[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 141 (Monday, July 23, 2012)]
[Pages 43067-43069]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17876]



U.S. Energy Information Administration

Proposed Agency Information Collection

AGENCY: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Department of 
Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Information 
Collection; Notice and Request for Comments.


SUMMARY: The EIA is soliciting comments on the proposed reinstatement, 
and three-year approval to the Form GC-859, ``Nuclear Fuel Data 
Survey'' (previously designated as the Form RW-859, ``Nuclear Fuel Data 
Survey'') that EIA is developing for submission to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) 
required that the DOE enter into Standard Contracts with all generators 
or owners of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste of 
domestic origin in 1983. This data collection evolved from an Appendix 
to this Standard Contract. Appendix B to the Standard Contract required 
that spent nuclear fuel discharge, storage, and projection information 
be collected annually. The annual version of the Form RW-859 survey was 
collected for the survey years from 1983 through 1995. Due to budgetary 
constraints, the survey was collected periodically for survey years 
1998 and 2002, covering multi-year periods. The survey containing data 
as of December 31, 2002 was collected during 2003 and is the most 
recent data on spent nuclear fuel discharges and storage available 
within DOE. Lack of funding resulted in the form being discontinued in 
2009. With the transfer of certain functions between Offices of the DOE 
and with the need to collect data for other Offices within DOE, the 
data collection authorization is now under the auspices of the Office 
of the General Counsel (GC) and the form will be redesignated as the 
Form GC-859.
    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways 
to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, 
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology.

DATES: Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be 
received by September 21, 2012. If you anticipate difficulty in 
submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in 
ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Marta Gospodarczyk. To ensure receipt of 
the comments by the due date, submission by Fax (202-586-3045) or email 
([email protected]) is recommended. The mailing address is 
Office of Electricity, Coal, Nuclear, and Renewables Analysis, EI-34, 
Forrestal Building, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave. 
SW., Washington, DC 20585. Alternatively, Ms. Gospodarczyk may be 
contacted by telephone at 202-586-0527.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of any forms and instructions

[[Page 43068]]

should be directed to Ms. Gospodarczyk at the address listed above. 
Additionally, forms and instructions may be viewed at http://www.eia.gov/survey/#GC-859.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This information collection request 
    (1) OMB No. 1901-0287;
    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Form GC-859, ``Nuclear 
Fuel Data Survey'';
    (3) Type of Request: Reinstatement with changes of a previously 
approved collection for which approval has been discontinued;
    (4a) Purpose:
    The Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-275, 15 
U.S.C. 761 et seq.) and the DOE Organization Act (Pub. L. 95-91, 42 
U.S.C. 7101 et seq.) require the EIA to carry out a centralized, 
comprehensive, and unified energy information program. This program 
collects, evaluates, assembles, analyzes, and disseminates information 
on energy resource reserves, production, demand, technology, and 
related economic and statistical information. This information is used 
to assess the adequacy of energy resources to meet near and longer term 
domestic demands.
    The EIA, as part of its effort to comply with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35), provides 
the general public and other Federal agencies with opportunities to 
comment on collections of energy information conducted by or in 
conjunction with the EIA. Any comments received help the EIA to prepare 
data requests that maximize the utility of the information collected, 
and to assess the impact of collection requirements on the public. 
Also, the EIA will later seek approval by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under Section 3507(a) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) 
required that the DOE enter into Standard Contracts with all generators 
or owners of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste of 
domestic origin. Form GC-859 evolved from an appendix to this Standard 
    Appendix B to the Standard Contract, originally titled ``Ten Year 
Discharge Forecast,'' became the Form RW-859 ``Nuclear Fuel Data 
Survey.'' The Form RW-859 survey was collected annually for survey 
years from 1983 through 1995. It was again collected for survey years 
1998 and 2002, covering a multi-year period. The Form RW-859 was last 
collected in 2003 and was discontinued on November 10, 2009. The survey 
containing data as of December 31, 2002 was the last collected and is 
the most recent data on nuclear fuel discharges and storage available 
within EIA. The EIA has collected the Form RW-859 survey for the DOE 
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). In 2009, the 
Obama Administration determined that all funding for OCRWM be 
eliminated from the Federal budget, leading to the dissolution of the 
OCRWM. Many of the activities previously performed by the OCRWM had to 
continue in lieu of these political developments. Activities were 
transferred to the Office of Standard Contract Management, which has 
been created within the Office of the General Counsel (GC). Thus, the 
form number was changed from the Form RW-859 to the Form GC-859.
    Form RW-859 Nuclear Fuel Data Survey form has been used to collect 
information on nuclear fuel use and spent fuel discharges from all 
utilities that operate commercial nuclear reactors and from all others 
that possess irradiated fuel from commercial nuclear reactors. The data 
collection provides stakeholders with detailed information concerning 
the spent nuclear fuel generated by the respondents (commercial utility 
generators of spent nuclear fuel and other owners of spent nuclear fuel 
within the U.S.). The new Form GC-859 will represent a change from 
previous versions of the Nuclear Fuel Data Survey. Recommendations 
developed by the president's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's 
Nuclear Energy Future have resulted in a need for more detailed data 
than that collected in previous surveys in order that personnel from 
the DOE Offices of Nuclear Energy (NE) and Environmental Management 
(EM), the national laboratories, and other data users can meet their 
research obligations.
    Please refer to the proposed forms and instructions for more 
information about the purpose, who must report, when to report, where 
to submit, the elements to be reported, detailed instructions, 
provisions for confidentiality, and uses (including possible non-
statistical uses) of the information. For instructions on obtaining 
materials, see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    (4b) Proposed Changes to Information Collection:
    The current Form GC-859 redesign effort and associated changes has 
several fundamental goals and objectives:

