U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2020

§ 60.1 - Purpose and scope.

This part prescribes rules governing the licensing (including issuance of a construction authorization) of the U.S. Department of Energy to receive and possess source, special nuclear, and byproduct material at a geologic repository operations area sited, constructed, or operated in accordance with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended. This part does not apply to any activity licensed under another part of this chapter. This part does not apply to the licensing of the U.S. Department of Energy to receive and possess source, special nuclear, and byproduct material at a geologic repository operations area sited, constructed, or operated at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in accordance with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1992, as amended, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992, subject to part 63 of this chapter. This part also gives notice to all persons who knowingly provide to any licensee, applicant, contractor, or subcontractor, components, equipment, materials, or other goods or services, that relate to a licensee's or applicant's activities subject to this part, that they may be individually subject to NRC enforcement action for violation of § 60.11.

[69 FR 2279, Jan. 14, 2004]

§ 60.2 - Definitions.

As used in this part:

Accessible environment means:

(1) The atmosphere;

(2) The land surface;

(3) Surface water;

(4) Oceans; and

(5) The portion of the lithosphere that is outside the postclosure controlled area.

Affected Indian Tribe means any Indian Tribe (1) within whose reservation boundaries a repository for high-level radioactive waste or spent fuel is proposed to be located; or (2) whose Federally defined possessory or usage rights to other lands outside of the reservation's boundaries arising out of Congressionally ratified treaties or other Federal law may be substantially and adversely affected by the locating of such a facility; Provided, That the Secretary of the Interior finds, upon the petition of the appropriate governmental officials of the Tribe, that such effects are both substantial and adverse to the Tribe.

Anticipated processes and events means those natural processes and events that are reasonably likely to occur during the period the intended performance objective must be achieved. To the extent reasonable in the light of the geologic record, it shall be assumed that those processes operating in the geologic setting during the Quaternary Period continue to operate but with the perturbations caused by the presence of emplaced radioactive waste superimposed thereon.

Barrier means any material or structure that prevents or substantially delays movement of water or radionuclides.

Candidate area means a geologic and hydrologic system within which a geologic repository may be located.

Commencement of construction means clearing of land, surface or subsurface excavation, or other substantial action that would adversely affect the environment of a site, but does not include changes desirable for the temporary use of the land for public recreational uses, site characterization activities, other preconstruction monitoring and investigation necessary to establish background information related to the suitability of a site or to the protection of environmental values, or procurement or manufacture of components of the geologic repository operations area.

Commission means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its duly authorized representatives.

Containment means the confinement of radioactive waste within a designated boundary.

Controlled area means a surface location, to be marked by suitable monuments, extending horizontally no more than 10 kilometers in any direction from the outer boundary of the underground facility, and the underlying subsurface, which area has been committed to use as a geologic repository and from which incompatible activities would be restricted following permanent closure.

Design bases means that information that identifies the specific functions to be performed by a structure, system, or component of a facility and the specific values or ranges of values chosen for controlling parameters as reference bounds for design. These values may be restraints derived from generally accepted “state-of-the-art” practices for achieving functional goals or requirements derived from analysis (based on calculation or experiments) of the effects of a postulated event under which a structure, system, or component must meet its functional goals. The values for controlling parameters for external events include:

(1) Estimates of severe natural events to be used for deriving design bases that will be based on consideration of historical data on the associated parameters, physical data, or analysis of upper limits of the physical processes involved; and

(2) Estimates of severe external man-induced events, to be used for deriving design bases, that will be based on analysis of human activity in the region, taking into account the site characteristics and the risks associated with the event.

Design basis events means:

(1)(i) Those natural and human-induced events that are reasonably likely to occur regularly, moderately frequently, or one or more times before permanent closure of the geologic repository operations area; and

(ii) Other natural and man-induced events that are considered unlikely, but sufficiently credible to warrant consideration, taking into account the potential for significant radiological impacts on public health and safety.

(2) The events described in paragraph (1)(i) of this definition are referred to as “Category 1” design basis events. The events described in paragraph (1)(ii) of this definition are referred to as “Category 2” design basis events.

Director means the Director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

Disposal means the isolation of radioactive wastes from the accessible environment.

