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Introduction-Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small Modular Reactor Edition

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Standard review plan section; issuance.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a final revision to the following section of NUREG-0800, “Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: LWR Edition.” The final revision is the Standard Review Plan (SRP), “Introduction—Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small Modular Reactor Edition.”

DATES:

The effective date of this SRP update is March 6, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0268 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access publicly-available information related to this action by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0268. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The final revision for “Introduction—Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Light-Water Small Modular Reactor Edition” is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML13207A315.
  • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
  • The NRC posts its issued staff guidance on the NRC's external Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​nuregs/​staff/​sr0800/​.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jonathan DeGange, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6992 or email: mailto:Jonathan.DeGange@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On January 22, 2013 (78 FR 4477), the NRC published for public comment the initial issuance of “Introduction—Part 2, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: Integral Pressurized Water Reactor (iPWR) Edition.”Start Printed Page 6658

Comment submissions were received on the proposed revision (ADAMS Accession No. ML12142A237).

The NRC staff made several changes to the proposed revision after consideration of the comments. The scope of use of the new introduction has been expanded to include any type of application under Part 52 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR): early site permits (ESPs), design certifications (DCs), standard design approvals (SDAs), combined licenses (COLs), or manufacturing licenses (MLs). Additionally, throughout the document, the use of the term “iPWR” (integral pressurized water reactor) has been replaced by “SMR” (small modular reactor) for consistency. Finally, the historical summary paragraph related to SECY-11-0156 was removed as it did not directly apply to the guidance in the new part of the introduction.

A summary of the public comments and the NRC staff's disposition of the comments are available in a separate document, Response to Public Comments on Draft SRP, “Introduction—Part 2” (ADAMS Accession No. ML13207A309). The ADAMS Accession Number for the Nuclear Energy Institute letter and comments is ML13091A017.

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

Issuance of this final SRP section 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. The NRC staff's position is based upon the following considerations:

1. The SRP positions do not constitute backfitting, inasmuch as the SRP is internal guidance directed at the NRC staff with respect to their regulatory responsibilities.

The SRP provides guidance to the staff on how to review an application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. Changes in internal staff guidance are not matters for which either nuclear power plant applicants or licensees are protected under either the Backfit Rule or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52.

2. Backfitting and issue finality—with certain exceptions discussed below—do not protect current or future applicants.

Applicants and potential applicants are not, with certain exceptions, protected by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52. This is because neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue finality provisions were intended to apply to every NRC action which substantially changes the expectations of current and future applicants.

The exceptions to the general principle are applicable whenever an applicant references a 10 CFR part 52 license (e.g., an early site permit) and/or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification rule) with specified issue finality provisions. The staff does not currently intend to impose the positions represented in this SRP section in a manner that is inconsistent with any issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52. If in the future the NRC staff does indeed intend to impose positions inconsistent with these issue finality provisions, the NRC staff must address the regulatory criteria for avoiding issue finality.

3. The NRC staff has no intention to impose the SRP positions on existing nuclear power plant licenses or regulatory approvals either now or in the future (absent a voluntary request for change from the licensee, holder of a regulatory approval, or a design certification applicant).

The staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions described in the SRP section to existing (already issued) licenses (e.g., operating licenses and combined licenses) and regulatory approvals—in this case, design certifications. Hence, the issuance of this SRP guidance even if considered guidance which is within the purview of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52—need not be evaluated as if it were a backfit or as being inconsistent with issue finality provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the SRP on holders of already issued licenses in a manner which does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must make the showing as set forth in the Backfit Rule, or address the criteria for avoiding issue finality as described applicable issue finality provision, as applicable.

III. Congressional Review Act

In accordance with the Congressional Review Act, the NRC has determined that this action is not a major rule and has verified this determination with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of January 2014.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Joseph Colaccino,

Chief, Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, Office of New Reactors.

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[FR Doc. 2014-02317 Filed 2-3-14; 8:45 am]

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