Nuclear Energy Institute seeks streamlined ITAAC procedures

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) requested in a letter published Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) adjust its proposed rules on procedures for post-construction hearings for new plants and offered recommendations to prevent operational delays.

The proposed regulations, which stem from a January report to the NRC from its staff, would affect public hearings on the inspections, tests, analyses and acceptance criteria (ITAAC) for newly constructed nuclear plants. Once the facilities are built, the NRC uses the ITAAC to determine if the plant complies with its proposed design and license, and after its determination, members of the public can request a public hearing if they can show that part of the criteria is not met.

Under the Atomic Energy Act, which gave the NRC authority over ITAAC hearing procedures, Congress made it clear that the hearings should be as streamlined as possible and should reach a decision before the reactor’s scheduled fuel load where possible.

“We believe the commission should not ‘over-proceduralize’ ITAAC hearings and ignore its own authorities in such a way that the hearing process itself becomes a likely source of delay,” NEI Vice President and General Counsel Ellen Ginsberg said.

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