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Notice

Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC), Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Opportunity for Hearing Regarding the Application for Renewal of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8 for an Additional 20-Year Period

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is considering an application for the renewal of Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8, which authorize the Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC) to operate Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, at 2775 megawatts thermal for each unit. The renewed licenses would authorize the applicant to operate Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, for an additional 20 years beyond the period specified in the current licenses. The current operating licenses for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, will expire on June 25, 2017, and March 31, 2021, respectively.

On September 15, 2003, the Commission's staff received an application from the SNC, filed pursuant to 10 CFR part 54, to renew the Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8 for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, respectively. A Notice of Receipt and Availability of the license renewal application, “Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant; Notice of Receipt and Availability of Application for Renewal of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8 for an Additional 20-Year Period,” was published in the Federal Register on October 6, 2003 (68 FR 57715).

The Commission's staff determined that SNC had submitted information in accordance with 10 CFR 54.19, 54.21, 54.22, 54.23, and 51.53(c) that is acceptable for docketing. “Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC), Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Acceptance for Docketing of the Application Regarding Renewal of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8 for an Additional 20-Year Period,” was published in the Federal Register on October 30, 2003 (68 FR 61835).

Before issuance of each requested renewed license, the NRC will have made the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the NRC's rules and regulations. In accordance with 10 CFR 54.29, the NRC will issue a renewed license on the basis of its review if it finds that actions have been identified and have been or will be taken with respect to (1) managing the effects of aging during the period of extended operation on the functionality of structures and components that have been identified as requiring aging management review, and (2) time-limited aging analyses that have been identified as requiring review, such that there is reasonable assurance that the activities authorized by the renewed license will continue to be conducted in accordance with the current licensing basis (CLB), and that any changes made to the plant's CLB comply with the Act and the Commission's regulations.

Additionally, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.95(c), the NRC will prepare an environmental impact statement that is a supplement to the Commission's NUREG-1437, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants,” dated May 1996. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.26, and as part of the environmental scoping process, the staff intends to hold a public scoping meeting. Detailed information regarding this meeting will be included in a future Federal Register notice. As discussed further herein, in the event that a hearing is held, issues that may be litigated will be confined to those pertinent to the foregoing.

Within 30 days from the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, the applicant may file a request for a hearing, 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 with respect to the renewal of the licenses in accordance with the provisions of 10 CFR 2.714. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.714, which is available at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, and on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm.html. If a request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) designated by the Commission or by the Chairman of the ASLB Panel will rule on the request(s) and/or petition(s), and the Secretary or the designated ASLB will issue a notice of hearing or an appropriate order. In the event that no request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the NRC may, upon completion of its evaluations and upon making the findings required under 10 CFR parts 51 and 54, renew the licenses without further notice.

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, taking into consideration the limited scope of matters that may be considered pursuant to 10 CFR parts 51 and 54. The petition must 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 that may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition must 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 before 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 before the first prehearing conference scheduled in the proceeding, a petitioner shall file a supplement to the petition to intervene that must include a list of the contentions that the petitioner seeks to have litigated in the hearing. Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, Start Printed Page 62641the petitioner shall provide a brief explanation of the bases of each contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or the expert opinion that supports 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. The 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 action under consideration. The contention must be one that, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to file such a supplement that 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.

Requests for a hearing and petitions 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 it may be delivered to the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852-2738, 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 request for hearing and the petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Again, because of the continuing disruptions in delivery of mail to the 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 Mr. J.B. Beasley, Jr., Vice President, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, P.O. Box 1295, Birmingham, Alabama 35201.

Nontimely filings of petitions for leave to intervene, amended petitions, supplemental petitions, and/or requests for a hearing will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the presiding officer, or the ASLB 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).

Detailed information about the license renewal process can be found under the Nuclear Reactors icon on the NRC's Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/​reactors/​operating/​licensing/​renewal.html.

A copy of the application to renew the operating licenses for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, is available for public inspection at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852-2738, and on the NRC's Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/​reactors/​operating/​licensing/​renewal/​applications/​farley.html while the application is under review. The NRC maintains an Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. A copy of the application to renew the operating licenses for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, is also available electronically through the NRC's Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html under ADAMS Accession Number ML032721356. 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 (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

The staff has verified that a copy of the license renewal application for the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, is also available to local residents near the Farley Nuclear Plant at the Houston Love Memorial Library, 212 West Burdeshaw Street, Dothan, Alabama 36303-4421.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of October, 2003.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Pao-Tsin Kuo,

Program Director, License Renewal and Environmental Impacts Program, Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 03-27803 Filed 11-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P