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Notice

Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined 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

This document has a comment period that ends in 21 days. (02/07/2019) Submit a formal comment

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

License amendment request; notice of opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and petition for leave to intervene; order imposing procedures.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) received and is considering approval of three amendment requests. The amendment requests are for Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2; and Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4. For each amendment request, the NRC proposes to determine that they involve no significant hazards consideration. Because each amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI), an order imposes procedures to obtain access to SUNSI for contention preparation.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by February 7, 2019. A request for a hearing must be filed by March 11, 2019. 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 this notice must request document access by January 18, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0277. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Krupskaya Castellon; telephone: 301-287-9221; email: Krupskaya.Castellon@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Mail comments to: May Ma, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN-7-A60M, 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:

Shirley Rohrer, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5411, email: Shirley.Rohrer@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-2018-0277, facility name, unit number(s), plant docket number, application date, and subject 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 Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0277.
  • 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 “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 number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document.
  • 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-2018-0277, facility name, unit number(s), plant docket number, application date, and subject 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 into ADAMS.

II. Background

Pursuant to Section 189a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the NRC 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 or combined license, as applicable, 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 containing SUNSI.

III. Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined 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, 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. The basis for this proposed determination for each amendment request is shown below.

The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed Start Printed Page 89determination. 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 if 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. If the Commission takes action prior to the expiration of either the comment period or the notice period, it will publish a notice of issuance in the Federal Register. If the Commission makes 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.

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

Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, any persons (petitioner) whose interest may be affected by this action may file a request for a hearing and petition for leave to intervene (petition) with respect to the action. Petitions shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's “Agency Rules of Practice and Procedure” in 10 CFR part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309. The NRC's regulations are accessible electronically from the NRC Library on the NRC's website at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. Alternatively, a copy of the regulations is available at the NRC's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, Room O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. If a petition is filed, the Commission or a presiding officer will rule on the petition and, if appropriate, a notice of a hearing will be issued.

As required by 10 CFR 2.309(d) the petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements for standing: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner; (2) the nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the 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 petitioner's interest.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(f), the petition must also set forth the specific contentions which the petitioner seeks to have litigated in 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 petitioner must 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 petitioner must also provide references to the specific sources and documents on which the petitioner intends to rely to support its position on the issue. The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant or licensee on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions must be limited to matters within the scope of the proceeding. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to satisfy the requirements at 10 CFR 2.309(f) 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. Parties have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that party's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence, consistent with the NRC's regulations, policies, and procedures.

Petitions must be filed no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. Petitions and motions for leave to file new or amended contentions that are filed after the 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) through (iii). The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document.

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 establish 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 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 the 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.

A State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(1). The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission no later than 60 days from the date of publication of this notice. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in the “Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)” section of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions set forth in this section, except that under 10 CFR 2.309(h)(2) a State, local governmental body, or Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof does not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d) if the facility is located within its boundaries. Alternatively, a State, local governmental body, Federally-recognized Indian Tribe, or agency thereof may participate as a non-party under 10 CFR 2.315(c).

If a hearing is granted, any person who is not a party to the proceeding and is not affiliated with or represented by a party may, at the discretion of the presiding officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of his or her position on the issues but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the limits and conditions as may be imposed by the presiding officer. Details regarding the opportunity to make a limited appearance will be provided by the presiding officer if such sessions are scheduled.Start Printed Page 90

B. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)

All documents filed in NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene (petition), 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 that request to participate under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC's E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562; August 3, 2012). 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. Detailed guidance on making electronic submissions may be found in the Guidance for Electronic Submissions to the NRC and on the NRC website at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. 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 (1) request a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign submissions and access the E-Filing system for any proceeding in which it is participating; and (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a petition or other adjudicatory document (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 website at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​getting-started.html. Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit adjudicatory documents. Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC's public website at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the document is 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 document on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before adjudicatory documents are filed so that they can obtain access to the documents via the E-Filing system.

A person filing electronically using the NRC's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC's Electronic Filing Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's public website 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 Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 6 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 stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and 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, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing adjudicatory documents 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 https://adams.nrc.gov/​ehd, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission or the presiding officer. If you do not have an NRC-issued digital ID certificate as described above, click cancel when the link requests certificates and you will be automatically directed to the NRC's electronic hearing dockets where you will be able to access any publicly available documents in a particular hearing docket. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or personal phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. For example, in some instances, individuals provide home addresses in order to demonstrate proximity to a facility or site. 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.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS), et al., Docket Nos. STN 50-528, STN 50-529, and STN 50-530, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), Units 1, 2, and 3, Maricopa County, Arizona

Date of amendment request: July 6, 2018, as supplemented by letter dated October 18, 2018. Publicly-available versions are in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML18187A417 and ML18296A466, respectively.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The amendment would revise the Technical Specifications for PVNGS, Units 1, 2, and 3, to support the implementation of Framatome Advanced Combustion Engineering 16x16 (CE-16) High Thermal Performance (HTPTM) fuel design with M5® as a fuel rod cladding material and gadolinia as a burnable absorber. In addition to this amendment request, APS is requesting an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.46, “Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems Start Printed Page 91[(ECCS)] for light-water nuclear power reactors,” and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix K, “ECCS Evaluation Models,” to allow the use of Framatome M5® alloy as a fuel rod cladding material. This amendment will adapt the approved PVNGS reload analysis methodology to address both Westinghouse and Framatome fuel, including the implementation of Framatome methodologies, parameters and correlations. The ability to use either Westinghouse or Framatome fuel will ensure security of the PVNGS fuel supply by providing for multiple fuel vendors with reliable fuel designs and geographically diverse manufacturing facilities.

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 proposed changes establish a COPERNIC fuel rod design computer code peak fuel centerline temperature safety limit for Framatome HTPTM fuel, allows for the use of M5® fuel rod cladding material by simplifying the TS 4.2.1 list of fuel rod cladding materials to the phrase “zirconium-alloy clad,” and updates the TS 5.6.5.b list of documents describing the core operating limits report (COLR) analytical methods to implement Framatome fuel, BHTP critical heat flux (CHF) correlation [BHTP designation], gadolinia burnable absorber, and VIPRE-01 (Versatile lnternals and Component Program for Reactors) code methodology.

The requested Technical Specification (TS) changes do not involve any plant modifications that could affect system reliability, component performance, or the possibility of operator error. There is a new time requirement for an existing operator action, but it has been demonstrated to be able to be performed successfully well within the time requirement. The requested TS changes do not affect any postulated accident precursors, do not affect any accident mitigation systems, and do not introduce any new accident initiation methods. The response of the Framatome fuel to postulated accidents has been analyzed using the proposed safety limit, fuel design characteristics, and associated methodologies. These evaluation results show that the fuel response to postulated accidents is within applicable acceptance criteria.

Therefore, the proposed changes do 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 changes establish a COPERNIC peak fuel centerline temperature safety limit for Framatome HTPTM fuel, allows for the use of M5® fuel rod cladding material by simplifying the TS 4.2.1 list of fuel rod cladding materials to the phrase “zirconium-alloy clad,” and updates the TS 5.6.5.b list of documents describing the COLR analytical methods to implement Framatome fuel, BHTP CHF Correlation, gadolinia burnable absorber, and VIPRE-01 code methodology.

Physical changes associated with Framatome HTPTM fuel (e.g., M5® cladding, fuel assembly spacer grids, gadolinia as a burnable absorber, MONOBLOCTM construction, FUELGUARDTM lower tie plate) do not introduce any new accident initiators and do not adversely affect the performance of any structure, system, or component previously credited for accident mitigation. Use of Framatome fuel with M5® cladding in Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station reactor cores is compatible with the plant design and does not introduce any new safety functions for plant structures, systems, or components. The fuel design performs within the fuel design limits.

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

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

Response: No.

The proposed changes establish a COPERNIC peak fuel centerline temperature safety limit for Framatome HTPTM fuel, allows for the use of M5® fuel rod cladding material by simplifying the TS 4.2.1 list of fuel rod cladding materials to the phrase “zirconium-alloy clad,” and updates the TS 5.6.5.b list of documents describing the COLR analytical methods to implement Framatome fuel, BHTP CHF Correlation, gadolinia burnable absorber, and VIPRE-01 code methodology.

The existing TS safety limits for fuel supplied by Westinghouse are not being changed. The proposed COPERNIC peak fuel centerline temperature safety limit provides assurance that Framatome HTPTM fuel fission product barriers will perform within applicable acceptance criteria for normal operation, anticipated operational occurrences, and postulated accidents. The methodology implementing the BHTP CHF correlation for Framatome HTPTM fuel ensures that the applicable margin of safety is maintained (i.e., there is at least 95% probability at a 95% confidence level that the hot fuel rod in the core will not experience departure from nucleate boiling).

