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Notice

Southern California Edison Company; San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 2 and 3; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of amendments to Facility Operating Licenses Nos. NPF-10 and NPF-15 issued to Southern California Edison Company (SCE, the licensee) for operation of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), Units 2 and 3, located in San Diego County, California.

The proposed amendments would revise the SONGS Units 2 and 3 Technical Specification (TS) 3.7.6, “Condensate Storage Tank (CST T-121 and T-120)” to change the minimum inventory of water maintained in the condensate storage tank (T-120) from 280,000 gallons to 360,000 gallons during plant operation Modes 1, 2 and 3.

Before issuance of the proposed license amendments, the Commission will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act) and the Commission's regulations.

The Commission has made a proposed determination that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendments would not (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) Create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) Involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

1. Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The purpose of the increased water volume is to ensure that the required volume of water preserved by Technical Specification 3.7.6 is sufficient to meet the San Onofre Units 2 and 3 Licensing and Design Basis. To meet the guidance of Reactor Systems Branch Technical Position RSB-5-1, the Southern Start Printed Page 2649California Edison Company (SCE) committed to provide an assured source of water for 24-hour Auxiliary Feedwater (AFW) pump operation. This requirement necessitates the use of approximately 200,000 gallons of water from Condensate Storage Tank (CST) T-120. Revising the minimum water level will not initiate an accident. Therefore, increasing the minimum water level in T-120 from 280,000 gallons to 360,000 gallons will not increase the probability of an accident, and the requirement for 360,000 gallons ensures the required 200,000 gallons of water will be available when the current required level does not provide that assurance.

Therefore, this change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of any accident previously evaluated.

2. Create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

Increasing the minimum water volume required in a 500,000-gallon tank from 280,000 gallons to 360,000 gallons will not initiate any accident.

Therefore, this change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

Response: No.

The margin of safety intended by the original 280,000 gallon requirement was to ensure that following a Design Basis Earthquake (DBE) CST T-120 would have at least 200,000 gallons to meet Southern California Edison's (SCE's) commitment to RSB-5-1. Raising the minimum volume to 360,000 gallons to account for calculated water losses, with additional allotment for future allocations, increases the margin above the 200,000 gallons and therefore increases the assurance that the RSB-5-1 commitment is met.

Therefore, this change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

Based on the responses to these three criterion, Southern California Edison (SCE) has concluded that the proposed amendment involves no significant hazards consideration.

The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed determination. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination.

Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of the 30-day notice period. However, should circumstances change during the notice period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility, the Commission may issue the license amendment before the expiration of the 30-day notice period, provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will consider all public and State comments received. Should the Commission take this action, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance and provide for opportunity for a hearing after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be delivered to Room 6D59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. Copies of written comments received may be examined at the NRC Public Document Room, the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC.

The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene is discussed below.

By February 17, 2000, the licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Rules of Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.714 which is available at the Commission's Public Document Room, the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC, and accessible electronically through the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room link at the NRC Web site (http://www.nrc.gov). If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, designated by the Commission or by the Chairman of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the designated Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of hearing or an appropriate order.

As required by 10 CFR 2.714, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following factors: (1) The nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made party to the proceeding; (2) The nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (3) The possible effect of any order which may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition should also identify the specific aspect(s) of the subject matter of the proceeding as to which petitioner wishes to intervene. Any person who has filed a petition for leave to intervene or who has been admitted as a party may amend the petition without requesting leave of the Board up to 15 days prior to the first prehearing conference scheduled in the proceeding, but such an amended petition must satisfy the specificity requirements described above.

Not later than 15 days prior to the first prehearing conference scheduled in the proceeding, a petitioner shall file a supplement to the petition to intervene which must include a list of the contentions which are sought to be litigated in the matter. Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases of the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. Petitioner must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to file such a supplement which satisfies these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party. Start Printed Page 2650

Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing, including the opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held.

If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment.

If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment.

A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must be filed with the Secretary of the Commission, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, or may be delivered to the Commission's Public Document Room, the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC, by the above date. A copy of the petition should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and to Douglas K. Porter, Esquire, Southern California Edison Company, 2244 Walnut Grove Avenue, Rosemead, California 91770, attorney for the licensee.

Nontimely filings of petitions for leave to intervene, amended petitions, supplemental petitions and/or requests for hearing will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the presiding officer or the presiding Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition and/or request should be granted based upon a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.714(a)(1)(i)-(v) and 2.714(d).

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendments dated January 11, and supplemented November 29, 1999, which are available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, the Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC, and accessible electronically through the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room link at the NRC Web site (http://www.nrc.gov).

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11 TH day of January 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

L. Raghavan,

Senior Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate IV & Decommissioning Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 00-1038 Filed 1-14-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P