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Notice

Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice of license amendment request, opportunity to comment, opportunity to request a hearing.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by September 15, 2011. A request for a hearing must be filed by October 17, 2011. Any potential party as defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Start Printed Page 50760Regulations (10 CFR), 2.4 who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) is necessary to respond to this notice must request document access by August 26, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0174 in the subject line of your comments. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site, http://www.regulations.gov. Because your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including any information in your submission that you do not want to be publicly disclosed.

The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not include any information in their comments that they do not want publicly disclosed.

You may submit comments by any one of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2011-0174. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301-492-3668; e-mail: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
  • Mail comments to: Chief, Rules, Announcements and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
  • Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.

You can access publicly available documents related to this notice using the following methods:

  • NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine, and have copied for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are accessible electronically through ADAMS in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. From this page, 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 located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's PDR reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.
  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Public comments and supporting materials related to this notice can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC-2011-0174.

Background

Pursuant to Section 189a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission, NRC, or NRC staff) is publishing this notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person.

This notice includes notices of amendments SUNSI.

Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

The Commission has made a proposed determination that the following amendment requests involve 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. The basis for this proposed determination for each amendment request is shown below.

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 in an emergency situation, 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.

Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and a petition to intervene with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license. 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 person(s) should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed within 60 days, 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 Start Printed Page 50761nature 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 set forth the specific contentions which the requestor/petitioner 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 requestor/petitioner 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 requestor/petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The requestor/petitioner must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the requestor/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 requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner 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, and the Commission has not made a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration, 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, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment.

All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139, August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory documents over the internet, or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.

To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at hearing.docket@nrc.gov, or by telephone at 301-415-1677, to request (1) A digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.

Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​apply-certificates.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.

If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html.

Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with the NRC guidance available on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an e-mail notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an e-mail notice that provides access to the document to the NRC Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

A person filing electronically using the agency's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html, by e-mail at MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.

Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to Start Printed Page 50762continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted 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; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.

Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/​EHD/​, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Non-timely filings will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the petition or request should be granted or the contentions should be admitted, based on a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(viii).

For further details with respect to this amendment action, see the application for amendment which is available for public inspection at the NRC's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are accessible electronically through ADAMS in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC (EGC), Docket No. 50-254, Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station (QCNPS), Unit 1, Rock Island County, Illinois

Date of amendment request: June 7, 2011.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The proposed amendment revises the value of the single recirculation loop operation (SLO) safety limit minimum critical power ratio (SLMCPR) in Technical Specifications Section 2.1.1, “Reactor Core SLs [Safety Limits].” Specifically, the proposed change would replace the current SLO SLMCPR requirement for QCNPS Unit 1 with a new SLMCPR requirement. This proposed change does not affect the QCNPS Unit 1 two recirculation loop operation SLMCPR or either of the SLMCPR values for Unit 2. This change is needed to support the next cycle of operation (i.e., Cycle 22) for QCNPS Unit 1 for cycle exposure greater than 4000 MWd/MT, which is currently scheduled to occur in November 2011.

Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: 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. Do the proposed changes involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The probability of an evaluated accident is derived from the probabilities of the individual precursors to that accident. The consequences of an evaluated accident are determined by the operability of plant systems designed to mitigate those consequences. Limits have been established consistent with NRC-approved methods to ensure that fuel performance during normal, transient, and accident conditions is acceptable. The proposed change to revise the QCNPS Unit 1 SLO SLMCPR requirement conservatively establishes the SLMCPR at the value for a core of all SVEA-96 Optimal fuel, such that the fuel is protected during normal operation and during plant transients or anticipated operational occurrences (AOOs).

The proposed SLMCPR value for QCNPS Unit 1 does not increase the probability of an evaluated accident. The change does not require any physical plant modifications, physically affect any plant components, or entail changes in plant operation. Therefore, no individual precursors of an accident are affected.

