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Proposed Rule

Industry Codes and Standards; Amended Requirements

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).


Proposed rule.


The NRC is proposing to amend its regulation governing vessel head inspection requirements. This amendment would revise the upper range of the percentage of axial flaws permitted in a specimen set used in the qualification of nondestructive examination systems (procedures, personnel and equipment), for the performance of inservice inspection (ISI) of pressurized water reactor (PWR) upper reactor vessel head penetrations. This amendment is being proposed as a result of the withdrawal of a stakeholder's recommendation necessitated by a typographical error in the original recommendation with respect to the maximum percentage of flaws that should be oriented axially.


The comment period for this proposed rule ends on September 4, 2009. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure only that comments received on or before this date will be considered.


You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made available for public inspection. Because your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including any information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed.

Federal eRulemaking Web site: Go to and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2008-0663. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301-492-3668; e-mail

Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.

E-mail comments to: If you do not receive a reply e-mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us directly at 301-415-1677. You can access publicly available documents related to this document using the following methods:

NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have copied for a fee. Publicly available documents related to this rulemaking, including comments, may be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC' s PDR, Public File Area O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee.

NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at​reading-rm/​adams.html. From this site, the public can gain entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents in ADAMS, contact the PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to

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Manash K. Bagchi, Project Manager, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone 301-415-2905, e-mail

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See the information provided in the direct final rule of the same title, which is found in the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register Notice. Because the NRC considers this rule to be non-controversial, the agency is publishing this proposed rule concurrently as a direct final rule. The direct final rule will become effective on October 19, 2009. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments on the direct final rule by September 4, 2009, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws the direct final rule. If the direct final rule is withdrawn, the NRC will address the comments received in response to proposed revisions in a subsequent final rule. Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring publication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period for this action in the event the direct final rule is withdrawn.

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Lists of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 50

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; and 5 U.S.C. 553; the NRC proposes to adopt the following amendments to 10 CFR Part 50.

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1. The authority citation for Part 50 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: Secs. 102, 103, 104, 105, 161, 182, 183, 186, 189, 68 Stat. 936, 937, 938, 948, 953, 954, 955, 956, as amended, sec. 234, 83 Stat. 444, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2132, 2133, 2134, 2135, 2201, 2232, 2233, 2236, 2239, 2282); secs. 201, as amended, 202, 206, 88 Stat. 1242, as amended, 1244, 1246 (42 U.S.C. 5841, 5842, 5846); sec. 1704, 112 Stat. 2750 (44 U.S.C. 3504 note); Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58, 119 Stat. 194 (2005).

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Section 50.7 also issued under Public Law 95-601, sec. 10, 92 Stat. 2951 as amended by Public Law 102-486, Sec. 2902, 106 Stat. 3123 (42 U.S.C. 5841). Section 50.10 also issued under secs. 101, 185, 68 Stat. 955, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2131, 2235); sec. 102, Public Law 91-190, 83 Stat. 853 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.13, 50.54(dd), and 50.103 also issued under sec. 108, 68 Stat. 939, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2138). Sections 50.23, 50.35, 50.55, and 50.56 also issued under sec. 185, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2235). Sections 50.33a, 50.55a and Appendix Q also issued under sec. 102, Public Law 91-190, 83 Stat. 853 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Sections 50.34 and 50.54 also issued under sec. 204, 88 Stat. 1245 (42 U.S.C. 5844). Sections 50.58, 50.91, Start Printed Page 38988and 50.92 also issued under Public Law 97-415, 96 Stat. 2073 (42 U.S.C. 2239). Section 50.78 also issued under sec. 122, 68 Stat. 939 (42 U.S.C. 2152). Sections 50.80—50.81 also issued under sec. 184, 68 Stat. 954, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2234). Appendix F also issued under sec. 187, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2237).

2. In § 50.55a, paragraph (g)(6)(ii) (D)(4)(ii) is revised to read as follows:

Codes and Standards
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(g) * * *

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(ii) * * *

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(4) * * *

(ii) The specimen set must have a minimum of ten (10) flaws which provide an acoustic response similar to PWSCC indications. All flaws must be greater than 10 percent of the nominal pipe wall thickness. A minimum of 20 percent of the total flaws must initiate from the inside surface and 20 percent from the outside surface. At least 20 percent of the flaws must be in the depth ranges of 10-30 percent through wall thickness and at least 20 percent within depth range of 31-50 percent through wall thickness. At least 20 percent and no more that 60 percent of the flaws must be oriented axially.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of July 2009.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,

Bruce S. Mallett,

Acting Executive Director for Operations.

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[FR Doc. E9-18549 Filed 8-4-09; 8:45 am]