3.5.1 Construction Permit Applications
    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for a new construction 
permit will need to comply with the requirements for an aircraft impact 
assessment in 10 CFR 50.150. However, the NRC staff concludes that it 
is unlikely that a request for a new construction permit will be 
submitted to the NRC for approval during the next 20 years. Therefore, 
no cost-benefit analysis is needed for a construction permit.
3.5.2 Operating License Applications
    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for a new operating 
license will need to comply with the requirements for an aircraft 
impact assessment in 10 CFR 50.150. However, the NRC staff concludes 
that it is unlikely that a request for a new operating license will be 
submitted to the NRC for approval during the next 20 years. Therefore, 
no cost-benefit analysis is needed for an operating license.
3.5.3 Standard Design Certification Applications
    In implementing the regulatory action, standard design 
certification applicants will incur one-time costs to develop an SGI 
program; purchase an appropriate SGI storage container and lock; 
perform the aircraft impact assessment; and identify and incorporate 
into the design those design features and functional capabilities that 
show, with reduced use of operator action, that the facility can 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. The NRC estimates that 
each applicant will spend 120 hours to develop the SGI program. Using 
the assumed staff rate of $105 per hour, the one-time cost of 
developing the SGI program will be $13,000 per applicant (120 hours x 
$105/hour). The NRC also estimates it will cost $1,200 to purchase an 
appropriate SGI storage container and lock. Finally, the NRC estimates 
it will take an applicant 24 staff-months for a one-time cost of 
$400,000 (24 staff-months x 4 weeks/month x 40 hours/week x $105/hour) 
per application to complete the assessment and incorporate the results 
into the design. Thus, the one-time cost for an applicant to implement 
the regulatory action is estimated to be $415,000.
    For the standard design certification process, this analysis 
assumes that three applications will be affected by the final rule in 
the year that the rule is promulgated (i.e., year 0), and thereafter, 
one application will be submitted every 4 years at years 4, 8, 12, 16, 
and 20. Table 1 shows the discounted flow of funds (using 3- and 7-
percent discount rates) of the total industry implementation costs for

[[Page 28138]]

standard design certification applications over a 20-year period.
    With respect to industry operational costs, there will be 
recordkeeping costs for retention of the assessment and supporting 
documentation. The NRC will require standard design certification 
applicants to retain these records throughout the pendency of the 
application and for the term of the certification (including any period 
of renewal). For this analysis, it is assumed that it takes 4 years for 
the Commission to adopt the application as a final standard design 
certification rule, after which the records are retained by the 
applicant for 15 years as required by the standard design certification 
rule. No renewal of the standard design certification rule is 
considered for this analysis. Thus, the records are retained for a 
total of 19 years. In addition, it is assumed that an applicant spends 
3 hours per year to maintain the records. The estimated annual cost for 
recordkeeping is $315 per applicant (3 hours x $105/hour). Table 2 
shows the discounted flow of funds of the recordkeeping costs (using 3- 
and 7-percent discount rates) for applications submitted over a 20-year 
period, using the schedule discussed previously.
    After a standard design certification is adopted by the NRC, any 
change to a design feature or functional capability credited for 
complying with the aircraft impact rule will require that the applicant 
or licensee consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on 
the original assessment. The applicant or licensee must amend the 
information included in the FSAR to describe how the modified design 
feature or functional capability continues to meet the assessment 
requirements in the aircraft impact rule. However, the NRC staff 
concludes that after a standard design certification is adopted, it is 
unlikely that any changes will be made to design features or functional 
capabilities credited for complying with the aircraft impact rule. 
Therefore, no industry cost analysis is needed for this portion of the 
regulatory action.
    Under the final rule, any combined license applicant referencing a 
design certification that complies with the requirements of this final 
rule will not have to perform an aircraft impact assessment.

         Table 1--Summary of Industry Implementation Costs for Standard Design Certification Applicants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                    Implementation costs
                                                             Number of     -------------------------------------
                          Year                            standard  design   Using 7-percent    Using 3-percent
                                                           certification      discount rate      discount rate
                                                            applications         ($1,000)           ($1,000)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0......................................................                  3              1,200              1,200
4......................................................                  1                320                370
8......................................................                  1                240                330
12.....................................................                  1                180                290
16.....................................................                  1                140                260
20.....................................................                  1                110                230
                                                        --------------------------------------------------------
    Total..............................................                  8              2,190              2,680
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


            Table 2--Summary of Industry Operating Costs for Standard Design Certification Applicants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      Operating costs
                                                           Number of     ---------------------------------------
                        Year*                           standard  design    Using 7-percent     Using 3-percent
                                                         certification       discount rate       discount rate
                                                          applications         ($1,000)            ($1,000)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0....................................................                  3                9.8                 14
4....................................................                  1                2.5                  4
8....................................................                  1                1.9                  3.6
12...................................................                  1                1.4                  3.2
16...................................................                  1                1.1                  2.8
20...................................................                  1                0.84                 2.5
                                                      ----------------------------------------------------------
    Total............................................                  8               17.54                30.1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Analysis assumes that it takes 4 years for the Commission to adopt the application as a final standard design
  certification rule, after which the records are retained by the applicant for 15 years.

3.5.4 Applications for Renewal of Any of the Four Existing Design 
Certifications if the Design Has Not Previously Been Amended To Comply 
With the Final Rule
    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for renewal of any of the 
four existing design certifications which has not previously been 
amended to comply with the final aircraft impact rule will need to 
comply with the requirements of an aircraft assessment in 10 CFR 
50.150. The NRC is expecting one application for renewal of one of the 
four existing design certifications that will be required to comply 
with the final rule to be submitted in the year after the rule is 
promulgated (i.e., year 1).
    This analysis assumes that the applicant for renewal has an 
existing SGI program and an appropriate SGI storage container and lock; 
resulting in no related costs to implement the regulatory action. 
However, in implementing the regulatory action, the applicant will 
incur one-time costs to perform the aircraft impact assessment and 
identify and incorporate into the design those design features and 
functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator action, 
that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. The 
NRC estimates it will take this applicant 24 staff-months for a one-
time cost of $400,000 (24 staff-months x 4 weeks/month x 40 hours/week 
x $105/hour) to complete the assessment and incorporate the results

