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Notice

PSEG Nuclear LLC; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-70, issued to PSEG Nuclear LLC (the licensee), for operation of the Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Unit No. 1 (Salem Unit 1), located in Salem County, New Jersey.

The proposed amendment would allow a one-time change to the Technical Specification (TS) Action Statement for the Service Water System (SWS). The proposed change would revise TS 3/4.7.4, “Service Water System,” by increasing the allowed outage time for one nuclear header out of service from 72 hours to 10 days. The proposed amendment would modify the present Action Statement for TS 3.7.4.1, to include a note that would allow operation with only the 11 SWS loop for up to 10 days. This note would be applicable for one-time use during Salem Unit 1, Cycle 15.

The licensee has requested that this amendment be approved under exigent circumstances. On November 30, 2001, PSEG operations personnel noted water rising up through the gravel in front of the Service Water intake structure. The water was located approximately 5 feet from the building. The 12 SWS nuclear header is located below the location where the water was observed, and was considered to be a likely source of the leak.

The licensee subsequently determined that the leak is associated with the 12 SWS nuclear supply header. PSEG is currently postulating that the leak is coming from an underground mechanical joint or mechanical connection associated with the buried portion of the 12 SWS nuclear supply header located near the service water structure. In the area where the leak is suspected, the service water nuclear supply header is 24” nominal diameter buried piping. This piping design is pre-stressed concrete cylindrical water pipe, which uses either standard flanged fittings, or flexible tied extensible bell bolt type joints for the major connections.

While the 12 SWS nuclear supply header is currently considered operable, PSEG believes that repairs will be required before the next scheduled refueling outage. Approval of this license amendment request under exigent circumstances would allow the licensee to repair the leaking header during more advantageous weather and river water temperature conditions. This, in turn, would likely minimize the duration that the 12 SWS header would be inoperable.

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.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.91(a)(6) for amendments to be granted under exigent circumstances, the NRC staff must determine 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:

1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The Service Water System (SWS) will remain capable of performing its required safety function. The proposed change results in an insignificant increase in the incremental conditional core damage probability and so does not involve a significant increase in the probability of an accident. The proposed change to extend the allowed outage time from 72 hours to 10 days does not significantly increase consequences of an accident previously evaluated, since the capability of SWS is maintained.

Therefore, the proposed change will not significantly increase the probability or consequences of any accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously analyzed?

Response: No.

The completion of the maintenance activity, the post maintenance testing, and the surveillance testing associated with demonstrating OPERABILITY of 12 service water nuclear header will not result in the plant being operated in a manner that will create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated. While repair to the buried portion of the 12 service water nuclear header is in progress, the service water system will be operated as described in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report. This configuration does not create a new failure mechanism, malfunction or accident initiator.

Therefore, the proposed change will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

Response: No.

The 11 service water nuclear header will remain operational and capable of performing its required safety functions. Sufficient safety-related equipment and systems will remain available to ensure that the consequences of design basis transients and accidents are mitigated as assumed in the Salem UFSAR. Preventive maintenance activities that could adversely affect the reliability of the Unit 1 service water system, Emergency Diesel Generators, 4kv vital buses or offsite A.C. electrical power sources will be controlled during the extended allowed outage time.

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 14 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 Start Printed Page 64997expiration of the 14-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 14-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. 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 January 16, 2002, 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 http://www.access.gpo.gov/​nara/​cfr. 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 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 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.

If the amendment is issued before the expiration of the 30-day hearing period, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. If a hearing is requested, 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 Jeffrie J. Keenan, Esquire, PSEG Nuclear—N21, P.O. Box 236, Hancocks Bridge, NJ 08038, 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).

Further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated December 10, 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), Start Printed Page 64998Rockville, 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/​reading-rm.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should contact the NRC Public Document Room Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by email to pdr@nrc.gov.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of December 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,

Richard B. Ennis,

Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 01-30972 Filed 12-14-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P