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 that review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the request for amendments involves no significant hazards consideration.

Attorney for licensee: Michael G. Green, Senior Regulatory Counsel, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, P.O. Box 52034, Mail Station 8695, Phoenix, Arizona 85072-2034.

NRC Branch Chief: Robert J. Pascarelli.

Exelon Generation Company (EGC), LLC, Docket Nos. STN 50-456 and STN 50-457, Braidwood Station (Braidwood), Units 1 and 2, Will County, Illinois

Date of amendment request: July 19, 2018, as supplemented by letter dated October 19, 2018. Publicly-available versions are in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML18204A169 and ML18296A288, respectively.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The amendments would add new License Conditions to Appendix C, “Additional Conditions,” of the Braidwood Operating Licenses for Unit 1 and Unit 2, respectively, that authorize the use of up to eight Joint Stock Company “TVEL” (Fuel Company of Rosatom) TVS-K lead test assemblies (LTAs) in non-limiting reactor core locations for operation and evaluation.

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 proposed change involves only a small number of LTAs, which will be designed to be compatible from a neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and mechanical standpoint with all plant Systems, Structures, and Components (SSCs). The fuel pellets and fuel rods themselves will have no impact on accident initiators or precursors. There will not be a significant impact on the operation of any plant SSC or on the progression of any operational transient or design basis accident. There will be no impact on any procedure or administrative control designed to prevent or mitigate any accident.

The TVS-K LTAs will be placed in nonlimiting core locations. The Braidwood Station Unit 1 or Unit 2, [Refueling] Cycle 22, 23 and 24 reload designs will meet all applicable design criteria. Evaluations of the TVS-K LTAs will be performed as part of the cycle specific reload safety analysis to confirm that the acceptance criteria of the existing safety analyses will continue to be met. A source term specific to the TVS-K LTAs will be used to evaluate changes to the current source term to ensure that the Start Printed Page 92predicted radiological consequences continue to meet the applicable acceptance criteria. Operation of the TVS-K LTAs will not significantly increase the predicted radiological consequences of accidents currently postulated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report.

Based on the above discussion, the proposed changes do 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 previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The proposed change involves the use of a small number of TVS-K LTAs which are similar to the co-resident fuel, as noted in Question 1. The proposed change does not change the design function or operation of any SSC, and does not introduce any new failure mechanism, malfunction, or accident initiator not considered in the current design and licensing bases.

The Braidwood Station reactor cores will be designed to meet all applicable design and licensing basis criteria. Demonstrated adherence to these standards and criteria precludes new challenges to components and systems that could introduce a new type of accident. The reload core designs for the [refueling] cycles in which the TVS-K LTAs will operate (i.e., [Refueling] Cycles 22, 23 and 24) will demonstrate that the use of the TVS-K LTAs in nonlimiting core locations is acceptable. The relevant design and performance criteria will continue to be met and no new single failure mechanisms will be created. The use of TVS-K LTAs does not involve any alteration to plant equipment or procedures that would introduce any new or unique operational modes or accident precursors.

Therefore, the proposed change will not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident than those previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

Operation of Braidwood Station Unit 1 or Unit 2 with up to eight TVEL TVS-K LTAs, placed in nonlimiting core locations, does not change the performance requirements on any system or component such that any design criteria will be exceeded. The current limits on core operation defined in the Braidwood Station Technical Specifications are applicable to the subject LTAs during [Refueling] Cycles 22, 23 and 24. The Westinghouse analytical codes and methods used for currently licensed fuel design and reload analysis will be used to confirm that the TVS-K LTAs will not have a significant adverse impact on the resident Westinghouse fuel.

With respect to non-fuel SSCs, the safety limit, limiting safety system setting, limiting condition of operation, instrument setpoint, and other design criteria will continue to be met.

Based on this evaluation, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

Based on the above, EGC concludes that the proposed amendment does not involve a significant hazards consideration under the standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92, 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 amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

Attorney for licensee: Tamra Domeyer, Associate General Counsel, Exelon Nuclear, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, Illinois 60555.

NRC Branch Chief: David J. Wrona.