--Maintain the fidelity of collection of the information required by 
stakeholders, by continuing to collect quality data on reactors, 
historical spent fuel discharges, projections of spent fuel discharges, 
pool capacities and inventories, and special fuel and non-fuel forms 
relevant to user needs;
--Simplify the process of data collection and validation, by enhancing 
the ability of respondents to provide data through electronic data 
transfer in any available format (spreadsheet, database, etc.);

    The major changes to the Form GC-859 survey from the last data 
collection in 2003 include the following:
    The EIA has modified the structure of the Form GC-859 survey into 
separate schedules for the collection of utility, reactor, fuel, 
storage facility, non-fuel, and greater than class C (GTCC) low-level 
radioactive waste data. The redesign increases the visibility of 
storage facilities as individual entities, clarifies the collection of 
data on special fuel forms and non-fuel components, updates historical 
cycle assembly data, and collects new data on GTCC low-level waste.
    Instructions for responding to each schedule of the survey form, 
along with appropriate references and definitions, have been moved into 
the schedules. Instructions were previously detailed in an Appendix to 
the survey form. Appropriate data from the Standard Contract has also 
been included within the form schedules. The new form allows for 
multiple contact personnel, so that respondents may choose to submit 
reactor and storage facility data separately. Drop-down menus have been 
added throughout the form to aid the respondents. The Glossary has been 
revised and expanded. Respondents to this data collection are provided 
with data submitted on previous Nuclear Fuel Data surveys so that they 
may update historical data. The DOE last collected the survey 
containing data as of December 31, 2002. Current respondents will be 
provided with this 2002 survey data to update. Additional data from 
prior versions of the form will also be supplied where appropriate. 
Respondents will be allowed to modify, update, or correct historical 
data or supply complete historical data in any readily available 
    The consolidation of all fuel data (metal content, enrichment, 
discharge burnup, cycle numbers and dates, fuel vendor, lattice type, 
assembly status code, storage location, special fuel forms) in a single 
survey schedule ensures consistent, non-repetitive data. Data on 
special fuel forms (consolidated fuel, fuel in canisters, fuel rods, 
fuel pieces) now supplements the basic fuel data, rather than being 
collected in separate sections as in previous surveys.

