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Notice

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Power Operated Relief Valve Noise Mitigation

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Exemption and combined license amendment; issuance.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an Start Printed Page 24547exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and is issuing License Amendment No. 159 for Unit 3 and No. 157 for Unit 4 to Combined Licenses (COLs), NPF-91 and NPF-92. The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (collectively SNC); for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia.

The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 information asked for in the amendment. Because the acceptability of the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently.

DATES:

The exemption and amendment were issued on April 18, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address questions about NRC dockets in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • 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 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. The request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by letter dated August 10, 2018, revised October 11, 2018, and supplemented February 15, 2019, and available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML18222A599, ML18284A447, and ML19046A172, respectively.
  • 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 Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Billy Gleaves, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-5848; email: Bill.Gleaves@nrc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The NRC is issuing License Amendment Nos. 159 and 157 to COLs NPF 91 and NPF-92 and is granting an exemption from Tier 1 information in the plant-specific DCD for the AP1000. The AP1000 is incorporated by reference in appendix D, “Design Certification Rule for the AP1000,” to part 52 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The exemption, granted pursuant to Paragraph A.4 of Section VIII, “Processes for Changes and Departures,” of 10 CFR part 52, appendix D, allows the licensee to depart from the Tier 1 information. With the requested amendment, SNC sought proposed changes that would revise the COLs to relocate the power operated relief valve (PORV) branch lines upstream of the main steam safety valves in Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria (ITAAC) Figure 2.2.4-1 (Sheets 1 of 2) of the COL Appendix C (and plant-specific Tier 1 information). In addition to relocate the PORV branch lines upstream of the main steam safety valves in the main steam lines. In addition to the relocation of the PORV branch lines, the PORV block valves would be changed from gate valves to globe valves in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). The requested amendment proposes changes to the UFSAR in the form of departures from the incorporated plant-specific DCD Tier 2 information in the UFSAR and involves changes to COL Appendix C, and corresponding changes to plant-specific Tier 1 information.

Part of the justification for granting the exemption was provided by the review of the amendment. Because the exemption is necessary in order to issue the requested license amendment, the NRC granted the exemption and issued the amendment concurrently, rather than in sequence. This included issuing a combined safety evaluation containing the NRC staff's review of both the exemption request and the license amendment. The exemption met all applicable regulatory criteria set forth in §§ 50.12, 52.7, and section VIII.A.4 of appendix D to 10 CFR part 52. The license amendment was found to be acceptable as well. The combined safety evaluation is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML19063A894.

Identical exemption documents (except for referenced unit numbers and license numbers) were issued to SNC for VEGP Units 3 and 4 (COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92). The exemption documents for VEGP Units 3 and 4 can be found in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML19063A888 and ML19063A889, respectively. The exemption is reproduced (with the exception of abbreviated titles and additional citations) in Section II of this document. The amendment documents for COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92 are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML19063A890 and ML19063A892, respectively. A summary of the amendment documents is provided in Section III of this document.

II. Exemption

Reproduced below is the exemption document issued to VEGP Units 3 and Unit 4. It makes reference to the combined safety evaluation that provides the reasoning for the findings made by the NRC (and listed under Item 1) in order to grant the exemption:

1. In an application dated August 10, 2018, revised October 11, 2018, and supplemented February 15, 2019, SNC requested from the Commission an exemption to allow departures from Tier 1 information in the certified DCD incorporated by reference in 10 CFR part 52, appendix D, as part of license amendment request 18-021, “Power Operated Relief Valve Noise Mitigation.”

For the reasons set forth in Section 3.2 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation, which can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. ML19063A894, the Commission finds that:

A. The exemption is authorized by law;

B. the exemption presents no undue risk to public health and safety;

C. the exemption is consistent with the common defense and security;

D. special circumstances are present in that the application of the rule in this circumstance is not necessary to serve the underlying purpose of the rule;

E. the special circumstances outweigh any decrease in safety that may result from the reduction in standardization caused by the exemption; and

F. the exemption will not result in a significant decrease in the level of safety otherwise provided by the design.Start Printed Page 24548

2. Accordingly, the licensee is granted an exemption from the certified DCD Tier 1 information, with corresponding information in COL Appendix C of the Facility Combined License as described in the licensee's request dated August 10, 2018, revised October 11, 2018, and supplemented February 15, 2019. This exemption is related to, and necessary for the granting of License Amendment No. 159 [for Unit 3 and No. 157 for Unit 4] which is being issued concurrently with this exemption.

3. As explained in Section 5.0 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation (ADAMS Accession No. ML19063A894), this exemption meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment needs to be prepared in connection with the issuance of the exemption.

4. This exemption is effective as of the date of its issuance.

III. License Amendment Request

By letter dated August 10, 2018, revised October 11, 2018, and supplemented February 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML18222A599, ML18284A447, and ML19046A172, respectively), SNC requested that the NRC amend the COLs for VEGP, Units 3 and 4, COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92. The proposed amendment is described in Section I of this Federal Register notice.

The Commission has determined for these amendments that the application complies with the standards and requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's rules and regulations. The Commission has made appropriate findings as required by the Act and the Commission's rules and regulations in 10 CFR Chapter I, which are set forth in the license amendment.

A notice of consideration of issuance of amendment to facility operating license or COL, as applicable, proposed no significant hazards consideration determination, and opportunity for a hearing in connection with these actions, was published in the Federal Register on September 19, 2018 (83 FR 47375). Subsequently, by letter dated October 11, 2018, SNC provided additional information that expanded the scope of the amendment request as originally noticed in the Federal Register. The additional information provided in the October 11, 2018, revision related to structural and piping analyses that were not included in the original submittal. Accordingly, the NRC published a second proposed no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) determination in the Federal Register on November 20, 2018 (83 FR 58607), which superseded the original notice in its entirety. The supplement dated February 15, 2019, provided additional information that clarified the application, did not expand the scope of the application as originally noticed, and did not change the staff's second proposed NSHC determination as published in the Federal Register on November 20, 2018 (83 FR 58607). No comments were received during the 30-day comment period.

The Commission has determined that these amendments satisfy the criteria for categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared for these amendments.

IV. Conclusion

Using the reasons set forth in the combined safety evaluation, the staff granted the exemption and issued the amendment that SNC requested on August 10, 2018, revised October 11, 2018, and supplemented February 15, 2019.

The exemption and amendment were issued to SNC on April 18, 2019, as part of a combined package (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML19063A886).

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of May 2019.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jennifer L. Dixon-Herrity,

Chief, Licensing Branch 2, Division of Licensing, Siting, and Environmental Analysis, Office of New Reactors.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-11008 Filed 5-24-19; 8:45 am]

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