The US Department of Energy (DOE) published on January 31 two secretarial determinations in the Federal Register that change the countries that are eligible for general authorizations under 10 CFR Part 810 (Part 810). The first secretarial determination changed the status of Mexico to a fully generally authorized destination, while the second removed Colombia and Egypt from the list of countries eligible for a general authorization.
KEY TRENDS IN LAW AND POLICY REGARDING
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
NRC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Alternatives to Credit Ratings for Decommissioning Financial Assurance
The NRC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) proposing a rule, “Alternatives to the Use of Credit Ratings,” that would amend its decommissioning financial assurance mechanisms in 10 CFR Part 30.
On December 8, the NRC issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2022-03 detailing its plans regarding the use of “Information-Sharing Agreements” to share controlled unclassified information (CUI) with non-executive branch entities. The NRC is targeting the summer of 2023 to begin establishing formal agreements with NRC licensees, applicants, certificate of compliance (CoC) holders, agreement state radiation control program directors, state liaison officers, and tribes.
Good news for Mexico—and a potential farewell to Egypt and South Africa: It’s time to look out for the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) changes to the list of generally authorized countries that appear in Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 810 (Appendix A).
The Commission recently approved the NRC Staff’s recommendation to pursue a 24-month schedule for updating the agency’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (LR GEIS). The Commission’s decision signifies an ambitious push forward to make the LR GEIS applicable to subsequent license renewal (SLR) applications.
The Commission recently issued SRM-SECY-19-0100, in which it disapproved, by a 2-to-1 vote, a request made by the NRC staff that sought approval to discontinue the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Security Requirements rulemaking and deny a related petition for rulemaking filed by C-10 Research and Education Foundation Inc.
The NRC is taking an important step toward an inclusive licensing regime for a new generation of reactors. On January 3, the NRC staff submitted for commission approval a recommended final rule on “Emergency Preparedness for Small Modular Reactors and Other New Technologies.”
On December 10, the NRC staff issued SECY-21-0105 seeking approval from the NRC commissioners to publish a notice of final rule that would officially replace the NRC's sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI) program with a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program. The new rules would appear in 10 CFR Part 2, "Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure," and be consistent with the government-wide rules on CUI in 32 CFR Part 2002.
Several years ago, the US government embarked on a project to standardize federal agency programs—including the NRC’s—for managing unclassified-but-sensitive information. At the NRC, this government-wide Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program is intended to replace the agency’s Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) program.
NRC Seeks Public Comment on Petition for Rulemaking to Require Advanced Notice to Tribes of Radioactive Materials Shipments
The NRC published a notice of a petition for rulemaking from the Tribal Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee (TRMTC) in the Federal Register on April 9 asking the NRC to revise 10 CFR Part 37 to require that licensees provide advanced notification to participating tribal governments of certain radioactive material shipments that will cross a tribe’s reservation.