The Nuclear Regulatory Commission may grant emergency access to any regional disposal facility or non-Federal disposal facility within a State that is not a member of a compact for specific low-level radioactive waste, if necessary to eliminate an immediate and serious threat to the public health and safety or the common defense and security. The procedure for granting emergency access shall be as provided in this section.
(b) Request for emergency access
Any generator of low-level radioactive waste, or any Governor (or, for any State without a Governor, the chief executive officer of the State) on behalf of any generator or generators located in his or her State, may request that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission grant emergency access to a regional disposal facility or a non-Federal disposal facility within a State that is not a member of a compact for specific low-level radioactive waste. Any such request shall contain any information and certifications the Nuclear Regulatory Commission may require.
(c) Determination of Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(1) Required determination
Not later than 45 days after receiving a request under subsection (b) of this section, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall determine whether—
(A)emergency access is necessary because of an immediate and serious threat to the public health and safety or the common defense and security; and
(B)the threat cannot be mitigated by any alternative consistent with the public health and safety, including storage of low-level radioactive waste at the site of generation or in a storage facility obtaining access to a disposal facility by voluntary agreement, purchasing disposal capacity available for assignment pursuant to section
2021e(c) of this title or ceasing activities that generate low-level radioactive waste.
(2) Required notification
If the Nuclear Regulatory Commission makes the determinations required in paragraph (1) in the affirmative, it shall designate an appropriate non-Federal disposal facility or facilities, and notify the Governor (or chief executive officer) of the State in which such facility is located and the appropriate compact commission that emergency access is required. Such notification shall specifically describe the low-level radioactive waste as to source, physical and radiological characteristics, and the minimum volume and duration, not exceeding 180 days, necessary to alleviate the immediate threat to public health and safety or the common defense and security. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall also notify the Governor (or chief executive officer) of the State in which the low-level radioactive waste requiring emergency access was generated that emergency access has been granted and that, pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, no extension of emergency access may be granted absent diligent State action during the period of the initial grant.
(d) Temporary emergency access
Upon determining that emergency access is necessary because of an immediate and serious threat to the public health and safety or the common defense and security, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission may at its discretion grant temporary emergency access, pending its determination whether the threat could be mitigated by any alternative consistent with the public health and safety. In granting access under this subsection, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall provide the same notification and information required under subsection (c) of this section. Absent a determination that no alternative consistent with the public health and safety would mitigate the threat, access granted under this subsection shall expire 45 days after the granting of temporary emergency access under this subsection.
(e) Extension of emergency access
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission may grant one extension of emergency access beyond the period provided in subsection (c) of this section, if it determines that emergency access continues to be necessary because of an immediate and serious threat to the public health and safety or the common defense and security that cannot be mitigated by any alternative consistent with the public health and safety, and that the generator of low-level radioactive waste granted emergency access and the State in which such low-level radioactive waste was generated have diligently though unsuccessfully acted during the period of the initial grant to eliminate the need for emergency access. Any extension granted under this subsection shall be for the minimum volume and duration the Nuclear Regulatory Commission finds necessary to eliminate the immediate threat to public health and safety or the common defense and security, and shall not in any event exceed 180 days.
(f) Reciprocal access
Any compact region or State not a member of a compact that provides emergency access to non-Federal disposal facilities within its borders shall be entitled to reciprocal access to any subsequently operating non-Federal disposal facility that serves the State or compact region in which low-level radioactive waste granted emergency access was generated. The compact commission or State having authority to approve importation of low-level radioactive waste to the disposal facility to which emergency access was granted shall designate for reciprocal access an equal volume of low-level radioactive waste having similar characteristics to that provided emergency access.
(g) Approval by compact commission
Any grant of access under this section shall be submitted to the compact commission for the region in which the designated disposal facility is located for such approval as may be required under the terms of its compact. Any such compact commission shall act to approve emergency access not later than 15 days after receiving notification from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or reciprocal access not later than 15 days after receiving notification from the appropriate authority under subsection (f) of this section.
No State shall be required to provide emergency or reciprocal access to any regional disposal facility within its borders for low-level radioactive waste not meeting criteria established by the license or license agreement of such facility, or in excess of the approved capacity of such facility, or to delay the closing of any such facility pursuant to plans established before receiving a request for emergency or reciprocal access. No State shall, during any 12-month period, be required to provide emergency or reciprocal access to any regional disposal facility within its borders for more than 20 percent of the total volume of low-level radioactive waste accepted for disposal at such facility during the previous calendar year.
(i) Volume reduction and surcharges
Any low-level radioactive waste delivered for disposal under this section shall be reduced in volume to the maximum extent practicable and shall be subject to surcharges established in sections
2021j of this title.
(j) Deduction from allocation
Any volume of low-level radioactive waste granted emergency or reciprocal access under this section, if generated by any commercial nuclear power reactor, shall be deducted from the low-level radioactive waste volume allocable under section
2021e(c) of this title.
(k) Agreement States
Any agreement under section
2021 of this title shall not be applicable to the determinations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under this section.
Section was enacted as part of the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act, and not as part of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 which comprises this chapter.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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