[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 216 (Thursday, November 6, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 66000-66001]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-26459]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 50

[Docket No. PRM-50-71; NRC-2000-0004]


Petition for Rulemaking Filed by David J. Modeen, Nuclear Energy 
Institute; Consideration of Petition in the Rulemaking Process

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Resolution and closure of petition docket.

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SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the 
issues raised in a petition for rulemaking submitted by David J. 
Modeen, on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute, in the ongoing 
``Performance-Based Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) Cladding 
Acceptance Criteria'' rulemaking (ADAMS accession no. ML020630082). The 
petitioner requested that the NRC amend its regulations to allow 
nuclear power plant licensees to use zirconium-based cladding materials 
other than Zircaloy or ZIRLO, provided the cladding materials meet the 
requirements for fuel cladding performance and have been approved by 
the NRC staff. Specifically, the petitioner stated that the NRC's 
current regulations require uranium oxide fuel pellets, used in 
commercial reactor fuel, to be contained in cladding material made of 
Zircaloy or ZIRLO. The requirement to use either of these materials is 
stated in the regulations that govern combustible gas control and 
acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for nuclear 
power reactors. The petitioner noted that subsequent to promulgation of 
these regulations, commercial nuclear fuel vendors have developed and 
continue to develop materials other than Zircaloy or ZIRLO. To allow a 
licensee to use fuel made with these new cladding alloys, the NRC must 
review and approve an exemption request. The petitioner requested that 
the NRC amend these regulations to allow licensees discretion to use 
zirconium-based cladding materials other than Zircaloy or ZIRLO, 
provided that the cladding materials meet the fuel cladding performance 
requirements and have been reviewed and approved by the NRC staff.

[[Page 66001]]


DATES: The docket for the petition for rulemaking PRM-50-71 is closed 
on November 6, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You can access publicly available documents related to this 
petition for rulemaking using the following methods:
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Further NRC action on the issues 
raised by this petition will be accessible at the federal rulemaking 
portal, http://www.regulations.gov, by searching on rulemaking docket 
ID: NRC-2000-0004 and docket ID: NRC-2008-0332. The NRC also tracks all 
rulemaking actions in the ``NRC Regulatory Agenda: Semiannual Report 
(NUREG-0936).''
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, Public 
File Area O-1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland.
    NRC's Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS): 
Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are 
available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http:/
/www.nrc.gov/NRC/reading-rm/adams.html. From this page, the public can 
gain entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC's 
public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are 
any 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.resource@nrc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynn M. Hall, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, Telephone: 301-415-3759, or toll-free: 800-368-5642, e-
mail: Lynn.Hall@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 31, 2000 (65 FR 34599), the NRC 
published for public comment a petition for rulemaking (PRM) filed by 
David J. Modeen, on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute. The comment 
period closed on August 14, 2000, and the NRC received 11 comment 
letters. In response to this petition, the NRC amended Sec.  50.44 of 
its regulations (68 FR 54123, September 16, 2003) to eliminate the 
requirement to use Zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding. With respect to the 
cladding requirements specified in Sec.  50.46, the NRC has determined 
that the petitioner's request in PRM-50-71 is appropriate for 
consideration and, in fact, is already being considered in the ongoing 
``Performance-Based Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) Cladding 
Acceptance Criteria'' rulemaking. This rulemaking proposes revisions to 
the NRC regulations in 10 CFR Part 50 that addresses licensing of 
production and utilization facilities in which the remaining open 
issues from PRM-50-71 will be resolved. The NRC will address the 
comments filed in PRM-50-71 as part of this rulemaking.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of October 2008.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
R.W. Borchardt,
Executive Director for Operations.
 [FR Doc. E8-26459 Filed 11-5-08; 8:45 am]
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