[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 236 (Friday, December 7, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 72997-72998]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29527]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 236 / Friday, December 7, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 72997]]



NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 61

[NRC-2011-0012]
RIN 3150-AI92


Low-Level Waste Disposal

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Regulatory basis and preliminary rule language; second request 
for comment.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to 
amend its regulations that govern low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) 
disposal facilities to require new and revised site-specific analyses 
and to permit the development of criteria for waste acceptance based on 
the results of these analyses. These amendments will ensure that waste 
streams that are significantly different in terms of radiological 
characteristics (e.g., half-life) from those considered in the 
technical basis for the current regulations can be disposed of safely 
and meet the performance objectives for land disposal of LLRW. These 
amendments will also increase the use of site-specific information to 
ensure that public health and safety would continue to be protected.
    The NRC is publishing a second version of preliminary rule language 
and has revised the regulatory basis document that will support this 
rulemaking. NRC is taking this action to inform interested stakeholders 
of the current status of the NRC's activities and to solicit public 
comments on the preliminary rule language. The regulatory basis 
document is being made available to inform stakeholder comments on the 
preliminary rule language. The NRC is not requesting comments on the 
regulatory basis.

DATES: Comments on the preliminary rule language should be submitted no 
later than January 7, 2013. Comments received after this date will be 
considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to assure 
consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this preliminary rule language, which the NRC possesses and are 
publicly available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket ID NRC-2011-0012. You may submit comments by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-
2011-0012. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; 
telephone: 301-492-3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff.
     Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do 
not receive a reply email confirming that we have received your 
comments, contact us directly at 301-415-1677.
     Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission at 301-415-1101.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Carrera, Office of Federal and 
State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone 301-415-
1078, email Andrew.Carrera@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0012 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this document. You may access 
information related to this document, which the NRC possesses and are 
publicly available, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2011-0012.
     NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): You may examine and 
purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this notice is provided the first time 
that a document is referenced.
    The November 2012 preliminary rule language is available 
electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML12311A444. The regulatory 
basis document, ``Regulatory Analysis for Proposed Revisions to Low-
Level Waste Disposal Requirement (10 CFR Part 61),'' that supports this 
rulemaking is available under ADAMS accession number ML12306A480.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0012 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submissions. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment

[[Page 72998]]

submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions 
into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

    The NRC is proposing to amend its regulations, in part 61 Title 10 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Licensing Requirements 
for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste,'' to require new and revised 
site-specific analyses and to permit the development of criteria for 
waste acceptance based on the results of these analyses. These 
amendments will ensure that waste streams that are significantly 
different in terms of radiological characteristics (e.g., half-life) 
from those considered in the technical basis for the current 
regulations can be disposed of safely and meet the performance 
objectives. These amendments will also increase the use of site-
specific information to ensure that public health and safety would 
continue to be protected. These changes would revise the existing site-
specific analysis for protection of the general population to include a 
10,000-year compliance period (i.e., performance assessment); add a new 
site-specific analysis for the protection of inadvertent intruders that 
would include a 10,000-year compliance period and a dose limit (i.e., 
intruder assessment); add a new long-term analysis for certain long-
lived wastes that would include a post-10,000-year performance period; 
and revise the pre-closure analysis to include updates to the 
performance assessment, intruder assessment, and long-term analyses. 
The NRC would also be adding a new requirement to develop criteria for 
the acceptance of waste for disposal based on either the results of 
these analyses or the existing waste classification requirements. While 
the existing regulatory requirements are adequate to protect public 
health and safety, these amendments would enhance the safe disposal of 
LLRW. The NRC is also proposing additional changes to the regulations 
for disposal licensees to reduce ambiguity, facilitate implementation, 
and better align the requirements with current health and safety 
standards. This rule would affect LLRW disposal facilities that are 
regulated by the NRC or the Agreement States.
    In May, 2011, the NRC published preliminary rule language (76 FR 
24831) and the associated regulatory basis document for public comment. 
Since then, the NRC staff received additional directions from the 
Commission in a Staff Requirements Memorandum to COMWDM-11-0002/COMGEA-
11-0002 (ADAMS accession number ML120190360). The Commission directed 
staff to expand the limited-scope revision regarding site-specific 
analyses to bring a clearer, risk-informed approach to Part 61. Based 
on the Commission's direction, the NRC staff revised the regulatory 
basis document associated with this rulemaking and developed a second 
(November 2012) version of the preliminary rule language.
    The NRC is inviting stakeholders to comment on the November 2012 
preliminary rule language. The NRC is publishing the November 2012 
preliminary rule language and its associated regulatory basis to 
provide increased awareness to interested stakeholders, inform 
stakeholders of the current status of the NRC's activities, and solicit 
public comments on the November 2012 preliminary rule language. The 
November 2012 preliminary rule language and its associated regulatory 
basis document supercede the May 2011 versions.
    The NRC will review and consider any comments on the November 2012 
preliminary rule language received by January 7, 2013. Comments 
received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do 
so, but the NRC is able to assure consideration only for comments 
received on or before this date. Stakeholders will have additional 
opportunity to comment on the proposed rule when it is published in 
accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act. 
The NRC will respond to all stakeholder comments in the Statements of 
Consideration for the final rule.
    The NRC may post updates to the preliminary rule language on the 
Federal rulemaking Web site under Docket ID NRC-2011-0012. The 
Regulations.gov Web site allows members of the public to set-up email 
alerts so that they may be notified when documents are added to a 
docket. Users are notified via email at an email address provided at 
the time of registration for the notification. Directions for signing 
up for the email alerts can be found at http://www.regulations.gov. To 
do so, navigate to a docket folder you are interested in and then click 
the ``Sign up for Email Alerts'' link.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of November, 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Deborah Jackson,
Deputy Director, Division of Intergovernmental Liaison and Rulemaking, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-29527 Filed 12-6-12; 8:45 am]
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