[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 127 (Wednesday, July 2, 2014)]
[Pages 37782-37783]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15572]




Regulatory Treatment of Non-Safety Systems for Passive Advanced 
Light Water Reactors

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan; 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 19.3, ``Regulatory Treatment of Non-
Safety Systems (RTNSS) for Passive Advanced Light Water Reactors.''

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan (SRP) update is 
August 1, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0237 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain 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-2012-0237. 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-

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available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection 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 Section 19.3, 
``Regulatory Treatment of Non-Safety Systems (RTNSS) for Passive 
Advanced Light Water Reactors.'' is available under ADAMS 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: [email protected].


I. Background

    On October 12, 2012 (77 FR 62270) the NRC staff published for 
public comment the initial issuance of Section 19.3, ``Regulatory 
Treatment of Non-Safety Systems (RTNSS) for Passive Advanced Light 
Water Reactors,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML12128A405).
    The NRC staff received comment submissions on the proposed 
revision. The NRC staff made several changes to the proposed revision 
after consideration of the comments. Additionally, in July 2013 (78 FR 
41436) the staff re-noticed the draft SRP section to include a revised 
position on treatment of the high winds external hazard for certain 
RTNSS structures, systems and components. Comments from both the 
original request for comment and subsequent re-issuance are documented 
alongside the NRC staff's respective response in ADAMS under Accession 
No. ML14035A148. A redline strikeout comparing the proposed draft and 
final revisions can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. ML14035A146.

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    This SRP provides guidance to the staff for reviewing applications 
for a construction permit and an operating license under part 50 of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) with respect to 
the regulatory treatment of non-safety systems. The draft SRP would 
also provide guidance for reviewing an application for a standard 
design approval, a standard design certification, a combined license, 
and a manufacturing license under 10 CFR part 52 with respect to these 
same subject matters.
    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.
    The staff notes that with respect to economic simplified boiling 
water reactor (ESBWR) design certification application currently under 
consideration by the NRC, the NRC staff does not intend to reevaluate 
the adequacy of RTNSS SSCs, because for the ESBWR design already meets 
the guidance discussed in this SRP Section.
    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 and combined licenses. 
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 in the applicable 
issue finality provision.

III. Congressional Review Act

    This action is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 
U.S.C. 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 23rd day of June, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino, Chief,
Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, Office of 
New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-15572 Filed 7-1-14; 8:45 am]