United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Appendix A to Part 30—Criteria Relating to Use of Financial Tests and Parent Company Guarantees for Providing Reasonable Assurance of Funds for Decommissioning

I. Introduction

An applicant or licensee may provide reasonable assurance of the availability of funds for decommissioning based on obtaining a parent company guarantee that funds will be available for decommissioning costs and on a demonstration that the parent company passes a financial test. This appendix establishes criteria for passing the financial test and for obtaining the parent company guarantee.

II. Financial Test

A. To pass the financial test, the parent company must meet the criteria of either paragraph A.1 or A.2 of this section. For purposes of applying the Appendix A criteria, tangible net worth must be calculated to exclude all intangible assets and the net book value of the nuclear facility and site, and total net worth, which may include intangible assets, must be calculated to exclude the net book value and goodwill of the nuclear facility and site.

1. The parent company must have:

(i) Two of the following three ratios: A ratio of total liabilities to total net worth less than 2.0; a ratio of the sum of net income plus depreciation, depletion, and amortization to total liabilities greater than 0.1; and a ratio of current assets to current liabilities greater than 1.5; and

(ii) Net working capital and tangible net worth each at least six times the amount of decommissioning funds being assured by a parent company guarantee for the total of all nuclear facilities or parts thereof (or prescribed amount if a certification is used); and

(iii) Tangible net worth of at least $21 million; and

(iv) Assets located in the United States amounting to at least 90 percent of the total assets or at least six times the current decommissioning cost estimates for the total of all facilities or parts thereof (or prescribed amount if a certification is used), or, for a power reactor licensee, at least six times the amount of decommissioning funds being assured by a parent company guarantee for the total of all reactor units or parts thereof.

2. The parent company must have:

(i) A current rating for its most recent uninsured, uncollateralized, and unencumbered bond issuance of AAA, AA, A, or BBB (including adjustments of + and –) as issued by Standard and Poor's or Aaa, Aa, A, or Baa (including adjustment of 1, 2, or 3) as issued by Moody's; and

(ii) Total net worth at least six times the amount of decommissioning funds being assured by a parent company guarantee for the total of all nuclear facilities or parts thereof (or prescribed amount if a certification is used); and

(iii) Tangible net worth of at least $21 million; and

(iv) Assets located in the United States amounting to at least 90 percent of the total assets or at least six times the current decommissioning cost estimates for the total of all facilities or parts thereof (or prescribed amount if a certification is used), or, for a power reactor licensee, at least six times the amount of decommissioning funds being assured by a parent company guarantee for the total of all reactor units or parts thereof.

B. The parent company's independent certified public accountant must compare the data used by the parent company in the financial test, which is derived from the independently audited, year-end financial statements for the latest fiscal year, with the amounts in such financial statement. The accountant must evaluate the parent company's off-balance sheet transactions and provide an opinion on whether those transactions could materially adversely affect the parent company's ability to pay for decommissioning costs. The accountant must verify that a bond rating, if used to demonstrate passage of the financial test, meets the requirements of paragraph A of this section. In connection with the auditing procedure, the licensee must inform the NRC within 90 days of any matters coming to the auditor's attention which cause the auditor to believe that the data specified in the financial test should be adjusted and that the company no longer passes the test.

C. 1. After the initial financial test, the parent company must annually pass the test and provide documentation of its continued eligibility to use the parent company guarantee to the Commission within 90 days after the close of each succeeding fiscal year.

2. If the parent company no longer meets the requirements of paragraph A of this section, the licensee must send notice to the Commission of intent to establish alternate financial assurance as specified in the Commission's regulations. The notice must be sent by certified mail within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year for which the year end financial data show that the parent company no longer meets the financial test requirements. The licensee must provide alternate financial assurance within 120 days after the end of such fiscal year.

III. Parent Company Guarantee

The terms of a parent company guarantee which an applicant or licensee obtains must provide that:

A. The parent company guarantee will remain in force unless the guarantor sends notice of cancellation by certified mail to the licensee and the Commission. Cancellation may not occur, however, during the 120 days beginning on the date of receipt of the notice of cancellation by both the licensee and the Commission, as evidenced by the return receipts.

B. If the licensee fails to provide alternate financial assurance as specified in the Commission's regulations within 90 days after receipt by the licensee and Commission of a notice of cancellation of the parent company guarantee from the guarantor, the guarantor will provide alternative financial assurance that meets the provisions of the Commission's regulations in the name of the licensee.

C. The parent company guarantee and financial test provisions must remain in effect until the Commission has terminated the license, accepted in writing the parent company's alternate financial assurances, or accepted in writing the licensee's financial assurances.

D. A standby trust to protect public health and safety and the environment must be established for decommissioning costs before the parent company guarantee agreement is submitted. The trustee and trust must be acceptable to the Commission. An acceptable trustee includes an appropriate State or Federal Government agency or an entity which has the authority to act as a trustee, whose trust operations are regulated and examined by a Federal or State agency. The Commission has the right to change the trustee. An acceptable trust will meet the regulatory criteria established in these regulations that govern the issuance of the license for which the guarantor has accepted the obligation to pay for decommissioning costs.

E. The guarantor must agree that it would be subject to Commission orders to make payments under the guarantee agreement.

F. The guarantor must agree that if the guarantor admits in writing its inability to pay its debts generally, or makes a general assignment for the benefit of creditors, or any proceeding is instituted by or against the guarantor seeking to adjudicate it as bankrupt or insolvent, or seeking dissolution, liquidation, winding-up, reorganization, arrangement, adjustment, protection, relief or composition of it or its debts under any law relating to bankruptcy, insolvency, or reorganization or relief of debtors, or seeking the entry of an order for relief or the appointment of a receiver, trustee, custodian, or other similar official for the guarantor or for any substantial part of its property, or the guarantor takes any action to authorize or effect any of the actions stated in this paragraph, then the Commission may:

1. Declare that the financial assurance guaranteed by the parent company guarantee agreement is immediately due and payable to the standby trust set up to protect the public health and safety and the environment, without diligence, presentment, demand, protest or any other notice of any kind, all of which are expressly waived by guarantor; and

2. Exercise any and all of its other rights under applicable law.

G. 1. The guarantor must agree to notify the NRC, in writing, immediately following the filing of a voluntary or involuntary petition for bankruptcy under any chapter of title 11 (Bankruptcy) of the United States Code, or the occurrence of any other event listed in paragraph F of this Appendix, by or against:

(i) The guarantor;

(ii) The licensee;

(iii) An entity (as that term is defined in 11 U.S.C. 101(14)) controlling the licensee or listing the license or licensee as property of the estate; or

(iv) An affiliate (as that term is defined in 11 U.S.C. 101(2)) of the licensee.

2. This notification must include:

(i) A description of the event, including major creditors, the amounts involved, and the actions taken to assure that the amount of funds guaranteed by the parent company guarantee for decommissioning will be transferred to the standby trust as soon as possible;

(ii) If a petition of bankruptcy was filed, the identity of the bankruptcy court in which the petition for bankruptcy was filed; and

(iii) The date of filing of any petitions.

[53 FR 24046, June 27, 1988 as amended at 63 FR 50479, Sept. 22, 1998; 76 FR 35565 Jun. 17, 2011]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014