The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF-35 and Facility Operating License No. NPF-52 issued to Duke Energy Corporation, et al., (the licensee) for operation of the Catawba Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2, located in York County, South Carolina.
The proposed amendment would temporarily revise Technical Specification (TS) 3.5.2 Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS); TS 3.6.6 Containment Spray System (CSS); TS 3.6.17 Containment Valve Injection Water System (CVIWS); TS 3.7.5 Auxiliary Feedwater (AFW) System; TS 3.7.7 Component Cooling Water (CCW) Start Printed Page 51861System; TS 3.7.8 Nuclear Service Water System (NSWS); TS 3.7.10 Control Room Area Ventilation System (CRAVS); TS 3.7.12 Auxiliary Building Filtered Ventilation Exhaust System (ABFVES), and TS 3.8.1 AC Sources—Operating, for Catawba Nuclear Station Unit 2. The proposed TS changes will allow the “A” and “B” Nuclear Service Water System (NSWS) headers to be sequentially taken out of service for 12 days each for cleaning and pipe replacement. This cleaning and pipe replacement is scheduled to occur while Unit 1 will be in refueling outage in fall 2000 and Unit 2 will be at power operation.
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:
Catawba is currently pursuing a project to clean and modify the nuclear service water system (NSWS) piping for both units. This is necessary to maintain the long-term reliability of the NSWS. This project represents a challenge in that it is not possible to isolate, drain, clean, restore and test the NSWS during the current TS action time frame. The purpose of this submittal is to request a temporary change to the existing TS for the systems affected during the project. This will permit an orderly and efficient project implementation during the refueling outage 1EOC12 and during power operation on Unit 2. The specific change is to extend the TS required action time from 72 hours to 288 hours.
The following discussion is a summary of the evaluation of the changes contained in this proposed amendment against the 10 CFR 50.92(c) requirements to demonstrate that all three standards are satisfied. A no significant hazards consideration is indicated if 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.
The cleaning and modification project for the NSWS and proposed TS changes have been evaluated to assess their impact on normal operation of the systems affected and to ensure that the design basis safety functions are preserved. During the cleaning the other NSWS train will be operable and no major maintenance or testing will be done on the operable train. The operable train will be protected to help ensure it would be available if called upon.
This cleaning and modification project will increase the available flow margin in the NSWS system. This increase in margin will ensure that each NSWS header has an increased flow margin to enhance its ability to comply with design basis requirements. This will allow Catawba to reduce the amount of unavailability for the NSWS system in the future and increase the overall reliability for many years.
Currently, Catawba periodically performs flow tests to ensure that the required design flow is maintained from the NSWS to the AFW system. This has resulted in an increase in the unavailability of the AFW system. By completing this project, Catawba will be able to increase the NSWS flow margin for the AFW system and reduce the amount of flow testing that will be required in the future. This will result in a decrease in the unavailability of the AFW system and improvement in its overall reliability. This will result in an improved safety margin for Catawba.
The increased NSWS train unavailability that results from the implementation of this amendment does involve a one time increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated during the time frame the NSWS headers are out of service for cleaning. Considering this small time frame for each NSWS train outage with the increased reliability and the decrease in unavailability of the NSWS and AFW systems in the future because of this project, the overall probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated will decrease.
Implementation of this amendment would not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated. The proposed temporary TS changes do not affect the basic operation of the ECCS, CSS, CVIWS, NSWS, AFW, CCW, CRAVS, ABFVES, or EDG systems. The only change is increasing the required action time frame from 72 hours to 288 hours (ECCS, CSS, NSWS, AFW, CCW, and EDG) or from 168 hours to 288 hours (CVIWS, CRAVS and ABFVES). During the project, contingency measures will be in place to provide additional assurance that the affected systems will be able to complete their design functions.
No new accident causal mechanisms are created as a result of NRC approval of this amendment request. No changes are being made to the plant, which will introduce any new accident causal mechanisms.
Implementation of this amendment would not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. Margin of safety is related to the confidence in the ability of the fission product barriers to perform their design functions during and following an accident situation. These barriers include the fuel cladding, the reactor coolant system, and the containment system. The performance of these fission product barriers will not be impacted by implementation of this proposed temporary TS amendment. During the outages for each NSWS header, the affected systems will still be capable of performing their required functions and contingency measures will be in place to provide additional assurance that the affected systems will be maintained in a condition to be able to complete their design functions. Therefore, there is not a significant reduction in the margin of safety.
Based upon the preceding discussion, Duke Energy has concluded that the proposed amendment for a temporary one time TS change does not involve a 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 Start Printed Page 51862Administrative 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 25, 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.
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 Ms. Lisa F. Vaughn , Legal Department (PB05E), Duke Energy Corporation, 422 South Church Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28201-1006, 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 25, 2000, as supplemented by letters dated July 31, August 8, and August 17, 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 21st day of August 2000.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Chandu P. Patel,
Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate II, Division of Licensing Project Management.
[FR Doc. 00-21759 Filed 8-24-00; 8:45 am]
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