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Notice

Yankee Atomic Electric Company; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Possession-Only 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 Possession-Only License No. DPR-3 issued to Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC) for possession of the Yankee Nuclear Power Station (YNPS) located in Rowe, Massachusetts.

The proposed amendment would allow changes to the security plan to include the new Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI).

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:

The proposed amendment to the security plan provides the basis for establishing security functions necessary to implement appropriate security/safeguards measures for the YNPS ISFSI. As such, the changes will not:

1. Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. Based on the details presented in the safety analysis, the proposed amendment to the security plan, which incorporates ISFSI security functions, does not reduce the ability of the security organization to prevent radiological sabotage and therefore does not increase the probability or consequences of a radiological release previously evaluated. The proposed security plan changes will not affect any important to safety systems or components, their mode of operation or operating strategies. The proposed security plan changes have no affect on accident initiators or mitigation. The physical protection systems described in the ISFSI security plan are designed to protect against the loss of control of the facility that could be sufficient to cause a radiation exposure exceeding the dose as described in 10 CFR 72.106. Therefore, the proposed amendment to the security plan will not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Create the possibility of a new or different accident from any previously evaluated. Based on the details presented in the safety analysis, the proposed amendment to the security plan incorporating ISFSI security functions does not affect the operation of systems important to safety. The security plan amendment does not affect any of the parameters or conditions that could contribute to the initiation of any accident. No new accident scenarios are created as a result of security plan changes requested to incorporate the ISFSI security functions. In addition, the design functions of equipment important to safety are not altered as a result of the proposed security plan changes. The physical protection systems described in the ISFSI security plan are described to protect against the loss of control of the facility that could be sufficient to cause a radiation exposure exceeding the dose as described in 10 CFR 72.106. Therefore, the proposed security plan changes will not create the possibility of a new or different accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Involve a significant reduction in the margin of safety. Based on the details presented in the safety analysis, implementation of the proposed amendment to the security plan incorporating ISFSI security functions will not reduce a margin of safety as detailed in the Technical Specifications as there are no Technical Specification requirements associated with the physical security system. Specifically, the proposed changes to the security plan do not represent a change in initial conditions, system response time, or in any other parameter affecting the course of an accident analysis supporting the Bases of any Technical Specification. The proposed amendment to the security plan does not reduce the effectiveness of any security or safeguards measures currently in place at YNPS. The physical protection systems described in the ISFSI security plan are designed to protect against the loss of control of the facility that could be sufficient to cause a radiation exposure exceeding the dose as described in 10 CFR 72.106.

Therefore, the proposed security plan changes will not involve a significant reduction in the 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.

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. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.

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

By April 25, 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 (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 Start Printed Page 16502petitioner'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, 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 Robert K. Gad, III, Esq., Ropes and Gray, One International Place, Boston, MA 02110-2624, 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 October 12, 2000, which is 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 (http://www.nrc.gov).

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of March 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

John B. Hickman,

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

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[FR Doc. 01-7353 Filed 3-23-01; 8:45 am]

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