[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 154 (Thursday, August 11, 2005)]
[Pages 46892-46894]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-4351]



[Docket Nos. 50-348 and 50-364]

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Joseph M. Farley Nuclear 
Power Plant, Units 1 and 2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption from title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, Appendix R, ``Fire Protection Program for 
Nuclear Power

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Facilities Operating Prior to January 1, 1979,'' Section III.G.2.c, for 
Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8, issued to Southern 
Nuclear Operating Company (SNC or the licensee), for operation of the 
Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Power Plant (FNP), Units 1 and 2, located in 
Houston County, Alabama. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the 
NRC is issuing this environmental assessment and finding of no 
significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

    Identification of the Proposed Action: On December 29, 1986, the 
NRC staff granted Exemption Request 1-3, ``Service Water Intake 
Structure--Fire Area 72,'' from certain requirements of Appendix R, 
Section III.G.2.c, that require fire detection and fire suppression 
capabilities and the enclosure of cables, equipment, and associated 
non-safety circuits of one redundant train of safe shutdown equipment 
in a one-hour rated fire barrier. Exemption Request 1-3, issued on 
December 29, 1986, listed a total of ten items specific to Fire Area 72 
for the Service Water Intake Structure (SWIS), which is common to FNP, 
Units 1 and 2.
    By letters dated August 28, 2003, December 28, 2004, and June 9, 
2005, SNC submitted proposed revisions to Exemption Request 1-3. SNC 
stated that the proposed revisions to Exemption Request 1-3 would 
clarify FNP's fire protection licensing basis, delete unnecessary 
attributes of the prior approved exemption, and revise the remaining 
exemption attributes to remove references to the Kaowool one-hour fire 
barrier material. SNC also stated that the proposed revision to 
Exemption Request 1-3 is part of SNC's comprehensive plan to respond to 
concerns about Kaowool fire barrier material. SNC's August 28, 2003, 
letter provided the disposition for the original ten items plus one 
additional item related to Exemption Request 1-3. For two of these 
items, no change in the basis for their inclusion as exemption items 
was proposed and they were not considered further. For two of the items 
related to the service water swing pump cables, the principal basis for 
their inclusion as exemption items was not changed, however an 
improvement in defense-in-depth due the upgrading of certain walls 
within the SWIS to 3-hour rated fire barriers was recognized. For two 
of the items related to the service water header strainer motor 
operated inlet valves and swing pump motor operated discharge valves, 
the basis for the exemption is revised to delete reliance on Kaowool 
and to reflect the re-analysis that shows that damage to cables in the 
strainer pit cannot result in spurious operation of the valves. For the 
discharge-to-wet pit and discharge to storage pond flume valves, SNC 
showed that, based on deterministic and fire modeling results, that 
fire effects will not result in the mis-positioning of the valves. For 
the item related to service water pump cables in Fire Area 72 A, an 
integrated risk assessment shows that safe shutdown can be achieved 
even if no credit is taken for the Kaowool raceway enclosures. A 
previously existing Exemption Request 1-3 item relating to the 
coordination between safe shutdown and non-safe shutdown circuits was 
found to have been resolved by modifications to the plant and, 
accordingly, is deleted from Exemption Request 1-3. For the item 
related to the redundant Train A and Train B service water and related 
power cables that enter the SWIS near the ceiling in the northeast 
corner, an integrated risk assessment shows that fire damage would not 
occur to these cables even if no credit were taken for Kaowool. The 
proposed action, would allow SNC to re-establish the basis for 
Exemption Request 1-3 based on programmatic and plant design 
modifications, a deterministic re-analyses of fire protection 
considerations, a risk-informed plant change evaluation specifically 
applicable to the SWIS, enhanced controls on transient combustibles, 
the existing fire detection and automatic fire suppression capability 
to maintain defense-in-depth, and the availability of manual fire 
fighting and associated fire fighting equipment.
    The Need for the Proposed Action: The proposed changes to Exemption 
Request 1-3 from 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G.2.c is 
needed to enable SNC to re-establish the bases for the exemption that 
do not rely on the use of the Kaowool fire barrier material for the 
enclosure of certain redundant cable trays in the SWIS Fire Area 72.
    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: The NRC has completed 
its safety evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that the 
proposed changes to Exemption Request 1-3 will not present an undue 
risk to the public health and safety. The details of the NRC staff's 
Safety Evaluation will be provided in the revised Exemption Request 1-3 
that will be issued in a letter to the licensee approving the changes 
to Exemption Request 1-3. The action relates to revising the bases for 
the adequacy of the fire protection program at FNP.
    The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability 
or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of 
effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant 
increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there 
are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with 
the proposed action.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action: 
As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered denial 
of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). Denial of 
the application would result in no change in current environmental 
impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the 
alternative action are similar.
    Alternative Use of Resources: The action does not involve the use 
of any different resources than those previously considered in the 
Final Environmental Statement related to the operation of the FNP, 
Units 1 and 2, dated December 1974, and the Final Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement (NUREG-1437, Supplement 18), dated 
March, 2005.
    Agencies and Persons Consulted: In accordance with its stated 
policy, on August 4, 2005, the NRC staff consulted with the Alabama 
State official, David Walters, of the Office of Radiation Control, 
Alabama Department of Public Health, regarding the environmental impact 
of the proposed action. The State official had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letters dated August 28, 2003, December 28, 2004, and June 
9, 2005. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the 
NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint

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North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), 
Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible 
electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (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 or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to 
[email protected].

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of August 2005.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert E. Martin,
Senior Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate II, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-4351 Filed 8-10-05; 8:45 am]