[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 204 (Friday, October 22, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65249-65250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-26715]

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. 204 / Friday, October 22, 2010 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 65249]]



10 CFR Part 26

[Docket No. PRM-26-5; NRC-2010-0304]

Anthony R. Pietrangelo on Behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute; 
Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt.


SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for 
public comment a notice of receipt of a petition for rulemaking, dated 
September 3, 2010, which was filed with the NRC by Anthony R. 
Pietrangelo on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI). The 
petition was docketed by the NRC on September 13, 2010, and has been 
assigned Docket No. PRM-26-5. The petitioner requests that the NRC 
amend its regulations regarding its fitness for duty programs to refine 
existing requirements based on experience gained since the regulations 
were last amended in 2008.

DATES: Submit comments by January 5, 2011. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is 
able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before 
this date.

ADDRESSES: Please include Docket ID NRC-2010-0304 in the subject line 
of your comments. For instructions on submitting comments and accessing 
documents related to this action, see ``Submitting Comments and 
Accessing Information'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of 
this document. You may submit comments by any one of the following 
    Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2010-0304. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, telephone 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 301-415-1966.
    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. during Federal workdays 
(Telephone 301-415-1966).
    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 

Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative 
Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, Telephone: 301-492-3667.


Submitting Comments and Accessing Information

    Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted 
on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site http://www.regulations.gov. Because your comments will not be edited to remove 
any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against 
including any information in your submission that you do not want to be 
publicly disclosed. 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.
    You can access publicly available documents related to this action 
using the following methods:
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied for a fee publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O-
1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): 
Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC, including 
the incoming petition for rulemaking (ADAMS Accession No. ML102590440), 
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, or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to 
[email protected].
    Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Public comments and supporting 
materials related to this action can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID NRC-2010-0304.


    On March 31, 2008, the NRC published a final rule (73 FR 16965) 
that amended its regulations governing its fitness for duty programs at 
10 CFR Part 26 (Fitness for Duty rule). The rule was corrected in an 
amendment dated August 3, 2009 (74 FR 38326). The requirements of the 
rule became effective on April 30, 2008, with the implementation of 
Subpart A deferred until March 31, 2009. Licensees and other applicable 
entities were required to implement the requirements of Subpart I of 10 
CFR Part 26 no later than October 1, 2009.
    Anthony R. Pietrangelo, on behalf of NEI (petitioner), submitted a 
petition for rulemaking dated September 3, 2010, and requests that the 
NRC revise its regulations as they relate to the fitness for duty 
programs. Specifically, the petitioner requests that the NRC amend 
Subparts A and I of 10 CFR Part 26. The petitioner states that initial 
experience, including survey data across the industry, indicates that 
implementation of the Fitness for Duty rule has resulted in 
unintentional consequences that have diminished the safety benefits of 
the rule.
    The NRC has determined that the petition meets the threshold 
sufficiency requirements for a petition for rulemaking under 10 CFR 
2.802, and the petition has been docketed as PRM-26-5. The NRC is 
requesting public comment on the petition for rulemaking.

Discussion of the Petition

    The petitioner believes that the greatest contributor to the 

[[Page 65250]]

consequences of the Fitness for Duty rule lies within the prescriptive 
requirements for minimum days off (MDO) that appear in 10 CFR 
26.205(d)(3), (d)(4), (d)(5), and (d)(6). The petitioner states that 
the current requirements have created an undue level of complexity and 
inflexibility in managing worker fatigue, and requests that the NRC 
replace its MDO requirements at 10 CFR 26.205(d) with a performance-
based objective. The petitioner proposes eliminating the MDO 
requirements addressed in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(3) through (d)(6).
    The petitioner also proposes performing the actual hours worked 
assessment required by 10 CFR 26.205(e) on a more frequent quarterly 
basis as opposed to annually, and to perform the averaging over the 
previous quarter as opposed to over a shift cycle. The petitioner 
proposes that 10 CFR 26.205(e)(1)(i) be amended to establish a 
performance objective of an average of 54 hours per week (when not in a 
site outage, security outage, or increased threat condition), and any 
hours exceeding this objective would continue to be entered into a 
corrective action program.
    Other changes that the petitioner proposes include:
     The elimination of the definitions of shift cycle, and 8-, 
10-, and 12-hour shift schedules;
     The elimination of the outage duration of 60 days;
     The elimination of the force-on-force tactical exercise 
exception at 10 CFR 26.207(b);
     The elimination of the word ``unscheduled'' in the 
discussion of incidental duties at 10 CFR 26.205(b)(5);
     The addition of a new exception at 10 CFR 26.207(e) to 
address the suspension of work hours due to acts of nature or disasters 
that restrict access to the site by relief personnel;
     The modification of the exception for plant emergencies in 
10 CFR 26.207(d) so that it applies as long as emergency facilities are 
activated in accordance with the licensee's emergency plan or 
implementing procedures; and
     The proposed change to the definition of ``unit outage,'' 
as submitted by the Professional Reactor Operator Society in a petition 
for rulemaking dated October 16, 2009 (PRM-26-3) (74 FR 62257), and 
modified in a letter from NEI dated February 9, 2010.
    The petitioner believes that the implementation of the Fitness for 
Duty rule has resulted in a number of unintended consequences (numerous 
examples are cited in the petition) that have diminished the safety 
benefits of the rule. The petitioner believes that the petition 
addresses these consequences by proposing amendments that will make the 
requirements more performance-based, resulting in improved flexibility 
in work scheduling while maintaining adequate provisions to protect 
against worker fatigue.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of October 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2010-26715 Filed 10-21-10; 8:45 am]