Keeping the NRC’s Rules Up to Date
June 30, 2015
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Anthony de Jesus
NRC’s regulations (found in 10 CFR, Code of Federal Regulations) are very important. They are how we do our job of protecting people and the environment.
Our rules cover these three main areas:
- Commercial reactors for generating electric power and research and test reactors used for research, testing, and training.
- Materials – Uses of nuclear materials in medical, industrial, and academic settings and facilities that produce nuclear fuel.
- Waste – Transportation, storage, and disposal of nuclear materials and waste, and decommissioning of nuclear facilities from service.
To keep all these rules, on all these topics, up-to-date, we use a single process, called the Common Prioritization of Rulemaking, to prioritize our rulemaking activities.
Each year we identify the rules already under development and any new rules that need to be written. Using the same criteria, we rank by priority, every rule, regardless of the regulatory area. This way we ensure that we are focusing our resources on the high priority rules that most contribute to the NRC’s key strategic goals of safety and security. Through this annual review we also monitor the progress of our rulemaking activities and develop budget estimates for preparing new rules.
Because the NRC is committed to transparency, participation, and collaboration in our regulatory activities, we created a new “Rulemaking Priorities” Web page. This page allows us to provide periodic updates concerning rulemaking developments, which responds to a recommendation proposed by the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Our new page provides the rulemaking activities identified and prioritized through our Common Prioritization of Rulemaking process. From this page you can access the methodology that NRC staff uses to prioritize our rulemaking activities.
Each rulemaking activity listed on this new Web page is linked to further information on that rulemaking, including:
- an abstract that describes the rule
- a prioritization score
- a justification describing how the rule was prioritized
- estimated target dates for completion of the rule
We plan to update the web page regularly so this information remains up to date. We hope this new page will help you understand how the NRC prioritizes its rulemaking activities. After all, our regulations are at the heart of what the NRC does for a living.