U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 30, 2023
As used in this part,
Act means the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (68 Stat. 919) including any amendments thereto.
Alternate ac source means an alternating current (ac) power source that is available to and located at or nearby a nuclear power plant and meets the following requirements:
(1) Is connectable to but not normally connected to the offsite or onsite emergency ac power systems;
(2) Has minimum potential for common mode failure with offsite power or the onsite emergency ac power sources;
(3) Is available in a timely manner after the onset of station blackout; and
(4) Has sufficient capacity and reliability for operation of all systems required for coping with station blackout and for the time required to bring and maintain the plant in safe shutdown (non-design basis accident).
Applicant means a person or an entity applying for a license, permit, or other form of Commission permission or approval under this part or part 52 of this chapter.
Atomic energy means all forms of energy released in the course of nuclear fission or nuclear transformation.
Atomic weapon means any device utilizing atomic energy, exclusive of the means for transporting or propelling the device (where such means is a separable and divisible part of the device), the prinicipal purpose of which is for use as, or for development of, a weapon, a weapon prototype, or a weapon test device.
Basic component means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter:
(1) When applied to nuclear power reactors, any plant structure, system, component, or part thereof necessary to assure
(i) The integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary,
(ii) The capability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition, or
(iii) The capability to prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents which could result in potential offsite exposures comparable to those referred to in § 50.34(a)(1), § 50.67(b)(2), or § 100.11 of this chapter, as applicable.
(2) When applied to other types of facilities or portions of such facilities for which construction permits are issued under § 50.23, a component, structure, system or part thereof that is directly procured by the construction permit holder for the facility subject to the regulations of this part and in which a defect or failure to comply with any applicable regulation in this chapter, order, or license issued by the Commission could create a substantial safety hazard.
(3) In all cases, basic component includes safety related design, analysis, inspection, testing, fabrication, replacement parts, or consulting services that are associated with the component hardware, whether these services are performed by the component supplier or other supplier.
Byproduct material means—
(1) Any radioactive material (except special nuclear material) yielded in, or made radioactive by, exposure to the radiation incident to the process of producing or using special nuclear material;
(2)(i) Any discrete source of radium-226 that is produced, extracted, or converted after extraction, before, on, or after August 8, 2005, for use for a commercial, medical, or research activity; or
(ii) Any material that—
(A) Has been made radioactive by use of a particle accelerator; and
(B) Is produced, extracted, or converted after extraction, before, on, or after August 8, 2005, for use for a commercial, medical, or research activity; and
(3) Any discrete source of naturally occurring radioactive material, other than source material, that—
(i) The Commission, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the head of any other appropriate Federal agency, determines would pose a threat similar to the threat posed by a discrete source of radium-226 to the public health and safety or the common defense and security; and
(ii) Before, on, or after August 8, 2005, is extracted or converted after extraction for use in a commercial, medical, or research activity.
Certified fuel handler means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission.
Commission means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or its duly authorized representatives.
Committed dose equivalent means the dose equivalent to organs or tissues of reference that will be received from an intake of radioactive material by an individual during the 50-year period following the intake.
Committed effective dose equivalent is the sum of the products of the weighting factors applicable to each of the body organs or tissues that are irradiated and the committed dose equivalent to these organs or tissues.
Common defense and security means the common defense and security of the United States.
Construction or constructing means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e), the analysis, design, manufacture, fabrication, quality assurance, placement, erection, installation, modification, inspection, or testing of a facility or activity which is subject to the regulations in this part and consulting services related to the facility or activity that are safety related.
Controls when used with respect to nuclear reactors means apparatus and mechanisms, the manipulation of which directly affects the reactivity or power level of the reactor.
Controls when used with respect to any other facility means apparatus and mechanisms, the manipulation of which could affect the chemical, physical, metallurgical, or nuclear process of the facility in such a manner as to affect the protection of health and safety against radiation.
Cost of service regulation means the traditional system of rate regulation, or similar regulation, including “price cap” or “incentive” regulation, in which a rate regulatory authority generally allows an electric utility to charge its customers the reasonable and prudent costs of providing electricity services, including capital, operations, maintenance, fuel, decommissioning, and other costs required to provide such services.
Decommission means to remove a facility or site safely from service and reduce residual radioactivity to a level that permits—
(1) Release of the property for unrestricted use and termination of the license; or
(2) Release of the property under restricted conditions and termination of the license.
