[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 187 (Friday, September 26, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57721-57725]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-22866]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 70

[NRC-2010-0271]
RIN 3150-AJ34


Domestic Licensing of Special Nuclear Material--Written Reports 
and Clarifying Amendments

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its 
regulations related to reportable safety events involving special 
nuclear material. This rule increases the time licensees are allowed to 
submit a written follow-up report from within 30 days to within 60 days 
after the initial report of an event, updates the reporting framework 
for certain situations, and removes redundant reporting requirements. 
These amendments affect a licensee or an applicant that is, or plans to 
be, authorized to possess greater than a critical mass of special 
nuclear material. This action resulted from a petition for rulemaking 
(PRM)

[[Page 57722]]

received by the NRC (PRM-70-8). As a result of this direct final rule, 
the NRC's ``FCSS [Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards] Interim Staff 
Guidance-12, Revision 1, 10 CFR [Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations] Part 70--Reportable Safety Events'' contains minor 
editorial updates that reflect the amendments.

DATES: This final rule is effective January 26, 2015, unless a 
significant adverse comment is received by October 27, 2014. If the 
direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely 
notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register. 
Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical 
to do so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure consideration only for 
comments received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2010-0271 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this final rule. You may 
access publicly-available information related to this final rule by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2010-0271. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this final rule.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly 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 pdr.resource@nrc.gov. 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 NRC's ``FCSS Interim Staff Guidance-
12, Revision 1, 10 CFR Part 70, Appendix A--Reportable Safety Events'' 
will be available in the NRC's ADAMS (ML14157A067).
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith McDaniel, Office of Federal and 
State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-
5252; email: Keith.McDaniel@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Procedural Background
II. Background
III. Discussion
IV. Section-by-Section Analysis
V. Regulatory Flexibility Certification
VI. Regulatory Analysis
VII. Backfitting and Issue Finality
VIII. Plain Writing
IX. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion
X. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
XI. Congressional Review Act
XII. Compatibility of Agreement State Regulations
XIII. Voluntary Consensus Standards

I. Procedural Background

    Because the NRC considers this action to be non-controversial, the 
NRC is using the ``direct final rule process'' for this rule. The 
amendment to the rule will become effective on January 26, 2015. 
However, if the NRC receives a significant adverse comment on this 
direct final rule by October 27, 2014, then the NRC will publish a 
document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the 
comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion 
proposed rule published in the Proposed Rule section of this issue of 
the Federal Register. Absent significant modifications to the proposed 
revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second 
comment period on this action.
    A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter 
explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to 
the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or 
unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:
    (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient 
to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For 
example, a substantive response is required when:
    (a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) 
its position or conduct additional analysis;
    (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a 
substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or
    (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously 
addressed or considered by the NRC staff.
    (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and 
it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable 
without incorporation of the change or addition.
    (3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than 
editorial) to the rule.
    For detailed instructions on filing comments, please see the 
companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rule section of this 
issue of the Federal Register.

II. Background

    This rulemaking resulted from a petition for rulemaking (PRM-70-8, 
ADAMS Accession No. ML091110449), dated April 16, 2009, filed by the 
Nuclear Energy Institute (the petitioner). The petitioner requested 
that the NRC amend its regulations to clarify safety event reporting 
requirements in appendix A of part 70 of Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC published the notice of 
resolution and closure of the petition in the Federal Register on 
October 18, 2010, (75 FR 63725) informing the public that the NRC would 
consider five of the nine issues raised in the petition in the 
rulemaking process. One of the five issues was addressed in a 
miscellaneous administrative rulemaking that was published November 30, 
2010, (75 FR 73935). The remaining four issues are the subject of this 
rulemaking.

III. Discussion

    This rulemaking addresses four issues that were raised in PRM-70-8 
regarding changes to appendix A to 10 CFR part 70. Paragraph (a) of 
appendix A lists five events that must be reported to the NRC 
Operations Center within 1 hour of discovery. Paragraph (b) of appendix 
A lists five events that must be reported to the NRC Operations Center 
within 24 hours of discovery.
    Two issues involve revising the number of days that are allowed for 
a licensee to submit the written follow-up report from within 30 days 
to within 60 days after the initial report of an event. The third issue 
involves removing paragraph (b)(5) of appendix A on the grounds that it 
is redundant to the requirements in paragraph (b)(1) of appendix A. The 
final issue involves removing the reporting requirements in paragraph 
(a)(5) of appendix A. The NRC's ``FCSS Interim Staff Guidance-12, 
Revision 1, 10 CFR Part 70, Appendix A--Reportable Safety Events'' will 
have minor editorial updates to reflect the amendments. The updated 
document will be available in ADAMS (Accession No. ML14157A067).
    The criteria for reporting 1-hour and 24-hour events, and the 
criteria for the

