Once again, we are looking to hear from the public about proposed changes to our fee rule.
The agency is required by law to recover approximately 90 percent of our budget through fees to licensees and applicants. To accomplish this, each year we publish a rule that establishes the fees in a way that recoups the cost of “doing business” for the NRC.
There are two types of fees: licensee-specific and annual fees. Both types of fees incorporate the cost of the program oversight and agency overhead. Licensee-specific fees are based on hourly rates to recover the costs of specific services, such as reviewing applications and performing inspections. Annual fees recover all other costs.
For FY 2012, the NRC received about $1 billion. Based on this amount, the NRC must recover about $909.5 million directly from those we regulate by Sept. 30. In our regulations, approximately 40 percent of the fees will be billed for licensee-specific services and the remaining 60 percent will be billed as annual fees.
The proposed fee rule includes several changes. First, we are proposing to change the current hourly rate slightly from $273 to $274. Second, we would revise the flat license application fees (found in our federal guidelines 10 CFR Parts 170.21 and 170.31) to reflect the new hourly rate. Finally,we would revise annual fees, as appropriate, for all licensees.
We also propose that the annual fees would increase for some licenses, such as for most material users, fuel facilities and transportation, and would decrease for operating nuclear reactors, research and test reactors, spent fuel storage facilities and most uranium recovery licenses.
We continue efforts to keep our fees as low as possible by ensuring our programs are conducted efficiently and effectively, and we request from Congress only the resources necessary to perform our mission of protecting people and the environment
If you are interested in submitting comments visit www.regulations.gov and use Docket ID NRC-2011-0207. Go to: NRC Plans, Budget and Performance for more information.
Fee Policy Analyst
Office of the Chief Financial Officer