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Docket Nos. 52-025 and 52-026, Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4, Burke County, Georgia

Date of amendment request: September 28, 2018. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18271A116.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information (SUNSI). The amendment request proposes changes to the VEGP Units 3 and 4 Combined License (COL) Physical Security Plan (PSP) and to a plant-specific emergency planning inspections, tests, analyses, and acceptance criteria (ITAAC) in Appendix C of the VEGP Unit 4 COL. Specifically, the amendment request proposes changes to Appendix E of the VEGP Units 3 and 4 COL PSP to describe the Transitional Security Measures (TSMs) that would be implemented in the event that Unit 3 is ready to load fuel and begin operation with a contiguous Protected Area boundary and vehicle barrier system and a secure boundary is needed between Units 3 and 4.

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 proposed changes to implement TSMs on the western boundary of Unit 3 do not involve any new accident. The changes do not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that initiate an analyzed accident or alter any structures, systems, or components (SSCs) accident initiator or initiating sequence of events. The changes do not impact the design, construction, or operation of any mechanical and fluid systems. There is no change to plant systems or the response of systems to postulated accident conditions. There is no change to the predicted radioactive releases due to postulated accident conditions. Consequently, the plant response to previously evaluated accidents or external events is not adversely affected, nor do the proposed changes create any new accident precursors.

The VEGP Unit 4 COL Appendix C Emergency Planning ITAAC provide assurance that the facility has been constructed and will be operated in conformity with the license, the provisions of the Act, and the Commission's rules and regulations. The proposed change to the VEGP Unit 4 COL Appendix C Emergency Planning ITAAC Table E.3.9-5 item No. 852 does not affect the design of a system, structure, or component (SSC) used to meet the design bases of the nuclear plant. Nor does the change affect the construction or operation of the nuclear plant itself, so there is no change to the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. Changing the VEGP Unit 4 COL Appendix C Emergency Planning ITAAC Table E.3.9-5 item No. 852 does not affect prevention and mitigation of abnormal events (e.g., accidents, anticipated operational occurrences, earthquakes, floods, or turbine missiles) or their safety or design analyses. No safety-related SSC or function is adversely affected. The change does not involve or interface with any SSC accident initiator or initiating sequence of events, so the probabilities of the accidents evaluated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) are not affected.

Because the change does not involve any safety-related SSC or function used to mitigate an accident, the consequences of the accidents evaluated in the UFSAR are not affected. Therefore, the proposed amendment 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 changes do not affect the operation of any systems or equipment that may initiate a new or different kind of accident, or alter any SSC such that a new accident initiator or initiating sequence of events is created. Therefore, the proposed amendment does 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.

The proposed changes to implement TSMs on the western boundary of Unit 3 do not alter any safety-related equipment, applicable design codes, code compliance, design function, or safety analysis. Consequently, no safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit/criterion is challenged or exceeded by the proposed changes, thus the margin of safety is not reduced. The added barriers are designed, constructed, and controlled in accordance with applicable regulations.Start Printed Page 93

The revision to VEGP Unit 4 COL Appendix C Emergency Planning ITAAC Table E.3.9-5 item No. 852 does not adversely affect safety-related equipment or fission product barriers. No safety analysis or design basis acceptance limit or criterion is challenged or exceeded by the proposed change. Therefore, the proposed amendment 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.

Attorney for licensee: Kathryn M. Sutton, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLC, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2514.

NRC Branch Chief: Jennifer L. Dixon-Herrity.

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

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3, Maricopa County, Arizona

Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Will County, Illinois

Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, Burke County, Georgia

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 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 access to SUNSI. 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 Deputy General Counsel for Hearings and Administration, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 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 RidsOgcMailCenter.Resource@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 receipt of (or access to) that information. 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.

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 requisite need, 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) if another officer has been designated to rule on information access issues, with that officer.

(3) Further appeals of decisions under this paragraph must be made pursuant to 10 CFR 2.311.

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 within 5 days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of access and must be filed 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.

If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these Start Printed Page 94procedures 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. The attachment to this Order summarizes the general target schedule for processing and resolving requests under these procedures.

Start Signature

It is so ordered.

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of December 2018.

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 opportunity to request a hearing and petition for leave to intervene), 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 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.

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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.  Requesters should note that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007, as amended at 77 FR 46562; August 3, 2012) 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. 2018-27393 Filed 1-7-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P