[[Page 57723]]

30-day follow-up written reports, were developed as part of a larger 
revision to 10 CFR part 70 in 2000. That rulemaking established subpart 
H of part 70, which includes the 10 CFR 70.61 performance requirements 
for identifying an item relied on for safety (IROFS), and the submittal 
of an Integrated Safety Analysis Summary (ISAS) for NRC's review. 
Lessons learned from industry and from reports the NRC has received 
since 2000 have shown that the written follow-up reports can be 
received within 60 days after the initial report of an event without 
weakening the performance requirements. Extending the time allowed to 
submit the written follow-up reports provides an opportunity for a 
licensee to complete a more thorough investigation without compromising 
the timely implementation of corrective actions. This change does not 
impact safety to the public, the environment, or to the workers. The 
requirement to notify the NRC Operations Center within 1 hour or 24 
hours, as appropriate, after discovery of specified events, remains 
unchanged.
    The NRC is removing paragraph (b)(5) of appendix A to 10 CFR part 
70 because its requirements are redundant to the requirements in 
paragraph (b)(1) of the same appendix. Removing the paragraph thus does 
not weaken these performance requirements, or otherwise impact safety 
to the public, the environment, or the workers.
    The NRC is also removing paragraph (a)(5) of appendix A to 10 CFR 
part 70 because this provision is not risk-informed and is overly 
restrictive. This requirement specifies that, within 1 hour of 
discovery, licensees must report any loss of controls that leave only 
one IROFS, as documented in the ISAS, available and reliable to prevent 
a nuclear criticality accident. Paragraph (a)(5) further specifies that 
it is applicable only when this situation has lasted for more than 8 
hours.
    In the majority of the events reported and reviewed under paragraph 
(a)(5) since 2000, such an event would be reported within 24 hours 
under paragraph (b)(2), if it involves a loss or degradation of IROFS 
resulting in a failure to meet the performance requirements. Other 
events now captured by paragraph (a)(5) would be of relatively low 
safety significance if compliance with the performance requirements was 
maintained. Also, paragraph (a)(5) may require reporting of conditions 
that are equivalent to what is allowed by design.
    Additionally, the reporting requirement in paragraph (a)(5), as 
explained in the 1999 statement of considerations for the proposed rule 
establishing subpart H of part 70, was ``. . . intended to replace and 
expand on the approach licensees have [used] for reporting criticality 
events under [NRC] Bulletin 91-01'' (64 FR 41349), July 30, 1999. The 
NRC's Bulletin 91-01 was based on reporting a loss of double 
contingency protection. However, controls used to meet the double 
contingency principle (DCP) are not necessarily IROFS, and there is no 
requirement that these controls be designated as IROFS. Also, having 
more than one control is not necessarily required to meet the DCP. 
Thus, having only one IROFS remaining in a criticality sequence does 
not necessarily constitute a state in which double contingency 
protection is not maintained.
    Based on the discussion above, the NRC believes that paragraph 
(a)(5) of appendix A may be removed without weakening the performance 
requirements or impacting safety to the public, the environment, or to 
the workers.

IV. Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following paragraphs describe the specific changes proposed by 
this rulemaking.

Reporting Requirements (Sec.  70.50)

    Paragraph (c)(2) is amended to remove references to Sec.  70.74 and 
appendix A because of changes made to Sec.  70.74 as related to the 
time for a licensee to submit a written report following a reportable 
event.

Additional Reporting Requirements (Sec.  70.74)

    Paragraph (b) is amended to change the time for a licensee to 
submit a written report following a reportable event described in 
appendix A from within 30 days to within 60 days. Clarifications for 
where to send the follow-up report as well as, the information 
contained in the report, are also added.

Reportable Safety Events (Appendix A to Part 70)

    Paragraph (a) is amended by changing the time for a licensee to 
submit a written report following a reportable event from within 30 
days to within 60 days.
    Paragraph (a)(5) is deleted as it is not needed.
    Paragraph (b) is amended by changing the time for a licensee to 
submit a written report following a reportable event from within 30 
days to within 60 days.
    Paragraph (b)(5) is deleted because it is redundant to the 
reporting requirements in paragraph (b)(1) of appendix A.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC 
certifies that this direct final rule does not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This direct 
final rule affects only the licensing and operation of facilities under 
subpart H of 10 CFR part 70. The companies that own these plants do not 
fall within the scope of the definition of ``small entities'' set forth 
in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by 
the NRC (10 CFR 2.810).

