U.S. NRC Blog

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Extending the Deadline on Decommissioning Comments

Dave McIntyre
Public Affairs Officer

The NRC is extending the public comment period on our decommissioning rulemaking from the original date of January 4 to March 18 to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments on this important issue. The extension more than doubles the comment period from 45 to 120 days.

We published an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking,” or ANPR in regulatory lingo, in the Federal Register on November 19. This was the first step toward developing a regulatory basis for a new rule on decommissioning commercial nuclear power plants.

The new rule would establish clear requirements for decommissioning reactors in emergency preparedness, physical security and fitness-for-duty, among other areas, thereby reducing the need for exemptions from current requirements designed for operating reactors. It would also address the timeliness of decommissioning and the role of state and local governments and other organizations. The result would be a more efficient, open and reliable decommissioning process.

Five reactors have permanently shut down since the beginning of 2013, and three more are expected to cease operations by 2019.

Comments may be submitted over the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2015-0070.

6 responses to “Extending the Deadline on Decommissioning Comments

  1. CaptD December 24, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Extending NRC deadlines make great sense, since the more comments the NRC receives, the better job they hopefully can do to address those comments when they make their rule changes!

    Having equal access to the NRC should be a cornerstone of the NRC rule making procedures, since otherwise the nuclear Industry will control the very rule update system that affect them, something that will only lead to problems in the future, as the nuclear industry seeks ever less control and oversight over its operation of NPPs.

  2. David Andersen December 24, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Accommodating the anti-nukes again, giving them more time to come up with frivolous nonsense on an issue that is already well understood.

  3. Half-TruthSlayer December 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    About Time NRC
    19 power reactors in the US are already being decommissioned NRC. Don’t you think many cows have already gone out the barn door for you now to be thinking about a rulemaking?!
    As you say NRC this new rule “would also address the timeliness of decommissioning and the role of state and local governments and other organizations. The result would be a more efficient, open and reliable decommissioning process.”
    Yes NRC you wouldn’t want to leave any more local governments and other organizations out of the process. And you say it will be “more efficient and reliable”, perhaps even safer NRC?!
    Even saying the process will be “more efficient” implies that the ratepayers of these nuke utilities already into this process have been paying extra for all your foot-dragging. But what can we expect? You are just part of our dysfunctional government.
    Trouble is this is just part of your awful track record of being behind the eight-ball on most any issue you attempt to deal with.
    For example, all these, now aging, nuclear power plants were issued operating licenses by the NRC despite the fact that there was no established safe, remote, & permanent storage location for all the high level radioactive waste (HLW) produced by them.
    Currently there are over 90 locations in the US that house this HLW in open & overloaded spent fuel pools. Had the Japanese been as neglect in this regard as we have been here in the US, the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan would have been even worse.
    Japan also has made safety upgrades to its nuclear fleet that the US nuke industry has talked our NRC out of making at identical nuke plants here in the US.
    So bottom line, the NRC is not only slow but it is grossly negligent. It is not public safety first at the NRC, it is nuclear industry viability first!

    • Dan Williamson December 28, 2015 at 11:37 am

      “Japan also has made safety upgrades to its nuclear fleet that the US nuke industry has talked our NRC out of making at identical nuke plants here in the US.”

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Every operating plant in this country is now wrapping up the implementation of upgrades in the form of modified permanent plant equipment, portable emergency response hardware, and expanded operating procedures to deal with “beyond design basis external events.” Following Fukushima, NRC issued Orders to the licensees, and the licensees submitted plans for complying with those Orders for NRC approval. These upgrades have cost each utility (and therefore, ratepayers) hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Get some “whole truths” before you start talking.

      • Public Pit Bull December 30, 2015 at 7:21 am

        Nice Try DW
        The nuclear industry fights safety upgrades to the US nuclear fleet all the time. The latest of course are needed upgrades to prevent a Fukushima-type disaster in the US. The only US nuclear industry actions in response to Fukushima have been to improve the ability to cope with or mitigate a similar accident here when it occurs, not to prevent such a disaster in the first place.

        Furthermore, the Japanese installed a so-called filtered vent to significantly reduce the amount of radioactivity released to the public during an accident. Our nuclear industry successfully lobbied our lax nuclear regulator to not require a similar filtered vent on identical nuke plants in the US.

        Fortunately the Japanese provided for safe off-site storage of high level nuclear spent fuel so their spent fuel pools were not overloaded like those spent fuel pools in the US. The Japanese disaster would have been even worse had their spent fuel pools contained as much fuel as allowed in ours.

        Nice try DW, but you are the one ignoring the facts.

      • Public Pit Bull December 30, 2015 at 7:34 am

        DW, thought I would pass along another example of gross negligence & foot dragging
        by the nuke industry and our “put the nuclear industry first” NRC…
        http://allthingsnuclear.org/dlochbaum/fire-when-not-ready-2

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