[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 62 (Thursday, April 1, 2010)]
[Pages 16518-16520]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7389]



[Docket No. 50-302, NRC-2010-0105]

 Florida Power Corporation, et al.; Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear 
Generating Plant; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Florida Power Corporation (FPC, the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License No. DPR-72 that authorizes operation of the 
Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant (CR-3). 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 
Citrus County, Florida.

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 as a 
final rule in the Federal Register on March 27, 2009 (74 FR 13926-
13993), 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 four of these new 
requirements that CR-3 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

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implemented by the licensee by March 31, 2010.
    By letter dated November 30, 2009 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System Accession No. ML093370143), and as supplemented by 
letter dated January 15, 2010, the licensee requested an exemption in 
accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' Attachment 1 of 
the licensee's November 30, 2009, letter and its letter dated January 
15, 2010, contain security-related information and, accordingly, are 
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 to extend the compliance date for four specific requirements 
stated in 10 CFR 73.55 from the current March 31, 2010, deadline to 
November 15 and December 15, 2010. Being granted this exemption for the 
four items would allow the licensee to implement specific parts of the 
revised requirements that involve significant physical upgrades to the 
CR-3 security system. A major security project that is planned is the 
expansion of the site protected area. Other plant modifications that 
are significant in scope involve the construction of new facilities, 
extensive design and procurement efforts, and work with high voltage 
cabling and the personnel safety risk associated with such work.

3.0 Discussion of Part 73 Schedule Exemption From the March 31, 2010, 
Full Implementation Date

    As stated in 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.''' In accordance with 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 1, 2010, until November 15 and December 15, 2010, 
for compliance with the new rule in four specified areas. 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 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 
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 (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.

Crystal River Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in Attachment 1 of the 
FPC letter dated November 30, 2009, requesting an exemption. It 
describes the specific security systems at CR-3 that require 
modification to comply with the requirements, which includes relocation 
and upgrades to the security intrusion detection system, construction 
of a building addition, and the addition of uninterruptable power 
supplies. These plant modifications are significant in scope involving 
the construction of new facilities, extensive design and procurement 
efforts, and work with high voltage cabling. These modifications 
warrant a thorough review of the safety-security interface and have to 
be coordinated with the CR-3 refueling outage in fall 2009. All of 
these efforts require careful design, planning, procurement, and 
implementation efforts. Attachment 1 of the November 30, 2009, letter 
contains security-related information regarding the site security plan, 
details of specific portions of the regulation of which the site cannot 
be in compliance by the March 31, 2010, deadline, changes to the site's 
security configuration to meet the new requirements, and a timeline 
with critical path activities for the licensee to achieve full 
compliance by December 15, 2010. The timeline provides dates indicating 
when (1) Design activities are completed and approved, (2) expansion of 
the protected area begins and is completed, and (3) the new and 
relocated equipment is to be installed and tested.
    The site-specific information provided within the CR-3 exemption 
request is relative to the requirements from which the licensee 
requested exemption and demonstrates the need for modification to meet 
the four specific requirements of 10 CFR 73.55. The proposed 
implementation schedule depicts the critical activity milestones of the 
security system upgrades; is consistent with the licensee's solution 
for meeting the requirements; is consistent with the scope of the 
modifications and the issues and challenges identified; and is 
consistent with the licensee's requested compliance date.
    Notwithstanding the proposed schedule exemption 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 15, 2010, CR-3 will be in full compliance with all 
of the regulatory requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, as issued on March 27, 

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 with regard to four specified 
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 until November 15 and December 15, 2010.
    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 

[[Page 16520]]

    The long-term benefits that will be realized when the security 
systems upgrade is complete justify extending the March 31, 2010, full 
compliance date with regard to the specific requirements of 10 CFR 
73.55 for this particular licensee. The security measures that CR-3 
needs 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 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 
    As per the licensee's request and the NRC's regulatory authority to 
grant an exemption to the March 31, 2010, deadline for the four items 
specified in Attachment 1 of the FPC letter dated November 30, 2009, 
and January 15, 2010, letter, the licensee is required to be in partial 
compliance and in full compliance with 10 CFR 73.55 by November 15, and 
December 15, 2010, respectively. 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.
    In accordance with 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 13320, dated March 19, 2010).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25 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. 2010-7389 Filed 3-31-10; 8:45 am]