United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information Notice No. 90-16: Compliance with New Decommissioning Rule

                                UNITED STATES
                        NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
              OFFICE OF NUCLEAR MATERIAL SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.  20555

                                March 7, 1990


Information Notice No. 90-16:  COMPLIANCE WITH NEW DECOMMISSIONING RULE


Addressees:    

All materials licensees. 

Purpose: 

This information notice is provided to remind licensees that the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a rule, "Guidance Requirements 
for Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities," in the Federal Register on June 27, 
1988.  Licensees authorized to possess certain quantities of byproduct, 
source, or special nuclear material will need to submit financial assurance 
for decommissioning no later than July 27, 1990.  It is expected that 
licensees will review this information for applicability to their licensed 
activities, and consider actions, if appropriate, to submit any required 
financial assurance documentation to the NRC.  However, the information in 
this notice does not constitute any new NRC requirements, and no written 
response is required. 

Background: 

The NRC staff notified licensees of the final rule on a number of occasions 
since it became effective on July 27, 1988.  Copies of the new regulation 
were mailed to all licensees in 1988.  The NMSS Licensee Newsletter issues 
of September 1988, March 1989, and September 1989 discussed various aspects 
of the rule, guidance that was issued, and the compliance deadline of July 
27, 1990, for holders of existing licenses.  

Discussion: 

The final rule, "General Requirements for Decommissioning Nuclear 
Facilities," (53 FR 24108) sets forth technical and financial criteria on 
the decommissioning of nuclear facilities and the termination of licenses.  
It applies to byproduct, source, and special nuclear material licenses 
issued pursuant to 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 70 and 72.  The new rule covers 
assuring funds for decommissioning, keeping records important to 
decommissioning, and taking steps required to terminate a license.  All 
licensees have been required to comply with the recordkeeping and license 
termination requirements since the rule became effective in 1988. 






9003010227
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                                                            IN 90-16 
                                                            March 7, 1990 
                                                            Page 2 of 3 


Licensees holding a Part 30, 40 or 70 license issued prior to July 27, 1988, 
have been allowed two years to submit any required financial assurance to 
the NRC.  If you have not done so, you should evaluate the quantity of 
material authorized by your license and determine whether any financial 
assurance is required.  If financial assurance is required, you must submit 
the necessary documentation or submit a request to reduce the quantity of 
material authorized by your license by July 27, 1990.  The intent of the 
rule is to assure that adequate licensee funds are available for 
decommissioning all licensed facilities.  A draft regulatory guide entitled 
"Standard Format and Content of Financial Assurance Mechanisms Required for 
Decommissioning Under 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 70 and 72," January 1990, has 
been issued for comment.  The draft guide discusses the information to be 
provided in a materials license application and establishes a uniform format 
for presenting the information required to meet the decommissioning 
financial assurance requirements.  The draft guide also provides recommended 
wording for financial assurance instruments, cost estimating tables, and a 
conversion table for determining the amount of financial assurance required 
as a function of radionuclide activity levels. 

With regard to recordkeeping, the new rule requires that licensees maintain 
certain records important to safe and effective decommissioning, in an 
identified location, until NRC terminates the license.  These include 
records of spills or other contamination events, as-built drawings and 
modifications of structures and equipment in restricted areas, and records 
of decommissioning plans, cost estimates, and financial assurance measures.  
A draft Regulatory Guide, entitled "Records Important for Decommissioning 
for Licensees Under 10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 70 and 72," July 1989, has been 
issued for comment.  This draft guide discusses which records must be kept 
as information important to safe and effective decommissioning. 

With regard to license terminations, the new rule requires that licensees 
apply for license termination, submit a completed form NRC-314, and submit 
the results of a final radiation survey, when all activities involving 
authorized materials have been terminated.  Where decommissioning work could 
increase potential health and safety impacts to workers or the public, the 
licensee must submit a decommissioning plan for review and approval, prior 
to performing the work.  The final plan, if required, must contain an 
updated cost estimate for decommissioning and a plan for assuring the 
availability of adequate funds.  Licensees should consult Regulatory Guide 
3.65, "Standard Format and Content of Decommissioning Plans for Licensees 
Under 10 CFR Parts 30, 40 and 70," August 1989.  It discusses what is needed 
in preparing and submitting a decommissioning plan prior to terminating a 
license.  

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                                                            IN 90-16 
                                                            March 7, 1990 
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No written response is required by this notice.  If you have any questions 
about this information notice, please contact Louis M. Bykoski at (301) 
492-0572 or Timothy C. Johnson at (301) 492-0558 or the appropriate NRC 
regional office.




                              Richard L. Bangart, Director
                              Division of Low-Level Waste Management
                                and Decommissioning
                              Office of Nuclear Material Safety
                                and Safeguards

Technical Contacts:  Louis Bykoski, NMSS
                     (301) 492-0572

                     Timothy C. Johnson, NMSS
                     (301) 492-0558

Attachments:
1.  List of Recently Issued NMSS Information Notices 
2.  List of Recently Issued NRC Information Notices
.ENDEND
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