[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 60 (Thursday, March 30, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 15643-15660]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06162]



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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Parts 2, 50, and 51

[NRC-2011-0087]
RIN 3150-AI96


Non-Power Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to 
amend its regulations that govern the license renewal process for non-
power reactors, testing facilities, and other production or utilization 
facilities, licensed under the authority of Section 103, Section 104a, 
or Section 104c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA), 
that are not nuclear power reactors. In this proposed rule, the NRC 
collectively refers to these facilities as non-power production or 
utilization facilities (NPUFs). The NRC is proposing to: Eliminate 
license terms for licenses issued under the authority of Sections 104a 
or 104c of the AEA, other than for testing facilities; define the 
license renewal process for licenses issued to testing facilities or 
under the authority of Section 103 of the AEA; require all NPUF 
licensees to submit final safety analysis report (FSAR) updates to the 
NRC every 5 years; and provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem 
(0.01 Sievert (Sv)) total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) for NPUFs 
other than testing facilities. The proposed rule also includes other 
changes, as described in Section III, ``Discussion,'' of this document. 
The NRC is issuing concurrently draft Regulatory Guide (DG-2006), 
``Preparation of Updated Final Safety Analysis Reports for Non-power 
Production or Utilization Facilities,'' for review and comment. The NRC 
anticipates the proposed rule and associated draft implementing 
guidance would result in reduced burden on both licensees and the NRC, 
and would create a more responsive and efficient regulatory framework 
that will continue to protect public health and safety, promote the 
common defense and security, and protect the environment. During the 
public comment period, the NRC plans to hold a public meeting to 
promote a full understanding of the proposed rule and facilitate the 
public's ability to submit comments on the proposed rule.

DATES: Submit comments by June 13, 2017. Submit comments specific to 
the information collections aspects of this proposed rule by May 1, 
2017. 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 
(unless this document describes a different method for submitting 
comments on a specific subject):
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do 
not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact 
us at 301-415-1677.
     Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission at 301-415-1101.
     Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff.
     Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal 
workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Duane Hardesty, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-3724, email: 
Duane.Hardesty@nrc.gov; and Robert Beall, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, telephone: 301-415-3874, email: Robert.Beall@nrc.gov. Both 
are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Executive Summary

A. Need for the Regulatory Action

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend 
its regulations related to the license renewal process for non-power 
reactors, testing facilities, and other production or utilization 
facilities, licensed under the authority of Section 103, Section 104a, 
or Section 104c of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, that are 
not nuclear power reactors. In this proposed rule, the NRC collectively 
refers to these facilities as non-power production or utilization 
facilities (NPUFs). To establish a more efficient, effective, and 
focused regulatory framework, the NRC proposes revisions to parts 2, 
50, and 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).

B. Major Provisions

    In addition to administrative changes and clarifications, the 
proposed rule includes the following major changes:
     Creates a definition for ``non-power production or 
utilization facility,'' or ``NPUF;''
     Eliminates license terms for facilities, other than 
testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c);
     Defines the license renewal process for testing facilities 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) and NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22;
     Requires all NPUF licensees to submit final safety 
analysis report updates to the NRC every 5 years;
     Amends the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 
2.109, allowing facilities to continue operating under an existing 
license past its expiration date if the facility submits a license 
renewal application at least 2 years (currently 30 days) before the 
current license expiration date;
     Provides an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 
Sievert) total effective dose equivalent for NPUFs other than testing 
facilities;
     Extends the applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs 
regardless of their decommissioning status;
     Clarifies an applicant's requirements for meeting the 
existing provisions of 10 CFR 51.45 for submitting an environmental 
report; and
     Eliminates the requirement for NPUFs to submit financial 
qualification information with license renewal applications under 10 
CFR 50.33(f)(2).

C. Costs and Benefits

    The NRC prepared a draft regulatory analysis to determine the 
expected quantitative costs and benefits of the proposed rule and the 
draft implementing guidance, as well as qualitative factors to be 
considered in the NRC's rulemaking decision. The analysis concluded 
that the proposed rule would result in net savings to licensees and the 
NRC (i.e., be cost beneficial). The analysis examined the benefits and 
costs of the proposed rule requirements and the draft implementing 
guidance relative to the baseline for the current license renewal 
process (i.e., the no action alternative). Relative to the no action 
baseline, the NRC estimates that total net benefits to

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NPUFs (i.e., cost savings minus costs) would be $3.8 million ($1.5 
million using a 7 percent discount rate and $2.5 million using a 3 
percent discount rate) over a 20-year period. The average NPUF would 
incur net benefits ranging from approximately $54,000 to $167,000 over 
a 20-year period. The NRC would incur total net benefits of $9.4 
million ($3.8 million using a 7 percent discount rate and $6.4 million 
using a 3 percent discount rate) over a 20-year period.
    The draft regulatory analysis also considered, in a qualitative 
fashion, additional benefits of the proposed rule and the draft 
implementing guidance associated with regulatory efficiency, protection 
of public health and safety, promotion of the common defense and 
security, and protection of the environment.
    The draft regulatory analysis concluded that the proposed rule and 
the draft implementing guidance are justified because of the cost 
savings incurred by both licensees and the NRC while public health and 
safety is maintained. For a detailed discussion of the methodology and 
complete results, see Section VII, ``Regulatory Analysis,'' of this 
document.

Table of Contents:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments
    A. Obtaining Information
    B. Submitting Comments
II. Background
III. Discussion
IV. Specific Requests for Comments
V. Section-by-Section Analysis
VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification
VII. Regulatory Analysis
VIII. Backfitting
IX. Cumulative Effects of Regulation
X. Plain Writing
XI. Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant 
Environmental Impact
XII. Paperwork Reduction Act
XIII. Criminal Penalties
XIV. Availability of Guidance
XV. Public Meeting
XVI. Availability of Documents

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0087 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-2011-0087.
     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 reference staff at 1-800-
397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. For the 
convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials 
referenced in this document are provided in Section XVI, ``Availability 
of Documents,'' 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.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0087 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. Background

    Sections 103 (for facilities used for commercial or industrial 
purposes) and 104a and c (for facilities used for medical therapy and 
useful for research and development activities, respectively) of the 
AEA establish the NRC's authority to license NPUFs. The section of the 
AEA that provides licensing authority for the NRC corresponds directly 
to the class of license issued to a facility (i.e., Section 104a of the 
AEA authorizes the issuance of a ``class 104a'' license). Sections 104a 
and c of the AEA require that the Commission impose only the minimum 
amount of regulation needed to promote the common defense and security, 
protect the health and safety of the public, and permit, under Section 
104a, the widest amount of effective medical therapy possible and, 
under Section 104c, the conduct of widespread and diverse research and 
development.
    The NRC regulates 36 NPUFs, of which 31 are currently operating. 
The other five facilities are in the process of decommissioning (i.e., 
removing a facility or site safely from service and reducing residual 
radioactivity to a level that permits release of the site for 
unrestricted use or use under restricted conditions, and termination of 
the license). Most NPUFs are located at universities or colleges 
throughout the United States. The NRC regulates one operating testing 
facility.

A. License Terms

    The AEA dictates an initial license term of no more than 40 years 
for class 103 facilities, which the NRC licenses under Sec.  50.22 of 
title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), but the AEA does 
not specify license terms for class 104a or c facilities, which are 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c). The regulation that implements 
this statutory authority, Sec.  50.51(a), currently specifies that the 
NRC may grant an initial license for NPUFs for no longer than a 40-year 
license term. If the NRC initially issues a license for a shorter 
period, then it may renew the license by amendment for a maximum 
aggregate period not to exceed 40 years. An NPUF license is usually 
renewed for a term of 20 years. If the requested renewal would extend 
the license beyond 40 years from the date of issuance, the original 
license may not be amended. Rather, the NRC issues a superseding 
renewed license.
    Any application for license renewal or a superseding renewed 
license must include an FSAR describing: (1) Changes to the facility or 
facility operations resulting from new or amended regulatory 
requirements, and (2) changes and effects of changes to the facility or 
procedures and new experiments. The FSAR must include the elements 
specified in Sec.  50.34 and should be augmented by the guidance of 
NUREG-1537, Part 1, ``Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing 
Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Format and 
Content.'' The NRC reviews NPUF initial and renewal license 
applications according to NUREG-1537, Part 2, ``Guidelines for 
Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the Licensing of Non-Power 
Reactors, Standard Review Plan and Acceptance Criteria.''
    As a license term nears its end, a licensee must submit an 
application in order to continue operations. Per 10 CFR 2.109(a), 
referred to as the ``timely

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renewal provision,'' if, at least 30 days before the expiration of an 
existing license, the licensee files an application for a renewal or 
for a new license for the authorized activity, the existing license 
will not be deemed to have expired until the application has been 
finally determined.

B. Environmental Analysis

    Part of the license renewal process involves the NRC's 
environmental analysis of the license renewal action. The National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) 
(NEPA), requires all Federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of 
proposed major actions on the human environment. The NRC complies with 
NEPA through regulations in 10 CFR part 51, ``Environmental Protection 
Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.'' 
The regulations in 10 CFR part 51 implement Section 102(2) of NEPA in a 
manner that is consistent with the NRC's domestic licensing and related 
regulatory authority under the AEA, the Energy Reorganization Act of 
1974, as amended, and the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act 
of 1978. This reflects the Commission's announced policy as cited in 
Sec.  51.10(a) to voluntarily take account of the 1978 Council on 
Environmental Quality final regulations for implementing NEPA, 
``National Environmental Policy Act--Regulations,'' subject to certain 
conditions. For various licensing actions specified under 10 CFR part 
51, applicants are required to submit environmental documentation in 
the form of an environmental report, or a supplement to an 
environmental report, as applicable, as part of license applications. 
This documentation assists the NRC in performing its independent 
environmental review of the potential environmental impacts of the 
licensing action in support of meeting the NRC's obligations under NEPA 
and the NRC's regulations for implementing NEPA under 10 CFR part 51. 
For all licensing actions, as specified in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC must 
prepare either an environmental impact statement or an environmental 
assessment, as appropriate, pursuant to Sec. Sec.  51.20 or 51.21.

C. Ongoing Oversight Activities

    In the period of time between license applications, NPUFs are 
required under Sec.  50.59(d)(1) and (2) to maintain records of changes 
in the facility, changes in procedures, and tests and experiments. For 
changes, experiments, or tests not requiring a license amendment, Sec.  
50.59 requires licensees to maintain written evaluations that provide 
the bases of the determinations that the change, test, or experiment 
does not require a license amendment. Licensees currently submit a 
report to the NRC annually summarizing all changes, tests, and 
experiments, but are not required to submit updated FSARs other than at 
the time of license renewal.
    In addition, the NRC periodically inspects each operating NPUF 
using a graded approach that prioritizes higher-power facilities. The 
NRC completes an annual inspection of NPUFs licensed to operate at 
power levels of 2 megawatts thermal (MWt) or greater. For NPUFs 
operating under 2 MWt, the NRC completes an inspection once every 2 
years. Inspections can include reviews of organizational structure, 
reactor operator qualifications, design and design control, radiation 
and environmental protection, maintenance and surveillance activities, 
transportation, material control and accounting, operational 
activities, review and audit functions, experiments, fuel handling, 
procedural controls, emergency preparedness, and security.

III. Discussion

    The NRC is proposing to amend the NRC's regulations that govern the 
license renewal process for NPUFs. This proposed rulemaking would: (1) 
Create a definition for ``non-power production or utilization 
facility,'' or ``NPUF;'' (2) eliminate license terms for facilities, 
other than testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c); 
(3) define the license renewal process for testing facilities licensed 
under Sec.  50.21(c) and NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22; (4) require 
all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 years; (5) 
amend the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 2.109, allowing 
facilities to continue operating under an existing license past its 
expiration date if the facility submits a license renewal application 
at least 2 years (currently 30 days) before the current license 
expiration date; (6) provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 
Sv) TEDE for NPUFs other than testing facilities; (7) extend the 
applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of their 
decommissioning status; (8) clarify an applicant's requirements for 
meeting the existing provisions of 10 CFR 51.45; and (9) eliminate the 
requirement to submit financial qualification information with license 
renewal applications under 10 CFR 50.33(f)(2). This section describes 
the need for improvements in the current license renewal process and 
the changes the NRC proposes to make to the license renewal process to 
address these needs.

