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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-010 March 3, 2022
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200
NRC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule for Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed rule to amend agency regulations for nuclear power plants transitioning from operations to decommissioning.
The proposed rule was published today in the Federal Register. Comments will be accepted for 75 days, through May 17. The proposed rule and related documents are also available on the NRC website, with information about upcoming public meetings to present the proposed rule and receive public comments. Two online public meetings will be held March 21 at 1 p.m., Eastern time and March 31 at 4 p.m., Eastern time. Additional public meetings may be added during the comment period.
Current NRC regulations establish safety requirements for the commercial operation of nuclear power plants. These regulations do not have separate requirements for the significantly lower safety hazards associated with a permanently shut down and defueled reactor undergoing decommissioning. As a result, the NRC has allowed incremental changes to various requirements, including emergency preparedness, through exemptions and license amendments. The proposed rule would implement specific regulatory requirements for different phases of the decommissioning process, consistent with the reduced risk.
The proposed regulation would incorporate lessons learned from plants that have recently transitioned to decommissioning and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the regulatory framework.
“NRC maintains its rigorous oversight of the decommissioning process from start to finish. said NRC Chairman Christopher T. Hanson. “Seeking and reviewing public comments will further inform the development of the rule to ensure it is protective of public health and safety.”
When the Commission approved the rule in November, Hanson emphasized the importance of public participation in the rulemaking process, noting that the agency sought public comment twice in the years the proposed rule was under development.
Comments can be submitted over the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2015-0070; sent by email to Rulemaking.Comments@nrc.gov; or directly mailed to Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: I-22-003 March 2, 2022
CONTACT: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330
Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
NRC Proposes $25,600 Fine for Pennsylvania Company
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a $25,600 civil penalty to a Pennsylvania company for performing work in West Virginia without obtaining approval from the NRC.
Steel City Gamma LLC, based in Daisytown (Washington County), Pennsylvania, conducted industrial radiography activities on Dec. 18, 2019, and between Jan. 1, 2020, and April 9, 2020, at a facility in Pleasant Valley, West Virginia.
Based on an investigation conducted between April 21, 2020, and March 1, 2021, the NRC’s Office of Investigations determined that SCG did not abide by the applicable requirements, including performing the work without a license from Pennsylvania when it was amended to possession and storage only. In addition, the investigation found that the company’s then-owner engaged in deliberate misconduct by knowingly violating regulations pertaining to reciprocity.
On Feb. 3, 2022, the NRC Region I Office conducted a predecisional enforcement conference with SCG to discuss the violations, causes and corrective actions. During this conference, the company’s current owner acknowledged that SCG committed the violations. As a result, the NRC is proposing the fine and a Severity Level II violation. The agency is also issuing an order prohibiting the firm’s former owner from participating in NRC-licensed activities for five years because of deliberate misconduct.
The violations did not result in any actual safety or security consequences.
“The failure to follow NRC requirements prior to using NRC-licensed materials is unacceptable,” said NRC Region I Administrator David Lew. “We cannot permit any violations of NRC regulations to interfere with the protection of public health and safety.”
Industrial radiography involves the use of a device containing nuclear material to check for cracks or flaws in materials that would not otherwise be visible. Applications can include the testing and grading of welds on pressurized piping, high-capacity storage containers and pipelines.
As an NRC “Agreement State,” Pennsylvania oversees the use of nuclear materials within its borders that would otherwise be regulated by the NRC. Under a reciprocity requirement, if Agreement State-licensed materials are used in a state where nuclear materials are regulated by the NRC, including West Virginia, approval must first be obtained from the agency.
The firm, which no longer has a nuclear materials license from Pennsylvania, will have 30 days to provide a written response, which must include steps it has taken or plans to take to address the issue.
SUBJECT:  Peach Bottom Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 2 And 3-Site Walkdown For The Review Of Plant Information To Perform A Risk Analysis In Accordance With LIC-504, Integrated Risk-Informed Decisionmaking For Emergent Issues, Regarding High Energy Arcing Faults
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Read more about IAEA concerned for safety of Ukraine's nuclear plants; calls for restrain on Business Standard. IAEA has called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could threaten the safety and security of nuclear power plants in Ukraine amid an intensified Russian military offensive in capital Kyiv
The Russian military on Saturday released images of the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine that it seized after President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of the country this week.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents an unprecedented challenge for the country’s electrical utilities: How to maintain safety of its 15 operating reactors amid the chaos of war. “We’ve ...
