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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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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-70 and DPR-75 issued to PSEG Nuclear LLC, (the licensee) for operation of the Salem Nuclear Generating Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Salem) located in Salem County, New Jersey.

The proposed amendment would change the Salem Technical Specifications (TSs) requirements for fuel decay time prior to commencing movement of irradiated fuel. TS 3/4.9.3 “Decay Time” would be revised to allow fuel movement in the containment to commence 100 hours after the reactor becomes subcritical between October 15th through May 15th. If refueling occurs between May 16th and October 14th, the licensee would use the existing TS requirement of 168 hours decay time prior to commencing fuel movement. If approved, the TS change would be valid through 2010. PSEG intends to re-analyze its Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) heat load conditions before this date to determine required licensing actions beyond 2010.

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 change involve a significant increase in the probability of occurrence or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The proposed license amendment would allow fuel assemblies to be removed from the reactor core and be stored in the Spent Fuel Pool in less time after subcriticality than currently allowed by the TSs. Decreasing the decay time of the fuel affects the isotopic make-up of the fuel to be offloaded as well as the amount of decay heat that is present from the fuel at the time of offload. The proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability of occurrence of an accident previously evaluated. The accident previously evaluated that is associated with the proposed license amendment is the fuel handling accident. Allowing the fuel to be offloaded as early as 100 hours after subcriticality does not impact the manner in which the fuel is offloaded. The accident initiator is the dropping of the fuel assembly. Since earlier offload does not effect fuel handling, there is no increase in the probability of occurrence of a fuel handling accident. The time frame in which the fuel assemblies are moved has been evaluated against the 10 CFR 50.67 dose limits for members of the public, licensee personnel and control room. Additionally, the guidance provided in Reg. Guide 1.183 was used for the selective application of Alternative Source Term [(AST)]. All dose limits are met with the reduced core offload times.

During the period from October 15th through May 15th up to and including the year 2010, a fully radiated 193 element core can be off-loaded to a Spent Fuel Pool with a 100-hour in-vessel decay, rather than a 168 hour decay, because the Spent Fuel Pool Cooling System is capable of maintaining both pools below 180°F. The continued implementation of the Spent Fuel Pool Integrated Decay Heat Management Program provides the administrative controls required to maintain SFP temperatures below the 180°F limit.

The accident previously evaluated that is associated with fuel movement is the Fuel Handling Accident. With this proposed amendment, the selected characteristics of the AST and the [Total effective dose equivalent (TEDE)] criteria become the design basis for the Fuel Handling Accident at Salem Units 1 and 2. Thus, there is no significant increase in consequences.

Therefore, the proposed license amendment does not increase the probability of occurrence or the consequences of accidents previously evaluated are not increased.

2. Create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

Response: No. Start Printed Page 55888

The proposed license amendment would allow core offload to occur in less time after subcriticality, which affects the isotopic make-up of the fuel to be offloaded as well as the amount of decay heat that is present from the fuel at the time of offload. The isotopic makeup of the fuel assemblies and the amount of decay heat produced by the fuel assemblies do not currently initiate any accident. A change in the isotopic makeup of the fuel at the time of core offload or an increase in the decay heat produced by the fuel being offloaded will not cause the initiation of any accident. The accident previously evaluated that is associated with fuel movement is the fuel handling accident. There is no change to the manner in which fuel is being handled or in the equipment used to offload or store the fuel. The effects of the additional decay heat load have been analyzed. The analysis demonstrated that the existing Spent Fuel Pool cooling system and associated systems under worst-case circumstances would maintain the integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool. The proposed method of offload does not create a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

Therefore, the proposed license amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

The margin of safety pertinent to the proposed changes is the dose consequences resulting from a fuel handling accident. The shorter decay time prior to fuel movement has been evaluated against 10 CFR Part 50.67 and all limits continue to be met. In addition, the integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool has been demonstrated with the additional decay heat load. As stated above, the changes in isotopic makeup and additional heat load do not impact any safety settings and do not cause any safety limit to not be met. In addition, the integrity of the Spent Fuel Pool is maintained.

The time frame in which the fuel assemblies are moved has been evaluated against the 10 CFR 50.67 dose limits for members of the public, licensee personnel and control room. Additionally, the guidance provided in Reg. Guide 1.183 was used for the selective application of Alternative Source Term. Calculations performed conclude that expected dose limits following a Fuel handling Accident are met with the proposed decay time prior to commencing fuel movement.

During the period from October 15th through May 15th up to and including the year 2010, a fully radiated 193 element core can be off-loaded to a Spent Fuel Pool with a 100-hour in-vessel decay, rather than a 168 hour decay, because the Spent Fuel Pool Cooling System is capable of maintaining both pools below 180°F. The continued implementation of the Spent Fuel Pool Integrated Decay Heat Management Program provides the administrative controls required to maintain SFP temperatures below the 180°F limit.

Therefore, the proposed changes do 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 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 September 30, 3002, 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,[1] 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 Start Printed Page 55889entered 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 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 (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, by the above date. Because of the continuing disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it is requested that petitions for leave to intervene and requests for hearing be transmitted to the Secretary of the Commission either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-1101 or by e-mail to hearingdocket@nrc.gov. A copy of the petition for leave to intervene and request for hearing should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and because of continuing disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it is requested that copies be transmitted either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-3725 or by e-mail to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to Jeffrie J. Keenan, Esquire, Nuclear Business Unit—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).

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated June 28, 2002, which is available for public inspection at the Commission's 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's (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 pdr@nrc.gov.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of August, 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Robert J. Fretz,

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

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Footnotes

1.  The most recent version of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, published January 1, 2002, inadvertently omitted the last sentence of 10 CFR 2.714(d) and subparagraphs (d)(1) and (2), regarding petitions to intervene and contentions. Those provisions are extant and still applicable to petitions to intervene. Those provisions are as follows: “In all other circumstances, such ruling body or officer shall, in ruling on—

(1) A petition for leave to intervene or a request for hearing, consider the following factors, among other things:

(i) The nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding.

(ii) The nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding.

(iii) The possible effect of any order that may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest .

(2)The admissibility of a contention, refuse to admit a contention if:

(i) The contention and supporting material fail to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b)(2) of this section; or

(ii) The contention, if proven, would be of no consequence in the proceeding because it would not entitle petitioner to relief.”

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[FR Doc. 02-22198 Filed 8-29-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P