[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 160 (Thursday, August 18, 2016)]
[Pages 55235-55237]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-19636]




Revisions to Design of Structures, Components, Equipment, and 
Systems Guidance for NRC Staff

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 two sections in Chapter 3, ``Design of Structures, 
Components, Equipment, and Systems,'' of NUREG-0800, ``Standard Review 
Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power 
Plants: LWR Edition.'' The revisions to these Standard Review Plan 
(SRP) sections reflect no changes in staff position; rather they 
clarify the original intent of these SRP sections using plain language 
throughout in accordance with the NRC's Plain Writing Action Plan. 
Additionally, these

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revisions reflect operating experience, lessons learned, and updated 
guidance since the last revision, and address the applicability of 
regulatory treatment of non-safety systems where appropriate.

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan (SRP) update is 
September 19, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0198 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-2015-0198. 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]. For 
the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided 
in a table in the ``Availability of Documents'' section of this 
     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 members of the Office of 
New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-


I. Background

    The staff received no comments on the proposed revisions. The staff 
is issuing the sections in final form for use. There have been no 
significant changes made to the sections since being issued in proposed 
form for public comment. An incorrect statement which stated that the 
SRP provisions only apply to reviews of applications docketed 6 months 
or more after the date of issuance was removed. Details of specific 
changes between current SRP sections and the revised sections issued 
here are included at the end of each of the revised sections 
themselves, under the ``Description of Changes,'' subsections.
    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 these SRP sections reflect current NRC staff 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 NRC staff on how to review an 
application for the NRC's regulatory approval in the form of licensing. 
Changes in internal NRC 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 NRC 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 NRC 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 NRC 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 NRC 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 NRC 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 provision.

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 ADAMS accession numbers for the revised sections are available 
in ADAMS under the following accession numbers:

[[Page 55237]]

                   Document                       ADAMS  Accession No.
SRP Section 3.2.1, ``Seismic                   ML16084A812
 Classification,'' Revision 3.
SRP Section 3.2.2, ``System Quality Group      ML16084A884
 Classification,'' Revision 3.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of August, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, New Reactor Rulemaking and Guidance Branch, Division of 
Engineering, Infrastructure, and Advanced Reactors, Office of New 
[FR Doc. 2016-19636 Filed 8-17-16; 8:45 am]