The proposed change revises the SLO SLMCPR value for QCNPS Unit 1 to protect the fuel during normal operation as well as during plant transients or AOOs. Operational limits will be established based on the proposed SLMCPR to ensure that the SLMCPR is not violated. This will ensure that the fuel design safety criterion (i.e., that at least 99.9 percent of the fuel rods do not experience transition boiling during normal operation and AOOs) is met. Since the proposed change does not affect operability of plant systems designed to mitigate any consequences of accidents, the consequences of an accident previously evaluated will not increase.

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

Creation of the possibility of a new or different kind of accident requires creating one or more new accident precursors. New accident precursors may be created by modifications of plant configuration, including changes in allowable modes of operation. The proposed changes do not involve any plant configuration modifications or changes to allowable modes of operation. The proposed SLMCPR value does not result in the creation of any new precursors to an accident. The proposed change to revise the QCNPS Unit 1 SLO SLMCPR requirement assures that safety criteria are maintained for QCNPS Unit 1, Cycle 22.

Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

The SLMCPR provides a margin of safety by ensuring that at least 99.9 percent of the fuel rods do not experience transition boiling during normal operation and AOOs if the SLMCPR limit is not violated. The proposed change will ensure the current level of fuel protection is maintained by continuing to ensure that at least 99.9 percent of the fuel rods do not experience transition boiling during normal operation and AOOs if the SLMCPR limit is not violated. The proposed SLMCPR value was developed using NRC-approved methods. Additionally, operational limits will be established based on the proposed SLMCPR value to ensure that the SLMCPR is not violated. This will ensure that the fuel design safety criterion (i.e., that no more than 0.1 percent of the rods are expected to be in boiling transition if the MCPR limit is not violated) is met.

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.Start Printed Page 50763

Based upon the above, EGC concludes that the proposed amendment presents no significant hazards consideration under the standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92(c), and, accordingly, a finding of no significant hazards consideration is justified.

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 requested amendment involves no significant hazards consideration.

Attorney for licensee: Mr. Bradley J. Fewell, Associate General Counsel, Exelon Nuclear, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, IL 60555.

NRC Branch Chief: Jacob I. Zimmerman.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Docket Nos. STN 50-456, STN 50-457, STN 50-454, STN 50-455, Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Will County, Illinois, and Byron Station, Units 1 and 2, Ogle County, Illinois

Date of amendment request: March 14, 2011.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The amendment would revise Technical Specifications (TS) 3.3.1, “Reactor Trip System (RTS) Instrumentation,” and TS 3.3.2, “Engineered Safety Feature Actuation System (ESFAS) Instrumentation.” The proposed change reflects the installation of bypass test capability.

Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: 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. Does the proposed [amendment] involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The Reactor Protection System (RPS) and Engineered Safety Feature Actuation System (ESFAS) provide plant protection and are part of the accident mitigation response. The RTS and ESFAS functions do not themselves act as a precursor or an initiator for any transient or design basis accident. Therefore, the proposed change does not significantly increase the probability of any accident previously evaluated.

The proposed change does not alter the design assumptions, conditions, or configuration of the facility. The structural and functional integrity of the RTS and ESFAS, or any other plant system, is unaffected. The proposed change does not alter or prevent the ability of structures, systems, and components from performing their intended function to mitigate the consequences of an initiating event within the assumed acceptance limits. Surveillance testing in the bypass condition will not cause any design or analysis acceptance criteria to be exceeded.

