[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 24 (Tuesday, February 5, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 8050-8052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02477]



10 CFR Part 72

[Docket No. PRM-72-7; NRC-2012-0266]

Spent Fuel Cask Certificate of Compliance Format and Content

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; receipt and request for comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for 
public comment a notice of receipt for a petition for rulemaking (PRM), 
dated October 3, 2012, which was filed with the NRC by Anthony R. 
Pietrangelo on behalf of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI or the 
petitioner). The petition was docketed by the NRC on October 18, 2012, 
and assigned Docket No. PRM-72-7. The petitioner requests that the NRC 
add a new rule that governs the format and content of spent fuel 
storage cask Certificates of Compliance (CoCs), extend the backfit rule 
to CoCs, and make other improvements that result in ``more efficient 
and effective NRC oversight of dry cask storage activities as well as 
improved implementation of dry cask storage requirements by industry.''

DATES: Submit comments by April 22, 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 petition for rulemaking, which the NRC possesses and are 
publicly available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under 
Docket ID NRC-2012-0266. 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-2012-0266. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
     Email comments to: [email protected]. 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.

Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative 
Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-492-3667, email: 
[email protected].


I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0266 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-2012-0266.
     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 [email protected]. The incoming petition is in 
ADAMS under Accession No. ML12299A380.
     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-2012-0266 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 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.

II. The Petitioner

    The NEI is the policy organization for the nuclear energy and 
technologies industry. The NEI's petition states that its ``members 
include entities licensed to operate commercial nuclear power plants in 
the United States, nuclear plant designers, major architect/engineering 
firms, and other organizations and entities involved in the nuclear 
energy industry.'' These include CoC ``holders, and licensees--under 
both the specific and general license provisions--regulated by the NRC 
through 10 CFR part 72 [part 72 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR)].'' The petitioner states that its primary 
interest in submitting this petition is that it ``is responsible for 
coordinating the combined efforts of licensees and CoC holders on 
matters involving generic NRC regulatory policy issues, and generic 
operations and technical regulatory issues affecting the activities of 
NRC-licensed independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSIs) and 
NRC-certified dry storage cask designs.''

III. The Petition

    In its petition (ADAMS Accession No. ML12299A380), the petitioner 
requests that the NRC initiate a rulemaking to amend 10 CFR part 72. 
The petitioner requests that the NRC regulations be amended as follows:

[[Page 8051]]

    1. Add a new rule to ``provide specific criteria for the format and 
content to be included in a spent fuel storage cask Certificate of 
Compliance (CoC).''
    2. Revise the backfit rule in 10 CFR 72.62 to apply to CoCs and CoC 
holders, ensuring that the addition, elimination, or modification, 
after the license has been issued, of structures, systems, or 
components of an ISFSI or Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS) facility, 
or the procedures or organization required to operate an ISFSI or MRS 
are limited to ``situations where the Commission finds that the 
proposed change will yield a substantial increase in the overall 
protection of public health and safety and is cost-justified.''
    3. Delete the requirement in 10 CFR 72.212(b)(6) for general 
licensees to review the NRC Safety Evaluation Report (SER) related to 
the CoC or amended CoC prior to use of the general license.
    4. Clarify the regulatory requirements in 10 CFR 72.212(b)(10), 
which requires the licensee ``to review various plans and programs that 
are governed by other regulations.''
    5. Remove the requirement in 10 CFR 72.236 that the empty weight be 
marked on the storage cask.
    6. Amend 10 CFR 72.124 to clarify the applicability of the 
criticality monitoring exemptions ``to reflect that criticality 
monitoring does not apply to spent fuel dry storage, including cask 
loading, preparation, onsite transport and storage operations governed 
by a Part 72 license.''
    The petitioner states that these changes are necessary ``to achieve 
needed improvements to regulatory efficiency and effectiveness, * * * 
can only be achieved by amending the regulations, and * * * are not 
currently being considered by the NRC.''