[[Page 28139]]

into the design. No other costs associated with the application are 
considered for this analysis (i.e., overall costs to do the 
administrative work to prepare and submit other portions of the 
application). Thus the one-time cost for this applicant to implement 
the regulatory action is estimated to be $400,000. For one application 
submitted in the year after the rule is promulgated, the discounted 
flow of funds of the implementation costs are $390,000 and $370,000 
using 3- and 7-percent discount rates respectively.
    With respect to industry operational costs, there will be 
recordkeeping costs for retention of the assessment and supporting 
documentation. The NRC will require applicants for renewal of an 
existing design certification to retain these records throughout the 
pendency of the application and for the term of the certification. For 
this analysis, it is assumed that it takes 3 years for the Commission 
to adopt the application for renewal as a final design certification 
rule, after which the records are retained by the applicant for 15 
years as will be required by the standard design certification rule. No 
subsequent renewal of the standard design certification rule is 
considered for this analysis. Thus, the records are retained for a 
total of 18 years. In addition, it is assumed that an applicant spends 
3 hours per year to maintain the records. The estimated annual cost for 
recordkeeping is $315 per applicant (3 hours x $105/hour). Thus, the 
discounted flow of funds of the recordkeeping costs for one application 
is $4,200 and $3,000 using 3- and 7-percent discount rates 
respectively.
    After a renewal of an existing design certification is adopted by 
the NRC, any change to a design feature or functional capability 
credited for complying with the aircraft impact rule will require that 
the applicant or licensee consider the effect of the changed feature or 
capability on the original assessment. The applicant must describe how 
the modified design feature or functional capability continues to meet 
the assessment requirements in the aircraft impact rule. However, the 
NRC staff concludes that after the renewal is adopted, it is unlikely 
that any changes will be made to design features or functional 
capabilities credited for complying with the aircraft impact rule. 
Therefore, no industry cost analysis is needed for this portion of the 
regulatory action.
    The total industry cost is the sum of the implementation and 
operation costs. The implementation cost is the present value of the 
assumed one application ($400,000) which when discounted is $390,000 
(using a 3-percent discount rate) and $370,000 (using a 7-percent 
discount rate). The operating costs are $4,200 and $3,000 using the 3- 
and 7-percent discount rates as shown above. Therefore, the total 
discounted industry costs are $394,200 and $373,200 using 3- and 7-
percent discount rates, respectively.
3.5.5 Standard Design Approval Applications
    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for a new standard design 
approval will need to comply with the requirements for an aircraft 
impact assessment in 10 CFR 50.150. However, the NRC staff concludes 
that it is unlikely that a request for a new standard design will be 
submitted to the NRC for approval during the next 20 years. Therefore, 
no cost-benefit analysis is needed for a standard design approval.
3.5.6 Combined License Applications Not Referencing a Standard Design 
Certification, Standard Design Approval, or Manufactured Reactor
    Although the NRC concludes that there is a low probability of a 
combined license applicant not referencing a standard design 
certification, standard design approval, or manufactured reactor, this 
analysis assumes that one application will be submitted to the NRC in 
year 10 following promulgation of the rule.
    In implementing the regulatory action, combined license applicants 
will incur one-time costs to develop an SGI program; purchase an 
appropriate SGI storage container and lock; perform the aircraft impact 
assessment; and identify and incorporate into the design those design 
features and functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of 
operator action, that the facility can withstand the effects of an 
aircraft impact. The NRC estimates that each applicant will spend 120 
hours to develop the SGI program. Assuming a staff rate of $105 per 
hour, the one-time cost of developing the SGI program will be $13,000 
per applicant (120 hours x $105/hour). The NRC also estimates it will 
cost $1,200 to purchase an appropriate SGI storage container and lock. 
Finally, the NRC estimates it will take an applicant 24 staff-months 
for a one-time cost of $400,000 (24 staff-months x 4 weeks/month x 40 
hours/week x $105/hour) per application to complete the assessment and 
incorporate the results into the design. Thus, the one-time cost for an 
applicant to implement the regulatory action is estimated to be 
$415,000. For one application submitted in year 10, following 
promulgation of the rule, the discounted flow of funds of the 
implementation costs are $310,000 and $210,000 using 3- and 7-percent 
discount rates, respectively.
    With respect to industry operational costs, there will be 
recordkeeping costs for retention of the assessment and supporting 
documentation. The NRC will require that these records be retained 
throughout the pendency of the application and for the term of the 
license (including any period of renewal). For this analysis, it is 
assumed that it takes 4 years for the Commission to approve the 
application, after which the records are retained by the licensee for 
60 years (initial 40-year license period plus a 20-year renewal 
period), at which time the Commission terminates the facility license. 
The records are retained for a total of 64 years. In addition, it is 
assumed that an applicant spends 3 hours per year to maintain the 
records. The estimated annual cost for recordkeeping is $315 per 
applicant (3 hours x $105/hour). Thus, the discounted flow of funds of 
the recordkeeping costs for one application is $6,000 and $2,200 using 
3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively.
    After a combined license application is approved by the NRC, any 
change to a design feature or functional capability credited for 
complying with the aircraft impact rule will require that the licensee 
consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the 
original assessment. The applicant must describe how the modified 
design feature or functional capability continues to meet the 
assessment requirements in the aircraft impact rule. However, the NRC 
staff concludes that after a combined license is issued, it is unlikely 
that a licensee will make any changes to design features or functional 
capabilities credited at the application stage. Therefore, no industry 
cost analysis is needed for this portion of the regulatory action.
    The total industry cost is the sum of the implementation and 
operation costs. The implementation cost is the present value of the 
assumed one application ($415,000) which when discounted is $310,000 
(using a 3-percent discount rate) and $210,000 (using a 7-percent 
discount rate). The operating costs are $6,000 and $2,200 using the 3- 
and 7-percent discount rates as shown above. Therefore, the total 
discounted industry costs are $316,000 and $212,200 using 3- and 7-
percent discount rates, respectively.

