The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF-38, issued to Entergy Operations, Inc., (the licensee), for operation of the Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 (Waterford 3), located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.
The proposed amendment would replace the Technical Specification (TS) Safety Limit 188.8.131.52, “Peak Linear Heat Rate,” (PLHR) with a Peak Fuel Centerline Temperature Safety Limit and update the Index accordingly. The associated TS Bases changes are also made to appropriately reflect the proposed new Safety Limit.
This License Amendment request was submitted on an exigent basis since this change is required to support License Amendment Requests for “Replacement of Part-Length Control Element Assemblies,” dated July 9, 2001 (66 FR 41617, published August 8, 2001), and “Appendix K Margin Recovery—Power Uprate Request,” dated September 21, 2001 (66 FR 55017, published October 31, 2001), which have been requested to support the March 2002 refueling outage. The need to conform with 10 CFR 50.36 was recently identified.
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 Start Printed Page 6282hazards consideration, which is presented below:
1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
The proposed change does not require any physical change to any plant systems, structures, or components nor does it require any change in systems or plant operations. The proposed change does not result in any change to safety analysis methods or results. The change to establish the peak fuel centerline temperature as the Safety Limit is consistent with the Waterford 3 licensing basis for ensuring that the fuel design limits are met. Operations and analysis will continue to be in accordance with the Waterford 3 licensing basis. The peak fuel centerline temperature is the basis for protecting the fuel and is consistent with safety analysis.
Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.
2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
The Waterford 3 FSAR [Final Safety Analysis Report] Chapter 15 analysis for AOOs [Anticipated Operational Occurrences] where the peak linear heat rate may exceed the existing Safety Limit of 21 kW/ft [Kilowatts/foot] is the CEA [Control Element Assembly] Withdrawal at subcritical and low power conditions. The analysis for these AOOs indicates that the peak fuel centerline temperature is not exceeded. The existing safety analysis, which is unchanged, does not affect any accident initiators that would create a new accident.
Therefore, the proposed change does 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?
The proposed change does not result in any change to safety analysis methods or results. Therefore, by changing the Safety Limit from peak linear heat rate to peak fuel centerline temperature, the margin as established in the Waterford 3 Technical Specifications and FSAR [is] unchanged.
Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a 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 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 expiration 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 March 13, 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, and available electronically on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. 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 Start Printed Page 6283proven, 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 N. S. Reynolds, Esquire, Winston & 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 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 January 31, 2002, 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 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/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 PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.Start Signature
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this fourth day of February, 2002.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 02-3225 Filed 2-8-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P