A. Discussion of Proposed Amendments to 10 CFR Part 72

1. Add a New Rule for CoC Format and Content
    The petitioner states that amending 10 CFR part 72, subpart L, to 
provide specific criteria for CoC format and content ``would provide 
the largest benefit to regulatory clarity and stability by assuring 
that the level of detail in CoCs is consistent and risk informed.'' 
Currently, the regulatory requirements for spent fuel storage cask 
approval and fabrication are contained in 10 CFR 72.236, and apply to 
the applicants and holders of CoCs for spent fuel storage casks. The 
petitioner asserts that ``these regulations do not provide specific 
requirements for the CoC format and content'' and ``[a]s a result, the 
content of existing CoCs and associated documents varies, with respect 
to both the type of information included and the level of detail 
provided.'' The petitioner states that making format changes to CoCs 
ensures ``clarity with respect to the division of responsibilities 
between CoC holders and licensees in implementing the CoC. * * *'' 
Additionally, the petitioner asserts that changes related to the 
content of the CoC will clarify the specific details that must be 
included in the CoC, improving ``efficiencies in licensing by focusing 
on the safety significant aspects of cask use.'' The petitioner 
believes these changes would ``reduce the number of unnecessary CoC 
amendments by eliminating the need for NRC review of less-safety-
significant information that is currently included in many CoCs.''
2. Revise the Backfit Rule in 10 CFR 72.62 To Apply to CoCs and CoC 
    The petitioner requests that 10 CFR 72.62, subpart C, be amended, 
so that the backfitting protections provided to general and specific 
licensees are applied to CoCs and CoC holders. The petitioner also 
requests that conforming changes be made to 10 CFR 72.13. The 
petitioner argues that ``[n]ew or amended NRC staff positions should 
not be imposed on a CoC or CoC holder, unless the NRC official 
communicating that position has first ascertained whether the new or 
changed position is a backfit.'' The petition goes on to state that 
``if a staff proposed position is identified as a backfit, the staff 
should determine expeditiously whether the backfit is needed to ensure 
adequate protection of the public health and safety, or to comply with 
Commission rules or orders, the CoC itself, or written CoC holder 
commitments.'' The petitioner states that ``[p]ositions identified as 
CoC backfits that do not fall into one of these exceptions, should be 
imposed on CoCs and CoC holders only after documentation of a 
determination indicating that there is a substantial increase in the 
overall protection of the public health and safety, or the common 
defense and security, and that the direct and indirect costs of 
implementation are outweighed by the increased protection.'' The 
petitioner believes that this change ``would improve consistency 
between the way in which specific licensees, CoC holders and general 
licensees are regulated, and would ensure that changes to CoCs are 
imposed only after an adequate justification has been developed.''
3. Delete the Requirement in 10 CFR 72.212(b)(6) for General Licensees 
To Review the SER
    The petitioner requests that 10 CFR part 72, subpart K, be amended 
``to remove the requirement for the general licensee to perform the NRC 
SER compliance evaluation.'' The petitioner states that 10 CFR 72.212 
``requires general licensees to perform a compliance evaluation of the 
Safety Analysis Report (SAR), referenced in the CoC, or the amended CoC 
* * *.'' The petitioner argues that ``since the review of the cask SAR 
referenced in the CoC or amended CoC, would encompass the evaluation of 
the site-specific parameters versus the cask design bases information'' 
the ``[r]eview of the SER is extraneous, as the SER will not contain 
any new requirements or commitments that are not already contained in 
the CoC and FSAR.''
4. Clarify the Requirement in 10 CFR 72.212(b)(10) for Review of 
Programs and Plans Governed by Other Parts of the Regulations
    The petitioner requests that 10 CFR 72.212 be amended to clarify 
requirements ``that general licensees perform a review of the emergency 
plan (EP), quality assurance program (QAP), training program, and 
radiation protection program (RP), to determine if their effectiveness 
is decreased and, if so, prepare the necessary changes and seek and 
obtain the necessary approvals.'' The petitioner suggests that 
currently the rule may be interpreted as imposing additional change 
control requirements different than the existing change control 
requirements provided for in 10 CFR part 50. The petitioner argues that 
changes should be made that ``would remove ambiguity and duplication, 
and improve clarity by simply directing the general licensee to the 
appropriate governing regulations for 10 CFR Part 50 program change 
5. Remove Requirement in 10 CFR 72.236 That the Empty Weight Be Marked 
on the Storage Cask
    The petitioner requests that 10 CFR part 72, subpart L, be amended 
to remove the requirement that the empty weight be marked on storage 
casks. Currently, 10 CFR 72.236(k) stipulates that spent fuel storage 
casks be marked with the model number, a unique identification number, 
and empty weight. The petitioner believes that the model number and 
unique identification number are necessary and ``ensure that the cask 
can be properly identified, and traced back to its QA

