[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 162 (Tuesday, August 23, 2005)]
[Pages 49323-49324]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-4594]



[Docket No. 50-271; License No. DPR-28]

Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC and Entergy Nuclear 
Operations, Inc.; Notice of Issuance of Director's Decision Under 10 
CFR 2.206

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) has 
issued a Director's Decision with regard to a petition dated July 29, 
2004, filed by Mr. Paul Blanch and Mr. Arnold Gundersen, hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Petitioners.'' The petition was supplemented on 
December 8, 2004. The petition concerns the operation of the Vermont 
Yankee Nuclear Power Station (Vermont Yankee).
    The petition requested that the NRC issue a Demand for Information 
requiring Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC, and Entergy Nuclear 
Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee) to provide information that 
clearly and unambiguously describes how Vermont Yankee complies with 
the General Design Criteria (GDC) specified in Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50 Appendix A, or the draft GDC 
published by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1967.
    As the basis for their request, the Petitioners stated that this 
information is essential for two NRC regulatory activities at Vermont 
Yankee: (1) the NRC's review of Entergy's application for an extended 
power uprate (EPU), and (2) the NRC's engineering assessment. The 
Petitioners stated that until the design bases are clearly identified, 
any inspection or assessment is meaningless.
    By teleconference on August 26, 2004, the Petitioners discussed the 
petition with the NRC's Petition Review Board. This teleconference gave 
the Petitioners and the licensee an opportunity to provide additional 
information and to clarify issues raised in the petition.
    By letter dated May 13, 2005, the NRC staff requested Entergy 
provide information related to the petition. Entergy responded by 
letter dated June 14, 2005, and the information provided was considered 
by the staff in its evaluation of the petition.
    The NRC staff sent a copy of the proposed Director's Decision to 
the Petitioners and to the licensee for comment by letters dated May 
17, 2005. The staff did not receive any comments on the proposed 
Director's Decision.
    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has 
determined that the request to issue a Demand for

[[Page 49324]]

Information to the licensee is denied. The reasons for this decision 
are explained in the Director's Decision pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206 (DD-
05-02), the complete text of which is available for inspection at the 
Commission's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 
Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland, or electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the NRC Web 
site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html.
    The Director's Decision addresses several issues related to the 
Vermont Yankee design and licensing basis including: (1) Whether the 
licensee's designation of Appendix F of the Updated Final Safety 
Analysis Report (UFSAR) as ``historical information'' meets the intent 
of 10 CFR 50.71(e) regarding maintenance of design basis information, 
and (2) whether a compilation of Vermont Yankee's current design 
conformance to the draft GDCs is necessary for licensing reviews and 
    With respect to the first issue, the NRC staff concluded that the 
designation of UFSAR Appendix F as historical information is consistent 
with the applicable industry guidance, and would meet the intent of 10 
CFR 50.71(e) regarding maintenance of design basis information, if the 
relevant information, consistent with the definition of ``design 
bases'' in 10 CFR 50.2, is contained in other portions of the UFSAR 
that are updated to reflect current plant design. Following the 
licensee's next update of the UFSAR to add the cross references 
discussed in Section II.A of the Director's Decision, the NRC staff 
will evaluate if any enforcement action is warranted.
    With respect to the second issue, the NRC staff concluded that the 
NRC licensing review process provides reasonable assurance that the 
plant continues to meet the intent of the draft GDC and adequate 
protection of public health and safety is assured. The NRC also 
concluded that it did not need a compilation of the Vermont Yankee's 
current conformance to the draft GDC to review the application for an 
EPU or to conduct the Engineering Team Inspection (inspection was 
completed in September 2004).
    A copy of the Director's Decision will be filed with the Secretary 
of the Commission for the Commission's review in accordance with 10 CFR 
2.206 of the Commission's regulations. As provided for by this 
regulation, the Director's Decision will constitute the final action of 
the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision, unless the 
Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the director's 
decision in that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of August 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
R. William Borchardt,
Acting Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-4594 Filed 8-22-05; 8:45 am]