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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC)
Statement of Regulatory Priorities
Under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and 
the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates the processing and utilization of 
source, byproduct, and special nuclear material. The NRC's regulatory 
mission is to ensure that civilian uses of nuclear materials and 
facilities are carried out with proper regard for the protection of 
public health and safety, the environment, and national security. The 
NRC regulates the operation of nuclear power plants and fuel cycle 
plants; the safeguarding of nuclear materials from theft and sabotage; 
the safe transportation of nuclear materials; the decommissioning and 
return to safe use of licensed facilities that are no longer in 
operation; and the medical, industrial, and research applications of 
nuclear material.
The NRC's regulatory priorities for the next fiscal year are to ensure 
that:
1. Nuclear power plants and other licensed facilities are operated 
safely and that licensees are adequately prepared to respond to 
accidents;
2. The basic principles and criteria that would allow decommissioned 
lands and structures to be released for unrestricted use are codified;
3. Evolutionary and advanced reactor designs may be reviewed and 
licensed effectively and efficiently; and
4. The requirements for the review and approval of an application for 
the renewal of a nuclear power plant operating license ensure a more 
stable, predictable, efficient, and flexible regulatory process.
The NRC is addressing its regulatory initiatives in a manner that is 
consistent with the President's regulatory philosophy. The NRC 
routinely conducts comprehensive regulatory analyses that examine the 
costs and benefits of contemplated regulations as part of its 
regulatory process. The NRC has been aggressive and innovative in 
expanding the scope of public and industry participation in its most 
significant rulemakings. For example, the NRC has conducted several 
public workshops and established an electronic bulletin to facilitate 
participation in the rulemaking to establish radiological criteria for 
decommissioning. The NRC has also developed internal procedures and 
programs to ensure that only necessary requirements are imposed on its 
licensees and to review existing regulations to determine whether the 
requirements imposed are still necessary.
_______________________________________________________________________
NRC
            ___________________________________________________________
PRERULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
210. <bullet> STEAM GENERATOR TUBE INTEGRITY
Legal Authority:


 42 USC 2201; 42 USC 5841


CFR Citation:


 10 CFR 50


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:


The NRC is considering amending its regulations to develop a rule 
pertaining to steam generator tube integrity. The objective of the rule 
would be to maintain adequate assurance of steam generator tube 
integrity while allowing a more appropriate approach to steam generator 
surveillance and maintenance activities at nuclear power plants. Steam 
generator degradation is a significant issue affecting current 
pressurized water reactors.


Statement of Need:


The NRC plans to develop a rule pertaining to steam generator tube 
integrity (i.e., maintaining an extremely low overall probability of 
steam generator tube leakage that could result in core damage or 
exceeding allowable offsite doses). The proposed rule would allow a 
more flexible approach to steam generator surveillance and maintenance 
activities through a degradation specific management approach. The 
regulatory action is intended to:


1. Improve the scope and methods for inspecting steam generator tubing;


2. Provide incentives to continue to improve inspection methods;


3. Develop plugging/repair criteria based on the most appropriate 
nondestructive parameters, thereby improving enforceability of the 
criteria and eliminating unnecessary conservatism; and


4. Reflect appropriate considerations of related systems issues.


Operating experience indicates that the current regulatory requirements 
need to be more stringent in some areas while in other areas they are 
overly conservative. To date this situation has been dealt with on a 
plant-specific basis, when necessary. However, a generic approach to 
dealing with steam generator issues is necessary in order to 
effectively update inspection and repair criteria. The generic approach 
that is contemplated will allow appropriate improvements to be applied 
uniformly across the industry, optimize the use of industry and NRC 
resources in addressing steam generator issues, and provide a more 
consistent basis for ensuring public health and safety.


Summary of the Legal Basis:


The NRC is authorized to promulgate new rules. The new rule that will 
be developed on steam generator integrity will be in accordance with 
the provisions of 10 CFR 50.109 on backfitting.


Alternatives:


The primary alternative would be to continue with resource intensive 
plant-specific licensing actions. Other alternatives may be developed 
as a result of public comments on the proposed rule.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


The regulatory action would result in a decrease in costs in some areas 
(e.g., steam generator tube repair costs, avoidance/delay of steam 
generator replacement costs), and an increase in cost in other areas 
(e.g., inspection costs). The regulatory action may also result in a 
decrease in personnel exposure. Since the proposed rule is intended to 
be performance based, a major benefit would be in providing a more 
flexible and cost-effective regulatory program pertaining to 
maintaining steam generator tube integrity.


