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The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently announced that it will hold a public meeting titled The Role of Third Parties in Access Authorization and Fitness-for-Duty Determination. The meeting will take place at NRC headquarters on November 16, 2016, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The rulemaking on this topic will eventually resolve whether third parties, or only licensees, can make final determinations on who may have unescorted access to nuclear reactor plants.
October 10 was the deadline for five states to comply with the REAL ID Act of 2005, which implements federal standards for tamper-proof identification documents, such as driver’s licenses.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has issued a plan to revise 10 CFR 30.35 to require licensees that possess radioactive sealed sources with Category 1 or 2 quantities of byproduct material (such as cobalt-60, iodine-131, cesium-137, and americium-141) to provide financial assurance for the sources’ disposal.
Russia recently suspended or terminated its nuclear agreements with the United States, further deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two countries.
On September 26th, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an interesting order in the ongoing Navy sailor suit, Cooper et al. v. Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc., seeking the US Department of State’s views on the pending appeal.
On September 26, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) introduced bill S.3394 to amend the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (ERA) to modify provisions regarding the protection of employees of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
In a September 15, 2016, letter to Exelon, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) executive director for operations (EDO) granted Exelon’s appeal of the NRC’s attempted imposition of a backfit by using the compliance exception to the backfit rule. Using that exception would have allowed the NRC to impose the backfit without justifying its actions from a cost-benefit perspective.
The UK government has confirmed its commitment to move forward with the construction and operation of Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear plant to be licensed in the United Kingdom since 1987.