VI. Regulatory Analysis

    A regulatory analysis has not been prepared for this direct final 
rule because this rule is considered a minor non-substantive amendment 
and has no economic impact on NRC licensees or the public.

VII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    The NRC has determined that the NRC's backfitting and issue 
finality regulations in 10 CFR 50.109, 70.76, 72.62, 76.76, and in 10 
CFR part 52, do not apply to this direct final rule because this 
amendment would not involve any provisions that are subject to these 
backfitting and issue finality provisions. The direct final rule 
addresses changes in the reporting requirements for a licensee under 
subpart H of 10 CFR part 70. Information collection and reporting 
requirements are not subject to the NRC's backfitting and issue 
finality regulations. Further, as stated above, lessons learned from 
industry and from reports the NRC has received since 2000 have shown 
that the written follow-up reports can be received within 60 days--
rather than the currently-required 30 days--after the initial report of 
an event, without adversely impacting safety. This change is a 
voluntary relaxation of NRC requirements and is accordingly not subject 
to the NRC's backfitting and issue finality regulations.

VIII. Plain Writing

    The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal 
agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized 
manner. The NRC has written this document to be consistent with the 
Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, ``Plain 
Language in Government Writing,'' published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 
31883).

[[Page 57724]]

IX. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion

    The NRC has determined that this direct final rule is the type of 
action that falls within the categorical exclusion described in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(2). The amendments to part 70 are corrective or of a minor or 
nonpolicy nature and do not substantially modify existing regulations, 
and are actions on a petition for rulemaking relating to these 
amendments. Therefore, neither an environmental impact statement nor 
environmental assessment has been prepared for this final rule.

X. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    The burden to the public for these information collections is 
neither increased nor decreased due to the rule changes; rather, the 
time frame for a licensee to submit a written follow-up report for a 
part 70 reportable safety event has changed from within 30 days to 
within 60 days. In addition, information collections in part 70, 
Appendix A(a)(5) and (b)(5) are deleted because they are no longer 
needed or are redundant with other part 70, Appendix A reporting 
requirements. Further information about information collection 
requirements associated with this direct final rule can be found in the 
companion proposed rule published elsewhere in this issue of the 
Federal Register.
    This direct final rule is being issued prior to approval by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of these information collection 
requirements, which were submitted under OMB control number 3150-0009. 
When OMB notifies us of its decision, we will publish a document in the 
Federal Register providing notice of the effective date of the 
information collections or, if approval is denied, providing notice of 
what action we plan to take.
    Send comments on any aspect of these information collections, 
including suggestions for reducing the burden, to the FOIA [Freedom of 
Information Act], Privacy, and Information Collections Branch (T-5 
F53), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or 
by email to INFOCOLLECTS.RESOURCE@NRC.GOV; and to the Desk Officer, 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, NEOB-10202, (3150-0009), 
Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a request for information or an information collection 
request unless the requesting document displays a currently valid OMB 
control number.

XI. Congressional Review Act

    In accordance with the Congressional Review Act of 1996 (5 U.S.C. 
801-808), 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 OMB.

XII. Agreement State Compatibility

    Under the ``Policy Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of 
Agreement State Programs'' approved by the Commission on June 30, 1997, 
and published in the Federal Register (62 FR 46517; September 3, 1997), 
this direct final rule is a matter of compatibility between the NRC and 
the Agreement States, thereby providing consistency among the Agreement 
States and NRC requirements. The NRC staff analyzed the rule in 
accordance with the procedure established within Part III, 
``Categorization Process for NRC Program Elements,'' of Handbook 5.9 to 
Management Directive 5.9, ``Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement 
State Programs'' (a copy of which may be viewed at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/management-directives/). The Agreement 
States have 3 years from the effective date of the final rule in the 
Federal Register to adopt compatible regulations.
    The NRC program elements (including regulations) are placed into 
four compatibility categories (See the Compatibility Table for Direct 
Final Rule in this section). In addition, the NRC program elements can 
also be identified as having particular health and safety significance 
or as being reserved solely by the NRC. Compatibility Category A 
contains those program elements that are basic radiation protection 
standards and scientific terms and definitions that are necessary to 
understand radiation protection concepts. An Agreement State should 
adopt Category A program elements in an essentially identical manner to 
provide uniformity in the regulation of agreement material on a 
nationwide basis. Compatibility Category B contains those program 
elements that apply to activities that have direct and significant 
effects in multiple jurisdictions. An Agreement State should adopt 
Category B program elements in an essentially identical manner. 
Compatibility Category C contains those program elements that do not 
meet the criteria of Category A or B, but provide the essential 
objectives, which an Agreement State should adopt to avoid conflict, 
duplication, gaps, or other conditions that would jeopardize an orderly 
pattern in the regulation of agreement material on a nationwide basis. 
An Agreement State should adopt the essential objectives of the 
Category C program elements. Compatibility Category D contains those 
program elements that do not meet any of the criteria of Categories A, 
B, or C, and thus do not need to be adopted by the Agreement States for 
purposes of compatibility.
    The Health and Safety (H&S) category contains program elements that 
are not required for compatibility but are identified as having a 
particular health and safety role (i.e., adequacy) in the regulation of 
agreement material within the State. Although not required for 
compatibility, the State should adopt program elements in this H&S 
category based on those of the NRC that embody the essential objectives 
of NRC program elements because of particular health and safety 
considerations. Compatibility Category NRC are those program elements 
that address areas of regulation that cannot be relinquished to the 
Agreement States under the Atomic Energy Act, as amended, or provisions 
of 10 CFR. These program elements are not adopted by the Agreement 
States. The following table lists the parts and sections that would be 
revised and their corresponding categorization under the ``Policy 
Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement State Programs.''

