U.S. NRC Blog

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When Plans Change — Discontinuing Some Rulemaking

Leslie Terry
Team Leader
Office of Administration

NRC does its job with regulations contained in the Chapter I of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These regulations cover everything from commercial 10cfrreactors to nuclear materials used in a variety of settings, to storing and disposing of nuclear waste.

A year ago we explained how we keep our rules up to date and unveiled a web page to provide periodic updates on our rulemaking activities. To recap, we identify the rules already under development and any new rules that need to be written. We then rank by priority every rule, regardless of the regulatory area. This way we ensure we’re focusing our resources on the high priority rules that most contribute to the NRC’s key strategic goals of safety and security. We also monitor the progress of our rulemaking activities and develop budget estimates for preparing new rules.

Sometimes our rulemaking plans change. Our Commissioners voted recently to approve a staff recommendation to discontinue eight rulemaking activities that were in the early stages of development.

During our most recent review, the staff identified several rulemakings that were in the early stages of development, but staff believes are no longer needed to meet the NRC’s key strategic goals of safety and security. The staff wrote a paper requesting Commission approval to discontinue nine activities, and discussed a 10th rulemaking the Commission had already decided to discontinue. The Commission agreed to discontinue seven of the nine rulemakings the staff proposed.

The discontinued rulemakings covered a variety of topics, and the basis to discontinue is different for each rulemaking. For example, we have a rulemaking underway to better define the requirements for reactors that have permanently shut down and are decommissioning. We felt that rulemaking was an appropriate place to address decommissioning options, including entombment for power reactors, so we are discontinuing a separate rulemaking on entombment.

We also feel the current case-by-case framework is sufficient for reviewing the limited number of requests we’ve received for alternate disposal pathways for waste with very low activity. So we’re discontinuing a rulemaking to set generic requirements, which had already been on hold for a number of years. Instead, we’ll take another look at the issue as part of an assessment of low level radioactive waste disposal, and if we decide that a rulemaking is necessary, we’ll ask the Commission to revisit the issue.

We encourage you to read more about the Commission’s vote and the staff’s proposal on our web site. You can also check our prioritization web page for future updates on our rulemaking activities.

5 responses to “When Plans Change — Discontinuing Some Rulemaking

  1. Erica Gray August 1, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Where is my post?

    • Moderator August 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      If you mean your comment, it has been approved and posted. We will provide a response shortly.

      Moderator

  2. Erica Gray August 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Please list all 7 discontinued rulemakings.
    The Commission agreed to discontinue seven of the nine rulemakings the staff proposed.

    • Moderator August 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      -Controlling the Disposition of Solid Materials
      -Entombment Options for Power Reactors
      -Transfers of Certain Source Materials by Specific Licensees
      -Approach to Risk-Informed, Performance-Based Requirements for Nuclear Power Reactors
      -Expansion of the National Source Tracking System
      -Sabotage of Nuclear Facilities, Fuel, or Designated Material
      -Security-Force Fatigue at Nuclear Facilities

      More information can be found in the FRN and SRM, which are available as links in the post.

      Maureen Conley

  3. frankkonarskiriostucsonnogaleskonarski August 1, 2016 at 11:28 am

    It’s encouraging that the NRC will gut any sort of unnecessary bureaucracy in terms of eliminating any unnecessary rulemaking when it comes to the addressing of issues that come before it for the purpose of efficiency and effectiveness, etc., particularly when such issues concern serious matters as radioactive material and the like, which require prompt and wholehearted attention.

    Frank Konarski Rios, Housing Developer & Landlord
    Tucson, AZ & Nogales, AZ

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