Spent Fuel Cask Certificate of Compliance Format and Content

Cited as:85 FR 66285
Court:Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Publication Date:19 Oct 2020
Record Number:2020-22268
Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 202 (Monday, October 19, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 202 (Monday, October 19, 2020)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 66285-66287]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2020-22268]
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                NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                10 CFR Part 72
                [Docket Nos. PRM-72-7; NRC-2012-0266; NRC-2014-0067]
                Spent Fuel Cask Certificate of Compliance Format and Content
                AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
                ACTION: Withdrawal of petition for rulemaking; discontinuation of
                rulemaking activity.
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                SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is announcing the
                withdrawal of Petition for Rulemaking PRM-72-7 (PRM; petition), and
                discontinuation of the associated rulemaking activity, ``Spent Fuel
                Cask Certificate of Compliance Format and Content.'' The NRC will no
                longer track this rulemaking activity or PRM.
                DATES: The docket for the rulemaking is closed on October 19, 2020. The
                petition was withdrawn on February 25, 2020.
                ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket IDs NRC-2012-0266 or NRC-2014-0067
                when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this
                action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this
                action by any of the following methods:
                 Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0266 or NRC-2014-
                0067. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher;
                telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected]. 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 obtain publicly-available documents online in the
                ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, 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 [email protected]. Instructions about obtaining
                materials referenced in this document are provided in the Availability
                of Documents section of this document.
                 Attention: The Public Document Room (PDR), where you may
                examine and order copies of public documents is currently closed. You
                may submit your request to the PDR via email at [email protected] or
                call 1-800-397-4209 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday
                through Friday, except Federal holidays.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Anderson, Office of Nuclear
                Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
                Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7126; email:
                [email protected].
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Table of Contents
                I. Discussion
                II. NRC Analysis
                III. Availability of Documents
                IV. Conclusion
                I. Discussion
                 On October 3, 2012, the NRC received PRM-72-7 from the Nuclear
                Energy Institute (NEI; petitioner). The petition requested that the NRC
                revise part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR),
                ``Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear
                Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and Reactor-Related Greater Than
                Class C Waste,'' to add a new rule governing spent fuel storage cask
                certificate of compliance format and content and make other changes to
                NRC oversight of dry cask storage activities.
                 The petition was noticed in the Federal Register for public comment
                on February 5, 2013. The NRC received five comment letters, all
                supporting the petition. On July 18, 2014, the NRC announced that the
                six issues raised in the petition were appropriate for consideration in
                the rulemaking process. The petition issues were identified as follows:
                 Issue No. 1: The petition requested an amendment to 10 CFR part 72,
                subpart L, ``Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,'' to provide
                specific criteria for the format and content of the certificate of
                compliance for a spent fuel storage cask.
                 Issue No. 2: The petition requested an amendment to Sec. 72.62 to
                provide backfit protection to certificate of compliance holders in
                addition to licensees.
                 Issue No. 3: The petition requested an amendment to 10 CFR part 72,
                subpart
                [[Page 66286]]
                K, ``General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor
                Sites,'' to remove the requirement in Sec. 72.212(b)(6) for general
                licensees to perform a review of the NRC's safety evaluation report for
                the certificate of compliance or amended certificate of compliance
                prior to use by a general licensee.
                 Issue No. 4: The petition requested an amendment to 10 CFR part 72,
                subpart K, to clarify the requirement to review various plans and
                programs that are governed by other NRC regulations.
                 Issue No. 5: The petition requested an amendment to 10 CFR part 72,
                subpart L, to remove the requirement in Sec. 72.236(k)(3) to mark the
                empty weight on each storage cask.
                 Issue No. 6: The petition requested an amendment to Sec. 72.124(c)
                to expand the scope of activities for which criticality monitoring is
                not required.
                 NRC's review of these six issues showed that they did not address
                safety, environmental, or security concerns. Accordingly, the
                rulemaking was assigned a medium priority.
                II. NRC Analysis
                 NRC staff evaluated the issues raised by the petitioner in
                accordance with its rulemaking process. The staff's early assessment of
                the petition issues determined that Issue No. 1 pertaining to the
                certificate of compliance format and content was the most consequential
                for improving the efficiency of the licensing process.
