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Restart of a Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down by a Seismic Event

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Draft regulatory guide; extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

On November 3, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued for public comment draft regulatory guide (DG) DG-1337, “Restart of a Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down by a Seismic Event,” in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period which ends on January 3, 2017. The NRC is extending the public comment period to February 28, 2017, recognizing the potential for unavailability of people during the holiday period. The guide describes methods acceptable to the NRC staff that can be used to demonstrate that a nuclear power plant is safe for restarting after a shutdown caused by a seismic event.

DATES:

Submit comments by February 28, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Although a time limit is given, comments and suggestions in connection with items for inclusion in guides currently being developed or improvements in all published guides are encouraged at any time.

ADDRESSES:

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

  • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID: NRC-2016-0224. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Weaver, telephone: 301-415-2383, email: Thomas.Weaver@nrc.gov; and Edward O'Donnell, telephone: 301-415-3317, email: Edward.ODonnell@nrc.gov. Both are staff of the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

Please refer to Docket ID: NRC-2016-0224 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this action. You may obtain publically-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-2016-0224.
  • 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 DG is electronically available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16182A321.
  • 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-2016-0224 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 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 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. Additional Information

The NRC is issuing for public comment a DG in the NRC's “Regulatory Guide” series. This series was developed to describe and make available to the public information regarding methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific parts of the NRC's regulations, techniques that the staff uses in evaluating specific issues or postulated events, and data that the staff needs in its review of applications for permits and licenses. The DG, entitled “Restart of a Nuclear Power Plant Shut Down by a Seismic Event,” is a proposed revised guide temporarily identified by its task number, DG-1337. The proposed revision of RG 1.167 describes methods acceptable to the NRC staff that can be used to demonstrate that a nuclear power plant is safe for restarting after a shutdown caused by a seismic event. It incorporates lessons learned following the shutdown of nuclear power plants due to earthquake ground shaking and post-earthquake evaluations since Revision 0 was issued in 1997. They include experience gained through the shutdown and restart process of the North Anna nuclear power plant following the Mineral, Virginia earthquake in 2011. It endorses, with some exceptions, sections of ANS/ANSI-2.23-2016, “Nuclear Power Plant Response to an Earthquake,” that relate to post-shutdown inspections and tests, inspection criteria, documentation, and long-term evaluations. The guidance includes an action level matrix to direct actions based on the earthquake level and observed damage levels at a nuclear power plant.

II. Backfitting and Issue Finality

Draft Guide-1337 describes methods acceptable to the NRC staff that can be used to demonstrate that a nuclear power plant is safe for restarting after a shutdown caused by a seismic event. Issuance of this DG, if finalized, would not constitute backfitting as defined in § 50.109 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) (the Start Printed Page 94434Backfit Rule) and would not otherwise be inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR Part 52. As discussed in the “Implementation” section of this DG, the NRC has no current intention to impose this guide, if finalized, on holders of current operating licenses or combined licenses.

This DG may be applied to applications for operating licenses, combined licenses, early site permits, and certified design rules docketed by the NRC as of the date of issuance of the final regulatory guide, as well as future applications submitted after the issuance of the regulatory guide. Such action would not constitute backfitting as defined in the Backfit Rule or be otherwise inconsistent with the applicable issue finality provision in 10 CFR part 52, inasmuch as such applicants or potential applicants are not within the scope of entities protected by the Backfit Rule or the relevant issue finality provisions in part 52.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of December, 2016.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Thomas H. Boyce,

Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research.

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[FR Doc. 2016-30895 Filed 12-22-16; 8:45 am]

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