NRC Proposes Change to Rule to Decommission Nuclear Reactors

 NRC Proposes Change to Rule to Decommission Nuclear Reactors

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is seeking public comment on proposed changes to regulations on decommissioning nuclear reactors.
In an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking published today in the Federal Register, the NRC said it intended to develop a draft regulatory basis to support a new decommissioning rule. The rule would establish clear requirements for decommissioning reactors in emergency preparedness, physical security and fitness-for-duty, among other areas. The rule would reduce the need for exemptions from current requirements designed for operating reactors. It will also address the timeliness of decommissioning and the role of state and local governments and others.
NRC began a similar rulemaking in 2000 through 2001 but stopped after the Sept. 11 attacks that prompted a stronger focus on security. Since then, five reactors have shut down since 2013, and another three are expected to close by 2019. The five currently undergoing decommissioning required several exemptions from regulations for operating reactors to reflect their decommissioning status.
Written comments will be accepted in the Federal Registry through Jan. 4.
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