[[Page 28140]]

3.5.7 Combined License Applications Referencing a Standard Design 
Certification Issued Before the Effective Date of the Rule Which Has 
Not Been Amended To Comply With the Rule
    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for a combined license 
that references one of the four currently approved design 
certifications must comply with the rule. At present, the NRC is aware 
of only two of the currently approved designs that are planned to be 
referenced in combined license applications. For one of these certified 
designs, the AP1000, the original applicant has voluntarily submitted 
to the NRC an amendment that it believes will comply with the 
requirements of the aircraft impact rule. If the NRC approves the 
amendment as meeting the aircraft impact rule, then any combined 
license applicants referencing the recertified design will not be 
required to perform an aircraft impact assessment. Furthermore, this 
analysis assumes that after the combined license application is 
approved, the licensee makes no changes to a design feature or 
functional capability credited by the design certification for 
complying with the aircraft impact rule. Therefore, no cost-benefit 
analysis is needed for combined license applications that reference the 
recertified AP1000 design.
    Regarding the other currently approved design certification that is 
being referenced in at least one combined license application, the NRC 
is not aware of any plans by the original applicant to submit an 
application to amend the certification to comply with the requirements 
of the aircraft impact rule, prior to the renewal of the certification. 
The NRC has received one combined license application referencing this 
certified design, and it is expected that this final rule will be 
effective before the NRC makes a decision on the combined license 
application. Therefore, the combined license applicant will be required 
to amend their application to comply with the requirements of the 
aircraft impact rule if the referenced design certification is not 
amended to comply with the rule during the pendency of the combined 
license application.
    In implementing the regulatory action, the NRC is assuming that the 
combined license applicant will submit an amendment to their 
application to comply with the aircraft impact rule. In doing so, this 
combined license applicant will incur one-time costs to develop an SGI 
program; purchase an appropriate SGI storage container and lock; 
perform the aircraft impact assessment; and identify and incorporate 
into the design those design features and functional capabilities to 
show, with reduced use of operator action, that the facility can 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. The NRC estimates that 
this applicant will spend 120 hours to develop the SGI program. 
Assuming a staff rate of $105 per hour, the one-time cost of developing 
the SGI program will be $13,000 (120 hours x $105/hour). The NRC also 
estimates it will cost $1,200 to purchase an appropriate SGI storage 
container and lock. Finally, the NRC estimates it will take this 
applicant 24 staff-months for a one-time cost of $400,000 (24 staff-
months x 4 weeks/month x 40 hours/week x $105/hour) to complete the 
assessment and incorporate the results into the design. Thus, the one-
time cost for this applicant to implement the regulatory action is 
estimated to be $415,000. This analysis assumes that the application 
will be affected by the final rule in the year that the rule is 
promulgated (i.e., year 0), and therefore, the discounted flow of funds 
of the implementation costs is $415,000 using either 3- or 7-percent 
discount rates.
    With respect to industry operational costs, there will be 
recordkeeping costs for retention of the assessment and supporting 
documentation. The NRC will require that these records be retained 
throughout the pendency of the application and for the term of the 
license (including any period of renewal). For this analysis, it is 
assumed that it takes 4 years for the Commission to approve the 
application, after which the records are retained by the licensee for 
60 years (initial 40-year license period plus a 20-year renewal 
period), at which time the Commission terminates the facility license. 
The records are retained for a total of 64 years. In addition, it is 
assumed that an applicant spends 3 hours per year to maintain the 
records. The estimated annual cost for recordkeeping is $315 per 
applicant (3 hours x $105/hour). Thus, the discounted flow of funds of 
the recordkeeping costs for one application is $8,100 and $4,300 using 
3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively.
    After a combined license application is approved by the NRC, any 
change to a design feature or functional capability credited for 
complying with the aircraft impact rule will require that the licensee 
consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the 
original assessment. The applicant must describe how the modified 
design feature or functional capability continues to meet the 
assessment requirements in the aircraft impact rule. However, the NRC 
concludes that after a combined license is approved, it is unlikely 
that a licensee will make any changes to design features or functional 
capabilities credited in the design at the application stage. 
Therefore, no industry cost analysis is needed for this portion of the 
regulatory action.
    The total industry cost is the sum of the implementation and 
operation costs. The implementation cost is the present value of the 
assumed one application ($415,000) which when discounted is $415,000 
(using either 3-or 7-percent discount rates). The operating costs are 
$8,100 and $4,300 using the 3- and 7-percent discount rates as shown 
above. Therefore, the total discounted industry costs are $423,100 and 
$419,300 using 3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively.
3.5.8 Manufacturing License Applications Not Referencing a Standard 
Design Certification or Standard Design Approval
    Although the NRC concludes that there is a low probability of a 
manufacturing license application not referencing a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, this analysis assumes that 
one application will be submitted to the NRC in year 10 following 
promulgation of the rule.
    In implementing the regulatory action, manufacturing license 
applicants will incur one-time costs to develop an SGI program; 
purchase an appropriate SGI storage container and lock; perform the 
aircraft impact assessment; and identify and incorporate into the 
design those design features and functional capabilities to show, with 
reduced use of operator action, that the facility can withstand the 
effects of an aircraft impact. The NRC estimates that each applicant 
will spend 120 hours to develop the SGI program. Assuming a staff rate 
of $105 per hour, the one-time cost of developing the SGI program will 
be $13,000 per applicant (120 hours x $105/hour). The NRC also 
estimates it will cost $1,200 to purchase an appropriate SGI storage 
container and lock. Finally, the NRC estimates it will take an 
applicant 24 staff-months for a one-time cost of $400,000 (24 staff-
months x 4 weeks/month x 40 hours/week x $105/hour) per application to 
complete the assessment and incorporate the results into the design. 
Thus, the one-time cost for an applicant to implement the regulatory 
action is estimated to be $415,000. For one application submitted in 
year 10, following promulgation of the rule, the discounted flow of 
funds of the implementation costs are $310,000 and

[[Page 28141]]

$210,000 using 3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively.
    With respect to industry operational costs, there will be 
recordkeeping costs for retention of the assessment and supporting 
documentation. The NRC will require that these records be retained 
throughout the pendency of the application and for the term of the 
license (including any period of renewal). For this analysis, it is 
assumed that it takes 4 years for the Commission to approve the 
application, after which the records are retained by the licensee for 
15 years, at which time the Commission terminates the facility license. 
The records are retained for a total of 19 years. In addition, it is 
assumed that an applicant spends 3 hours per year to maintain the 
records. The estimated annual cost for recordkeeping is $315 per 
applicant (3 hours x $105/hour). Thus, the discounted flow of funds of 
the recordkeeping costs for one application is $3,400 and $1,700 using 
3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively.
    After a manufacturing license application is approved by the NRC, 
any change to a design feature or functional capability credited for 
avoiding or mitigating the effects of an aircraft impact will require 
that the licensee consider the effect of the changed feature or 
capability on the original assessment. The applicant must describe how 
the modified design feature or functional capability continues to meet 
the assessment requirements in the aircraft impact rule. However, the 
NRC staff concludes that after a manufacturing license is approved, it 
is unlikely that a licensee will make any changes to design features or 
functional capabilities credited in the design at the application 
stage. Therefore, no industry cost analysis is needed for this portion 
of the regulatory action.
    The total industry cost is the sum of the implementation and 
operation costs. The implementation cost is the present value of the 
assumed one application ($415,000) which when discounted is $310,000 
(using a 3-percent discount rate) and $210,000 (using a 7-percent 
discount rate). The operating costs are $3,400 and $1,700 using the 3- 
and 7-percent discount rates as shown previously. Therefore, the total 
discounted industry costs are $313,400 and $211,700 using 3- and 7-
percent discount rates, respectively.

