[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 62 (Thursday, April 1, 2010)]
[Pages 16517-16518]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7386]



[Docket Nos. 50-245, 50-336, and 50-423; NRC-2010-0128]

Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.; Millstone Power Station, Unit 
Nos 1, 2, and 3; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc. (DNC or the licensee) is the 
holder of Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-21, DPR-65, and NPF-49, 
which authorize operation of the Millstone Power Station, Unit Nos. 1, 
2, and 3 (Millstone). 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 one boiling water reactor and two 
pressurized water reactors located in New London County, Connecticut. 
The boiling water reactor is permanently shut down.

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 (74 FR 13926), requires licensees to protect, with high 
assurance, against radiological sabotage by designing and implementing 
comprehensive site security plans. The final rule became effective on 
May 26, 2009, and compliance with the final rule is required by March 
31, 2010.
    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 two of these new requirements that DNC 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. Specifically, by letter dated January 12, 2010 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
No. ML100131116), as supplemented by letter dated January 12, 2010 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML100131115), DNC requested an exemption in 
accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' Due to 
procurement needs and installation activities associated with the 
required security system upgrades, the licensee has requested exemption 
from the March 31, 2010, implementation date specified in the new rule 
for two specific requirements. The two items subject to the request for 
exemption are proposed to be implemented by August 31, 2010, and 
September 30, 2010, respectively. The January 12, 2010, letter, 
contains four attachments that were designated by the licensee as 
containing safeguards information and, accordingly, the attachments are 
not available to the public. The supplemental January 12, 2010, letter 
contains, as an attachment, an environmental assessment.
    Being granted this exemption for the two items would allow the 
licensee sufficient time to complete the upgrades to the Millstone 
security system as required by the recent revisions to 10 CFR 73.55.

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 request would, as noted above, allow 
an extension from March 31, 2010, until August 31, 2010, for certain 
uninterruptible power requirements and September 30, 2010, for certain 
alarm station requirements. 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, NRC approval of 
the licensees exemption request is authorized by law.
    In the draft final rule sent to the Commission on July 9, 2008 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML081780209), 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.

[[Page 16518]]

    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, ADAMS Accession No. ML091410309). 
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.

Millstone Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information regarding the proposed 
exemption in the attachments to its letter dated January 12, 2010. The 
attachments describe a comprehensive plan to upgrade the Millstone 
security system to meet the new requirements in 10 CFR Part 73. Due to 
the procurement needs and installation activities associated with the 
required security system upgrades, the licensee has requested an 
exemption from the March 31, 2010, implementation date specified in the 
new rule for two specific requirements. DNC proposes to implement 
certain alarm station requirements by September 30, 2010, and certain 
uninterruptible power supply requirements by August 31, 2010.
    The attachments to the licensee's letter dated January 12, 2010, 
details the specific portions of the regulations for which the site 
cannot be in compliance by the March 31, 2010, implementation date, 
along with justifications for each of the proposals. The attachments 
also provide a milestone schedule with the activities necessary to 
bring the licensee into full compliance by September 30, 2010.
    Notwithstanding the schedule 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-approved physical security 
program. By September 30, 2010, Millstone would 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 to August 31, 2010, and September 30, 2010, with regard 
to the two specified requirements of 10 CFR 73.55.
    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 security upgrades are completed justifies extending 
the March 31, 2010, full compliance date for the two items in the 
licensee's exemption request. The security measures that DNC needs 
additional time to implement at Millstone 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 two items 
specified in the attachments to DNC's letter dated January 12, 2010, 
the licensee is required to be in full compliance with 10 CFR 73.55 by 
September 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 14634; dated March 26, 2010).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th 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. 2010-7386 Filed 3-31-10; 8:45 am]