[[Page 43069]]

A major change to the spent fuel data is that respondents are no longer 
required to report assembly type codes for every discharged assembly. 
Previous surveys contained an Appendix of almost 300 different assembly 
codes from which the respondent had to choose, based on assembly 
manufacturer, design considerations, and characteristics. Respondents 
are now required to only report manufacturer and lattice (array) type, 
greatly reducing the time required to fill out this section.
    The fuel section now includes a requirement to collect complete 
fuel cycle history for every discharged assembly. Previously collected 
fuel data included fresh fuel assembly insertions and spent fuel 
discharges, so much of this historical data is already available and 
will be provided to the respondents.
    Data collection for pool storage and dry storage has been 
consolidated from two sections on the Form RW-859 survey to one on the 
Form GC-859 survey. Previous requirements to supply information on 
individual assemblies stored at all storage sites has been replaced by 
the addition of a column for storage site identifier in the fuel data 
section. A new requirement to report assemblies in multi-canister dry 
storage modules has been added.
    Non-fuel components data collection has been moved to a separate 
schedule. Based on discussions with industry personnel and comments 
submitted on previous surveys, data will now be collected by storage 
location: Components that are an integral part of an assembly, 
components stored in a single-element canister or container, and 
components stored separate from an assembly and uncanistered in the 
storage pool. Data on non-fuel components integral to an assembly are 
being collected for the first time.
    Another new addition to the Form GC-859 is a schedule for greater 
than class C (GTCC) low level radioactive waste (LLRW). This schedule 
will collect both packaged and projected inventory information for 
activated metals and process waste. This schedule is not mandatory, and 
only respondents who have readily available access to this data should 
    Approximately 20 questions, tables, or sections have been deleted 
from this version of the form. Data on reinserted fuel, canister 
closure, and shipments and transfers of discharged fuel have been 
removed in the new version of the survey. The revised form eliminates 
the collection of duplicative information.
    A three-year clearance is being requested for this survey since no 
definitive plans have been made on when the next Form GC-859 survey 
will be collected. Respondents will be notified prior to the next data 
    (5) Estimated Number of Survey Respondents: 138 Surveys are 
expected to be filed for approximately 138 facilities. These facilities 
include 104 operating nuclear reactors, 16 permanently shut down 
nuclear reactors, 8 storage facilities, and 10 research/test reactors. 
Respondents other than operating nuclear reactors are only required to 
respond to the sections of the survey applicable to them;
    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: Current plans call 
for the survey to be collected once every five years, so respondents 
will only file the Form GC-859 once over the three-year approval 
period, for an average of \1/3\ of a response per year from each 
respondent. Dividing the numbers in (5) by 3, EIA estimates an average 
of 34.667 responses annually from operating nuclear reactors, 5.333 
responses annually from permanently shut down nuclear reactors, 2.667 
responses annually from storage facilities, and 3.333 responses 
annually from research/test stations. For the three-year approval 
period, the annual estimate is 46 responses;
    (7) Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 3106.7. The estimate 
by respondent category is 80 hours per response for operating nuclear 
reactors, 40 hours per response for permanently shut down nuclear 
reactors, and 20 hours per response for storage facilities and 
research/test reactors. The total of 3106.7 hours per year is obtained 
by multiplying the burden per response for each category by the 
corresponding annual responses in (6) and adding the burden estimates 
for each category.
    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: $0; 
EIA estimates that there are no additional costs to respondents 
associated with the burden hours.

    Statutory Authority: Section 13(b) of the Federal Energy 
Administration Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93-275, codified at 15 U.S.C. 
772(b); Section 302 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, 
codified at 42 U.S.C. 10101.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 11, 2012.
Stephanie Brown,
Director, Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration, 
U.S. Energy Information Administration.
[FR Doc. 2012-17876 Filed 7-20-12; 8:45 am]