NRC Amends Some Nuclear Fees for Fiscal Year 2016

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) amended its licensing, inspection and annual fees for fiscal year 2016, reducing the annual fees for most licensees due to a decrease in the NRC’s budget. The final rule, which was published June 24 in the Federal Register, includes fees required by law to recover approximately 90 percent of the NRC’s budget.

For FY 2016, NRC’s required fee recovery amount, after billing and collection adjustments, is $882.9 million. Approximately 38 percent, or $332.7 million, of the fees would recover the cost of specific services to applicants and licensees under 10 CFR Part 170. The remaining 62 percent, or $550.7 million, would be billed as annual fees to licensees under 10 CFR Part 171.

Fees for the fiscal year decrease by 3 percent over last year for operating reactors, 6 percent for fuel facilities, just over 2 percent for research and test reactors, and more than 11 percent for spent fuel storage and reactor decommissioning licensees. Fees increase more than 7 percent for most uranium recovery licensees and decrease just over 18 percent for Department of Energy activities related to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.

The final rule includes changes to the FY 2015 rule, including lowering the hourly rate of staff review time from $268 to $265 and recovering the agency’s costs in responding to significant requests for information, records, or NRC employee testimony in lawsuits where the NRC is not a named party. These are commonly referred to as “Touhy requests.”

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