3.5.9 Manufacturing License Applications Referencing a Standard Design 
Certification Issued Before the Effective Date of the Rule Which Has 
Not Been Amended To Comply With the Rule

    Under the regulatory action, an applicant for a manufacturing 
license who references one of the four currently approved design 
certifications will need to comply with the requirements for an 
aircraft impact assessment in 10 CFR 50.150. However, the NRC staff 
concludes that it is unlikely that a request for a manufacturing 
license referencing one of these four design certifications will be 
submitted to the NRC for approval during the next 20 years. Therefore, 
no cost-benefit analysis is needed for this type of manufacturing 
license application.

3.5.10 NRC Implementation

    Cost to Review the Applicant's Results. The NRC will incur costs to 
review the actions taken by the applicant to comply with the aircraft 
impact rule. The one-time cost for NRC verification of compliance with 
the rule, consisting of reviewing the information submitted by each 
applicant and onsite inspection of the assessment, is estimated to be 
$125,000 (7.8 staff-months x 4 weeks/month x 40 hours/week x $100/
hour). As an example, the total NRC cost in the year that the rule is 
promulgated (i.e., year 0), is the present value of the costs to review 
the actions taken and assessments for three applications for a standard 
design certification. The NRC staff estimates the cost to be $375,000 
for the three applications. Table 3 shows the discounted flow of funds 
(using 3- and 7-percent discount rates) of the NRC implementation costs 
over 20 years to review the applications for a standard design 
certification; renewal of an existing standard design certification; 
combined license that does not reference a standard design 
certification, standard design approval, or manufactured reactor; 
combined license that references a standard design certification issued 
before the effective date of the rule which has not been amended to 
comply with the rule; and manufacturing license that does not reference 
a standard design certification.
    Cost to Renew an Existing Design Certification. The costs to the 
NRC to conduct a rulemaking to adopt the renewal of an existing design 
certification are not included in this analysis because they are not an 
impact of this rule.
    Cost to Develop Guidance. The NRC assumes that it will take about 
3.0 full-time staff years to develop guidance to support implementation 
of the regulatory action. The cost to develop guidance is estimated to 
be $500,000.
    Cost to Provide Training. The NRC will incur costs to develop a 
training course to instruct NRC staff on the changes to 10 CFR parts 50 
and 52. Assuming that it will take 20 staff-hours to develop the 
training course, the cost is estimated to be $2,000 (20 staff-hours x 
$100/hour). The cost to train 20 people for 2 hours, plus the 
instructor's time of 2 hours is estimated to be $4,200 (21 people x 2 
hours x $100/hour). The total cost to the NRC to provide training for 
the regulatory action is estimated to be $6,000.
    Table 3 shows the discounted flow of funds of the total NRC 
implementation costs for the regulatory action over 20 years.

                                  Table 3--Summary of NRC Implementation Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Application                        Implementation costs
                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Year                                                          Using 7-percent    Using 3-percent
                                    Number reviewed        Category *         discount rate      discount rate
                                                                                 ($1,000)           ($1,000)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0................................                  3  DC..................                375                375
0................................                  1  COL.................                125                125
1................................                  1  DC (renewal)........                115                120
4................................                  1  DC..................                 95                110
8................................                  1  DC..................                 75                100
10...............................                  1  COL.................                 65                 95
10...............................                  1  ML..................                 65                 95
12...............................                  1  DC..................                 55                 90
16...............................                  1  DC..................                 40                 80

[[Page 28142]]

 
20...............................                  1  DC..................                 30                 70
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost to Review All Applications...........................................              1,040              1,260
Cost to Develop Guidance..................................................                500                500
Cost to Provide Training..................................................                  6                  6
���������������������������������������������������������������������������
    Total (rounded).......................................................              1,500              1,800
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* DC = design certification. COL = combined license application. ML = manufacturing license application.

3.5.11 Impacts to Other Stakeholders
    The NRC staff has not identified any impacts to other stakeholders 
or the Agreement States. However, the action is expected to lead to an 
increase in public confidence because nuclear power plant designers 
will perform a rigorous assessment of design features and functional 
capabilities that could provide additional inherent protection to 
withstand the effects of an aircraft impact.
3.5.12 Qualitative Benefits of the Action
    The benefits of the final rule can be evaluated only on a 
qualitative basis. The analysis estimates that the action will result 
in qualitative benefits in public health (accidental), occupational 
health (accidental), offsite property, onsite property, improvements in 
knowledge, and safeguards and security considerations.
    Specifically, the benefits will include improvements in knowledge 
because applicants for new nuclear power reactors will need to perform 
a design-specific assessment of the effects of the impact of a large, 
commercial aircraft. If the effects of an aircraft impact are not 
assessed by nuclear power plant designers at the design stage, it will 
be more difficult at a later time to enhance the facility's inherent 
robustness to show that it can withstand the effects of an aircraft 
impact. Furthermore, applicants will need to use realistic analyses to 
identify and incorporate design features and functional capabilities to 
show, with reduced use of operator actions, that either the reactor 
core remains cooled or the containment remains intact, and either spent 
fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained. In this 
manner, this rule should result in new nuclear power reactor facilities 
being more inherently robust with regard to an aircraft impact than if 
they were designed in the absence of this rule.
    In addition, because the impact of a large, commercial aircraft is 
a beyond-design-basis event, this rule provides an enhanced level of 
protection beyond that which is provided by the existing adequate 
protection requirements, which all operating power reactors are 
required to meet.

4. Presentation of Results

    Table 4 summarizes the results of the cost analysis for industry.