                 In 2016 and 2017, the NRC staff engaged with external stakeholders
                through a series of public workshops to explore options for achieving
                the efficiency improvements raised by Issue No. 1. The information
                obtained from those workshops supported development of qualitative
                risk-informed graded approach criteria that could be used to streamline
                the format and content of certificates of compliance and focus the
                certificate of compliance content on the most risk significant aspects.
                The graded approach criteria help determine the level of detail and
                location of information that should be included in a certificate of
                compliance for a spent fuel dry storage cask design. This graded
                approach is described in Regulatory Issue Resolution Protocol I-16-01.
                 On June 29, 2017, TN Americas LLC (formerly AREVA) submitted an
                application for Renewed Amendment 16 \1\ to the Standardized
                NUHOMS[supreg] Horizontal Modular Storage System (NUHOMS[supreg])
                Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 to pilot the application of the
                graded approach criteria. Chapter 2 of the preliminary safety
                evaluation report for the amendment discusses the development of the
                graded approach criteria in more detail, including information on the
                public meetings that were held and how the criteria were applied in
                review of the amendment request. After completing a safety review of
                the application, the staff, by letter dated January 8, 2020, endorsed
                the use of the pilot study's graded approach criteria by other cask
                vendors. This letter noted that NRC will continue to explore the use of
                risk information and enhancements to the dry storage licensing process.
                On June 30, 2020 (85 FR 39049), the NRC published the rulemaking for
                this pilot amendment with a direct final rule and companion proposed
                rule in the Federal Register; as corrected on July 17, 2020 (85 FR
                43419).
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                 \1\ On December 3, 2017, the NRC issued the renewals of initial
                certificate; Amendment Nos. 1 through 11 and 13, Revision 1; and
                Amendment No. 14 of Certificate of Compliance No. 1004 for the
                Standardized NUHOMS[supreg] System. Subsequently, Renewed Amendment
                No. 15 was issued on December 14, 2018. The certificates were
                renewed for an additional 40-year period. The TN Americas LLC
                Certificate of Compliance No. 1004, its amendments, and all future
                amendments to the certificate are referred to as Renewed Amendments.
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                 While the TN Americas LLC renewed amendment was under development,
                the staff, in the summer of 2019, identified potential rulemaking
                alternatives for the petition items and performed a preliminary cost-
                benefit analysis in support of the rulemaking plan. These assessments
                determined that resolution of Issue No. 1 could result in substantial
                averted costs (benefits) to the NRC, certificate of compliance holders,
                and licensees and could be achieved without rulemaking. The remaining
                Issues 2-6 were estimated to produce negligible net benefits that,
                without the benefits of Issue No. 1, would not justify the costs of
                rulemaking. Furthermore, other staff assessments indicated that, in
                addition to Issue No. 1, some of the other issues raised by the
                petition could be satisfactorily addressed outside of the rulemaking
                process using non-rulemaking approaches.
                 On November 18, 2019, the NRC staff held a public meeting on the
                status of the rulemaking associated with PRM-72-7. At the meeting, the
                petitioner, NEI, supported non-rulemaking alternatives to gain
                certificate of compliance efficiencies as soon as possible. The
                transcript and public meeting summary from this meeting are listed in
                Section III, Availability of Documents, of this notice.
                 Subsequently, in a letter dated February 25, 2020, NEI withdrew the
                petition. In this letter, NEI stated that Issue No. 1 was ``the central
                purpose of PRM 72-7,'' and that this issue was addressed through the
                NRC's endorsement of the graded approach criteria. In addition, NEI
                indicated that, with this central purpose addressed, ``none of the
                other issues raised in the petition, on their own merits, warrant the
                dedication of specific [NRC] resources to a rulemaking.''
                 With the development and endorsement of the graded approach
                criteria, the NRC finds that the primary intent of the petition has
                been satisfied. Additionally, a preliminary cost-benefit analysis
                demonstrates that rulemaking is not cost-justified for the remaining
                issues. Accordingly, the NRC is taking no further action on the
                petition and is discontinuing the rulemaking effort.
                III. Availability of Documents
                 The documents identified in the following table are related to this
                action and are available to interested persons through one or more of
                the following methods, as indicated.
