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Arizona Public Service Company, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Notice of Consideration of Approval of Transfer of Facility Operating Licenses and Conforming Amendments and Opportunity for a Hearing

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering the issuance of an order under 10 CFR 50.80 approving the transfer of Facility Operating Licenses Nos. NPF-41, NPF-51, and NPF-74 for the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 (Palo Verde) to the extent held by Arizona Public Service Company (APS), as a co-owner (29.1 percent interest) and the licensed operator of Palo Verde. The transfer would be to Pinnacle West Energy Corporation (PWE). The Commission is also considering amending the licenses, including the antitrust conditions attached thereto, for administrative purposes to reflect the proposed transfer.

According to an application for approval filed by APS, PWE would acquire APS's current 29.1 percent ownership interest in Palo Verde and become responsible for the operation and maintenance of Palo Verde, following approval of the proposed license transfers. The remaining 70.9 percent ownership interest in Palo Verde would remain with the following six other current licensees of Palo Verde: Salt River Project Agriculture Improvement and Power District (17.49 percent interest), El Paso Electric Company (15.80 percent interest), Southern California Edison Company (15.80 percent interest), Public Service Company of New Mexico (10.20 percent interest), Southern California Public Power Authority (5.91 percent interest), and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.70 percent interest). No physical or operational changes to Palo Verde are being proposed in the application. The present plant organization, the oversight organizations, and the engineering and support organizations will be transferred from APS to PWE essentially intact.

The proposed amendments would generally replace references to APS in the licenses, including the antitrust conditions attached thereto, with references to PWE to reflect the proposed transfer.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.80, no license, or any right thereunder, shall be transferred, directly or indirectly, through transfer of control of the license, unless the Commission shall give its consent in writing. The Commission will approve an application for the transfer of a license, if the Commission determines that the proposed transferee is qualified to hold the license, and that the transfer is otherwise consistent with applicable provisions of law, regulations, and orders issued by the Commission pursuant thereto.

Before issuance of the proposed conforming license amendments, the Commission will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's regulations.

As provided in 10 CFR 2.1315, unless otherwise determined by the Commission with regard to a specific Start Printed Page 49045application, the Commission has determined that any amendment to the license of a utilization facility which does no more than conform the license to reflect the transfer action involves no significant hazards consideration. No contrary determination has been made with respect to this specific license amendment application. In light of the generic determination reflected in 10 CFR 2.1315, no public comments with respect to significant hazards considerations are being solicited, notwithstanding the general comment procedures contained in 10 CFR 50.91.

The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene, and written comments with regard to the license transfer application, are discussed below.

By August 19, 2002, any person whose interest may be affected by the Commission's action on the application may request a hearing and, if not the applicant, may petition for leave to intervene in a hearing proceeding on the Commission's action. Requests for a hearing and petitions for leave to intervene should be filed in accordance with the Commission's rules of practice set forth in Subpart M, “Public Notification, Availability of Documents and Records, Hearing Requests and Procedures for Hearings on License Transfer Applications,” of 10 CFR Part 2. In particular, such requests and petitions must comply with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR 2.1306, and should address the considerations contained in 10 CFR 2.1308(a). Untimely requests and petitions may be denied, as provided in 10 CFR 2.1308(b), unless good cause for failure to file on time is established. In addition, an untimely request or petition should address the factors that the Commission will also consider, in reviewing untimely requests or petitions, set forth in 10 CFR 2.1308(b)(1)-(2).

Requests for a hearing and petitions for leave to intervene should be served upon Jay M. Gutierrez, Esq., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C. 20004; Nancy C. Loftin, Esq., Corporate Secretary and Counsel, Arizona Public Service Company, P.O. Box 53999, Mail Station 9068, Phoenix, Arizona 85072-3999; the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555 (e-mail address for filings regarding license transfer cases only:; and the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.1313.

The Commission will issue a notice or order granting or denying a hearing request or intervention petition, designating the issues for any hearing that will be held and designating the Presiding Officer. A notice granting a hearing will be published in the Federal Register and served on the parties to the hearing.

As an alternative to requests for hearing and petitions to intervene, by August 28, 2002, persons may submit written comments regarding the license transfer application, as provided for in 10 CFR 2.1305. The Commission will consider and, if appropriate, respond to these comments, but such comments will not otherwise constitute part of the decisional record. Comments should be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application dated April 15, 2002, and supplement thereto dated July 11, 2002, 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,​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

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 23rd day of July 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jack Donohew,

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

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[FR Doc. 02-19073 Filed 7-26-02; 8:45 am]