Germany is weighing whether to extend the life-span of its remaining nuclear power plants as a way to secure the country's energy supply in the face of uncertainty over Russian gas supplies, the ...
Information note on nuclear power installations in Ukraine. As events unfold in Ukraine, the NEA collects information from verifiable and reliable sources to support its members’ efforts to maintain an understanding of the state of nuclear safety and radiological protection in that country.
Russia appears to have begun a new phase of its Ukraine invasion by pummelling airfields, gas pipelines and a radioactive waste site overnight. Troops have also entered the country’s second ...
Nuclear waste disposal site outside Kyiv hit by a Russian missile strike. According to local Ukrainian news website BNO, in the early hours of this Sunday, February 27, Russian missiles made a direct hit just outside the capital Kyiv, on a nuclear waste disposal site.. A report on their website said, ‘As a result of the mass bombing of Kyiv with all types of anti-aircraft and missile weapons ...
When Nuclear Power Meets War
Feb. 24, 2022
As I write this, the World is greeted with the news that Russia has invaded Ukraine.  The feeling in my stomach is the same as I had when I watched the Fukushima reactors in Japan explode in early March, 2011.  It comes from thinking and remembering the people I met in Kyiv in 2006 at the 20th anniversary of the Chornobyl (Ukrainian spelling) disaster conference NEIS helped plan;  the beauty of old, historic Kyiv; the memory of St. Andrew’s Church (my favorite of the many old ones, even better than St. Sophia and St. Michael.) – and how all of these are now in grave danger.
While Putin’s claims of national security and alleged ethnic and historical connections get much of the attention as pretexts for the invasion, it is important to pay attention to the role that energy also plays in the current situation.
Ukraine’s and Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas has demonstrated the extent to which a nation can hold others hostage by constraining supply.  This fact has led historically to tensions between Ukraine and Russia when the later initiated curtailment of gas supply during winter a number of years back.  It has also accounted for Germany’s delayed and muted response to Russia’s build-up to the recent invasion.
On Feb. 22, 2022) Sen. Bernie Sanders’ statement on the Russian invasion made this very important point:
“…Finally, in the longer term, we must invest in a global green energy transition away from fossil fuels, not only to combat climate change, but to deny authoritarian petrostates the revenues they require to survive.”
Authoritarian petrostates.  Like Russia.  And Saudi Arabia.  And…
Sanders has long been a champion of the green energy transformation needed.  However, some – mostly  opportunistic nuclear marketers – would then suggest that nuclear power play a role in this transformation.
Events in Ukraine right now argue in no uncertain terms how breathtakingly dumb that would be.
As I write this, CNN published this account:
“Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, echoed Zelensky's earlier remarks that Russian forces had attempted to seize control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, adding that the Ukrainian National Guard is working to protect the nuclear plant from attack. [NOTE: later, AP reported that they succeeded in taking over. –DK]
“They made an attempt to seize the Chernobyl nuclear power station, and the fight is going right there with the Ukrainian National Guard protecting the Chernobyl station from the attack,” Markarova said during a press briefing.
“For the first time since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster — after which Ukraine has been protecting, together with our European and American friends and allies, the world from another nuclear disaster — we have to defend it again from the Russian forces,” she added.”
A Facebook account stated,
“CNN confirming, from several sources of Ukrainian officials at the Chernobyl station and in Kiev, that the Russian Troops have seized the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  The Chernobyl exclusion zone management spokesperson told CNN “when I came into the office today, in the morning, it turned out that the nuclear power plant management had all left so there was no one to give instructions or defend it.” #Chernobyl
“…Ukrainian authorities did not know the current condition of the facilities at Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster…. A Ukrainian official said Russian shelling hit a radioactive waste repository and an increase in radiation levels was reported…. It was not immediately possible for experts to access the repository to assess damage before Russian forces overtook the site.”
One does not have to hold advanced degrees in nuclear physics to intuit that: 1.) it’s a bad idea (and in violation of the Geneva Conventions, BTW) to target any nuclear reactor facility with artillery shells or bombs; 2.) although somewhat understandable, it’s not a good idea when “nuclear power plant management” abandons their posts (fortunately at a non-functioning reactor, but a site with radioactive wastes); and 3.) shelling a radioactive waste repository (whether high-, intermediate, or low-level radwastes) is not a good idea.
