[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 235 (Monday, December 7, 2020)]
[Pages 78879-78880]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-26844]




Licensee Actions to Address Nonconservative Technical 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Regulatory guide; issuance.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing 
Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.239, ``Licensee Actions to Address 
Nonconservative Technical Specifications.'' This RG endorses the 
guidance in NEI 15-03, Revision 3, ``Licensee Actions to Address 
Nonconservative Technical Specifications,'' as a method acceptable to 
the NRC staff for licensee actions to address nonconservative technical 

DATES: RG 1.239 is available on December 7, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0137 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-2018-0137. Address 
questions about 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]. For the convenience of the reader, 
instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are 
provided in the ``Availability of Documents'' section.
     Attention: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies 
of public documents, is currently closed. You may submit your request 
to the PDR via email at [email protected] or call 1-800-397-4209 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday, except 
Federal holidays.
    RG 1.239 and the regulatory analysis may be found in ADAMS under 
Accession Nos. ML20294A510 and ML18086A685, respectively.
    Regulatory guides are not copyrighted, and NRC approval is not 
required to reproduce them.

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.


I. Discussion

    The NRC is issuing a new guide in the NRC's ``Regulatory Guide'' 
series. This series was developed to describe and make available to the 
public information regarding methods that are acceptable to the NRC 
staff for implementing specific parts of the agency's regulations, 
techniques that the NRC staff uses in evaluating specific issues or 
postulated events, and data that the NRC staff needs in its review of 
applications for permits and licenses.
    RG 1.239 was issued with a temporary identification of Draft 
Regulatory Guide, DG-1351 and related regulatory analysis. This RG 
provides guidance for licensee compliance with the technical 
specification requirements in section 50.36 of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Technical specifications,'' the 
reporting requirements in 10 CFR 50.72, ``Immediate notification 
requirements for operating nuclear power reactors'' and 10 CFR 50.73, 
``Licensee event report system,'' and the quality assurance 
requirements in Criterion XVI of 10 CFR part 50, appendix B, 
``Corrective Action''. This RG endorses NEI 15-03, Revision 3.
    With the issuance of RG 1.239, the NRC is withdrawing 
Administrative Letter (AL) 98-10, ``Dispositioning of Technical 
Specifications That Are Insufficient to Assure Plant Safety.'' The 
information in AL 98-10 is encompassed in RG 1.239.

II. Additional Information

    The NRC published a notice of the availability of DG-1351 in the 
Federal Register on July 5, 2018 (83 FR 31429) for a 60-day public 
comment period, and it proposed to endorse NEI 15-03, Revision 2, with 
exceptions and clarifications. The public comment period closed on 
September 4, 2018. Public comments on DG-1351 and the staff responses 
to the public comments are available in ADAMS under Accession No. 
    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, 2020, 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 and published a notice of the availability of DG-1351, 
Revision 1 in the Federal

[[Page 78880]]

Register on August 26, 2020 (85 FR 52643) for a 30-day public comment 
period. The public comment period closed on September 25, 2020. Two 
public comment submissions were received by the end of the public 
comment period. These comment submissions expressed agreement with the 
DG-1351, Revision 1 and recommended final issuance of the RG.

III. Congressional Review Act

    This RG is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 
U.S.C. 801-808). However, the Office of Management and Budget has not 
found it to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

IV. Backfitting, Forward Fitting, and Issue Finality

    RG 1.239 provides guidance on licensee actions to address 
nonconservative technical specifications. Issuance of RG 1.239 does not 
constitute backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 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 RG, applicants and 
licensees are not required to comply with the positions set forth in 
this RG.

V. 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.

                  Document                                           ADAMS  accession No.
RG 1.239, Licensee Actions to Address         ML20294A510
 Nonconservative Technical Specifications..
DG-1351, Dispositioning of Technical          ML18086A690
 Specifications that are Insufficient to
 Ensure Plant Safety, July 2018.
Regulatory Analysis, Draft Regulatory Guide,  ML18086A685
DG-1351, Revision 1, Licensee Actions to      ML20142A489
 Address Nonconservative Technical
 Specifications, August 2020.
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 Comments  ML19267A108
 on DG[dash]1351..
NEI 15-03, Revision 3, Licensee Actions to    ML20100G899
 Address Nonconservative Technical            (Package)
 Specifications, March 2020.
Comment (1) of Brian Mann on Licensee         ML20247J650
 Actions to Address Nonconservative
 Technical Specifications.
Comment (2) of Timothy Riti on behalf of      ML20255A302
 Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) on Licensee
 Actions to Address Nonconservative
 Technical Specifications.
Management Directive 8.4, Management of       ML18093B087
 Backfitting, Forward Fitting, Issue
 Finality, and Information Requests.

    Dated: December 2, 2020.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Meraj Rahimi,
Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of 
Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.
[FR Doc. 2020-26844 Filed 12-4-20; 8:45 am]