           Table 4--Summary of Total Industry Costs for Action
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Using 7-percent    Using 3-percent
     Category of application*         discount rate      discount rate
                                         ($1,000)           ($1,000)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Implementation costs
                                   -------------------------------------
DC................................              2,190              2,680
DC (renewal)......................                370                390
COL...............................                625                725
ML................................                210                310
                                   -------------------------------------
                                               Operating costs
                                   -------------------------------------
DC................................              17.54               30.1
DC (renewal)......................                3.0                4.2
COL...............................                6.5               14.1
ML................................                1.7                3.4
                                   -------------------------------------
    Total (rounded)...............              3,400              4,200
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* DC = design certification. COL = combined license application. ML =
  manufacturing license application.

    Table 5 shows the total costs of the regulatory action.

[[Page 28143]]



               Table 5--Summary of Industry and NRC Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Using 7-percent    Using 3-percent
                                      discount rate      discount rate
                                         ($1,000)           ($1,000)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry..........................              3,400              4,200
NRC...............................              1,500              1,800
                                   -------------------------------------
    Total (rounded)...............              4,900              6,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Decision Rationale

    The total present-valued costs of this action are $6.0 million and 
$4.9 million for 3- and 7-percent discount rates, respectively. The 
benefits are expressed only qualitatively and are discussed in Section 
3.5.11 of this regulatory analysis. As noted previously, the key 
benefit is improvement in knowledge because the final rule requires 
applicants for new nuclear power reactors to perform a design-specific 
assessment of the effects of the impact of a large, commercial 
aircraft. The applicant is required to use realistic analyses to 
identify and incorporate design features and functional capabilities to 
show, with reduced use of operator actions, that either the reactor 
core remains cooled or the containment remains intact, and either spent 
fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained.

6. Implementation Schedule

    The final rule will become effective 30 days after publication in 
the Federal Register.

XV. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 
605(b)), the Commission certifies that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This final rule affects only the licensing of nuclear power plants. The 
companies that will apply for an approval, certification, permit, or 
license in accordance with the regulations affected by this rule do not 
fall within the scope of the definition of ``small entities'' set forth 
in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by 
the NRC (10 CFR 2.810).

XVI. Backfit Analysis

    The NRC has determined that, except in one respect, the backfit 
rule, 10 CFR 50.109, and comparable provisions in 10 CFR part 52, do 
not apply to this final rule and, therefore, a backfit analysis is not 
required, because the final rule--with one exception--does not contain 
any provisions which either impose backfitting as defined in the 
backfit rule or is otherwise inconsistent with any of the comparable 
backfitting and finality provisions in part 52. The aircraft impact 
assessment requirements apply to new construction permits; new 
operating licenses that reference a new construction permit; new 
standard design certifications; new standard design approvals; 
manufacturing licenses that don't reference a standard design 
certification or standard design approval, or that reference a design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule; and combined licenses that 
don't reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval, or manufactured reactor, or that reference a standard design 
certification issued before the effective date of the rule which has 
not been amended to comply with the rule. They also apply to renewal of 
the four existing design certifications in 10 CFR part 52, appendices A 
through D, if the design has not previously been amended to comply with 
the aircraft impact rule. However, combined license applicants 
referencing one of the four currently approved design certifications 
must comply with the rule. The backfitting issues for each of these 
licenses, certifications, and regulatory approvals are discussed below.
Construction Permits and Operating Licenses
    The aircraft impact rule applies to construction permits issued 
after July 13, 2009, the effective date of the rule. To the extent that 
the aircraft impact rule revises the requirements for future 
construction permits, the requirements do not constitute backfitting, 
because the requirements in the final aircraft impact rule are 
prospective in nature and effect. The backfit rule was not intended to 
apply to every NRC action which substantially changes the expectations 
of future applicants under 10 CFR part 50. The final rule also does not 
apply to current holders of construction permits. Hence, there is no 
backfitting of current holders of construction permits. The final 
aircraft impact rule also does not apply to applicants for operating 
licenses whose underlying construction permits are issued before July 
13, 2009. Inasmuch as the aircraft impact rule is not imposed as a 
requirement on operating license applicants whose underlying 
construction permits were issued before July 13, 2009, there is no 
backfitting associated with such existing operating licenses. However, 
future applicants for operating licenses whose underlying construction 
permits were also issued after July 13, 2009 are required to comply 
with the aircraft impact rule. To the extent that the rule revises the 
requirements for future operating license applicants whose construction 
permits are issued after July 13, 2009, the requirements do not 
constitute backfitting, because the requirements in the final aircraft 
impact rule are prospective in nature and effect. The backfit rule was 
not intended to apply to every NRC action which substantially changes 
the expectations of future applicants under 10 CFR part 50.
New Design Certifications and New Design Approvals
    The aircraft impact rule applies to new standard design 
certifications and new standard design approvals. To the extent that 
the aircraft impact rule revises the requirements for future design 
certifications and design approvals issued after July 13, 2009, the 
requirements do not constitute backfitting, because the requirements in 
the aircraft impact rule are prospective in nature and effect. The 
backfit rule was not intended to apply to every NRC action which 
substantially changes the expectations of future applicants under 10 
CFR part 52.
Four Currently-Approved Design Certifications
    The aircraft impact rule does not directly change any of the four 
currently approved design certifications in 10 CFR part 52, appendices 
A through D, because the rule does not require that the aircraft impact 
assessment be performed for those four design certifications during 
their current terms, nor does the rule require that they be modified to 
include any design features

[[Page 28144]]

or functional capabilities that meet the criteria in the rule. However, 
the aircraft impact rule requires a combined license applicant 
referencing one of the four currently approved design certifications to 
perform the assessment required by the aircraft impact rule. In 
addition, the rule requires that if any of the four design 
certifications are renewed, then the renewed design must meet the 
requirements of the rule. Both situations raise backfitting concerns, 
which are addressed separately below.

