[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 150 (Tuesday, August 5, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45497-45498]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18515]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2013-0179]


Maintenance Rule

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan--final section; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
final revision to Section 17.6, ``Maintenance Rule,'' of NUREG-0800, 
``Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for 
Nuclear Power Plants: LWR Edition.''

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan (SRP) update is 
September 4, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0179 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0179. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     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 (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The final revision for Standard Review Plan (SRP) 
Section17.6, ``Maintenance Rule,'' is available under ADAMS Accession 
No. ML14099A044. A redline strikeout comparing the proposed and final 
revision of the document can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML14099A053.
     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.
     The NRC posts its issued staff guidance on the NRC's 
external Web page (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr0800/).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jonathan DeGange, Office of New 
Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, telephone: 301-415-6992, email: Jonathan.DeGange@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On August 8, 2013 (78 FR 48504), the NRC published for public 
comment the proposed SRP Section 17.6, ``Maintenance Rule,'' in Chapter 
17, ``Quality Assurance,'' of NUREG-0800. The staff received a total of 
six comments on the draft section. A summary of the comments and the 
staff's disposition of the comments are available in a separate 
document, ``Response to Public Comments on Draft Standard Review Plan, 
Section 17.6, Maintenance Rule'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML14099A033).

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

    SRP Section 17.6 provides guidance to the staff for reviewing 
applications for a construction permit and an operating license under 
part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) with 
respect to compliance with the Maintenance Rule, 10 CFR 50.65 and the 
guidance in Nuclear Management and Resources Council 93-01 as approved 
for use by the NRC in Regulatory Guide 1.160. SRP Section 17.6 also 
provides guidance for reviewing an application for a standard design 
approval, a standard design certification, a combined license, and a 
manufacturing license under 10 CFR part 52 with respect to those same 
subject matters.
    Issuance of this SRP section revision does not constitute 
backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109 (the Backfit Rule) nor is it 
inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The 
NRC's position is based upon the following considerations.
    1. The SRP positions would not constitute backfitting, inasmuch as 
the SRP is internal guidance to NRC staff.
    The SRP provides internal guidance to the NRC staff on how to 
review an application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of 
licensing. Changes in internal staff guidance are not matters for which 
either nuclear power plant applicants or licensees are protected under 
either the Backfit Rule or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 
52.
    2. The NRC staff has no intention to impose the SRP positions on 
existing licensees either now or in the future.
    The NRC staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions 
described in the SRP to existing licenses and regulatory approvals. 
Hence, the issuance of this SRP--even if considered guidance within the 
purview of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52--does not 
need to be evaluated as if it were a backfit or as being inconsistent 
with issue finality provisions. If, in the future, the NRC staff seeks 
to impose a position in the SRP on holders of already issued licenses 
in a manner that does not provide issue finality as described in the 
applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must make the 
showing as set forth in the Backfit Rule or address the criteria for 
avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality 
provision.

[[Page 45498]]

    3. Backfitting and issue finality do not--with limited exceptions 
not applicable here--protect current or future applicants.
    Applicants and potential applicants are not, with certain 
exceptions, protected by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality 
provisions under 10 CFR part 52. Neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue 
finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52--with certain exclusions--were 
intended to apply to every NRC action that substantially changes the 
expectations of current and future applicants.
    The exceptions to the general principle are applicable whenever an 
applicant references a 10 CFR part 52 license (e.g., an early site 
permit) or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification rule) 
with specified issue finality provisions. The NRC staff does not, at 
this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the SRP in a 
manner that is inconsistent with any issue finality provisions. If, in 
the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the SRP section in 
a manner that does not provide issue finality as described in the 
applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must address the 
criteria for avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable 
issue finality provision.

III. Congressional Review Act

    This action is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 
U.S.C. 801-808). However, the Office of Management and Budget has not 
found it to be a major rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of July, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, Policy Branch, New Reactor Rulemaking and Guidance Branch, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-18515 Filed 8-4-14; 8:45 am]
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