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Notice

Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing; Exelon Generation Company, LLC, LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of amendments to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-11 and NPF-18 issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2, respectively, located in LaSalle County, Illinois.

The proposed amendments would extend the use of the current pressure and temperature (P/T) limit curves in Technical Specification (TS) 3.4.11, “RCS Pressure and Temperature (P/T) Limits,” until December 15, 2004. The proposed change will allow sufficient time for the incorporation of the General Electric Topical Report NEDC-32983P, “General Electric Methodology for Reactor Pressure Vessel Fast Neutron Flux Evaluation,” methodology into the P/T curves in TS 3.4.11. There are no TS page changes associated with this change.

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 or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

The proposed change requests for LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2, that the current pressure and temperature (P/T) limit curves in TS 3.4.11, “RCS Pressure and Temperature (P/T) Limits,” remain acceptable for use until December 15, 2004. The proposed change is to allow sufficient time for the incorporation of the General Electric Topical Report NEDC-32983P, “General Electric Methodology for Reactor Pressure Vessel Fast Neutron Flux Evaluation,” methodology into the P/T curves in TS 3.4.11. NEDC-32983P methodology has been previously approved by the NRC for use by licensees. The P/T limits are prescribed during normal operation to avoid encountering pressure, temperature, and temperature rate of change conditions that might cause undetected flaws to propagate and cause nonductile failure of the reactor coolant pressure boundary, a condition that is unanalyzed. Thus, the proposed change does not have any affect on the probability of an accident previously evaluated.

The P/T curves are used as operational limits during heatup or cooldown maneuvering, when pressure and temperature indications are monitored and compared to the applicable curve to determine that operation is within the allowable region. The P/T curves provide assurance that station operation is consistent with previously evaluated accidents. Thus, the radiological consequences of any accident previously evaluated are not increased. Start Printed Page 66171

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

The proposed change does not change the control parameters governing unit operation or the response of plant equipment to transient conditions. The proposed change does not introduce any new equipment, modes of system operation or failure mechanisms.

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

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

The proposed change for LaSalle County Station is to allow sufficient time for the incorporation of the General Electric Topical Report NEDC-32983P methodology into the P/T curves in TS 3.4.11. NEDC-32983P methodology has been previously approved by the NRC for use by licensees. EGC has performed new fluence calculations using NEDC-32983P methodology for LaSalle County Station Units 1 and 2 and compared the results from these calculations to the current TS 3.4.11 P/T curves. The results of the fluence calculation comparisons demonstrate that the current P/T curves in TS 3.4.11 remain valid until at least 15.7 Effective Full Power Years (EFPY). As of June 1, 2002, LaSalle County Station Unit 1 operating time was approximately 11.6 EFPY and Unit 2 was approximately 11.0 EFPY. Considering a 100% capacity factor, 15.7 EFPY will not be reached on either unit until after June 2006.

EGC is currently scheduled to submit to the NRC a proposed change to TS 3.4.11 in November 2002. The proposed changes will utilize NEDC-32983P methodology to calculate the P/T curves in TS 3.4.11 for LaSalle County Station Units 1 and 2.

The request that the current P/T curves remain valid until December 15, 2004, is based on the above information that using NEDC-32983P methodology, the current TS 3.4.11 P/T curves remain valid during this period of time.

Therefore, the proposed changes do not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

Based upon the above, EGC concludes that the proposed amendment presents no significant hazards consideration under the standards set forth in 10 CFR5O.92(c), and, accordingly, a finding of “no significant hazards consideration” is justified.

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 [insert date 30 days from date of publication], 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 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 Start Printed Page 66172opinion 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 Edward J. Cullen, Deputy General Counsel, Exelon BSC—Legal, 2301 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19101, 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 October 21, 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 24th day of October 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

William A. Macon, Jr.,

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

End Signature End Preamble

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. For the complete, corrected text of 10 CFR 2.714(d), please see 67 FR 20884; April 29, 2002.”

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 02-27587 Filed 10-29-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P