Deep-dose equivalent, which applies to external whole-body exposure, is the dose equivalent at a tissue depth of 1 cm (1000mg/cm
Defect means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter:
(1) A deviation in a basic component delivered to a purchaser for use in a facility or activity subject to a construction permit under this part, if on the basis of an evaluation, the deviation could create a substantial safety hazard; or
(2) The installation, use, or operation of a basic component containing, a defect as defined in paragraph (1) of this definition; or
(3) A deviation in a portion of a facility subject to the construction permit of this part provided the deviation could, on the basis of an evaluation, create a substantial safety hazard.
Department and Department of Energy means the Department of Energy established by the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95–91, 91 Stat. 565, 42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.), to the extent that the department, or its duly authorized representatives, exercises functions formerly vested in the Atomic Energy Commission, its Chairman, members, officers and components and transferred to the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration and to the Administrator thereof pursuant to sections 104 (b), (c) and (d) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (Pub. L. 93–438, 88 Stat. 1233 at 1237, 42 U.S.C. 5814) and retransferred to the Secretary of Energy pursuant to section 301(a) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Pub. L. 95–91, 91 Stat. 565 at 577–578, 42 U.S.C. 7151).
Design bases means that information which identifies the specific functions to be performed by a structure, system, or component of a facility, and the specific values or ranges of values chosen for controlling parameters as reference bounds for design. These values may be (1) restraints derived from generally accepted “state of the art” practices for achieving functional goals, or (2) requirements derived from analysis (based on calculation and/or experiments) of the effects of a postulated accident for which a structure, system, or component must meet its functional goals.
Deviation means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, a departure from the technical or quality assurance requirements defined in procurement documents, safety analysis report, construction permit, or other documents provided for basic components installed in a facility subject to the regulations of this part.
Director means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, an individual, appointed or elected according to law, who is authorized to manage and direct the affairs of a corporation, partnership or other entity.
Discovery means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, the completion of the documentation first identifying the existence of a deviation or failure to comply potentially associated with a substantial safety hazard within the evaluation procedures discussed in § 50.55(e)(1).
Electric utility means any entity that generates or distributes electricity and which recovers the cost of this electricity, either directly or indirectly, through rates established by the entity itself or by a separate regulatory authority. Investor-owned utilities, including generation or distribution subsidiaries, public utility districts, municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, and State and Federal agencies, including associations of any of the foregoing, are included within the meaning of “electric utility.”
Evaluation means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, the process of determining whether a particular deviation could create a substantial safety hazard or determining whether a failure to comply is associated with a substantial safety hazard.
Exclusion area means that area surrounding the reactor, in which the reactor licensee has the authority to determine all activities including exclusion or removal of personnel and property from the area. This area may be traversed by a highway, railroad, or waterway, provided these are not so close to the facility as to interfere with normal operations of the facility and provided appropriate and effective arrangements are made to control traffic on the highway, railroad, or waterway, in case of emergency, to protect the public health and safety. Residence within the exclusion area shall normally be prohibited. In any event, residents shall be subject to ready removal in case of necessity. Activities unrelated to operation of the reactor may be permitted in an exclusion area under appropriate limitations, provided that no significant hazards to the public health and safety will result.
Federal Government funding for conversion means funds appropriated to the Department of Energy or to any other Federal Agency to pay directly to or to reimburse non-power reactor licensees for costs attendant to conversion.
Federal licensee means any NRC licensee, the obligations of which are guaranteed by and supported by the full faith and credit of the United States Government.
Fuel acceptable to the Commission means that the fuel replacing the existing HEU fuel in a specific non-power reactor (1) meets the operating requirements of the existing license or, through appropriate NRC safety review and approval, can be used in a manner which protects public health and safety and promotes the common defense and security; and (2) meets the Commission's policy of limiting, to the maximum extent possible, the use of HEU fuel in that reactor.
Government agency means any executive department, commission, independent establishment, corporation, wholly or partly owned by the United States of America which is an instrumentality of the United States, or any board, bureau, division, service, office, officer, authority, administration, or other establishment in the executive branch of the Government.
Highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel means fuel in which the weight percent of U–235 in the uranium is 20% or greater. Target material, special instrumentation, or experimental devices using HEU are not included.
Historical site assessment means the identification of potential, likely, or known sources of radioactive material and radioactive contamination based on existing or derived information for the purpose of classifying a facility or site, or parts thereof, as impacted or non-impacted.
Impacted areas mean the areas with some reasonable potential for residual radioactivity in excess of natural background or fallout levels.
Incentive regulation means the system of rate regulation in which a rate regulatory authority establishes rates that an electric generator may charge its customers that are based on specified performance factors, in addition to cost-of-service factors.
