Last NRC call about foreign ownership of U.S. nuclear reactors: now until noon today

Call in this morning or send written comments. Here are the previous materials (this URL works; the one in the NRC PR is broken). See also NRC’s PR and Commission Direction. The nuclear industry has been pushing for changes for a year now; see more posts. Rather than relaxing rules on foreign ownership of operating reactors, how about stop accepting foreign nuke parts from the likes of document-forging Doosan, which supplies Plant Vogtle among a dozen or so other U.S. nukes?

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They support Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, but not Linux. Seriously? And NRC is asking technical questions?

NRC PR 7 August 2013, NRC Webinar Aug. 21 to Discuss Regulations On Foreign Ownership of U.S. Reactors,

NRC staff will hold a webinar on Aug. 21 to discuss the agency’s regulations regarding foreign ownership of U.S. nuclear power plants. The staff is responding to Commission direction on assessing foreign ownership issues and considering if any changes to NRC guidance or practice would be appropriate.

The webinar and associated teleconference will run from 9 a.m. to noon. NRC staff will first describe current regulations and then discuss previous stakeholder comments on the issue. Interested groups and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide additional feedback on the matter. Please contact JoAnn Simpson at 301-415-8388 or for teleconference information (to ensure appropriate resources are available) or for questions about the meeting.

The Atomic Energy Act and NRC regulations disqualify any applicant for a nuclear power plant operating license if the applicant is owned, controlled or dominated by a foreign national, a foreign corporation or a foreign government. In recent years, a number of licensing actions before the NRC have involved complex issues of foreign ownership, control and domination. This is likely due to the increased globalization of the electric power industry and complexity of corporate structures generally.

The Commission directed the staff in March to provide its assessment and proposals by Dec. 31. At this time, no specific changes to guidance or regulation are under consideration.

Commission Direction:

March 11, 2013
MEMORANDUM TO: R. W. Borchardt
Executive Director for Operations

Margaret M. Doane
General Counsel


Andrew L. Bates, Acting Secretary

The staff should provide a fresh assessment on issues relating to foreign ownership including recommendations on any proposed modifications to guidance or practice on foreign ownership, domination, or control that may be warranted. As part of this generic review, the staff should obtain stakeholder views and present staff’s conclusions and recommendations in a voting paper for Commission review and approval. This voting paper should be provided to the Commission no later than December 31, 2013, and include recommendations on the path forward, recognizing that the Commission would provide formal notice and opportunity for public comment should it propose to endorse or make significant changes in policy.

The staff’s assessment should include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following issues:

The limitation on foreign ownership contained in section 103d of the Atomic Energy Act and the potential to satisfy statutory objectives through an integrated review of foreign ownership, control, or domination issues involving up to and including 100 percent indirect foreign ownership; criteria for assessing proposed plans or actions to negate direct or indirect foreign ownership or foreign financing of more than 50 percent but less than 100 percent, and the adequacy of guidance on these criteria; the availability of alternative methods such as license conditions for resolving — following issuance of a combined license — foreign ownership, control or domination concerns; and the agency’s interpretation of the statutory meaning of “ownership,” and how that definition applies in various contexts, such as total or partial foreign ownership of a licensee’s parent, co-owners, or owners who are licensed to own but not to possess or operate a facility.

cc: Chairman Macfarlane
Commissioner Svinicki
Commissioner Apostolakis
Commissioner Magwood
Commissioner Ostendorff
Office Directors, Regions, ACRS, ASLBP (via E-Mail)

See also: