NRC Issues RIS re Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief

On December 21, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2015-19 titled, “Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief.”

RIS 2015-19 was distributed to all holders of and applicants for NRC licenses under Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 30, “Rules of General Applicability to Domestic Licensing of Byproduct Material;” 10 CFR Part 40, “Domestic Licensing of Source Material;” 10 CFR Part 70, “Domestic Licensing of Special Nuclear Material;” and,

10 CFR Part 72, “Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and Reactor- Related Greater than Class C Waste.” The notice was also distributed to Agreement State Radiation Control Program Directors and State Liaison Officers.

According to the document, NRC issued RIS 2015-19 in order to:

  1. provide clarity on the Decommissioning Timeliness Rule’s (DTR’s) requirements to notify the NRC to begin and complete decommissioning after certain criteria are met;
  1. highlight opportunities for licensees to request alternatives to the DTR’s requirements;
  1. remind licensees that there are situations where they can request an alternative to the DTR’s timeliness requirements for both beginning and completing decommissioning if adequately justified;
  1. clarify when the DTR applies to licensees whose only location of use are temporary jobsites; and,
  1. clarify when the NRC considers that the licensee has transitioned from an “operational” to a “decommissioning” status.

RIS 2015-19 requires no action or written response beyond that already required by regulations. The NRC provided RIS 2015-19 to the Agreement States for their information and for distribution to their licensees, as appropriate. However, a notice of opportunity for public comment on RIS 2015-19 was not published in the Federal Register because the RIS is intended to be informational and is not intended to represent a departure from current regulatory requirements.

NRC generic communications may be found on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov by going to “NRC Library” and then to “Document Collections.” For additional information, please contact Greg Chapman of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) at (301) 415-8718 or at Gregory.Chapman@nrc.gov.

NRC Seeks Comments re Contaminated Material and Contaminated Trash

In a Federal Register notice issued on January 20, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency is requesting comments on whether NRC staff should formally document a position on contaminated material and contaminated trash.

In February 2015, NRC issued Revision 1 of the Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP). The CA BTP provides acceptable methods that can be used to perform concentration averaging of low-level radioactive waste for the purpose of determining its waste class for disposal. When the NRC issued the revised CA BTP, it noted that one issue, distinguishing contaminated materials from contaminated trash, may need further clarification. The NRC also stated that it would consider whether additional guidance, such as a Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS), would be warranted for distinguishing contaminated materials from contaminated trash.

Interested stakeholders are requested to submit comments by March 21, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date.

The Federal Register notice includes a list of questions for which the NRC is requesting specific comments, as well as information on how to submit comments.

NRC’s request for comments can be found at 81 Federal Register 3,166 (January 20, 2016) via the following link: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-20/pdf/2016-00972.pdf.

For additional information, please contact Don Lowman, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, at (301) 415– 5452 or at Donald.Lowman@nrc.gov.