A. Need for Improvement in the License Renewal Process

    In 2008, the NRC identified a need to identify and implement 
efficiencies in the NPUF license renewal process to streamline the 
process while ensuring that adequate protection of public health and 
safety is maintained. This need for improvement in the reliability and 
efficiency of the process was primarily driven by four issues:
1. Historic NRC Staffing and Emergent Issues
    Non-power production or utilization facilities were some of the 
first reactors licensed by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the 
first reactors to face license renewal. Most of these reactors were 
initially licensed in the late 1950s and 1960s for terms from 10 to 40 
years. The AEC started renewing these licenses in the 1960s. License 
renewal was primarily an administrative activity until 1976, when the 
NRC decided to conduct a technical review for license renewal 
equivalent to initial licensing. The licenses with initial 20-year 
terms were due for renewal during this timeframe. As the NRC started 
developing methods for conducting these technical reviews, an accident 
occurred at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant.
    The NRC's focus on post-TMI activities resulted in a suspension of 
NPUF license renewal activities for several years. After license 
renewal activities were restarted, the NRC issued a number of renewals 
in a short period of time primarily by relying on generic evaluations. 
These were 20-year renewals that expired starting in the late 1990s. 
Original 40-year licenses also started expiring in the late 1990s. 
These two groups of renewals coming due in a short period of time 
created a new surge of license renewal applications.
    In response to the security initiatives identified following the 
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the NRC redirected its staff 
from processing the license renewal applications that were received in 
the late 1990s to addressing security items. In addition, the NRC was 
focused on implementing 10 CFR 50.64 to convert NPUF licensees to the 
use of low-enriched uranium.
2. Limited Licensee Resources
    Many NPUF licensees have limited staff resources available for 
licensing. The number of NPUF staff available for licensing can range 
from one part-time employee for some low-power facilities to four or 
five people for higher-power

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facilities. The NPUF staff that perform the licensing function 
typically do so in addition to their normal organizational 
responsibilities, which often results in delays (particularly in 
responding to the NRC's requests for additional information (RAI)) in 
the license renewal process.
3. Inconsistent Existing License Infrastructure
    The NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c) primarily comprise 
college and university sites. Staff turnover and limited staffing 
resources at an NPUF often contribute to a lack of historical knowledge 
of the development of the licensee's FSAR and changes to the FSAR. 
During the most recent round of license renewals, the NRC found that 
some of the submitted FSARs did not adequately reflect the current 
licensing basis for the respective licensees. Because the only required 
FSAR submission comes at license renewal, which can be at 20-year or 
greater intervals, submitted FSARs often contain varying levels of 
completeness and accuracy. Consequently, the NRC must issue RAIs to 
obtain missing information, seek clarifications and corrections, and 
document the current licensing bases.
4. Regulatory Requirements and Broad Scope of the Renewal Process
    For power reactors, license renewal reviews have a defined scope, 
primarily focused on aging management, as described in 10 CFR part 54. 
For NPUFs, there are no explicit requirements on the scope of issues to 
be addressed during license renewal. Therefore, the scope of review for 
license renewal is the same as that for an original license.
    In addition, in response to Commission direction in the Staff 
Requirements Memorandum (SRM) to SECY-91-061, ``Separation of Non-
Reactor and Non-Power Reactor Licensing Activities from Power Reactor 
Licensing Activities in 10 CFR part 50,'' the NRC developed licensing 
guidance for the first time since many NPUF applicants were originally 
licensed. In that guidance (NUREG-1537, Parts 1 and 2), the NRC 
provides detailed descriptions of the scope, content, and format of 
FSARs and the NRC's process for reviewing initial license applications 
and license renewal applications. However, at the time of the first 
license renewals using NUREG-1537, some license renewal applications 
had varying levels of consistency with NUREG-1537. These licensees did 
not propose an acceptable alternative to the guidance.
NRC Response to These Issues
    Once a backlog of NPUF license renewal applications developed and 
persisted, the Commission and other stakeholders voiced concerns not 
only about the backlog, but also about the burdensome nature of the 
process itself. The Commission issued SRM-M080317B, ``Briefing on State 
of NRC Technical Programs'' in April 2008, which directed the NRC staff 
to ``examine the license renewal process for non-power reactors and 
identify and implement efficiencies to streamline this process while 
ensuring that adequate protection of public health and safety are 
maintained.''
    In October 2008, the NRC staff provided the Commission with plans 
to improve the review process for NPUF license renewal applications in 
SECY-08-0161, ``Review of Research and Test Reactor License Renewal 
Applications.'' In SECY-08-0161, the NRC staff discussed stakeholder 
feedback on the current process, including ways it could be improved 
and the options the NRC staff was considering for improving the review 
process. The NRC staff provided a detailed description of five options 
for streamlining the NPUF license renewal process:
     The ``alternate safety review approach'' would limit the 
review of license renewal applications to changes to the facility since 
the previous license review occurred, compliance with the current 
regulations, and the inspection process.
     The ``graded approach'' would base the areas of review on 
the relative risk associated with the facility applying for a renewed 
license. The graded approach would ensure safe operation by properly 
identifying the inherent risk associated with the facility and ensuring 
those risks are minimized.
     The ``generic analysis approach'' would require the NRC to 
review and approve a generic reactor design similar to the NRC topical 
report process. The NRC would rely on the previously approved generic 
analysis and would not reanalyze those items for each licensee.
     The ``generic siting analysis approach'' would require the 
NRC to develop a generic communication that contains information 
related to each of the licensee sites. The licensees could then 
reference this generic communication in their license renewal 
submittals.
     The ``extended license term approach'' would permit 
extended or indefinite terms for NPUF licenses. The NRC staff described 
this approach in SECY-08-0161:
    In order to permit an extended term (including possibly an 
indefinite term), the NRC staff would have to explain why it is 
appropriate and, more importantly, demonstrate that there are no aging 
concerns. Environmental conditions such as temperature, pressure and 
radiation levels in most [research and test reactors (RTRs)] are not 
significant. With surveillance, maintenance and repair, RTRs can have 
indefinite lives. For a facility to be eligible for an extended license 
term, the NRC staff would complete a detailed renewal with a licensing 
basis reviewed against NUREG-1537. To maintain the licensing basis over 
time, the NRC staff would propose a license condition or regulation 
that requires licensees to revise their SARs on a periodic basis such 
as every 2 years. The inspection program would be enhanced to place 
additional focus on surveillance, maintenance and repair, and changes 
to the facility made under 10 CFR 50.59. The licensee would still be 
required to adhere to changes in the regulations.
    The Commission issued SRM-SECY-08-0161, ``Review of Research and 
Test Reactor License Renewal Applications,'' in March 2009, which 
instructed the NRC staff to proceed with several actions. The 
Commission directed NRC staff to: (1) Immediately implement short-term 
program initiatives to address the backlog of license renewal 
applications; (2) work with the regulated community and other 
stakeholders to develop an interim streamlining process to focus the 
review on the most safety-significant aspects of the license renewal 
application; and (3) streamline the review process to ensure that it 
becomes more efficient and consistent, thereby reducing uncertainties 
in the process while ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements.
    As part of its direction to develop the program initiatives, the 
Commission instructed the NRC staff to implement a graded approach 
commensurate with the risk posed by each facility, incorporate elements 
of the alternate safety review approach, and use risk insights from 
security assessments to inform the dose threshold. In addition, the 
Commission told the NRC staff to develop an interim staff guidance 
(ISG) document that employs the graded approach to streamline the 
license renewal application process.
    Lastly, the Commission instructed the NRC staff to submit a long-
term plan for an enhanced NPUF license renewal process. The Commission 
directed that the plan include development of a basis for redefining 
the scope of the process as well as a recommendation regarding

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the need for rulemaking and guidance development.
    The NRC staff responded to Commission direction by implementing 
short-term actions to address the license renewal application backlog 
and developing the ``Interim Staff Guidance on Streamlined Review 
Process for License Renewal for Research Reactors,'' hereafter referred 
to as the ISG. The ISG called for employing a graded approach to 
streamline the license renewal application process. Since October 2009, 
the NRC has reviewed license renewal applications according to the 
streamlined review process presented in the ISG. The ISG identified the 
three most safety-significant sections of an FSAR: reactor design and 
operation, accident analysis, and technical specifications. The NRC 
also has reviewed the licensees' radiation protection and waste 
management programs, and compliance with financial requirements. The 
ISG divided facilities into two groups: (1) Those facilities with 
licensed power of less than 2 MWt, which would undergo a limited review 
focusing on the safety-significant aspects, considering the decisions 
and precedents set by past NRC reviews; and (2) those facilities with 
licensed power of 2 MWt and greater, which would undergo a full review 
using NUREG-1537, Part 2. The process outlined in the ISG facilitated 
the NRC's review of license renewal applications and enabled the NRC to 
review applications in a more timely manner.
    In addition, the NRC staff issued SECY-09-0095, ``Long-Term Plan 
for Enhancing the Research and Test Reactor License Renewal Process and 
Status of the Development and Use of the Interim Staff Guidance,'' in 
June 2009 to provide the Commission with a long-term plan for enhancing 
the NPUF license renewal process. In the long-term plan, the NRC staff 
proposed to develop a draft regulatory basis to support proceeding with 
rulemaking to streamline and enhance the NPUF license renewal process. 
The Commission issued SRM-M090811, ``Briefing on Research and Test 
Reactor (RTR) Challenges,'' in August 2009, which directed NRC staff to 
accelerate the rulemaking to establish a more efficient, effective, and 
focused regulatory framework.
    In August 2012, the NRC staff completed the ``Regulatory Basis to 
Support Proceeding with Rulemaking to Streamline and Enhance the 
Research and Test Reactor (RTR) License Renewal Process,'' hereafter 
referred to as the regulatory basis.\1\
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    \1\ At the time of publication of the regulatory basis, the 
rulemaking title was the ``Non-Power Reactor (NPR) License Renewal 
Rulemaking.'' During the development of the proposed rule, the scope 
of the rulemaking expanded to include recent license applicants 
(e.g., medical radioisotope irradiation and processing facilities) 
that are not reactors. In order to encompass all affected entities, 
the NRC has changed the title of the rulemaking to the ``Non-power 
Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal Rulemaking.''
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    The regulatory basis analyzed the technical, legal, and policy 
issues; impacts on public health, safety, and security; impacts on 
licensees; impacts on the NRC; stakeholder feedback; as well as other 
considerations, and concluded that a rulemaking was warranted. In 
developing the regulatory basis for rulemaking, the NRC staff 
considered lessons learned as a result of implementation of the 
streamlined review process outlined in the ISG. A public meeting was 
held on August 7, 2014, to discuss the regulatory basis and rulemaking 
options. The NRC held another public meeting on October 7, 2015, to 
afford stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback and comment on 
preliminary proposed rule concepts. The participants provided comments 
and questions to the NRC that focused on the potential impacts of 
eliminating license terms, the scope of reviews under the new process, 
and how this new change in regulation would work compared to the 
current license renewal process. The NRC considered those comments in 
developing this proposed rule.

