[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 25, 2005)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-2630]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket Nos. 50-348 and 50-364]
Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Alabama Power Company,
Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Consideration
of Issuance of Amendments to Facility Operating License, Proposed No
Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) is
considering issuance of amendments to Facility Operating License Nos.
NPF-2 and NPF-8, issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.
(the licensee) for operation of the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant
(FNP), Units 1 and 2, located in Houston County, Alabama.
The proposed amendments would revise FNP, Units 1 and 2 Technical
Specifications Plant Systems Section 3.7 and Design Features Section
4.3 to establish spent fuel cask storage area boron concentration
limits and to restrict the minimum burn up of spent fuel assemblies
associated with spent fuel cask loading operations.
Before issuance of the proposed license amendments, the Commission
will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as
amended (the Act), and the Commission's regulations.
The Commission has made a proposed determination that the amendment
request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the
Commission's regulations in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(10 CFR) section 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in
accordance with the proposed amendments 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. 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?
Cask loading operations will not require any physical changes to
part 50 structures, systems, or components, nor will their
performance requirements be altered. The potential to handle a spent
fuel cask was considered in the original design of the plant.
Therefore, the response of the plant to previously analyzed Part 50
accidents and related radiological releases will not be adversely
impacted, and will bound those postulated during cask loading
activities in the cask storage area. Accordingly, the proposed
changes do 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 kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
Existing fuel handling procedures and associated administrative
controls remain applicable for cask loading operations.
Additionally, the soluble boron concentration required to maintain
Keff <= 0.95 for postulated criticality accidents
associated with cask loading operations was also
evaluated. The results of the analyses, using a methodology
previously approved by the NRC, demonstrate that the amount of
soluble boron required to compensate for the positive reactivity
associated with these postulated accidents (659 ppm) remains well
below the existing spent fuel pool minimum boron concentration limit
of 2000 ppm. Accordingly, the same limit has been proposed for cask
loading operations in the cask storage area. Therefore, the
possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident
previously evaluated is not created.
3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a
margin of safety?
An NRC approved methodology was used to perform the criticality
analysis which provides the basis to incorporate a new burn up
versus enrichment curve into the plant Technical Specifications to
ensure criticality requirements are met during spent fuel cask
loading. Accordingly, the existing minimum boron concentration limit
for the spent fuel of 2000 ppm will continue to remain bounding
during cask loading operations. Existing criticality limits will
also be maintained should it be postulated that the spent fuel pool
be flooded when connected to the cask storage area with unborated
water (Keff < 1.0) or should it become flooded with
borated water to 400 ppm (Keff <= 0.95) during cask
loading operations. This determination accounts for uncertainties at
a 95-percent/95-percent probability/confidence level. Proposed
Technical Specification 3.7.17 requires that the spent fuel transfer
canal gate and the cask storage area gate be open except when moving
the spent fuel cask into or out of the cask storage area. The cask
storage area will be isolated from the spent fuel pool volume during
movement of the cask into and out of the cask storage area. Due to
the minimal time that spent fuel will be stored in the cask storage
area with the cask storage area isolated from the spent fuel pool
volume, a boron dilution event is not considered credible while the
cask storage area is isolated. However, should it be postulated that
a boron dilution event does occur during this time period,
Keff will remain less than 1.0 should the cask storage
area become fully flooded with unborated water. Therefore, there
will not be a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
Based upon the preceding information, SNC has concluded that the
requested license amendment does not involve a significant hazards
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.
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
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 should 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. Should the
Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment
period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a
notice of issuance. Should the Commission make 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.
Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rules and
Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of
Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
20555-0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of
this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be delivered to
Room 6D59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville,
Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. Documents may
be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document
Room, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.
The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to
intervene is discussed below.
Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, the
licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of
the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person
whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to
participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request
for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Requests for a
hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in
accordance with the Commission's ``Rules of Practice for Domestic
Licensing Proceedings'' in 10 CFR Part 2. Interested persons should
consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the
Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area
01F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.
Publicly available records will be accessible from the Agencywide
Documents Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public Electronic
Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing or petition
for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or a
presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief
Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel,
will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the
Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board
will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.
As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene
shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in
the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of
the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons
why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the
following general requirements: (1) The name, address and telephone
number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the
requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the
proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/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 requestor's/petitioner's interest. The petition must
also identify the specific contentions which the petitioner/requestor
seeks to have litigated at 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/requestor shall 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/requestor must also provide references to those specific
sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware and on which the
petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion.
The petition must include sufficient information to show that a genuine
dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact.
Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the
amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if
proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A
petitioner/requestor who fails to satisfy these requirements 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,
and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the
If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final
determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The
final determination will serve to decide 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 held would take place after issuance
of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment
request involves a significant hazards consideration, any hearing held
would take place before the issuance of any amendment.
Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be
entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding
officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition,
request and/or the contentions should be granted based on a balancing
of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(a)(1)(i)-(viii).
A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must
be filed 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; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services:
Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and
Adjudications Staff; (3) e-mail addressed to the Office of the
Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, [email protected];
or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary,
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention:
Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415-1101, verification
number is (301) 415-1966. A copy of the request for hearing and
petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of
the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
20555-0001, and it is requested that copies be transmitted either by
means of facsimile transmission to (301) 415-3725 or by e-mail to
[email protected]. A copy of the request for hearing and petition
for leave to intervene should also be sent to M. Stanford Blanton,
Esq., Balch and Bingham, Post Office Box 306, 1710 Sixth Avenue North,
Birmingham, Alabama 35201, attorney for the licensee.
For further details with respect to this action, see the
application for amendment dated May 17, 2005, which is available for
public inspection at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint
North, File Public Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor),
Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible from
the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public
Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to
ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in
ADAMS, should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-
800-397-4209, (301) 415-4737, or by e-mail to [email protected].
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of May, 2005.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate II, Division of Licensing Project
Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-2630 Filed 5-24-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P