NRC Releases Draft Regulatory Basis for Decommissioning Rule

       Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release

         No: 17-010 March 10, 2017
Contact: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200


NRC Releases Draft Regulatory Basis for Decommissioning Rule

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is making publicly available a pre-publication draft regulatory basis for a future power reactor decommissioning rule.


A notice regarding the draft regulatory basis will be published in the Federal Register later this month, initiating a 90-day public comment period. The preliminary draft document is now publicly available on the NRC website to facilitate discussion during the agency’s annual Regulatory Information Conference, scheduled for March 14-16. The conference includes a March 15 technical session on power reactor decommissioning.


The NRC published an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” on this matter in November 2015, seeking public comment on a number of areas to be considered during the rulemaking process. The rule would establish clear requirements for commercial power reactors transitioning to decommissioning. The draft regulatory basis draws upon comments submitted in response to the ANPR.


In the draft regulatory basis, the NRC staff concludes there is sufficient justification to proceed with rulemaking in the areas of emergency preparedness, physical security, decommissioning trust funds, offsite and onsite financial protection requirements and indemnity agreements, and application of the backfit rule. The staff suggests guidance, rather than rulemaking, should be used to address the role of state and local governments in the decommissioning process, the level of NRC review and approval of a licensee’s post-shutdown decommissioning activities report, and whether to revise the 60-year limit for power reactor decommissioning.