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Notice

Amergen Energy Company, LLC; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF-62 issued to AmerGen Energy Company, LLC (the licensee) for operation of the Clinton Power Station (CPS) located in DeWitt County, Illinois.

The proposed amendment would allow a one-time extension of some CPS Technical Specification (TS) surveillance intervals related to logic system functional testing of the Primary Containment and Drywell Isolation Instrumentation, and the Suppression Pool Makeup System Instrumentation. The extension would be to November 30, 2000, which is the scheduled end date of the upcoming refueling outage. The extension is requested to support elimination of a planned mid-cycle outage. Previously, by license Amendment No. 125 dated March 17, 2000, the NRC staff approved surveillance interval extensions for various TS to support elimination of the mid-cycle outage.

Before issuance of the proposed license amendment, 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 amendment 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. The proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

The proposed Technical Specification (TS) changes involve a one-time only change in Start Printed Page 26643the surveillance test intervals of selected Surveillance Requirements (SRs). As such, the Operability requirements for systems, structures, and components required by the Technical Specifications remain unchanged. Further, the proposed TS changes do not impact the TS surveillance performance requirements themselves nor the way in which the surveillances are performed, since only the test intervals are affected for the identified SRs. The proposed TS changes do not physically involve any changes to the plant, nor do they impact any design or functional requirements of the associated systems. Thus, the proposed TS changes do not increase the challenges of any safety systems assumed to function in the accident analysis.

In addition, the proposed TS changes do not significantly affect the availability of equipment or systems required to mitigate the consequences of an accident because (1) extension of the test intervals to the extent requested is not expected to have a significant impact on availability (i.e., no extended test interval would exceed 30 months), and (2) other or more frequent testing performed for the affected systems or components, as well as for redundant systems or components, supports continued availability of the affected functions. The equipment subject to testing per the affected SRs is still required to be operable and capable of performing any accident mitigation functions assumed in the accident analysis. Furthermore, a historical review of surveillance test results identified no failures that would invalidate these conclusions.

Based on the above, the proposed TS changes do not significantly increase the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. The proposed changes do not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

The proposed TS changes involve a one-time only change in the surveillance testing intervals of selected SRs. Such changes do not introduce any failure mechanisms of a different type than those previously evaluated since there are no physical changes being made to the facility. In addition, the surveillance test requirements themselves, and the way surveillance tests are performed, will remain unchanged. Therefore, the proposed TS changes do not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. The proposed changes do not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

The one-time extended surveillance frequencies do not result in a significant reduction in the margin of safety. Although the proposed TS changes will result in an increase in the interval between surveillance tests, the impact, if any, on system availability is small. This is because, as noted previously, extension of the test intervals to the limited extent proposed would not be expected to have a significant impact on availability. Other or more frequent testing performed for the affected systems or components, as well as the testing performed for redundant systems or components, supports continued availability of the affected functions.

In addition, the proposed changes do not involve any physical changes to the affected systems or components, nor do they involve any changes to setpoints, operating limits, or safety limits.

Based on the above, the assumptions in the licensing basis are not impacted, and the proposed TS changes do not significantly reduce a margin of safety.

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 June 7, 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 Start Printed Page 26644must 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.

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, U.S. 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, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and to Kevin P. Gallen, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, 1800 M Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-5869, 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 amendment dated April 24, 2000, which is 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).

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of May, 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jon B. Hopkins,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 00-11395 Filed 5-5-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P