[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 23 (Tuesday, February 4, 2014)]
[Pages 6657-6658]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-02317]




Introduction--Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of 
Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small 
Modular Reactor Edition

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan section; issuance.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
final revision to the following section of NUREG-0800, ``Standard 
Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power 
Plants: LWR Edition.'' The final revision is the Standard Review Plan 
(SRP), ``Introduction--Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of 
Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small 
Modular Reactor Edition.''

DATES: The effective date of this SRP update is March 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0268 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this action by the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0268. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(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 final revision for 
``Introduction--Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety 
Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small Modular 
Reactor Edition'' is available in ADAMS under Accession No. 
     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.
     The NRC posts its issued staff guidance on the NRC's 
external Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr0800/.

Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-6992 or email: 
mailto:[email protected].


I. Background

    On January 22, 2013 (78 FR 4477), the NRC published for public 
comment the initial issuance of ``Introduction--Part 2, Standard Review 
Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power 
Plants: Integral Pressurized Water Reactor (iPWR) Edition.''

[[Page 6658]]

    Comment submissions were received on the proposed revision (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12142A237).
    The NRC staff made several changes to the proposed revision after 
consideration of the comments. The scope of use of the new introduction 
has been expanded to include any type of application under Part 52 of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR): early site 
permits (ESPs), design certifications (DCs), standard design approvals 
(SDAs), combined licenses (COLs), or manufacturing licenses (MLs). 
Additionally, throughout the document, the use of the term ``iPWR'' 
(integral pressurized water reactor) has been replaced by ``SMR'' 
(small modular reactor) for consistency. Finally, the historical 
summary paragraph related to SECY-11-0156 was removed as it did not 
directly apply to the guidance in the new part of the introduction.
    A summary of the public comments and the NRC staff's disposition of 
the comments are available in a separate document, Response to Public 
Comments on Draft SRP, ``Introduction--Part 2'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13207A309). The ADAMS Accession Number for the Nuclear Energy 
Institute letter and comments is ML13091A017.

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    Issuance of this final SRP section does not constitute backfitting 
as defined in 10 CFR 50.109 (the Backfit Rule) and is not otherwise 
inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The 
NRC staff's position is based upon the following considerations:
    1. The SRP positions do not constitute backfitting, inasmuch as the 
SRP is internal guidance directed at the NRC staff with respect to 
their regulatory responsibilities.
    The SRP provides guidance to the staff on how to review an 
application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. 
Changes in internal staff guidance are not matters for which either 
nuclear power plant applicants or licensees are protected under either 
the Backfit Rule or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52.
    2. Backfitting and issue finality--with certain exceptions 
discussed below--do not protect current or future applicants.
    Applicants and potential applicants are not, with certain 
exceptions, protected by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality 
provisions under 10 CFR part 52. This is because neither the Backfit 
Rule nor the issue finality provisions were intended to apply to every 
NRC action which substantially changes the expectations of current and 
future applicants.
    The exceptions to the general principle are applicable whenever an 
applicant references a 10 CFR part 52 license (e.g., an early site 
permit) and/or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification 
rule) with specified issue finality provisions. The staff does not 
currently intend to impose the positions represented in this SRP 
section in a manner that is inconsistent with any issue finality 
provisions of 10 CFR part 52. If in the future the NRC staff does 
indeed intend to impose positions inconsistent with these issue 
finality provisions, the NRC staff must address the regulatory criteria 
for avoiding issue finality.
    3. The NRC staff has no intention to impose the SRP positions on 
existing nuclear power plant licenses or regulatory approvals either 
now or in the future (absent a voluntary request for change from the 
licensee, holder of a regulatory approval, or a design certification 
    The staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions 
described in the SRP section to existing (already issued) licenses 
(e.g., operating licenses and combined licenses) and regulatory 
approvals--in this case, design certifications. Hence, the issuance of 
this SRP guidance even if considered guidance which is within the 
purview of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52--need not be 
evaluated as if it were a backfit or as being inconsistent with issue 
finality provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a 
position in the SRP on holders of already issued licenses in a manner 
which does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable 
issue finality provision, then the staff must make the showing as set 
forth in the Backfit Rule, or address the criteria for avoiding issue 
finality as described applicable issue finality provision, as 

III. Congressional Review Act

    In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, 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.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of January 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-02317 Filed 2-3-14; 8:45 am]