Under the proposed change, the channel being tested may be bypassed. The number of available channels with one channel in bypass for testing will remain the same as the number of channels available when testing in trip. The number of channels to trip will be unchanged when testing in bypass while the number of channels to trip is reduced to one when testing in trip. Although there may be as light increase in the possibility that the failure of a channel could prevent the actuation of a function (because testing in bypass could result in two-out-of-two logic while testing in trip would have resulted in one-out-of-two logic), testing in bypass will reduce the vulnerability to inadvertent actuation of a function while maintaining the required number of channels to trip. The impact of using bypass test capability upon nuclear safety has been previously evaluated by the NRC and determined to be acceptable in WCAPs 14333-P-A, Revision 1, 15376-P-A, Revision 1, and 10271-P-A, Revision 1. Thus, testing in bypass when all channels are operable does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

Under the proposed change, the channel being tested may be bypassed when another channel is concurrently inoperable and in a tripped condition. As a result, with one channel in bypass and another in trip leaves one-out-of-two operable channels to initiate the protective function (if the initial logic is two-out-of-four) or one-out-of-one operable channels to initiate the protective function (if the initial logic was two-out-of-three). Thus, testing in bypass with one channel inoperable does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

Implementation of the bypass testing capability does not affect the integrity of the fission product barriers utilized for mitigation of radiological dose consequences as a result of an accident. Plant response as modeled in the safety analyses is unaffected. Hence, the releases used as input to the dose calculations are unchanged from those previously assumed.

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the proposed [amendment] create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

Surveillance testing in bypass does not affect accident initiation sequences or response scenarios as modeled in the safety analyses. No new operating configuration is being imposed by the surveillance testing in bypass that would create a new failure scenario. The RTS and ESFAS will continue to have the same setpoints after the proposed change is implemented. In addition, no new failure modes are being created for any plant equipment. The bypass test instrumentation has been designed to applicable regulatory and industry standards. Fault conditions, failure detection, reliability and equipment qualification have been considered. The changes do not result in the creation of any change to existing accident scenarios nor does it create any new or different accident scenarios. The types of accidents defined in the [Updated Final Safety Analysis Report] UFSAR continue to represent the credible spectrum of events to be analyzed which determine safe plant operation.

Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Does the proposed [amendment] involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?

Response: No.

No safety analyses were changed or modified as a result of the proposed TS change to reflect installed bypass test capability. The proposed change does not alter the manner in which safety limits, limiting safety system setpoints, or limiting conditions for operation are determined. Margins associated with the current safety analyses acceptance criteria are unaffected. The current safety analyses remain bounding since their conclusions are not affected by performing surveillance testing in bypass. The safety systems credited in the safety analyses will continue to be available to perform their mitigation functions.

Implementation of testing in bypass results in an overall improvement in safety because the capability to test in bypass for the analog channels will promote improved maintenance practices that will provide a resultant reduction in the number of spurious reactor trips and spurious actuation of safety equipment.

Therefore, the proposed change does not result in 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.

Attorney for licensee: Mr. Bradley J. Fewell, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Exelon Nuclear, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, IL 60555.

NRC Branch Chief: Jacob I. Zimmerman.

South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, South Carolina Public Service Authority, Docket No. 50-395, Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Unit 1, Fairfield County, South Carolina

Date of amendment request: April 18, 2011.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The proposed change would revise Technical Specifications for the Engineered Safety Feature Actuation System Start Printed Page 50764Instrumentation to allow the surveillance frequency for the Westinghouse-type AR relays that are used as Solid State Protection System (SSPS) slave relays or auxiliary relays to be expanded from quarterly to every 18 months or refueling. Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse) Topical Report WCAP-13877-P-A Revision 2, dated August 2000, “Reliability Assessment of Westinghouse Type AR Relays Used as SSPS Slave Relays,” provides the details and results that support the increased surveillance interval.

Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: 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. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The change to the Technical Specifications does not result in a condition where the design, material, and construction standards that are applicable to slave relays has been changed or degraded. The change is to increase the allowable surveillance to a less impacting 18 month interval. The standard for Westinghouse Plants specifically required quarterly testing of slave relays in the Solid State Protection System (SSPS) instrumentation that initiates proper unit shutdown or engineered safety feature. The Solid State Protective System (SSPS) actuates the Engineered Safety Features Actuation Systems (ESFAS). Current surveillance requirements involve testing the relays at power, with the attendant risk of inadvertent actuation of the engineered safety features. In addition, the on-line testing of slave relays required plant manipulation, abnormal configurations, and removed from service various equipment making it unavailable to perform its intended safety function. Generic Letter 93-05, “Line-Item Technical Specifications Improvements to Reduce Surveillance Requirements for Testing During Power Operation” identified that relay testing could be performed on a “staggered test basis over a cycle and leave the tests carrying highest risk to a refueling outage or other cold shutdown.”

