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 NRC’s Office of Investigations (OI) recently published its Office of Investigations Annual Report FY 2021 summarizing its activities during the past fiscal year. Overall, OI saw a drop in caseload, likely due—at least in part—to the COVID-19 pandemic and more workers working from home. Even so, the trend of increasing investigations of materials licensees continued, and this is likely to be a continuing area of focus for the NRC.
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.”

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final rule in the Federal Register on January 14 updating the maximum amounts of civil monetary penalties it can impose. Reflecting the price challenges in the larger US economy, the maximum civil monetary penalty amounts dramatically increased over the prior year as a result of the rise of inflation.

The NRC staff recently issued findings from their review of the 2021 decommissioning funding status (DFS) reports submitted by power reactor licensees and licensees of power reactors in decommissioning. These reports are required by NRC regulations to ensure that adequate funds are available for the complete decommissioning of licensed facilities. The NRC staff’s review found that all currently operating power reactors and reactors in decommissioning demonstrated that they have adequate funds for decommissioning.
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.
On December 17, the NRC published a report to Congress on the continuing need for and any potential modifications to the Price-Anderson Act (PAA). The NRC was required to submit the report, “Public Liability Insurance and Indemnity Requirements for an Evolving Commercial Nuclear Industry,” by the end of 2021.
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.

In a recent Memorandum and Order (Order), an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) unanimously granted summary disposition to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), dismissing three alleged violations and partially dismissing a fourth issued by the NRC. The violations arose from an investigation conducted by the NRC’s Office of Investigations (OI) into allegations of retaliation against a former TVA employee and former contractor. In its Order, the Board clarified the scope of Section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) (42 USC 5851) and the NRC’s implementing regulation in 10 CFR 50.7 (Section 50.7). The Order is favorable to employers covered by Sections 211 and 50.7.