[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 251 (Thursday, December 31, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 86793-86795]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27816]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 110

[NRC-2018-0294]
RIN 3150-AK26


Updates and Clarifications on the Export of Nuclear Material

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its 
export and import regulations to maintain the regulatory status quo for 
nuclear exports to the United Kingdom (U.K.), upon the entry into force 
of a new civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States 
(U.S.) and the U.K. (the U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement). The amendment will 
add the U.K. to the list of countries eligible to receive certain small 
quantities of special nuclear material under a general license, and to 
the list of countries whose export license applications do not require 
Executive Branch or Commission level reviews for certain exports of 
source material or low-enriched uranium. This amendment is necessary to 
bring the NRC's regulations into conformity with U.S. Government 
foreign policy and preserve existing provisions for nuclear exports to 
the U.K.

DATES: This final rule is effective on December 31, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0294 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-2018-0294. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder; telephone: 301-415-3407; 
email: [email protected].

[[Page 86794]]

     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 pdr.resou[email protected].
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren Mayros, Office of International 
Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-287-9088; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Discussion

    The purpose of this final rule is to revise the NRC's export and 
import regulations in part 110 of title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), ``Export and Import of Nuclear Equipment and 
Material,'' to include the United Kingdom (U.K.) as a country eligible 
to receive certain small quantities of special nuclear material under a 
general license, and to add the U.K. to the list of countries whose 
export license applications do not require Executive Branch or 
Commission level reviews for certain exports of source material or low-
enriched uranium. In light of the impending U.K. departure from the 
European Union and European Atomic Energy Agency (EURATOM), this final 
rule is necessary to conform the NRC's regulations with U.S. Government 
foreign policy and preserve existing provisions for nuclear exports to 
the U.K., upon the entry into force of the new civil nuclear 
cooperation agreement between the U.S. and the U.K.
    The U.S. Department of State has requested that the NRC update its 
regulations in 10 CFR part 110 to meet the commitment made by the U.S. 
Government to the U.K. Government to prepare for entry into force of 
the new U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement. The two Governments plan to bring the 
U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement into force when the U.K. is no longer covered 
by the U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreement with the European 
Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). During the negotiations of the U.S.-
U.K. 123 Agreement, the U.S. Government committed to take the necessary 
steps to ensure a seamless continuation of close nuclear cooperation 
with the U.K. Fulfilling this commitment will require current nuclear 
export regulatory and policy understandings to remain in place for U.S. 
companies exporting nuclear material to the U.K. after entry into force 
of the U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement. As a result, the U.S. Department of 
State requested that the NRC amend Sec. Sec.  110.21(b)(3), 
110.40(b)(3), and 110.41(a)(6) to meet a U.S. Government foreign policy 
objective and to provide confidence that the regulatory status quo 
between the U.K. and the U.S. will be maintained.
    The NRC has determined that revising Sec. Sec.  110.21(b)(3), 
110.40(b)(3), and 110.41(a)(6) to include the U.K. after EURATOM in the 
requirements for these sections, is consistent with current U.S. law 
and policy, and will pose no unreasonable risk to the public health and 
safety or to the common defense and security of the U.S. Further, the 
revisions are essential to preserve the current provisions for export 
to the U.K. once the U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement enters into force.

II. Summary of Changes

10 CFR Part 110

    This final rule revises Sec. Sec.  110.21(b)(3), 110.40(b)(3), and 
110.41(a)(6) to include the U.K. after EURATOM in the requirements for 
these sections.

III. Rulemaking Procedure

    Because this rule involves a foreign affairs function of the U.S., 
the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act 
do not apply (5 U.S.C. 553(a)(1)), and good cause exists to make this 
rule immediately effective upon publication. The effective date for 
those entities who receive actual notice of this rule is the date of 
receipt of this rule.

IV. Environmental Impact: Categorical Exclusion

    The NRC has determined that this final rule is the type of action 
described in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(1), which categorically excludes from 
environmental review any amendments to 10 CFR part 110. Therefore, 
neither an environmental impact statement nor an environmental 
assessment has been prepared for this rule.

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain new or amended information 
collection requirements that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing requirements were approved 
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under approval number 
3150-0036.

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.

