NRC Proposes Lower Fees for FY2017

The proposed rule reduces annual fees by 7.3 percent from last year for operating reactors, by 16.1 percent for most fuel cycle facilities, and by 1.5 percent for spent fuel storage and decommissioning reactor licensees.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is asking for comments on proposed fees it will charge applicants and licensees for fiscal year 2017. Published Jan. 30, the proposed changes would reduce annual fees for most licensees from FY2016 due to reductions in the agency's budget and would, as required, recover about 90 percent of NRC's budget for the year.

That requirement is contained in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended. The proposed fees would collect $833.4 million overall. About 39 percent – $324.6 million – would recover the cost of specific services to identifiable applicants and licensees under 10 CFR Part 170, and the remaining $508.8 million would be billed as annual fees under 10 CFR Part 171.

"The final rule will be based on the NRC's actual appropriation," according to the agency's announcement, and NRC "will update the final fee schedule as appropriate. If the NRC receives a year-long continuing resolution, the final fee schedule may look similar to the FY 2016 final fee rule."

The proposed rule reduces annual fees by 7.3 percent from last year for operating reactors, by 16.1 percent for most fuel cycle facilities, and by 1.5 percent for spent fuel storage and decommissioning reactor licensees. Proposed fees would rise on average by 8.8 percent for uranium recovery licensees, by 2.4 percent for research and test reactors, by 4.2 percent for Department of Energy transportation activities, and by 15 percent for DOE uranium recovery activities. The rule would increase the current hourly rate charged for NRC staff work by 0.8 percent, from $265 in FY2016 to $267.

Comments will be accepted through March 1. To comment, visit http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2016–0081.

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