[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 9, 2010)]
[Pages 10836-10837]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4944]



[Docket Nos. 50-334 And 50-412; NRC-2010-0049]

Firstenergy Nuclear Operating Company, Firstenergy Nuclear 
Generation Corp., Ohio Edison Company, the Toledo Edison Company, 
Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 And 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-66 and NPF-73, which authorizes 
operation of the Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (BVPS-1 
and 2). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is 
subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The 
facility consists of two pressurized-water reactors located in Beaver 
County, Pennsylvania.

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 plans. 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 
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 one of these new 
requirements that BVPS-1 and 2 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 23, 2009, the licensee requested an exemption in accordance 
with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' The licensee's letters 
contain security information and, accordingly, those portions are not 
available to the public. The licensee has requested an exemption from 
the March 31, 2010, compliance date stating that a number of issues 
will present a significant challenge to timely completion of the 
project related to a specific requirement in 10 CFR Part 73. The 
request is to extend the compliance date for one specific requirement 
from the current March 31, 2010, deadline to December 17, 2010. Being 
granted this exemption for the extension would allow the

[[Page 10837]]

licensee to design the necessary modifications, procure equipment and 
material, and implement upgrades to meet the noted regulatory 

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

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.55(a)(1), ``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, to December 17, 2010, for the 
implementation date for one specific requirement of the new rule. 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 NRC 
approval of the licensee's exemption request is authorized by law.
    In the draft final rule provided to the Commission (SECY-08-0099 
dated 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 wanted to 
provide a reasonable timeframe for licensees to achieve full 
    As noted in the final rule, the Commission also anticipated that 
licensees would have to conduct site specific analyses 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.

BVPS-1 and 2 Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in its letter dated 
November 30, 2009, as supplemented December 23, 2009, requesting an 
exemption. It describes a comprehensive plan to design the necessary 
modifications, procure equipment and material, and implement upgrades 
to comply with a specific aspect of 10 CFR 73.55 and provides a 
timeline for achieving full compliance with the new regulation. The 
submittals contain security information regarding the site security 
plan, details of the specific requirement 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 would allow the licensee to 
achieve full compliance by December 17, 2010. The timeline provides 
dates indicating (1) when various phases of the project begin and end 
(i.e., design, field construction), (2) outages scheduled for each 
unit, and (3) when critical equipment will be ordered, installed, 
tested and become operational.
    The licensee currently maintains a security program acceptable to 
the NRC and the new 10 CFR Part 73 security measures that will be 
implemented by March 31, 2010, will continue to provide acceptable 
physical protection of BVPS-1 and 2 during the requested extension 
    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 its current NRC approved physical security 
program. By December 17, 2010, BVPS-1 and 2 will be in full compliance 
with all the regulatory requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, as issued on 
March 27, 2009.

4.0 Conclusion for Part 73 Schedule Exemption Request

    The NRC 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 December 17, 2010, with 
regard to the specified requirement of 10 CFR 73.55.
    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, ``Specific exemptions,'' 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 
    The NRC staff has determined that the long-term benefits that will 
be realized when the BVPS-1 and 2 equipment installation is complete 
justifies extending the full compliance date with regard to the 
specified requirement of 10 CFR 73.55. The security measures, BVPS-1 
and 2 need additional time to implement, are new requirements imposed 
by 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 
    As per the licensee's request and the NRC's regulatory authority to 
grant an exemption from the March 31, 2010, implementation deadline for 
the requirement specified in the licensee's letter dated November 30, 
2009, as supplemented December 23, 2009, the licensee is required to be 
in full compliance by December 17, 2010. 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 10 CFR 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 6736; dated February 10, 2010.
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-4944 Filed 3-8-10; 8:45 am]