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Notice

Proposed Revisions to Design of Structures, Components, Equipment and Systems

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Standard review plan-draft section revision; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is soliciting public comment on the following sections in Chapter 3, “Design of Structures, Components, Equipment, and Systems” and soliciting public comment on NUREG-0800, “Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants: LWR Edition,” Section 3.9.3 “ASME Code Class 1, 2, and 3 Components, and Component Supports, and Core Support Structures.”

DATES:

Comments must be filed no later than September 9, 2013. Comments received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

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-2013-0160. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0160. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 3WFN 06A44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jonathan DeGange, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6992 or email: Jonathan.DeGange@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0160 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 any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0160.
  • 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 ADAMS Accession numbers for the redline document comparing the current revision and the proposed revision are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos.: Section 3.9.3, Proposed Revision 1 (ML12334A360), Current Revision 0 (ML070430397), Redline (ML12341A203).
  • 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-2013-0160 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 routinely 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 does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Further Information

The NRC seeks public comment on the proposed revisions to this section. In respect of this revision, details of specific changes are included at the end of the revised section, and are shown in the description of changes.

The changes to this Standard Review Plan (SRP) Chapter reflect the current staff review methods and practices based on lessons learned from NRC reviews of design certification and combined license applications completed since the last revision of this chapter.

These sections have been updated to reflect the guidance provided in SRP 3.12 for Generic Issue 89 on stiff pipe clamps (ADAMS Accession No. ML101720320), as well as in SRP Section 3.9.6 for the operational readiness of snubbers (ADAMS Accession No. ML070720041), and review interfaces have been updated accordingly. Terms have been revised from “Operability” and “Operability Assurance” to “Operational Readiness” for consistency with other SRP sections, including the title of Appendix A, Section 5. Subsection 3.9.3.III.1 and Table 1 in Appendix A were revised to correct discussion of the operating-basis earthquake for new reactors. Additional references were also added to the references section. Accession numbers for the redline document comparing the current revision with the proposed revision are included in the Supplementary Information section.

The NRC staff is issuing this notice to solicit public comments on the revised SRP Sections in Chapter 3. After the NRC staff considers any public comments, it will make a determination regarding the revised SRP Sections in Chapter 3.

Backfitting and Issue Finality

Issuance of this draft SRP, if finalized, would not constitute Backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109, or otherwise be inconsistent with the issue finality Start Printed Page 48728provisions in 10 CFR Part 52. The staff's position is based upon the following considerations.

1. The draft SRP positions, if finalized, do not constitute Backfitting, in as much as the SRP is internal guidance to NRC staff.

The SRP provides interim guidance to the staff on how to review an application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. Changes in internal staff guidance are not matters for which applicants or licensees are protected under 10 CFR 50.109 or issue finality provisions in 10 CFR Part 52.

2. Backfitting and issue finality—with certain exceptions discussed below—do not protect current or future applicants.

Applicants and potential applicants are not, with certain exceptions, protected by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality provisions under 10 CFR Part 52. This is because neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue finality provisions under 10 CFR Part 52—with certain exclusions discussed below—were intended to every NRC action which substantially changes the expectations of current and future applicants.

The exceptions to the general principle are applicable whenever an applicant references a 10 CFR Part 52 license (e.g., an early site permit) and/or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification rule) with specified issue finality provisions. The staff does not, at this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the draft SRP section (if finalized) in a manner that is inconsistent with any issue finality provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the draft SRP section (if finalized) in a manner which does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must make address the criteria for avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision.

3. The staff has no intention to impose the draft SRP positions on existing nuclear power plant licenses or regulatory approvals either now or in the future (absent a voluntary request for change from the licensee, holder of a regulatory approval, or a design certification applicant). The staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions described in the draft SRP section to existing (already issued) licenses (e.g., operating licenses and combined licenses) and regulatory approvals—in this case, design certifications. Hence, the draft SRP—even if considered guidance which is within the purview of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR Part 52— need not be evaluated as if it were a Backfit or as being inconsistent with issue finality provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in the draft SRP (if finalized) on holders of already issued licenses in a manner which does not provide issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must make the showing as set forth in the Backfit Rule, or address the criteria for avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality provision, as applicable.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of June 2013.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Joseph Colaccino,

Chief Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, Office of New Reactors.

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[FR Doc. 2013-19308 Filed 8-8-13; 8:45 am]

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