10 CFR Appendix E to Part 30, Criteria Relating to Use of Financial Tests and Self-Guarantee For Providing Reasonable Assurance of Funds For Decommissioning by Nonprofit Colleges, Universities, and Hospitals
An applicant or licensee may provide reasonable assurance of the availability of funds for decommissioning based on furnishing its own guarantee that funds will be available for decommissioning costs and on a demonstration that the applicant or licensee passes the financial test of Section II of this appendix. The terms of the self-guarantee are in Section III of this appendix. This appendix establishes criteria for passing the financial test for the self-guarantee and establishes the terms for a self-guarantee.
A. For colleges and universities, to pass the financial test a college or university must meet either the criteria in Paragraph II.A.(1) or the criteria in Paragraph II.A.(2) of this appendix.
(1) For applicants or licensees that issue bonds, a current rating for its most recent uninsured, uncollateralized, and unencumbered bond issuance of AAA, AA, or A (including adjustments of or −) as issued by Standard and Poor's (S&P) or Aaa, Aa, or A (including adjustments of 1, 2, or 3) as issued by Moody's.
(2) For applicants or licensees that do not issue bonds, unrestricted endowment consisting of assets located in the United States of at least $50 million, or at least 30 times the total current decommissioning cost estimate (or the current amount required if certification is used), whichever is greater, for all decommissioning activities for which the college or university is responsible as a self-guaranteeing licensee.
B. For hospitals, to pass the financial test a hospital must meet either the criteria in Paragraph II.B.(1) or the criteria in Paragraph II.B.(2) of this appendix:
(1) For applicants or licensees that issue bonds, a current rating for its most recent uninsured, uncollateralized, and unencumbered bond issuance of AAA, AA, or A (including adjustments of or −) as issued by Standard and Poor's or Aaa, Aa, or A (including adjustments of 1, 2, or 3) as issued by Moody's.
(2) For applicants or licensees that do not issue bonds, all the following tests must be met:
(a) (Total Revenues less total expenditures) divided by total revenues must be equal to or greater than 0.04.
(b) Long term debt divided by net fixed assets must be less than or equal to 0.67.
(c) (Current assets and depreciation fund) divided by current liabilities must be greater than or equal to 2.55.
(d) Operating revenues must be at least 100 times the total current decommissioning cost estimate (or the current amount required if certification is used) for all decommissioning activities for which the hospital is responsible as a self-guaranteeing license.
C. In addition, to pass the financial test, a licensee must meet all the following requirements:
(1) The licensee's independent certified public accountant must compare the data used by the licensee in the financial test, which is derived from the independently audited, year-end financial statements for the latest fiscal year, with the amounts in such financial statement. The accountant must evaluate the licensee's off-balance sheet transactions and provide an opinion on whether those transactions could materially adversely affect the licensee's ability to pay for decommissioning costs. The accountant must verify that a bond rating, if used to demonstrate passage of the financial test, meets the requirements of Section II of this appendix. In connection with the auditing procedure, the licensee must inform the NRC within 90 days of any matters coming to the auditor's attention which cause the auditor to believe that the data specified in the financial test should be adjusted and that the licensee no longer passes the test.
(2) After the initial financial test, the licensee must repeat passage of the test and provide documentation of its continued eligibility to use the self-guarantee to the Commission within 90 days after the close of each succeeding fiscal year.
(3) If the licensee no longer meets the requirements of Section I of this appendix, the licensee must send notice to the NRC of its intent to establish alternative financial assurance as specified in NRC regulations. The notice must be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year for which the year end financial data show that the licensee no longer meets the financial test requirements. The licensee must provide alternate financial assurance within 120 days after the end of such fiscal year.
The terms of a self-guarantee which an applicant or licensee furnishes must provide that -
A. The guarantee shall remain in force unless the licensee sends notice of cancellation by certified mail, and/or return receipt requested, to the Commission. Cancellation may not occur unless an alternative financial assurance mechanism is in place.
B. The licensee shall provide alternative financial assurance as specified in the Commission's regulations within 90 days following receipt by the Commission of a notice of cancellation of the guarantee.
C. The guarantee and financial test provisions must remain in effect until the Commission has terminated the license or until another financial assurance method acceptable to the Commission has been put in effect by the licensee.
D. The applicant or licensee must provide to the Commission a written guarantee (a written commitment by a corporate officer or officer of the institution) which states that the licensee will fund and carry out the required decommissioning activities or, upon issuance of an order by the Commission, the licensee will fund the standby trust in the amount of the current cost estimates for decommissioning.
E. (1) If, at any time, the licensee's most recent bond issuance ceases to be rated in any category of “A” or above by either Standard and Poor's or Moody's, the licensee shall notify the Commission in writing within 20 days after publication of the change by the rating service.
(2) If the licensee's most recent bond issuance ceases to be rated in any category of “A−” and above by Standard and Poor's or in any category of “A3” and above by Moody's, the licensee no longer meets the requirements of Section II.A. of this appendix.
F. (1) A standby trust to protect public health and safety and the environment must be established for decommissioning costs before the self-guarantee agreement is submitted.
(2) The trustee and trust must be acceptable to the Commission. An acceptable trustee includes an appropriate State or Federal Government agency or an entity which has the authority to act as a trustee and whose trust operations are regulated and examined by a Federal or State agency. The Commission has the right to change the trustee. An acceptable trust will meet the regulatory criteria established in the part of these regulations that governs the issuance of the license for which the guarantor has accepted the obligation to pay for decommissioning costs.
G. The guarantor must agree that if the guarantor admits in writing its inability to pay its debts generally, or makes a general assignment for the benefit of creditors, or any proceeding is instituted by or against the guarantor seeking to adjudicate it as bankrupt or insolvent, or seeking dissolution, liquidation, winding-up, reorganization, arrangement, adjustment, protection, relief or composition of it or its debts under any law relating to bankruptcy, insolvency, or reorganization or relief of debtors, or seeking the entry of an order for relief or the appointment of a receiver, trustee, custodian, or other similar official for guarantor or for any substantial part of its property, or the guarantor takes any action to authorize or effect any of the actions stated in this paragraph, then the Commission may:
(1) Declare that the financial assurance guaranteed by the self-guarantee agreement is immediately due and payable to the standby trust set up to protect the public health and safety and the environment, without diligence, presentment, demand, protest or any other notice of any kind, all of which are expressly waived by guarantor; and
(2) Exercise any and all of its other rights under applicable law.
H. The guarantor must notify the NRC, in writing, immediately following the occurrence of any event listed in paragraph G of this appendix, and must include a description of the event, including major creditors, the amounts involved, and the actions taken to assure that the amount of funds guaranteed by the self-guarantee agreement for decommissioning will be transferred to the standby trust as soon as possible.