[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 63 (Friday, April 2, 2010)]
[Pages 16871-16872]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7470]



[Docket Nos. 50-325 and 50-324; NRC-2010-0066]

Carolina Power & Light Company, Brunswick Steam Electric Plant, 
Units 1 and 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Carolina Power & Light Company (CP&L, the licensee) is the holder 
of Facility Operating Renewed License Nos. DPR-71 and DPR-62, which 
authorize operation of the Brunswick Steam Electric Plant (BSEP), Units 
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 boiling water reactors located in 
Brunswick County, North 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 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 two of these new 
requirements that BSEP 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 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System Accession No. ML093370132), the licensee requested 
exemptions in accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' 
Attachment 1 to the licensee's November 30, 2009, letter contains 
security-related information and, accordingly is not available to the 
public. The licensee has requested exemptions 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 two specific requirements of the new rule from the 
current March 31, 2010, deadline to December 20, 2010. Being granted 
this exemption for the two items would allow the licensee to complete 
changes to the BSEP security systems that include infrastructure 
upgrades, modification and installation of the security system 
equipment, and construction of new facilities to support the new 
physical protection program 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 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 these exemptions would, as noted above, allow an 
extension from March 31, 2010, until December 20, 2010, for compliance 
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 
exemptions would not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 
1954, as amended, or the Commission's regulations. Therefore, the 
exemptions are authorized by law.
    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 an industry generic 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 exemptions is therefore consistent with the approach set forth by 
the Commission and discussed in the June 4, 2009, letter.

Brunswick Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in Attachment 1 of the 
CP&L letter dated November 30, 2009, requesting exemptions. It 
describes a comprehensive plan for upgrade and installation of 
equipment, infrastructure upgrades, and construction of new facilities 
to support the physical

[[Page 16872]]

protection program and provides a timeline for achieving full 
compliance with the new regulation. These plant modifications are 
significant in scope involving 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. These 
modifications warrant a thorough review of the safety-security 
interface and must be coordinated with BSEP Unit 1 refueling outage in 
spring 2010. 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 will not be in compliance by the March 31, 2010, 
deadline, changes to the site's security configuration to meet the new 
requirements, and a timeline (Project Schedule Milestones) with 
critical path activities for the licensee to achieve full compliance by 
December 20, 2010. The timeline provides dates indicating when (1) 
design activities are completed and approved, (2) the outage is 
scheduled for BSEP Unit 1, (3) construction of a new Security 
Electrical Equipment Building begins and is completed, and (4) the new 
and relocated equipment is installed and tested.
    The licensee has provided an adequate basis for the exemption 
request. CP&L identified the physical protection program components for 
which modifications are needed, the types of modifications and upgrades 
needed, as well as construction, engineering, safety, and 
infrastructure considerations which impact the final compliance date 
requested. The required modifications must be completed in sequence to 
support all program upgrades being performed. The schedule provided by 
the licensee in this request outlines the specific tasks required at 
BSEP and shows the sequential order in which work must proceed with 
associated dates that support the requested new compliance date.
    The site-specific information provided within the BSEP exemption 
request is relative to the requirements from which the licensee 
requested exemption and demonstrates the need for modification to meet 
the two 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 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 December 20, 2010, BSEP Units 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 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 two specified 
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 until December 20, 2010.
    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, 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 exemptions.
    The long-term benefits that will be realized when these projects 
are 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 BSEP 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, it is concluded 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 exemptions to the March 31, 2010, deadline for the two items 
specified in Attachment 1 of CP&L letter dated November 30, 2009, the 
licensee is required to be in full compliance with 10 CFR 73.55 by 
December 20, 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 8753, February 25, 2010).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th 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. 2010-7470 Filed 4-1-10; 8:45 am]