NRC extends comment deadline on reactor decommissioning until March

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has pushed back the deadline for comments to its reactor decommissioning rulemaking by more than two months, NRC announced recently.

The deadline for comments is being moved from Jan. 4 to March 18, 2016, to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit their comments on this important issue. The extension more than doubles the comment period from 45 to 120 days, NRC noted in its online blog on Dec. 24.

NRC published an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking,” or ANPR, in the Federal Register on Nov. 19. This was the first step toward developing a regulatory basis for a new rule on decommissioning commercial nuclear power plants.

The new rule would establish clear requirements for decommissioning reactors in emergency preparedness, physical security and fitness-for-duty, among other areas, thereby reducing the need for exemptions from current requirements designed for operating reactors. It would also address the timeliness of decommissioning and the role of state and local governments and other organizations.

NRC hopes the standard will result in a more efficient, open and reliable decommissioning process.

Five reactors have permanently shut down since the beginning of 2013, and three more are expected to cease operations by 2019.

Comments may be submitted over the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2015-0070.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.