United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Response to Questions Concerning Enforcement of 40 CFR 190 "EPA Uranium Fuel Cycle Standard"

HPPOS-008 PDR-9111210096

See the memorandum from L. B. Higginbotham to A. F. Gibson dated July 29, 1981, and the incoming request from A. F. Gibson dated May 13, 1981. Enclosures to these memos include: (1) a NRR letter to All Power Reactor Licensees dated September 17, 1979, and (2) a copy of the Radioactive Effluent Technical Specifications (RETS) 3.11.4. A licensee's commitment to the Radiological Effluent Technical Specifications (RETS) 3.11.4 is acceptable to demonstrate compliance with the EPA Uranium Fuel Cycle Standard, 40 CFR 190.

In a letter dated September 17, 1979, all power reactor licensees were informed of the requirement to comply with 40 CFR 190 as of December 1, 1979. This letter also stated that a licensee commitment to RETS 3.11.4 would be an acceptable method of demonstrating compliance. Licensees were requested to submit that commitment, or an alternative method of compliance. Inspection for compliance with 40 CFR 190 should be made against those commitments for licensees who do not have Technical Specifications covering compliance with 40 CFR 190.

Responses to specific questions concerning inspection for compliance with 10 CFR 40 were as follows:

  1. Qualitative guidance on acceptable calculation methods is provided in NUREG-0543, "Methods for Demonstrating LWR Compliance With the EPA Uranium Fuel Cycle Standard (40 CFR 190)," (February 1980). Since there are no special 40 CFR 190 monitoring requirements, no guidance is needed on this subject.

  2. No letters or orders will be sent revoking the existing effluent limits. Licensees must comply with 40 CFR 199 in addition to any other "existing limits."

  3. Compliance with 40 CFR 190 is not based on calendar quarters. As stated in Section 3.11.4 of the RETS, the 40 CFR 190 annual limits apply to any twelve consecutive months.

  4. Licensees are not expected to have difficulty in complying with 40 CFR 190. Proposed enforcement actions for licensees who cannot demonstrate compliance with 40 CFR 190 should be coordinated with the HQ staff. As indicated in RETS 3.11.4, a licensee whose estimates of doses exceeds the 40 CFR 190 limits, from a condition that has not already been corrected, should request a variance in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR 190, at the time the Special Report on exceeding the 40 CFR 190 limits is submitted. A variance will be granted until staff action on the request is completed by NRR.

  5. No additional monitoring equipment is required, and no "grace period" is needed for procurement or installation of such equipment.

  6. The use of Regulatory Guides 1.109-1.113 may result in calculated doses that are too conservative for determining compliance with 40 CFR 190. See NUREG-0543 for a discussion of this point.

Regulatory references: 40 CFR 190, Technical Specifications

Subject codes: 7.3, 9.0, 12.12

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, June 04, 2015