B. Proposed Changes

    The proposed amendments are intended to enhance the effectiveness 
and efficiency of the NPUF license renewal process, consistent with the 
AEA's criterion for imposing minimum regulation on facilities of these 
types. This proposed rule would:
    1. Create a definition for ``non-power production or utilization 
facility,'' or ``NPUF.''
    The proposed rule would address inconsistencies in definitions and 
terminology associated with NPUFs in Sec. Sec.  50.2 and 50.22 and 10 
CFR part 170.3, which result in challenges in determining the 
applicability of the regulations. In an October 2014 direct final rule, 
``Definition of a Utilization Facility,'' the NRC amended its 
regulations to add SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc.'s (SHINE) proposed 
accelerator-driven subcritical operating assemblies to the NRC's 
definition of a ``utilization facility'' in Sec.  50.2. The existing 
definitions for non-power facilities (e.g., non-power reactor, research 
reactor, testing facility) do not adequately cover new entities like 
SHINE or other medical radioisotope irradiation and processing 
facilities. The NRC is proposing to add a specific definition for 
``non-power production or utilization facility'' to Sec.  50.2 to 
establish a term that is flexible enough to capture all non-power 
facilities licensed under Sec.  50.22 or Sec.  50.21(a) or (c). This 
action will ensure clarity and consistency for the applicability of the 
associated regulations for NPUFs. The proposed rule also would make 
conforming changes in other sections to refer to this new definition.
    2. Eliminate license terms for facilities, other than testing 
facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c).
    The AEA does not establish license terms for Section 104a or c 
facilities. These licenses, however, are subject to Sec.  50.51(a), 
which states that a license ``will be issued for a fixed period of time 
to be specified in the license but in no case to exceed 40 years from 
date of issuance.'' The NRC currently issues licenses under Sec.  
50.21(a) or (c) for a term of 20 years. The NRC intends to reduce the 
burden on licensees associated with license terms by requiring periodic 
submittals of updated FSARs instead of periodic license renewal 
applications.
    Currently, license renewal offers both the NRC and the public the 
opportunity to re-evaluate the licensing basis of the NPUF. The purpose 
of the license renewal is to assess the likelihood of continued safe 
operation of the facility to ensure the safe use of radioactive 
materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and 
the environment and ensuring the common defense and security. For 
several reasons that are unique to NPUFs, the NRC believes that this 
objective can be achieved through other forms of regulatory oversight. 
The NRC can continue to protect public health and safety, promote the 
common defense and security, and protect the environment through 
regular, existing oversight activities and the proposed addition of 
requirements for periodic FSAR submittals. This approach also would be 
consistent with the NRC's overall program to make licensing more 
efficient and effective and would implement and reflect lessons learned 
from decades of processing license renewal applications. The NRC has 
reached this conclusion based on the following three considerations.
    First, NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), other than 
testing facilities, operate at low power levels, temperatures, and 
pressures, and have a small inventory of fission products in

[[Page 15648]]

the fuel, as compared to power reactors, therefore presenting a lower 
potential radiological risk to the environment and the public. 
Additionally, the consequences of the maximum hypothetical accidents 
(MHAs) for these facilities fall below the standards in 10 CFR part 20 
for protecting the health and safety of the public.
    Twenty-seven \2\ of the 31 currently licensed facilities' cores are 
submerged in a tank or pool of water. These volumes of water, ranging 
from 5,000 to more than 100,000 gallons, provide a built-in heat sink 
for decay heat. Twenty-five of these 27 licensed facilities are not 
required to have emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) because analysis 
has shown that air cooling is sufficient to remove decay heat if the 
water was not present. These NPUFs do not have significant decay heat, 
even after extended maximum licensed power operation, to be a risk for 
overheating, failure of a fission product barrier, or posing a threat 
to public health and safety, even under a loss of coolant accident 
where water levels drop below the core. Additionally, many of the 
facilities monitor for leaks in the form of routine inspections, track 
and trend water inventory, and perform surveillances on installed pool 
level instrumentation and sensors. Licensees perform analyses for 
radioisotope identification of primary and, if applicable, secondary 
coolant by sampling the water periodically. Many facilities sample 
weekly for gross radioactive material content, which is also used to 
establish trends to quickly identify fuel or heat exchanger failure. 
Most of these licensees analyze, in their FSARs, pool and heat 
exchanger failures and the potential consequences for the safety of the 
reactor, workers, and public. In general, the radioisotope 
concentrations in pool or tank water at NPUFs are within the effluent 
concentration limits specified in Appendix B to 10 CFR part 20, and 
thus are not radiologically significant.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The three Aerojet-General Nucleonics (AGN) reactors 
(University of New Mexico (Docket No. 50-252), Idaho State 
University (Docket No. 50-284), and Texas A&M University (Docket No. 
50-59)), each rated at 5-watts, and the University of Florida 
Argonaut reactor (Docket No. 50-83), rated at 100 kilowatts, are not 
considered tank or pool reactors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Only two of the NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), other 
than the one testing facility, are required by their safety analyses to 
have an ECCS. For these NPUFs,\3\ the ECCS is only needed to direct 
flow into the top of the tank or pool to provide cooling for a limited 
period of time after reactor shutdown. This period of time is dependent 
on the recent operational history of the reactor, which determines the 
decay heat present at reactor shutdown. After this relatively brief 
time, air cooling is adequate to remove decay heat even without the 
ECCS. Additionally, performance of the ECCS is ensured through required 
surveillance and testing on the system at these facilities. Operation 
of the facility is not permitted if the ECCS has not been verified 
operational prior to reactor startup or if the system is deemed non-
operational during reactor operation. In the unlikely event that the 
ECCS is not available after an operational history that would require 
ECCS, core damage will not occur if the core is uncovered as long as a 
small amount of cooling flow is directed to the core, which is 
available from multiple sources.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The two facilities are Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
(MIT) (Docket No. 50-20) and the University of California-Davis 
(Docket No. 50-607).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Second, these facilities' simple design and operation yield a 
limited scope of aging-related concerns. The NRC has found no 
significant aging issues that need evaluation at the time of license 
renewal because the NRC currently imposes aging-related surveillance 
requirements on NPUFs via technical specifications, as needed. Aging 
related issues are specifically addressed in the standard review plan 
and acceptance criteria used for evaluating license renewal 
applications (i.e., NUREG-1537, Part 2). Parts 1 and 2 of NUREG-1537 
document lessons learned and known aging issues from prior reviews. 
Since NUREG-1537 was published in 1996, NRC reviews and assessments 
have not revealed any additional issues or need to update the NUREG. 
Specifically, based on operating experience over the past 60 years and 
review of license renewal applications over the past 40 years, and as 
documented in NUREG-1537, Parts 1 and 2, the NRC has determined that 
for NPUFs, there are two main areas related to aging that need 
surveillance because of potential safety concerns: (1) Fuel cladding 
and (2) instrumentation and control features.
    With regard to fuel cladding, the NRC currently requires NPUFs to 
perform periodic fuel inspections. Through years of operational 
experience, the NRC has found that fuel failures either do not occur or 
do not release significant amounts of fission products and are quickly 
detected by existing monitoring systems and surveillances. If fuel 
failures are detected, licensees are able to take the facility out of 
service without delay and remove any failed assemblies from service.
    With regard to instrumentation and control, the NRC has found that 
failures in this area result in automatic facility shutdown. Failures 
reveal themselves to the licensee and do not prevent safe shutdown. 
Over the past 60 years of operation of these facilities, the potential 
occurrence of age-related degradation has been successfully mitigated 
through inspection, surveillance, monitoring, trending, recordkeeping, 
replacement, and refurbishment. In addition, licensees are required to 
report preventive and corrective maintenance activities in their annual 
reports, which are reviewed by the NRC. This allows the NRC to identify 
new aging issues if they occur. Therefore, the NRC has concluded that 
existing requirements and facility design and operational features 
would address concerns over aging-related issues during a non-expiring 
license term.
    Third, the design bases of these facilities evolve slowly over 
time. The NRC receives approximately five license amendment requests 
from all NPUF licensees combined each year. Further, on average, each 
of these licensees reports only five Sec.  50.59 evaluations per year 
for changes to its facility that do not require prior NRC approval. 
Lastly, changes to regulations that would impact the licensing bases of 
power reactor facility operations rarely apply to NPUFs.
    Given these technical considerations, the elimination of license 
terms for NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), other than 
testing facilities, combined with the proposed addition of requirements 
for periodic FSAR submittals, should have a positive effect on safety. 
Ending license renewal for these licensees would allow agency resources 
to be shifted to enhance oversight of these facilities through 
increased interactions with licensees related to ongoing oversight 
activities, such as conducting routine inspection activities and 
reviewing annual reports and updated FSARs. The NRC would enhance 
ongoing safe operations of licensed facilities, regardless of license 
duration, by requiring facilities to submit FSAR updates every 5 years 
(see discussion on proposed Sec.  50.71(e) in Section III.B.4, 
``Require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC every 5 
years,'' of this document). Recurring FSAR reviews by the NRC would 
provide for maintenance of the facility's licensing basis and provide 
reasonable assurance that a facility will continue to operate without 
undue risk to public health and safety or to the environment and 
without compromising the facility's security posture. Should the NRC 
identify potential issues with the facility's continued safe operation 
in

[[Page 15649]]

its reviews of FSAR updates, the Commission can undertake regulatory 
actions specified in Sec.  2.202 to modify, suspend, or revoke a 
license. In addition, the public would remain informed about facility 
operations through the publicly available FSAR submittals and would 
continue to have opportunities for participation through licensing 
actions and the Sec.  2.206 petition process. By eliminating license 
terms and replacing them with required periodic FSAR update submittals 
coupled with existing oversight processes, the NRC would reduce the 
burden on facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), other than 
testing facilities, which is consistent with the AEA and supports the 
NRC's efforts to make licensing more efficient and effective.
    As described in Section V, ``Section-by-Section Analysis,'' of this 
document, the proposed rule language does not specifically address the 
timing of initial FSAR updates for existing NPUF licensees. The NRC 
intends to issue orders following the publication of the final rule to 
define how the proposed revisions would impact current licensees. The 
NRC considered incorporating these requirements into its regulations 
but determined that orders would be a more efficient and effective 
approach. This is because: (1) Invoking the initial FSAR submittal 
requirements for currently operating NPUFs would be a one-time 
requirement that would result in obsolete rule text after 
implementation; (2) a regulatory requirement would have compelled 
licensees to request and NRC to issue a license amendment to remove 
existing license terms; and (3) to facilitate licensee and NRC workload 
management, the initial FSAR submittals need to be staggered, and 
issuing orders allows the agency to assign licensees an appropriate 
implementation schedule to achieve this goal.
    Specifically, the orders would remove license terms from each 
license as of the effective date of the final rule. The facilities 
would be grouped by whether they have undergone license renewal using 
NUREG-1537, Part 2 and the ISG. In addition, the orders would dictate 
when the licensee's initial FSAR update would be due to the NRC. The 
NRC would issue these orders for the purposes of staggering initial and 
ongoing FSAR updates. For that purpose, licensees would be placed in 
three groups based on the following:
    (1) Group 1 licensees would each be required to submit an updated 
FSAR 1 year following the effective date of the final rule. This group 
would consist of licensees that completed the license renewal process 
using the ISG. The NRC would require these licensees to submit an 
updated FSAR first because, with a recent license renewal, the FSARs 
should require minimal updates.
    (2) Group 2 licensees would each be required to submit an updated 
FSAR 2 years following the effective date of the final rule. This group 
would consist of licenses that last completed license renewal prior to 
the issuance of the ISG (i.e., license renewal was reviewed per NUREG-
1537, Part 2). The NRC would allow these licensees more time to submit 
an updated FSAR than Group 1 licensees because more time has passed 
since Group 2's most recent license renewals, so additional time may be 
needed to update their FSARs.
    (3) Group 3 would consist of the remaining NPUF licensees, each of 
which would need to submit a license renewal application consistent 
with the format and content guidance in NUREG-1537, Part 1. The NRC 
would review the application using NUREG-1537, Part 2, and the ISG, as 
appropriate. If the NRC were to conclude that a licensee meets the 
standard for issuing a renewed license, then the licensee would receive 
a non-expiring renewed license.
    The proposed rule also would make conforming changes to 
requirements for facilities that are decommissioning by revising Sec.  
50.82(b) and (c). These provisions address license termination 
applications and collection periods for shortfalls in decommissioning 
funding for NPUFs. The proposed rule would clarify that NPUFs licensed 
under Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) 
are the only NPUFs with license terms, which the NRC uses to determine 
when an application for license termination is needed. The NPUFs 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c) would need to submit an 
application for license termination within 2 years following permanent 
cessation of operations, as is currently required.
    3. Define the license renewal process for testing facilities and 
NPUFs licensed under 10 CFR 50.22.
    For NPUF licenses issued under Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(c), the NRC proposes a set of regulations 
explicitly defining the license renewal process in proposed Sec.  
50.135 that would consolidate in one section existing regulatory 
requirements (i.e., requirements regarding written communications, 
application filing, application contents, and the issuance of renewed 
licenses) for current and future licensees. The proposed rule would not 
impose new regulations on these facilities. The NRC also would make a 
conforming change to Sec.  50.8 to reflect the approved information 
collection requirement of proposed Sec.  50.135.
    Section 103 of the AEA establishes a license term of no more than 
40 years for Sec.  50.22 facilities. Although the AEA does not 
establish a fixed license term for testing facilities, these facilities 
are currently subject to additional license renewal requirements (e.g., 
siting subject to 10 CFR part 100, Advisory Committee on Reactor 
Safeguards [ACRS] review and environmental impact statements) due to 
higher power levels or other safety-significant design features as 
compared to other class 104a or c licensees. Therefore, the NRC is 
proposing that licensees under Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) would continue to prepare a complete 
license renewal application.
    The NRC is proposing to make renewed operating licenses for these 
facilities effective 30 days after the date of issuance, replacing the 
previous operating license. The 30 days is intended to allow the 
facility to make any necessary and conforming changes to the facility 
processes and procedures to the extent that they are required by the 
applicable conditions of the renewed license. If administrative or 
judicial appeal affects the renewed license, then the previous 
operating license would be reinstated unless its term has expired and 
the facility has failed to submit a license renewal application in a 
timely manner according to proposed Sec.  50.135(c)(2).
    4. Require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR updates to the NRC 
every 5 years.
    Under the current license renewal process, the NRC found that 
licensees were not always able to provide documentation describing the 
details of their licensing basis, including their design basis 
calculations, in license renewal applications. Some licensees had 
difficulty documenting the necessary updates to licensing bases when 
they were called upon to do so between initial licensing and license 
renewal. Consequently, the license renewal application review process 
was overly burdensome for both licensees and the NRC because the NRC 
had incomplete information regarding changes to design and operational 
characteristics of the facility. From a safety perspective, an updated 
FSAR is important for the NRC's inspection program and for effective 
licensee operator training and examination.
    The proposed rule would require all NPUF licensees to submit FSAR 
updates to the NRC every 5 years. By requiring periodic submittals of 
FSAR updates,

