RIS 00-004: Operating Reactor Licensing Action Estimates

March 16, 2000


All power reactor licensees.

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this regulatory issue summary (RIS) to ask that licensees, on a voluntary basis, provide information pertaining to estimates of the number of licensing actions that will be submitted for NRC review through FY 2000 and FY 2001. The submittal of this information is strictly voluntary. No specific action or written response is required.

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In recent years, the NRC has undertaken a series of initiatives to improve the Commission's planning process. Beginning with the NRC Strategic Assessment and Rebaselining initiative in 1995, the NRC has implemented an integrated planning, budgeting, and performance measurement system to ensure that the business principles of goal setting, strategy development, resource assessment, and performance measurement undergird NRC activities. These initiatives meet the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. Among other things, the integrated process results in an agency budget and resource allocation process that is strongly tied to selected performance goals. To ensure that certain performance goals and resulting resource allocations are as accurate as possible, the NRC periodically assesses the currency of the information and assumptions used in the budget development process.

One element in the budgeting process with significant resource implications is the number of licensing actions expected to be submitted to and reviewed by the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) in a budget cycle. For planning purposes, licensing actions may be defined as requests for license amendment, license renewal or transfer, exemption, relief, review of a topical report submitted by a specific licensee or other licensee request requiring NRC review and approval before it can be implemented by the licensee. To improve the accuracy of the resource forecasts, the NRC is asking that all power reactor licensees, including those that have determined to permanently cease operations and have submitted certification pursuant to 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1), provide, on a voluntary basis, estimates of the number of new licensing action requests they plan to submit in the reminder of FY 2000 and FY 2001.

Specifically, licensees are asked to provide an estimate of the number(1) of licensing actions expected to be submitted during the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2000(2) and in FY 2001. To adequately capture the larger resource impact of certain licensing reviews, licensees are asked to identify by brief title those licensing actions that are expected to generate complex reviews, such as power uprate requests, license renewal requests, and dry cask storage applications. In addition, it would be beneficial to include in the licensing action application estimates of the potential safety and operational benefits, costs/man-rem averted, or any other economic savings that would be realized by the request. This type of information will be used to assist the NRR staff in prioritizating and allocating resources, and measuring NRC success in reducing unnecessary regulatory burden.

Administrative Letter 99-02, "Operating Reactor Licensing Action Estimates," which was issued on June 3, 1999, asked for similar licensing action estimates. In the future, the NRC expects to ask for licensing action estimates on a semi-annual basis. The next solicitation will occur in mid-2000 and will request voluntary submittals for FY 2001 and FY 2002.

Licensees are asked to voluntarily provide their estimates of licensing action submittals to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001, with a copy to Michael Boyle, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop O-13E4, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001, within 45 days of receipt of this RIS.

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Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

The voluntary information collections contained in this solicitation are covered by the Office of Management and Budget clearance number 3150-0011, which expires September 30, 2000. The public reporting burden for this voluntary collection of information is estimated to average 10 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Records Management Branch, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001, and to the Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, NEOB-10202 (3150-0011), Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C. 20503.

This regulatory issue summary requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Patrick Madden, NRR, by telephone (301-415-2854) or e-mail (Patrick.Madden@nrc.gov), or the appropriate NRR project manager.

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David B. Matthews, Director
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

Attachment: List of Recently Issued NRC Regulatory Issue Summaries

(ADAMS Accession Number ML003687730)

1 To assist in counting numbers of licensing actions, use the following example: a licensee submits a licensing action request covering three individual plants concerning a single subject. Although the NRC will review a single subject, NRC would open one work task for each plant, therefore counting this single request as three licensing actions.

2 NRC's fiscal year runs from October through September. For example, FY 2001 will start October 1, 2000, and end September 30, 2001.

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