U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Commercial Storage at Power Plant Sites of Radwaste Not Generated by the Utility
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
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