[[Page 15650]]

the NRC anticipates that licensees will document changes in licensing 
bases as they occur, which would maintain the continuity of knowledge 
both for the licensee and the NRC and the understanding of changes and 
effects of changes on the facility. The NRC anticipates that these 
changes would result in minimal additional burden on licensees and the 
NRC, largely because licensees are currently required by Sec.  50.59 to 
keep FSARs up to date. The proposed rule would impose a new requirement 
for licensees to submit an updated FSAR to the NRC according to 
proposed Sec.  50.71(e).
    The proposed rule also would correct an existing grammatical error 
in footnote 1 to Sec.  50.71(e). Currently the footnote states, 
``Effects of changes includes appropriate revisions of descriptions in 
the FSAR such that the FSAR (as updated) is complete and accurate.'' 
The proposed rule would change ``includes'' to ``include'' so that the 
plural subject is followed by a plural verb.
    5. Amend the current timely renewal provision under 10 CFR 2.109, 
allowing facilities to continue operating under an existing license 
past its expiration date if the facility submits a license renewal 
application at least 2 years before the current license expiration 
date.
    The requirements in Sec.  2.101(a) allow the NRC to determine the 
acceptability of an application for review by the NRC. However, the 
current provision in Sec.  2.109 allows an NPUF licensee to submit its 
license renewal application as late as 30 days before the expiration of 
the existing license. Historical precedent indicates that 30 days is 
not a sufficient period of time for the NRC to adequately assess the 
sufficiency of a license renewal application for review. As a result, 
the NRC has accepted license renewal applications and addressed their 
deficiencies through the license renewal process, largely through 
submitting RAIs to the licensee to supplement the application. This 
approach increases the burden of the license renewal process on both 
licensees and the NRC.
    To address this issue, the NRC is proposing revisions to the timely 
renewal provision for NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 and testing 
facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) to establish a length of time 
adequate for the NRC to review the sufficiency of a license renewal 
application. Specifically, revisions to Sec.  2.109 would amend the 
current timely renewal provision, allowing NPUFs licensed under Sec.  
50.22 and testing facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) to continue 
operating under an existing license past its expiration date if the 
facility submits a sufficient license renewal application at least 2 
years before the current license expiration date. In such cases, the 
existing license would not be deemed to have expired until the 
application has been finally determined by the NRC, as indicated in 
Sec.  2.109. The proposed revision would ensure that the NRC has 
adequate time to review the sufficiency of license renewal applications 
while the facility continues to operate under the terms of its current 
license. The NRC also is proposing to eliminate this provision for 
facilities, other than testing facilities, licensed under Sec.  
50.21(a) or (c), as these facilities will no longer have license 
expiration dates.
    6. Provide an accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for 
NPUFs other than testing facilities.
    The standards in 10 CFR part 20 for protection against ionizing 
radiation provide a limit on the maximum yearly radiation dose a member 
of the public can receive from the operation of any NRC-licensed 
facility. Licensees are required to maintain programs and facility 
design features to ensure that these limits are met. In addition to the 
dose limits in 10 CFR part 20, accident dose criteria are also applied 
to determine the acceptability of the licensed facility. The accident 
dose criteria are not dose limits; they inform a licensee's accident 
analyses and the development of successive safety measures (i.e., 
defense-in-depth) so that in the unlikely event of an accident, no 
acute radiation-related harm will result to any member of the public. 
Currently, the accident dose criterion for NPUFs other than testing 
facilities is the 10 CFR part 20 dose limit to a member of the public. 
For testing facilities, accident dose criteria are found in 10 CFR part 
100.
    Since January 1, 1994, for NPUF licensees (other than testing 
facilities) applying for initial or renewed licensees, the NRC applies 
the accident dose criterion by comparing the results from the initial 
or renewed license applicant's accident analyses with the standards in 
10 CFR part 20. Prior to that date, the NRC had generally found 
acceptable accident doses that were less than 0.5 rem (0.005 Sv) whole 
body and 3 rem (0.03 Sv) thyroid for members of the public. On January 
1, 1994, the NRC amended 10 CFR part 20 to lower the dose limit to a 
member of the public to 0.1 rem (0.001 Sv) TEDE.
    The NRC has determined that the public dose limit of 0.1 rem (0.001 
Sv) TEDE is unduly restrictive to be applied as accident dose criteria 
for NPUFs, other than those NPUFs subject to 10 CFR part 100.\4\ 
However, the NRC considers the accident dose criteria in 10 CFR part 
100 (25 rem whole body and 300 rem to the thyroid) applicable to 
accident consequences for power reactors, which have greater potential 
consequences resulting from an accident, to be too high for NPUFs other 
than testing facilities. For these reasons, the NRC is proposing to 
amend its regulations in Sec.  50.34 to add an accident dose criterion 
of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs not subject to 10 CFR part 100.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Appeal Board stated that 
the standards in 10 CFR part 20 are unduly restrictive as accident 
dose criteria for research reactors (Trustees of Columbia University 
in the City of New York, ALAB-50, 4 AEC 849, 854-855 (May 18, 
1972)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE is based on the 
Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Protection Action Guides 
(PAGs), which were published in EPA 400-R-92-001, ``Manual of 
Protective Action Guides and Protective Actions for Nuclear 
Incidents.'' The EPA PAGs are dose guidelines to support decisions that 
trigger protective actions such as staying indoors or evacuating to 
protect the public during a radiological incident. The PAG is defined 
as the projected dose to an individual from a release of radioactive 
material at which a specific protective action to reduce or avoid that 
dose is recommended. Three principles considered in the development of 
the EPA PAGs include: (1) Prevent acute effects; (2) balance protection 
with other important factors and ensure that actions result in more 
benefit than harm; and (3) reduce risk of chronic effects. In the early 
phase (i.e., the beginning of the nuclear incident, which may last 
hours to days), the EPA PAG that recommends the protective action of 
sheltering-in-place or evacuation of the public to avoid inhalation of 
gases or particulates in an atmospheric plume and to minimize external 
radiation exposures, is 1 rem (0.01 Sv) to 5 rem (0.05 Sv). So, if the 
projected dose to an individual from an incident is less than 1 rem 
(0.01 Sv), then no protective action for the public is recommended. In 
light of this understanding of the early phase EPA PAG, the NRC's 
proposed accident dose criterion of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs, 
other than testing facilities would provide reasonable assurance of 
adequate protection of the public from unnecessary exposure to 
radiation.
    7. Extend the applicability of 10 CFR 50.59 to NPUFs regardless of 
their decommissioning status.
    Section 50.59(b) of the Commission's regulations does not apply 
Sec.  50.59 to

[[Page 15651]]

NPUFs whose licenses have been amended to reflect permanent cessation 
of operations and that no longer have fuel on site (e.g., they have 
returned all of their fuel to the U.S. Department of Energy [DOE]). The 
current language states that Sec.  50.59 is applicable to licensees 
``whose license has been amended to allow possession of nuclear fuel, 
but not operation of the facility.'' Therefore, Sec.  50.59 is no 
longer applicable to NPUF licensees that no longer possess nuclear 
fuel. For these licensees, the NRC adds license conditions identical to 
those of Sec.  50.59 to allow the licensee to make changes in its 
facility or changes in its procedures that would not otherwise require 
obtaining a license amendment pursuant to Sec.  50.90. Because most 
NPUFs promptly return their fuel to the DOE after permanent shutdown, 
in contrast to decommissioning power reactors, these licensees must 
request the addition of the license conditions. This imposes an 
administrative burden on the licensees and the NRC. This burden would 
be eliminated with the proposed regulatory change to revise the wording 
of Sec.  50.59(b) to extend the applicability of Sec.  50.59 to NPUFs 
regardless of their decommissioning status.
    8. Clarify an applicant's requirements for meeting the existing 
provisions of 10 CFR 51.45.
    The NRC is required to prepare either an environmental impact 
statement or environmental assessment, as appropriate, for all 
licensing actions pursuant to 10 CFR part 51. For most types of 
licenses, 10 CFR part 51 specifies that an applicant must submit 
environmental documentation in the form of an environmental report, or 
a supplement to a previously submitted environmental report, to assist 
the NRC's review. However, the NRC does not currently have explicit 
requirements under 10 CFR part 51 with respect to the nature of the 
environmental documentation that must accompany applications for 
initial licenses and renewed licenses for NPUFs. This fact was recently 
highlighted in association with the NRC's review of a construction 
permit application for a new NPUF to be licensed under the authority of 
Section 103 of the AEA.
    The proposed rule would add a new section to 10 CFR part 51 to 
clarify NPUF environmental reporting requirements. Proposed Sec.  51.56 
would clarify an applicant's existing requirements for meeting the 
provisions of Sec.  51.45. This change would improve consistency 
throughout 10 CFR part 51 with respect to environmental report 
submissions required from applicants for licensing actions. The NRC 
also would make a conforming change to 10 CFR 51.17 to reflect the 
approved information collection requirement of proposed 10 CFR 51.56.
    9. Eliminate the requirement for NPUFs to submit financial 
qualification information with license renewal applications under 10 
CFR 50.33(f)(2).
    The proposed rule would eliminate license renewal financial 
qualification requirements for NPUFs. Currently, Sec.  50.33(f) 
requires NPUF license applicants to provide information sufficient to 
demonstrate their financial qualifications to carry out the activities 
for which the license is sought. Because the regulatory requirements 
for the content of an application for a renewed NPUF license are the 
same as those for an original license, NPUF licensees requesting 
license renewal must submit the same financial information that is 
required in an application for an initial license. In addition, the NRC 
has found that the financial qualification information does not have a 
significant impact on the NRC's determination on the license renewal 
application. The elimination of NPUF license renewal financial 
qualification requirements reduces the burden associated with license 
renewal applications while still enabling the NRC to obtain the 
information necessary to conduct its review of license renewal 
applications.
    Similar to the current proposal for NPUFs, the 2004 rulemaking, 
``Financial Information Requirements for Applications to Renew or 
Extend the Term of an Operating License for a Power Reactor,'' 
discontinued financial qualification reviews for power reactors at the 
license renewal stage except in very limited circumstances. The 
Commission stated that ``[t]he NRC believes that its primary tool for 
evaluating and ensuring safe operations at nuclear power reactors is 
through its inspection and enforcement programs . . . .'' Further, the 
Commission stated that ``[t]he NRC has not found a consistent 
correlation between licensees' poor financial health and poor safety 
performance. If a licensee postpones inspections and repairs that are 
subject to NRC oversight, the NRC has the authority to shut down the 
reactor or take other appropriate action if there is a safety issue.''
    At NPUF sites, the NRC's inspection and enforcement programs serve 
as important tools for evaluating licensee performance and ensuring 
safe operations. The NRC performs routine NPUF program inspections and 
special and reactive inspections. In addition, the NRC manages the NPUF 
operator license examination program. The NRC also manages the review 
of NPUF emergency and security plans and develops and implements policy 
and guidance concerning the NPUF licensing program. These programs 
provide, in part, the NRC's safety oversight of these licensees.
    The elimination of financial qualification requirements for power 
reactor licensees at the time of license renewal supports the NRC's 
basis for eliminating NPUF financial qualification requirements at the 
time of license renewal. The NRC is not aware of any connection between 
an NPUF's financial qualifications at license renewal and safe 
operation of the facility. Moreover, because NPUFs have significantly 
smaller fission product inventory and potential for radiological 
consequences than do power reactors, the NPUF financial qualification 
reviews appear to be of less value in ensuring safety than reviews 
previously required of power reactors.

