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Notice

Facility Operating License Amendment From Southern Nuclear Operating, Inc., Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

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

ACTION:

License amendment; request for comment and request for a hearing.

DATES:

Submit comments by March 23, 2012. A request for a hearing must be filed by May 8, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

You may access information and comment submissions related to this document, which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-0053. You may submit comments by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0053. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, 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.

For additional direction on accessing information and submitting comments, see “Accessing Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Robert E. Martin, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch 2-1, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1493; email: Robert.Martin@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0053 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, by the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0053.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The application for amendment, dated February 28, 2012, is available electronically under ADAMS Accession No. ML12059A327.
  • NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0053 in the subject line of your comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly disclosed. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enters the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information in their comment submissions that they do not want to be publicly disclosed. Your request should state that the NRC will not edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8, issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company (the licensee), for operation of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2 located in Houston County, Alabama.

The proposed amendment would revise Technical Specification (TS) 3.5.4, “Refueling Water Storage Tank” (RWST) such that the non-seismically qualified piping of the Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) purification system may be connected to the RWST's seismic piping by manual operation of a RWST seismically qualified boundary valve under administrative controls for limited periods of time.

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 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; (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:

[Southern Nuclear Operating Company] SNC has evaluated whether or not a significant hazards consideration is involved with the proposed amendment(s) by evaluation of the three standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92, “Issuance of Amendment,” as discussed below:

1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The use of the [Boric Acid Recovery System] BARS system and the SFP Purification Loop to re-circulate the RWST does not involve any changes or create any new interfaces with the reactor coolant system or main steam system piping. Therefore, the connection of the SFP Purification Loop to the RWST and use of the BARS system would not affect the probability of these accidents occurring.

Neither the SFP Purification Loop nor the BARS system are credited for safe shutdown of the plant or accident mitigation. A combination of design and administrative controls ensure that both the SFP Purification Loop and BARS systems maintain RWST boron concentration and water volume requirements whenever the contents of the RWST are processed through these systems. RWST volume margin will be verified to be adequate to compensate for postulated BARS system line losses and process losses which may occur through the BARS system reject waste stream. The BARS system is designed to maintain a high boron recovery rate. Potential boron dilution during use of the BARS system is prevented through verifying RWST boron margin prior to BARS system operation and monitoring the BARS system boron recovery rate by grab samples taken from the system inlet and outlet points approximately one hour after placing it in service and at least every 48 hours thereafter. Following each operation of the BARS system, RWST sampling will be performed to verify the RWST boron concentration, and boron additions will be made to the RWST, accordingly.

Since the RWST will continue to perform its safety function and meet all surveillance requirements, overall system performance is not affected, assumptions previously made in evaluating the consequences of the accident are not altered, and the consequences of the accident are not increased.

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.

Contingent upon manual operator action as described above, a SFP Purification Loop line break will not result in a loss of the RWST safety function. Similarly, an active or passive failure in the BARS system will not result in loss of the RWST safety function. Adequate RWST volume and boron margin will be verified prior to BARS system operation. The BARS system boron recovery rate will be monitored by grab samples taken of the system inlet and outlet one hour after placing the system in service and at least every 48 hours thereafter. In addition, the [Documentation of Engineering Judgment] DOEJ evaluation supports that the operator action can be taken within sufficient time to isolate the BARS system from the RWST during postulated accidents.

Calculations were reviewed for potential internal flooding from this nonseismic pipe break, and it was concluded that the break would have no affect on safe shutdown equipment in the affected areas.

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.

Neither the SFP Purification Loop nor the BARS systems are credited for safe shutdown of the plant or accident mitigation. Adequate RWST volume and boron margin will be verified prior to BARS system operation and timely operator action can be taken to isolate the BARS system from the RWST. The BARS system waste stream losses will also be monitored throughout BARS system operation.

The potential boron dilution of the RWST inventory during tank processing through the SFP Purification Loop is minimized by administratively maintaining closed all manual boundary valves within the SFP Purification Loop while the SFP Purification Loop is connected to the RWST. The BARS system is designed to maintain a high boron recovery rate, which will be verified through testing prior to initial start up of the system. Potential boron dilution during every operation of the BARS system is prevented through verification of the RWST boron margin prior to BARS system operation, calculating the expected rate of dilution, and monitoring the BARS system boron recovery rate by grab samples taken from the system inlet and outlet at least every 48 hours. Following operation of the BARS system, RWST sampling will be performed to verify the RWST boron concentration, and boron additions to the RWST will be made accordingly. These measures will ensure the TS minimum RWST boron concentration is available to mitigate the short-term consequences of a small break LOCA, large break LOCA, or MSLB accident.

Therefore, the proposed change does 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 by March 23, 2012, 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.

III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing; Petitions for Leave To Intervene

Within 60 days of this notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected may file a request for hearing/petition to intervene. As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the requestor/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 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 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 requestor/petitioner is aware and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. The requestor/petitioner 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 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, 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.

IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

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 email 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 NRC'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 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 email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's 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 NRC'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 email to MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll-free call to 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 continue 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 March 9, 2012. 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 exigent license application, see the application for amendment dated February 28, 2012, which is available for public inspection at the Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available documents are accessible electronically through the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) in the NRC Library at 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's PDR reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-415-4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.

Attorney for licensee: M. Stanford Blanton, Balch and Bingham Law Firm, P.O. Box 306, Birmingham, Alabama 35201.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 29th day of February, 2012.

Robert E. Martin,

Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II-1, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

[FR Doc. 2012-5753 Filed 3-8-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P