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Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License 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. DPR-64, issued to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., for operation of the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit No. 3 (IP3) located in Westchester County, New York.

The proposed amendment would constitute a conversion from the Current Technical Specifications (CTS) to a set of Improved Technical Specifications (ITSs) based on NUREG-1431, “Standard Technical Specifications (STS) for Westinghouse Plants,” Revision 1, dated April 1995. NUREG-1431 was developed by the Commission's staff through working groups composed of both NRC staff members and industry representatives, and has been endorsed by the staff as part of an industry-wide initiative to standardize and improve the Technical Specifications (TSs) for nuclear power plants. As part of this submittal, the licensee has applied the criteria contained in the Commission's “Final Policy Statement on Technical Specification Improvements for Nuclear Power Reactors (Final Policy Statement),” published in the Federal Register on July 22, 1993 (58 FR 39132), to the CTS, and, using NUREG-1431 as a basis, proposed an ITS for IP3. The criteria in the Final Policy Statement were subsequently added to 10 CFR 50.36, “Technical Specifications,” in a rule change that was published in the Federal Register on July 19, 1995 (60 FR 36953) and became effective on August 18, 1995. The licensee requested the conversion amendment in a letter dated December 11, 1998, as supplemented on December 15, 1998, May 17, 1999, August 16, 2000, September 14, 2000, September 27, 2000, and November 30, 2000.

The licensee has categorized the proposed changes to the CTS into four general groupings. These groupings are characterized as administrative changes, relocated changes, more restrictive changes and less restrictive changes.

Administrative changes are those that involve restructuring, renumbering, rewording, interpretation and complex rearranging of requirements and other changes not affecting technical content or substantially revising an operating requirement. The reformatting, renumbering and rewording process reflects the attributes of NUREG-1433 and does not involve technical changes to the CTS. The proposed changes include: (a) Providing the appropriate numbers, etc., for NUREG-1431 bracketed information (information that must be supplied on a plant-specific basis, and which may change from plant to plant), (b) identifying plant-specific wording for system names, etc., and (c) changing NUREG-1431 section wording to conform to existing licensee practices. Such changes are administrative in nature and do not impact initiators of analyzed events or assumed mitigation of accident or transient events. Relocated changes are those involving relocation of requirements and surveillances for structures, systems, components, or variables that do not meet the criteria for inclusion in TS. Relocated changes are those CTS requirements that do not satisfy or fall within any of the four criteria specified in the 10 CFR 50.36(c)(2)(ii) and may be relocated to appropriate licensee controlled documents.

The licensee's application of the screening criteria is described in the attachment of the licensee's December 11, 1998, submittal, which is entitled, “Application of the NRC Final Policy Statement Selection Criteria to the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit No. 3 Technical Specifications” (Split Report) in Volume 1 of the submittal. The affected structures, systems, components or variables are not assumed to be initiators of analyzed events and are not assumed to mitigate accident or transient events. The requirements and surveillances for these affected structures, systems, components, or variables will be relocated from the TSs to administratively controlled documents such as the quality assurance program, the final safety analysis report (FSAR), the ITS BASES, the Technical Requirements Manual (TRM) that is incorporated by reference in the FSAR, the Core Operating Limits Report (COLR), the Offsite Dose Calculation Manual (ODCM), the Inservice Testing (IST) Program, or other licensee-controlled documents. Changes made to these documents will be made pursuant to 10 CFR 50.59 or other appropriate control mechanisms, and may be made without prior NRC review and approval. In addition the affected structures, systems, components, or variables are addressed in existing surveillance procedures that are also subject to 10 CFR 50.59. These proposed changes will not impose or eliminate any requirements.

More restrictive changes are those involving more stringent requirements compared to the CTS for operation of the facility. These more stringent requirements do not result in operation that will alter assumptions relative to the mitigation of an accident or transient event. The more restrictive requirements will not alter the operation of process variables, structures, systems, and components described in the safety analyses. For each requirement in the STS that is more restrictive than the CTS that the licensee proposes to adopt in the ITS, the licensee has provided an explanation as to why it has concluded that adopting the more restrictive requirement is desirable to ensure safe operation of the facility because of specific design features of the plant.

