[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 60 (Tuesday, March 30, 2010)]
[Pages 15751-15752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7031]

[[Page 15751]]



 [Docket Nos. 50-313 and 50-368; NRC-2010-0111]

Entergy Operations, Inc., Arkansas Nuclear One, Units 1 And 2; 

1.0 Background

    Entergy Operations, Inc. (the licensee), is the holder of Facility 
Operating License Nos. DPR-51 and NPF-6, which authorize operation of 
the Arkansas Nuclear One, Units 1 and 2 (ANO-1 and 2). The licenses 
provide, 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 two pressurized-water reactors located in 
Pope County, Arkansas.

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 (74 FR 13926), 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 Entergy 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 January 14, 2010, as supplemented by letter dated 
January 28, 2010, the licensee requested an exemption in accordance 
with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' The licensee's letters dated 
January 14 and 28, 2010, contain security-related information and, 
accordingly, those portions are being withheld from public disclosure. 
Redacted versions of the letters dated January 14 and 28, 2010, are 
publicly available in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML100190140 and ML100710021, respectively. 
The licensee has requested an exemption from the March 31, 2010, 
implementation 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 to 
extend the compliance date from the current March 31, 2010, deadline to 
October 31, 2010, for two requirements and August 31, 2011, for one 
requirement. Granting 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 or exceed 
the noted regulatory requirement.

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 would, as noted above, allow an 
extension from March 31, 2010, to October 31 2010, for two specific 
requirements, and to August 31, 2011 for one specific requirement. As 
stated above, 10 CFR 73.5 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR Part 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 
    In the draft final Power Reactor Security 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 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 (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.

ANO-1 and 2 Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in attachments to its 
application dated January 14, 2010, and supplemental letter dated 
January 28, 2010, requesting an exemption. It describes a comprehensive 
plan to upgrade the security capabilities of its ANO site and provides 
a timeline for achieving full compliance with the new regulation. 
Attachments to the letters contain security-related information 
regarding the site security plan, details of the specific requirements 
of the regulation for which the site cannot achieve compliance by the 
March 31, 2010, deadline, justification for the extension request, a 
description of the required changes to the site's security 
configuration, and a timeline with critical path activities that would 
enable the licensee to achieve full compliance by August 31, 2011. The 
timeline provides dates indicating when critical equipment will be 
ordered, receipt of the equipment, installation, tested, and training.
    Notwithstanding the scheduler exemptions for these limited 
requirements, the licensee would 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-

[[Page 15752]]

approved physical security program. By October 31, 2010, ANO-1 and 2 
will be in full compliance with all but one specified requirement. By 
August 31, 2011, ANO-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 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 two specified requirements of 10 CFR 
73.55 until October 31, 2010, and one specified requirement until 
August 31, 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 complete system is in place justifies extending the 
full compliance date in the case of this particular licensee. The 
security measures for which ANO-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, the NRC staff 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 to the March 31, 2010, deadline for the three items 
specified in the attachments to the Entergy letters dated January 14 
and 28, 2010, the licensee is required to be in full compliance with 10 
CFR 73.55 by August 31, 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 13607; dated March 22, 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. 2010-7031 Filed 3-29-10; 8:45 am]