NRC Issues Final FY 2008 Licensing, Inspection, Annual Fees Rule

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is amending its regulations to reflect the licensing, inspection, and annual fees it will charge its licensees and applicants in fiscal year (FY) 2008.

The agency is required by Congress to recover for the U.S. Treasury most of its annual appropriated budget through two types of fees. One is for specific NRC services, such as licensing and inspection activities; this fee is calculated using the current hourly rate multiplied by the time spent by staff performing the service. The other is an annual fee paid by licensees, which recovers generic regulatory expenses and other costs not recovered through fees for specific services. These fees are contained in NRC regulations 10 CFR Part 170 (fees for license-specific services) and 10 CFR Part 171 (annual fees). These fees are paid to NRC and transferred to U.S. Treasury's general fund.

By law, NRC must recover through fees 90 percent of its budget authority for FY 2008 (Oct. 1, 2007 - Sept. 30, 2008), less the amounts appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund for high-level waste activities and from general funds for waste-incidental-to-reprocessing and generic homeland security activities. Fees are to be collected by Sept. 30. The total amount to be recovered in FY 2008 is approximately $779.1 million, about $109.8 million more than in FY 2007. After accounting for carryover and billing adjustments, the net amount to be billed as fees for FY2008 is approximately $760.7 million.

The FY 2008 proposed fee rule, published in the June 6 Federal Register, includes fees based upon the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008. NRC's hourly rate (for both Nuclear Reactor Safety program and the Nuclear Materials and Waste Safety Program) is $238 for Part 170 activities. This represents about an 8 percent decrease from FY 2007 of $258 per hour. NRC said the decrease is primarily due to efficiencies created in estimates of direct staff hours worked annually per direct full time equivalent that is used in the hourly rate calculation.

The final FY 2008 annual fees include the following: Operating Power Reactors (including Spent Fuel Storage/Reactor Decommissioning annual fee), $4,167,000; Spent Fuel Storage/Reactor Decommissioning, $135,000; Test and Research Reactors (Non-power Reactors), $76,500; High Enriched Uranium Fuel Facility, $3,007,000; Low Enriched Uranium Fuel Facility, $899,000; UF6 Conversion Facility, $589,000; and Rare Earth Mills (No Rare Earth licensee in FY 2008), $0.

Typical Materials Users:

  • Radiographers, $11,100
  • Well Loggers, $3,400
  • Gauge Users (Category 3P), $2,100

NRC estimates that the FY 2008 annual fees will be paid by 104 nuclear power plant licensees, four non-power reactors, 19 spent fuel storage/reactor-in-decommissioning facilities, 11 fuel cycle facilities, seven uranium recovery facilities, and approximately 4,400 material licensees.

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