NRC Amends Security Requirements for Spent Nuclear Fuel in Transit

 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is amending its security regulations for the transport of spent nuclear fuel.

The amendments establish generically applicable security requirements similar to current measures imposed by the agency in Orders to licensees following the terrorist attacks of September 2001. The amendments establish acceptable performance standards and objectives for the protection of spent nuclear fuel shipments from theft, diversion, or radiological sabotage. The changes were published today in the Federal Register.

 Details of the measures imposed by Orders over the past several years are protected as Safeguards Information. In general, the Orders resulted in enhancements in the following areas: preplanning and coordination with states and local law enforcement agencies; improved communications among movement control personnel; requirement for armed escorts throughout the shipment route; the development of normal and contingency response procedures; and more thorough background investigations of individuals associated with the shipment. The final rule addresses all of these areas. 

A proposed rule and draft guidance documents were published Oct. 13, 2010, for public comment. The NRC received 17 comment letters. Comments are addressed in the current Federal Register notice.

The final rule will be effective Aug. 19.