1. Effect During Current Term of Design Certification

    The aircraft impact rule requires a combined license applicant 
referencing one of the four currently approved design certifications to 
perform the assessment required by the rule. As such, the aircraft 
impact rule changes the circumstances under which an applicant for 
combined license may reference one of the four currently approved 
design certifications. In addition, by requiring the combined license 
applicant to perform the assessment, and describe plant design features 
and functional capabilities that are within the scope of the certified 
design, the aircraft impact rule may be viewed as effectively 
constituting a change to the design certification. Each of the four 
currently approved design certification rules contains several 
provisions generally addressing the referencing of the design 
certification. None of these provisions require a referencing combined 
license applicant to, in effect, modify the referenced design to 
address aircraft impacts. Moreover, Section VI, ``Issue Resolution,'' 
of each currently approved design certification states that the NRC's 
safety finding on the design ``includes the finding that additional or 
alternative structures, systems, components, design features, * * * 
acceptance criteria, or justifications are not necessary * * *.'' In 
light of these provisions, the NRC believes that the final aircraft 
impact rule requirements effectively constitute a change to these 
design certifications, and the applicable criteria of Section VI of 
each design certification rule and 10 CFR 52.63(a)(1) must be met by 
the aircraft impact rule.
    However, the NRC does not believe that these criteria can be 
satisfied. Accordingly, the Commission has decided to administratively 
exempt the aircraft impact rule from these finality and issue 
resolution provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The Commission's decision is 
grounded on the following considerations. First, the Commission 
believes that performance of the assessment required by the rule and 
incorporation of design features and functional capabilities identified 
by the assessment constitutes a substantial increase in overall 
protection of public health and safety and common defense and security 
of the design and operation of a nuclear power plant constructed in 
accordance with the referenced design certification, and that direct 
and indirect implementation costs of compliance with the aircraft 
impact rule are justified in view of the increased safety and security. 
Performing the assessment itself provides a substantial safety benefit 
in reducing licensee and regulatory uncertainty regarding the 
capability (and vulnerability) of the design to the impact of a large, 
commercial aircraft. Although it is difficult to quantify the safety 
enhancement gained through implementation of the aircraft impact rule, 
the NRC nevertheless believes that the cost of performing the 
assessment and incorporating the results into the design, as outlined 
in Section XIV, ``Regulatory Analysis,'' of the Supplementary 
Information of this document, is justified in view of the increased 
safety provided by implementation of the aircraft impact rule.
    Second, all of the four currently approved certified designs 
contain one or more advanced reactor attributes described in the 
Commission's ``Policy Statement on Regulation of Advanced Reactors,'' 
(73 FR 60612; October 14, 2008). These attributes include the use of 
highly reliable and less complex shutdown and decay heat removal 
systems, longer time constants and sufficient instrumentation to allow 
for more diagnosis and management before reaching safety system 
challenge and/or exposure of vital equipment to adverse conditions, and 
designs that minimize the potential for severe accidents and their 
consequences by providing sufficient inherent safety, reliability, 
redundancy, diversity and independence in safety systems. Incorporation 
of design features and functional capabilities identified as part of 
the assessment required by the aircraft impact rule will serve to 
further enhance the availability, capability and effectiveness of those 
advanced reactor attributes included in each of the currently approved 
certified designs.
    It also appears that a broad range of stakeholders supported the 
overarching concept that all newly-constructed nuclear power plants 
should be required to meet the aircraft impact rule. All of the 
commenters representing non-governmental organizations unaffiliated 
with the nuclear industry supported the application of the aircraft 
impact rule to all newly-constructed reactors--including those 
referencing currently approved design certifications--and to all of the 
currently approved design certifications regardless of whether they 
have been referenced in a combined license application. NEI--the 
industry organization representing, in part, the companies who are most 
likely to be combined license applicants and, therefore, most likely to 
be adversely affected by a NRC decision to impose the aircraft impact 
rule on such applicants--supported the extension of the aircraft impact 
rule to all future combined license applicants. The original applicants 
for three of the four existing design certifications supported 
application of the aircraft impact rule to combined license 
applications referencing one of the four currently approved designs. 
The NRC is aware that Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, which was the 
original applicant for the AP1000 design certification, is seeking an 
amendment to the design certification to address the (anticipated 
final) aircraft impact rule. The NRC notes that any adverse backfitting 
impact is limited inasmuch as: (i) No combined license referencing any 
of the four existing design certifications has been issued, (ii) 
combined license applications referencing one of the four existing 
design certifications are still in the early stages of NRC review, and 
(iii) the detailed aircraft impact parameters were made available to 
design certification applicants and affected combined license 
applicants in early 2008.
    Finally, the Commission emphasizes that this is a highly 
exceptional action limited to the specific circumstances of this 
rulemaking. The Commission has only once before taken action to 
administratively exempt a rulemaking from applicable backfitting or 
issue finality provisions, and in that one instance (involving 
revisions to 10 CFR part 26, fitness for duty requirements) the NRC 
ultimately withdrew the rulemaking, see SRM on SECY-99-141 (June 24, 
1999). Although the Commission cannot, as a categorical matter, rule 
out the possibility of its taking administrative exemptions in the 
future, the Commission emphasizes that administrative exemptions will 
continue to be an extremely rare action to be taken only if regulatory 
considerations strongly favor taking such administrative exemption.

2. Effect at Renewal

    The aircraft impact rule requires that if any of the four design 
certifications be renewed, then the renewed design meet the 
requirements of the rule. The NRC

[[Page 28145]]

