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Notice

Indiana Michigan Power 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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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-58 and Facility Operating License No. DPR-74, issued to Indiana Michigan Power Company (the licensee), for operation of the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, located in Berrien County, Michigan.

The proposed amendment would revise the surveillance requirements for the Train AB, CD, and N batteries in technical specification (TS) 4.8.2.3.2.c.1 and TS 4.8.2.5.2.c.1. The proposed amendment affects the requirement to verify that battery cells, cell plates and racks show no visual indication of physical damage or abnormal deterioration. The proposed amendment would allow the operability of batteries exhibiting such damage or deterioration to be determined by an evaluation. The proposed amendment is consistent with a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved change to the Standard TSs for Westinghouse plants (NUREG 1431, Revision 1) as documented in TS Task Force Standard TS Change Traveler-38. 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:

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

Response: No.

Probability of Occurrence of an Accident Previously Evaluated

The proposed change would eliminate the requirement to declare the Train AB, CD, or N battery inoperable due to physical damage or abnormal deterioration of the cells, cell plates, or racks if the damage or deterioration would not degrade battery performance. The proposed change would also require that a decision to not declare a battery inoperable be based on an evaluation of the physical damage or abnormal deterioration. The proposed change does not affect any existing accident initiators or precursors. The safety function of the batteries is to provide power to systems and components that mitigate an accident. There is no design basis accident that is initiated by a failure of a battery to perform its safety function. The proposed change will not create any adverse interactions with other systems that could result in initiation of a design basis accident. Therefore, the probability of occurrence of an accident previously evaluated is not significantly increased.

Consequences of an Accident Previously Evaluated

The proposed change does not reduce the ability of the batteries to perform their safety function. The TS will continue to require that a battery be declared inoperable if physical damage or abnormal deterioration that impairs the ability of a battery to perform its safety function is observed. As a result, the ability of the batteries to perform their safety function is unaffected by the proposed change. Therefore, the safety related systems and components that are supported by the batteries and mitigate the consequences of an accident are not affected by the proposed change.

In summary, the probability of occurrence and the consequences of an accident previously evaluated are not significantly increased.

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

Response: No. Start Printed Page 20553

The proposed change does not create any new or different accident initiators or precursors. The batteries will continue to function as before the change, and will continue to be declared inoperable if physical damage or abnormal deterioration that impairs the ability of a battery to perform its safety function is observed. The proposed change does not create any new failure modes for the batteries and does not affect the interaction between the batteries and any other system. Thus, the proposed changes do 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 margins of safety associated with a battery are those pertaining to its performance. The TSs will continue to require that a battery be declared inoperable if physical damage or abnormal deterioration of the cells, cell plates, or racks that would degrade battery performance is observed. As a result, the proposed change does not affect the capability of the batteries to perform in accordance with established safety margins. Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in 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 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 May 28, 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 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 Start Printed Page 20554determination 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 David W. Jenkins, Esq., 500 Circle Drive, Buchanan, MI 49107 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.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of April, 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

John F. Stang,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-10185 Filed 4-24-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P