IV. Specific Requests for Comments

    The NRC is seeking public comment on the proposed rule. We are 
particularly interested in comments and supporting rationale from the 
public on the following:
     As discussed in Section III, ``Discussion,'' of this 
document, the NRC is proposing that license terms for NPUFs, other than 
testing facilities, licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(a) or (c) would be 
removed from existing licenses via order. Are there any unintended 
consequences associated with removing license terms in this manner? 
Provide the basis for your answer.
     Proposed Sec.  50.71 would require all NPUFs to submit an 
update to the FSAR originally submitted with the facility's license 
application every 5 years. The NRC staff plans to specify the first 
submittal date in orders issued to each facility. Should the NRC 
specify the date by which each facility or category of facility must 
submit its first updated FSAR in the rule language instead of using 
site-specific orders? Are there any unintended consequences of 
establishing the first submittal dates through orders? Please provide 
the basis for your answer.
     Proposed Sec.  50.135 outlines the license renewal process 
for facilities licensed under Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(c). Should any elements of the process be 
removed from or added to the NRC proposal? Please provide specific 
examples.
     The NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 are those facilities 
that are used for industrial or commercial purposes. For

[[Page 15652]]

example, a facility used primarily for the production and sale of 
radioisotopes other than for use in research and development would be 
considered a commercial production or utilization facility and 
therefore would be licensed under Sec.  50.22. Currently, license 
applications for such NPUFs pass through additional steps in the 
licensing process (e.g., mandatory public hearings). These additional 
steps are required even though many such facilities have the same 
inherent low risk profile as low-power NPUFs licensed under Sec.  
50.21(a) or (c) which are not required to proceed through these 
additional steps. Are these additional steps necessary for all NPUFs 
licensed under Sec.  50.22, or would it be more efficient and effective 
to differentiate low-power NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 from high-
power NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22? Elaborate on requirements that 
could be tailored for low-power, low-risk NPUFs licensed under Sec.  
50.22, including recommended criteria (e.g., power level or other 
measure) for establishing reduced requirements.
     As discussed in Section III, ``Discussion,'' of this 
document, the NRC is proposing that license terms would not expire for 
NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or 
(c), whereas testing facilities would continue to have fixed license 
terms that would require periodic license renewal. While the AEA does 
not establish a fixed license term for testing facilities, these 
facilities are currently subject to additional regulatory requirements 
due to higher power levels (e.g., mandatory public hearings, ACRS 
review, and preparation of environmental impact statements). Is a fixed 
license term necessary for testing facilities licensed under Sec.  
50.21(c) or would it be more efficient and effective to also grant 
testing facilities non-expiring licenses? Provide the basis for 
revising NRC requirements to account for the higher risk of testing 
facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) relative to other NPUFs 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), including recommended criteria 
for establishing eligibility for a non-expiring license.
     For NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 and testing 
facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c), does the revision to the 
timely renewal provision from 30 days to 2 years provide an undue 
burden on licensees? If so, in addition to your response, please 
provide information supporting an alternate provision for timely 
renewal.
     The NRC is considering requiring each NPUF licensee, other 
than testing facilities, to demonstrate in its accident analysis that 
an individual located in the unrestricted area following the onset of a 
postulated accidental release of licensed material, including 
consideration of experiments, would not receive a dose in excess of 1 
rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for the duration of the accident. Is the accident 
dose criterion 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE in proposed Sec.  
50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(2) appropriate for NPUFs, other than testing 
facilities? If not, what accident dose criterion is appropriate? Please 
provide the basis for your answer.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis

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

Proposed Sec.  2.109 Effect of Timely Renewal Application

    The NRC is proposing to revise 10 CFR 2.109(a) to exclude NPUFs 
from the 30-day timely renewal provision because 30 days does not 
provide the NRC with adequate time to assess license renewal 
applications.
    In addition to this exception from the 30-day timely renewal 
provision, the NRC is proposing to add a new subparagraph defining a 
new timely renewal provision for NPUFs with license terms (i.e., 
facilities licensed under 10 CFR 50.22 and testing facilities licensed 
under Sec.  50.21(c)). The NRC is proposing to add paragraph (e) to 
Sec.  2.109 to require an NPUF with a license term to submit a license 
renewal application at least 2 years prior to license expiration. This 
will permit adequate time for the NRC to determine the acceptability of 
the application before expiration of the license term.

Proposed Sec.  50.2 Definitions

    The proposed rule would add a definition to Sec.  50.2 for a ``non-
power production or utilization facility,'' or ``NPUF.'' An NPUF would 
be defined as a non-power reactor, testing facility, or other 
production or utilization facility, licensed under the authority of 
Section 103, Section 104a, or Section 104c of the AEA that is not a 
nuclear power reactor or fuel reprocessing plant.

Proposed Sec.  50.8 Information Collection Requirements: OMB Approval

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  50.8(b) to include proposed 
Sec.  50.135 as an approved information collection requirement in 10 
CFR part 50. This is a conforming change to existing regulations to 
account for the new information collection requirement.

Proposed Sec.  50.33 Contents of Applications; General Information

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  50.33(f)(2) to remove the 
requirement for NPUFs to submit with license renewal applications the 
same financial information that is required for initial license 
applications. These NPUFs (i.e., facilities licensed under Sec.  50.22 
and testing facilities) would not be required to submit any financial 
information with license renewal applications.

Proposed Sec.  50.34 Contents of Applications; Technical Information

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D) to clarify 
the section's applicability to NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 or 
Sec.  50.21(a) or (c). Paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(D) would be modified to 
create Sec.  50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(1) and (2) to clearly distinguish these 
requirements between applicants for power reactor construction permits 
and applicants for NPUF construction permits. Section 
50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(1) would describe the requirements applicable to 
power reactor construction permit applicants. The proposed rule would 
not change the existing requirements for these applicants.
    Proposed Sec.  50.34(a)(1)(ii)(D)(2) would specify an accident dose 
criterion for NPUFs, other than testing facilities subject to 10 CFR 
part 100. The proposed regulation would set an accident dose criterion 
of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for NPUFs other than testing facilities.

Proposed Sec.  50.51 Continuation of License

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  50.51(a) to exempt from 
license terms NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under 
Sec.  50.21(a) or (c). Testing facilities and NPUFs licensed under 
Sec.  50.22 would continue to have fixed license terms and undergo 
license renewal as described in proposed Sec.  50.135. The NRC is 
proposing to add Sec.  50.51(c) to clarify that NPUFs, other than 
testing facilities, licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c) after the 
effective date of the final rule, would have non-expiring license 
terms. The implementing change to applicable existing NPUF licensees 
would be instituted by order to remove license terms.

Proposed Sec.  50.59 Changes, Tests and Experiments

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b) of Sec.  50.59 to 
extend the section's applicability to NPUFs that have permanently 
ceased operations and that no longer have fuel on site (e.g.,

[[Page 15653]]

have returned all of their fuel to the DOE).

Proposed Sec.  50.71 Maintenance of Records, Making of Reports

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (e) of Sec.  50.71 to 
require NPUFs to submit an update to the FSAR originally submitted with 
the facility's license application, as is currently required for 
nuclear power reactor licensees and applicants for a combined license 
under 10 CFR part 52. Updates should reflect the changes and effects of 
changes to the facility's design basis and licensing basis, including 
any information documented in annual reports, Sec.  50.59 evaluations, 
license amendments, and other submittals to the NRC since the previous 
FSAR update submittal. The NRC also is proposing to revise footnote 1 
in paragraph (e) of Sec.  50.71 to change the word ``includes'' to 
``include'' to correct an existing grammatical error.
    In addition to extending the applicability of the requirements 
specified in Sec.  50.71(e), the proposed rule would establish 
supporting requirements in Sec.  50.71(e)(3) and (e)(4). The NRC is 
proposing to revise paragraph (e)(3)(i) of Sec.  50.71 to make explicit 
the applicability of the FSAR requirements therein to only power 
reactor licensees. This change would not modify the underlying 
requirements in Sec.  50.71 that currently apply to power reactor 
licensees.
    The NRC also would add Sec.  50.71(e)(3)(iv) to set forth FSAR 
requirements similar to those in proposed Sec.  50.71(e)(3)(i) 
specifically for NPUFs. The NRC is proposing to require NPUFs licensed 
after the effective date of the final rule to submit initial FSAR 
revisions within 5 years of the date of issuance of the operating 
license. Each revision would reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to 
a maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.
    The NRC is proposing to restructure and revise paragraph (e)(4) of 
Sec.  50.71. New paragraph (e)(4)(i) would make explicit that the FSAR 
update requirements therein apply to nuclear power reactor licensees 
only. This administrative change would not modify the underlying 
requirements of existing Sec.  50.71(e)(4) that currently apply to 
power reactor licensees. In addition, the NRC would add Sec.  
50.71(e)(4)(ii) to establish similar FSAR update requirements for 
NPUFs. Specifically, the NRC is proposing to require NPUF licensees to 
file subsequent FSAR updates at intervals not to exceed 5 years. Each 
update must reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to a maximum of 6 
months prior to the date of filing the update. The orders described 
under Section III.B, ``Proposed Changes,'' of this document would also 
establish the requirement for currently licensed NPUFs to submit 
recurring FSAR updates on a 5-year periodicity.

Proposed Sec.  50.82 Termination of License

    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b) of Sec.  50.82 to 
replace the term ``non-power reactor licensees'' with ``non-power 
production or utilization facility licensees'' in order to ensure that 
all NPUFs are subject to the relevant termination and decommissioning 
regulations.
    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (b)(1) of Sec.  50.82 to 
clarify that only NPUFs holding a license issued under Sec.  50.22 and 
testing facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c) would need to submit 
an application for license termination.
    The NRC is proposing to revise paragraph (c) of Sec.  50.82 to 
clarify when the collection period for shortfalls in funding would be 
determined. Currently, Sec.  50.82(c) refers to a facility ceasing 
operation before the expiration of its license. Under the proposed 
rule, licenses for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under 
Sec.  50.21(a) or (c) would not expire. Therefore, for NPUFs, other 
than testing facilities, licensed under Sec.  50.21(a) or (c), the NRC 
proposes to revise Sec.  50.82(c) to remove references to the 
expiration of the license. The requirements for all other licensees 
(i.e., the holders of a license issued under Sec.  50.22--including 
power reactor licenses--and testing facilities) have been renumbered, 
but the underlying requirements remain unchanged.

Proposed Sec.  50.135 License Renewal for Non-Power Production or 
Utilization Facilities Licensed Under Sec.  50.22 and Testing Facility 
Licensees

    The NRC is proposing to add Sec.  50.135 to 10 CFR part 50 to 
clearly define the license renewal process for NPUFs licensed under 
Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities licensed under Sec.  50.21(c). This 
section would consolidate existing regulatory requirements related to 
the NPUF license renewal process in one section and would not modify 
the underlying requirements that currently apply to NPUFs seeking 
license renewal.
    Proposed Sec.  50.135(a) would specify the section's applicability 
to NPUFs licensed under Sec.  50.22 and testing facilities licensed 
under Sec.  50.21(c).
    Proposed Sec.  50.135(b) would require that all applications, 
correspondence, reports, and other written communications be filed in 
accordance with Sec.  50.4.
    Proposed Sec.  50.135(c)(1) would require license renewal 
applications be prepared in accordance with subpart A of 10 CFR part 2 
and all applicable sections of 10 CFR part 50. Proposed Sec.  
50.135(c)(2) would allow licensees to submit applications for license 
renewal up to 10 years before the expiration of the current operating 
license.
    Proposed Sec.  50.135(d)(1) would require licensees to provide the 
information specified in Sec. Sec.  50.33, 50.34, and 50.36, as 
applicable, in license renewal applications. Proposed Sec.  
50.135(d)(2) would require applications to include conforming changes 
to the standard indemnity agreement under 10 CFR part 140. Proposed 
Sec.  50.135(d)(3) would require licensees to submit a supplement to 
the environmental report with the license renewal application, 
consistent with the requirements of proposed Sec.  51.56.
    Proposed Sec.  50.135(e) would specify the terms of renewed 
operating licenses. Proposed paragraph (e)(1) would require that the 
renewed license would be for the same facility class as the previous 
license. Proposed paragraph (e)(2) would establish the terms of a 
renewed license. Renewed licenses would be issued for a fixed period of 
time, which would be the sum of the remaining amount of time on the 
current operating license plus the additional amount of time beyond the 
current operating license expiration (not to exceed 30 years) that the 
licensee requests in its renewal application. Terms would not exceed 40 
years in total. Proposed paragraph (e)(3) would make a renewed license 
effective 30 days after the date of issuance, replacing the previous 
operating license. Proposed paragraph (e)(4) would specify that a 
renewed license may be subsequently renewed following the requirements 
in Sec.  50.135 and elsewhere in 10 CFR part 50.