Disturbed zone means that portion of the postclosure controlled area, the physical or chemical properties of which have changed as a result of underground facility construction or as a result of heat generated by the emplaced radioactive wastes, such that the resultant change of properties may have a significant effect on the performance of the geologic repository.

DOE means the U.S. Department of Energy or its duly authorized representatives.

Engineered barrier system means the waste packages and the underground facility.

Geologic repository means a system which is intended to be used for, or may be used for, the disposal of radioactive wastes in excavated geologic media. A geologic repository includes: (1) The geologic repository operations area, and (2) the portion of the geologic setting that provides isolation of the radioactive waste.

Geologic repository operations area means a high-level radioactive waste facility that is part of a geologic repository, including both surface and subsurface areas, where waste handling activities are conducted.

Geologic setting means the geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical systems of the region in which a geologic repository operations area is or may be located.

Groundwater means all water which occurs below the land surface.

High-level radioactive waste or HLW means: (1) Irradiated reactor fuel, (2) liquid wastes resulting from the operation of the first cycle solvent extraction system, or equivalent, and the concentrated wastes from subsequent extraction cycles, or equivalent, in a facility for reprocessing irradiated reactor fuel, and (3) solids into which such liquid wastes have been converted.

HLW facility means a facility subject to the licensing and related regulatory authority of the Commission pursuant to Sections 202(3) and 202(4) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 1244). 1

1 These are DOE “facilities used primarily for the receipt and storage of high-level radioactive wastes resulting from activities licensed under such Act [the Atomic Energy Act]” and “Retrievable Surface Storage Facilities and other facilities authorized for the express purpose of subsequent long-term storage of high-level radioactive wastes generated by [DOE], which are not used for, or are part of, research and development activities.”

Host rock means the geologic medium in which the waste is emplaced.

Important to safety, with reference to structures, systems, and components, means those engineered features of the repository whose function is:

(1) To provide reasonable assurance that high-level waste can be received, handled, packaged, stored, emplaced, and retrieved without exceeding the requirements of § 60.111(a) for Category 1 design basis events; or

(2) To prevent or mitigate Category 2 design basis events that could result in doses equal to or greater than the values specified in § 60.136 to any individual located on or beyond any point on the boundary of the preclosure controlled area.

Isolation means inhibiting the transport of radioactive material so that amounts and concentrations of this material entering the accessible environment will be kept within prescribed limits.

NRC Public Document Room means the facility at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Room 0-1F23, Rockville, Maryland 20852, where certain public records of the NRC that were made available for public inspection in paper or microfiche prior to the implementation of the NRC Agency wide Documents Access and Management System, commonly referred to as ADAMS, will remain available for public inspection. It is also the place where computer terminals are available to access the NRC Library components of ADAMS on the NRC Website, http://www.nrc.gov, where copies can be made or ordered as set forth in § 9.35 of this chapter. The facility is staffed with reference librarians to assist the public in identifying and locating documents and in using the NRC Web site and ADAMS. The NRC Public Document Room is open from 7:30 am to 4:15 pm, Monday through Friday, except on Federal holidays, Reference service and access to documents may also be requested by telephone (1-800-397-4209) between 8:30 am and 4:15 pm, or by e-mail ([email protected]), fax (301-415-3548), or letter (NRC Public Document Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Room 0-1F23, Rockville, Maryland 20852).

NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov is the Internet uniform resource locator name for the Internet address of the Web site where NRC will ordinarily make available its public records for inspection.

Permanent closure means final backfilling of the underground facility and the sealing of shafts and boreholes.

Performance confirmation means the program of tests, experiments, and analyses which is conducted to evaluate the accuracy and adequacy of the information used to determine with reasonable assurance that the performance objectives for the period after permanent closure will be met.

Postclosure controlled area means a surface location, to be marked by suitable monuments, extending horizontally no more than 10 kilometers in any direction from the outer boundary of the underground facility, and the underlying subsurface, which area has been committed to use as a geologic repository and from which incompatible activities would be restricted following permanent closure.

Preclosure controlled area means that surface area surrounding the geologic repository operations area for which the licensee exercises authority over its use, in accordance with the provisions of this part, until permanent closure has been completed.

