[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 166 (Wednesday, August 26, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52643-52644]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-18797]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2018-0137]


Licensee Actions To Address Nonconservative Technical 
Specifications

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft regulatory guide; request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is re-issuing for 
public comment draft regulatory guide (DG) DG-1351 (proposed new 
Regulatory Guide 1.239), originally titled, ``Dispositioning of 
Technical Specifications that are Insufficient to Ensure Plant 
Safety.'' This DG has been revised to include changes as a result of 
the public comments received in the original publication of DG-1351 in 
2018 and the issuance of Revision 3 of Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) 
15-03, ``Licensee Actions to Address Nonconservative Technical 
Specifications,'' in 2020. This revision of DG-1351 (Revision 1) 
removes the exceptions and clarifications that were in the 2018 version 
of DG-1351 and endorses NEI 15-03, Revision 3. The title of this DG-
1351 has also changed to ``Licensee Actions to Address Nonconservative 
Technical Specifications.''

DATES: Submit comments by September 25, 2020. 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. Although a time limit is given, comments and suggestions in 
connection with items for inclusion in guides currently being developed 
or improvements in all published guides are encouraged at any time.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for NRC Docket ID NRC-2018-0137. Address 
questions about NRC dockets IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
     Mail Comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 
TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.
    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: Shawn Williams, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-1009, email: 
[email protected] and Robert Roche-Rivera, Office of Nuclear 
Regulatory Research, telephone: 301-415-8113, email: [email protected]. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0137 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 Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0137.
     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 reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by 
email to [email protected]. For the convenience of the reader, 
instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are 
provided in the ``Availability of Documents'' section.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2018-0137 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 
https://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. Additional Information

    The NRC is issuing for public comment a draft guide in the NRC's 
``Regulatory Guide'' series. This series was developed to describe 
methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific 
parts of the agency's regulations, to explain techniques that the staff 
uses in evaluating specific issues or postulated events, and to 
describe information that the staff needs in its review of applications 
for permits and licenses.
    The DG, titled, ``Licensee Actions to Address Nonconservative 
Technical Specifications,'' is a proposed new Regulatory Guide 1.239 
and is temporarily identified by its task number, DG-1351, Revision 1. 
This DG provides methods and procedures that are acceptable to the NRC 
staff for licensee actions to address nonconservative technical 
specifications.

[[Page 52644]]

    The DG-1351 was issued originally for public comment on July 5, 
2018 (83 FR 31429), and it endorsed NEI 15-03, Revision 2, with 
exceptions and clarifications. On October 17, 2019, the NRC staff held 
a public meeting to discuss the staff's disposition of public comments 
on DG-1351. Subsequently, by letter dated April 9, 2020, the NEI 
submitted Revision 3 of NEI 15-03 to address the exceptions and 
clarifications in DG-1351. The NRC review of the April 9 submittal 
determined that NEI 15-03, as revised, is acceptable and addresses the 
exceptions and clarifications in DG-1351. As a result, the NRC revised 
DG-1351 to remove the exceptions and clarifications. Members of the 
public that submitted comments on the July 5, 2018, version of DG-1351 
and believe such comments are not adequately addressed in the updated 
DG-1351, Revision 1, are encouraged to resubmit their comments or 
provide additional comments.
    If the NRC finalizes DG-1351, Revision 1, and issues RG 1.239, then 
the NRC would also withdraw Administrative Letter (AL) 98-10, 
``Dispositioning of Technical Specifications That Are Insufficient to 
Assure Plant Safety.''

III. Backfitting, Forward Fitting, and Issue Finality

    DG-1351, Revision 1, if finalized, would provide guidance on 
licensee actions to address nonconservative technical specifications. 
Issuance of DG-1351, Revision 1, if finalized, would not constitute 
backfitting as defined in title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) section 50.109, ``Backfitting,'' and as described in NRC 
Management Directive (MD) 8.4, ``Management of Backfitting, Forward 
Fitting, Issue Finality, and Information Requests''; constitute forward 
fitting as that term is defined and described in MD 8.4; or affect the 
issue finality of any approval issued under 10 CFR part 52, ``Licenses, 
Certificates, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.'' As explained in 
this DG, applicants and licensees are not required to comply with the 
positions set forth in this DG.

IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to 
interested persons through ADAMS under the respective ADAMS Accession 
numbers identified in the table.

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                  Document                       ADAMS Accession No.
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DG-1351, Revision 1, Licensee Actions to     ML20142A489.
 Address Nonconservative Technical
 Specifications, August 2020.
DG-1351, Dispositioning of Technical         ML18086A690.
 Specifications that are Insufficient to
 Ensure Plant Safety, July 2018.
NEI 15-03, Revision 2, Licensee Actions to   ML17276A642.
 Address Nonconservative Technical
 Specifications, September 2017.
Summary of October 17, 2019, Meeting with    ML19298B110.
 NEI Regarding DG-1351.
Draft NRC Staff Responses to Public          ML19267A108.
 Comments on DG-1351.
NEI 15-03, Revision 3, Licensee Actions to   ML20100G899 (Package).
 Address Nonconservative Technical
 Specifications, March 2020.
AL 98-10, Dispositioning of Technical        ML031110108.
 Specifications That Are Insufficient to
 Assure Plant Safety.
Management Directive 8.4, Management of      ML18093B087.
 Backfitting, Forward Fitting, Issue
 Finality, and Information Requests.
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    Dated: August 21, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Meraj Rahimi,
Acting Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division 
of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.
[FR Doc. 2020-18797 Filed 8-25-20; 8:45 am]
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