Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations is one of 50 titles composing the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and contains the principal set of rules and regulations issued by federal agencies regarding nuclear energy. It is available in digital and printed form and can be referenced online using the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR).
The table of contents, as reflected in the e-CFR updated June 19, 2014, is as follows:
|1||I||0-50||Nuclear Regulatory Commission|
|3||II||200-499||Department of Energy|
|III||700-999||Department of Energy|
|X||1000-1099||Department of Energy (General Provisions)|
|XIII||1300-1399||Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board|
|XVII||1700-1799||Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board|
|XVIII||1800-1899||Northeast Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission|
Parts 0 to 199 are the requirements (and reserved for the requirements) prescribed by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and binding on all persons and organizations who receive a license from NRC to use nuclear materials or operate nuclear facilities. Licensing is required for the design, manufacture, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear reactors. These facilities can be commercial, research or test reactors. The authority is broad covering the licensing of individual facilitatory operators to the entities which operate these facilities.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is an independent agency of the United States government tasked with protecting public health and safety related to nuclear energy. Established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, the NRC began operations on January 19, 1975, as one of two successor agencies to the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Its functions include overseeing reactor safety and security, administering reactor licensing and renewal, licensing radioactive materials, radionuclide safety, and managing the storage, security, recycling, and disposal of spent fuel.
The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is located on the Tennessee River near Decatur and Athens, Alabama, on the north side of Wheeler Lake. The site has three General Electric boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear generating units and is owned entirely by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). With a generating capacity of nearly 3.8 gigawatts, it is the second most powerful nuclear plant in the United States, behind the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona, and the most powerful generating station operated by TVA.
The H. B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant, also known as Robinson Nuclear Plant, is a nuclear power plant located near Hartsville, South Carolina. The plant consists of one Westinghouse 759 MW pressurized water reactor. The site once included a coal-fired unit that generated 174 MW and a combustion turbine unit that generated 15 MW.
The Byron Nuclear Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located in Ogle County, Illinois, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the Rock River. The reactor buildings were constructed by Commonwealth Edison and house two Westinghouse Four-Loop pressurized water reactors, Unit 1 and Unit 2, which first began operation in September 1985 and August 1987 respectively. The plant is currently owned and operated by Constellation Energy.
The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations found at 15 C.F.R. § 730 et seq. They are administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the US Commerce Department. The EAR regulates export and export restrictions: whether a person may export something from the U.S.; re-export something from a foreign country; or transfer something from one person to another in a foreign country. The EAR apply to physical objects - sometimes referred to as "commodities" - as well as intellectual property such as technology and software.
A containment building is a reinforced steel, concrete or lead structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. It is designed, in any emergency, to contain the escape of radioactive steam or gas to a maximum pressure in the range of 275 to 550 kPa. The containment is the fourth and final barrier to radioactive release, the first being the fuel ceramic itself, the second being the metal fuel cladding tubes, the third being the reactor vessel and coolant system.
Nuclear material refers to the metals uranium, plutonium, and thorium, in any form, according to the IAEA. This is differentiated further into "source material", consisting of natural and depleted uranium, and "special fissionable material", consisting of enriched uranium (U-235), uranium-233, and plutonium-239. Uranium ore concentrates are considered to be a "source material", although these are not subject to safeguards under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act is a United States federal law, first passed in 1957 and since renewed several times, which governs liability-related issues for all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026. The main purpose of the Act is to partially compensate the nuclear industry against liability claims arising from nuclear incidents while still ensuring compensation coverage for the general public. The Act establishes a no fault insurance-type system in which the first approximately $15 billion is industry-funded as described in the Act. Any claims above the $12.6 billion would be covered by a Congressional mandate to retroactively increase nuclear utility liability or would be covered by the federal government. At the time of the Act's passing, it was considered necessary as an incentive for the private production of nuclear power — this was because electric utilities viewed the available liability coverage as inadequate.
Nuclear power in the United States is provided by 92 commercial reactors with a net capacity of 94.7 gigawatts (GW), with 61 pressurized water reactors and 31 boiling water reactors. In 2019, they produced a total of 809.41 terawatt-hours of electricity, which accounted for 20% of the nation's total electric energy generation. In 2018, nuclear comprised nearly 50 percent of US emission-free energy generation.
A reactor operator is an individual at a nuclear power plant who is responsible for directly controlling a nuclear reactor from a control panel and is the only individual at a nuclear power plant who can directly alter significant amounts of reactor reactivity. The reactor operator occupies a position of great responsibility that may require him or her to start up a nuclear reactor, shut down a nuclear reactor, monitor reactor parameters, or respond to a casualty of the nuclear reactor.
