United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Simulation facility Exemptions (Generic Letter 90-08)



August 10, 1990


TO:       ALL HOLDERS OF OPERATING LICENSES OR CONSTRUCTION PERMITS FOR 
          NUCLEAR POWER REACTORS 

SUBJECT:  SIMULATION FACILITY EXEMPTIONS (GENERIC LETTER 90-08) 

This Generic Letter is being issued to remind the addressees of the need to 
meet the schedule requirements for the use of simulation facilities in the 
administration of operating tests established in Section 55.45(b) of Title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  This Generic Letter also 
describes the review of exemption requests and the potential consequences 
for failure to meet the requirements of Section 55.45(b).  It is expected 
that addressees will review this letter for applicability to their 
facilities. 

Section 306 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 USC 10226) required 
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to establish, among other things, 
requirements for operating tests at simulators.  The NRC accomplished this 
objective by revising 10 CFR Part 55, effective May 26, 1987.  These 
regulations, in conjunction with 10 CFR 50.54(i-1), require facility 
licensees to use simulation facilities when administering operating tests.  
These regulations further require that a certified or NRC-approved 
simulation facility must be used to administer operating tests after May 26, 
1991. 

In accordance with 10 CFR 55.45(b)(1), facility licensees may either apply 
for Commission approval for use of a simulation facility or they may certify 
that their simulation facility consists solely of a plant-referenced 
simulator.  Section 55.45(b)(2) establishes the required schedule for the 
initial submittal of either an application or a certification.  Sections 
55.45(b)(2)(i) and (ii) require facility licensees proposing to apply for 
NRC approval to submit a plan to do so by May 26, 1988, and to submit the 
application by November 26, 1990.  Section 55.45(b)(2)(iii) requires 
facility licensees proposing to certify plant-referenced simulators to 
submit Form 474, "Simulation Facility Certification," by March 26, 1991.  
Section 55.45(b)(2)(iv) requires that, after May 26, 1991, the simulation 
facility portion of the operating test, which is required to be completed 
for both initial licensing and requalification examinations administered by 
NRC and for annual operating tests for facility requalification programs, 
not be administered on other than a certified or approved simulation 
facility. 

As stated in the "Supplementary Information" published with the final 
version of 10 CFR Part 55 in the Federal Register (52 FR 9453, March 25, 
1987), the NRC expected each facility licensee to have a simulation facility 
available within a reasonable period of time after the effective date of the 
new rule but not later than 4 years after the effective date.  It was 
further stated that any deviations from the time requirements of 10 CFR 
55.45(b) would be addressed on a case-specific basis. Therefore, facility 
licensees who believe they will not be able to meet the time requirements 
should request exemptions as soon as possible so that the request may be 
reviewed and, where appropriate, granted so that the facility licensees will 
not be in violation of the regulations discussed above.  

9008080047
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Generic Letter 90-08                 - 2 -                  August 10, 1990 


The NRC will consider requests for exemptions in accordance with 10 CFR 
50.12. Items that will be considered when reviewing justifications for 
exemption requests include the licensees' reasons for not meeting the 
schedule requirements including their actual order dates and estimated 
completion dates for new or upgraded simulation facilities and the means for 
conducting operating tests until a certified or approved simulation facility 
is available.  Special circumstances, as described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), 
must be present for any exemption to be granted. 

An exemption request would be covered by Office of Management and Budget 
Clearance Number 3150-0011, which expires January 31, 1991.  The estimated 
average burden hours for an exemption request would be approximately four 
person hours.  Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other 
aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing 
this burden, to the Information and Records Management Branch (MNBB-7714), 
Division of Information Support Services, Office of Information Resources 
Management, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; and 
to the Paperwork Reduction Project (3150-0011), Office of Management and 
Budget, Washington, DC 20503. 

If you have any questions about this letter, please contact the technical 
contact listed below or the appropriate NRR project manager.

                                   Sincerely, 


                                   James G. Partlow, Associate Director
                                     for Projects
                                   Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Technical Contact:  N. Hunemuller, NRR
                    (301) 492-3173

Enclosure:
List of Recently Issued Generic Letters
.ENDEND
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