[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 42 (Friday, March 2, 2012)]
[Pages 12887-12888]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5150]



[Docket Nos. 50-338 and 50-339; NRC-2012-0051; License Nos. NPF-4 and 

Virgina Electric and Power Company; Receipt of Request for Action

    Notice is hereby given that by petition dated September 8, 2011 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
No. ML11256A019), as supplemented by letters dated September 8, 2011 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML11334A152), and October 21, 2011 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML11308A016), Thomas Saporito (the petitioner) requests 
that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) 
take action with regard to Virginia Electric and Power Company's (the 
licensee's) North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (North Anna 1 and 
2). The petitioner requests that the NRC:
    (1) Take escalated enforcement action against the licensee and 
suspend, or revoke, the operating licenses for North Anna 1 and 2;
    (2) Issue a notice of violation against the licensee with a 
proposed civil penalty in the amount of 1 million dollars; and
    (3) Issue an order to the licensee requiring the licensee to keep 
North Anna 1 and 2, in a ``cold shutdown'' mode of operation until such 
time as a series of actions described in the petition are completed.
    As the basis for this request, the petitioner states that:
    (1) On August 23, 2011, North Anna 1 and 2, automatically tripped 
offline as

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a direct result of ground motion caused by an earthquake centered in 
Mineral, Virginia, approximately 10 miles from North Anna 1 and 2. The 
licensee has not determined the root cause of this event, nor has it 
explained why the reactor tripped on ``negative flux rate'' rather than 
on loss of offsite power.
    (2) Subsequent to the earthquake, the licensee initiated various 
inspection activities and tests to discover the extent of damage to the 
nuclear facility, but these inspection and testing activities continue 
and remain incomplete and non-validated.
    (3) The licensee had set an overly aggressive schedule for 
restarting North Anna 1 and 2 that was based on economic considerations 
rather than safety.
    (4) The licensee needs to amend its licensing documents, including 
its licenses and the updated facility analysis report. As a result of 
ground motion experienced at, and damage sustained to, North Anna 1 and 
2, due to the earthquake of August 23, 2011, which is greater than the 
licensee's design and safety bases, North Anna 1 and 2, are in an 
unanalyzed condition and current licensing documents are erroneous and 
incomplete. As a result, the licensee cannot rely on them to provide 
reasonable assurance to the NRC that these nuclear reactors can be 
operated in a safe and reliable manner to protect public health and 
    (5) The licensee needs to conduct new seismic and geological 
evaluations of the North Anna 1 and 2, site that are independent. These 
evaluations should ascertain the degree and magnitude of future 
earthquake events and address a ``worst case'' earthquake.
    (6) There are numerous issues with the seismic instrumentation at 
North Anna 1 and 2, including lack of free field instrumentation, 
issues associated with conversion of analog data to digital data, 
issues with lack of on-site personnel with sufficient training in 
seismic measurements, and potential skewing of ground motion data due 
to the location of the ``scratch plates.''
    (7) Retrofitting of North Anna 1 and 2, is required due to damage 
to North Anna 1 and 2, from the earthquake of August 23, 2011.
    (8) There are concerns with the impact of the August 23, 2011, 
earthquake on the North Anna 1 and 2, Independent Spent Fuel Storage 
Installation (ISFSI) including the fact that 25 casks weighing over 115 
tons were not supposed to shift as much as 4.5 inches during a 
predicted earthquake, validation of the integrity of the seals inside 
the spent fuel casks, assessing whether spent nuclear fuel storage 
facilities could topple or otherwise sustain significant damage 
resulting in a release, and assessing whether the licensee's emergency 
plans adequately addressed damage to the ISFSI as a result of a severe 
    (9) The petitioner is concerned that the licensee cannot be trusted 
to communicate reliable information to the public or the regulator 
based on the fact that the licensee in the 1970s failed to promptly 
disclose the discovery of geological information and was subjected to a 
monetary fine for the violation.
    The request is being treated pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.206, ``Requests for action under this 
subpart,'' of the Commission's regulations. The request has been 
referred to the Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. 
As provided by Sec.  2.206, appropriate action will be taken on this 
petition within a reasonable time. The petitioner met with the NRR 
petition review board on September 29, 2011 (transcript at ADAMS 
Accession No. ML11332A046), and November 7, 2011 (transcript at ADAMS 
Accession No. ML113530035), to discuss the petition. The results of 
these discussions were considered in the PRB's final recommendation to 
accept the petition for review and in establishing the schedule for the 
review of the petition.
    A copy of the petition is available for inspection at the 
Commission's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 
Public File Area O1-F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland 20852. Publicly available documents created or received at the 
NRC are accessible electronically through the NRC's Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) in the NRC Library at 
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have 
access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents 
located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by 
telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or by email to PDR 
[email protected]

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of February, 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Eric J. Leeds,
Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-5150 Filed 3-1-12; 8:45 am]