Skip to Content

Notice

Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, McGuire Nuclear Station, Unit Nos. 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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene; order.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-9 and NPF-17, issued to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, for operation of the McGuire Nuclear Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2. The proposed amendment would allow a temporary extension of selected Technical Specification required Completion Times (CTs) to support repair activities associated with the Nuclear Service Water System (NSWS). In addition, the amendment request contains Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI).

DATES:

Submit comments by September 21, 2015. A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by October 19, 2015. Any potential party as defined in § 2.4 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), who believes access to SUNSI is necessary to respond to the notice must request document access by August 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0192. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

G. Edward Miller, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2481, email: Ed.Miller@nrc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0192 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0192.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection 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 license amendment request is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15191A025.
  • 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.Start Printed Page 50664

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0192 in your comment submission.

The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter 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 that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. 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. Introduction

The NRC is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-9 and NPF-17, issued to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, for operation of the McGuire Nuclear Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

The proposed amendment would allow a one-time extension of selected Technical Specification required CTs to support repair activities associated with the NSWS.

Before any issuance of the proposed license amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations.

The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC'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; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

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

Response: No.

The `B' Train NSWS and supported equipment will remain fully operable during the 14 day CT. The alignment of the `A' Train NSWS will remain consistent with the NSWS normal and [engineered safety features actuation system (ESFAS)] alignment. Although not fully operable the `A' Train NSWS and its supported equipment will be capable of performing their functions during the 14 day CT.

The `A' NSWS and supported equipment function as accident mitigators. Removing `A' Train [standby nuclear service water pond (SNSWP)] supply piping from service for a limited period of time does not affect any accident initiator and therefore cannot change the probability of an accident. The proposed changes and the `A' Train NSWS repair evolution have been evaluated to assess their impact on the systems affected and ensure design basis safety functions are preserved.

The risk analysis for the proposed NSW system alignment during the 14 day CT shows no delta risk for any [engineered safety feature (ESF)] actuation event that does not involve an earthquake. The most significant risk contributor is a seismic event with a magnitude great enough to cause the failure of Cowan's Ford dam and subsequent loss of Lake Norman or [low level intake] during the 14 day CT. The estimated Incremental Conditional Core Damage Probability (ICCDP) due to the seismic event is much less than the limits associated with Regulatory Guide 1.177.

In addition, as previously stated, a Seismic Fragility Assessment of the McGuire Low Level Intake [(LLI)] Water Pipeline in December of 2011 indicates that the dam and water supply would withstand a [safe shutdown earthquake (SSE)]. Therefore for the short duration of this proposed alignment the increase in risk is deemed to be negligible.

Risk associated with tornado/high winds was assessed. The months of November through February have been the seasonal low for tornado frequency. This evolution is currently scheduled for the fall November 2015 time frame. The risk contribution from tornado and high wind events is negligible during the proposed NSWS configuration described in this LAR and therefore, the calculated Core Damage Frequency (CDF) or the Large Early Release Fraction (LERF) contribution due to high wind and tornado events is negligible with respect to overall risk. The activities covered by this LAR also include a defense-in-depth action to cease activities and close the personnel access openings in the event of a tornado warning. Weather patterns will be monitored and this activity will be modified if tornado/high wind conditions become imminent.

The overall increase in risk for the 14 day CT is solely due to the seismic event which results in a loss of Lake Norman or LLI. However, this risk is reduced by the defense in depth strategy described in the LAR that provides a contingency for the loss of a `B' Train NSWS pump after the loss of the Lake Norman water supply. This defense in depth contingency effectively offsets the unavailability of the `A' Train NSWS SNSWP supply.

In addition, pre-aligning the `B' Train NSWS to the SNSWP water supply in advance of the proposed activities prevents the introduction of potential equipment failures during an ESFAS demanded transfer. This action also eliminates the time it would take operators to perform the transfer following a seismic event.

