[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 12 (Thursday, January 17, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 3853-3854]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00478]



10 CFR Parts 71 and 72


Retrievability, Cladding Integrity and Safe Handling of Spent 
Fuel at an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation and During 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Request for comments for potential rulemaking.


SUMMARY: The regulations for packaging and transport of spent nuclear 
fuel are separate from requirements for storage of spent nuclear fuel. 
Because these regulatory schemes are separate, there is no requirement 
that loaded storage casks also meet transportation requirements. 
Integration of storage and transport regulations could enable a more 
predictable transition from storage to transport by potentially 
minimizing future handling of spent fuel and uncertainty as to whether 
loaded storage casks may be transported from the storage location. As 
part of its evaluation of integration and compatibility between storage 
and transportation regulations, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC) staff is reviewing its policies, regulations, guidance, and 
technical needs in several key areas, such as: retrievability, cladding 
integrity, and safe handling of spent fuel; criticality safety features 
and requirements for spent fuel transportation; and aging management 
and qualification of dual-purpose canisters and components after long-
term storage. The NRC staff is reviewing the potential policy issues 
and requirements related to retrievability, cladding integrity, and 
safe handling of spent fuel as the lead issue for evaluating 
compatibility of storage and transportation regulations. As part of its 
evaluation of integration and compatibility between NRC's storage 
regulations and transportation regulations, the NRC is issuing this 
request for comment (available in the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access 
and Management System (ADAMS) under Accession No. ML12293A434) as the 
staff begins its review of NRC policies, guidance, and technical needs 
related to retrievability, cladding integrity, and safe handling of 
spent fuel.

DATES: Submit comments by March 18, 2013. Comments received after the 
comment period deadline will be considered if it is practical to do so, 
but the NRC is only able to ensure consideration of comments received 
on or before the end of the public comment period.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publicly available, 
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov

[[Page 3854]]

under Docket ID NRC-2013-0004. You may submit comments by any of the 
following methods (unless this document describes a different method 
for submitting comments on a specific subject):
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0004. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
     Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bernard White, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-492-3303, or email: 
[email protected].


I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0004 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses 
and are publicly available, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0004.
     ADAMS: You may access publicly available documents online 
in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To 
begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select 
``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please 
contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-
397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS 
accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that 
document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a 
document is referenced. The request for comment document is available 
in ADAMS under Accession No. ML12293A434.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0004 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background

    After more than 20 years of regulatory experience with dry cask 
storage and in the anticipation of longer storage durations and with 
more nuclear power plants storing high burnup fuel (fuel with peak rod 
average burnup greater than 45,000 MWd/MTU is considered high burnup 
fuel), the NRC is reviewing its policies and regulatory framework for 
dry cask storage and spent fuel transportation in several key areas. As 
discussed in COMSECY-10-0007, ``Project Plan for the Regulatory Program 
Review to Support Extended Storage and Transportation of Spent Nuclear 
Fuel'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML101390216), the NRC is currently 
evaluating its spent fuel storage and transportation regulatory 
structure. The goal of this review is to identify areas for enhancing 
the regulatory framework (e.g. regulations, guidance, procedures and 
processes) to incorporate past regulatory knowledge and experience, and 
to ensure long-term stability and effectiveness of NRC's future dry 
cask storage and transportation program. NRC expects to consider a 
number of issues for which NRC will request public input early in the 
decisionmaking process. Current regulatory areas that NRC has 
identified for evaluation and potential enhancement include: (1) 
Compatibility and integration of storage and transportation 
requirements; (2) streamlining the process for spent fuel storage cask 
design certification; (3) administration of storage certificates of 
compliance and amendments to certificates of compliance; (4) 
applicability, compatibility, and consistency of the storage regulatory 
framework; and (5) regulating stand-alone ISFSIs. The NRC staff held 
two public meetings on July 27, 2011 and August 16, 2012, (see http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/public-involvement.html for more 
information on these two meetings) to solicit initial stakeholder 
feedback on these topics. This is the first of a series of requests for 
stakeholder input related to these topics that NRC expects to issue 
during its review of its storage and transportation regulatory 

III. NRC Consideration of Public Comments

    The NRC does not intend to provide detailed comment responses to 
information provided by stakeholders in response to this request. The 
NRC staff will consider timely comments on this request in its 
evaluation of policy issues on retrievability, cladding integrity and 
safe handling of spent fuel. In its efforts to enhance the efficiency 
and effectiveness of the regulatory framework for spent fuel storage 
and transportation, NRC may ultimately revise regulations or guidance. 
Stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in any future 
rulemaking or guidance developments.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of December, 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mark Lombard,
Director, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2013-00478 Filed 1-16-13; 8:45 am]