[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 77 (Monday, April 22, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 23684-23685]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09375]


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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. 78, No. 77 / Monday, April 22, 2013 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 23684]]



NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 73

[Docket No. PRM-73-16; NRC-2013-0024]


Personnel Access Authorization Requirements for Nuclear Power 
Plants

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt and request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for 
comment a notice of receipt of a petition for rulemaking (PRM) filed 
with the Commission by Ellen C. Ginsberg on behalf of the Nuclear 
Energy Institute (NEI or the petitioner) on January 25, 2013. The 
petition was docketed by the NRC on February 4, 2013, and has been 
assigned Docket No. PRM-73-16. The petitioner requests that the NRC 
amend its regulations to limit the scope of third-party review of 
licensee decisions denying or revoking an employee's unescorted access 
at their facility. The petitioner seeks to ensure that such decisions 
cannot be overturned by any third party. The petitioner also requests 
an expedited review of this petition based on pending arbitration cases 
that will be affected by NRC action on this petition. The NRC has 
reviewed the petitioner's request for an expedited review of this 
petition and has determined that the petition should be expedited due 
to the aforementioned pending arbitration cases. Therefore, the NRC is 
limiting the public comment period to 45 days. While 75 days is the 
normal duration for NRC technical rules, the NRC believes that 45 days 
provides sufficient time for stakeholders to comment.

DATES: Submit comments by June 6, 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. Because the NRC has determined that the petition should be 
expedited due to the aforementioned pending arbitration cases, requests 
for extension of the comment period will not be granted.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this petition for rulemaking which the NRC possesses and is publicly 
available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID 
NRC-2013-0024. You may submit comments by any of the following methods 
(unless this document describes a different method for submitting 
comments on a specific subject):
     Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0024. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Email comments to: Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov. If you do 
not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact 
us at 301-415-1677.
     Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission at 301-415-1101.
     Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff.
     Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal 
workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.
    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: Scott Sloan, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-1619, email: Scott.Sloan@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0024 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this petition for rulemaking. 
You may access information related to this petition for rulemaking, 
which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0024.
     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 document (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced.
     NRC's 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.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0024 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 you 
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

[[Page 23685]]

disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that 
the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such 
information before making the comment submissions available to the 
public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

The Petition

    Ellen C. Ginsburg, vice president, general counsel, and secretary, 
NEI, submitted a PRM dated January 25, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13035A186), requesting that the NRC amend its personnel access 
authorization regulations to ensure that denials cannot be overturned 
by a third party. The NRC has determined that the petition meets the 
threshold sufficiency requirements for a petition for rulemaking under 
Sec.  2.802 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), 
``Petition for rulemaking,'' and the petition has been docketed as PRM-
73-16. The NRC is requesting public comment on the petition for 
rulemaking.

The Petitioner

    The petition states that NEI ``is the organization responsible for 
establishing unified industry policy on matters affecting the nuclear 
energy industry, including the regulatory aspects of generic 
operational and technical issues.'' The petition further states that 
NEI ``endeavors to bring matters to the NRC's attention that might 
frustrate the agency's statutory and regulatory objectives.'' The NEI 
believes that the issue raised in this petition is a generic matter and 
``has the potential to affect the ability of NRC reactor licensees to 
control access to the protected and vital areas of their sites.''

Discussion of the Petition

    The NRC's regulations at 10 CFR part 73, ``Physical protection of 
plants and materials,'' require a nuclear power plant to have access 
authorization programs in place to evaluate an employee's suitability 
for unescorted access to the plant. Specifically, 10 CFR 73.56(c) 
contains the requirement that all licensees have access authorization 
programs in place that provide a high degree of assurance that all 
employees granted unescorted access to nuclear power plants ``are 
trustworthy and reliable, such that they do not constitute an 
unreasonable risk to public health and safety or the common defense and 
security, including the potential to commit radiological sabotage.'' 
Regulations at 10 CFR 73.56(d) require licensees to perform background 
investigations of those employees seeking unescorted access, and 
regulations at 10 CFR 73.56(l) requires licensees to implement a 
notification and review process for those employees who are denied 
unescorted access. For the employee whose denial may provide an adverse 
impact on employment, the review ``must provide for an impartial and 
independent internal management review.''
    The petitioner states that the United States Court of Appeals for 
the 7th Circuit decided, in Exelon Generation Company, LLC v. Local 15, 
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 676 F.3d 566 (7th Cir. 
Ill. 2012), that the NRC's access authorization regulations do not 
prohibit the use of third-party arbitrators in cases where employees 
have been denied access. The petitioner states that one effect of the 
court's decision is that a person who has been determined not to be 
trustworthy and reliable by a licensee and denied unescorted access to 
a nuclear power plant could have that determination overturned by a 
third party. Therefore, according to the petitioner, the 7th Circuit 
court's decision ``undermines the NRC's ability to demonstrate that 
adequate protection is assured if licensees are impeded in their 
ability to comply with NRC regulations to maintain `high assurance'.''
    Furthermore, the petitioner believes that the 7th Circuit court's 
conclusion that NRC regulations do not explicitly prohibit third-party 
arbitration of denials of unescorted access could have been prevented 
had the regulations contained more ``clarity regarding the proper scope 
of the review process and the ultimate responsibility of the licensee 
for plant safety and security.'' The petitioner states that in order to 
provide the necessary clarity, the NRC regulations should be modified 
to ``expressly prohibit the restoration or grant of unescorted access 
by third parties (including arbitrators), to remove all doubt that the 
licensee is solely responsible for making final unescorted access 
decisions, and to prescribe a clearly-articulated scope of review for 
third-party reviewers.'' The petitioner provided proposed modifications 
to the regulations at 10 CFR 73.56(a)(4), 10 CFR 73.56(a)(5), and 10 
CFR 73.56(l), that the petitioner believes would clarify the process 
and limit the scope on third-party reviews of access denials, and 
strengthen the authority of licensees to approve or deny unescorted 
access to nuclear power plants.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of April 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2013-09375 Filed 4-19-13; 8:45 am]
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