[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 140 (Thursday, July 21, 2016)]
[Pages 47443-47444]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-17327]




NRC Vision and Strategy for Non-Light Water Reactor Mission 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft document; request for comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is requesting 
public comment on a draft document, ``NRC Vision and Strategy: Safely 
Achieving Effective and Efficient Non-Light Water Reactor Mission 
Readiness,'' Revision 1. The draft document provides the NRC's vision, 
mission, strategic goal, and strategic objectives for non-light water 
reactors (non-LWRs). Supporting strategies and contributing actions 
necessary to reach the objectives are also described in the draft 
document. The NRC encourages and welcomes public comments that can help 
it achieve mission readiness for these types of reactors.

DATES: Submit comments by September 19, 2016. Comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the 
Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received 
on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0146. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Reactors, telephone: 301-415-0189, email: [email protected], U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.


I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0146 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly-available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0146.
     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 
NRC's draft document 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.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0146 in your comment submission.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

    The NRC's mission is to license and regulate the Nation's civilian 
use of radioactive materials to protect public health and safety, 
promote the common defense and security, and protect the environment. 
As the NRC prepares to review and regulate a new generation of non-
LWRs, a vision and strategy has been developed to assure the NRC's 
readiness to efficiently and effectively conduct its mission for these 
technologies. The NRC has prepared a draft document to guide these 
mission readiness preparations and is now seeking comments from the 
public so that the agency may benefit from a wide range of stakeholder 
input as the non-LWR vision and strategy is finalized.
    The domestic and international non-LWR industries have changed 
significantly since the last U.S. commercial non-LWR was shut down in 
1989 (Fort St. Vrain, a high-temperature gas--cooled reactor). The NRC 
now operates in an environment where potential non-LWR applicants have 
a wide and varied range of technical, business, and regulatory 
experience. Additionally, the non-LWR industry has become globalized, 
and commercial non-LWR plants are being designed, constructed, and 
operated abroad. This international activity provides opportunities for 
information exchanges between the NRC and its international 
counterparts about non-LWR operating experience, international codes 
and standards, and computer modeling techniques and programs.
    The NRC could review and license a non-LWR design today, if needed. 
The agency needs to be effective and efficient as it conducts its 

[[Page 47444]]

security, and environmental protection mission, without imposing 
unnecessary regulatory burden. This requires the NRC to consider the 
effects of a more dynamic domestic environment and a globalized non-LWR 
industry. Furthermore, the NRC recognizes the benefits of having a 
flexible regulatory framework, allowing potential applicants to select 
a best-fit path towards regulatory reviews and decisions. Examples of 
these flexibilities are described in the draft document.
    The vision and strategy described in the draft document, once 
executed, will achieve the goal of assuring the NRC's readiness to 
effectively and efficiently review and regulate non-LWRs, while still 
protecting public health and safety, promoting the common defense and 
security, and protecting the environment. The strategy has three 
strategic objectives: Enhancing technical readiness, optimizing 
regulatory readiness, and optimizing communication. The steps needed to 
reach the readiness target are described in a series of supporting 
strategies and contributing activities, to be executed during near-
term, mid-term, and long-term timeframes. Example schedules that help 
inform the vision and strategy implementation with potential non-LWR 
development, application, construction, and operation timeframes are 
also discussed in the draft document.
    The NRC's approach under this non-LWR vision and strategy consists 
of two phases. Phase 1 is the conceptual planning phase used to lay out 
the vision and strategy, gather public feedback, and finalize the NRC's 
approach. Phase 2 includes detailed internal work planning efforts and 
task execution. Both phases began in 2016. Phase 1 is expected to be 
completed in 2016, and Phase 2 has a target completion date of not 
later than 2025.
    The NRC's principles of good regulation--independence, openness, 
efficiency, clarity, and reliability--are embodied in this vision and 
strategy. While the NRC does not promote any particular reactor 
technology, its responsibilities as a regulator include working 
effectively with all stakeholders, clearly communicating its 
requirements, and providing regulatory information and feedback in a 
timely manner. Achieving this non-LWR readiness goal should also 
provide significant regulatory certainty to the non-LWR industry, 
potential applicants, and other stakeholders.
    The NRC encourages all interested parties to comment on the draft 
non-LWR vision and strategy document, particularly on the near-term 
non-LWR regulatory review options. Stakeholder feedback will be 
valuable in helping the NRC develop a final non-LWR vision and strategy 
that has the benefit of considering the many views of the public and 
the regulated industry. The NRC will consider the comments submitted 
and may use them, as appropriate, in the preparation of the final 
document; however, the NRC does not anticipate responding to individual 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of July 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Anna Bradford,
Chief, Advanced Reactor and Policy Branch, Division of Engineering, 
Infrastructure, and Advanced Reactors, Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2016-17327 Filed 7-20-16; 8:45 am]