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                 Adams Accession No./ Federal Register
                 Document Citation
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                Petition for rulemaking from the ML12299A380
                 Nuclear Energy Institute,
                 October 3, 2012.
                Federal Register notice for 78 FR 8050
                 receipt and request for comment,
                 ``Spent Fuel Cask Certificate of
                 Compliance Format and Content,''
                 February 5, 2013.
                Letters, Public Comments on PRM- ML14134A072 (package)
                 72-7, May 15, 2014.
                Federal Register notice for 79 FR 41935
                 consideration in rulemaking
                 process, ``Spent Fuel Cask
                 Certificate of Compliance Format
                 and Content,'' July 18, 2014.
                Letter, ``Proposed RIRP Issue ML16158A048
                 Screening Form and Resolution
                 Plan for Improving the
                 Efficiency of the Regulatory
                 Framework for Dry Storage of
                 Spent Nuclear Fuel,'' April 12,
                 2016.
                [[Page 66287]]
                
                Letter, ``Regulatory Issue ML17138A119
                 Resolution Protocol Screening
                 Form and Resolution Plan for
                 Improving the Part 72 Regulatory
                 Framework (RIRP-I-16-01),'' May
                 12, 2017.
                Letter, ``Response to Nuclear ML17150A458
                 Energy Institute's Letter
                 Regarding Regulatory Issue
                 Resolution Protocol Screening
                 Form and Resolution Plan for
                 Improving the Part 72 Regulatory
                 Framework (RIRP-I-16-01),'' June
                 5, 2017.
                Letter, ``Application for ML17191A235
                 Amendment 16 to Standardized
                 NUHOMS[supreg] Certificate of
                 Compliance No. 1004 for Spent
                 Fuel Storage Casks, Revision 0
                 (Docket No. 72-1004),'' June 29,
                 2017.
                Letter, ``Application for ML17206A045
                 Amendment No. 16 to Standardized
                 NUHOMS[supreg] Certificate of
                 Compliance No. 1004--Accepted
                 for Review,'' July 21, 2017.
                Preliminary Safety Evaluation ML19262E161
                 Report, ``TN Americas LLC
                 Standardized NUHOMS[supreg]
                 Horizontal Modular Storage
                 System for Irradiated Nuclear
                 Fuel Docket No. 72-1004
                 NUHOMS[supreg] System Amendment
                 No. 16,'' September 18, 2019.
                Letter, ``Industry White Paper-- ML19318D970
                 Defining Spent Fuel Performance
                 Margins,'' November 8, 2019.
                Public Meeting Documentation, ML19324C657 (package)
                 November 18, 2019.
                Summary, November 18, 2019 Public ML19340A414
                 Meeting, December 18, 2019.
                Transcript, ``Public Meeting to ML20079H441
                 Discuss the Issues Contained in
                 PRM-72-7 and Additional Staff-
                 Identified.
                Changes to 10 CFR Part 72,''
                 November 18, 2019.
                Letter, Endorsement of Graded ML19353D337 (package)
                 Approach, January 8, 2020.
                Letter, Request to Withdraw PRM- ML20058B100
                 72-7, February 25, 2020.
                Federal Register notice for 85 FR 39049
                 direct final rule, ``TN Americas
                 LLC, Standardized NUHOMS[supreg]
                 Horizontal Modular Storage
                 System, Certificate of
                 Compliance No. 1004, Renewed
                 Amendment No. 16,'' June 30,
                 2020.
                Federal Register notice 85 FR 43419
                 correction, ``TN Americas LLC,
                 Standardized NUHOMS[supreg]
                 Horizontal Modular Storage
                 System, Certificate of
                 Compliance No. 1004, Renewed
                 Amendment No. 16,'' July 17,
                 2020.
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                IV. Conclusion
                 The NRC is withdrawing PRM-72-7 and is no longer pursuing the Spent
                Fuel Cask Certificate of Compliance Format and Content rulemaking for
                the reasons discussed in this document. If the NRC decides to pursue a
                similar or related rulemaking in the future, it will inform the public
                through a new rulemaking entry in the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and
                Deregulatory Activities.
                 Dated: October 2, 2020.
                 For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
                Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
                Secretary of the Commission.
                [FR Doc. 2020-22268 Filed 10-16-20; 8:45 am]
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