[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 189 (Thursday, September 30, 1999)]
[Pages 52799-52800]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-25467]



[Docket Nos. 50-387 and 50-388]

PP&L, INC., (Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2); 


    PP&L, Inc., (PP&L or the licensee) is the holder of Facility 
Operating License Nos. NPF-14 and NPF-22, which authorize operation of 
the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (SSES 1 & 2 or 
the facilities) at power levels not to exceed 3441 megawatts thermal. 
The facilities consist of two boiling-water reactors located at the 
licensee's site in Salem Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The 
licenses provide, among other things, that the licensee is subject to 
all rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.


    Section IV.F.2.b of Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 requires each 
licensee at each site to conduct an exercise of its onsite emergency 
plan every 2 years and indicates the exercise may be included in the 
full-participation biennial exercise required by paragraph 2.c. 
Paragraph 2.c requires offsite plans for each site to be exercised 
biennially with full participation by each offsite authority having a 
role under the plan. During such biennial full-participation exercises, 
the NRC evaluates onsite emergency preparedness activities and the 
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) evaluates offsite emergency 
preparedness activities. PP&L successfully conducted a full-
participation exercise for SSES during the week of October 28, 1997. By 
letter dated January 29, 1999, as supplemented by letter dated May 24, 
1999, the licensee requested an

[[Page 52800]]

exemption from Sections IV.F.2.b and c of Appendix E regarding the 
conduct of a full-participation exercise originally scheduled for 
November 15, 1999. This one-time change in the exercise schedule would 
increase the interval in this one instance between full-participation 
exercises from the current 2 years to 3 years.
    The Commission, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(1), may grant 
exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 that are authorized 
by law, will not present an undue risk to public health and safety, and 
are consistent with the common defense and security. The Commission, 
however, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), will not consider granting an 
exemption unless special circumstances are present. Under 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(v), special circumstances are present whenever the 
exemption would provide only temporary relief from the applicable 
regulation and the licensee or applicant has made good faith efforts to 
comply with the regulation.


    The licensee requests a one-time change in the schedule for the 
next full-participation exercise for the SSES facilities. Subsequent 
full-participation exercises for the facilities would be scheduled at 
no greater than two year intervals in accordance with 10 CFR part 50 
Appendix E, Section IV.F.2.c. Accordingly, the exemption would provide 
only temporary relief from that regulation.
    As indicated in the licensee's request for an exemption of January 
29, 1999, the licensee had originally scheduled a full-participation 
exercise for the week of November 15, 1999. As further set forth in 
that letter, however, FEMA indicated that schedule conflicts precluded 
their participation in such an exercise in November 1999, and requested 
that the exercise be rescheduled. In a letter dated March 11, 1999, 
FEMA documented its position and noted that the affected Pennsylvania 
jurisdictions do not object to changing the date of the exercise. In 
addition, the NRC concurred with FEMA's request, and asked that the 
exercise be scheduled in the year 2000 to relieve resource demands. 
Accordingly, the licensee made a good faith effort to comply with the 
schedule requirements of Appendix E for full-participation exercises.
    The staff completed its evaluation of the licensee's request for an 
exemption and the licensee's proposed compensatory measures that it 
would take to maintain the level of emergency preparedness over the 
third year. These compensatory measures include training for on-site 
emergency response organization personnel; on-site health physics 
drills; off-site emergency response training and plan preparation and 
drills involving county and municipal volunteers (with critique from 
trained licensee employees); and routine testing of emergency sirens 
and notification systems. The staff considered that these measures are 
adequate to maintain the level of emergency preparedness over the third 
year. The staff, having considered the schedule and resource issues 
within FEMA Region III and Region I of the Commission and the proposed 
licensee compensatory measures, believes that the request should be 


    The Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR part 50, 
appendix E, this exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life 
or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest. Further, the Commission has determined, pursuant to 10 
CFR 50.12(a), that special circumstances of 10 CFR 50.12(a)(v) are 
applicable in that the exemption would provide only temporary relief 
from the applicable regulation and the licensee has made good faith 
efforts to comply with the regulation. Therefore, the Commission hereby 
grants the exemption from Section IV.F.2.b and c of Appendix E to 10 
CFR part 50.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the 
granting of this exemption will have no significant impact on the 
quality of the human environment (64 FR 33326).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of September 1999.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John A. Zwolinski,
Director, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 99-25467 Filed 9-29-99; 8:45 am]