Environmental Considerations Associated With Micro-Reactors, 11127-11129 [2020-03856]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 38 / Wednesday, February 26, 2020 / Notices B. Submitting Comments The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https:// 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 OMB, 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 into ADAMS. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Background Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), the NRC recently submitted a request for renewal of an existing collection of information to OMB for review entitled, ‘‘NRC Forms 366, 366A, and 366B, Licensee Event Report.’’ The NRC hereby informs potential respondents that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and that a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The NRC published a Federal Register notice with a 60-day comment period on this information collection on September 16, 2019 (84 FR 48650). 1. The title of the information collection: NRC Forms 366, 366A, and 366B, Licensee Event Report. 2. OMB approval number: 3150–0104. 3. Type of submission: Revision. 4. The form number if applicable: NRC Forms 366, 366A and 366B. 5. How often the collection is required or requested: As needed per 10 CFR 50.73, ‘‘Licensee event report system.’’ 6. Who will be required or asked to respond: The holder of an operating license under 10 CFR part 50 or a combined license under 10 CFR part 52 (after the Commission has made the finding under section 52.103(g)). 7. The estimated number of annual responses: 350. 8. The estimated number of annual respondents: 98 (number of operating nuclear units in the U.S.). 9. An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to comply with VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Feb 25, 2020 Jkt 250001 the information collection requirement or request: The total estimated burden for completing Licensee Event Reports is 28,000 hours (based on 80 hours for each of 350 reports). 10. Abstract: Part of the NRC’s function is to license and regulate the operation of commercial nuclear power plants to ensure protection of public health and safety and the environment in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (the Act) as amended. In order for the NRC to carry out these responsibilities, licensees must report significant events in accordance with section 50.73, so that the NRC can evaluate the events to determine what actions, if any, are warranted to ensure protection of public health and safety or the environment. Section 50.73 requires reporting on NRC Forms 366, 366A, and 366B. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of February 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. David C. Cullison, NRC Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–03826 Filed 2–25–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Environmental Considerations Associated With Micro-Reactors Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Draft interim staff guidance; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is soliciting public comment on its draft Interim Staff Guidance (ISG), ‘‘Environmental Considerations Associated with Microreactors.’’ The NRC staff is preparing for the environmental reviews of prospective design, license, and permit applications for advanced nuclear power reactors (advanced reactors), including micro-reactors. The purpose of this ISG is to modify existing guidance and provide supplemental guidance to assist the NRC staff in determining the scope and scale of environmental reviews of micro-reactor applications. DATES: Submit comments by May 11, 2020. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date. SUMMARY: Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0051. Address questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN–7– A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack Cushing, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301– 415–1424, email: Jack.Cushing@nrc.gov and Mallecia Sutton, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301– 415–0673, email: Mallecia.Sutton@ nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments [NRC–2020–0051] PO 00000 11127 Sfmt 4703 A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020– 0051 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0051. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, 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 documents entitled, ‘‘Micro-Reactor License Application COL–ISG–029, ‘Environmental Considerations Associated with Microreactors,’ ’’ and ‘‘Regulatory Analysis for Draft Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) 029,’’ are available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20054B832. E:\FR\FM\26FEN1.SGM 26FEN1 11128 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 38 / Wednesday, February 26, 2020 / Notices • 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–2020– 0051 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https:// 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 into ADAMS. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Background The purpose of this ISG is to modify existing guidance and provide supplemental guidance to assist the NRC staff in determining the scope and scale of environmental reviews of micro-reactor applications. The guidance highlights unique considerations for micro-reactors in each resource area typically covered in the staff’s environmental review. The ISG also offers guidance on identifying considerations and approaches to simplify and shorten the environmental reviews for micro-reactors relative to the environmental reviews that the NRC has previously performed for other nuclear facilities, such as large light-water reactors (LWRs). The ISG outlines what the NRC staff considers to be an appropriate scope and level of detail for the specific aspects of an environmental review needed to document a microreactor licensing action. A micro-reactor may have some, but not necessarily all, of the following characteristics: • Occupies only a small area of land, disturbs only previously disturbed lands, or both. • Uses zero or only small quantities of resources, such as water or fuel. • Releases zero or only small quantities of emissions to the environment. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:22 Feb 25, 2020 Jkt 250001 • Avoids environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands and floodplains. • Avoids areas with cultural, historic, or environmental justice significance. • Avoids habitat for threatened or endangered species. • Uses mitigation to reduce impacts. • Involves only low levels of employment for both construction and operation. • Uses simpler designs than those for large LWRs, with limited interfaces with the exterior environment. While the ISG is designed to aid the NRC staff in developing a micro-reactor environmental impact statement, the staff recognizes the value of the guidance as a supplemental source of insight into the NRC’s environmental review process that can inform the development of an applicant’s environmental report. Applicants should scale their level of effort appropriately when preparing Environmental Reports (ERs), commensurate with the significance of the impact on the resource area being addressed. The scope of the ISG is limited to environmental review considerations specific to micro-reactors, such as the following: • Pre-application interactions • purpose and need for the proposed project • size of the proposed project and resources used • land use • water resources • terrestrial and aquatic ecology • socioeconomics and environmental justice • historic and cultural resources • need for power and alternatives • meteorology and air quality • radiological and nonradiological health • postulated accidents • severe accident mitigation alternatives (SAMAs); • acts of terrorism • fuel cycle impacts, transportation of fuel and waste, and continued storage of spent fuel • cumulative impact analysis • consistency with safety licensing documents • incorporation by reference The NRC staff will continue to look for other opportunities to effectively streamline environmental reviews and work with prospective applicants to identify opportunities to streamline ERs and still meet the NRC’s regulations. III. Backfitting, Issue Finality, and Forward Fitting Discussion The guidance in this draft ISG–029 clarifies how the NRC will approach PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 environmental reviews for a microreactor application for combined license, early site permit, construction permit, operating license and limited work authorization. Issuance of this draft ISG, if finalized, would not constitute backfitting as defined in section 50.109 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) (the Backfit Rule) and as described in NRC Management Directive 8.4, ‘‘Management of Backfitting, Forward Fitting, Issue Finality, and Information Requests;’’ would not affect the issue finality of an approval under 10 CFR part 52; and would not constitute forward fitting as that term is defined and described in Management Directive 8.4. The staff’s position is based upon the following considerations: 1. The draft ISG positions, if finalized, would not constitute backfitting or forward fitting or affect issue finality, inasmuch as the ISG would be internal guidance to NRC staff. The ISG provides interim guidance to the staff on how to review an application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. Changes in internal staff guidance, without further NRC action, are not matters that meet the definition of backfitting or forward fitting or affect the issue finality of a part 52 approval. 2. Current or future applicants are not–with limited exceptions not applicable here–within the scope of the backfitting and issue finality regulations and forward fitting policy. Applicants are not, with certain exceptions, covered by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52. This is because neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52—with certain exclusions discussed below—were intended to apply to every NRC action which 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) and/ or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification rule) with specified issue finality provisions or a construction permit under 10 CFR part 50. The staff does not, at this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the draft ISG section (if finalized) in a manner that would constitute backfitting or affect the issue finality of a part 52 approval. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the draft ISG (if finalized) in a manner that constitutes backfitting or does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality E:\FR\FM\26FEN1.SGM 26FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 38 / Wednesday, February 26, 2020 / Notices provision, then the staff would need to address the Backfit Rule or the criteria for avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision. The Commission’s forward fitting policy generally does not apply when an applicant files an initial licensing action for a new facility. Nevertheless, the staff does not, at this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the draft ISG section (if finalized) in a manner that would constitute forward fitting. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the draft ISG (if finalized) in a manner that constitutes forward fitting, then the staff would need to address the forward fitting criteria in Management Directive 8.4. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of February 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph P. Doub, Acting Chief, Environmental Review New Reactors Branch, Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2020–03856 Filed 2–25–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. CP2020–97] New Postal Product Postal Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission’s consideration concerning a negotiated service agreement. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: February 28, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents 17:22 Feb 25, 2020 II. Docketed Proceeding(s) 1. Docket No(s).: CP2020–97; Filing Title: Notice of United States Postal Service of Filing a Functionally Equivalent Global Expedited Package Services 7 Negotiated Service Agreement and Application for NonPublic Treatment of Materials Filed Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: February 20, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) VerDate Sep<11>2014 I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.301.1 The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service’s request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II. Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 11129 Christopher C. Mohr; Comments Due: February 28, 2020. This Notice will be published in the Federal Register. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–03819 Filed 2–25–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–88253; File No. SR–ICC– 2019–010] Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Partial Amendment No. 1 and Partial Amendment No. 2, Relating to Amendments to the ICC Clearing Rules To Address Non-Default Losses, on an Accelerated Basis February 20, 2020. I. Introduction On August 8, 2019, ICE Clear Credit LLC (‘‘ICC’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the ‘‘Act’’),1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend ICC’s Clearing Rules (the ‘‘Rules’’) 3 to address treatment of losses not related to a Clearing Participant default. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on August 28, 2019.4 The Commission received comments regarding the proposed rule change.5 On October 4, 2019, the Commission designated a longer period of time for Commission action on the proposed rule change until November 26, 2019.6 On October 7, 2019, ICC filed a partial amendment (‘‘Partial Amendment No. 1’’) to modify the proposed rule 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 Capitalized terms used but not defined herein have the meanings specified in the Rules. 4 Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Proposed Rule Change, Security-Based Swap Submission, or Advance Notice Relating to the ICC Clearing Rules; Exchange Act Release No. 86729 (Aug. 22, 2019); 84 FR 45191 (Aug. 28, 2019) (SR– ICC–2019–010) (‘‘Notice’’). 5 Comments are available at https://www.sec.gov/ comments/sr-icc-2019-010/sricc2019010.htm. 6 Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Credit LLC; Notice of Designation of Longer Period for Commission Action on Proposed Rule Change Relating to Amendments to the ICC Clearing Rules To Address Non-Default Losses; Exchange Act Release No. 87225 (Oct. 4, 2019); 84 FR 54712 (Oct. 10, 2019) (SR–ICC–2019–010). 2 17 E:\FR\FM\26FEN1.SGM 26FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 38 (Wednesday, February 26, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 11127-11129]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03856]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2020-0051]