The quantified impact of defense in depth measures and compensatory actions on CDF/LERF cannot be precisely determined, yet it is agreed that the implementation of these actions would only serve to improve these risk parameters.

Not included in the overall risk evaluation is the additional margin identified by the Fragility Assessment discussed previously that concluded that the Lake Norman Dam and LLI would survive a SSE.

As stated in NRC Generic Letter 80-30, “Clarification of the Term `Operable' as it Applies to Single Failure Criterion for Safety Systems Required by TS,” there is no requirement to assume a single failure while operating under a Technical Specification (TS) required action. Therefore, there will be no effect on the analysis of any accident or the progression of the accident since the operable NSW `B' train is capable of serving 100 percent of all the required heat loads. As such, there is no impact on consequence mitigation for any transient or accident.

In light of the above discussion, 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.

The proposed amendment is the one time extension of the required CTs from 72 hours for the ECCS, CSS, NSWS, AFW, CCW and the EDG systems and from 168 hours for the CRAVS and ABFVES systems to 336 hours. The requested change does not involve the addition or removal of any plant system, structure, or component.

The proposed temporary TS changes do not affect the basic design, operation, or function of any of the systems associated with the TS impacted by the amendment. Implementation of the proposed amendment will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from that previously evaluated.

McGuire intends to isolate and repair the `A' Train NSWS supply from the SNSWP. This activity will require that `A' Train NSW be aligned to Lake Norman until the system is ready for post maintenance testing. This action maintains the NSW 'A' Train's normal and automatic alignment to Lake Norman but will result in the inability to manually align the `A' Train NSWS to the SNSWP subsequent to a seismic event that results in damage to the supply piping from Lake Norman or the highly improbable loss of Lake Norman.

Although considered inoperable, the `A' Train NSWS and supported systems will be Start Printed Page 50665technically capable of performing their intended functions. Throughout the repair project, compensatory measures will be in place to provide additional assurance that the affected systems will continue to be capable of performing their intended safety functions.

No new accident causal mechanisms are created as a result of the requested changes creating the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

In conclusion, this proposed LAR does not impact any plant systems that are accident initiators and does not impact any safety analysis.

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

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

Response: No.

Margin of safety is related to the confidence in the ability of the fission product barriers to perform their design functions during and following an accident situation. These barriers include the fuel cladding, the reactor coolant system, and the containment system. The performance of the fuel cladding, reactor coolant and containment systems will not be impacted by the proposed LAR.

Although not a fission product barrier, the Auxiliary Building Ventilation Boundary plays a role in minimizing the dose consequences from ECCS system leakage into the Auxiliary Building during a design basis accident. The Auxiliary Building Ventilation System in conjunction with ECCS equipment air handling units that automatically start on an ECCS demand draw potentially contaminated air from the ECCS equipment rooms and into the ABFVES. As stated in this LAR, the Auxiliary Building Ventilation Boundary will be breached when the `A' Train NSWS piping is opened for access in the Auxiliary Building. The Validation: Personnel access opening will be controlled by using procedures developed or revised for this purpose to maintain positive control of the auxiliary building pressure boundary and prevent any unmonitored release.

Dedicated personnel with procedure guidance will be provided to close the pathway from the auxiliary building on the affected `A' Train NSWS piping from the SNSWP in the event of any of the following:

  • An Engineered Safety Feature (ESF) actuation
  • Entry into RP/0/A/5700/006 Natural Disasters
  • Entry into RP/0/A/5700/007 Earthquake

The pathway will be closed upon notification of an abnormal event as described above. TS 3.7.11 includes a note in the Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) section: “The Auxiliary Building pressure boundary may be opened intermittently under administrative controls.” Based on these measures the performance of this barrier will not be affected by the proposed LAR.

