[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 148 (Tuesday, August 3, 2010)]
[Pages 45678-45679]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-19015]

[[Page 45678]]




Notice of Availability of Interim Staff Guidance Document for 
Fuel Cycle Facilities

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tamara D. Powell, Nuclear Process 
Engineer, Technical Support Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and 
Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20005-0001. Telephone: 
(301) 492-3211; Fax: (301) 492-3363; E-mail: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) prepares and issues Interim 
Staff Guidance (ISG) documents for fuel cycle facilities. These ISG 
documents provide clarifying guidance to the NRC staff when reviewing 
licensee's integrated safety analyses (ISA), license applications, 
amendment requests, or other related licensing activities for fuel 
cycle facilities under Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR) Part 70. This notice is being published to inform the public that 
after general revision based on NRC staff and public comment, FCSS-ISG-
12, Revision 0, ``10 CFR Part 70, Appendix A--Reportable Safety 
Events,'' Revision 0, has been issued and is provided for information, 
however additional comments will be accepted. The final disposition of 
the information addressed in this guidance may later be issued as an 
NRC Regulatory Guide.

II. Discussion of Significant Comments and Changes

    On July 10, 2009, notice was given in the Federal Register (74 FR 
33281) of the availability for public comment of the draft of FCSS-ISG-
12 (then numbered FCSS-ISG-11). In response to comments received on the 
draft ISG, the following modifications were made.
    The NRC made minor editorial changes and re-numbered the ISG to be 
consistent with existing Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards ISG 
documents. In addition, there was a general comment from one 
commentator about the NRC's interpretation of when event ``discovery'' 
occurs. The commentator considers event ``discovery'' to have occurred 
after the initial event has been observed, appropriate internal 
notifications made, and a licensee determination made that the event 
meets the applicable reporting requirements. The commentator further 
believes that the time of ``discovery'' will vary because it is driven 
by the culmination of three actions, and, as such, should not be 
determined based solely upon the occurrence of the actual event or the 
observation. The NRC agrees that event ``discovery'' will vary and 
starts when an individual who, by position or experience, is expected 
to understand that a particular condition or event adversely impacts 
safety observes, identifies, or is notified of a safety significant 
event or condition. The NRC, however, does not agree that the time of 
``discovery'' is delayed until after the licensee has determined 
reportability. As stated in the guidance, the twenty-four hour time 
period for reportable events allows for this evaluation and 
determination step. The more substantive comments on the draft ISG are 
summarized below along with the NRC's response.

Proposed Time of Discovery Section

    Some general editorial comments were suggested by the commentator 
related to the event ``discovery'' concern discussed above; however, 
the NRC determined that the proposed changes in wording could create 
ambiguity so no changes were made. There was also a recommendation that 
the third example in Table 1, ``Examples of Discovery Determination,'' 
be changed to state that the time of ``discovery'' would be when the 
operator informed the supervisor of the possible exposure not when the 
operator realized that he would have been exposed. The staff reviewed 
the suggested revision and determined that a cognizant individual, as 
defined earlier in the guidance, may not necessarily be aware of the 
NRC reporting requirements, but should understand when a condition 
impacts safety. The NRC expects that operators would be trained to 
recognize, when possible, when they may have received an acute exposure 
to a hazardous material such as UF6, therefore no change to 
the wording was made.

Loss or Degradation of Items Relied on for Safety (IROFS) Section

    The last sentence of this section states that all situations where 
IROFS have failed or degraded are reportable. One commentator suggested 
that this section be edited to remove this statement because IROFS may 
have failed or become degraded without meeting the reporting 
requirement. The NRC disagreed with removing this statement, but 
rearranged the section for clarity. The intent of ``all other 
situations'' in the sentence in question was meant to apply to those 
situations not discussed in the section.

Inadequate ISA Section

    The NRC did not receive any comments on this section, however 
substantial edits were made. The use of the concept ``creditable 
controls'' and the term ``non-IROFS'' were removed from this section. 
10 CFR 70.61 (e) requires that the controls needed to meet the 
performance requirements be designated as IROFS. The NRC determined 
that using ``non-IROFS'' in combination with available IROFS to meet 
the performance requirements was not supported by the regulations.

Press Release Section

    With respect to licensee-issued press releases, the guidance states 
that routine radiation releases are not specifically reportable under 
Appendix A unless the release receives media attention. One commentator 
indicated that 10 CFR Part 70 licensees issue semi-annual reports on 
effluent releases which are routine radiation releases of low safety 
significance. The commentator felt that simple media inquiries about 
these routine radiation releases should not result in a required report 
to the NRC. The regulation states that, ``[a]ny event or situation 
related to the health and safety of the public or onsite personnel, or 
protection of the environment, for which a news release is 
planned[hellip]shall be reported.'' In the example of an effluent 
release which has some impact on the environment, media attention would 
likely result and should be reported. The NRC agrees that simple media 
inquiries may not necessarily result in reportability, but if a news 
release is planned in response to such inquiries, this would be 
reportable. The NRC revised the section to clarify that radiation 
releases that receive ``significant media attention'' would be 
reportable under paragraph (c) of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 70.

Attachment C

    The commentator provided a suggested revision to the flow chart in 
Attachment C. The NRC reviewed the suggested changes and determined 
that if followed, the revised flow chart would lead to the failure to 
report under paragraph (a)(5) of Appendix A. Therefore, the NRC did not 
incorporate the suggested revisions and removed the flow chart from the 

[[Page 45679]]

Glossary Section

    The NRC agreed with the commentator that the definition for 
``degraded IROFS'' should be modified to ensure consistency of use 
throughout the guidance. The NRC incorporated, in part, the suggested 
change. The NRC did not incorporate that portion of the suggested 
change which would have stated that a degraded IROFS was also an IROFS 
that is ``potentially unable to perform the required safety function.'' 
The NRC determined that an IROFS meeting this part of the definition 
would, in many cases, be considered a failed IROFS and did not include 
this portion in the revision. The NRC also removed the definitions of 
``non-IROFS'' and ``creditable control'' for the reasons discussed 
earlier in this notice.

III. Further Information

    The NRC maintains an Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's public 
documents. These documents may be accessed through the NRC's Public 
Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The ADAMS accession number for the document related to 
this notice is provided in the following table.

                 Interim staff guidance                   accession No.
FCSS Interim Staff Guidance-12, Revision 0.............      ML102020267

    This document may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR, O1-F21, One White Flint North, 
11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction 
contractor will copy documents for a fee. Persons who do not have 
access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents 
located in ADAMS should contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) 
reference staff at 1(800) 397-4209, (301) 415-4737, or via e-mail to 
[email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21 day of July 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Marissa G. Bailey,
Deputy Director,Special Projects and Technical Support Directorate, 
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2010-19015 Filed 8-2-10; 8:45 am]