[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 47 (Thursday, March 11, 2010)]
[Pages 11579-11580]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5271]



[Docket No. 50-261; NRC-2010-0062]

Carolina Power & Light Company H. B. Robinson Steam Electric 
Plant, Unit No. 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Carolina Power & Light Company (the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License No. DPF-23, which authorizes operation of 
the H. B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant, Unit 2 (HBRSEP). 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 a pressurized water reactor located in 
Darlington County, South 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 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 2 of these new requirements that HBRSEP 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, the licensee requested an 
exemption in accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' The 
licensee's November 30, 2009, letter contains proprietary and security-
related information that, accordingly, is 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 
modifications to the current site security configuration before all 
requirements can be met. Specifically, the request is for two 
requirements that will be met by December 30, 2010, versus the March 
31, 2010, deadline to. Being granted this exemption for the two items 
will allow the licensee to complete the modifications designed to meet 
or exceed the noted regulatory requirements.

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

[[Page 11580]]

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, allows an extension 
from March 31, 2010, until December 30, 2010, to allow for temporary 
noncompliance with the new rule in two specific areas. 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 of the licensee's 
proposed exemption will 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, 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 compliance.
    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.

HBRSEP 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 upgrade the security capabilities of its HBRSEP 
site and provides a timeline for achieving full compliance with the new 
regulation. Attachment 1 contains proprietary 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 site cannot be in compliance, the required 
changes to the site's security configuration, and a timeline with 
critical path activities that will bring the licensee into full 
compliance by December 30, 2010. The timeline provides dates indicating 
when construction will begin on various phases of the project and when 
critical equipment will be ordered, installed, tested and become 
    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. Furthermore, the security measures for which HBRSEP needs 
additional time to implement are in addition to those required by the 
security orders issued in response to the events of September 11, 2001. 
By December 30, 2010, HBRSEP 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 staff has reviewed the licensee's submittal and concludes that 
the licensee has provided adequate justification for its request for an 
extension of the compliance date to December 30, 2010, with regard to 
two 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 associated HBRSEP site modifications are complete 
justify exceeding the full compliance date with regard to the two 
specific requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 in the case of this particular 
licensee. Therefore, the NRC concludes 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 two items 
specified in Attachment 1 of the licensee's letter dated November 30, 
2009, the licensee is required to be in full compliance by December 30, 
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 8410, February 24, 2010.
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd 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. 2010-5271 Filed 3-10-10; 8:45 am]