The NRC has just released NUREG-1307, Rev. 15, "Report on Waste Burial Charges." As you know, this report provides the waste disposal cost data for licensees to use in preparing decommissioning minimum cost estimates for inclusion in their biennial decommissioning status reports. In this revision of the NUREG, the NRC has changed the way in which they account for licensee estimates using the "vendor" option for waste disposal. The NRC has elected to only credit 60% of waste disposal through vendors. The remaining 40% of waste is predicted to be disposed of by the licensee directly to a waste disposal site. (Previously, the split was 85/15%.)
As a result of this change, the total decommissioning cost estimate (also taking into account escalation in each of the factors in the NRC's formula), can increase by over 25% for licensees who rely on the vendor disposal option. This has implications for both licensees who utilize the NRC formula, but also those who use site-specific cost estimates in that the site-specific estimates must be at least as great as the NRC's formula calculations.
The NRC has indicated that a notice of opportunity for comment on the NUREG will be issued shortly.