Radioactive waste or waste means HLW and other radioactive materials other than HLW that are received for emplacement in a geologic repository.

Restricted area means an area, access to which is limited by the licensee for the purpose of protecting individuals against undue risks from exposure to radiation and radioactive materials. Restricted area does not include areas used as residential quarters, but separate rooms in a residential building may be set aside as a restricted area.

Retrieval means the act of intentionally removing radioactive waste from the underground location at which the waste had been previously emplaced for disposal.

Saturated zone means that part of the earth's crust beneath the regional water table in which all voids, large and small, are ideally filled with water under pressure greater than atmospheric.

Site means the location of the preclosure controlled area, or of the postclosure controlled area, or both.

Site characterization means the program of exploration and research, both in the laboratory and in the field, undertaken to establish the geologic conditions and the ranges of those parameters of a particular site relevant to the procedures under this part. Site characterization includes borings, surface excavations, excavation of exploratory shafts, limited subsurface lateral excavations and borings, and in situ testing at depth needed to determine the suitability of the site for a geologic repository, but does not include preliminary borings and geophysical testing needed to decide whether site characterization should be undertaken.

Unanticipated processes and events means those processes and events affecting the geologic setting that are judged not to be reasonably likely to occur during the period the intended performance objective must be achieved, but which are nevertheless sufficiently credible to warrant consideration. Unanticipated processes and events may be either natural processes or events or processes and events initiated by human activities other than those activities licensed under this part. Processes and events initiated by human activities may only be found to be sufficiently credible to warrant consideration if it is assumed that: (1) The monuments provided for by this part are sufficiently permanent to serve their intended purpose; (2) the value to future generations of potential resources within the site can be assessed adequately under the applicable provisions of this part; (3) an understanding of the nature of radioactivity, and an appreciation of its hazards, have been retained in some functioning institutions; (4) institutions are able to assess risk and to take remedial action at a level of social organization and technological competence equivalent to, or superior to, that which was applied in initiating the processes or events concerned; and (5) relevant records are preserved, and remain accessible, for several hundred years after permanent closure.

Underground facility means the underground structure, including openings and backfill materials, but excluding shafts, boreholes, and their seals.

Unrestricted area means an area, access to which is neither limited nor controlled by the licensee.

Unsaturated zone means the zone between the land surface and the regional water table. Generally, fluid pressure in this zone is less than atmospheric pressure, and some of the voids may contain air or other gases at atmospheric pressure. Beneath flooded areas or in perched water bodies the fluid pressure locally may be greater than atmospheric.

Waste form means the radioactive waste materials and any encapsulating or stabilizing matrix.

Waste package means the waste form and any containers, shielding, packing and other absorbent materials immediately surrounding an individual waste container.

Water table means that surface in a groundwater body at which the water pressure is atmospheric.

[48 FR 28217, June 21, 1983, as amended at 50 FR 29647, July 22, 1985; 51 FR 27162, July 30, 1986; 53 FR 43421, Oct. 27, 1988; 61 FR 64267, Dec. 4, 1996; 64 FR 48953, Sept. 9, 1999; 69 FR 76601, Dec. 22, 2004; 76 FR 72086, Nov. 22, 2011]

§ 60.3 - License required.

(a) DOE shall not receive or possess source, special nuclear, or byproduct material at a geologic repository operations area except as authorized by a license issued by the Commission pursuant to this part.

(b) DOE shall not commence construction of a geologic repository operations area unless it has filed an application with the Commission and has obtained construction authorization as provided in this part. Failure to comply with this requirement shall be grounds for denial of a license.

§ 60.4 - Communications and records.

(a) Except where otherwise specified, all communications and reports concerning the regulations in this part and applications filed under them should be sent by mail addressed: ATTN: Document Control Desk: Director, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; by hand delivery to the NRC's offices at 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland; or, where practicable, by electronic submission, for example, via Electronic Information Exchange, or CD-ROM. Electronic submissions must be made in a manner that enables the NRC to receive, read, authenticate, distribute, and archive the submission, and process and retrieve it a single page at a time. Detailed guidance on making electronic submissions can be obtained by visiting the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html; by e-mail to [email protected]; or by writing the Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The guidance discusses, among other topics, the formats the NRC can accept, the use of electronic signatures, and the treatment of nonpublic information.

