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Notice

St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 2; 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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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF-16, issued to Florida Power and Light Company (FPL, the licensee) for operation of the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant, Unit No. 2, located in St. Lucie County, Florida.

The proposed amendment would revise Technical Specification (TS) Section 4.4.5.4 to modify the definitions of steam generator tube “Plugging Start Printed Page 68409Limit” and “Tube Inspection,” as contained in the St. Lucie Unit 2 TS Items 4.4.5.4.a.6 and 4.4.5.4.a.8, respectively. The purpose of these modifications is to define the depth of the required tube inspections and to clarify the plugging criteria within the tubesheet. The proposed amendment was submitted in response to the Commission Generic Letter 2004-01 and in support of the steam generator inspections planned during the upcoming St. Lucie Unit 2 refueling outage.

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. Operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

FPL proposes to modify the definitions of steam generator “Plugging Limit” and “Tube Inspection,” as contained in the St. Lucie Unit 2 Technical Specification (TS) Items 4.4.5.4.a.6 and 4.4.5.4.a.8, respectively. These modifications maintain existing design limits and would not increase the probability or consequences of an accident involving tube burst or primary to secondary accident-induced leakage, as previously analyzed in the UFSAR [Updated Final Safety Analysis Report]. Also, the tube burst criteria of NRC Regulatory Guide 1.121 (Basis for Plugging Degraded PWR [Pressurized Water Reactor] Steam Generator Tubes) would continue to be satisfied.

Tube burst is precluded for a tube with defects within the tubesheet region because of the constraint provided by the tubesheet. As such, tube pullout resulting from the axial forces induced by primary to secondary differential pressures would be a prerequisite for tube burst to occur. A joint industry test program (WCAP-16208-P) has defined the non-degraded tube to tubesheet joint length required to preclude tube pullout (C*) and maintain acceptable primary to secondary accident-induced leakage, assuming a 360° circumferential through wall crack existed immediately below this length. For St. Lucie Unit 2, C* is 10.1 inches. Any degradation below C* is shown by empirical test results and analyses to be acceptable, thereby precluding an event with consequences similar to a postulated tube rupture event. WCAP-16208-P incorporates an assumed primary to secondary accident-induced leakage value of 0.1 gpm/steam generator. Inspection to the C* length will ensure that the postulated accident induced leakage will remain below the current and future primary to secondary LCO leakage limits of 0.5 and 0.15 gpm/steam generator, respectively, imposed by the St. Lucie Unit 2 Technical Specifications (Section 3.4.6.2) and utilized in the UFSAR accident analyses (Chapter 15).

In summary, the proposed modifications to the St. Lucie Unit 2 Technical Specifications maintain existing design limits and do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated in the UFSAR.

2. Operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendments would not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

Steam generator tube leakage and structural integrity will be maintained during all plant conditions upon implementation of the proposed inspection scope and plugging limit modifications to the St. Lucie Unit 2 Technical Specifications. These modifications do not introduce any new mechanisms that might result in a different kind of accident from those previously evaluated. Even with the limiting circumstances of a complete circumferential separation (360° through wall crack) of a tube below the C* length, tube pullout is precluded and leakage is predicted to be maintained within the Technical Specification limits during all plant conditions.

3. Operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendments would not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

Upon implementation of the proposed inspection scope and plugging limit modifications to the St. Lucie Unit 2 Technical Specifications, operation with potential tube degradation below the C* inspection length within the tubesheet region of the steam generator tubing meets the margin of safety as defined by RG 1.121 (Basis for Plugging Degraded PWR Steam Generator Tubes) and RG 1.83 (Inservice Inspection of Pressurized Water Reactor Steam Generator Tubes), and the requirements of General Design Criteria 14, 15, 31 and 32 of 10 CFR 50. Therefore, the proposed modifications 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 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-day period provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place 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, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.

The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene is discussed below.

Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, 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 Start Printed Page 68410intervene. 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 2.309, which is available at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area 01F21, 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/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. (Note: Public access to ADAMS has been temporarily suspended so that security reviews of publicly available documents may be performed and potentially sensitive information removed. Please check the NRC Web site for updates on the resumption of ADAMS access.)If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.

As required by 10 CFR 2.309, 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 general requirements: (1) The name, address and telephone number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requestors/petitioner's interest. The petition must also identify the specific contentions which the petitioner/requestor seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.

Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner/requestor shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for 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/requestor 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 petition must include 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/requestor who fails to satisfy 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.

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.

Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition, request and/or the contentions should be granted based on a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(a)(1)(i)-(viii).

A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must be filed by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (3) E-mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV; or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415-1101, verification number is (301) 415-1966. A copy of the request for hearing and 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, and it is requested that copies be transmitted either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-3725 or by email to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the M.S. Ross, Attorney, Florida Power and Light, P.O. Box 14000, Juno Beach, Florida 33408-0420, attorney for the licensee.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated November 8, 2004, which is available for public inspection at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint North, File Public Area O1 F21, 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. (Note: Public access to ADAMS has been temporarily suspended so that security reviews of publicly available documents may be performed and potentially sensitive information removed. Please check the NRC Web site for updates on the resumption of ADAMS access.)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.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of November 2004.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Brendan T. Moroney,

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

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 04-26007 Filed 11-23-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P