[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 224 (Thursday, November 20, 2003)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65415-65417]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-29021]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 50

RIN 3150-AH32


Minor Changes to Decommissioning Trust Fund Provisions

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The NRC is amending its regulations related to decommissioning 
trust fund provisions to correct typographical errors and make minor 
changes to a final rule promulgated by the NRC in December of 2002. 
This action adds clarifying language to amendments regarding 
notification requirements, investment prohibitions, and the option for 
licensees to retain their existing license conditions.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be received on or before 
December 22, 2003.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. 
Please include the following number (RIN 3150-AH32) in the subject line 
of your comments. Comments on rulemakings submitted in writing or in 
electronic form will be made available to the public in their entirety 
on the NRC rulemaking Web site. Personal information will not be 
removed from your comments.
    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
    E-mail comments to: SECY@nrc.gov. If you do not receive a reply e-
mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us 
directly at (301) 415-1966. You may also submit comments via the NRC's 
rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Address questions 
about our rulemaking Web site to Carol Gallagher (301) 415-5905; e-mail 
cag@nrc.gov.
    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852, between 7:30 am and 4:15 pm Federal workdays. (Telephone (301) 
415-1966).
    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 
(301) 415-1101.
    Publicly available documents related to this rulemaking may be 
viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR), O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The PDR reproduction contractor 
will copy documents for a fee. Selected documents, including comments, 
may be viewed and downloaded electronically via the NRC rulemaking Web 
site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.
    Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after 
November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic 
Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this 
site, the public can gain entry into the NRC's Agencywide Document 
Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image 
files of NRC's public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or 
if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, 
contact the NRC PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or 
by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian J. Richter, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone (301) 415-1978; e-mail bjr@nrc.gov.

[[Page 65416]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: For additional information see the direct 
final rule published in the Rules and Regulations section of this 
Federal Register.
    Because NRC considers this action noncontroversial and routine, the 
NRC is publishing this proposed rule concurrently as a direct final 
rule. The direct final rule will become effective on December 24, 2003. 
However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on the direct 
final rule by December 22, 2003, then the NRC will publish a document 
that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is 
withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to 
the proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant 
modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the 
NRC will not initiate a second comment period for this action in the 
event the direct final rule is withdrawn.
    A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter 
explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to 
the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or 
unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:
    (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient 
to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For 
example, a substantive response is required when:
    (a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) 
its position or conduct additional analysis;
    (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a 
substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or
    (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously 
addressed or considered by the NRC staff.
    (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and 
it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable 
without incorporation of the change or addition.
    (3) The comment causes the staff to make a change (other than 
editorial) to the rule.

List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 50

    Antitrust, Classified information, Criminal Penalties, Fire 
protection, Intergovernmental relations, Nuclear power plants and 
reactors, Radiation protection, Reactor siting criteria, and Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization 
Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 552 and 553, the NRC is proposing 
to adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR part 50.

PART 50--DOMESTIC LICENSING OF PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION 
FACILITIES

    1. The authority citation for Part 50 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Secs. 102, 103, 104, 105, 161, 182, 183, 186, 189, 68 
Stat. 936, 937, 938, 948, 953, 954, 955, 956, as amended, sec. 234, 
83 Stat. 444, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 
2232, 2233, 2236, 2239, 2282); secs. 201, as amended, 202, 206, 88 
Stat. 1242, as amended, 1244, 1246 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846).
    Section 50.7 also issued under Pub. L. 95-601, sec. 10, 92 Stat. 
2951 (42 U.S.C. 5851). Section 50.10 also issued under secs. 101, 
185, 68 Stat. 955 as amended (42 U.S.C. 2131, 2235), sec. 102, Pub. 
L. 91-190, 83 Stat. 853 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.13, 50.54(dd), 
and 50.103 also issued under sec. 108, 68 Stat. 939, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 2138). Sections 50.23, 50.35, 50.55, and 50.56 also issued 
under sec. 185, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2235). Sections 50.33a, 
50.55a and Appendix Q also issued under sec. 102, Pub. L. 91-190, 83 
Stat. 853 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.34 and 50.54 also issued 
under sec. 204, 88 Stat. 1245 (42 U.S.C. 5844). Sections 50.58, 
50.91, and 50.92 also issued under Pub. L. 97-415, 96 Stat. 2073 (42 
U.S.C. 2239). Section 50.78 also issued under sec. 122, 68 Stat. 939 
(42 U.S.C. 2152). Sections 50.80-50.81 also issued under sec. 184, 
68 Stat. 954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2234). Appendix F also issued 
under sec. 187, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2237).

