[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 75 (Friday, April 17, 2020)]
[Pages 21476-21477]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08158]




Standard Format and Content of Safeguards Contingency Plans for 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Regulatory guide; withdrawal.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is withdrawing 
Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.56, ``Standard Format and Content of Safeguards 
Contingency Plans for Transportation.'' RG 5.56 is being withdrawn 
because it contains regulatory guidance that is out of date and not 
currently necessary.

DATES: The withdrawal of RG 5.56 takes effect on April 17, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0057 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0057. Address 
questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS 
Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by email to [email protected]. The basis for withdrawal of RG 5.56 
is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20030A085.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Albert N. Tardiff, telephone: 301-287-
3613, email: [email protected], or Mekonen Bayssie, telephone: 301-
415-1699, email: [email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.


I. Background

    RG 5.56 was published for comment in March 1978 to provide guidance 
on the development of safeguards contingency plans for transportation. 
This guide supports meeting NRC physical protection requirements for 
transportation of special nuclear material (SNM). In addition, it 
supports meeting the NRC licensing requirements to transport formula 
quantities of strategic SNM (also referred to as Category I quantities 
of strategic SNM).
    The NRC is withdrawing RG 5.56, ``Standard Format and Content of 
Safeguards Contingency Plans for Transportation,'' because the guide no

[[Page 21477]]

longer provides methods that the NRC staff finds acceptable to meet the 
NRC's regulatory requirements.
    As a matter of agreement, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) 
currently transports Category I quantities of strategic SNM using its 
own guidance. This is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. 
The NRC's regulatory requirements for transportation security of this 
material are still in place. However, these requirements have not been 
updated for the current threat environment. Moreover, given the lack of 
any private transport of these materials, no post-9/11 security orders 
were developed to address contingency plans for transportation. 
Therefore, the NRC staff considers RG 5.56 to be outdated and is not 
satisfactory for developing contingency plans for the transportation of 
Category I strategic SNM in the future.
    It may be possible for the staff to update the guidance to make it 
useful for potential future use; however, the staff concludes that the 
expenditure of resources to revise the guide is neither necessary nor 
warranted. If an NRC licensee or applicant proposed to transport 
Category I quantities of strategic SNM today without DOE, the staff 
would evaluate the need for additional physical protection, given the 
current threat environment, and provide approval to the licensee or 
applicant, as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis. The likelihood of 
such a proposal is expected to be remote. Other general NRC guidance on 
the development of contingency plans can be found in NUREG/CR-6667, 
``Standard Review Plan for Safeguards Contingency Response Plans for 
Category I Fuel Facilities,'' and such guidance could be useful in 
developing a contingency plan for transportation of Category I 
quantities of SNM.

II. Further Information

    The withdrawal of RG 5.56 does not alter any prior or existing NRC 
licensing approval, or the acceptability of licensee commitments made 
regarding the withdrawn guidance. Although RG 5.56 is withdrawn, 
current licensees referencing this RG may continue to do so, and 
withdrawal does not affect any existing licenses or agreements. 
However, by withdrawing RG 5.56, the NRC no longer approves use of the 
guidance in future requests or applications for NRC licensing actions.

    Dated: April 14, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Thomas H. Boyce,
Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of 
Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.
[FR Doc. 2020-08158 Filed 4-16-20; 8:45 am]