License means a license, including a construction permit or operating license under this part, an early site permit, combined license or manufacturing license under part 52 of this chapter, or a renewed license issued by the Commission under this part, part 52, or part 54 of this chapter.
Licensee means a person who is authorized to conduct activities under a license issued by the Commission.
Low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel means fuel in which the weight percent of U–235 in the uranium is less than 20%.
Low population zone means the area immediately surrounding the exclusion area which contains residents, the total number and density of which are such that there is a reasonable probability that appropriate protective measures could be taken in their behalf in the event of a serious accident. These guides do not specify a permissible population density or total population within this zone because the situation may vary from case to case. Whether a specific number of people can, for example, be evacuated from a specific area, or instructed to take shelter, on a timely basis will depend on many factors such as location, number and size of highways, scope and extent of advance planning, and actual distribution of residents within the area.
Major decommissioning activity means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, any activity that results in permanent removal of major radioactive components, permanently modifies the structure of the containment, or results in dismantling components for shipment containing greater than class C waste in accordance with § 61.55 of this chapter.
Major radioactive components means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, the reactor vessel and internals, steam generators, pressurizers, large bore reactor coolant system piping, and other large components that are radioactive to a comparable degree.
Non-bypassable charges mean those charges imposed over an established time period by a Government authority that affected persons or entities are required to pay to cover costs associated with the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant. Such charges include, but are not limited to, wire charges, stranded cost charges, transition charges, exit fees, other similar charges, or the securitized proceeds of a revenue stream.
Non-impacted areas mean the areas with no reasonable potential for residual radioactivity in excess of natural background or fallout levels.
Notification means the telephonic communication to the NRC Operations Center or written transmittal of information to the NRC Document Control Desk.
Nuclear reactor means an apparatus, other than an atomic weapon, designed or used to sustain nuclear fission in a self-supporting chain reaction.
Permanent cessation of operation(s) means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a certification by a licensee to the NRC that it has permanently ceased or will permanently cease reactor operation(s), or a final legally effective order to permanently cease operation(s) has come into effect.
Permanent fuel removal means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a certification by the licensee to the NRC that it has permanently removed all fuel assemblies from the reactor vessel.
Person means (1) any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, association, trust, estate, public or private institution, group, government agency other than the Commission or the Department, except that the Department shall be considered a person to the extent that its facilities are subject to the licensing and related regulatory authority of the Commission pursuant to section 202 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, any State or any political subdivision of, or any political entity within a State, any foreign government or nation or any political subdivision of any such government or nation, or other entity; and (2) any legal successor, representative, agent, or agency of the foregoing.
Price-cap regulation means the system of rate regulation in which a rate regulatory authority establishes rates that an electric generator may charge its customers that are based on a specified maximum price of electricity.
Procurement document means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, a contract that defines the requirements which facilities or basic components must meet in order to be considered acceptable by the purchaser.
Produce, when used in relation to special nuclear material, means (1) to manufacture, make, produce, or refine special nuclear material; (2) to separate special nuclear material from other substances in which such material may be contained; or (3) to make or to produce new special nuclear material.
Production facility means:
(1) Any nuclear reactor designed or used primarily for the formation of plutonium or uranium–233; or
(2) Any facility designed or used for the separation of the isotopes of plutonium, except laboratory scale facilities designed or used for experimental or analytical purposes only; or
(3) Any facility designed or used for the processing of irradiated materials containing special nuclear material, except (i) laboratory scale facilities designed or used for experimental or analytical purposes, (ii) facilities in which the only special nuclear materials contained in the irradiated material to be processed are uranium enriched in the isotope U–235 and plutonium produced by the irradiation, if the material processed contains not more than 10
Prototype plant means a nuclear reactor that is used to test design features, such as the testing required under § 50.43(e). The prototype plant is similar to a first-of-a-kind or standard plant design in all features and size, but may include additional safety features to protect the public and the plant staff from the possible consequences of accidents during the testing period.
Reactor coolant pressure boundary means all those pressure-containing components of boiling and pressurized water-cooled nuclear power reactors, such as pressure vessels, piping, pumps, and valves, which are:
(1) Part of the reactor coolant system, or
(2) Connected to the reactor coolant system, up to and including any and all of the following:
(i) The outermost containment isolation valve in system piping which penetrates primary reactor containment,
(ii) The second of two valves normally closed during normal reactor operation in system piping which does not penetrate primary reactor containment,
(iii) The reactor coolant system safety and relief valves.
Research and development means (1) theoretical analysis, exploration, or experimentation; or (2) the extension of investigative findings and theories of a scientific or technical nature into practical application for experimental and demonstration purposes, including the experimental production and testing of models, devices, equipment, materials, and processes.
