The most common licensing basis documents

The NRC requires a new plant undergoing the licensing process to create a set of documents that will govern its operation. It reviews, and eventually approves, these documents, then grants an operating license on the basis of their content (and proof that the content has been implemented in the plant). This group of documents makes up what we call the “licensing basis documents.” They are numerous:

  • Operating License (which usually consists of a combination of one or more of the following documents)
  • Tech Specs (TS)
  • Tech Specs Bases
  • Technical Requirements Manual (TRM)
  • Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR)
  • Quality Assurance Program Manual (QAPM)
  • Fire Protection Plan (with the Fire Hazards Analysis, or FHA)
  • Emergency Plan (E-Plan)
  • Environmental Protection Plan
  • Security Plan
  • Core Operating Limits Report (COLR)
  • Offsite Dose Calculation Manual (ODCM)
  • NRC Orders (and exemptions that have been granted)

Three of the documents can only be modified by the plant after being granted special permission to do so by the NRC: the operating license, the tech specs, or a plant’s response to NRC Orders. A plant can change any of the others without the NRC’s permission as long as the changes fit within certain guidelines established by the NRC.