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Entergy Operations, Inc.; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License and Opportunity for a Hearing

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-51, issued to Entergy Operations, Inc., (the licensee), for operation of Arkansas Nuclear One, Unit 1 (ANO-1) located in Pope County, Arkansas.

The proposed amendment, requested by the licensee in a letter dated January 28, 2000, as supplemented by letters dated August 9 and September 28, 2000, and February 6, March 19, and May 1, 2001, would represent a full conversion from the current Technical Specifications (CTS) to a set of improved Technical Specifications (ITS) based on NUREG-1430, “Standard Technical Specifications, Babcock and Wilcox Plants.” NUREG-1430 has been developed by the Commission's staff through working groups composed of both NRC staff members and industry representatives, and has been endorsed Start Printed Page 34487by the staff as part of an industry-wide initiative to standardize and improve the Technical Specifications (TS) for nuclear power plants. As part of this submittal, the licensee has applied the criteria contained in 10 CFR 50.36, “Technical specifications,” to the CTS, and, using NUREG-1430 as a basis, proposed an ITS for ANO-1.

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-1430 and does not involve technical changes to the existing TS. The proposed changes include: (a) Providing the appropriate numbers, etc., for NUREG-1430 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-1430 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 current TS requirements that do not satisfy or fall within any of the four criteria specified in the Commission's policy statement and may be relocated to appropriate licensee-controlled documents. The requirements and surveillances for these affected structures, systems, components, or variables will be relocated from the TS to administratively controlled documents such as the quality assurance program, the Final Safety Analysis Report, the ITS BASES, the Technical Requirements Manual, the Core Operating Limits Report (COLR), the Offsite Dose Calculation Manual, the Inservice Testing 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, within the prescribed limits, 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 to the TS will not, in and of themselves, 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 operations 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, or components described in the safety analyses. For each requirement in the CTS that is more restrictive than the corresponding requirement in NUREG-1430 that the licensee proposes to retain in the ITS, they have provided an explanation of why they have concluded that retaining 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 TS 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-1430 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 will be reviewed to determine if the specific design basis and licensing basis are consistent with the technical basis for the model requirements in NUREG-1430, thus providing a basis for these revised TS, or if relaxation of the requirements in the current TS 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 differences to the requirements in both the CTS and the Improved Standard Technical Specifications (NUREG-1430). These proposed beyond-scope issues to the ITS conversion are as follows:

1. ITS Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) 3.2.3, “Axial Power Imbalance Operating Limits”—Completion time for power reduction if axial power imbalance not restored to within limits changed to 4 hours from value in NUREG-1430 (2 hours).

2. ITS LCO 3.2.4, “Quadrant Power Tilt (QPT)”—Revised the completion time for several actions for circumstances where QPT exceeds limits specified in the COLR.

3. ITS LCO 3.4.8, “RCS [Reactor Coolant System] Loops, MODE 5, Loops Not Filled”—Added a required action to suspend operations involving reduction in RCS water volume if required decay heat removal (DHR) loops were not operable or required DHR loop not in operation.

4. ITS LCO 3.4.11, “Low Temperature Overpressure Protection (LTOP) System”—Adopted some of the NUREG-1430 required actions and surveillance requirements which are more restrictive than CTS but did not adopt all NUREG-1430 requirements.

5. ITS LCO 3.5.2, “ECCS [Emergency Coor Cooling System]—Operating”—Added a shutdown requirement for a condition where less than 100 percent of the ECCS flow equivalent to a single operable train is available.

6. ITS LCO 3.7.1, “Main Steam Safety Valves (MSSVs)”—Reformatted to replace figure in NUREG-1430 with a table providing limitations for operation with more than one inoperable MSSV per steam generator.

7. ITS LCO 3.4.13, “RCS Operational LEAKAGE”—Modified surveillance requirement to specify that the surveillance is not required until after the plant is at or near operating pressure.

8. ITS Administrative Controls 5.5.1, “Offsite Dose Calculation Manual (ODCM)”—Reference reports by name only instead of NUREG-1430 convention of including report name and associated TS.

9. ITS Administrative Controls 5.2.2, “Unit Staff”—Reference to specific operator staffing requirements is replaced with a reference to the applicable regulation.

10. ITS LCO 3.6.3, “Reactor Building Isolation Valves”—Surveillance requirement in NUREG-1430 not adopted for reactor building purge Start Printed Page 34488valves since ANO-1 does not have resilient seated valves.

11. ITS LCO 3.6.4, “Reactor Building Pressure”—Lower limit on reactor building pressure increased to a more restrictive value to be consistent with ECCS analyses and Bases statements in NUREG-1430.

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 July 30, 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. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/​NRC/​ADAMS/​index.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr@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 must 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 that may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition must 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 that must include a list of the contentions that the petitioner seeks to have litigated in the hearing. 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 each contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion that 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. The 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 that, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to file such a supplement that 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 and 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 request for a hearing and the petition should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and to Nicholas S. Reynolds, Esquire, Winston and Strawn, 1400 L Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005-3502, attorney for the licensee.

Nontimely filings of petitions for leave to intervene, amended petitions, supplemental petitions, and/or requests for a hearing will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the presiding officer, or the 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 January 28, 2000, as supplemented by letters dated August 9 and September 28, 2000, and February 6, March 19, and May 1, 2001, 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. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/​NRC/​ADAMS/​index.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr@nrc.gov.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of June 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

William D. Reckley,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 01-16266 Filed 6-27-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P