NRC Issues New Documents re Decommissioning Timeliness Rule

On September 27, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2015-19, Revision 1, Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief.

The NRC issued Revision 1 of RIS 2015-19 to correct the reference for Administrative Letter 96-05, Revision 1, and to clarify language pertaining to the time period for completing decommissioning in the subsection labeled “Requirement To Begin Decommissioning.”  In addition, the NRC is taking the opportunity to provide additional clarification to the sections “Alternate Schedules for Decommissioning” and “Requesting an Alternative to the DTR’s Timeliness Requirements.”

RIS 2015-19, Revision 1, was issued to:

  •   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;
  •   highlight opportunities for licensees to request alternatives to the DTR’s requirements;
  •   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,
  •   clarify when the DTR applies to licensees whose only location of use are temporary jobsites; and,
  •   clarify when the NRC considers that the licensee has transitioned from an “operational” to a “decommissioning” status.

RIS 2015-19, Revision 1, informs licensees of requirements regarding the DTR requirements under
10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 70, and 72.  According to NRC, the RIS is supplemental guidance for decommissioning and does not contradict information presented in Administrative Letter 96-05, Revision 1, “Compliance with the Rule, ‘Timeliness in Decommissioning of Material Facilities’” or NUREG-1757, Volume 3, Revision 1, “Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance: Financial Assurance, Recordkeeping, and Timeliness, Final Report.”  NRC also states that the RIS does not apply to power reactors that have specific regulations concerning decommissioning (e.g., 10 CFR 50.82, “Termination of License,” and 10 CFR 50.83, “Release of Part of a Power Reactor Facility or Site for Unrestricted Use”).

For additional information, please contact Greg Chapman, NMSS, at (301) 415-8718 or at