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NRC Proposes Amendment to ECCS Acceptance Criteria

The NRC is proposing to amend its regulations to revise the acceptance criteria for the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) for light-water nuclear power reactors.  The proposed ECCS acceptance criteria are performance-based, and reflect recent research findings that identified new embrittlement mechanisms for fuel rods with zirconium alloy cladding under loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA) conditions.  The proposed rule also addresses two petitions for rulemaking by establishing requirements applicable to all fuel types and cladding materials, and requiring the consideration of crud, oxide deposits, and hydrogen content in zirconium-based alloy fuel cladding. Further, the proposed rule contains a provision that would allow licensees to use an alternative risk-informed approach to evaluate the effects of debris for long-term cooling.  The NRC is also seeking public comment on three draft regulatory guides that would support the implementation of the proposed rule. Comments are due by June 9, 2014.

To access the Federal Register notice , click here.