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Proposed Rule

General Site Suitability Criteria for Nuclear Power Stations

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Draft regulatory guide; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment draft regulatory guide DG-4021, “General Site Suitability Criteria for Nuclear Power Stations.” This guide describes a method that the NRC staff considers acceptable to implement the site suitability requirements for nuclear power stations.

DATES:

Submit comments by February 25, 2012. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Although a time limit is given, comments and suggestions in connection with items for inclusion in guides currently being developed or improvements in all published guides are encouraged at any time.

ADDRESSES:

Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0297 in the subject line of your comments. For additional instructions on submitting comments and instructions on accessing documents related to this action, see “Submitting Comments and Accessing Information” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. You may submit comments by any one of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2011-0297. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, telephone: (301) 492-3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
  • Fax comments to: RADB at (301) 492-3446.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jacob Philip, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: (301) 251-7471 or email Jacob.Philip@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Submitting Comments and Accessing Information

Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site, http://www.regulations.gov. Because your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including any information in your submission that you do not want to be publicly disclosed.

The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not include any information in their comments that they do not want publicly disclosed.

You can access publicly available documents related to this document using the following methods:

  • NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have copied, for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are available online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. From this page, the public can gain entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of the NRC's public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's PDR reference staff at 1-(800) 397-4209, (301) 415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. DG-4021 is available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML102380302. The regulatory analysis may be found in ADAMS under Accession No. ML102380311.
  • Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Public comments and supporting materials related to this notice can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID NRC-2011-0297.

Further Information

The NRC is issuing a revision to an existing guide in the NRC's “Regulatory Guide” series. This series was developed to describe and make available to the public information such as methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific parts of the agency's regulations, techniques that the staff uses in evaluating specific problems or postulated accidents, and data that the staff needs in its review of applications for permits and licenses.

The draft regulatory guide (DG), entitled, “General Site Suitability Criteria for Nuclear Power Stations,” is temporarily identified by its task number, DG-4021, which should be mentioned in all related correspondence. DG-4021 is proposed Revision 3 of Regulatory Guide 4.7, dated April 1998.

This guide discusses the major site characteristics related to public health and safety and environmental issues that the NRC staff considers in determining the suitability of sites for light-water-cooled nuclear power stations. Applicants may use the guidelines in identifying suitable candidate sites for nuclear power stations. The decision that a station may be built on a specific candidate site is based on a detailed evaluation of the proposed site-plant combination and a cost-benefit analysis comparing it with alternative site-plant combinations, as discussed in Regulatory Guide 4.2, “Preparation of Environmental Reports for Nuclear Power Stations.”

Backfitting and Issue Finality

Issuance of this draft regulatory guide in final form does not constitute backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109 (the Backfit Rule) and is not otherwise inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. This regulatory guide will not apply to any Start Printed Page 82202construction permits, operating licenses, early site permits, limited work authorizations issued under 10 CFR 50.10 for which the NRC issued a final environmental impact statement (EIS) preceded by a draft EIS under 10 CFR 51.76 or 51.75, or combined licenses, any of which were issued by the NRC prior to issuance of the final regulatory guide. The NRC has already completed its siting determination for those construction permits, operating licenses, early site permits, limited work authorizations, and combined licenses. Therefore, no further NRC regulatory action on siting will occur for those licenses, permits, and authorizations, for which the guidance in the regulatory guide would be relevant.

This regulatory guide may be applied to applications for early site permits, combined licenses, and limited work authorizations issued under 10 CFR 50.10, which includes information under 10 CFR 51.49(b) or (f), where the application is docketed by the NRC as of the date of issuance of the final regulatory guide, as well as future applications for construction permits, early site permits, combined licenses, and limited work authorizations, which includes information under 10 CFR 51.49(b) or (f), where the application is submitted after the issuance of the final regulatory guide. Such action does not constitute backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109(a)(1) and is not otherwise inconsistent with the applicable issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52, inasmuch as such applicants or potential applicants are not within the scope of entities protected by the Backfit Rule or the relevant issue finality provisions in Part 52.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of December 2011.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Harriet Karagiannis,

Acting Chief, Regulatory Guide Development Branch, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

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[FR Doc. 2011-33577 Filed 12-29-11; 8:45 am]

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