[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 111 (Tuesday, June 10, 2014)]
[Pages 33221-33222]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-13516]




Reliability Assurance Program

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan final section revision; 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,'' Section 17.4, ``Reliability Assurance Program.''

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan (SRP) update is 
July 10, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0123 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0123. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual(s) 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 ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The final revision and previously issued draft revision for 
public use and comment, and redline strikeout comparing the final 
revision with the draft revision are available in ADAMS under the 
following Accession Nos.:

            SRP section                 Final revision         Draft revision            Redline strikeout
17.4..............................  ML13296A435..........  ML13296A435..........  ML13296A436

     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 (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, email: [email protected].


I. Background

    On June 11, 2013 (78 FR 35072), the NRC published for public 
comment a proposed revision to SRP Section 17.4, ``Reliability 
Assurance Program.'' Comment submissions were received on the proposed 
revision. The staff made changes to the proposed revision after 
consideration of the comments.
    The staff made several administrative changes to the text in the 
document to facilitate flow and better clarify the guidance based on 
comments received. Additional changes were made to add clarity to 
guidance on programmatic controls, and clarify how applicants must 
address Combined License Action Items and Certification Requirements 
and Restrictions.
    A summary of the comments and the staff's disposition of the 
comments are available in a separate document, ``Response to Public 
Comments on Draft Standard Review Plan (SRP),'' Section 17.4, 
``Reliability Assurance Program'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML13296A437).

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    Issuance of this final SRP section does not constitute backfitting 
as defined in Section 50.109 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) (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, since 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

[[Page 33222]]

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 
    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

    This action is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec.  801-808). However, the Office of Management and 
Budget has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the 
Congressional Review Act.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of May 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-13516 Filed 6-9-14; 8:45 am]