§ 50.109 Backfitting.
(a)(1) Backfitting is defined as the modification of or addition to systems, structures, components, or design of a facility; or the design approval or manufacturing license for a facility; or the procedures or organization required to design, construct or operate a facility; any of which may result from a new or amended provision in the Commission's regulations or the imposition of a regulatory staff position interpreting the Commission's regulations that is either new or different from a previously applicable staff position after:
(i) The date of issuance of the construction permit for the facility for facilities having construction permits issued after October 21, 1985;
(ii) Six (6) months before the date of docketing of the operating license application for the facility for facilities having construction permits issued before October 21, 1985;
(iii) The date of issuance of the operating license for the facility for facilities having operating licenses;
(iv) The date of issuance of the design approval under subpart E of part 52 of this chapter;
(v) The date of issuance of a manufacturing license under subpart F of part 52 of this chapter;
(vi) The date of issuance of the first construction permit issued for a duplicate design under appendix N of this part; or
(vii) The date of issuance of a combined license under subpart C of part 52 of this chapter, provided that if the combined license references an early site permit, the provisions in § 52.39 of this chapter apply with respect to the site characteristics, design parameters, and terms and conditions specified in the early site permit. If the combined license references a standard design certification rule under subpart B of 10 CFR part 52, the provisions in § 52.63 of this chapter apply with respect to the design matters resolved in the standard design certification rule, provided however, that if any specific backfitting limitations are included in a referenced design certification rule, those limitations shall govern. If the combined license references a standard design approval under subpart E of 10 CFR part 52, the provisions in § 52.145 of this chapter apply with respect to the design matters resolved in the standard design approval. If the combined license uses a reactor manufactured under a manufacturing license under subpart F of 10 CFR part 52, the provisions of § 52.171 of this chapter apply with respect to matters resolved in the manufacturing license proceeding.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the Commission shall require a systematic and documented analysis pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section for backfits which it seeks to impose.
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, the Commission shall require the backfitting of a facility only when it determines, based on the analysis described in paragraph (c) of this section, that there is a substantial increase in the overall protection of the public health and safety or the common defense and security to be derived from the backfit and that the direct and indirect costs of implementation for that facility are justified in view of this increased protection.
(4) The provisions of paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section are inapplicable and, therefore, backfit analysis is not required and the standards in paragraph (a)(3) of this section do not apply where the Commission or staff, as appropriate, finds and declares, with appropriated documented evaluation for its finding, either:
(i) That a modification is necessary to bring a facility into compliance with a license or the rules or orders of the Commission, or into conformance with written commitments by the licensee; or
(ii) That regulatory action is necessary to ensure that the facility provides adequate protection to the health and safety of the public and is in accord with the common defense and security; or
(iii) That the regulatory action involves defining or redefining what level of protection to the public health and safety or common defense and security should be regarded as adequate.
(5) The Commission shall always require the backfitting of a facility if it determines that such regulatory action is necessary to ensure that the facility provides adequate protection to the health and safety of the public and is in accord with the common defense and security.
(6) The documented evaluation required by paragraph (a)(4) of this section shall include a statement of the objectives of and reasons for the modification and the basis for invoking the exception. If immediately effective regulatory action is required, then the documented evaluation may follow rather than precede the regulatory action.
(7) If there are two or more ways to achieve compliance with a license or the rules or orders of the Commission, or with written licensee commitments, or there are two or more ways to reach a level of protection which is adequate, then ordinarily the applicant or licensee is free to choose the way which best suits its purposes. However, should it be necessary or appropriate for the Commission to prescribe a specific way to comply with its requirements or to achieve adequate protection, then cost may be a factor in selecting the way, provided that the objective of compliance or adequate protection is met.
(b) Paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall not apply to backfits imposed prior to October 21, 1985.
(c) In reaching the determination required by paragraph (a)(3) of this section, the Commission will consider how the backfit should be scheduled in light of other ongoing regulatory activities at the facility and, in addition, will consider information available concerning any of the following factors as may be appropriate and any other information relevant and material to the proposed backfit:
(1) Statement of the specific objectives that the proposed backfit is designed to achieve;
(2) General description of the activity that would be required by the licensee or applicant in order to complete the backfit;
(3) Potential change in the risk to the public from the accidental off-site release of radioactive material;
(4) Potential impact on radiological exposure of facility employees;
(5) Installation and continuing costs associated with the backfit, including the cost of facility downtime or the cost of construction delay;
(6) The potential safety impact of changes in plant or operational complexity, including the relationship to proposed and existing regulatory requirements;
(7) The estimated resource burden on the NRC associated with the proposed backfit and the availability of such resources;
(8) The potential impact of differences in facility type, design or age on the relevancy and practicality of the proposed backfit;
(9) Whether the proposed backfit is interim or final and, if interim, the justification for imposing the proposed backfit on an interim basis.
(d) No licensing action will be withheld during the pendency of backfit analyses required by the Commission's rules.
(e) The Executive Director for Operations shall be responsible for implementation of this section, and all analyses required by this section shall be approved by the Executive Director for Operations or his designee.
[53 FR 20610, June 6, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 15398, Apr. 18, 1989; 72 FR 49504, Aug. 28, 2007]
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021