    2. In Sec.  50.75, the sixth sentence of paragraphs (e)(1)(i) and 
the sixth sentence of (e)(1)(ii), paragraph (h)(1)(i)(A), the first 
sentences of paragraphs (h)(1)(i)(B), (h)(1)(iv), and (h)(2), are 
revised, and a new paragraph (h)(5) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  50.75  Reporting and recordkeeping for decommissioning planning.

* * * * *
    (e)(1) * * *
    (i) * * * A licensee that has prepaid funds based on the formulas 
in Sec.  50.75(c) of this section may take credit for projected 
earnings on the prepaid decommissioning funds using up to a 2 percent 
annual real rate of return up to the time of permanent termination of 
operations.
    (ii) * * * A licensee that has collected funds based on the 
formulas in Sec.  50.75(c) of this section may take credit for 
collected earnings on the decommissioning funds using up to a 2 percent 
annual real rate of return up to the time of permanent termination of 
operations. * * *
* * * * *
    (h)(1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) Is prohibited from investing the funds in securities or other 
obligations of the licensee or any other owner or operator of any 
nuclear power reactor or their affiliates, subsidiaries, successors or 
assigns, or in a mutual fund in which at least 50 percent of the fund 
is invested in the securities of a licensee or parent company whose 
subsidiary is an owner or operator of a foreign or domestic nuclear 
power plant. However, the funds may be invested in securities tied to 
market indices or other non-nuclear sector collective, commingled, or 
mutual funds, provided that this subsection shall not operate in such a 
way as to require the sale or transfer either in whole or in part, or 
other disposition of any such prohibited investment that was made 
before the publication date of this rule, and provided further that no 
more than 10 percent of trust assets may be indirectly invested in 
securities of any entity owning or operating one or more nuclear power 
plants.
    (B) Is obligated at all times to adhere to a standard of care set 
forth in the trust, which either shall be the standard of care, whether 
in investing or otherwise, required by State or Federal law or one or 
more State or Federal regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over the 
trust funds, or, in the absence of any such standard of care, whether 
in investing or otherwise, that a prudent investor would use in the 
same circumstances. * * *
* * * * *
    (iv) Except for withdrawals being made under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8) or 
for payments of ordinary administrative costs (including taxes) and 
other incidental expenses of the fund (including legal, accounting, 
actuarial, and trustee expenses) in connection with the operation of 
the fund, no disbursement or payment may be made from the trust, escrow 
account, Government fund, or other account used to segregate and manage 
the funds until written notice of the intention to make a disbursement 
or payment has been given to the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, or the Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and 
Safeguards, as applicable, at least 30 working days before the date of 
the intended disbursement or payment. * * *
    (2) Licensees that are ``electric utilities'' under Sec.  50.2 that 
use prepayment or an external sinking fund to provide financial 
assurance shall include a provision in the terms of the trust, escrow 
account, Government fund, or other account used to segregate

[[Page 65417]]

and manage funds that except for withdrawals being made under 10 CFR 
50.82(a)(8) or for payments of ordinary administrative costs (including 
taxes) and other incidental expenses of the fund (including legal, 
accounting, actuarial, and trustee expenses) in connection with the 
operation of the fund, no disbursement or payment may be made from the 
trust, escrow account, Government fund, or other account used to 
segregate and manage the funds until written notice of the intention to 
make a disbursement or payment has been given the Director, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation or the Director, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, as applicable at least 30 working days before 
the date of the intended disbursement or payment. * * *
* * * * *
    (5) The provisions of paragraphs (h)(1) through (h)(3) of this 
section do not apply to any licensee that as of December 24, 2003, has 
existing license conditions relating to decommissioning trust 
agreements, so long as the licensee does not elect to amend those 
license conditions. If a licensee with existing license conditions 
relating to decommissioning trust agreements elects to amend those 
conditions, the license amendment shall be in accordance with the 
provisions of paragraph (h) of this section.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of October, 2003.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William D. Travers,
Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 03-29021 Filed 11-19-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P