[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 216 (Friday, November 6, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 71002-71003]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-24387]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 216 / Friday, November 6, 2020 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 71002]]


10 CFR Part 53

RIN 3150-AK31

Risk-Informed, Technology-Inclusive Regulatory Framework for 
Advanced Reactors

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Availability of preliminary proposed rule language; request for 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is developing new 
requirements for the licensing and regulation of advanced nuclear 
reactors and is seeking public input. The new rulemaking would adopt 
technology-inclusive approaches and include the appropriate use of 
risk-informed and performance-based techniques, to provide the 
necessary flexibility for licensing and regulating a variety of 
advanced nuclear reactor technologies and designs. The NRC is 
periodically making available for comment preliminary proposed rule 
language for a risk-informed, technology-inclusive framework that will 
be added to NRC's regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations.

DATES: Submit comments by November 5, 2021. Comments received after 
this date will be considered in the development of the proposed rule if 
it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration 
only for comments received before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on preliminary rule language by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2019-0062. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder; telephone: 301-415-3407; 
email: [email protected]. For technical questions contact the 
individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Email comments to: [email protected]. If you do 
not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact 
us at 301-415-1677.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Beall, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-3874; email: 
[email protected]; or William Reckley, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, telephone: 301-415-7490; email: [email protected]. 
Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.


I. Obtaining Information

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2019-0062 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-2019-0062.
     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 ADAMS accession number for the 
preliminary proposed rule text is ML20289A534.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2019-0062 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. Background

    On January 14, 2019, the President signed the Nuclear Energy 
Innovation and Modernization Act (NEIMA) into law (Pub. L. 115 439). 
NEIMA directs the NRC to develop the regulatory infrastructure to 
support the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear 
reactors. The current application and licensing requirements, developed 
for large light-water and non-power reactors as outlined in part 50 of 
title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Domestic 
Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities,'' and 10 CFR part 
52, ``Licenses, Certifications and Approvals for Nuclear Power 
Plants,'' do not fully consider the variety of designs for advanced 
nuclear reactors and may require extensive use of the exemption process 
for regulations that include prescriptive requirements specific to 
light-water reactors. Through this rulemaking, the NRC is proposing to 
amend the regulations by creating an alternative regulatory framework 
for licensing advanced nuclear reactors.

III. Discussion

    The NRC is developing preliminary proposed rule language for the 
purpose of adding a new, alternative part to its regulations that will 
set out a risk-informed, technology-inclusive framework for the 
licensing and regulation of advanced nuclear reactors. This new 
approach would: (1) Continue to provide reasonable assurance of 
adequate protection of public health and safety and the common defense 
and security, (2) promote regulatory stability, predictability, and 
clarity, (3) reduce requests for exemptions from the current 
requirements in 10 CFR parts 50 and 52, (4) establish new requirements 
to address non-light-water reactor technologies, (5) recognize 

[[Page 71003]]

advancements in reactor design, and (6) credit the response of advanced 
nuclear reactors to postulated accidents, including slower transient 
response times and relatively small and slow release of fission 
products. The proposed rule would add 10 CFR part 53, ``Licensing and 
Regulation of Advanced Nuclear Reactors.''
    The NRC will periodically make available portions of preliminary 
proposed rule language on the federal rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2019-0062. This preliminary 
proposed rule language is draft and may be incomplete in one or more 
respects; however, the NRC welcomes diverse stakeholder feedback to 
inform the proposed rulemaking activity.
    Various sections of the 10 CFR part 53 preliminary proposed rule 
language will be released to stakeholders during the development of the 
proposed rule. The public will be provided with opportunities to 
comment on the preliminary proposed rule language before or during 
public meetings and on a rolling basis throughout the 12-month public 
comment period. The NRC plans to hold public meetings every 4 to 6 
weeks over the next 12 months. The meetings will be noticed in the 
NRC's Public Meeting Notice System at least 10 days in advance of the 
scheduled meeting. Preliminary proposed rule language is being provided 
to increase transparency and to facilitate discussions with 
stakeholders on the licensing process for advanced nuclear reactors. 
The NRC will post new and revised updates to the preliminary proposed 
rule language periodically on the Federal rulemaking website at 
www.regulations.gov that may be of interest to stakeholders. The NRC 
will not issue a Federal Register notice each time preliminary proposed 
rule language is added to the docket. Please monitor the docket on 
www.regulations.gov and use the following information to sign up for 
docket alerts.
    The NRC may post materials related to this rulemaking, including 
public comments received, on the Federal Rulemaking website at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2019-0062. The Federal 
Rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or 
additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the 
docket folder (NRC-2019-0062); (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 

    Dated: October 29, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John R. Tappert,
Director, Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2020-24387 Filed 11-5-20; 8:45 am]