The SSPS can initiate safeguard functions to maintain the reactor plant in a safe shutdown condition. Safeguard actuation occurs when a train of logic senses the need for any of the particular safeguards actions. Safeguard actuation is determined by the SSPS in the same way as the need for a reactor trip. When the required logic is present, one or more master relays are energized. Each master relay typically has several slave relays energized by the master relay. The slave relays operate the contacts necessary to open and close valves, shift control room air ventilation line ups, start diesel generators, etc. Each safeguards train actuates a physically and electrically separate train of pumps and valves, with a dedicated diesel generator for electrical power. Failure of one component of a train (or the entire train) does not prevent sufficient action by the other train. The SSPS actuated functions are: Safety Injection (causes a reactor trip, various pumps and coolers to start, and various valves to open and close), Containment Isolation (closes valves to isolate the Reactor Building interior from the environment), Steam isolation (close all three main steam isolation valves), and Reactor Building Spray (each train provides flow).

Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse) topical report WCAP-13877-P-A Rev 2, dated August 2000, “Reliability Assessment of Westinghouse Type AR Relays Used as SSPS Slave Relays” provides the details and results that support the increased surveillance interval. The same ESFAS instrumentation is being used and the same ESFAS system reliability is expected. The proposed change will not modify any system interface or function; therefore, will not increase the likelihood of an accident. The proposed activity will not change, degrade or prevent the performance of any accident mitigation systems or alter any assumptions previously made in evaluating the radiological consequences of an accident described in the FSAR. Therefore, the proposed amendment does not result in any increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

Operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated. Increasing the surveillance interval does not alter the performance of the ESFAS mitigation systems assumed in the plant safety analysis nor will it create any new accident initiators or scenarios. Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse) topical report WCAP-13877-P-A Rev 2, dated August 2000, “Reliability Assessment of Westinghouse Type AR Relays Used as SSPS Slave Relays” provides the details and results that support the increased surveillance interval. Current surveillance requirements involve testing the relays at power, with the attendant risk of inadvertent actuation of the engineered safety features. In addition, the on-line testing of slave relays required plant manipulation, abnormal configurations, and removed from service various equipment making it unavailable to perform its intended safety function. Generic Letter 93-05, “Line-Item Technical Specifications Improvements to Reduce Surveillance Requirements for Testing During Power Operation” identified that relay testing could be performed on a “staggered test basis over a cycle and leave the tests carrying highest risk to a refueling outage or other cold shutdown.” Each safeguards train actuates a physically and electrically separate train of pumps and valves with a dedicated diesel generator for electrical power. Failure of one component of a train (or the entire train) does not prevent sufficient action by the other train. The SSPS actuated functions are: Safety Injection (causes a reactor trip, various pumps and coolers to start, and various valves to open and close), Containment Isolation (closes valves to isolate the Reactor Building interior from the environment), Steam isolation (close all three main steam isolation valves), and Reactor Building spray (Each train provides flow). The current SSPS functions are a potential challenge to the plant when tested at power, in that isolation or activation of major components place the unit in an unfavorable conditions that are corrected by initiating Abnormal Operating Procedures. The change will increase the allowable surveillance to a less impacting 18 month interval therefore allowing testing to be completed during a time period where activation would have less of an effect on operation. Implementation of the proposed amendment does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident previously evaluated within the FSAR [Final Safety Analysis Report].

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

Response: No.

