[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 62 (Thursday, April 1, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16360-16361]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7405]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

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


Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 62 / Thursday, April 1, 2010 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 16360]]


10 CFR Part 51

[Docket No. PRM-51-13; NRC-2010-0088]

Dan Kane; Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt.


SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received and 
requests public comment on a petition for rulemaking dated February 2, 
2010, filed by Dan Kane (petitioner). The petition was docketed by the 
NRC and has been assigned Docket No. PRM-51-13. The petitioner is 
requesting that the NRC amend the regulations that govern environmental 
protection for domestic licensing and related regulatory functions. 
Specifically, the petitioner requests that the provisions that govern 
temporary storage of spent fuel after cessation of reactor operation be 
revoked, that licensing of new nuclear power plants cease, and that 
existing operating nuclear power plants be phased out. The petitioner 
believes these suggestions are necessary until the NRC can be assured 
of the technical and economic certainties of a waste disposition 
decision and associated political certainties in light of the current 
administration's proposed defunding of the Yucca Mountain Repository 
for permanent disposal and storage of spent nuclear fuel.

DATES: Submit comments by June 15, 2010. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but assurance of 
consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or 
before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this petition by any one of the 
following methods. Please include PRM-51-13 in the subject line of your 
comments. Comments on petitions submitted in writing or in electronic 
form will be made available for public inspection. Personal 
information, such as your name, address, telephone number, e-mail 
address, etc., will not be removed from your submission.
    The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments 
received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those 
persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any 
identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not 
include any information in their comments that they do not want 
publicly disclosed.
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
search for documents filed under Docket ID [NRC-2010-0088]. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, 301-492-3668; e-mail 
[email protected].
    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
    E-mail comments to: [email protected]. If you do not 
receive a reply e-mail confirming that we have received your comments, 
contact us directly at 301-415-1677.
    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays, telephone 
number 301-415-1677.
    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 
    Publicly available documents related to this petition may be viewed 
electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR), Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The PDR reproduction contractor 
will copy documents for a fee. Selected documents, including comments, 
may be viewed and downloaded electronically via the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
    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 the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(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 PDR Reference 
staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to 
[email protected].
    For a copy of the petition, write to Michael T. Lesar, Chief, 
Rulemaking and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, 
Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. The petition is also available 
electronically in ADAMS at ML100570095.

Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555. Telephone: 301-492-3663 or Toll-Free: 1-800-368-5642 or E-mail: 
[email protected].



    The NRC has received a petition for rulemaking dated February 2, 
2010, submitted by Mr. Dan Kane (petitioner). The petitioner is a 
registered professional engineer who states that he has designed safety 
systems for commercial nuclear power plants and prepared some sections 
of the license application for Yucca Mountain. The petitioner requests 
that the NRC amend 10 CFR part 51, ``Environmental Protection 
Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.'' 
Specifically, the petitioner requests that the regulations at Sec.  
51.23, ``Temporary storage of spent fuel after cessation of reactor 
operation--generic determination of no significant environmental 
impact'' be revoked. The NRC has determined that the petition meets the 
threshold sufficiency requirements for a petition for rulemaking under 
10 CFR 2.802. The petition was docketed by the NRC as PRM-51-13 on 
February 25, 2010. The NRC is soliciting public comment on the petition 
for rulemaking.

Discussion of the Petition

    The petitioner notes that on September 15, 2008 (73 FR 53284), the 
NRC accepted an application for construction of a mined geologic 
repository for spent nuclear fuel (Yucca Mountain) from the U.S. 
Department of Energy (DOE) for docketing and began a

[[Page 16361]]

technical review of the application. The petitioner also notes that on 
February 1, 2010, the current administration proposed that the funding 
for the Yucca Mountain repository be discontinued for what the 
petitioner believes are political reasons. The petitioner states that 
the proposed update of the NRC's Waste Confidence Decision and proposed 
rule that the NRC published on October 9, 2008 (73 FR 59547), 
specifically Finding 2 (73 FR 59561), indicates that the NRC found 
reasonable assurance that a mined geologic repository for permanent 
disposal of spent nuclear fuel would be available within 50-60 years 
beyond the licensed life for operation (which may include the term of a 
revised or renewed license) of any reactor.
    The petitioner also states that the DOE Director of the Office of 
Civilian Radioactive Waste Management expressed concern about adequate 
funding of the Yucca Mountain repository when DOE informed Congress 
that Yucca Mountain could be ready to accept spent nuclear fuel in 
2020. The petitioner notes that the NRC denied a 2005 petition for 
rulemaking (PRM-51-8) by declining to define ``availability'' of a 
repository based on a presumption that an acceptable disposal site for 
spent nuclear fuel would become available ``at some undefined time in 
the future.'' (73 FR 59561.) The petitioner cites, Natural Resources 
Defense Council (NRDC) v. NRC, 574 F.2d 633 (DC Cir. 1976), as 
determining that the NRC's waste confidence decision must demonstrate 
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as 
amended (NEPA), by assuring that ``safe and adequate storage methods 
[for spent nuclear fuel] are technologically and economically 
feasible.'' However, the petitioner states that the NRDC decision did 
not anticipate the ``current political reality.''
    The petitioner has concluded that the current administration's 
proposed decision to no longer fund Yucca Mountain now places the 
possibility of construction and licensing of a permanent repository for 
spent nuclear fuel from U.S. nuclear power facilities and licensees in 
jeopardy. The petitioner requests that the NRC cease licensing new 
nuclear power plants and begin to orderly phase out existing operating 
nuclear power plants. The petitioner also requests that Sec.  51.23, 
``Temporary storage of spent fuel after cessation of reactor 
operation--generic determination of no significant environmental 
impact,'' be revoked. The petitioner has concluded that the NRC cannot 
rely on existing regulations to make a determination on issuance of a 
construction authorization or license for a mined geologic repository 
at a location that has not been identified at an undetermined future 
time. The petitioner has also concluded that the NRC needs to 
strengthen the current regulations by adding additional requirements 
that address the political considerations of siting a mined geologic 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, March 25, 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2010-7405 Filed 3-31-10; 8:45 am]