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Notice

Exelon Generation Company, 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 or NRC) is considering issuance of amendments to Facility Operating License No. NPF-39 and NPF-85, issued to Limerick Generating Station, Units 1 and 2, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

The proposed amendments would delete requirements from the Technical Specifications (TS) to submit monthly operating reports and annual occupational radiation exposure reports. Start Printed Page 18059The changes are consistent with Revision 1 of NRC-approved Industry/Technical Specifications Task Force (TSTF) Standard Technical Specification Change Traveler, TSTF-369, “Removal of Monthly Operating and Occupational Radiation Exposure Report.” The availability of this TS improvement was announced in the Federal Register (69 FR 35067) on June 23, 2004, as part of the Consolidated Line Item Improvement Process (CLIIP).

The NRC staff issued a notice of availability of a model no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) determination for referencing in license amendment applications in the Federal Register on September 25, 2003 (68 FR 55416). The licensee affirmed the applicability of the model NSHC determination in its application dated October 21, 2004, as supplemented by letter dated January 4, 2005.

The licensee requested approval of the license amendment in an application dated October 21, 2004, as supplemented January 4, 2005, and requested approval by April 29, 2005. The application constituted a timely submittal for an amendment. However, due to an administrative oversight and to meet the licensee's requested date, a 14-day public comment period will be provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 50.91(a)(6) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). That regulation states that where the Commission finds that exigent circumstances exist, in that a licensee and the Commission must act quickly and that time does not permit the Commission to publish a Federal Register notice (FRN) allowing 30 days for prior public comment, and it also determines that the amendment involves no significant hazards considerations, it may issue an FRN providing notice of an opportunity for hearing and allowing at least two weeks from the date of the notice for prior public comment.

Section 50.90(a)(6)(vi) of 10 CFR provides that the Commission will require the licensee to explain the exigency and why the licensee was unable to avoid it. Here, as noted above, the exigency was created by an administrative oversight of the NRC staff and could not have been avoided by the licensee.

This TS improvement is consistent with the NRC TSTF process. The NRC staff interacted extensively with licensees, industry organizations, and other stakeholders during the development of this TSTF as demonstrated in the FRN published on September 25, 2003, and June 23, 2004. The licensee stated that its application does not contain any variations or deviations from the TS changes described in TSTF-369, Revision 1, or in the model safety evaluation dated June 16, 2004. Therefore, the NRC staff has determined that the interaction conducted during the development of this TSTF constituted an extensive opportunity for public comments and, consequently, the 14-day prior comment period is adequate for the issuance of this proposed TS amendment, in accordance with the exigent provisions of 10 CFR 50.91(a)(6).

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.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.91(a)(6) for amendments to be granted under exigent circumstances, the NRC staff must determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 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; (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:

Criterion 1—The proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

The proposed change eliminates the Technical Specifications (TSs) reporting requirements to provide a monthly operating report of shutdown experience and operating statistics if the equivalent data is submitted using an industry electronic database. It also eliminates the TS reporting requirement for an annual occupational radiation exposure report, which provides information beyond that specified in NRC regulations. The proposed change involves no changes to plant systems or accident analyses. As such, the change is administrative in nature and does not affect initiators of analyzed events or assumed mitigation of accidents or transients. Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

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

The proposed change does not involve a physical alteration of the plant, add any new equipment, or require any existing equipment to be operated in a manner different from the present design. Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

Criterion 3—Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

This is an administrative change to reporting requirements of plant operating information and occupational radiation exposure data, and has no effect on plant equipment, operating practices or safety analyses assumptions. For these reasons, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in the 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 14 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 14-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 14-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. 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 Start Printed Page 18060NRC'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.

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 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 2.309, 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/​. 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 requestor's/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/requestor is aware and on which the petitioner/requestor intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. The petitioner/requestor 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/requestor 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(c)(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 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. Thomas S. O'Neill, Associate General Counsel, Exelon Generation Company, LLC, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, IL 60555, attorney for the licensee.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated October 21, 2004, as supplemented by letter dated January 4, 2005, which is available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically 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.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 1st day of April 2005.

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For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Stephen P. Sands,

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

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[FR Doc. E5-1618 Filed 4-7-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P