The change to the Technical Specifications increasing the surveillance interval does not result or involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse) topical report WCAP-13877-P-A Rev 2, dated August 2000, “Reliability Assessment of Westinghouse Type AR Relays Used as SSPS Slave Relays” provides the details and results that support the increased surveillance interval. The periodic slave relay functional verification should be relaxed because of the demonstrated high reliability of the relay and its insensitivity to any short term wear or aging effects. The current SSPS functions are a potential challenge to the plant when surveillance tested at power, in that isolation or activation of major components places the unit in an unfavorable condition that is corrected by initiating Abnormal Operating Procedures. The change will increase the allowable surveillance to a less impacting 18 month interval therefore allowing testing to be completed during a time period where activation would have less of an effect on operation. Implementation of the proposed amendment does not result in a 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.

Attorney for licensee: J. Hagood Hamilton, Jr., South Carolina Electric & Gas Company, Post Office Box 764, Columbia, South Carolina 29218.

NRC Branch Chief: Gloria Kulesa.Start Printed Page 50765

Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation

Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Docket No. 50-254, Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, Rock Island County, Illinois

Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Docket Nos. STN 50-456, STN 50-457, STN 50-454, STN 50-455, Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Will County, Illinois, and Byron Station, Units 1 and 2, Ogle County, Illinois

South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, South Carolina Public Service Authority, Docket No. 50-395, Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Unit No. 1, Fairfield County, South Carolina

A. This Order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI).

B. Within 10 days after publication of this notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, any potential party who believes access to SUNSI is necessary to respond to this notice may request such access. A “potential party” is any person who intends to participate as a party by demonstrating standing and filing an admissible contention under 10 CFR 2.309. Requests for access to SUNSI submitted later than 10 days after publication will not be considered absent a showing of good cause for the late filing, addressing why the request could not have been filed earlier.

C. The requestor shall submit a letter requesting permission to access SUNSI to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and provide a copy to the Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement and Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The expedited delivery or courier mail address for both offices is: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The e-mail address for the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel are Hearing.Docket@nrc.gov and OGCmailcenter@nrc.gov, respectively.[1] The request must include the following information:

(1) A description of the licensing action with a citation to this Federal Register notice;

(2) The name and address of the potential party and a description of the potential party's particularized interest that could be harmed by the action identified in C.(1); and

(3) The identity of the individual or entity requesting access to SUNSI and the requestor's basis for the need for the information in order to meaningfully participate in this adjudicatory proceeding. In particular, the request must explain why publicly-available versions of the information requested would not be sufficient to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention.

D. Based on an evaluation of the information submitted under paragraph C.(3) the NRC staff will determine within 10 days of receipt of the request whether:

(1) There is a reasonable basis to believe the petitioner is likely to establish standing to participate in this NRC proceeding; and

(2) The requestor has established a legitimate need for access to SUNSI.

E. If the NRC staff determines that the requestor satisfies both D.(1) and D.(2) above, the NRC staff will notify the requestor in writing that access to SUNSI has been granted. The written notification will contain instructions on how the requestor may obtain copies of the requested documents, and any other conditions that may apply to access those documents. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Affidavit, or Protective Order [2] setting forth terms and conditions to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of SUNSI by each individual who will be granted access to SUNSI.

F. Filing of Contentions. Any contentions in these proceedings that are based upon the information received as a result of the request made for SUNSI must be filed by the requestor no later than 25 days after the requestor is granted access to that information. However, if more than 25 days remain between the date the petitioner is granted access to the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline.

G. Review of Denials of Access.

(1) If the request for access to SUNSI is denied by the NRC staff either after a determination on standing and need for access, or after a determination on trustworthiness and reliability, the NRC staff shall immediately notify the requestor in writing, briefly stating the reason or reasons for the denial.

(2) The requestor may challenge the NRC staff's adverse determination by filing a challenge within 5 days of receipt of that determination with: (a) The presiding officer designated in this proceeding; (b) if no presiding officer has been appointed, the Chief Administrative Judge, or if he or she is unavailable, another administrative judge, or an administrative law judge with jurisdiction pursuant to 10 CFR 2.318(a); or (c) if another officer has been designated to rule on information access issues, with that officer.

