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NERC Seeks to Shorten Time for Comment on Survey for Nuclear Power Plants and Applicability of NERC Standards

On May 14, 2010, at the initiation of the NERC Board of Trustees (“BOT”) Chairman, NERC issued a request to the BOT to approve a resolution without a meeting that would shorten the forty-five (45) day public comment time period normally required to issue a request for data or information to fourteen (14) days.


NERC has underway an effort to designate a “bright line” between those systems in nuclear power plants subject to compliance with NRC regulations and those subject to compliance with the NERC Reliability Standards.  FERC requires that NERC complete an analysis of each nuclear power plant’s systems and make the bright line determination by October 2010.  A critical step to completing the bright line determination is having each nuclear power plant owner complete a survey for each plant so that NERC and the NRC can use the results of the survey to determine whether a system is subject to NRC or NERC jurisdiction. As discussed in several workshops held in April and May, the nuclear power plant owners will have 30 days to complete the survey once it has been approved by the board.


NERC Rule of Procedure 1600 requires a twenty-one (21) day review period by FERC’s Office of Electric Reliability and a subsequent forty-five (45) day industry comment period before a request for data or information can be sent to the industry.  Under NERC Rule of Procedure 1606, this period may be shortened to issue a request for data or information if the data or information must be obtained in order to comply with a directive in an order issued by FERC or another governmental authority.  To enable NERC to present the proposed data request to the Board for approval at the anticipated June 11 conference call to deal with the FERC order requiring change to the standards development process, NERC management is recommending shortening the time for public comment from forty-five (45) days to fourteen (14) days.  To view the request and draft resolution, click here.