Recognizing the impacts of the current COVID–19 pandemic, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has decided to extend the public comment period on a proposed interpretation of its low-level radioactive waste disposal regulations. The new deadline for comments is July 20. The proposed LLW interpretive rule, announced on March 6, would permit licensees to dispose of waste by transfer to persons who hold specific exemptions for the purpose of disposal (NN, Apr. 2020, p. 47).
What it means: The new interpretive rule, which is limited to the disposal of very-low-level radioactive waste (VLLW) by land burial, would modify current NRC guidance that states that 10 CFR 20.2001 allows for the transfer of licensed material for disposal only to licensed persons. Licensees would be able to transfer VLLW to facilities that have been reviewed and approved for the purpose of disposal of VLLW. The NRC said that it expects the new interpretive rule to provide an efficient means by which the agency may issue specific exemptions for waste disposal and by which licensees may transfer appropriate material to these exempt facilities.
Submitting comments: Comments on the proposed VLLW interpretive rule can be submitted through the federal rulemaking website with a search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0065.