Proposed Sec.  51.17 Information Collection Requirements; OMB Approval

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  51.17(b) to include proposed 
Sec.  51.56 as an approved information collection requirement in 10 CFR 
part 51. This is a conforming change to existing regulations to account 
for the new information collection requirement.

Proposed Sec.  51.45 Environmental Report

    The NRC is proposing to revise Sec.  51.45(a) to add a cross 
reference to

[[Page 15654]]

proposed new Sec.  51.56. This is a conforming change to existing 
regulations to clarify the environmental report requirements for NPUFs.

Proposed Sec.  51.56 Environmental Report--Non-Power Production or 
Utilization Facility Licenses

    The NRC is proposing to add a new section, Sec.  51.56, to clarify 
existing requirements for the submittal and content of environmental 
reports by applicants seeking a permit to construct, or a license to 
operate, an NPUF, or to renew an existing license as otherwise 
prescribed by Sec.  50.135 of this proposed rule. This section would 
clarify existing regulatory requirements related to environmental 
reports and would not modify the underlying requirements that currently 
apply to NPUFs.

VI. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), 
the Commission certifies that this rule will not, if adopted, have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This proposed rule affects only the licensing and operation of NPUFs. 
The companies, universities, and government agencies that own and 
operate these facilities 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).

VII. Regulatory Analysis

    The NRC has prepared a draft regulatory analysis on this proposed 
regulation and the draft implementing guidance. The analysis examines 
the costs and benefits of the alternatives considered by the NRC. The 
NRC requests public comment on the draft regulatory analysis. The draft 
regulatory analysis is available as indicated in Section XVI, 
``Availability of Documents,'' of this document. Comments on the draft 
regulatory analysis may be submitted to the NRC as indicated under the 
ADDRESSES caption of this document.

VIII. Backfitting

    The NRC's backfitting provisions for reactors are found in 10 CFR 
50.109. The regulatory basis for Sec.  50.109 was expressed solely in 
terms of nuclear power reactors. For example, the NRC's Advanced Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, Policy Statement, Proposed Rule, and Final Rule 
for Sec.  50.109 each had the same title: ``Revision of Backfitting 
Process for Power Reactors.'' As a result, the NRC has not applied 
Sec.  50.109 to research reactors, testing facilities, and other non-
power facilities licensed under 10 CFR part 50 (e.g., ``Final Rule; 
Limiting the Use of Highly Enriched Uranium in Domestically Licensed 
Research and Test Reactors''; ``Final Rule; Clarification of Physical 
Protection Requirements at Fixed Sites''). In a 2012 final rule 
concerning non-power reactors, the NRC stated, ``The NRC has determined 
that the backfit provisions in Sec.  50.109 do not apply to test, 
research, or training reactors because the rulemaking record for Sec.  
50.109 indicates that the Commission intended to apply this provision 
to only power reactors, and NRC practice has been consistent with this 
rulemaking record'' (``Final Rule; Requirements for Fingerprint-Based 
Criminal History Records Checks for Individuals Seeking Unescorted 
Access to Non-Power Reactors'').
    Under proposed Sec.  50.2, ``NPUFs'' would include non-power 
reactors, testing facilities, or other non-power production or 
utilization facilities licensed in accordance with Sec. Sec.  50.21(a) 
or (c) (Section 104a or c of the AEA) or Sec.  50.22 (Section 103 of 
the AEA). Because the term ``NPUFs'' would include licensees that are 
excluded from the scope of Sec.  50.109, NPUFs would not fall within 
the scope of Sec.  50.109. Because Sec.  50.109 does not apply to 
NPUFs, and this proposed rule would apply exclusively to NPUFs, the NRC 
did not apply Sec.  50.109 to this proposed rule.
    Although NPUF licensees are not protected by Sec.  50.109, for 
those NPUFs licensed under the authority of Section 104 of the AEA, the 
Commission is directed to impose the minimum amount of regulation on 
the licensee consistent with its obligations under the AEA to promote 
the common defense and security, protect the health and safety of the 
public, and permit the conduct of widespread and diverse research and 
development and the widest amount of effective medical therapy 
possible.

IX. Cumulative Effects of Regulation

    The NRC is following its Cumulative Effects of Regulation (CER) 
process by engaging extensively with external stakeholders throughout 
this rulemaking and related regulatory activities. Public involvement 
has included: (1) A request for comment on a preliminary draft 
regulatory basis document on June 29, 2012, and (2) three public 
meetings (held on September 13, 2011; December 19, 2011; and March 27, 
2012) that supported the development of the draft regulatory basis 
document. During the development of the proposed rule language, the NRC 
held two public meetings with stakeholders on August 7, 2014 and 
October 7, 2015 and will be issuing the draft implementing guidance 
with the proposed rule to support more informed external stakeholder 
feedback. Section XIV, ``Availability of Guidance,'' of this document 
describes how the public can access the draft implementing guidance for 
which the NRC seeks external stakeholder feedback.
    Finally, the NRC is requesting CER feedback on the following 
questions:
    1. In light of any current or projected CER challenges, does the 
proposed rule's effective date provide sufficient time to implement the 
new proposed requirements, including changes to programs, procedures, 
and facilities?
    2. If CER challenges currently exist or are expected, what should 
be done to address them? For example, if more time is required for 
implementation of the new requirements, what period of time is 
sufficient?
    3. Do other (NRC or other agency) regulatory actions (e.g., orders, 
generic communications, license amendment requests, inspection findings 
of a generic nature) influence the implementation of the proposed 
rule's requirements?
    4. Are there unintended consequences? Does the proposed rule create 
conditions that would be contrary to the proposed rule's purpose and 
objectives? If so, what are the unintended consequences, and how should 
they be addressed?
    5. Please comment on the NRC's cost and benefit estimates in the 
draft regulatory analysis that supports the proposed rule. The draft 
regulatory analysis is available as indicated in Section XVI, 
``Availability of Documents,'' of this document.

X. 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. The NRC 
requests comment on this document with respect to the clarity and 
effectiveness of the language used.

XI. Environmental Assessment and Proposed Finding of No Significant 
Environmental Impact

    The Commission has determined under NEPA and the Commission's 
regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, that this rule, if adopted, 
would not be a major Federal action significantly

[[Page 15655]]

affecting the quality of the human environment. Consequently, an 
environmental impact statement is not required. The basis of this 
determination reads as follows: The proposed rule to eliminate license 
terms for NPUFs, other than testing facilities, licensed under Sec.  
50.21(a) or (c) would result in no additional radiological or non-
radiological impacts because of existing surveillance and oversight and 
the minimal consequences of MHAs for these facilities. In addition, the 
implementation of the proposed rulemaking would not affect the NEPA 
environmental review requirements of new facilities and facilities 
applying for license renewal. The NRC concludes that this proposed rule 
would not cause any additional radiological or non-radiological impacts 
on the human environment.
    The determination of this environmental assessment (EA) is that 
there will be no significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment from this action. Public stakeholders should note, however, 
that comments on any aspect of the EA may be submitted to the NRC. The 
EA is available as indicated in Section XVI, ``Availability of 
Documents,'' of this document. The NRC has sent a copy of the EA and 
this proposed rule to every State Liaison Officer and has requested 
comments.

XII. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains new or amended collections of 
information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.). This proposed rule has been submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of the information 
collections.
    Type of submission, new or revision: Revision.
    The title of the information collection: 10 CFR part 50, Non-power 
Production or Utilization Facility License Renewal, Proposed Rule.
    The form number if applicable: Not applicable.
    How often the collection is required or requested: Once and 
annually.
    Who will be required or asked to respond: NPUF licensees.
    An estimate of the number of annual responses: 58 (27 reporting 
responses + 31 recordkeepers).
    The estimated number of annual respondents: 31.
    An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to comply 
with the information collection requirement or request: 1,551.
    Abstract: The proposed rule would result in incremental changes in 
recordkeeping and reporting burden relative to existing rules by 
eliminating license terms for class 104a or c NPUFs, other than testing 
facilities, and defining the license renewal process for class 103 
NPUFs and testing facilities; and requiring the periodic submittal of 
updates to the FSAR. The NRC anticipates that, overall, the proposed 
rule would result in reduced burden on licensees and the NRC, and would 
create a more responsive and efficient licensing process that would 
continue to protect public health and safety, promote the common 
defense and security, and protect the environment.
    Currently, NPUF licensees are not required to submit to the NRC 
updated FSARs. During the recent round of license renewals, the NRC 
found that some FSARs submitted with license renewal applications often 
did not reflect a facility's current licensing basis. The lack of 
ongoing FSAR updates added burden to the license renewal process for 
NPUF licensees and the NRC in order to re-establish each facility's 
licensing basis. Periodic submittals of updates to FSARs would create a 
mechanism for incorporating design and operational changes into the 
licensing basis as they occur. As a result, NPUFs would routinely 
update their licensing bases and the NRC would be made aware of changes 
to the licensing bases more frequently.
    The NRC has determined that the proposed information collection 
requirements are necessary to ensure that: (1) Licensee procedures are 
up-to-date and are consistent with the NRC's requirements, (2) 
licensing bases are not lost over time, and (3) the NRC is made aware 
of changes to facilities more frequently.
    The NRC is seeking public comment on the potential impact of the 
information collections contained in this proposed rule and on the 
following issues:
    1. Is the proposed information collection necessary for the proper 
performance of the functions of the NRC, including whether the 
information will have practical utility?
    2. Is the estimate of burden of the proposed information collection 
accurate?
    3. Is there a way to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of 
the information to be collected?
    4. How can the burden of the proposed information collection on 
respondents be minimized, including the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology?
    A copy of the OMB clearance package and proposed rule is available 
in ADAMS under Accession No. ML17068A077 or may be viewed free of 
charge at the NRC's PDR, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Room O-1 F21, Rockville, MD 20852. You may obtain information and 
comment submissions related to the OMB clearance package by searching 
on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.
    You may submit comments on any aspect of these proposed information 
collection(s), including suggestions for reducing the burden and on the 
previously stated issues, by the following methods:
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.
     Mail comments to: Information Services Branch, Office of 
the Chief Information Officer, Mail Stop: T-2 F43, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 or to Aaron Szabo, 
Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (3150-AI96), 
NEOB-10202, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503; 
telephone: 202-395-3621, email: oira_submission@omb.eop.gov.
    Submit comments by May 1, 2017. Comments received after this date 
will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to 
ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

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 
number.

XIII. Criminal Penalties

    For the purposes of Section 223 of the AEA, the NRC is issuing this 
proposed rule that would amend 10 CFR 2.109, 50.2, 50.33, 50.34, 50.51, 
50.59, 50.71, 50.82, and 51.45 and create 10 CFR 50.135 and 51.56 under 
one or more of Sections 161b, 161i, or 161o of the AEA. Willful 
violations of the rule would be subject to criminal enforcement.

