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Notice

Interim Staff Guidance JLD-ISG-2012-02; Compliance With Order EA-12-050, Order Modifying Licenses With Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents

Action

Draft Japan Lessons Learned Project Directorate Guidance; Request For Comment.

Summary

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is issuing the draft Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim Staff Guidance (JLD-ISG), JLD-ISG-2012-02, “Compliance with Order EA-12-050, Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents.” This draft JLD-ISG provides guidance and clarification to assist nuclear power reactors applicants and licensees with the identification of measures needed to comply with requirements to mitigate challenges to key safety functions.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Comments must be filed no later than July 7, 2012. Comments received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

You may access information and comment submissions related to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publically available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-0069. You may submit comments by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0069. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
  • Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.

For additional direction on accessing information and submitting comments, see “Accessing Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Mr. Robert J. Fretz, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1980; email: Robert.Fretz@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments Back to Top

A. Accessing Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0069 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access information related to this document by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0069.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The draft JLD-ISG-2012-02 is available under ADAMS Accession No. ML12146A371.
  • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
  • NRC's Interim Staff Guidance Web Site: JLD-ISG documents are also available online under the “Japan Lessons Learned” heading at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/#int.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0069 in the subject line of your comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly disclosed. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS, and the NRC does not edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information in their comment submissions that they do not want to be publicly disclosed. Your request should state that the NRC will not edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background Information Back to Top

The NRC staff developed draft JLD-ISG-2012-02 to provide guidance and clarification to assist nuclear power reactor applicants and licensees with the identification of measures needed to comply with requirements to mitigate challenges to key safety functions. These requirements are contained in Order EA-12-050, “Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents” (ADAMS Accession No. ML12054A696). The draft ISG is not a substitute for the requirements in Order EA-12-050, and compliance with the ISG is not a requirement. This ISG is being issued in draft form for public comment to involve the public in development of the implementing guidance.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu. The earthquake resulted in a large tsunami, estimated to have exceeded 14 meters (45 feet) in height that inundated the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant site. The earthquake and tsunami produced widespread devastation across northeastern Japan and significantly affected the infrastructure and industry in the northeastern coastal areas of Japan. When the earthquake occurred, Fukushima Dai-ichi Units 1, 2, and 3, were in operation and Units 4, 5, and 6, were shut down for routine refueling and maintenance activities. The Unit 4 reactor fuel was offloaded to the Unit 4 spent fuel pool (SFP). Following the earthquake, the three operating units automatically shut down and offsite power was lost to the entire facility. The emergency diesel generators started at all six units providing alternating current (ac) electrical power to critical systems at each unit. The facility response to the earthquake appears to have been normal.

Following the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the NRC established a senior-level agency task force referred to as the Near-Term Task Force (NTTF). The NTTF was tasked with conducting a systematic and methodical review of the NRC regulations and processes, and determining if the agency should make additional improvements to these programs in light of the events at Fukushima Dai-ichi. As a result of this review, the NTTF developed a comprehensive set of recommendations, documented in SECY-11-0093, “Near-Term Report and Recommendations for Agency Actions Following the Events in Japan,” dated July 12, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11186A950). These recommendations were enhanced by the NRC staff following interactions with stakeholders. Documentation of the staff's efforts is contained in SECY-11-0124, “Recommended Actions to be Taken without Delay from the Near-Term Task Force Report,” dated September 9, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11245A158) and SECY-11-0137, “Prioritization of Recommended Actions to be Taken in Response to Fukushima Lessons Learned,” dated October 3, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11272A111).

As directed by the Commission's Staff Requirement Memorandum (SRM) for SECY-11-0093 (ADAMS Accession No. ML112310021), the NRC staff reviewed the NTTF recommendations within the context of the NRC's existing regulatory framework and considered the various regulatory vehicles available to the NRC to implement the recommendations. SECY-11-0124 and SECY-11-0137 established the staff's prioritization of the recommendations based upon the potential for each recommendation to enhance safety.

After receiving the Commission's direction in SRM-SECY-11-0124 (ADAMS Accession No. ML112911571) and SRM-SECY-11-0137 (ADAMS Accession No. ML113490055), the NRC staff conducted public meetings to discuss the importance of reliable operation of hardened vents during conditions involving loss of containment heat removal capability which was already well established and this understanding has been reinforced by the clear lessons of Fukushima. Hardened vents have been in place in U.S. plants with boiling-water reactor (BWR) Mark I containments for many years but a wide variance exists with regard to the reliability of the vents. Additionally, hardened vents are not required on plants with BWR Mark II containments although as discussed above, Mark II containments are only slightly larger than Mark I. Therefore, reliable hardened venting systems in BWR facilities with Mark I and Mark II containments are needed to ensure that adequate protection of public health and safety is maintained.

In SRM-SECY-11-0137, the Commission directed the NRC staff to take certain actions and provided further guidance including directing the staff to consider filtered vents. The NRC staff plans to submit a Policy Paper to the Commission in July 2012.

On February 17, 2012, the NRC staff submitted SECY-12-0025, “Proposed Orders and Requests for Information in Response to Lessons Learned from Japan's March 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami” (ADAMS Accession No. ML12039A103) to the Commission, including the order to implement requirements relating to reliable hardened venting systems at BWR facilities with Mark I and Mark II containment designs. As directed by SRM-SECY-12-0025 (ADAMS Accession No. ML120690347), the NRC staff issued Order EA-12-050, “Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents.”

Proposed Action Back to Top

By this action, the NRC is requesting public comments on draft JLD-ISG-2012-02. This draft JLD-ISG proposes guidance related to requirements contained in Order EA-12-050, Reliable Hardened Containment Vents. The NRC staff will make a final determination regarding issuance of the JLD-ISG after it considers any public comments received in response to this request.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of May 2012.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

David L. Skeen,

Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

[FR Doc. 2012-13806 Filed 6-6-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

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