United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Commercial Storage at Power Plant Sites of Radwaste Not Generated by the Utility

HPPOS-092 PDR-9111210185

Title: Commercial Storage at Power Plant Sites of Radwaste

Not Generated by the Utility

See the letter from W. J. Dircks to All Licensees dated

August 1, 1985. NRC is opposed to any activity at a

reactor site that is not supportive of authorized

activities. Interim storage of low-level radioactive waste

(LLW) within the exclusion area of a reactor site is

subject to NRC jurisdiction. In an Agreement State, for

storage outside the exclusion area, the State has authority.

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Act of 1980 assigned states

the responsibility for disposal of commercial LLW generated

within each state, and a few states have expressed some

interest in the use of existing nuclear power sites. As a

matter of policy, NRC is opposed to any activity at a

nuclear reactor site which may divert attention of licensee

management from its primary task of safe operation or

construction of the power reactor. Accordingly, interim

storage of LLW within the exclusion area of a reactor site,

as defined in 10 CFR 100.3 (a), will be subject to NRC

jurisdiction regardless of whether or not the reactor is

located in an Agreement State, pursuant to the regulatory

policy expressed in 10 CFR 150.15 (a) (1). Within

Agreement States, for locations outside the exclusion

areas, the licensing authority is in the Agreement State.

In order for NRC to consider any proposal for commercial

LLW storage at a reactor site, the NRC must be convinced

that no significant environmental impact will result and

that the commercial storage activities will be consistent

with and not compromise the safe operation of the

licensee's activities, including diverting reactor

management attention from the continued safety of reactor

operations. The Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR)

will conduct an environmental review and review the

application to determine if the LLW commercial storage

activities on a reactor site will impact the safe operation

of the reactor. Following NRR review, the licensing

authority for commercial storage under NRC jurisdiction is

the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

(NMSS). A Part 30 license is required for the LLW storage

and a Part 50 license amendment may also be required. The

application must address the following issues.

BY THE UTILITY: A determination by the utility licensee

that the LLW commercial storage activities do not involve a

safety or environmental question, and that safe operation

of the reactor will not be affected. In making this

determination, the licensee shall consider:

1. Direct impacts of commercial storage activities on

reactor operations during normal and accident conditions.

2. Diversion of utility management and personnel

attention from safe reactor operation.

3. Combined effects of onsite and offsite dose during

normal and accident conditions.

4. Influence on effectiveness of both reactor

emergency plans and reactor security plans.

5. Financial liability provisions, including impact on

indemnity coverage. 6. Environmental impact of the

storage facility, including potential interaction with the

generating station.

BY THE APPLICANT: The utility or another person shall


1. Safety of the commercial storage operation.

2. Environmental impact of the storage operation in

sufficient detail for NRC to establish the need for an

Environmental Impact Statement. 3. Financial assurance

to provide for commercial storage operation and

decommissioning including any necessary repackaging,

transportation and disposal of the waste.

4. Written agreement from the jurisdiction responsible

for ultimate disposal, the State, that provisions are

sufficient to assure ultimate disposal of the stored waste.

As part of the procedures, the NRC will provide notice in

the Federal Register of receipt and availability of any

application received for commercial storage activities.

The public notice will also indicate the NRC staff's intent

regarding preparation of an environmental assessment and

its circulation for public review and comment. The

environmental assessment will most likely require the

preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement in

accordance with the provisions of 10 CFR 51.20, 51.21 and


Regulatory references: 10 CFR 100.3, 10 CFR 150.15

Subject codes: 9.6, 12.2, 12.9

Applicability: Reactors

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, March 29, 2012