[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 245 (Wednesday, December 22, 2010)]
[Pages 80547-80549]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32145]



[Docket No. 50-400; NRC-2010-0020]

Carolina Power & Light Company, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power 
Plant, Unit No. 1; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Carolina Power & Light Company (CP&L, the licensee) is the holder 
of Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF-63, which authorizes 
operation of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant (HNP), Unit 1. The 
license provides, among other things, that the facility is

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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 New 
Hill, 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 as a 
final rule 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 
plans. 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.
    By letter dated February 24, 2010 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML093620908), the NRC granted 
an exemption to the licensee for three specific items subject to the 
new rule in 10 CFR 73.55, allowing the implementation of these items to 
be extended until December 15, 2010. The licensee has implemented all 
other physical security requirements established by this rulemaking 
prior to March 31, 2010, the required implementation date.
    By letter dated September 20, 2010, the licensee requested an 
exemption in accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' 
Specifically, the licensee requested an extension of the implementation 
date for one remaining item from December 15, 2010, to November 30, 
2011. Portions of the licensee's September 20, 2010, letter contain 
security-related information and, accordingly, a redacted version of 
this letter is available for public review in the ADAMS No. 
ML102650191. The licensee requested this exemption to allow an 
additional extension from the current implementation date granted in 
the prior exemption to implement one remaining item of the requirements 
that involves important physical modifications to the HNP, Unit 1 
security system. The licensee identified several issues that have 
delayed the work to this point and impacted the projected schedule, 
such as the existence of safety-related conduit and dedicated safe shut 
down equipment of HNP, Unit 1 within the area where important security 
modifications are planned. These issues were revealed as the design 
evolved from the conceptual state to a detailed design state and led to 
a significant increase in the project's complexity and scope of tasks 
to be performed. The licensee stated that additional time, beyond that 
previously approved, is needed due the extensive redesign and review 
effort that was unforeseen at the conceptual design stage. Granting an 
exemption would allow the licensee time to complete the necessary 
security modifications to meet the regulatory requirements.

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

    Pursuant 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 allow an additional extension 
from the implementation date granted under a previous exemption from 
December 15, 2010, to November 30, 2011, for one remaining item of the 
three requirements of the final 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 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.
    As noted in the final rule, the Commission 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.

Shearon Harris Schedule Exemption Request

    The licensee provided detailed information in its letter dated 
September 20, 2010, describing the reason and justification for an 
exemption to extend the implementation date for the one remaining 
requirement. Additionally, the licensee has provided information 
regarding the revised scope for projects at HNP, Unit 1 and the impacts 
on the licensee's ability to meet the current implementation date of 
December 15, 2010. The existence of safety-related conduit and 
dedicated safe shut down (SSD) equipment of HNP, Unit 1 within the area 
where important security modifications are planned have delayed the 
work and impacted the projected schedule. A direct outside access route 
to the physical construction area has not been available due to design 
basis tornado and missile considerations for the safety-related 
conduits and SSD equipment. The licensee is now pursuing a design 
solution that will allow both temporary and ultimately permanent direct 
outside access to the area to ensure that the new plans will meet all 
regulatory requirements. The extensive redesign and review efforts that 
were unforeseen at the conceptual design stage need additional time 
beyond that previously approved. Portions of the September 20, 2010, 
letter contain security-related information regarding the site security 
plan, details of specific portions of the regulation from which the 

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seeks exemption, justification for the additional extension request, a 
description of the required changes to the physical security systems, 
and a revised timeline with critical path activities that would enable 
the licensee to achieve full compliance by November 30, 2011. The 
timeline provides dates indicating when (1) design activities will be 
completed and approved, (2) the exterior missile protection plate will 
be modified for entry, and (3) the new and relocated equipment will be 
installed and tested.
    The site-specific information provided within the HNP exemption 
request is relative to the requirements from which the licensee 
requested exemption and demonstrates the need for modification to meet 
the one specific remaining requirement 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 this one 
remaining requirement, the licensee will continue to be in compliance 
with all other applicable physical security requirement as described in 
10 CFR 73.55 and reflected in its current NRC-approved physical 
security program. By November 30, 2011, the HNP physical security 
system will be in full compliance with all of the regulatory 
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, as published 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 previously authorized implementation date from 
December 15, 2010, with regard to one remaining requirement of 10 CFR 
73.55, to November 30, 2011. This conclusion is based on the NRC 
staff's determination that the licensee has made a good faith effort to 
meet the requirements in a timely manner, has sufficiently described 
the reason for the unanticipated delays, and has provided an updated 
detailed schedule with adequate justification to the additional time 
requested for the extension.
    The long-term benefits that will be realized when the security 
systems upgrade is complete justify extending the full compliance date 
with regard to the specific requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 for this 
particular licensee. The security measures that HNP needs additional 
time to implement are new requirements imposed by amendments to 10 CFR 
73.55, as published on March 27, 2009, and are in addition to those 
required by the security orders issued in response to the events of 
September 11, 2001. Accordingly, an exemption from the March 31, 2010, 
implementation date is authorized by law and will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and the Commission hereby 
grants the requested exemption.
    As per the licensee's request and the NRC's regulatory authority to 
grant an exemption to the March 31, 2010, implementation date for the 
one item specified in Attachment 1 of the CP&L letter dated September 
20, 2010, the licensee is required to implement this one remaining item 
and be in full compliance with 10 CFR 73.55 by November 30, 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.
    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 77919 dated December 14, 2010).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of December 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-32145 Filed 12-21-10; 8:45 am]