[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 26 (Tuesday, February 9, 2016)]
[Pages 6895-6897]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-02588]




Revisions to Radioactive Waste Management Guidance for NRC Staff

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan-final section revision; issuance


[[Page 6896]]

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
final revision to several sections in Chapter 11, ``Radioactive Waste 
Management,'' of NUREG-0800, ``Standard Review Plan (SRP) for the 
Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: LWR 
Edition.'' On September 17, 2014, the NRC published for public comment 
the proposed revisions to Chapter 11 of the SRP. The NRC made changes 
to the proposed revisions after the consideration of comments received. 
Among other changes, the revisions include (1) revision of the title of 
SRP Section 11.1 to ``Coolant Source Terms,'' (2) implementation of 
Interim Staff Guidance (ISG), COL/DC-ISG-013, and (3) the revision also 
harmonizes SRP Section 11.2 with Branch Technical Position (BTP) 11.6 
regarding the guidance of COL/DC-ISG-013 for calculating doses to 
members of the public and identifying acceptable criteria in assessing 
the radiological consequences of accidental releases due to tank 

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan update is March 
10, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0198 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-2014-0198. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     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 [email protected]. The 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. In 
addition, for the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession 
numbers are provided in a table in the ``Availability of Documents'' 
section of this document.
     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: Mark Notich, telephone: 301-415-3053; 
email: [email protected]; or Nishka Devaser, telephone: 301-415-5196; 
email: [email protected]; both are staff of the Office of New 
Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-


I. Background

    A summary of the comments and the NRC staff's disposition of the 
comments are available in a separate document, ``Response to Public 
Comments on Draft SRP Sections in Chapter 11'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
    The Office of New Reactors and the Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation are revising these sections from their current revisions. 
Details of specific changes in the proposed revisions are included at 
the end of each of the proposed sections.
    The changes to this SRP chapter reflect current NRC staff's review 
methods and practices based on lessons learned from the NRC's reviews 
of design certification and combined license applications completed 
since the last revision of this chapter.

II. Backfitting and Finality Provisions

    Issuance of these revised SRP sections does not constitute 
backfitting as defined in Sec.  50.109 of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Backfitting,'' (the Backfit Rule) or 
otherwise be inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR 
part 52. The NRC'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 the NRC's 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. The NRC staff has no intention to impose the SRP positions on 
current licensees and regulatory approvals either now or in the future.
    The staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions 
described in the SRP to existing (already issued) licenses and 
regulatory approvals. Therefore, the issuance of a final SRP--even if 
considered guidance that 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.
    3. Backfitting and issue finality do not--with limited exceptions 
not applicable here--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 under 10 CFR part 52--with 
certain exclusions discussed in the next paragraph--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, at 
this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the SRP in a 
manner that is inconsistent with any issue finality provisions. If, in 
the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the SRP in a manner 
which does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable 
issue finality provision, then the staff must address the criteria for 
avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality 

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.

IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to 
interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as 

[[Page 6897]]

               Document                       ADAMS accession No.
Section 11.1, ``Coolant Source         ML15029A022
 Terms,'' Revision 4.
Section 11.2, ``Liquid Waste           ML15029A032
 Management System,'' Revision 5.
Section 11.3, ``Gaseous Waste          ML15029A039
 Management System,'' Revision 4.
Section 11.4, ``Solid Waste            ML15029A174
 Management System,'' Revision 4.
Section 11.5, ``Process and Effluent   ML15029A182
 Radiological Monitoring
 Instrumentation and Sampling
 Systems,'' Revision 6.
BTP 11-3, ``Design Guidance for Solid  ML15027A198
 Radioactive Waste Management Systems
 Installed in Light-Water-Cooled
 Nuclear Power Reactor Plants,''
 Revision 4*.
BTP 11-5, ``Postulated Radioactive     ML15027A302
 Releases Due to a Waste Gas System
 Leak or Failure,'' Revision 4 *.
BTP 11-6, ``Postulated Radioactive     ML15027A401
 Releases due to Liquid Containing
 Tank Failures,'' Revision 4 *.
* No changes resulting from public comments. See documents in the
  package at ADAMS Accession Number ML14113A532 to see changes made
  since last revision.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of January, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kimyata Morgan Butler,
Chief, New Reactor Rulemaking and Guidance Branch, Division of Advanced 
Reactors and Rulemaking, Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2016-02588 Filed 2-8-16; 8:45 am]