U.S. NRC Blog

Transparent, Participate, and Collaborate

Looking to Hear From the Public on the FY 2013 Proposed Fees

Arlette Howard
Fee Policy Analyst
Office of the Chief Financial Officer

budgetIt’s that time of the year, when we ask the public for their comments about proposed changes to our fees.

The NRC is required by law to recover approximately 90 percent of our budget through fees. Each year, the NRC publishes a proposed regulation establishing fees for the upcoming year to recoup the costs of regulatory services performed by the NRC.

There are two types of fees the NRC charges. One is an hourly rate and flat application fees, and the other is an annual fee. Both types of fees recover the costs of regulating the commercial use of radioactive materials. Hourly fees recover the costs of providing specific services to individual licensees (or potential licensees) such as reviewing applications and performing inspections. Annual fees recover all costs associated with regulatory activities that benefit all licensees.

For fiscal year 2013, the NRC’s estimated budget is about $1 billion. Based on this amount, the NRC must recover about $925 million through fees 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 from $274 to $277. Secondly, 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.

And, finally, we propose to revise the annual fees to recover the costs of providing regulatory services that benefit all classes of licensees. The annual fees would increase for spent fuel storage facilities, research and test reactors, fuel facilities, most material users and uranium recovery facilities licenses and would decrease for operating reactors and U.S. Department of Energy transportation licenses.

We will continue to keep our fees as low as possible by ensuring our programs are conducted efficiently and effectively, and requesting from Congress only resources necessary to perform our mission.

We’re taking comments through April 8. To do so, go to www.regulations.gov and use Docket ID NRC-2012-0211. For more information, go here: NRC Plans, Budget and Performance .

8 responses to “Looking to Hear From the Public on the FY 2013 Proposed Fees

  1. Cleta September 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoiying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. CaptD March 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    It is great that the NRC is allowing folks to post very technical comments on these blogs, especially since they are concerning SAFETY.

    What would even be better is if different people within the NRC, the NRR and or the ACRS actually posted comments about these technical comments, if only to say Thank You, because it is obvious that “SOME” experts are NOT charging (the NRC) the same hourly rate of $274, (soon to become $277) for their time that the NRC now charges!

  3. CaptD March 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    The problem is that when the public submits an allegation it is too often completely ignored despite being factual and well researched. Since the NRC can “pick and choose” what they decide to “work” on, this leaves the NRC able to “work” on the easy things and get paid for doing it, from the Industry they are supposed to regulate.

    Here is a great example:
    The NRC just assessed San Onofre 2 & 3 “as needing to resolve one or two items of low safety significance,”

    WHICH IS A BAD NUCLEAR JOKE on US, considering Unit 3 has completely failed in less than a year by leaking radiation and can’t be operated again because of the unprecedented 8 tube failures during in-situ pressure testing along with other damage and Unit 2 replacement steam generator less than 2 years old is the subject of the biggest technical investigation in modern times due to its SCE’s design and operation! Even the NRC and now subsets within the NRC like the NRR and others are still trying to understand exactly what happened to cause the damage. BTW: One of its tubes had 90 wear and it was found because it just happened to be shut down for refueling!
    http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2013/13-013.pdf

    San Onofre Unit 2 and Unit 3 have given the NRC (and the nuclear industry) a pair of BLACK EYES, yet the NRC rates them as just having a few “Low safety” issues!

    How about the NRC charging 10 Million Dollars for each safety violation giving 1% to the person that identified the issue ,then we might see some real enforcement instead of just more “good old boy meetings” where everyone eats good and then smiles for the cameras…

  4. garyheadrick March 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    How much of these fees are paid by the licensee vs ratepayer (or does it all come back to the ratepayer eventually)?

    • Moderator March 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Based on the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA-90), as amended, the NRC is required to collect 90 percent of its appropriation through the collection of fees assessed to licensees and not ratepayers. Since the NRC is a regulatory agency, the NRC does not determine factors such as NRC fees that utility companies may use to establish utility rates for customers; therefore, we suggest you contact your local utility company for this information.

      Arlette Howard, Fee Policy Analyst

  5. Garry Morgan March 14, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Does the $277 per hour fee include research required for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests? Could you please explain how this fee rate will affect FOIA requests.

    • Moderator March 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, the $277 hourly rate does include agency overhead, which includes hours spent responding to FOIA requests. The hourly rate does not affect FOIA rates, which are established by our agency in compliance with Office of Management and Budget policy, Freedom of Information Reform Act of 1986 and Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 9, “Public Records,” which allows federal agencies to collect fees for duplication, search and review time spent on FOIA requests.

      Arlette Howard, Fee Policy Analyst

      • CaptD March 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        Arlette, Could you please post a link that list those fees and how they are calculated.
        Thanks in Advance!

%d bloggers like this: