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Notice

Exelon Generation Company, LLC and MidAmerican Energy Company; 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. DAR-29 and DAR-30 issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, and MidAmerican Energy Company (the licensee) for operation of the Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2, located in Rock Island County, Illinois.

The proposed amendment would revise technical specification section 3.3.1.1, “Reactor Protection System Instrumentation,” to modify the description for Reactor Protection System (RPS) Function 7.a, “Scram Discharge Volume Water Level—High.” This change supports a planned upgrade to the scram discharge volume level instrumentation from Fluid Components International thermal switches to Magnetrol float switches. These float switches are more reliable than the existing thermal switches, which are highly sensitive to a steam environment, since they respond to actual water level increases within the scram discharge volume. These types of Magnetrol float switches are used successfully in various applications at Quad Cities.

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 Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 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:

Does the Proposed Change Involve a Significant Increase in the Probability or Consequences of an Accident Previously Evaluated?

During the upcoming refueling outages at Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station (QCNPS), a design change will be implemented that upgrades the existing Scram Discharge Water Level—High instrumentation from thermal switches to float switches. Float switches are a proven technology that provide a more reliable measurement than existing equipment. Float switches are used in various applications at QCNPS, including the Emergency Core Cooling Systems instrumentation for Suppression Pool Water Level High function.

TS requirements that govern operability or routine testing of plant instruments are not Start Printed Page 1521initiators of any analyzed event because these instruments are intended to prevent, detect, or mitigate accidents. Therefore, this proposed change will not involve an increase in the probability of occurrence of an accident previously evaluated. Additionally, the proposed change will not increase the consequences of an accident previously evaluated because the proposed change does not adversely impact structures, systems, or components (SSCs). The planned instrument upgrade results in a more reliable design than existing equipment. The proposed change maintains existing requirements that ensure components are operable when necessary for the prevention or mitigation of accidents or transients. Furthermore, there will be no change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents released offsite. For these reasons, the proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

Does the Proposed Change Create the Possibility of a New or Different Kind of Accident From Any Accident Previously Evaluated?

The proposed change supports a planned instrumentation upgrade and does not alter surveillance requirements required to ensure operability. The proposed change does not adversely impact the manner in which the SDV will operate under normal, abnormal, and accident conditions. There is no change being made to the parameters within which QCNPS is operated. There are no setpoints at which protective or mitigative actions are initiated that are affected by the proposed change. This proposed change will not alter the manner in which equipment operation is initiated nor will the function demands on credited equipment be changed. No alteration in the procedures, which ensure QCNPS remains within analyzed limits, is proposed, and no change is being made to procedures relied upon to respond to an off-normal event. Therefore, this proposed change provides an equivalent level of safety. The proposed change in methods governing normal plant operation are consistent with the current safety analysis assumptions. Therefore, this proposed change will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

Does the Proposed Change Involve a Significant Reduction in a Margin of Safety?

Margins of safety are established in the design of components, the configuration of components to meet certain performance parameters, and in the establishment of setpoints to initiate alarms or actions. The proposed change supports a planned instrumentation upgrade. The proposed change does not affect the probability of failure or availability of the affected instrumentation. The change to float switches for the Scram Discharge Volume Water Level—High RPS Sub-Function 7.a provides for increased reliability that aligns with that of similar instrumentation. Therefore, it is concluded that the proposed changes will not result in a significant reduction in the margin of safety.

Therefore, based upon the above evaluation, EGC has concluded that these changes involve no significant hazards consideration.

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.

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 amendment 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 February 10, 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 the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​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 e-mail 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 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 Start Printed Page 1522contentions 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 Edward J. Cullen Jr., Vice President and General Counsel, Exelon Generation Company, LLC, 300 Exelon Way, Kennett Square, PA 19348, 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 [date], which is available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), 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 System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.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 e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of January 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

George F. Dick, Jr.,

Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate 3, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 02-694 Filed 1-10-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P