Public Involvement in Decommissioning
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) considers public involvement in decommissioning activities to be a cornerstone of strong, fair regulation of nuclear facilities decommissioning. The public is invited to comment on decommissioning process and proposed regulations, in addition to observing or participating in certain meetings. See our Public Involvement pages for more information.
Proposed Rule to Improve Decommissioning Planning
The Office of the Federal Register published on January 22, 2008 a proposed rule that would amend the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rules in 10 CFR Parts 20, 30, 40, 50, 70 and 72. These amendments resulted from NRC staff recommendations to prevent the occurrence of future legacy sites, which are sites in a decommissioning status with insufficient funds to complete the decommissioning work. This proposed rulemaking will improve licensee awareness, during facility operations, of subsurface contamination and decommissioning funding assurance which will help prevent future legacy sites.
The Regulatory Analysis, Environmental Assessment, and two draft guidance documents supporting the proposed rule also are available under docket NRC-2008-0030 on www.regulations.gov. One of the draft guidance documents is for financial assurance, the other is draft regulatory guidance to implement survey and monitoring requirements.
A public meeting was held at the NRC on November 5, 2008 to discuss comments provided by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) during the proposed rule public comment period on the Decommissioning Planning rule, for clarification purposes. Approximately 20 stakeholders and interested members of the public attended the meeting in person or via teleconference. The Summary Notes of the meeting, Participant List and Meeting Notice are available.
Public Roundtable Meeting on Consideration of Rulemaking to Reduce the Likelihood of Funding Shortfalls for Decommissioning Under the License Termination Rule.
This roundtable meeting was held on January 10, 2007, to solicit input from stakeholders and interested members of the public regarding two regulatory issues in the technical basis of a contemplated proposed rule. One of the regulatory issues involves amendments that would require licensees to monitor subsurface contamination while the facility is operating, since the lack of this information has been a contributor to funding shortfalls at certain decommissioning sites. The second regulatory issue involves proposed changes to the Parent Guarantee and Self-Guarantee financial assurance mechanisms, and amendments that would eliminate the Escrow Account and Line of Credit as approved financial assurance mechanisms for decommissioning.
Approximately 70 stakeholders and interested members of the public attended the roundtable meeting. Twenty-one of 34 invited stakeholders attended the meeting in person or via teleconference.
The Summary Notes of the meeting are available.
The transcript of this meeting and two public comments received after the meeting are also available. The two public comments are from Three Mile Island Alert, Inc., and Sara M. Fields, Moab, Utah.
Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection Decommissioning Workshop
This workshop was held on April 20 and 21, 2005, as part of the NRC staff's initiative to continually improve the licensing process for decommissioning sites and terminating NRC licensees in accordance with 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. These were Category 3 meetings -- public participation was actively sought to fully engage the public and stakeholders.
The purpose of this workshop was to
Inform stakeholders of NRC's Integrated Decommissioning Improvement Plan (IDIP), including regulatory and program management improvements;
Discuss the NRC staff development of guidance for issues resulting form the License Termination Rule Analysis;
Solicit feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on guidance, decommissioning lessons learned, and other planned improvements.
A summary of the workshop is available.
The transcript from the second day of this meeting is also available.
For information about upcoming meetings, see our Public Meeting Schedule page.
Public Meetings for Materials Decommissioning
Public Meetings for Reactor Decommissioning
Public Meetings for Special Topics Decommissioning
General Information about Opportunities for Public Involvement in Decommissioning
When a power reactor licensee submits a post-shutdown decommissioning activities report (PSDAR), and subsequently when a licensee submits a license termination plan (LTP), NRC will hold a public meeting in the vicinity of the facility after each submittal.
When a materials licensee submits a decommissioning plan (DP), NRC may hold a public meeting in the vicinity of the facility if local interest is high.
When NRC holds a meeting with a licensee, members of the public are allowed to observe the meeting (except when the discussion involves proprietary, sensitive, safeguards, or classified information).
The public has an opportunity to provide comments whenever a licensee submits a PSDAR, LTP, DP, or other license amendment request.
There is an opportunity for a hearing whenever a licensee submits a request for a license amendment.
Whenever NRC prepares an environmental impact statement (EIS), notice of availability of the draft EIS is published in the Federal Register and the draft is placed on the NRC’s Web site for public comment.