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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-28 issued to Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation (the licensee) for operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station located in Windham County, Vermont.
The proposed amendment would extend the allowed outage time (AOT) for the high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) and reactor core isolation cooling systems from 7 days to 14 days. Requirements were added to immediately assure the availability of alternate means of high pressure coolant makeup. Also clarifying changes were made to Technical Specification (TS) 3.5.E.2 and TS 3.5.G.2 by reformatting the TSs to make nomenclature consistent regarding HPCI and the automatic depressurization system (ADS) as being systems not subsystems.
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. The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis against the standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c). The NRC staff's analysis is presented below:
1. The proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
The high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) and reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) systems do not serve any function for preventing accidents, and their unavailability would not affect the probability of accidents previously evaluated. The unavailability of either HPCI or RCIC is not considered to be a potential accident initiator. As such, the inoperability of HPCI or RCIC will not increase the probability of any accident previously evaluated.
Therefore, the proposed change will not increase the probability of any accident previously evaluated.
Emergency core cooling cystems (ECCS) are used to mitigate the consequences of an accident. However, RCIC is not an ECCS and is not credited in any accident previously evaluated. HPCI is capable of mitigating small loss-of-coolant accidents, but this function would be met by the available automatic depressurization system (ADS) in conjunction with the low pressure coolant injection or core spray systems, which are the basis for the current 7-day allowed outage time (AOT). The consequences of an event occurring during the proposed 14-day AOT are the same as the consequences of an event occurring during the existing 7-day AOT. Therefore, adequate core cooling would still be provided and the consequences of accidents previously evaluated are not increased.
Therefore, the proposed change will not increase the consequences of any accident previously evaluated.
2. The proposed changes do not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
This proposed change to the technical specifications will not physically alter the plant. No new or different types of equipment will be installed. Plant operations will remain consistent with current safety analysis assumptions regarding availability of equipment. Thus, no new failure mode not previously analyzed will be introduced.
Therefore, this change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.
3. The proposed changes do not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?
The proposed change does not involve a significant decrease in a margin of safety because, as in the existing AOT Technical Specifications, the 14-day completion time for restoring HPCI or RCIC is contingent upon the operability of redundant equipment (i.e., for HPCI, RCIC and ADS in conjunction with low-pressure coolant injection/spray subsystems are required to be operable; and for RCIC, HPCI is required to be operable).
Therefore, this change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
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 Start Printed Page 48153amendment 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. 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 October 18, 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, or electronically on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/CFR/index.html. If there are problems in accessing the document, contact the Public Document Room Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to email@example.com. 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, 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 Mr. David R. Lewis, Shaw, Pittman, Potts, and Trowbridge, 2300 N Street, NW., Washington, DC 20037-1128, 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 August 14, 2001, as supplemented on August 21,2001, 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. Publicly available records will be accessible from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) Public Start Printed Page 48154Electronic 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 Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Start Signature
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 12th day of September 2001.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert M. Pulsifer,
Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 01-23210 Filed 9-17-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P