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Notice

Duke Energy Corporation; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-38, DPR-47, and DPR-55, issued to Duke Energy Corporation (the licensee) for operation of Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3, located in Seneca, South Carolina.

The proposed amendment would revise the Technical Specifications to accommodate replacement of the Reactor Building Emergency Sump (RBES) suction inlet trash racks and screens with strainers in response to NRC Generic Letter 2004-02.

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) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated:

Duke is replacing the RBES [Reactor Building Emergency Sump] trash racks and screens with strainers in support of the response to Generic Letter 2004-02 on all three Oconee Units in the next refueling outage for each Unit. A change to Technical Specification (TS) Surveillance Requirements (SRs) 3.5.2.6 and 3.5.3.6 is needed to reflect this change. Although the configurations of the existing sump screen and the replacement strainer assemblies are different, they serve the same fundamental purpose of passively removing debris from the sump's suction supply of the supported system pumps. Removal of trash racks does not impact the adequacy of the pump NPSH [net positive suction head] assumed in the safety analyses. Likewise, the change does not reduce the reliability of any supported systems or introduce any new system interactions. A missile evaluation of the new strainer design concluded that there is no credible missile that could damage the strainer when needed during a LOCA [loss-of-coolant accident]. A jet impingement evaluation of the new strainer design concluded that there are no credible HELB [high energy line break] jets that could damage the strainer when needed during a LOCA. The greatly increased surface area of the new strainer will reduce the approach velocity of the strainer face significantly, further decreasing the risk of impact from large debris entrained in the sump flow stream. The proposed rewording of the SRs will continue to ensure that the reactor building sump suction inlet is not restricted by the debris and suction inlet strainers show no evidence of structural distress or abnormal corrosion for Unit(s) with or without the strainer modification complete. As such, the proposed change does not 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 kind of accident previously evaluated:

Duke is replacing the RBES trash racks and screens with strainers in support of the response to Generic Letter 2004-02 on all three Oconee Units in the next refueling outage for each Unit. The RBES strainers are passive components in standby safety systems used for accident mitigation. As such, they cannot be accident initiators. Therefore, there is no possibility that this change could create any accident of any kind. A change to TS SRs 3.5.2.6 and 3.5.3.6 is needed to reflect this change. These changes do not alter the nature of events postulated in the Safety Analysis Report nor do they introduce any unique precursor mechanisms. Therefore, the proposed amendment will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

(3) Involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety:

The proposed changes do not adversely affect any plant safety limits, set points, or design parameters. The changes also do not adversely affect the fuel, fuel cladding, Reactor Coolant System (RCS), or containment integrity. Therefore, the proposed TS change, which revises the terminology associated with TS SRs, 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 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 (PDR), 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 intervene. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be Start Printed Page 51853filed 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 O1F21, 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 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(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 Ms. Lisa F. Vaughn, Duke Energy Corporation, 422 S. Church Street, Mail Code—PB05E, Charlotte, NC 28201-1006, attorney for the licensee.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated [date], 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. 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 23rd day of August, 2005.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Leonard N. Olshan,

Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate II, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. E5-4749 Filed 8-30-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P