We reported last month that the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the US federal agency responsible for coordinating and overseeing federal agency implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), had signaled its intention to update the CEQ’s longstanding NEPA-implementing regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508).
KEY TRENDS IN LAW AND POLICY REGARDING
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has publicly released a copy of SECY-18-0055 (dated May 7, 2018), which seeks Commission approval to publish a proposed rule to amend NRC regulations related to the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors.
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), the US federal agency tasked with coordinating and overseeing federal agency implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), has signaled its intention to update the CEQ’s longstanding NEPA-implementing regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508). That intention is reflected in the spring 2018 version of the semiannual “Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” (Unified Agenda) published by the Regulatory Information Service Center and the Office of Management and Budget’s
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff recently published a paper, SECY-18-0035, with an update regarding its development of a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) Program for the agency. The staff is still in the early stages of developing the program, which it plans to implement over the next three and a half years.
On February 7—the same day that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued its updated Regulatory Analysis focused on making the decommissioning process more efficient and less costly—two pieces of legislation were reintroduced in the Senate that would have the opposite effect.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published a notice in the February 7 Federal Register of the availability of its new Regulatory Analysis for Regulatory Basis: Regulatory Improvements for Power Reactors Transitioning to Decommissioning. This update considers comments received on the preliminary draft regulatory analysis that was issued for public comment on May 9, 2017. At nearly 200 pages, the updated analysis presents the costs, benefits, and other economic impacts to industry, government, and society from the NRC staff recommendations considered in the regulatory basis.
At the recent NEI Nuclear Fuel Supply Forum, Morgan Lewis partner Giovanna M. Cinelli highlighted important changes to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) transaction review process being considered by Congress that are likely to affect the Energy industry in general and the nuclear industry in particular.
US Energy Secretary Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in late September 2017 to undertake a rulemaking that would have enabled generation assets with secure on-site fuel supply (e.g., nuclear and coal plants) in organized markets to receive payments for reliability and resiliency.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently put the final nail in the coffin of a nearly 10-year proposed rulemaking effort that would have required licensees to remediate residual radioactivity resulting from licensed activities during facility operation, rather than at license termination as required by the current rules.
Invoking rarely used statutory authority, on September 29, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry directed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to undertake a rulemaking to enable generation assets in RTOs and ISOs to receive payments for reliability and resiliency benefits that the DOE views as uncompensated under current market rules.