[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 60 (Tuesday, March 30, 2010)]
[Pages 15744-15745]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7025]



[Docket No. 50-285; NRC-2010-0087]

Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1; 

1.0 Background

    Omaha Public Power District (OPPD, the licensee) is the holder of 
Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-40 which authorizes 
operation of the Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1 (FCS). 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 
Washington County, Nebraska.

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 in 
the Federal Register on 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 three of these new requirements that OPPD 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, 
    By letter dated December 31, 2009, as supplemented by letter dated 
January 21, 2010, the licensee requested an exemption in accordance 
with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' Portions of the licensee's 
letters dated December 31, 2009, and January 21, 2010, contain 
security-related information and, accordingly, those portions are being 
withheld from public disclosure. 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 three requirements that would be met 
by October 5, 2011, instead of the March 31, 2010, deadline. Granting 
this exemption for the three items would allow the licensee to complete 
the necessary security system upgrades to meet or exceed 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, until October 5, 2011, of the 
implementation date for three specific requirements of the new rule. 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 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 sent 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 
reach 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 request to generically 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 as documented in the letter from R. W. Borchardt (NRC) to M. S. 
Fertel (Nuclear Energy Institute) dated June 4, 2009. 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.

FCS Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in the Attachments to 
its letters dated December 31, 2009, and January 21, 2010, requesting 
an exemption. The licensee is requesting additional time to implement 
certain new requirements due to the amount of engineering and design, 
material procurement, and construction and installation activities. The 
licensee describes a comprehensive plan to upgrade the security 
capabilities of the FCS site and provides a timeline for achieving full 
compliance with the new regulation. The Attachments to the licensee's 
letters contain security-related information regarding the site 
security plan, details of specific requirements of the regulation for 
which the site cannot be in compliance by the March 31, 2010, deadline, 
and a timeline with critical path activities that would enable the 
licensee to achieve full compliance by October 5, 2011. The timeline 
provides milestone dates for engineering, planning and procurement, 
implementation, startup and testing, engineering closeout, and project 
closeout. A redacted version of the licensee's letter dated December 
31, 2009, is publicly available in Agencywide Documents Management and 
Access System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML100050032.

[[Page 15745]]

    Notwithstanding the schedule 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 October 5, 2011, FCS will be in full compliance with all 
the regulatory requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, as issued on March 27, 

4.0 Conclusion for Part 73 Schedule Exemption Request

    The staff has reviewed the licensee's submittals and concludes that 
the licensee has justified its request for an extension of the 
compliance date with regard to three specified requirements of 10 CFR 
73.55 until October 5, 2011.
    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, ``Specific exemptions,'' 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 has determined that the long-term benefits, that will be 
realized when the FCS modifications are complete, justify extending the 
full compliance date in the case of this particular licensee. The 
significant security measures for which FCS needs additional time to 
complete 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, 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 three 
items specified in the Attachments to FCS's letters dated December 31, 
2009, and January 21, 2010, the licensee is required to be in full 
compliance with 10 CFR 73.55 by October 5, 2011. 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 10835; March 9, 2010].
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd 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. 2010-7025 Filed 3-29-10; 8:45 am]