[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 42 (Thursday, March 4, 2010)]
[Pages 9958-9959]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4525]



[Docket No. 50-400; NRC-2010-0020]

Carolina Power & Light Company, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power 
Plant, Unit 1; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Carolina Power & Light Company (the licensee), now doing business 
as Progress Energy Carolinas, Inc. (PEC), is the holder of Renewed 
Facility Operating License No. NPF-63, which authorizes operation of 
the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 (HNP). The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The 
facility consists of one pressurized water reactor located in New Hill, 
North Carolina.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 73, 
``Physical Protection of Plants and Materials,'' section 73.55, 
``Requirements for physical protection of licensed activities in 
nuclear power reactors against radiological sabotage,'' published March 
27, 2009, effective May 26, 2009, with a full implementation date of 
March 31, 2010, requires licensees to protect, with high assurance, 
against radiological sabotage by designing and implementing 
comprehensive site security programs. The amendments to 10 CFR 73.55 
published on March 27, 2009, establish and update generically 
applicable security requirements similar to those previously imposed by 
the Commission orders issued after the terrorist attacks of September 
11, 2001, and implemented by licensees. In addition, the amendments to 
10 CFR 73.55 include additional requirements to further enhance site 
security based upon insights gained from implementation of the post-
September 11, 2001, security orders. It is from three of these new 
requirements that HNP now seeks an exemption from the March 31, 2010, 
implementation date. All other physical security requirements 
established by this recent rulemaking have already been or will be 
implemented by the licensee by March 31, 2010.
    By letter dated November 30, 2009, as supplemented by letter dated 
December 16, 2009, the licensee requested an exemption in accordance 
with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific Exemptions.'' Attachment 1 to the 
licensee's November 30, 2009, letter, as well as the December 16, 2009, 
letter in its entirety, contain security-related information and, 
accordingly, are not available to the public. The licensee has 
requested an exemption from the March 31, 2010, compliance date stating 
that it must complete a number of significant physical modifications to 
the current site security configuration before all requirements of 10 
CFR part 73 can be met. Specifically, the request is to extend the 
compliance date for one requirement from the current March 31, 2010, 
deadline to July 30, 2010, and to extend the compliance date for two 
additional requirements to December 15, 2010. Being granted this 
exemption for the three items would allow the licensee to complete the 
modifications designed to update aging equipment and incorporate state-
of-the-art technology to meet the regulatory requirements.

3.0 Discussion of Part 73 Schedule Exemptions From the March 31, 2010, 
Full Implementation Date

    The regulation in 10 CFR 73.55(a)(1) states: ``By March 31, 2010, 
each nuclear power reactor licensee, licensed under 10 CFR part 50, 
shall implement the requirements of this section through its 
Commission-approved Physical Security Plan, Training and Qualification 
Plan, Safeguards Contingency Plan, and Cyber Security Plan referred to 
collectively hereafter as ``security plans.' '' Pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or 
upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 
CFR part 73 when the exemptions are authorized by law, and will not 
endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are 
otherwise in the public interest.
    NRC approval of this exemption, as noted above, would allow an 
extension from March 31, 2010, until July 30, 2010, for one 
requirement, and December 15, 2010, for two other requirements. As 
stated above, 10 CFR 73.5 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 73. The NRC staff has determined that granting 
the licensee's proposed exemption would not result in a violation of 
the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission's 
regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.
    In the draft final rule provided to the Commission on July 9, 2008, 
the NRC staff proposed that the requirements of the new regulation be 
met within 180 days. The Commission directed a change from 180 days to 
approximately 1 year for licensees to fully implement the new 
requirements. This change was incorporated into the final rule. From 
this, it is clear that the Commission desires to provide a reasonable 
timeframe for licensees to achieve full compliance.
    As noted in the final rule, the Commission also anticipated that 
licensees would have to conduct site-specific analyses in order to 
determine what changes were necessary to implement the rule's 
requirements, and that changes could be accomplished through a variety 
of licensing mechanisms, including exemptions. Since issuance of the 
final rule, the Commission has rejected a generic industry request to 
extend the rule's compliance date for all operating nuclear power 
plants, but noted that the Commission's regulations provide mechanisms 
for individual licensees, with good cause, to apply for relief from the 
compliance date (Reference: June 4, 2009 letter from R. W. Borchardt, 
NRC, to M. S. Fertel, Nuclear Energy Institute). The licensee's request 
for an exemption is therefore consistent with the approach set forth by 
the Commission and discussed in the June 4, 2009 letter.

Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1, Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in Attachment 1 of its 
November 30, 2009, letter requesting an exemption. It describes a 
comprehensive plan to install additional intrusion detection equipment, 
relocate certain security assets, and upgrade other security related 
systems at the HNP site, as well as providing a timeline for achieving 
full compliance with the new regulation. Attachment 1 contains 
security-related information regarding the site security plan, details 
of the specific requirements of the regulation for which the site 
cannot be in compliance by the March 31, 2010, deadline and why, the 
required changes to the site's security configuration, and a timeline 
with critical path activities that will enable the licensee to achieve 
full compliance by July 30, 2010, and December 15, 2010, respectively. 
The timeline provides dates indicating when: (1) The design work will 
be completed for the projects that will bring each of the three 
remaining areas into compliance; (2) construction will begin on various 
phases of the projects

[[Page 9959]]

(i.e., new roads, buildings, and fences); and (3) critical equipment 
will be ordered, installed, tested and become operational.
    The licensee indicated that with completion of the three projects 
noted above by July 30, 2010, and December 15, 2010, HNP will be in 
full compliance with all the regulatory requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, 
as issued on March 27, 2009. Notwithstanding the schedular exemptions 
for these limited requirements, the licensee will continue to be in 
compliance with all other applicable physical security requirements as 
described in 10 CFR 73.55 and reflected in HNP's current NRC approved 
physical security program.

4.0 Conclusion for Part 73 Schedule Exemption Request

    The staff has reviewed the licensee's submittals and concludes that 
the licensee has provided adequate justification for its request for an 
extension of the compliance date to July 30, 2010, and December 15, 
2010, respectively, with regard to three specified requirements of 10 
CFR 73.55. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 
10 CFR 73.5, an exemption from the March 31, 2010, compliance date is 
authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. 
Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the requested exemption.
    The NRC staff has determined that the long-term benefits that will 
be realized when the installation of additional intrusion detection 
equipment, relocation of certain security assets, and upgrades to other 
security related systems are complete at HNP justifies extending the 
full compliance date with regard to the specified requirements of 10 
CFR 73.55. The security measures that HNP needs additional time to 
implement are new requirements imposed by the March 27, 2009, 
amendments to 10 CFR 73.55, and are in addition to those required by 
the security orders issued in response to the events of September 11, 
2001. Therefore, it is concluded that the licensee's actions are in the 
best interest of protecting the public health and safety through the 
security changes that will result from granting this exemption.
    As per the licensee's request and the NRC's regulatory authority to 
grant an exemption from the March 31, 2010, deadline for the three 
items specified in Attachment 1 of the PEC letter dated November 30, 
2009, the licensee is required to be in full compliance with the 
specified requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 by July 30, 2010, and December 
15, 2010, as applicable. In achieving compliance, the licensee is 
reminded that it is responsible for determining the appropriate 
licensing mechanism (i.e., 10 CFR 50.54(p) or 50.90) for incorporation 
of all necessary changes to its security plans.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, ``Finding of no significant impact,'' the 
Commission has previously determined that the granting of this 
exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the 
human environment (75 FR 3942, dated January 25, 2010).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Allen Howe,
Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-4525 Filed 3-3-10; 8:45 am]