VI. Regulatory Analysis

    This final rule revises Sec. Sec.  110.21(b)(3), 110.40(b)(3), and 
110.41(a)(6) to include the U.K. after EURATOM, and is necessary to 
maintain the existing regulatory status quo for nuclear exports to the 
U.K. upon the entry into force of a new U.S.-U.K. 123 Agreement. The 
addition of the U.K. in Sec.  110.21(b)(3) will continue to allow for 
the return of uranium-235, in the form of uranium hexafluoride heels in 
cylinders, to suppliers in the U.K. under an NRC general license. 
Adding the U.K. in Sec.  110.40(b)(3) preserves the current regulation 
that excludes Commission review for exports of source material or low-
enriched uranium to EURATOM or Japan for enrichment up to 5 percent in 
the isotope uranium-235. Lastly, adding the U.K. in Sec.  110.41(a)(6) 
preserves the current regulation that excludes Executive Branch review 
for exports of source material or low-enriched uranium to EURATOM or 
Japan for enrichment up to 5 percent in the isotope uranium-35. There 
is no alternative to amending the regulations for the export and import 
of nuclear equipment and material. This final rule is expected to have 
no changes in the information collection burden or cost to the public.

VII. 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 (63 FR 
31883).

VIII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    The NRC has determined that a backfit analysis is not required for 
this rule, because these amendments do not include any provisions that 
would impose backfits as defined in 10 CFR chapter I.

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IX. Congressional Review Act

    This final rule 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 by that act.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 110

    Administrative practice and procedure, Classified information, 
Criminal penalties, Exports, Imports, Intergovernmental relations, 
Nuclear energy, Nuclear materials, Nuclear power plants and reactors, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Scientific 
equipment.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization 
Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is adopting 
the following amendments to 10 CFR part 110:

PART 110--EXPORT AND IMPORT OF NUCLEAR EQUIPMENT AND MATERIAL

0
1. The authority citation for part 110 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Atomic Energy Act of 1954, secs. 11, 51, 53, 54, 57, 
62, 63, 64, 65, 81, 82, 103, 104, 109, 111, 121, 122, 123, 124, 126, 
127, 128, 129, 133, 134, 161, 170h, 181, 182, 183, 184, 186, 187, 
189, 223, 234 (42 U.S.C. 2014, 2071, 2073, 2074, 2077, 2092, 2093, 
2094, 2095, 2111, 2112, 2133, 2134, 2139, 2141, 2151, 2152, 2153, 
2154, 2155, 2156, 2157, 2158, 2160c, 2160d, 2201, 2210h, 2231, 2232, 
2233, 2234, 2236, 2237, 2239, 2273, 2282); Energy Reorganization Act 
of 1974, sec. 201 (42 U.S.C. 5841); Administrative Procedure Act (5 
U.S.C. 552, 553); 42 U.S.C. 2139a, 2155a; 44 U.S.C. 3504 note.

    Section 110.1(b) also issued under 22 U.S.C. 2403; 22 U.S.C. 
2778a; 50 App. U.S.C. 2401 et seq.


0
2. In Sec.  110.21, revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  110.21   General license for the export of special nuclear 
material.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) Uranium, enriched to less than 20 percent in uranium-235, in 
the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) heels in cylinders being 
returned to suppliers in EURATOM or the United Kingdom.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  110.40, revise paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  110.40  Commission review.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) An export involving assistance to end uses related to isotope 
separation, chemical reprocessing, heavy water production, advanced 
reactors, or the fabrication of nuclear fuel containing plutonium, 
except for exports of source material or low-enriched uranium to 
EURATOM, the United Kingdom, or Japan for enrichment up to 5 percent in 
the isotope uranium-235, and those categories of exports which the 
Commission has approved in advance as constituting permitted incidental 
assistance.
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  110.41, revise paragraph (a)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  110.41   Executive Branch review.

    (a) * * *
    (6) An export involving assistance to end uses related to isotope 
separation, chemical reprocessing, heavy water production, advanced 
reactors, or the fabrication of nuclear fuel containing plutonium, 
except for exports of source material or low-enriched uranium to 
EURATOM, the United Kingdom, or Japan for enrichment up to 5 percent in 
the isotope uranium-235, and those categories of exports approved in 
advance by the Executive Branch as constituting permitted incidental 
assistance.
* * * * *

    Dated: December 14, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Margaret M. Doane,
Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 2020-27816 Filed 12-30-20; 8:45 am]
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