Risks:





The regulatory action will result in increases in safety margins in 
some areas and is intended to provide a more optimal balance in the 
overall public risks associated with steam generator tube integrity 
requirements in other areas.


Timetable:
_______________________________________________________________________
Action                                 DFR Cite

_______________________________________________________________________
ANPRM           59 FR 47817                                    09/19/94
ANPRM Comment Period End                                       12/05/94
NPRM                                                           12/00/95
Small Entities Affected:


None


Government Levels Affected:


None


Agency Contact:
Tim Reed
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Washington, DC 20555
301 504-1462
RIN: 3150-AF04
_______________________________________________________________________
NRC
            ___________________________________________________________
PROPOSED RULE STAGE
            ___________________________________________________________
211. RADIOLOGICAL CRITERIA FOR DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES
Legal Authority:


 42 USC 2201; 42 USC 5841


CFR Citation:


 10 CFR 020


Legal Deadline:


None


Abstract:


The proposed rule would amend the Commission's regulations to codify 
the basic principles and radiological criteria which would allow 
decommissioned lands and structures to be released for unrestricted 
public use. In the final rule entitled, ``General Requirements for 
Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities'' (June 27, 1988; 53 FR 24018), the 
need and urgency for guidance with respect to residual contamination 
criteria was expressed. At that time, it was anticipated that an 
interagency working group organized by the Environmental Protection 
Agency would develop necessary Federal guidance. However, in the 
absence of significant progress by the interagency working group, the 
Commission had directed that the NRC expedite rulemaking because the 
requirements, once final, will provide licensees with an incentive to 
complete site decommissioning.


The proposed rule would establish basic radiological criteria for 
release of lands and structures. Measurables, in the form of surface 
and volume radioactive concentrations and site radioactivity inventory 
values, would be provided in supporting regulatory guidance. These 
combined activities should benefit the public, industry, and the NRC 
providing a risk-based framework upon which decommissioning activities 
and license terminations can be accomplished. The framework will ensure 
adequate protection of public health and safety and identify residual 
radioactivity criteria upon which licensees can confidently develop 
reasonable and responsible decommissioning plans.


Statement of Need:


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend 10 CFR 
Part 20 of its regulations to provide specific radiological criteria 
for the decommissioning of soils and structures. The proposed criteria 
would apply to the decommissioning of all facilities licensed under 10 
CFR Parts 30, 40, 50, 60, 61, 70, and 72, as well as other facilities 
subject to the Commission's jurisdiction under the Atomic Energy Act 
and the Energy Reorganization Act. The NRC would apply these criteria 
in determining the adequacy of remediation of residual radioactivity 
resulting from the possession or use of source, byproduct, and special 
nuclear material. The proposed rule is intended to provide a clear and 
consistent regulatory basis for determining the extent to which lands 
and structures must be remediated before a site can be considered 
decommissioned.


The NRC has developed the basis for the residual contamination levels 
in light of changes in basic radiation protection standards, 
improvements in remediation and radiation detection technologies, 
decommissioning experience obtained during the past 15 years, and 
comments received from public workshops held as part of this rulemaking 
effort. This rulemaking has been closely coordinated with the 
Environmental Protection Agency from both a policy standpoint and for 
the technical underpinnings. The EPA was a key participant in the 
rulemaking workshops conducted for the rulemaking. EPA is preparing a 
parallel rulemaking. In addition, under the framework of a Memorandum 
of Understanding (MOU) between NRC and EPA, EPA will make a 
determination that the NRC rulemaking provides a sufficient level of 
protection for public health and safety and environment. This 
coordination will minimize the expenditure of Federal resources, 
provide a consistent regulatory approach for all facilities, and avoid 
a duplication of effort or overlapping regulations.


Summary of the Legal Basis:


This proposed rule is being developed under the authority of the Atomic 
Energy Act of 1954, as amended.


Alternatives:


The NRC presently allows decommissioning on a site-specific basis using 
existing guidance. The NRC could continue to allow decommissioning to 
proceed on a case-by-case basis. However, the NRC believes that 
codifying radiological criteria for decommissioning would provide a 
more effective method of and a broadly understood set of standards to 
be used in protecting public health and the environment at 
decommissioned sites.


Anticipated Costs and Benefits:


The proposed rule would establish a clear and consistent regulatory 
basis for determining the extent to which lands and structures must be 
remediated before a site can be decommissioned. The Commission believes 
that inclusion of criteria in the regulations will result in more 

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