KEY TRENDS IN LAW AND POLICY REGARDING
NUCLEAR ENERGY AND MATERIALS
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.
The NRC held a public meeting on March 4 to discuss the issuance for public comment of draft regulatory guide (DG) DG-5061, Revision 1, Cyber Security Programs for Nuclear Power Reactors. DG-5061, Revision 1 would revise Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.71, which provides NRC licensees with guidance on meeting the cybersecurity requirements described in Section 73.54 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Protection of digital computer and communication systems and networks.”
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.
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.
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.
The comment period for the NRC’s draft Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) on true identity verification requirements closed on June 15, 2020. The industry had asked for and received a 45-day extension from the original April 30 deadline to provide comments.
Executive Order 13920, “Securing the United States Bulk-Power System,” issued on May 1 limits the US use of bulk-power system equipment produced by “foreign adversaries.”
Read our recent LawFlash discussing the US Department of the Treasury’s updated criteria outlining which businesses are eligible to apply for CARES Act loans allocated for businesses “critical to maintaining national security.”
Read our recent LawFlash detailing the key takeaways for energy companies from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law on March 27. Although the act does not expressly provide relief for energy companies, many of its provisions impact energy sector companies.