Responsible officer means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, the president, vice-president, or other individual in the organization of a corporation, partnership, or other entity who is vested with executive authority over activities subject to this part.
Restricted Data means all data concerning (1) design, manufacture, or utilization of atomic weapons; (2) the production of special nuclear material; or (3) the use of special nuclear material in the production of energy, but shall not include data declassified or removed from the Restricted Data category pursuant to section 142 of the Act.
Safe shutdown (non-design basis accident (non-DBA)) for station blackout means bringing the plant to those shutdown conditions specified in plant technical specifications as Hot Standby or Hot Shutdown, as appropriate (plants have the option of maintaining the RCS at normal operating temperatures or at reduced temperatures).
Safety-related structures, systems and components means those structures, systems and components that are relied upon to remain functional during and following design basis events to assure:
(1) The integrity of the reactor coolant pressure boundary
(2) The capability to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition; or
(3) The capability to prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents which could result in potential offsite exposures comparable to the applicable guideline exposures set forth in § 50.34(a)(1) or § 100.11 of this chapter, as applicable.
Source material means source material as defined in subsection 11z. of the Act and in the regulations contained in part 40 of this chapter.
Source term refers to the magnitude and mix of the radionuclides released from the fuel, expressed as fractions of the fission product inventory in the fuel, as well as their physical and chemical form, and the timing of their release.
Special nuclear material means (1) plutonium, uranium-233, uranium enriched in the isotope-233 or in the isotope-235, and any other material which the Commission, pursuant to the provisions of section 51 of the act, determines to be special nuclear material, but does not include source material; or (2) any material artificially enriched by any of the foregoing, but does not include source material.
Station blackout means the complete loss of alternating current (ac) electric power to the essential and nonessential switchgear buses in a nuclear power plant (i.e., loss of offsite electric power system concurrent with turbine trip and unavailability of the onsite emergency ac power system). Station blackout does not include the loss of available ac power to buses fed by station batteries through inverters or by alternate ac sources as defined in this section, nor does it assume a concurrent single failure or design basis accident. At single unit sites, any emergency ac power source(s) in excess of the number required to meet minimum redundancy requirements (i.e., single failure) for safe shutdown (non-DBA) is assumed to be available and may be designated as an alternate power source(s) provided the applicable requirements are met. At multi-unit sites, where the combination of emergency ac power sources exceeds the minimum redundancy requirements for safe shutdown (non-DBA) of all units, the remaining emergency ac power sources may be used as alternate ac power sources provided they meet the applicable requirements. If these criteria are not met, station blackout must be assumed on all the units.
Substantial safety hazard means, for the purposes of § 50.55(e) of this chapter, a loss of safety function to the extent that there is a major reduction in the degree of protection provided to public health and safety for any facility or activity authorized by the construction permit issued under this part.
Testing facility means a nuclear reactor which is of a type described in § 50.21(c) of this part and for which an application has been filed for a license authorizing operation at:
(1) A thermal power level in excess of 10 megawatts; or
(2) A thermal power level in excess of 1 megawatt, if the reactor is to contain:
(i) A circulating loop through the core in which the applicant proposes to conduct fuel experiments; or
(ii) A liquid fuel loading; or
(iii) An experimental facility in the core in excess of 16 square inches in cross-section.
Total Effective Dose Equivalent (TEDE) means the sum of the effective dose equivalent (for external exposures) and the committed effective dose equivalent (for internal exposures).
Unique purpose means a project, program, or commercial activity which cannot reasonably be accomplished without the use of HEU fuel, and may include: (1) A specific experiment, program, or commercial activity (typically long-term) that significantly serves the U.S. national interest and cannot be accomplished without the use of HEU fuel; (2) Reactor physics or reactor development based explicitly on the use of HEU fuel; (3) Research projects based on neutron flux levels or spectra attainable only with HEU fuel; or (4) A reactor core of special design that could not perform its intended function without using HEU fuel.
United States, when used in a geographical sense, includes Puerto Rico and all territories and possessions of the United States.
Utilization facility means:
(1) Any nuclear reactor other than one designed or used primarily for the formation of plutonium or U–233; or
(2) An accelerator-driven subcritical operating assembly used for the irradiation of materials containing special nuclear material and described in the application assigned docket number 50–608.
Pursuant to subsections 11v. and 11cc., respectively, of the Act, the Commission may from time to time add to, or otherwise alter, the foregoing definitions of production and utilization facility. It may also include as a facility an important component part especially designed for a facility, but has not at this time included any component parts in the definitions.