(b) Each record required by this part must be legible throughout the retention period specified by each Commission regulation. The record may be the original or a reproduced copy or a microform provided that the copy or microform is authenticated by authorized personnel and that the microform is capable of producing a clear copy throughout the required retention period. The record may also be stored in electronic media with the capability for producing legible, accurate, and complete records during the required retention period. Records such as letters, drawings, specifications, must include all pertinent information such as stamps, initials, and signatures. The licensee shall maintain adequate safeguards against tampering with and loss of records.

[53 FR 19251, May 27, 1988, as amended at 53 FR 43421, Oct. 27, 1988; 68 FR 58813, Oct. 10, 2003; 74 FR 62682, Dec. 1, 2009; 80 FR 74980, Dec. 1, 2015]

§ 60.5 - Interpretations.

Except as specifically authorized by the Commission, in writing, no interpretation of the meaning of the regulations in this part by any officer or employee of the Commission other than a written interpretation by the General Counsel will be considered binding upon the Commission.

§ 60.6 - Exemptions.

The Commission may, upon application by DOE, any interested person, or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations in this part as it determines are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.

§ 60.7 - License not required for certain preliminary activities.

The requirement for a license set forth in § 60.3(a) of this part is not applicable to the extent that DOE receives and possesses source, special nuclear, and byproduct material at a geologic repository:

(a) For purposes of site characterization; or

(b) For use, during site characterization or construction, as components of radiographic, radiation monitoring, or similar equipment or instrumentation.

§ 60.8 - Information collection requirements: Approval.

Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 65663, Oct. 16, 2020.

(a) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has submitted the information collection requirements contained in this part to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval as required by the Paperwork reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. OMB has approved the information collection requirements contained in this part under control number 3150-0127.

(b) The approved information collection requirements contained in this part appear in §§ 60.47, 60.62, 60.63, 60.65.

(c) In § 60.47, Form N-71 and associated forms are approved under control number 3150-0056, and DOC/NRC Forms AP-1, AP-A, and associated forms are approved under control number 0694-0135.

[61 FR 64268, Dec. 4, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 52188, Oct. 6, 1997; 73 FR 78605, Dec. 23, 2008]

§ 60.9 - Employee protection.

(a) Discrimination by a Commission licensee, an applicant for a Commission license, or a contractor or subcontractor of a Commission licensee or applicant against an employee for engaging in certain protected activities is prohibited. Discrimination includes discharge and other actions that relate to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. The protected activities are established in section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, and in general are related to the administration or enforcement of a requirement imposed under the Atomic Energy Act or the Energy Reorganization Act.

(1) The protected activities include but are not limited to:

(i) Providing the Commission or his or her employer information about alleged violations of either of the statutes named in paragraph (a) introductory text of this section or possible violations of requirements imposed under either of those statutes;

(ii) Refusing to engage in any practice made unlawful under either of the statutes named in paragraph (a) introductory text or under these requirements if the employee has identified the alleged illegality to the employer;

(iii) Requesting the Commission to institute action against his or her employer for the administration or enforcement of these requirements;

(iv) Testifying in any Commission proceeding, or before Congress, or at any Federal or State proceeding regarding any provision (or proposed provision) of either of the statutes named in paragraph (a) introductory text.

(v) Assisting or participating in, or is about to assist or participate in, these activities.

(2) These activities are protected even if no formal proceeding is actually initiated as a result of the employee assistance or participation.

(3) This section has no application to any employee alleging discrimination prohibited by this section who, acting without direction from his or her employer (or the employer's agent), deliberately causes a violation of any requirement of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended.

(b) Any employee who believes that he or she has been discharged or otherwise discriminated against by any person for engaging in protected activities specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section may seek a remedy for the discharge or discrimination through an administrative proceeding in the Department of Labor. The administrative proceeding must be initiated within 180 days after an alleged violation occurs. The employee may do this by filing a complaint alleging the violation with the Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, Wage and Hour Division. The Department of Labor may order reinstatement, back pay, and compensatory damages.

