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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

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 26720

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 two amendment requests. The amendment requests are for Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2; Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2; and Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2. 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 June 4, 2020. A request for a hearing or petitions for leave to intervene must be filed by July 6, 2020. 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 May 15, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0093. Address questions about NRC docket IDs 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.
  • Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.

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:

Paula Blechman, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-2242, email: Paula.Blechman@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-2020-0093, facility name, unit number(s), docket number(s), 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 https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0093.
  • NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://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.

B. Submitting Comments

Please include Docket ID NRC-2020-0093, facility name, unit number(s), docket number(s), 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 https://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 determination. 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 amendments until the expiration of 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The Commission may issue the license amendments before expiration of the 60-day period provided that its final determination is that the amendments involve no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the Start Printed Page 26721Commission may issue the amendments 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 https://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​doc-collections/​cfr/​. 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.

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 Start Printed Page 26722found in the Guidance for Electronic Submissions to the NRC and on the NRC website at https://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 https://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 https://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 (ET) 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 https://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., ET, 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.

Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Docket Nos. STN 50-456 and STN 50-457, Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2 (Braidwood), Will County, Illinois and Docket Nos. STN 50-454 and STN 50-455, Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Byron), Ogle County, Illinois

Date of amendment request: February 28, 2020. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20063L400.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains SUNSI. The amendments would revise Technical Specification (TS) 5.6.5, “Core Operating Limits Report (COLR),” to replace the current NRC-approved loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) methodologies with a single, newer NRC-approved LOCA methodology, the FULL SPECTRUMTM LOCA Evaluation Model (FSLOCATM EM).

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 change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The proposed change revises TS 5.6.5.b to replace the current NRC approved LOCA methodologies listed in TS 5.6.5.b with another NRC approved methodology contained in WCAP-16996-P-A, Rev. 1, “Realistic LOCA Evaluation Methodology Applied to the Full Spectrum of Break Sizes (FULL SPECTRUM[TM] LOCA Methodology).”

The proposed changes to the TS 5.6.5.b core operating limits methodologies, consists of replacing three current LOCA methodologies with a newer, single NRC approved methodology (the FSLOCATM EM). The NRC review of the FSLOCATM EM concluded that the analytical methods are acceptable as a replacement for the current LOCA analytical methods listed in TS 5.6.5.b.Start Printed Page 26723

The proposed change does not affect the design or function of any plant structures, systems, and components (SSCs). Thus, the proposed change does not affect plant operation, design features, or the capability of any SSC to perform its safety function. In addition, the proposed change does not affect any previously evaluated accidents in the UFSAR [Updated Final Safety Analysis Report], or any SSCs, operating procedures, and administrative controls that have the function of preventing or mitigating any accident previously evaluated in the UFSAR. Thus, the proposed use of the FSLOCATM EM will continue to assure that the plant operates in the same safe manner as before and will not involve an increase in the probability of an accident.

The analyses results determined by use of the proposed new methodology will not increase the reactor power level or the core fission product inventory and will not change any transport assumptions or the shutdown margin requirements of the Braidwood and Byron TS. As such, Braidwood and Byron will continue to operate within the power distribution limits and shutdown margins required by the TS and within the assumptions of the safety analyses described in the UFSAR. As such, the proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the consequences of an accident.

Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different accident from any accident previously evaluated?

Response: No.

The proposed change revises TS 5.6.5.b to replace the current NRC approved LOCA methodologies listed in TS 5.6.5.b with a single, newer NRC approved methodology contained in WCAP-16996-P-A, Rev. 1, “Realistic LOCA Evaluation Methodology Applied to the Full Spectrum of Break Sizes (FULL SPECTRUM[TM] LOCA Methodology).” The NRC review of the FSLOCATM EM concluded that the analytical methods are acceptable as a replacement for the current LOCA analytical methods listed in TS 5.6.5.b.

The proposed change provides revised analytical methods and does not change any system functions or maintenance activities. The change does not involve physical alteration of the plant; that is, no new or different type of equipment will be installed. The change does not impact the ability of any SSC to perform its safety function consistent with the assumptions of the safety analyses and continues to assure the plant is operated within safe limits. As such, the proposed change does not create new failure modes or mechanisms that are not identifiable during testing, and no new accident precursors are generated.

Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different accident from any accident previously evaluated.

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

Response: No.

The margin of safety is established through equipment design, operating parameters, and the setpoints at which automatic actions are initiated. The proposed change does not physically alter safety-related systems, nor does it affect the way in which safety-related systems perform their functions. The setpoints at which protective actions are initiated are not altered by the proposed change. Therefore, sufficient equipment remains available to actuate upon demand for the purpose of mitigating an analyzed event. The NRC has reviewed and approved the new methodology for the intended use in lieu of the current methodologies; thus, the margin of safety is not reduced due to this change.

Therefore, the proposed change 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: Tamra Domeyer, Associate General Counsel, Exelon Nuclear, 4300 Winfield Road, Warrenville, IL 60555.

NRC Branch Chief: Nancy L. Salgado.

Tennessee Valley Authority, Docket Nos. 50-327 and 50-328, Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, Hamilton County, Tennessee

Date of amendment request: January 14, 2020. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20016A396.

Description of amendment request: This amendment request contains SUNSI. The amendments would revise the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant (SQN) Units 1 and 2, UFSAR to reflect the results of the new hydrologic analysis.

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 reflect the updated hydrologic analysis, including changes in the PMP [probable maximum precipitation] used in the LIP [local intense precipitation] and the rivers and streams flooding models, revision of the geometry and reservoir overbank storage in the HEC-RAS [Hydrology Engineering Center River Analysis System] model, updated wind speed used in the wind wave analysis, updated seismically-induced dam failure flooding analysis to current NRC guidance, and revision of the warning time plan resulting from these changes. The proposed changes result in additional margin between the revised design basis flood elevations and limiting safety-related systems, structures, and components. Implementation of these changes does not (1) prevent the safety function of any safety-related system, structure, or component during an external flood; (2) alter, degrade, or prevent action described or assumed in any accident described in the SQN Units 1 and 2 UFSAR from being performed, because the safety-related systems, structures, or components remain adequately protected from the effects of external floods; (3) alter any assumptions previously made in evaluating radiological consequences; or (4) affect the integrity of any fission product barrier.

Therefore, this 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 reflect the updated hydrologic analysis, including changes in the PMP used in the LIP and the rivers and streams flooding models, revision of the geometry and reservoir overbank storage in the HEC-RAS model, updated wind speed used in the wind wave analysis, updated seismically-induced dam failure flooding analysis to current NRC guidance, and revision of the warning time plan resulting from these changes. The proposed changes do not introduce any new accident causal mechanisms, nor do they impact any plant systems that are potential accident initiators.

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 reflect the updated hydrologic analysis, including changes in the PMP used in the LIP and the rivers and streams flooding models, revision of the geometry and reservoir overbank storage in the HEC-RAS model, updated wind speed used in the wind wave analysis, updated seismically-induced dam failure flooding analysis to current NRC guidance, and revision of the warning time plan resulting from these changes. The proposed changes do not alter the permanent plant design, including instrument set points, that is the basis of the assumptions contained in the safety analyses. The results of the updated hydrologic analysis increase the margin to the design analysis flood elevation required to protect safety-related systems, structures, or components during external flooding events. Therefore, the proposed changes do not prevent any safety-related structures, systems, or components from performing their required functions during an external flood. Consistent with existing regulatory guidance, including regulatory recommendations, and discussions regarding calibration of hydrology models using Start Printed Page 26724historical flood data and consideration of sensitivity analyses, the hydrologic analysis is considered a reasonable best estimate that has accounted for uncertainties using the best data available.

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 amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.

Attorney for licensee: General Counsel, Tennessee Valley Authority, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, 6A West Tower, Knoxville, TN 37902.

NRC Branch Chief: Undine Shoop.

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

Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Docket Nos. STN 50-456 and STN 50-457, Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Will County, Illinois and Docket Nos. STN 50-454 and STN 50-455, Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, Ogle County, Illinois

Tennessee Valley Authority, Docket Nos. 50-327 and 50-328, Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, Hamilton County, Tennessee

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 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 requestor 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 requestor'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 requestor 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 requestor 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 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 Start Printed Page 26725granting 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.

It is so ordered.

Start Signature

Dated: April 15, 2020.

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 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 requestor 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/requestor 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.  Requestors 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. 2020-08353 Filed 5-4-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P