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RIS 00-001: Changes Concerning Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination of Nuclear Reactor Licensees

February 1, 2000

Addressees

All holders of operating licenses for nuclear reactors.

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Intent

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this regulatory issue summary (RIS) to remind addressees of the prohibition against foreign ownership and control and, in a manner consistent with NRC Administrative Letter 96-02 ("Licensee Responsibilities Related to Financial Qualifications"), to remind addressees of their ongoing responsibility to bring to the NRC's attention changes with respect to a licensee or a parent company. This RIS also points out the desirability of providing the NRC advance notice of any plans for such changes so that staff resources can be allocated and NRC decisions are not unnecessarily delayed. This RIS does not transmit or imply any new or changed requirement or staff positions. The submittal of advance notice of your planning in this area is strictly voluntary; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.

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Background Information

The NRC's final Standard Review Plan (SRP) on Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination was approved by the Commission on August 31, 1999. The SRP contains the review procedures used by the staff to evaluate applications for the issuance or transfer of control of a production or utilization facility license in light of the prohibitions in Sections 103 d. and 104 d. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 50.38 against issuing such licenses to aliens or entities that the Commission "knows or has reason to believe" are owned, controlled, or dominated by foreign interests. Although addressees may be generally aware of such prohibitions, the NRC believes that it is appropriate to issue a reminder because of the recent increased interest foreign entities have shown in ownership of U.S. utilities with nuclear reactors.

Addressees should be aware of changes with respect to foreign ownership, control, or domination in ways that include, but are not limited to the following: (1) a license holder becomes aware of changes in foreign ownership or control of its company or of its parent company, for example, by receiving Securities and Exchange Commission Schedules 13D or 13G indicating such changes; (2) a license holder, or its parent company, plans to merge with or be acquired by an entity that is owned, controlled, or dominated by foreign interests; or (3) a license holder's Board of Directors becomes controlled or dominated by board members who are not U.S. citizens.

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Summary of Issue

This RIS reminds addressees of the prohibition against foreign ownership, control, or domination of domestic reactor facilities and reminds addressees of their ongoing responsibility to bring to the NRC's attention changes with respect to a licensee or a parent company.

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Federal Register Notification

A notice of opportunity for public comment was not published in the Federal Register because this RIS is informational and pertains to a matter that was open to public comment during its promulgation. In this regard, an earlier interim version of the SRP on Foreign Ownership, Control, or Domination was published in the Federal Register on March 2, 1999 (64 FR 10166 ), for public comment.

If there are any questions about this matter, please contact one of the persons listed below or the appropriate Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation project manager for a specific nuclear reactor.

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  /RA/
David B. Matthews, Director
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Technical Contacts: Robert S. Wood
301-415-1255
E-mail: Robert.Wood@nrc.gov
Alex F. McKeigney
301-415-1221
E-mail: Alex.McKeigney@nrc.gov
Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Regulatory Issue Summaries

(ADAMS Accession Number ML003676842)

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