(c) A violation of paragraph (a), (e), or (f) of this section by a Commission licensee, an applicant for a Commission license, or a contractor or subcontractor of a Commission licensee or applicant may be grounds for -

(1) Denial, revocation, or suspension of the license.

(2) Imposition of a civil penalty on the licensee, applicant, or a contractor or subcontractor of the licensee or applicant.

(3) Other enforcement action.

(d) Actions taken by an employer, or others, which adversely affect an employee may be predicated upon nondiscriminatory grounds. The prohibition applies when the adverse action occurs because the employee has engaged in protected activities. An employee's engagement in protected activities does not automatically render him or her immune from discharge or discipline for legitimate reasons or from adverse action dictated by nonprohibited considerations.

(e)(1) Each licensee and each applicant for a license shall prominently post the revision of NRC Form 3, “Notice to Employees,” referenced in 10 CFR 19.11(c). This form must be posted at locations sufficient to permit employees protected by this section to observe a copy on the way to or from their place of work. Premises must be posted not later than 30 days after an application is docketed and remain posted while the application is pending before the Commission, during the term of the license, and for 30 days following license termination.

(2) Copies of NRC Form 3 may be obtained by writing to the Regional Administrator of the appropriate U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regional Office listed in appendix D to part 20 of this chapter, via email to [email protected], or by visiting the NRC's online library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/forms/.

(f) No agreement affecting the compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, including an agreement to settle a complaint filed by an employee with the Department of Labor pursuant to section 211 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, may contain any provision which would prohibit, restrict, or otherwise discourage an employee from participating in protected activity as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section including, but not limited to, providing information to the NRC or to his or her employer on potential violations or other matters within NRC's regulatory responsibilities.

[58 FR 52411, Oct. 8, 1993, as amended at 60 FR 24552, May 9, 1995; 61 FR 6765, Feb. 22, 1996; 68 FR 58813, Oct. 10, 2003; 72 FR 63974, Nov. 14, 2007; 73 FR 30459, May 28, 2008; 79 FR 66605, Nov. 10, 2014]

§ 60.10 - Completeness and accuracy of information.

(a) Information provided to the Commission by an applicant for a license or by a licensee or information required by statute or by the Commission's regulations, orders, or license conditions to be maintained by the applicant or the licensee shall be complete and accurate in all material respects.

(b) Each applicant or licensee shall notify the Commission of information identified by the applicant or licensee as having for the regulated activity a significant implication for public health and safety or common defense and security. An applicant or licensee violates this paragraph only if the applicant or licensee fails to notify the Commission of information that the applicant or licensee has identified as having a significant implication for public health and safety or common defense and security. Notification shall be provided to the Administrator of the appropriate Regional Office within two working days of identifying the information. This requirement is not applicable to information which is already required to be provided to the Commission by other reporting or updating requirements.

[52 FR 49372, Dec. 31, 1987]

§ 60.11 - Deliberate misconduct.

(a) Any licensee, applicant for a license, employee of a licensee or applicant; or any contractor (including a supplier or consultant), subcontractor, employee of a contractor or subcontractor of any licensee or applicant for a license who knowingly provides to any licensee, applicant, contractor, or subcontractor, any components, equipment, materials, or other goods or services that relate to a licensee's or applicant's activities in this part, may not:

(1) Engage in deliberate misconduct that causes or would have caused, if not detected, a licensee or applicant to be in violation of any rule, regulation, or order; or any term, condition, or limitation of any license issued by the Commission; or

(2) Deliberately submit to the NRC, a licensee, an applicant, or a licensee's or applicant's contractor or subcontractor, information that the person submitting the information knows to be incomplete or inaccurate in some respect material to the NRC.

(b) A person who violates paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section may be subject to enforcement action in accordance with the procedures in 10 CFR part 2, subpart B.

(c) For the purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, deliberate misconduct by a person means an intentional act or omission that the person knows:

(1) Would cause a licensee or applicant to be in violation of any rule, regulation, or order; or any term, condition, or limitation, of any license issued by the Commission; or

(2) Constitutes a violation of a requirement, procedure, instruction, contract, purchase order, or policy of a licensee, applicant, contractor, or subcontractor.

[63 FR 1898, Jan. 13, 1998]