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Notice

Pennsylvania Power Company, Ohio Edison Company, the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, the Toledo Edison Company, Firstenergy Nuclear Operating Company, Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit 2; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF-73 issued to FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (the licensee) for operation of the Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit 2 (BVPS-2), located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

This notice supersedes the notice published on July 12, 2000 (65 FR 43046) in its entirety.

The proposed amendment would: (1) revise Technical Specification (TS) requirements regarding the minimum number of radiation monitoring instrumentation channels required to be operable during movement of fuel within the containment; (2) revise the Modes in which the surveillance specified by Table 4.3-3, “Radiation Monitoring Instrumentation Surveillance Requirements,” Item 2.c.ii is required; (3) revise TS 3.9.4, “Containment Building Penetrations,” to allow both personnel air lock (PAL) doors and other containment penetrations to be open during movement of fuel assemblies within containment, provided certain conditions are met; (4) revise applicability and action statement requirements of TS 3.9.4. to be for only during movement of fuel assemblies within containment; (5) revise periodicity and applicability of Surveillance Requirement (SR) 4.9.4.1; (6) revise SR 4.9.4.2 to verify flow rate of air to the supplemental leak collection and release system (SLCRS) rather than verifying the flow rate through the system; (7) add two new SRs, 4.9.4.3 and 4.9.4.4, for verification and demonstration of SLCRS operability; (8) modify TS 3/4.9.9 for the containment purge exhaust and isolation system to be applicable only during movement of fuel assemblies within containment; (9) revise associated TS Bases as well as make editorial and format changes; and, (10) revise the BVPS-2 Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) description of a fuel-handling accident (FHA) and its radiological consequences. The changes to the BVPS-2 UFSAR reflect a revised FHA analysis that the licensee performed to evaluate the potential consequences of having containment penetrations and/or the PAL open during movement of fuel assemblies within containment. These UFSAR revisions include potential exclusion area boundary, low population zone, and control room operator doses as a result of an FHA.

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. Does the change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

The proposed amendment involves changes to accident mitigation system requirements. These systems are related to controlling the release of radioactivity to the environment and are not considered to be accident initiators to any previously analyzed accident.

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability of an accident previously evaluated.

Based on the current technical specification requirements, an environmental release due to a fuel handling accident (FHA) occurring within containment is precluded by a design which automatically isolates the containment following detection of radioactivity by redundant containment purge monitors. The proposed amendment, which permits containment penetrations to be open during movement of fuel assemblies within containment, increases the dose at the site boundary and the control room operator dose due to a FHA occurring within containment; however, the dose remains within acceptable limits. Based on a radiological analysis of a FHA within containment with open containment penetrations being filtered by the Supplemental Leak Collection and Release System (SLCRS), the resultant radiological consequences of this event are well within the 10 CFR Part 100.11 limits, as defined by acceptance criteria in the Standard Review Plan (SRP) Section 15.7.4. Control room operator doses remain less than the 10 CFR Part 50 Appendix A General Design Criteria (GDC) 19 limit of 5 rem whole body or its equivalent to any part of the body. The proposed changes to LCO 3.9.4 and associated surveillance requirements will ensure that SLCRS filtration assumptions in the associated radiological analysis are met.

LCO 3.9.10 titled “Water Level—Reactor Vessel” will continue to ensure that at least 23 feet of water is maintained over the fuel during fuel movement when the plant is in Mode 6. LCO 3.9.3 titled “Decay Time” will continue to ensure that irradiated fuel is not moved in the reactor pressure vessel until at least 150 hours after shutdown. These LCOs will continue to ensure that two of the key assumptions used in the radiological safety analysis are met.

The radiological consequences of the Core Alteration events other than the FHA remain unchanged. These events do not result in fuel cladding integrity damage. A radioactive release to the environment is not postulated since the activity is contained in the fuel rods. Therefore, the affected containment systems are not required to mitigate a radioactive release to the environment due to a Core Alteration event.

The proposed revision in the minimum number of the Containment Purge Exhaust Start Printed Page 51343Radiation Monitoring Instrumentation channels required to be operable from one to two, ensures that redundant instrument channels are available to detect and initiate isolation of the containment purge and exhaust containment penetrations during a FHA inside containment.

The proposed administrative, editorial, and format changes do not affect plant safety. The Bases section has been revised as necessary to reflect the changes to these Specifications. Bases Section 3/4.9.9 will also be revised to remove text pertaining to Mode 5 applicability that is not relevant to this specification.

Therefore, the proposed amendment does not significantly increase the consequences of any previously evaluated accident.

