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Quality Assurance Program Criteria (Design and Construction)

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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), DG-1326, “Quality Assurance Program Criteria (Design and Construction).” This proposed guide, Revision 5, updates the guidance to endorse, with clarification or exceptions, multiple revisions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers standard NQA-1 titled “Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications.” The proposed revision describes methods that NRC considers acceptable for establishing and implementing a quality assurance (QA) program for the design and construction of nuclear power plants and fuel reprocessing plants.

DATES:

Submit comments by May 26, 2017. 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:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specified subject):

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0079. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ashley Thomas, Office of New Reactors, telephone: 301-415-6638, email: Ashley.Ferguson@nrc.gov; and Stephen Burton, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, telephone: 301-415-7000, email: Stephen.Burton@nrc.gov. Both are staff members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0079 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this action. You may obtain publically-available information related to this action, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0079.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​Start Printed Page 15243adams.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 DG is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16180A264.
  • 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.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2017-0079 in your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enters the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Additional Information

The NRC is issuing for public comment a DG in the NRC's “Regulatory Guide” series. This series was developed to describe and make available to the public information regarding methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific parts of the NRC's regulations, techniques that the staff uses in evaluating specific issues or postulated events, and data that the staff needs in its review of applications for permits and licenses.

The DG, entitled, “Quality Assurance Program Criteria (Design and Construction),” is a proposed revision temporarily identified by its task number, DG-1326. Draft Guide-1326 is proposed revision 5 of Regulatory Guide 1.28, “Quality Assurance Program Criteria (Design and Construction).” The guide describes methods that the NRC considers acceptable for establishing and implementing a QA program for the design and construction of nuclear power plants and fuel reprocessing plants as established within the provisions of part 50 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities,” and part 52, “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants,” which refer to part 50, Appendix B, “Quality Assurance Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants and Fuel Reprocessing Plants.”

This revision of the guide (Revision 5) updates the guidance to endorse, with clarification or exceptions, multiple revisions of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers standard NQA-1 titled “Quality Assurance Requirements for Nuclear Facility Applications.”

III. Backfitting and Issue Finality

Draft Guide-1326 describes methods that the NRC considers acceptable for establishing and implementing a QA program for the design and construction of nuclear power plants and fuel reprocessing plants. Issuance of this DG, if finalized, would not constitute backfitting as defined in § 50.109 (the Backfit Rule) and would not otherwise be inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in part 52. As discussed in the “Implementation” section of this DG, the NRC has no current intention to impose this guidance, if finalized, on holders of current operating licenses or combined licenses.

This DG may be applied to applications for operating licenses, combined licenses, early site permits, and certified design rules docketed by the NRC as of the date of issuance of the final regulatory guide, as well as future applications submitted after the issuance of the regulatory guide. Such action would not constitute backfitting as defined in the Backfit Rule or be otherwise inconsistent with the applicable issue finality provision in 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 March 2017.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Thomas H. Boyce,

Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

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[FR Doc. 2017-05949 Filed 3-24-17; 8:45 am]

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