Ukraine has 15 operating nuclear reactors (the same as the United Kingdom, and just ahead of – ILLINOIS which has 11, on the worldwide list of reactor operators), all varying generations of Russian-designed VVER reactors. The reactors store their “spent”-fuel radioactive wastes in air-cooled “dry-casks” housed in an auxiliary building onsite which is less robust and protected than the reactors themselves.
The Zaporizhzhia reactors are Europe’s largest reactor complex - 6  VVER-1000s (mostly).  It is 120 miles from the contested Donbas region.
The four reactors at Rivne in Western Ukraine are VVER reactors ~ 40 mi. south of Belarusian border.
Both sites – plus the Chornobyl site north of Kyiv, just south of the border with Belarus – are in the invasion path.
It is not clear at present what kind of radioactive waste facilities and casks are deployed and have been shelled, but a controversial company called HOLTEC International had built and operated some of those in Ukraine.  This company has a somewhat checkered legal history, and is attempting to site a high-level radioactive waste dump in New Mexico over the objections of almost all state and federal legislators, the Governor, and large segments of the population.
While the Russians deserve far more than mere criticism for targeting a nuclear reactor site, they are by no means the first, and possibly not even the worst to date to do so.  A list of previous attacks at reactor facilities shows that the Western nations are also in this contemptible club:
As targets in war zones, actual or presumed:
·Israeli air force bombs Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981; under construction, de-fueled
·Iran/Iraq war 1980-90, each side bombed each other’s nuclear-related sites
·U.S. bombs Iraq’s Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center 1991; enriched nuclear materials present, targeted
·NATO air strikes occur near nuclear sites in The Balkans War, 1999; suspected materials present
·Iraqi failed SCUD attack of the Dimona reactor in Israel, 1993
·Israel bombs Syrian reactor  site, 2007; under construction, no fuel
It is now eminently clear that despite International Law, nuclear reactors, radioactive waste storage sites, and other nuclear-related facilities are and have been deliberate and/or inadvertent targets during war; and also pre-emptively while not officially in a state of war (e.g., the Israeli bombing of Osirak).  It should also be recalled that the 911 Commission verified that the Indian Point nuclear reactor north of New York City was a contemplated target of the 911 terror attackers.
The transportation of the high-level radioactive waste in the form of spent-fuel rods also opens up a new set of nuclear targets.  If and when nations begin to open permanent radwaste disposal facilities, these wastes will have to be transported by trains, trucks and barges from present locations to the disposal site, using special transportation casks.  Field tests at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, June 1998, demonstrated that the shoulder-held munitions of 25 years ago were capable of penetrating a European CASTOR cask, a design more robust than those presently in use in the U.S. for either onsite storage or transport.  Such a penetration hole would have released the radioactive contents of the cask.  The munitions available today to militaries, para-militaries and “undesirable agents” are far more powerful, designed to penetrate the upgraded composite armor of tanks, not mere shipping casks.
TOP 10 ARMOR-PIERCING SHOULDER-HELD WEAPONS  --  1-5   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4lwsg6s3Ug&list=TLPQMTUwNTIwMjE1subb8qJNww&index=3
RPG-28 – can go through 3,000 mm of brick    ( 125 inches )
RPG-30 – Can go through 1,500 mm of concrete  ( 67 inches )
In a war zone such as exists currently in Ukraine, the types of bombs, shells and rockets can be more powerful than these shoulder-held, largely infantry weapons.  Both sides possess them.

This is the real world that nuclear power exists in.  There are 437 potential targets in 32 nations at present.  We only have to be wrong once. The level and numbers of uncertainty as to whether reactors, radioactive waste dumps and storage/shipping containers have been sufficiently designed to withstand modern weaponry (and political vindictiveness) remains to be seen.  Whether reactor operators in a war zone will stay at their posts under all circumstances – like those heroic “50” at Fukushima – or leave early as at Chornobyl today, introduces the prospect that reactors will become unstaffed, left to their own operational and engineering devices to operate as designed.  Or not.