Nuclear history of the United States describes the history of nuclear affairs in the United States whether civilian or military.
Nuclear safety in the United States is governed by federal regulations issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC regulates all nuclear plants and materials in the United States except for nuclear plants and materials controlled by the U.S. government, as well those powering naval vessels.
The Levy County Nuclear Power Plant was a proposed nuclear power plant in Levy County, Florida. Progress Energy Florida originally estimated that the reactors would cost $5 billion and would commence operation in 2016. It later became clear that the Levy County reactors would not have started operation until at least 2026. Since Progress filed its application for the new plant in 2008 demand for electricity had been growing very slowly, and natural gas prices were extremely low at the time. The utility estimated that the reactors would cost between $17 billion and $22 billion, not counting financing charges and cost overruns. According to economist Mark Cooper, opposition to the project has mounted, threatening a rerun of the 1970s and 1980s, when the majority of nuclear construction plans were canceled or abandoned.
George Galatis is a senior nuclear engineer and whistleblower who reported safety problems at the Millstone 1 Nuclear Power Plant, relating to reactor refueling procedures, in 1996. The unsafe procedures meant that spent fuel rod pools at Unit 1 had the potential to boil, possibly releasing radioactive steam throughout the plant. Galatis was the subject of a Time magazine cover story on March 4, 1996. Millstone 1 was permanently closed in July 1998.
In Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. State Energy Resources Conservation & Development Commission, 461 U.S. 190 (1983), the United States Supreme Court held that a state statute regulating economic aspects of nuclear generating plants was not preempted by the federal Atomic Energy Act of 1954. The case provides a framework that has guided other cases involving preemption of federal authority.
Radioactive waste is generated from the nuclear weapons program, commercial nuclear power, medical applications, and corporate and university-based research programs. Some of the materials LLW consists of are: "gloves and other protective clothing, glass and plastic laboratory supplies, machine parts and tools, and disposable medical items that have come in contact with radioactive materials". Waste is generally categorized as high level waste (HLW) and low-level waste (LLW). LLW contains materials such as irradiated tools, lab clothing, ion exchanger resins, animal carcasses, and trash from defense, commercial nuclear power, medical, and research activities. These materials usually have radioactivity that have short half lives—from ranges of multiple days to several hundred years. In 1990, 1.1 million cubic feet of LLW was produced. Currently, U.S. reactors generate about 40,000 cubic meters of low-level radioactive waste per year, including contaminated components and materials resulting from reactor decommissioning.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) is a provider of advanced reactors and nuclear services. It is headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, United States. Established in June 2007, GEH is a nuclear alliance created by General Electric and Hitachi. In Japan, the alliance is Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy. In November 2015, Jay Wileman was appointed CEO.
The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel (ASLBP) is an independent adjudicatory division of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, authorized under the Atomic Energy Act. The ASLBP consists of administrative judges that differ from other administrative law judges in other Federal agencies, most notably that Licensing Boards have technical judges who are experts in their relative field of study. Licensing Boards hear claims by petitioners who seek to intervene in a licensing action before the NRC. The ASLBP's jurisdiction is limited to the scope of the licensing action before the NRC, commonly outlined in the Federal Register when a licensing action is published to give notice of the pending action and calls for petitions. Licensing Boards commonly hear matters arising under the Atomic Energy Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and the NRC's regulations in Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations. Licensing Boards hear licensing matters concerning the licensing matters of nuclear power plants, in situ leach uranium mining, spent fuel storage facilities, and enforcement matters of individuals who hold an NRC-issued license.
David A. Lochbaum was the Director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). A nuclear engineer by training, he worked in nuclear power plants for nearly two decades. Lochbaum has written numerous articles and reports on various aspects of nuclear safety and published two books.
U.S. non-military nuclear material is regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which uses the concept of defense in depth when protecting the health and safety of the public from the hazards associated with nuclear materials. The NRC defines defense in depth as creating multiple independent and redundant layers of protection and response to failures, accidents, or fires in power plants. For example, defense in depth means that if one fire suppression system fails, there will be another to back it up. The idea is that no single layer, no matter how robust, is exclusively relied upon; access controls, physical barriers, redundant and diverse key safety functions, and emergency response measures are used. Defense in depth is designed to compensate for potential human and mechanical failures, which are assumed to be unavoidable.