Utah Announces Final Adoption of Rule Changes to R313-25

On March 9, 2018, the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control notified interested stakeholders of the following rulemaking actions that were taken by the Waste Management and Radiation Control Board during its meeting on February 8, 2018:

  • final adoption of rule changes to R313-25, License Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste — General Provisions, as published in the Utah State Bulletin on November 1, 2017 except for paragraph R313-25-51.5(3);
  • approve filing with the Office of Administrative Rules of a Notice of Change in Proposed Rule to delete paragraph R313-25-51.5(3) and renumber the subsequent paragraph; and,
  • set an effective date of April 16, 2018 for the above rule changes.

The notice of Change in Proposed Rule was published in the March 1, 2018 issue of the Utah State Bulletin.

Overview of Rule Change

During the 2017 General Session, the Utah legislature passed S.B. 79, Waste Management Amendments, which requires the Waste Management and Radiation Control Board to (1) modify financial assurance requirements for the closure and post-closure care of a radioactive waste disposal facility and (2) make conforming and clarifying amendments as to “facility” definitions adopted in S.B. 79.

Although financial assurance requirements have existed in Rule R313-25 for several years, the proposed changes are being made in order to meet the prescribed rulemaking direction found in S.B. 79 and to provide the tools and flexibility the Director believes are necessary to implement S.B. 79.

More specifically, S.B. 79 allows radioactive waste licensees the opportunity to rely on either (i) RS Means or (ii) a “competitive site-specific estimate” as the basis for calculating financial surety.  While RS Means represents a national average of heavy civil construction costs, S.B. 79 did not provide a definition for “competitive site-specific estimate.”

Based on the legislative history of S.B. 79, it was apparent to the Director that this undefined term referred to local market costs.  Based on the Utah Supreme Court case, Associated General Contractors v. Board of Oil, Gas and Mining (2001 UT 112, 38 P.3d 291), the Director in this rulemaking proposes to: define this term; provide the Division with access to local market expertise from heavy civil contractors or cost estimators who are familiar with local market construction costs in order to review and validate the information submitted by a licensee; and, provide that the licensee fund such review costs.

The proposed changes to Section R313- 25-31 incorporate the mandatory new rule text from S.B. 79.  In addition a new section, R313-25-31.5, is being added to include the changes summarized above.

Background

During the 2015 General Session, the Utah legislature passed S.B. 173 that required the Board to perform rulemaking to make changes to portions of UAC R313-25 regarding financial assurance requirements for the closure and post closure care of a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility.  However, rulemaking was deferred because the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined that certain provisions of S.B. 173 were incompatible with federal law.  These incompatibility issues were not fully resolved until the 2017 General Session of the legislature, when additional changes were made to the statute with the passage of S.B. 79, correcting the incompatible provisions.  S.B. 79 also modified certain facility definitions, triggering the need for conforming amendments in R313-25.

At a meeting of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board on October 12, 2017, the Board approved proceeding with formal rulemaking and public comment by filing with the Office of Administrative Rules and publishing in the Utah State Bulletin of proposed changes to UAC R313-25.  The proposed changes were subsequently published in the November 1, 2017 issue of the Utah State Bulletin.

The public comment period began on November 1, 2017 and concluded on December 1, 2017.  One commenter (EnergySolutions) submitted comments during the public comment period.  In a letter dated January 10, 2018, the Director responded to the comments.  Based on the comments received, an additional change to R313- 25 is being proposed in order to delete paragraph R313-25- 31.5(3) and renumber the subsequent paragraph.

Utah administrative rulemaking procedures require a Notice of Change in Proposed Rule be prepared and filed with the Office of Administrative Rules for subsequent publication in the Utah State Bulletin.  When published in the Utah State Bulletin, only the additional changes (i.e., paragraph deletion and paragraph renumbering) to R313-25 will be marked and the financial impact information will only address the additional changes.  All other rule changes previously published and not being further changed are considered to be final when published as part of the Notice of Change in Proposed Rule.

For additional information, please contact Don Verbica at (801) 536-0206 or at dverbica@utah.gov or Rusty Lundberg at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Utah DWMRC Notifies Stakeholders of Rulemaking Actions

On November 3, 2017, the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) notified interested stakeholders of the following rulemaking actions that were taken by the Waste Management and Radiation Control Board at its meeting on October 12, 2017:

  1. Final adoption of rule changes to incorporate the following in to Title 313 of the Utah Administrative Code and set an effective date of October 13, 2017:
  •  U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) final rule published in the May 29, 2013 Federal Register (78 Federal Register 32310) under the title of Distribution of Source Material to Exempt Persons and to General Licensees and Revision of General License and Exemptions.
  • Selected corrections and clarifications not associated with the above final rule.

 

  1. Approval to proceed with formal rulemaking and public comment with the following proposed changes to R313-25, License Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste – General Provisions, of the Utah Administrative Code:
  •   Proposed amendments to R313-25 to incorporate the rule changes required by S.B. 79 (2017 General Session) to the financial assurance requirements for a radioactive waste disposal facility.  Additional changes to the financial assurance requirements are being made for added detail to the Director’s review of and action on the financial assurance cost estimate submitted by a licensee of a radioactive waste disposal facility.

 

Additional information on the proposed changes to the radiation control rules can be found on the Division website or via the Office of Administrative Rules website for the November 1, 2017 issue (Vol. 2017, No. 21) of the Utah State Bulletin.

 For additional information, please contact Otis Willoughby of the Utah DWMRC at (801) 536-0200.

Modifications Issued re EnergySolutions’ Clive Facility License

On November 2, 2017, EnergySolutions provided notification of the approval of modifications to the Part B Permit issued by the State of Utah for the company’s Clive facility in Tooele County, Utah.  The modifications involved the following changes:

  • 2017-006477: Approval of a Class 1 modification to Revisions to Attachment II-7-1, Overall Facility Closure Cost Summary
  • 2017-006478: Approval of a Class 1 modification to Revisions to Attachment II-7-2, Closure Cost Estimate
  • 2017-006479: Approval of a Class 1 modification to Revisions to Module II, General Facility Conditions, Revision Date List

The above modifications are all related to the 2016 Annual Surety Review modification that was initially submitted on May 23, 2017.

On October 20, 2017, EnergySolutions provided notification of the approval of a modification to the Part B Permit issued by the State of Utah for the company’s Clive facility in Tooele County, Utah.  The modification involved the following changes:

  • 2017-007164: Approval of a Class 1 modification to Revisions to Attachment II-7-1, Overall Facility Closure Cost Summary

Questions regarding these modifications or requests for review of the modification applications and related documents may be directed to EnergySolutions or the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC).

For additional information, please contact Otis Willoughby of the Utah DWMRC at (801) 536-0200 or Tim Orton of EnergySolutions at (801) 649-2000.