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On September 21, 2012 (77 FR 58591), the NRC published a notice of issuance and availability of Draft NUREG-1307, Revision 15. The draft NUREG proposed a reduction in the estimate of the potential savings from using waste vendors to process radioactive waste generated during power reactor decommissioning. The change resulted in an increase in the minimum permissible amount of decommissioning financial assurance required by the licensee. By letter dated September 26, 2012, (ADAMS Accession No. ML12271A275), the Nuclear Energy Institute requested an extension of the stated comment period for the purpose of providing sufficient time for the industry to thoroughly understand and assess the proposed changes, interact with the agency staff to obtain necessary clarifications at one or more focused public meetings, and provide-fully supported written comments to inform development of the final NUREG-1307, Revision 15. It is the desire of the NRC to receive comments of a high quality from all stakeholders. Several factors have been considered in granting an extension. The comment period extension is reasonable and does not affect NRC deadlines. The additional time will allow adequate time for the NRC to review comments, organize a public workshop on NUREG-1307, Revision 15, and finalize NUREG-1307, Revision 15, for use by licensees before the required submission of power reactor Decommissioning Funding Status reports by the March 31, 2013, due date. The NRC continues to evaluate factors affecting waste burial costs. Guidance developed by the NRC staff would benefit from industry information reflecting real world burial cost data and other such information that could assist in evaluating changes to the waste burial factor. Such information would include: (1) Actual disposal costs, under proprietary cover, if necessary; (2) Disposal costs specific to disposal operations for Rancho Saco and Zion Solutions, under proprietary cover, if necessary, (3) Identification of misinterpreted or misapplied data, if any, found in Table A-4 of NUREG-1307, Revision 15; and (4) Licensees' site-specific cost estimates and time assumptions. The NRC also seeks comments from other stakeholders on the costs and benefits of reducing the estimate of potential savings in decommissioning costs available from using a waste vendor to process power reactor decommissioning wastes. Therefore the comment submittal period is extended from the original date of October 22, 2012 to November 15, 2012.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.