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

The proposed amendment affects a previously evaluated accident; e.g., FHA. The proposed amendment does not represent a significant change in the configuration or operation of the plant. The proposed amendment does not impact Technical Specification requirements for systems needed to prevent or mitigate other Core Alteration events. The filtered SLCRS that will be utilized to control and filter the radioactive release from a FHA occurring within containment is the same system (with the exception of the flow path to the filter banks) currently relied upon to control and filter the release from a FHA in the fuel building. The primary function of SLCRS is to ensure that radioactive leakage from the primary containment following a Design Basis Accident (DBA) or radioactive release due to a fuel building FHA is collected and filtered for iodine removal prior to discharge to the atmosphere at an elevated release point through a ventilation vent. This system will be relied upon to control the releases from open containment penetrations should a FHA occur inside of containment until such time that these open containment penetrations can be isolated. The proposed amendment contains the requirement to maintain the capability to close open containment penetrations within 30 minutes following a FHA inside containment.

The filtered SLCRS that will be relied upon to mitigate a FHA within containment is classified as Quality Assurance (QA) Category I, Safety Class 3 and Seismic Category I as stated in Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) Section 6.5.3.2.1 titled “Design Bases.” As described in UFSAR Section 6.5.1 titled “Engineered Safety Feature Filter Systems,” filtered SLCRS is considered to be an engineered safety features (ESF) filter system used to mitigate the consequences of accidents.

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

3. Does the change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

Based on the current technical specification requirements, an environmental release due to a FHA occurring within containment is precluded by a design which automatically isolates the containment following detection of radioactivity by redundant containment purge monitors. The proposed amendment increases the dose at the site boundary and the control room operator dose due to a FHA occurring within containment; however, the dose remains within acceptable limits. The margin of safety as defined by 10 CFR Part 100 has not been significantly reduced.

The revised radiological analysis based on the proposed amendment demonstrates that during a FHA inside containment, the projected offsite doses will be well within the applicable regulatory limits of 10 CFR Part 100.11 of 300 rem thyroid and 25 rem whole body, and are less than the more restrictive guidance criteria in the SRP Section 15.7.4 of 75 rem thyroid and 6 rem whole body. Control room operator doses are less than the 10 CFR Part 50 Appendix A GDC 19 limit of 5 rem whole body or its equivalent to any part of the body. This radiological analysis is based on all airborne activity reaching the containment atmosphere, as a result of a FHA inside containment, being released to the environment over a 2 hour period. The 2 hour release period is based on the guidance contained in Regulatory Guide 1.25 titled “Assumptions Used for Evaluating the Potential Radiological Consequences of a Fuel Handling Accident in the Fuel Handling and Storage Facility for Boiling and Pressurized Water Reactors.” The proposed amendment contains a Bases requirement to maintain the capability to close open containment penetrations within 30 minutes following a FHA inside containment. Completion of this action will reduce the dose consequence of a FHA within containment by terminating the release to the environment prior to all airborne activity being released from the containment.

The margin of safety for Core Alteration events other than the FHA is not significantly reduced due to this proposed amendment. The proposed amendment does not impact Technical Specification requirements for systems needed to prevent or mitigate such Core Alteration events. These events do not result in fuel cladding integrity damage. Therefore, a radioactive release to the environment is not postulated since the activity is contained in the fuel rods.

The proposed revision in the minimum number of the Containment Purge Exhaust Radiation Monitoring Instrumentation channels required to be operable from one to two, ensures that redundant instrument channels are available to detect and initiate isolation of the containment purge and exhaust containment penetrations during a FHA occurring inside containment.

The proposed changes to SR 4.9.4.1 and SR 4.9.9, to remove unnecessary detail on when these surveillances are required to be performed, are administrative in nature and do not affect plant safety.

The proposed revision of the words “through the” to the words “to filtered” in SR 4.9.4.2.a does not change the LCO 3.9.4 requirements. This change makes the LCO and surveillance requirements consistent. This change is administrative in nature and does not affect plant safety.

The proposed administrative, editorial, and format changes do not affect plant safety. The Bases section has been revised as necessary to reflect the changes to these Specifications. Bases Section 3/4.9.9 will also be revised to remove text pertaining to Mode 5 applicability that is not relevant to this specification.

Therefore, the proposed amendment does not involve a significant reduction in 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 September 22, 2000, the licensee may file a request for a hearing with Start Printed Page 51344respect 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.

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 Mary O'Reilly, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, FirstEnergy Corporation, 76 South Main Street, Akron, OH 44308, 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 May 1, 2000, as supplement by letter dated July 21, 2000, 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 17th day of August, 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Daniel S. Collins,

Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 00-21517 Filed 8-22-00; 8:45 am]

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