Environmental Considerations Associated With Micro-Reactors

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft interim staff guidance; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is soliciting 
public comment on its draft Interim Staff Guidance (ISG), 
``Environmental Considerations Associated with Micro-reactors.'' The 
NRC staff is preparing for the environmental reviews of prospective 
design, license, and permit applications for advanced nuclear power 
reactors (advanced reactors), including micro-reactors. The purpose of 
this ISG is to modify existing guidance and provide supplemental 
guidance to assist the NRC staff in determining the scope and scale of 
environmental reviews of micro-reactor applications.

DATES: Submit comments by May 11, 2020. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission 
is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this 
date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0051. Address 
questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
     Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 
TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack Cushing, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-1424, email: 
[email protected] and Mallecia Sutton, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, telephone: 301-415-0673, email: [email protected]. 
Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0051 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly-available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0051.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, 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 documents entitled, ``Micro-
Reactor License Application COL-ISG-029, `Environmental Considerations 
Associated with Micro-reactors,' '' and ``Regulatory Analysis for Draft 
Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) 029,'' are available in ADAMS under 
Accession No. ML20054B832.

[[Page 11128]]

     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-2020-0051 in your comment submission. 
The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information 
that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment 
submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https://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 into ADAMS.

II. Background

    The purpose of this ISG is to modify existing guidance and provide 
supplemental guidance to assist the NRC staff in determining the scope 
and scale of environmental reviews of micro-reactor applications. The 
guidance highlights unique considerations for micro-reactors in each 
resource area typically covered in the staff's environmental review. 
The ISG also offers guidance on identifying considerations and 
approaches to simplify and shorten the environmental reviews for micro-
reactors relative to the environmental reviews that the NRC has 
previously performed for other nuclear facilities, such as large light-
water reactors (LWRs). The ISG outlines what the NRC staff considers to 
be an appropriate scope and level of detail for the specific aspects of 
an environmental review needed to document a micro-reactor licensing 
action. A micro-reactor may have some, but not necessarily all, of the 
following characteristics:
     Occupies only a small area of land, disturbs only 
previously disturbed lands, or both.
     Uses zero or only small quantities of resources, such as 
water or fuel.
     Releases zero or only small quantities of emissions to the 
environment.
     Avoids environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands 
and floodplains.
     Avoids areas with cultural, historic, or environmental 
justice significance.
     Avoids habitat for threatened or endangered species.
     Uses mitigation to reduce impacts.
     Involves only low levels of employment for both 
construction and operation.
     Uses simpler designs than those for large LWRs, with 
limited interfaces with the exterior environment.
    While the ISG is designed to aid the NRC staff in developing a 
micro-reactor environmental impact statement, the staff recognizes the 
value of the guidance as a supplemental source of insight into the 
NRC's environmental review process that can inform the development of 
an applicant's environmental report. Applicants should scale their 
level of effort appropriately when preparing Environmental Reports 
(ERs), commensurate with the significance of the impact on the resource 
area being addressed.
    The scope of the ISG is limited to environmental review 
considerations specific to micro-reactors, such as the following:

 Pre-application interactions
 purpose and need for the proposed project
 size of the proposed project and resources used
 land use
 water resources
 terrestrial and aquatic ecology
 socioeconomics and environmental justice
 historic and cultural resources
 need for power and alternatives
 meteorology and air quality
 radiological and nonradiological health
 postulated accidents
 severe accident mitigation alternatives (SAMAs);
 acts of terrorism
 fuel cycle impacts, transportation of fuel and waste, and 
continued storage of spent fuel
 cumulative impact analysis
 consistency with safety licensing documents
 incorporation by reference

    The NRC staff will continue to look for other opportunities to 
effectively streamline environmental reviews and work with prospective 
applicants to identify opportunities to streamline ERs and still meet 
the NRC's regulations.

III. Backfitting, Issue Finality, and Forward Fitting Discussion

    The guidance in this draft ISG-029 clarifies how the NRC will 
approach environmental reviews for a micro-reactor application for 
combined license, early site permit, construction permit, operating 
license and limited work authorization. Issuance of this draft ISG, if 
finalized, would not constitute backfitting as defined in section 
50.109 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) (the 
Backfit Rule) and as described in NRC Management Directive 8.4, 
``Management of Backfitting, Forward Fitting, Issue Finality, and 
Information Requests;'' would not affect the issue finality of an 
approval under 10 CFR part 52; and would not constitute forward fitting 
as that term is defined and described in Management Directive 8.4. The 
staff's position is based upon the following considerations:
    1. The draft ISG positions, if finalized, would not constitute 
backfitting or forward fitting or affect issue finality, inasmuch as 
the ISG would be internal guidance to NRC staff.
    The ISG provides interim guidance to the staff on how to review an 
application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. 
Changes in internal staff guidance, without further NRC action, are not 
matters that meet the definition of backfitting or forward fitting or 
affect the issue finality of a part 52 approval.
    2. Current or future applicants are not-with limited exceptions not 
applicable here-within the scope of the backfitting and issue finality 
regulations and forward fitting policy.
    Applicants are not, with certain exceptions, covered by either the 
Backfit Rule or any issue finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52. 
This is because neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue finality 
provisions under 10 CFR part 52--with certain exclusions discussed 
below--were intended to apply to every NRC action which 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) and/or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification 
rule) with specified issue finality provisions or a construction permit 
under 10 CFR part 50. The staff does not, at this time, intend to 
impose the positions represented in the draft ISG section (if 
finalized) in a manner that would constitute backfitting or affect the 
issue finality of a part 52 approval. If, in the future, the staff 
seeks to impose a position in the draft ISG (if finalized) in a manner 
that constitutes backfitting or does not provide issue finality as 
described in the applicable issue finality

[[Page 11129]]

provision, then the staff would need to address the Backfit Rule or the 
criteria for avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable 
issue finality provision.
    The Commission's forward fitting policy generally does not apply 
when an applicant files an initial licensing action for a new facility. 
Nevertheless, the staff does not, at this time, intend to impose the 
positions represented in the draft ISG section (if finalized) in a 
manner that would constitute forward fitting. If, in the future, the 
staff seeks to impose a position in the draft ISG (if finalized) in a 
manner that constitutes forward fitting, then the staff would need to 
address the forward fitting criteria in Management Directive 8.4.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of February 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph P. Doub,
Acting Chief, Environmental Review New Reactors Branch, Division of 
Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2020-03856 Filed 2-25-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P