evaluated whether 10 CFR 50.150(a)(3)(iii)(B) and the conforming 
revision to 10 CFR 52.59(a), which implement this requirement governing 
the renewal of these four design certifications, together represent a 
violation of the finality protection provided by 10 CFR 52.59(b). The 
NRC concludes that these requirements do not violate the finality 
protection accorded by those regulatory provisions. The finality 
protections accorded by 10 CFR 52.59(b) requirements do not absolutely 
preclude the NRC from applying new or modified requirements to the 
design certification at the renewal stage. To impose a new or modified 
requirement at renewal, the NRC need only find that the requirement is 
either necessary for adequate protection, necessary for compliance with 
requirements in effect at the time of initial certification, or 
provides a substantial increase in protection to public health and 
safety or common defense and security that justifies the cost of 
implementing the new requirements.
    As part of this rulemaking, the NRC makes the finding that the 
aircraft impact rule, when imposed upon any one of the four design 
certifications at the time of renewal, constitutes a substantial 
increase in protection to public health and safety. The reasons for the 
NRC's finding are set forth in the discussion above in ``Effect during 
current term of design certification'' and in the overall discussion in 
this statement of considerations of the reasons underlying the adoption 
of this rule. Accordingly, the NRC has decided to impose by rule a 
requirement that each of the four currently approved design 
certification, if renewed, meet the requirements of the aircraft impact 
rule if they have not been previously amended to comply with the rule. 
Inasmuch as the NRC has made a generic finding that the rule 
constitutes a substantial increase in protection to public health and 
safety and thereby meets the criteria for design certification renewal 
in 10 CFR 52.59(b), the NRC does not intend to make an additional 
finding on the same subject in any renewal proceeding for one of the 
currently approved design certifications.
Combined Licenses
    The final aircraft impact rule applies to all combined licenses 
which do not reference a standard design certification, standard design 
approval or manufactured reactor. There are no existing combined 
licenses protected by the backfitting restrictions in 10 CFR 50.109 or 
the finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. To the extent that the final 
rule revises the requirements for future combined licenses, including 
combined license applications which are currently pending before the 
NRC, the requirements do not constitute backfitting nor are they 
otherwise inconsistent with the finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52, 
because the requirements in the final aircraft impact rule are 
prospective in nature and effect. Neither the backfit rule nor the 
finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52 were intended to apply to every 
NRC action which substantially changes the expectations of future 
applicants under 10 CFR part 52.
Manufacturing Licenses
    The final aircraft impact rule applies to all manufacturing 
licenses which do not reference a standard design certification or 
standard design approval. There are no existing manufacturing licenses 
protected by the backfitting restrictions in 10 CFR 50.109 or the 
finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. To the extent that the final 
rule revises the requirements for future manufacturing licenses, the 
requirements do not constitute backfitting nor are they otherwise 
inconsistent with the finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52, because 
the requirements in the final aircraft impact rule are prospective in 
nature and effect. Neither the backfit rule nor the finality provisions 
in 10 CFR part 52 were intended to apply to every NRC action which 
substantially changes the expectations of future applicants under 10 
CFR part 52.

XVII. Congressional Review Act

    Under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, the NRC has determined 
that this action is not a major rule and has verified this 
determination with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of 
the Office of Management and Budget.

List of Subjects

10 CFR Part 50

    Antitrust, Classified information, Criminal penalties, Fire 
protection, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear power plants and 
reactors, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

10 CFR Part 52

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Backfitting, 
Combined license, Early site permit, Emergency planning, Fees, 
Inspection, Limited work authorization, Nuclear power plants and 
reactors, Probabilistic risk assessment, Prototype, Reactor siting 
criteria, Redress of site, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Standard design, Standard design certification.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the 
Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 
1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is adopting the 
following amendments to 10 CFR parts 50 and 52.

PART 50--DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION 
FACILITIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 102, 103, 104, 161, 182, 183, 186, 189, 68 
Stat. 936, 937, 938, 948, 953, 954, 955, 956, as amended, sec. 234, 
83 Stat. 444, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 
2232, 2233, 2236, 2239, 2282); secs. 201, as amended, 202, 206, 88 
Stat. 1242, as amended, 1244, 1246 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846); 
sec. 1704, 112 Stat. 2750 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note); sec. 651(e), Pub. 
L. 109-58, 119 Stat. 806-810 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2021, 2021b, 2111). 
Section 50.7 also issued under Pub. L. 95-601, sec. 10, 92 Stat. 
2951 (42 U.S.C. 5841). Section 50.10 also issued under secs. 101, 
185, 68 Stat. 955, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2131, 2235); sec. 102, Pub. 
L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 853 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.13, 50.54(dd), 
and 50.103 also issued under sec. 108, 68 Stat. 939, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 2138).
    Sections 50.23, 50.35, 50.55, and 50.56 also issued under sec. 
185, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2235). Sections 50.33a, 50.55a and 
Appendix Q also issued under sec. 102, Pub. L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 853 
(42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.34 and 50.54 also issued under sec. 
204, 88 Stat. 1245 (42 U.S.C. 5844). Sections 50.58, 50.91, and 
50.92 also issued under Pub. L. 97-415, 96 Stat. 2073 (42 U.S.C. 
2239). Section 50.78 also issued under sec. 122, 68 Stat. 939 (42 
U.S.C. 2152). Sections 50.80-50.81 also issued under sec. 184, 68 
Stat. 954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2234). Appendix F also issued under 
sec. 187, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2237).


0
2. In Sec.  50.8, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  50.8  Information collection requirements: OMB approval.

* * * * *
    (b) The approved information collection requirements contained in 
this part appear in Sec. Sec.  50.30, 50.33, 50.34, 50.34a, 50.35, 
50.36, 50.36a, 50.36b, 50.44, 50.46, 50.47, 50.48, 50.49, 50.54, 50.55, 
50.55a, 50.59, 50.60, 50.61, 50.62, 50.63, 50.64, 50.65, 50.66, 50.68, 
50.69, 50.70, 50.71, 50.72, 50.74, 50.75, 50.80, 50.82, 50.90, 50.91, 
50.120, 50.150, and appendices A, B, E, G, H, I, J, K, M, N,O, Q, R, 
and S to this part.
* * * * *


[[Page 28146]]



0
3. In Sec.  50.34, paragraphs (a)(13) and (b)(12) are added to read as 
follows:


Sec.  50.34  Contents of applications; technical information.

    (a) * * *
    (13) On or after July 13, 2009, stationary power reactor applicants 
who apply for a construction permit shall submit the information 
required by 10 CFR 50.150(b) as a part of their preliminary safety 
analysis report.
    (b) * * *
    (12) On or after July 13, 2009, stationary power reactor applicants 
who apply for an operating license which is subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a) 
shall submit the information required by 10 CFR 50.150(b) as a part of 
their final safety analysis report.
* * * * *


0
4. A new undesignated center heading is added before Sec.  50.120 to 
read as follows:

Additional Standards for Licenses, Certifications, and Regulatory 
Approvals


0
5. A new Sec.  50.150 is added to read as follows:


Sec.  50.150  Aircraft impact assessment.