[[Page 57725]]



                                    Compatibility Table for Direct Final Rule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                          Compatibility
             Section                     Change                Subject         ---------------------------------
                                                                                    Existing           New
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
70.50(c)(2).....................  Amend..............  Reporting requirements.  C..............  C
70.74(b)........................  Amend..............  Additional reporting     NRC............  NRC
                                                        requirements.
Appendix A......................  Amend..............  Reportable safety        *..............  NRC
                                                        events.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Appendix A compatibility was not previously designated. As it is directly related to Sec.   70.74 it is now
  designated as NRC.

XIII. Voluntary Consensus Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. 
L. 104-113), requires that Federal agencies use technical standards 
that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies 
unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law 
or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC will 
revise the time allowed to submit a written follow-up report from 
within 30 days to within 60 days after the initial report of an event, 
change the reporting framework for certain situations, and remove 
redundant reporting requirements. This action does not constitute the 
establishment of a standard that establishes generally applicable 
requirements.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 70

    Criminal penalties, Hazardous materials transportation, Material 
control and accounting, Nuclear materials, Packaging and containers, 
Radiation protection, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Scientific equipment, Security measures, Special nuclear material.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization 
Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553; the NRC is adopting 
the following amendments to 10 CFR Part 70.

PART 70--DOMESTIC LICENSING OF SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIAL

0
1. The authority citation for part 70 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act secs. 51, 53, 161, 182, 183, 193, 
223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2071, 2073, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2243, 2273, 2282, 
2297f); secs. 201, 202, 204, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5845, 
5846, 5851); Government Paperwork Elimination Act sec. 1704 (44 
U.S.C. 3504 note); Energy Policy Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 109-58, 
119 Stat. 194 (2005).

    Sections 70.1(c) and 70.20a(b) also issued under secs. 135, 141, 
Pub. L. 97-425, 96 Stat. 2232, 2241 (42 U.S.C. 10155, 10161).
    Section 70.21(g) also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 122 
(42 U.S.C. 2152). Section 70.31 also issued under Atomic Energy Act 
sec. 57(d) (42 U.S.C. 2077(d)). Sections 70.36 and 70.44 also issued 
under Atomic Energy Act sec. 184 (42 U.S.C. 2234). Section 70.81 
also issued under Atomic Energy Act secs. 186, 187 (42 U.S.C. 2236, 
2237). Section 70.82 also issued under Atomic Energy Act sec. 108 
(42 U.S.C. 2138).


0
2. In Sec.  70.50, revise the first sentence of the introductory text 
of paragraph (c)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  70.50  Reporting requirements.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) Written report. Each licensee that makes a report required by 
paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall submit a written follow-up 
report within 30 days of the initial report. * * *
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  70.74, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  70.74  Additional reporting requirements.

* * * * *
    (b) Written reports. Each licensee that makes a report required by 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall submit a written follow-up 
report within 60 days of the initial report. The written report must be 
sent to the NRC's Document Control Desk, using an appropriate method 
listed in Sec.  70.5(a), with a copy to the appropriate NRC regional 
office listed in appendix D to part 20 of this chapter. The reports 
must include the information as described in Sec.  70.50(c)(2)(i) 
through (iv).

0
Appendix A to Part 70--[Amended]
0
4. Amend appendix A to part 70 by:
0
a. In the introductory text to paragraph (a), removing the number 
``30'' and adding, in its place, the number ``60'';
0
b. Removing paragraph (a)(5);
0
c. In the introductory text to paragraph (b), removing the number 
``30'' and adding, in its place, the number ``60''; and
0
d. Removing paragraph (b)(5).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of September, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mark A. Satorius,
Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 2014-22866 Filed 9-25-14; 8:45 am]
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