XIV. Availability of Guidance

    The NRC is issuing DG-2006, ``Preparation of Updated Final Safety 
Analysis Reports for Non-power Production or Utilization Facilities,'' 
in accordance with 10 CFR 50.71(e), for the implementation of the 
proposed requirements in this rulemaking. The DG is available as 
indicated in Section XVI, ``Availability of Documents,'' of this 
document. You may obtain information and comment submissions related to 
the DG by searching on http://

[[Page 15656]]

www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0087.
    The draft implementing guidance defines multiple terms found in 10 
CFR part 50 and other documents relevant to the preparation of FSARs, 
including aging; aging management; change; design bases; effects of 
changes; facility; FSAR (as updated); historical information; licensing 
basis; NPUFs; obsolete information, and safety related items. The NRC 
recognizes that changes to facilities may be necessary during the 
course of operations due to facilities' dynamic designs and operations; 
however, licensees must justify and implement any changes to the design 
basis and licensing basis in accordance with NRC regulations. The 
updated FSAR provides the NRC with the most current design and 
licensing bases for a licensee and provides the general public with a 
description of the facility and its operation. Section 50.34 and NUREG-
1537, Part 1 provide the scope and format of an updated FSAR. Content 
should include changes to the facility or its operations resulting from 
new or amended regulatory requirements as well as changes and the 
effects of changes to the facility, its procedures, or experiments. The 
NRC Facility Project Manager reserves the right to conduct an 
inspection related to changes reported in the updated FSAR.
    You may submit comments on the DG by the following methods:
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0087. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.

XV. Public Meeting

    The NRC will conduct a public meeting on the proposed rule for the 
purpose of describing the proposed rule to the public and answering 
questions from the public to assist the public in providing informed 
comments on the proposed rule during the comment period.
    The NRC will publish a notice of the location, time, and agenda of 
the meeting on the NRC's public meeting Web site at least 10 calendar 
days before the meeting. In addition, the NRC will post the meeting 
notice on Regulations.gov under NRC-2011-0087. Stakeholders should 
monitor the NRC's public meeting Web site for information about the 
public meeting at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm.

XVI. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to 
interested persons as indicated.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                ADAMS accession No./Web
                   Document                      link/ Federal Register
                                                        citation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
SECY-16-0048, ``Proposed Rulemaking: Non-      ML16019A048.
 Power Production or Utilization Facility
 License Renewal''.
SRM-SECY-16-0048, ``Proposed Rulemaking: Non-  ML17045A543.
 Power Production or Utilization Facility
 License Renewal''.
NUREG-1537, Part 1, ``Guidelines for           ML042430055.
 Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the
 Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Format and
 Content''.
NUREG-1537, Part 2, ``Guidelines for           ML042430048.
 Preparing and Reviewing Applications for the
 Licensing of Non-Power Reactors, Standard
 Review Plan and Acceptance Criteria''.
Interim Staff Guidance on Streamlined Review   ML091420066.
 Process for License Renewal for Research
 Reactors.
Non-Power Reactor License Renewal:             77 FR 38742; June 29,
 Preliminary Draft Regulatory Basis; Request    2012.
 for Comment.
Regulatory Basis to Support Proceeding with    ML12240A677.
 Rulemaking to Streamline and Enhance the
 Research and Test Reactor (RTR) License
 Renewal Process.
Federal Register Notice: Final Regulatory      ML12250A658.
 Basis for Rulemaking to Streamline Non-Power
 Reactor License Renewal; Notice of
 Availability of Documents.
SECY-08-0161, ``Review of Research and Test    ML082550140.
 Reactor License Renewal Applications''.
SRM-SECY-08-0161, ``Review of Research and     ML090850159.
 Test Reactor License Renewal Applications''.
SRM-M080317B, ``Briefing on State of NRC       ML080940439.
 Technical Programs''.
SECY-09-0095, ``Long-Term Plan for Enhancing   ML092150717.
 the Research and Test Reactor License
 Renewal Process and Status of the
 Development and Use of the Interim Staff
 Guidance''.
SRM-SECY-91-061, ``Separation of Non-Reactor   ML010050021.
 and Non-Power Reactor Licensing Activities
 from Power Reactor Licensing Activities in
 10 CFR Part 50''.
SRM-M090811, ``Briefing on Research and Test   ML092380046.
 Reactor (RTR) Challenges''.
Draft Regulatory Guide DG-2006, ``Preparation  ML17068A041.
 of Updated Final Safety Analysis Reports for
 Non-Power Production or Utilization
 Facilities''.
Draft Regulatory and Backfit Analysis........  ML17068A038.
EPA 400-R-92-001, ``Manual of Protective       http://www2.epa.gov/sites/
 Action Guides and Protective Actions for       production/files/2014-11/
 Nuclear Incidents''.                           documents/00000173.pdf.
Summary of August 7, 2014 Public Meeting to    ML15322A400.
 Discuss the Rulemaking for Streamlining Non-
 power Reactor License Renewal.
Summary of October 7, 2015 Public Meeting to   ML15307A002.
 Discuss the Rulemaking for Streamlining Non-
 Power Reactor License Renewal.
Summary of September 13, 2011 Public Meeting   ML112710285.
 to Discuss Streamlining Non-Power Reactor
 License Renewal.
Summary of December 19, 2011 Public Meeting    ML113630166.
 to Discuss the Regulatory Basis for
 Streamlining Non-Power Reactor License
 Renewal and Emergency Preparedness.
Summary of March 27, 2012 Public Meeting:      ML120930333.
 Briefing on License Renewal for Research and
 Test Reactors.
Draft OMB Supporting Statement...............  ML17068A077.
Draft Environmental Assessment...............  ML17068A035.
Final Rule; Financial Information              69 FR 4439; January 30,
 Requirements for Applications to Renew or      2004.
 Extend the Term of an Operating License for
 a Power Reactor.

[[Page 15657]]

 
Final Rule; 10 CFR Part 50--Licensing of       33 FR 9704; July 4, 1968.
 Production and Utilization Facilities.
Final Rule; Elimination of Review of           47 FR 13750; March 31,
 Financial Qualifications of Electric           1982.
 Utilities in Licensing Hearings for Nuclear
 Power Plants.
Final Rule; Elimination of Review of           49 FR 35747; September
 Financial Qualifications of Electric           12, 1984.
 Utilities in Operating License Reviews and
 Hearings for Nuclear Power Plants.
Final Regulations; National Environmental      43 FR 55978; November 29,
 Policy Act--Regulations.                       1978.
Direct Final Rule; Definition of a             79 FR 62329; October 17,
 Utilization Facility.                          2014.
Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking;        48 FR 44217; September
 Revision of Backfitting Process for Power      28, 1983.
 Reactors.
Policy Statement; Revision of Backfitting      48 FR 44173; September
 Process for Power Reactors.                    28, 1983.
Proposed Rule; Revision of Backfitting         49 FR 47034; November 30,
 Process for Power Reactors.                    1984.
Final Rule; Revision of Backfitting Process    50 FR 38097; September
 for Power Reactors.                            20, 1985.
Final Rule; Limiting the Use of Highly         51 FR 6514; March 27,
 Enriched Uranium in Domestically Licensed      1986.
 Research and Test Reactors.
Final Rule; Clarification of Physical          58 FR 13699; March 15,
 Protection Requirements at Fixed Sites.        1993.
Final Rule; Requirements for Fingerprint-      77 FR 27561, 27572; May
 Based Criminal History Record Checks for       11, 2012.
 Individuals Seeking Unescorted Access to Non-
 Power Reactors.
Plain Language in Government Writing.........  63 FR 31885; June 10,
                                                1998.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Throughout the development of this rule, the NRC may post documents 
related to this rule, including public comments, on the Federal 
rulemaking Web site at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-
2011-0087. The Federal rulemaking Web site allows you to receive alerts 
when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) 
Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2011-0087); (2) click the ``Sign up 
for Email Alerts'' link; and (3) enter your email address and select 
how frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or 
monthly).

List of Subjects

10 CFR Part 2

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Byproduct 
material, Classified information, Confidential business information; 
Freedom of information, Environmental protection, Hazardous waste, 
Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sex 
discrimination, Source material, Special nuclear material, Waste 
treatment and disposal.

10 CFR Part 50

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antitrust, Classified 
information, Criminal penalties, Education, Fire prevention, Fire 
protection, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, 
Nuclear power plants and reactors, Penalties, Radiation protection, 
Reactor siting criteria, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Whistleblowing.

10 CFR Part 51

    Administrative practice and procedure, Environmental impact 
statements, Hazardous waste, Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear 
power plants and reactors, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 
1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is proposing to 
adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR parts 2, 50, and 51:

PART 2--AGENCY RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 29, 53, 62, 63, 81, 
102, 103, 104, 105, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 189, 191, 234 (42 
U.S.C. 2039, 2073, 2092, 2093, 2111, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 
2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2236, 2239, 2241, 2282); Energy 
Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 206 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5846); 
Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 114(f), 134, 135, 141 (42 
U.S.C. 10134(f), 10154, 10155, 10161); Administrative Procedure Act 
(5 U.S.C. 552, 553, 554, 557, 558); National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.
    Section 2.205(j) also issued under 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

0
2. In Sec.  2.109, revise paragraph (a) and add paragraph (e) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  2.109  Effect of timely renewal application.

    (a) Except for the renewal of an operating license for a nuclear 
power plant under 10 CFR 50.21(b) or 50.22, a non-power production or 
utilization facility, an early site permit under subpart A of part 52 
of this chapter, a manufacturing license under subpart F of part 52 of 
this chapter, or a combined license under subpart C of part 52 of this 
chapter, if at least 30 days before the expiration of an existing 
license authorizing any activity of a continuing nature, the licensee 
files an application for a renewal or for a new license for the 
activity so authorized, the existing license will not be deemed to have 
expired until the application has been finally determined.
* * * * *
    (e) If the licensee of a non-power production or utilization 
facility licensed under 10 CFR 50.22, or testing facility, files a 
sufficient application for renewal at least 2 years before the 
expiration of the existing license, the existing license will not be 
deemed to have expired until the application has been finally 
determined.

PART 50--DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION 
FACILITIES

0
3. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 101, 102, 103, 
104, 105, 108, 122, 147, 149, 161, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 
187, 189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2131, 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 
2138, 2152, 2167, 2169, 2201, 2231, 2232, 2233, 2234, 2235, 2236, 
2237, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 
201, 202, 206, 211 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846, 5851); Nuclear Waste 
Policy Act of 1982, sec. 306 (42 U.S.C. 10226); National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332); 44 U.S.C. 3504 
note; Sec. 109, Pub. L. 96-295, 94 Stat. 783.

0
4. In Sec.  50.2, add, in alphabetical order, the definition for non-
power production or utilization facility to read as follows:


Sec.  50.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Non-power production or utilization facility means a non-power 
reactor, testing facility, or other production or utilization facility, 
licensed under Sec.  50.21(a), Sec.  50.21(c), or Sec.  50.22, that is

[[Page 15658]]

not a nuclear power reactor or fuel reprocessing plant.
* * * * *
0
5. In Sec.  50.8, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.8  Information collection requirements: OMB approval.