[[Page 8052]]

[Quality Assurance] records, which include information on the design 
and contents.'' However, the petitioner states that it is important to 
minimize the number of markings on a container, which will reduce the 
chances that changes will have to be made to the permanent markings on 
a cask. The petitioner also states, ``[c]hanging permanent markings on 
the cask are problematic since this would require significant repair 
work, evaluation to verify the cask maintains conformance with the CoC, 
and worker dose if the cask contains used fuel.'' The petitioner 
maintains that since this information is contained in the QA controlled 
records, requiring that the empty weight be permanently marked on the 
cask does not ``provide any increase to the protection of public health 
and safety'' and ``serves no useful purpose.''
6. Amend 10 CFR 72.124 To Clarify the Applicability of the Criticality 
Monitoring Exemptions
    The petitioner requests that 10 CFR part 72, subpart F, be amended 
``to specify that criticality monitoring does not apply to special 
nuclear material in a dry storage cask being managed under a license 
granted pursuant to part 72, with `managed' defined as cask loading, 
preparation, onsite transport and storage operation.'' The petitioner 
states that ``no criticality monitoring should be required as long as 
the cask/canister is being managed in accordance with its approved 
licensing and design basis as described in the Cask CoC or ISFSI 
license and their respective FSARs [Final Safety Analysis Reports].'' 
In addition, the petitioner asserts that ``the proposed rule change to 
modify 10 CFR 72.124(c), would clarify the regulations without 
modifying the intent'' and ``is consistent with NRC guidance, and other 
parts of the regulations.''

B. Additional Regulatory Framework Improvements (Not Requested as Part 
of This Petition for Rulemaking)

    Separate from these rulemaking changes, the petitioner recommends 
eight other regulatory framework improvements. The petitioner states 
that these improvements are not requested as part of the petition, but 
believes that these other changes would provide ``synergies with the 
improvements'' requested in the petition. These recommendations 
    1. Streamlining the cask certification process.
    2. Clarifying ``the implementation of the general license process 
and activities at the interface of Part 50 and Part 72 requirements.''
    3. Updating guidance for implementing 10 CFR 72.48.
    4. Examining the role of cladding integrity in the regulatory 
    5. Discussing ``the potential to reinitiate a rulemaking for 
moderator exclusion.''
    6. Discussing the ``potential options for harmonization of Part 71 
and Part 72 for spent fuel.''
    7. Making further improvements to the inspection program.
    8. Streamlining the process for ``establishing and maintaining the 
relevant NRC guidance'' and ``achieving a more straight-forward 
regulatory framework by implementing improvements to the organization 
of the network of guidance documents'' that exists.

IV. Conclusion

    The NRC has determined that the petition meets the threshold 
sufficiency requirements for a petition for rulemaking under 10 CFR 
2.802, ``Petition for rulemaking,'' and the petition has been docketed 
as PRM-72-7. The NRC is requesting public comment on the petition for 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of January 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2013-02477 Filed 2-4-13; 8:45 am]