[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 251 (Friday, December 30, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 96347-96349]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-31368]



10 CFR Part 140

RIN 3150-AJ81

Increase in the Maximum Amount of Primary Nuclear Liability 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its 
regulations to increase the required amount \1\ of primary nuclear 
liability insurance from $375 million to $450 million for each nuclear 
reactor that is licensed to operate, is designed for the production of 
electrical energy, and has a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical 
kilowatts or more. This change conforms to the provision in the Price-
Anderson Amendments Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-408) (Price-Anderson Act) 
that the amount of primary financial protection required of licensees 
by the NRC shall be the maximum amount available at reasonable cost and 
on reasonable terms from private sources.

    \1\ The title listed in the information submitted by the NRC for 
the Unified Agenda was ``Increase in the Maximum Limit of Primary 
Nuclear Liability Insurance.'' The title was changed here to reflect 
that the regulation makes reference to ``Maximum Amount.'' The use 
of the term ``Maximum Limit'' is an incorrect description of the 
statutory requirement and the regulation revision.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective on January 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0164 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-2016-0164. 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.
     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 it is mentioned in the 
     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: Natreon Jordan, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-7410, email: 
[email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.


Table of Contents

I. Discussion
II. Rulemaking Procedure
III. Section-By-Section Analysis
IV. Regulatory Flexibility Certification
V. Regulatory Analysis
VI. Backfit and Issue Finality
VII. Plain Writing
VIII. National Environmental Policy Act
IX. Paperwork Reduction Act
X. Congressional Review Act

I. Discussion

    The NRC's regulations in part 140 of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Financial Protection Requirements and 
Indemnity Agreements,'' provide requirements and procedures for 
implementing the financial protection requirements for certain 
licensees and other persons under the Price-Anderson Act, incorporated 
as Section 170 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA). The 
Price-Anderson Act states that, for each nuclear reactor that is 
licensed to operate, is designed for the production of electrical 
energy, and has a rated capacity of 100,000 electrical kilowatts or 
more (henceforth referred to as large operating reactors), ``the amount 
of primary financial protection required shall be the maximum amount 
available at reasonable cost and on reasonable terms from private 
sources.'' (Section 170(b) of the AEA) This requirement of the Price-
Anderson Act is implemented in the NRC's regulations at Sec.  
140.11(a)(4), ``Amounts of financial protection for certain reactors.'' 
The current maximum amount of primary financial protection available 
from private sources is $375 million. Therefore, Sec.  140.11(a)(4) 
currently requires large commercial operating reactors to have and 
maintain primary nuclear liability insurance in the amount of $375 
    On June 15, 2016, American Nuclear Insurers (ANI), the underwriter 
of American nuclear liability policies, acting on behalf of its member 
companies, notified the NRC that it will be increasing ``its maximum 
available primary nuclear liability limit from $375 million to $450 
million, effective on January 1, 2017'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16239A254). The ANI makes such adjustments on a non-periodic basis. 
The last such adjustment was made in 2010, and the NRC revised Sec.  
140.11 to reflect the increased maximum available amount of primary 
nuclear liability insurance (75 FR 16645; April 2, 2010).

[[Page 96348]]

    To implement this adjustment, in accordance with the Price-Anderson 
Act, the NRC is revising 10 CFR part 140 to require large operating 
reactors to have and maintain $450 million in primary financial 
    The NRC is not currently revising the appendices in Sec.  140.91, 
Sec.  140.92, or Sec.  140.93 that provide general forms of liability 
policies and indemnity agreements that were determined to be acceptable 
to the Commission. These appendices include historical insurance 
providers and protection amounts for primary liability insurance that 
are no longer in use (for example, values of $124 million and $36 
million from the 1979 final rule (44 FR 20632; April 6, 1979) and 
values of $200 million, $155 million, and $45 million from the 1989 
final rule (54 FR 24157; June 6, 1989)). However, these appendices 
continue to provide relevant general forms of policies and agreements.

II. Rulemaking Procedure

    This final rule is being issued without prior public notice or 
opportunity for public comments. The Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B)) does not require an agency to use the public notice 
and comment process ``when the agency for good cause finds (and 
incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in 
the rules issued) that notice and public procedure thereon are 
impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' In 
this instance, the NRC finds, for good cause, that solicitation of 
public comment on this final rule is unnecessary because the Price-
Anderson Act requires a non-discretionary adjustment in the maximum 
amount required for primary nuclear liability insurance. Requesting 
public comment on this non-discretionary adjustment, which is required 
by statute, would not result in a change to the adjusted amount.

III. Section-By-Section Analysis

    The following paragraphs describe the specific changes that are 
reflected in this final rule.

Section 140.11 Amounts of Financial Protection for Certain Reactors

    In paragraph (a)(4), this final rule removes ``$375,000,000'' and 
replaces it with the increased maximum amount of primary nuclear 
liability insurance of ``$450,000,000.''

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC 
certifies that this final rule does not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule 
affects only the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants. 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 

V. Regulatory Analysis

    A regulatory analysis was not prepared for this final rule because 
the change in the maximum amount of nuclear liability insurance is 
mandated by the Price-Anderson Act.

VI. Backfit and Issue Finality

    The NRC has determined that the backfit rule does not apply to this 
final rule. A backfit analysis is not required for this final rule 
because this amendment is mandated by the Price-Anderson Act.

VII. 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 

VIII. National Environmental Policy Act

    The NRC has determined that this final rule is the type of action 
described in categorical exclusion 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1). Therefore, 
neither an environmental impact statement nor an environmental 
assessment has been prepared for this final rule.

IX. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain any new or amended collections of 
information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.). Existing collections of information were approved by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), approval number 3150-0039.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a collection of information unless the document requesting 
or requiring the collection displays a currently valid OMB control 

X. Congressional Review Act

    This final rule 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.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 140

    Criminal penalties, Extraordinary nuclear occurrence, Insurance, 
Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants 
and reactors, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    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 140.


1. The authority citation for part 140 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 170, 223, 234 
(42 U.S.C. 2201, 2210, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 
1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

2. In Sec.  140.11, paragraph (a)(4) is revised to read as follows:

Sec.  140.11  Amounts of financial protection for certain reactors.

    (a) * * *
    (4) In an amount equal to the sum of $450,000,000 and the amount 
available as secondary financial protection (in the form of private 
liability insurance available under an industry retrospective rating 
plan providing for deferred premium charges equal to the pro rata share 
of the aggregate public liability claims and costs, excluding costs 
payment of which is not authorized by section 170o.(1)(D) of the Act, 
in excess of that covered by primary financial protection) for each 
nuclear reactor which is licensed to operate and which is designed for 
the production of electrical energy and has a rated capacity of 100,000 
electrical kilowatts or more: Provided, however, that under such a plan 
for deferred premium charges for each nuclear reactor that is licensed 
to operate, no more than $121,255,000 with respect to any nuclear 
incident (plus any surcharge assessed under subsection 170o.(1)(E) of 
the Act) and no more than $18,963,000 per incident within one calendar 
year shall be charged. Except that, where a person is authorized to 
operate a combination of 2 or more nuclear reactors located at a single 
site, each of which has a rated capacity of 100,000 or more electrical 
kilowatts but not more than 300,000 electrical kilowatts with a 
combined rated

[[Page 96349]]

capacity of not more than 1,300,000 electrical kilowatts, each such 
combination of reactors shall be considered to be a single nuclear 
reactor for the sole purpose of assessing the applicable financial 
protection required under this section.
* * * * *

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of December 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michael R. Johnson,
Acting Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 2016-31368 Filed 12-29-16; 8:45 am]