    (a) Assessment requirements. (1) Assessment. Each applicant listed 
in paragraph (a)(3) shall perform a design-specific assessment of the 
effects on the facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. 
Using realistic analyses, the applicant shall identify and incorporate 
into the design those design features and functional capabilities to 
show that, with reduced use of operator actions:
    (i) The reactor core remains cooled, or the containment remains 
intact; and
    (ii) spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained.
    (2) Aircraft impact characteristics.\1\ The assessment must be 
based on the beyond-design-basis impact of a large, commercial aircraft 
used for long distance flights in the United States, with aviation fuel 
loading typically used in such flights, and an impact speed and angle 
of impact considering the ability of both experienced and inexperienced 
pilots to control large, commercial aircraft at the low altitude 
representative of a nuclear power plant's low profile.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Changes to the detailed parameters on aircraft impact 
characteristics set forth in guidance shall be approved by the 
Commission.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (3) Applicability. The requirements of paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) 
of this section apply to applicants for:
    (i) Construction permits for nuclear power reactors issued under 
this part after July 13, 2009;
    (ii) Operating licenses for nuclear power reactors issued under 
this part for which a construction permit was issued after July 13, 
2009;
    (iii)(A) Standard design certifications issued under part 52 of 
this chapter after July 13, 2009;
    (B) Renewal of standard design certifications in effect on July 13, 
2009 which have not been amended to comply with the requirements of 
this section by the time of application for renewal;
    (iv) Standard design approvals issued under part 52 of this chapter 
after July 13, 2009;
    (v) Combined licenses issued under part 52 of this chapter that:
    (A) Do not reference a standard design certification, standard 
design approval, or manufactured reactor; or
    (B) Reference a standard design certification issued before July 
13, 2009 which has not been amended to address the requirements of this 
section; and
    (vi) Manufacturing licenses issued under part 52 of this chapter 
that:
    (A) Do not reference a standard design certification or standard 
design approval; or
    (B) Reference a standard design certification issued before July 
13, 2009 which has not been amended to address the requirements of this 
section.
    (b) Content of application. For applicants identified in paragraph 
(a)(3) of this section, the preliminary or final safety analysis 
report, as applicable, must include a description of:
    (1) The design features and functional capabilities identified in 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section; and
    (2) How the design features and functional capabilities identified 
in paragraph (a)(1) of this section meet the assessment requirements in 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (c) Control of changes. (1) For construction permits which are 
subject to paragraph (a) of this section, if the permit holder changes 
the information required by 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13) to be included in the 
preliminary safety analysis report, then the permit holder shall 
consider the effect of the changed feature or capability on the 
original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and amend the 
information required by 10 CFR 50.34(a)(13) to be included in the 
preliminary safety analysis report to describe how the modified design 
features and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (2) For operating licenses which are subject to paragraph (a) of 
this section, if the licensee changes the information required by 10 
CFR 50.34(b)(12) to be included in the final safety analysis report, 
then the licensee shall consider the effect of the changed feature or 
capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and 
amend the information required by 10 CFR 50.34(b)(12) to be included in 
the final safety analysis report to describe how the modified design 
features and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (3) For standard design certifications which are subject to 
paragraph (a) of this section, generic changes to the information 
required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the final safety 
analysis report are governed by the applicable requirements of 10 CFR 
52.63.
    (4)(i) For combined licenses which are subject to paragraph (a) of 
this section, if the licensee changes the information required by 10 
CFR 52.79(a)(47) to be included in the final safety analysis report, 
then the licensee shall consider the effect of the changed feature or 
capability on the original assessment required by 10 CFR 50.150(a) and 
amend the information required by 10 CFR 52.79(a)(47) to be included in 
the final safety analysis report to describe how the modified design 
features and functional capabilities continue to meet the assessment 
requirements in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
    (ii) For combined licenses which are not subject to paragraph (a) 
of this section but reference a standard design certification which is 
subject to paragraph (a) of this section, proposed departures from the 
information required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the final 
safety analysis report for the referenced standard design certification 
are governed by the change control requirements in the applicable 
design certification rule.
    (iii) For combined licenses which are not subject to paragraph (a) 
of this section but reference a manufactured reactor which is subject 
to paragraph (a) of this section, proposed departures from the 
information required by 10 CFR 52.157(f)(32) to be included in the 
final safety analysis report for the manufacturing license are governed 
by the applicable requirements in 10 CFR 52.171(b)(2).
    (5)(i) For manufacturing licenses which are subject to paragraph 
(a) of this section, generic changes to the information required by 10 
CFR 52.157(f)(32) to be included in the final safety analysis report 
are governed by

[[Page 28147]]

the applicable requirements of 10 CFR 52.171.
    (ii) For manufacturing licenses which are not subject to paragraph 
(a) of this section but reference a standard design certification which 
is subject to paragraph (a) of this section, proposed departures from 
the information required by 10 CFR 52.47(a)(28) to be included in the 
final safety analysis report for the referenced standard design 
certification are governed by the change control requirements in the 
applicable design certification rule.

PART 52--LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND APPROVALS FOR NUCLEAR POWER 
PLANTS

0
6. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 103, 104, 161, 182, 183, 186, 189, 68 Stat. 
936, 948, 953, 954, 955, 956, as amended, sec. 234, 83 Stat. 444, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 2133, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2236, 2239, 2282); secs. 
201, 202, 206, 88 Stat. 1242, 1244, 1246, as amended (42 U.S.C. 
5841, 5842, 5846); sec. 1704, 112 Stat. 2750 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note).

0
7. In Sec.  52.47, paragraph (a)(28) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  52.47  Contents of applications; technical information.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (28) For applications for standard design certifications which are 
subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), the information required by 10 CFR 
50.150(b).
* * * * *

0
8. In Sec.  52.59, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  52.59  Criteria for renewal.

    (a) The Commission shall issue a rule granting the renewal if the 
design, either as originally certified or as modified during the 
rulemaking on the renewal, complies with the Atomic Energy Act and the 
Commission's regulations applicable and in effect at the time the 
certification was issued, provided, however, that the first time the 
Commission issues a rule granting the renewal for a standard design 
certification in effect on July 13, 2009, the Commission shall, in 
addition, find that the renewed design complies with the applicable 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.150.
* * * * *

0
9. In Sec.  52.79, paragraph (a)(47) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  52.79  Contents of applications; technical information in final 
safety analysis report.

    (a) * * *
    (47) For applications for combined licenses which are subject to 10 
CFR 50.150(a), the information required by 10 CFR 50.150(b).
* * * * *

0
10. In Sec.  52.137, paragraph (a)(26) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  52.137  Contents of applications; technical information.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (26) For applications for standard design approvals which are 
subject to 10 CFR 50.150(a), the information required by 10 CFR 
50.150(b).
* * * * *

0
11. In Sec.  52.157, paragraph (f)(32) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  52.157  Contents of applications; technical information in final 
safety analysis report.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (32) For applications for manufacturing licenses which are subject 
to 10 CFR 50.150(a), the information required by 10 CFR 50.150(b).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of June 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. E9-13582 Filed 6-11-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P