Less restrictive changes are those where CTS requirements are relaxed or eliminated, or new plant operational flexibility is provided. The more significant “less restrictive” requirements are justified on a case-by-case basis. When requirements have been shown to provide little or no safety benefit, their removal from the TSs may be appropriate. In most cases, relaxations previously granted to individual plants on a plant specific basis were the result of (a) generic NRC actions, (b) new NRC staff positions that have evolved from technological advancements and operating experience, or (c) resolution of the Owners Groups' comments on the Improved Standard Technical Specifications. Generic relaxations contained in NUREG-1431 were reviewed by the staff and found to be acceptable because they are consistent with current licensing practices and NRC regulations. The licensee's design is being reviewed to determine if the specific design basis and licensing basis are consistent with the technical basis for the model requirements in NUREG-1431, thus providing a basis for the ITS, or if relaxation of the requirements in the CTS is warranted based on the justification provided by the licensee.

These administrative, relocated, more restrictive, and less restrictive changes to the requirements of the CTS do not result in operations that will alter assumptions relative to mitigation of an analyzed accident or transient event.

In addition to the proposed changes solely involving the conversion, there are also changes proposed that are different to the requirements in both the CTS and the Standard Technical Specifications (STS) NUREG-1431. These proposed beyond-scope issues to the ITS conversion are as follows: Start Printed Page 389

(1) ITS 3.3 Setpoint and Allowable Changes Associated with the Adoption of the ITS

The licensee proposes to revise the setpoints or allowable values associated with power range flux, pressurizer pressure, overtemperature delta T, overpower deltaT, low reactor coolant loop flow, high pressurizer water level, steam generator water level, containment pressure, auto stop oil pressure, high steam line differential pressure and high steam flow.

(2) ITS 3.4.11 Pressurizer Power Operated Relief Valves (PORVs)

The licensee proposes a completion time of 7 days for restoration of an inoperable PORV or block valve as opposed to the 72 hours specified in the STS.

(3) ITS SR Frequency (DOC M.5)

The licensee proposes to extend the frequency for the pressure isolation valve leakage testing surveillance from 18 to 24 months. This change also extends PIV leakage testing from 9 months to 12 months.

(4) ITS 3.6.10, Weld Channel and Penetration Pressurization System (DOC L.1 and M.3)

The licensee proposes changes to the CTS requirements by focusing on ensuring the safety function (containment integrity) at individual component level rather than conducting repairs to restore zone operability.

(5) ITS 3.7.2, Inclusion of Main Steam Check Valves (DOC L.1)

At IP3 each main steam line has one Main Steam Isolation Valve (MSIV) and one Main Steam Check Valve (MSCV). In the STS, TS 3.7.2 conditions address only the MSIV operability. The licensee proposes to add MSCV operability to ITS 3.7.2 Conditions, which requires certain changes and additions to the Required Actions, beyond those in the STS.

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.

By February 2, 2001, 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, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland and accessible electronically through the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room link at the NRC Web site ( 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 a 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.

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, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, 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 John Fulton, Assistant General Counsel, Entergy Nuclear Generating Co., Pilgrim Station, 600 Rocky Hill Road, Plymouth, MA 02360, 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).

If a request for a hearing is received, the Commission's staff may issue the amendment after it completes its technical review and prior to the completion of any required hearing if it publishes a further notice for public comment of its proposed finding of no significant hazards consideration in accordance with 10 CFR 50.91 and 50.92.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated December 11, 1998, as supplemented on December 15, 1998, Start Printed Page 390May 17, 1999, August 16, 2000, September 14, 2000, September 27, 2000, and November 30, 2000, which are available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, and accessible electronically through the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room link at the NRC Web site (

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of December 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

George F. Wunder,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-103 Filed 1-2-01; 8:45 am]