H. Review of Grants of Access. A party other than the requestor may challenge an NRC staff determination granting access to SUNSI whose release would harm that party's interest independent of the proceeding. Such a challenge must be filed with the Chief Administrative Judge within 5 days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of access.

If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these procedures give way to the normal process for litigating disputes concerning access to information. The availability of interlocutory review by the Commission of orders ruling on such NRC staff determinations (whether granting or denying access) is governed by 10 CFR 2.311.[3]

I. The Commission expects that the NRC staff and presiding officers (and any other reviewing officers) will consider and resolve requests for access to SUNSI, and motions for protective orders, in a timely fashion in order to minimize any unnecessary delays in identifying those petitioners who have standing and who have propounded contentions meeting the specificity and basis requirements in 10 CFR Part 2. Attachment 1 to this Order summarizes the general target schedule for processing and resolving requests under these procedures.

It Is So Ordered.

Start Signature
Start Printed Page 50766

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of August 2011.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook,

Secretary of the Commission.

End Signature

Attachment 1—General Target Schedule for Processing and Resolving Requests for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information in This Proceeding

DayEvent/activity
0Publication of Federal Register notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, including order with instructions for access requests.
10Deadline for submitting requests for access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) with information: Supporting the standing of a potential party identified by name and address; describing the need for the information in order for the potential party to participate meaningfully in an adjudicatory proceeding.
60Deadline for submitting petition for intervention containing: (i) Demonstration of standing; (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 requestor/petitioner reply).
20Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff informs the requestor of the staff's determination whether the request for access provides a reasonable basis to believe standing can be established and shows need for SUNSI. (NRC staff also informs any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information.) If NRC staff makes the finding of need for SUNSI and likelihood of standing, NRC staff begins document processing (preparation of redactions or review of redacted documents).
25If NRC staff finds no “need” or no likelihood of standing, the deadline for requestor/petitioner to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's denial of access; NRC staff files copy of access determination with the presiding officer (or Chief Administrative Judge or other designated officer, as appropriate). If NRC staff finds “need” for SUNSI, the deadline for any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's grant of access.
30Deadline for NRC staff reply to motions to reverse NRC staff determination(s).
40(Receipt +30) If NRC staff finds standing and need for SUNSI, deadline for NRC staff to complete information processing and file motion for Protective Order and draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit. Deadline for applicant/licensee to file Non-Disclosure Agreement for SUNSI.
AIf access granted: Issuance of presiding officer or other designated officer decision on motion for protective order for access to sensitive information (including schedule for providing access and submission of contentions) or decision reversing a final adverse determination by the NRC staff.
A + 3Deadline for filing executed Non-Disclosure Affidavits. Access provided to SUNSI consistent with decision issuing the protective order.
A + 28Deadline for submission of contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI. However, if more than 25 days remain between the petitioner's receipt of (or access to) the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI contentions by that later deadline.
A + 53(Contention receipt +25) Answers to contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI.
A + 60(Answer receipt +7) Petitioner/Intervenor reply to answers.
>A + 60Decision on contention admission.
End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  While a request for hearing or petition to intervene in this proceeding must comply with the filing requirements of the NRC's “E-Filing Rule,” the initial request to access SUNSI under these procedures should be submitted as described in this paragraph.

Back to Citation

2.  Any motion for Protective Order or draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit or Agreement for SUNSI must be filed with the presiding officer or the Chief Administrative Judge if the presiding officer has not yet been designated, within 30 days of the deadline for the receipt of the written access request.

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3.  Requestors should note that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007) apply to appeals of NRC staff determinations (because they must be served on a presiding officer or the Commission, as applicable), but not to the initial SUNSI request submitted to the NRC staff under these procedures.

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[FR Doc. 2011-19984 Filed 8-15-11; 8:45 am]

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