Additionally, the proposed amendment does not involve a change in the design or operation of the plant. The activity only extends the amount of time the `A' NSW system is allowed to be inoperable to correct the degraded condition on the `A' NSWS supply piping from the SNSWP. As stated previously, the `A' Train NSWS and supported equipment will remain in its Normal and ESFAS alignment during the extended CT and be functionally capable for all postulated events except a seismic event that results in loss of the Lake Norman water supply.

Defense-in-depth measures involving use of the Main Supply Crossover piping to supply suction to affected unit's `A' Train NSWS pump from the `B' train SNSWP suction piping and the ability to implement the FLEX strategy on both units provide additional safety margin for this event. Use of the Main Supply Crossover line is only needed in the unlikely event that one unit's `B' Train NSWS pump fails after loss of `A' Train NSWS due to an earthquake.

The estimated ICCDP during the 14 day CT extension is much less than the limits associated with Regulatory Guide 1.177. Therefore, it is concluded that the proposed changes do not involve a significant reduction in the margin of safety.

Therefore, the proposed changes do 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 license amendment request involves a No Significant Hazards Consideration.

The NRC is seeking public comments on this proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. 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 notice period if the Commission concludes the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently.

III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petition for Leave To Intervene

Within 60 days after the date of publication of this Federal Register notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for hearing or a petition for leave to intervene specifying the contentions which the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing with respect to the license amendment request. Requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the NRC's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” 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. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. 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 request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene must 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 hearing request or petition must 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 hearing request or petition must also include the specific contentions that the requestor/petitioner seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.Start Printed Page 50666

For each contention, the requestor/petitioner must provide a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted, as well as a brief explanation of the basis for the contention. Additionally, the requestor/petitioner must demonstrate that the issue raised by each contention is within the scope of the proceeding and is material to the findings that the NRC must make to support the granting of a license amendment in response to the application. The hearing request or petition must also include a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion that support the contention and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely at the hearing, together with references to those specific sources and documents. The hearing request or petition must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact, including references to specific portions of the application for amendment that the petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute. If the requestor/petitioner believes that the application for amendment fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, the requestor/petitioner must identify each failure and the supporting reasons for the requestor's/petitioner's belief. Each contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the requestor/petitioner to relief. A requestor/petitioner who does not satisfy these requirements for 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 with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a cross-examination plan for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with NRC regulations, policies, and procedures. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will set the time and place for any prehearing conferences and evidentiary hearings, and the appropriate notices will be provided.

Hearing requests or petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Requests for hearing, petitions for leave to intervene, and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 60-day deadline will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the filing demonstrates good cause by satisfying the three factors in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(iii).

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, then any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment unless the Commission finds an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, in which case it will issue an appropriate order or rule under 10 CFR part 2.

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's 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/​getting-started.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's 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's 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 Start Printed Page 50667their 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's public 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 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 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. However, in some instances, a request to intervene will require including information on local residence in order to demonstrate a proximity assertion of interest in the proceeding. 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.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated June 30, 2015.

Attorney for licensee: Lara S. Nichols, Associate General Counsel, Duke Energy Corporation, 526 South Church Street—EC07H, Charlotte, NC 28202.

NRC Branch Chief: Robert J. Pascarelli.

Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, Docket Nos. 50-369 and 50-370, McGuire Nuclear Station, Units Nos. 1 and 2, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

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

A. This Order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing 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 of this notice 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 requester 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 email 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 requester'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 to 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. Start Printed Page 50668However, 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. This provision does not extend the time for filing a request for a hearing and petition to intervene, which must comply with the requirements of 10 CFR 2.309.

G. Review of Denials of Access.

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

(2) The requester 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) officer if that officer has been designated to rule on information access issues.

H. Review of Grants of Access. A party other than the requester 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

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of August, 2015.

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; and (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 petitioner/requestor reply).
20U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff informs the requester 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 petitioner/requester 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.
Start Printed Page 50669 End Supplemental Information

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.

Back to Citation

3.  Requesters 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.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2015-20531 Filed 8-19-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P