* * * * *
    (b) The approved information collection requirements contained in 
this part appear in Sec. Sec.  50.30, 50.33, 50.34, 50.34a, 50.35, 
50.36, 50.36a, 50.36b, 50.44, 50.46, 50.47, 50.48, 50.49, 50.54, 50.55, 
50.55a, 50.59, 50.60, 50.61, 50.61a, 50.62, 50.63, 50.64, 50.65, 50.66, 
50.68, 50.69, 50.70, 50.71, 50.72, 50.74, 50.75, 50.80, 50.82, 50.90, 
50.91, 50.120, 50.135, 50.150, and appendices A, B, E, G, H, I, J, K, 
M, N, O, Q, R, and S to this part.
* * * * *
0
6. In Sec.  50.33, revise paragraph (f)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.33  Contents of applications; general information.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (2) If the application is for an operating license, the applicant 
shall submit information that demonstrates the applicant possesses or 
has reasonable assurance of obtaining the funds necessary to cover 
estimated operation costs for the period of the license. The applicant 
shall submit estimates for total annual operating costs for each of the 
first 5 years of operation of the facility. The applicant shall also 
indicate the source(s) of funds to cover these costs. An applicant 
seeking to renew or extend the term of an operating license need not 
submit the financial information that is required in an application for 
an initial license.
* * * * *
0
7. In Sec.  50.34, revise paragraph (a)(1)(ii)(D) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.34  Contents of applications; technical information.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (D) The safety features that are to be engineered into the facility 
and those barriers that must be breached as a result of an accident 
before a release of radioactive material to the environment can occur. 
Special attention must be directed to design features intended to 
mitigate the radiological consequences of accidents.
    (1) In performing this assessment for a nuclear power reactor, an 
applicant shall assume a fission product release \6\ from the core into 
the containment assuming that the facility is operated at the ultimate 
power level contemplated. The applicant shall perform an evaluation and 
analysis of the postulated fission product release, using the expected 
demonstrable containment leak rate and any fission product cleanup 
systems intended to mitigate the consequences of the accidents, 
together with applicable site characteristics, including site 
meteorology, to evaluate the offsite radiological consequences. Site 
characteristics must comply with part 100 of this chapter. The 
evaluation must determine that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The fission product release assumed for this evaluation 
should be based upon a major accident, hypothesized for purposes of 
site analysis or postulated from considerations of possible 
accidental events. Such accidents have generally been assumed to 
result in substantial meltdown of the core with subsequent release 
into the containment of appreciable quantities of fission products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (i) An individual located at any point on the boundary of the 
exclusion area for any 2-hour period following the onset of the 
postulated fission product release, would not receive a radiation dose 
in excess of 25 rem \7\ total effective dose equivalent (TEDE).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ A whole body dose of 25 rem has been stated to correspond 
numerically to the once in a lifetime accidental or emergency dose 
for radiation workers which, according to NCRP recommendations at 
the time could be disregarded in the determination of their 
radiation exposure status (see NBS Handbook 69 dated June 5, 1959). 
However, its use is not intended to imply that this number 
constitutes an acceptable limit for an emergency dose to the public 
under accident conditions. Rather, this dose value has been set 
forth in this section as a reference value, which can be used in the 
evaluation of plant design features with respect to postulated 
reactor accidents, in order to assure that such designs provide 
assurance of low risk of public exposure to radiation, in the event 
of such accidents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (ii) An individual located at any point on the outer boundary of 
the low population zone, who is exposed to the radioactive cloud 
resulting from the postulated fission product release (during the 
entire period of its passage) would not receive a radiation dose in 
excess of 25 rem TEDE.
    (2) All holders of operating licenses issued to non-power 
production or utilization facilities, and applicants for renewed 
licenses for non-power production or utilization facilities under Sec.  
50.135 of this chapter not subject to 10 CFR part 100, shall provide an 
evaluation of the applicable radiological consequences in the facility 
safety analysis report that demonstrates with reasonable assurance that 
any individual located in the unrestricted area following the onset of 
a postulated accidental release of licensed material, including 
consideration of experiments, would not receive a radiation dose in 
excess of 1 rem (0.01 Sv) TEDE for the duration of the accident.
* * * * *
0
8. In Sec.  50.51, revise paragraph (a) and add paragraph (c) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  50.51  Continuation of license.

    (a) Except as noted in Sec.  50.51(c), each license will be issued 
for a fixed period of time to be specified in the license but in no 
case to exceed 40 years from date of issuance. Where the operation of a 
facility is involved, the Commission will issue the license for the 
term requested by the applicant or for the estimated useful life of the 
facility if the Commission determines that the estimated useful life is 
less than the term requested. Where construction of a facility is 
involved, the Commission may specify in the construction permit the 
period for which the license will be issued if approved pursuant to 
Sec.  50.56. Licenses may be renewed by the Commission upon the 
expiration of the period. Renewal of operating licenses for nuclear 
power plants is governed by 10 CFR part 54. Application for termination 
of license is to be made pursuant to Sec.  50.82.
* * * * *
    (c) Each non-power production or utilization facility license, 
other than a testing facility license, issued under Sec.  50.21(a) or 
(c) after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE] will be issued with no fixed 
license term.
0
9. In Sec.  50.59, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.59  Changes, tests and experiments.

* * * * *
    (b) This section applies to each holder of an operating license 
issued under this part or a combined license issued under part 52 of 
this chapter, including the holder of a license authorizing operation 
of a nuclear power reactor that has submitted the certification of 
permanent cessation of operations required under Sec.  50.82(a)(1) or 
Sec.  50.110, or a reactor licensee whose license has been amended to 
allow possession of nuclear fuel but not operation of the facility, or 
a non-power production or utilization facility that has permanently 
ceased operations.
* * * * *
0
10. In Sec.  50.71, revise paragraph (e) introductory text and 
paragraph (e)(3)(i), add paragraph (e)(3)(iv), and revise paragraph 
(e)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.71  Maintenance of records, making of reports.

* * * * *
    (e) Each person licensed to operate a nuclear power reactor, or 
non-power production or utilization facility, under

[[Page 15659]]

the provisions of Sec.  50.21 or Sec.  50.22, and each applicant for a 
combined license under part 52 of this chapter, shall update 
periodically, as provided in paragraphs (e)(3) and (4) of this section, 
the final safety analysis report (FSAR) originally submitted as part of 
the application for the license, to assure that the information 
included in the report contains the latest information developed. This 
submittal shall contain all the changes necessary to reflect 
information and analyses submitted to the Commission by the applicant 
or licensee or prepared by the applicant or licensee pursuant to 
Commission requirement since the submittal of the original FSAR, or as 
appropriate, the last update to the FSAR under this section. The 
submittal shall include the effects \1\ of all changes made in the 
facility or procedures as described in the FSAR; all safety analyses 
and evaluations performed by the applicant or licensee either in 
support of approved license amendments or in support of conclusions 
that changes did not require a license amendment in accordance with 
Sec.  50.59(c)(2) or, in the case of a license that references a 
certified design, in accordance with Sec.  52.98(c) of this chapter; 
and all analyses of new safety issues performed by or on behalf of the 
applicant or licensee at Commission request. The updated information 
shall be appropriately located within the update to the FSAR.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Effects of changes include appropriate revisions of 
descriptions in the FSAR such that the FSAR (as updated) is complete 
and accurate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    (3)(i) For nuclear power reactor licensees, a revision of the 
original FSAR containing those original pages that are still applicable 
plus new replacement pages shall be filed within 24 months of either 
July 22, 1980, or the date of issuance of the operating license, 
whichever is later, and shall bring the FSAR up to date as of a maximum 
of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.
* * * * *
    (iv) For non-power production or utilization facility licenses 
issued after [EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], a revision of the original 
FSAR must be filed within 5 years of the date of issuance of the 
operating license. The revision must bring the FSAR up to date as of a 
maximum of 6 months prior to the date of filing the revision.
    (4)(i) For nuclear power reactor licensees, subsequent revisions 
must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided 
the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. The 
revisions must reflect all changes up to a maximum of 6 months prior to 
the date of filing. For nuclear power reactor facilities that have 
submitted the certifications required by Sec.  50.82(a)(1), subsequent 
revisions must be filed every 24 months.
    (ii) Non-power production or utilization facility licensees shall 
file subsequent FSAR updates at intervals not to exceed 5 years. Each 
update must reflect all changes made to the FSAR up to a maximum of 6 
months prior to the date of filing the update.
* * * * *
0
11. In Sec.  50.82, revise paragraph (b) introductory text and 
paragraphs (b)(1) and (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  50.82  Termination of license.

* * * * *
    (b) For non-power production or utilization facility licensees--
    (1) A licensee that permanently ceases operations must make 
application for license termination within 2 years following permanent 
cessation of operations, and for testing facilities licensed under 
Sec.  50.21(c) or holders of a license issued under Sec.  50.22, in no 
case later than 1 year prior to expiration of the operating license. 
Each application for termination of a license must be accompanied or 
preceded by a proposed decommissioning plan. The contents of the 
decommissioning plan are specified in paragraph (b)(4) of this section.
* * * * *
    (c) The collection period for any shortfall of funds will be 
determined, upon application by the licensee, on a case-by-case basis 
taking into account the specific financial situation of each holder of 
the following licenses:
    (1) A non-power production or utilization facility license issued 
under Sec.  50.21(a) or Sec.  50.21(c), other than a testing facility, 
that has permanently ceased operations.
    (2) A license issued under Sec.  50.21(b) or Sec.  50.22, or a 
testing facility, that has permanently ceased operation before the 
expiration of its license.
0
12. Add Sec.  50.135 to read as follows:


Sec.  50.135  License renewal for non-power production or utilization 
facilities licenses issued under Sec.  50.22 and testing facility 
licensees.

    (a) Applicability. The requirements in this section apply to 
applicants for renewed non-power production or utilization facility 
operating licenses issued under Sec.  50.22 and to applicants for 
renewed testing facility operating licenses issued under Sec.  
50.21(c).
    (b) Written communications. All applications, correspondence, 
reports, and other written communications must be filed in accordance 
with applicable portions of Sec.  50.4.
    (c) Filing of application. (1) The filing of an application for a 
renewed license must be in accordance with subpart A of 10 CFR part 2 
and all applicable sections of this part.
    (2) An application for a renewed license may not be submitted to 
the Commission earlier than 10 years before the expiration of the 
operating license currently in effect.
    (d) Contents of application. (1) Each application must provide the 
information specified in Sec. Sec.  50.33, 50.34, and 50.36, as 
applicable.
    (2) Each application must include conforming changes to the 
standard indemnity agreement, under 10 CFR part 140 to account for the 
expiration term of the proposed renewed license.
    (3) Contents of application--environmental information. Each 
application must include a supplement to the environmental report that 
complies with the requirements of 10 CFR 51.56.
    (e) Issuance of a renewed license. (1) A renewed license will be of 
the class for which the operating license currently in effect was 
issued.
    (2) A renewed license will be issued for a fixed period of time, 
which is the sum of the additional amount of time beyond the expiration 
of the operating license (not to exceed 30 years) that is requested in 
a renewal application plus the remaining number of years on the 
operating license currently in effect. The term of any renewed license 
may not exceed 40 years.
    (3) A renewed license will become effective 30 days after its 
issuance, thereby superseding the operating license previously in 
effect. If a renewed license is subsequently set aside upon further 
administrative or judicial appeal, the operating license previously in 
effect will be reinstated unless its term has expired and the renewal 
application was not filed in a timely manner.
    (4) A renewed license may be subsequently renewed in accordance 
with all applicable requirements.

PART 51--ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION REGULATIONS FOR DOMESTIC 
LICENSING AND RELATED REGULATORY FUNCTIONS

0
13. The authority citation for part 51 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 161, 193 (42 U.S.C. 
2201, 2243); Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, secs. 201, 202 (42 
U.S.C. 5841, 5842); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C.

[[Page 15660]]

4332, 4334, 4335); Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, secs. 144(f), 
121, 135, 141, 148 (42 U.S.C. 10134(f), 10141, 10155, 10161, 10168); 
44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

0
14. In Sec.  51.17, revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.17  Information collection requirements; OMB approval.

* * * * *
    (b) The approved information collection requirements in this part 
appear in Sec. Sec.  51.6, 51.16, 51.41, 51.45, 51.49, 51.50, 51.51, 
51.52, 51.53, 51.54, 51.55, 51.56, 51.58, 51.60, 51.61, 51.62, 51.66, 
51.68, and 51.69.
0
15. In Sec.  51.45, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  51.45  Environmental report.

    (a) General. As required by Sec. Sec.  51.50, 51.53, 51.54, 51.55, 
51.56, 51.60, 51.61, 51.62, or 51.68, as appropriate, each applicant or 
petitioner for rulemaking shall submit with its application or petition 
for rulemaking one signed original of a separate document entitled 
``Applicant's'' or ``Petitioner's Environmental Report,'' as 
appropriate. An applicant or petitioner for rulemaking may submit a 
supplement to an environmental report at any time.
* * * * *
0
16. Add Sec.  51.56 to read as follows:


Sec.  51.56  Environmental report--non-power production or utilization 
facility licenses.

    Each applicant for a non-power production or utilization facility 
license or other form of permission, or renewal of a non-power 
production or utilization facility license or other form of permission 
issued pursuant to Sec. Sec.  50.21(a) or (c) or Sec.  50.22 of this 
chapter shall submit a separate document, entitled ``Applicant's 
Environmental Report'' or ``Supplement to Applicant's Environmental 
Report,'' as appropriate, with its application to: ATTN: Document 
Control Desk, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. The 
environmental report or supplement shall contain the information 
specified in Sec.  51.45. If the application is for a renewal of a 
license or other form of permission for which the applicant has 
previously submitted an environmental report, the supplement, to the 
extent applicable, shall include an analysis of any environmental 
impacts resulting from operational experience or a change in 
operations, and an analysis of any environmental impacts that may 
result from proposed decommissioning activities. The supplement may 
incorporate by reference the previously submitted environmental report, 
or portions thereof.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of March, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2017-06162 Filed 3-29-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P