Should a reactor building be breached or have its safety systems sufficiently damaged, the war will be transformed into a nuclear war – without having to launch any missiles or bombers to deliver the payload.  If you liked Chornobyl-1 in 1986, the mindless warlords seem eager to provide you with Chornobyl-2 in 2022.
So when Sen. Sanders and others call for, “a global green energy transition away from fossil fuels,” one can be absolutely certain that he is not advocating for expanding nuclear power in any way.  Not in this world. Rational, responsible leaders and public officials should learn pre-emptively the lessons before us in Ukraine, and reach that conclusion as well.■
David A. Kraft, Director
3411 W. Diversey #13
Chicago, IL  60647
No more Chornobyls!  No more Fukushimas!
Invest  in a nuclear-free world -- today!
Subject:  Constellation Energy Generation, LLC - Request for Additional Information Regarding Fleet License Amendment Request to Adopt TSTF-541
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Subject:  Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Issuance of Amendment Nos. 341 and 344 Re:  Change to Technical Specification 5.5.7, Ventilation Filter Testing Program (EPID L-2021-LLA-0078)
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Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-008 February 23, 2022
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Proposes to Amend Licensing, Inspection, and Annual Fees for Fiscal Year 2022
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the licensing, inspection, special projects, and annual fees it would charge applicants and licensees for fiscal year 2022.
This year’s proposed fee rule, published today in the Federal Register, reflects a total budget authority of $887.7 million, an increase of $43.3 million from FY 2021. This is based on the FY 2022 Congressional Budget Justification, as a full-year appropriation has yet to be enacted. If the NRC receives an appropriation with a different budget authority, these amounts will be reflected in the final fee rule to be published this summer.
Under the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act, the NRC is required to recover nearly all of its total budget authority in FY 2022, except for specific excluded activities. NEIMA also established a new cap for operating reactor annual fees and required three sets of actions related to invoices for service fees.
After accounting for the exclusions from the fee-recovery requirement and net billing adjustments, the NRC must recover approximately $752.2 million in fees in FY 2022. Of this amount, approximately $188.9 million will be recovered through Part 170 fees for service and $563.3 million through Part 171 annual fees.
Compared to FY 2021, proposed annual fees would decrease for fuel facilities and the agency’s lone uranium recovery licensee. Annual fees would increase for operating power reactors, spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning activities, non-power production or utilization facilities, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Program, DOE transportation activities, and for 44 materials users fee categories. Even with the proposed increase, the operating power reactors annual fee would not exceed the cap established by NEIMA.
The proposed fee rule includes several other changes affecting licensees and applicants. The NRC’s hourly rate for services would increase from $288 to $291, and license application fees would adjust accordingly. In addition, the proposed rule would implement a public interest exemption and not assess fees for import and export licensing activities in FY 2022.
The Federal Register notice includes detailed instructions on how to submit written comments on the proposed rule. Comments will be accepted through March 25.
NRC OIG Releases Two Reports on Findings Regarding
Counterfeit, Fraudulent, and Suspect Items in U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
ROCKVILLE, MD—Today, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued two reports on its audit and investigation findings regarding concerns that counterfeit, fraudulent, and suspect items (CFSI) are present in most, if not all, U.S. nuclear power plants. 
The OIG found that CFSI are present in operating plants, but the extent of CFSI is unknown because the NRC does not require licensees to track CFSI unless a situation rises to the level of being a significant condition adverse to quality, despite concern in the nuclear community about the potential dangers of CFSI. 
The OIG recommended that the NRC should improve its oversight of CFSI by clarifying and communicating how the agency collects, assesses, and disseminates information regarding CFSI, and by improving staff awareness of CFSI and its applicability to reactor inspections.
“The simultaneous issuance of these two reports represents the first time that our Audits and Investigations Divisions have collaborated so closely on a reporting program of this magnitude,” said NRC Inspector General Robert J. Feitel.  “These comprehensive reports are but one example of a new era for the OIG, where our superb teams of auditors and investigators will continue to work together in an integrated way, to fulfill our mission to ensure the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the NRC.”
The OIG reports also identified potential gaps in the NRC’s regulatory framework, such as those resulting from a 2011 NRC working group that have since not been resolved. 
The OIG has sent these reports to the NRC’s executive leadership for review and response.  The OIG has a responsibility to independently and objectively conduct audits and investigations to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the NRC’s programs and operations.