[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 175 (Monday, September 10, 2012)]
[Pages 55510-55512]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22174]




Guidance on Performing a Seismic Margin Assessment

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate guidance; 
request for comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for 
public comment the draft Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate 
Interim Staff Guidance (JLD-ISG), JLD-ISG-2012-04, ``Guidance on 
Performing a Seismic Margin Assessment in response to the March 2012 
Request for Information Letter.'' This draft JLD-ISG provides guidance 
on an acceptable method for licensees to carry out a Seismic Margins 
Analysis (SMA) method referred to in the seismic portion of a letter 
requiring recipients (licensees) to submit information under oath and 
affirmation to the NRC.

DATES: Comments must be filed no later than October 10, 2012. Comments 
received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do 
so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure

[[Page 55511]]

consideration only for comments received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publically available, 
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-
0209. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0209. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher, telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
     Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Christopher Gratton, Japan 
Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-1055; email: [email protected].


I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0209 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses 
and are publically available by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0209.
     NRC's Agencywide Document Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publically available documents online in the 
NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to [email protected]. The draft JLD-ISG-2012-04 is 
available under ADAMS Accession No. ML12222A327. The 10 CFR 50.54(f) 
request letter was issued in March 2012, and can be located under ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12053A340.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room 01-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0209 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publically disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publically disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background Information

    Following the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant 
on March 11, 2011, the NRC established a senior-level agency task force 
referred to as the Near-Term Task Force (NTTF). The NTTF was tasked 
with conducting a systematic and methodical review of the NRC 
regulations and processes and determining if the agency should make 
additional improvements to those programs in light of the events at 
Fukushima Dai-ichi. As a result of this review, the NTTF developed a 
comprehensive set of recommendations, documented in SECY-11-0093, 
``Near-Term Report and Recommendations for Agency Actions Following the 
Events in Japan,'' dated July 12, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML111861807). These recommendations were enhanced by the NRC staff 
following interactions with stakeholders. Documentation of the staff's 
efforts is contained in SECY-11-0124, ``Recommended Actions To Be Taken 
Without Delay From the Near-Term Task Force Report,'' dated September 
9, 2011, (ADAMS Accession No. ML11245A158), and SECY-11-0137, 
``Prioritization of Recommended Actions To Be Taken in Response to 
Fukushima Lessons Learned,'' dated October 3, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
    As directed by the staff requirements memorandum (SRM) for SECY-11-
0093, the NRC staff reviewed the NTTF recommendations within the 
context of the NRC's existing regulatory framework and considered the 
various regulatory vehicles available to the NRC to implement the 
recommendations. The staff's prioritization of the recommendations was 
established in SECY-11-0124 and SECY-11-0137.
    In March 2012, the NRC issued Request for Information Pursuant to 
Section 50.54(f) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR), Regarding Recommendations 2.1, 2.3, and 9.3, of the Near-Term 
Task Force Review of Insights from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident,'' 
hereafter called the ``March 12, 2012, 50.54(f) letter.'' Enclosure 1 
of that letter, ``Recommendation 2.1: Seismic,'' described the actions 
related to seismic hazard and risk reassessments to be taken by 
licensees in response to the letter. Among the actions discussed in 
Enclosure 1 is an SMA method, which may be appropriate for some plants 
depending on the outcome of the hazard reassessment phase. Enclosure 1 
to the 50.54(f) letter states that the SMA approach should be the NRC 
SMA approach (e.g.; NUREG/CR-4334. ``An Approach to the Quantification 
of Seismic Margins in Nuclear Power Plants,'' issued in August 1985 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML090500182), as enhanced for full-scope plants in 
NUREG-1407, ``Procedural and Submittal Guidance for the Individual 
Plant Examination of External Events (IPEEE) for Severe Accident 
Vulnerabilities,'' ADAMS Accession No. ML063550238.
    This draft JLD-ISG, ``Guidance on Performing a Seismic Margin 
Assessment in Response to the March 2012, Request for Information 
Letter,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML12222A327) describes the enhancements 
to the NRC SMA method described in NUREG/CR-4334 needed to meet the 
objectives of the March 12, 2012, 50.54(f) letter. It presents staff 
positions on enhancements to the major elements of the NRC SMA and 
updates references to allow for use of recent advances in

[[Page 55512]]

methods and guidance. These guidance documents include the American 
Society of Mechanical Engineers/American Nuclear Society, ``Standard 
for Level 1/Large Early Release Frequency Probabilistic Risk Assessment 
for Nuclear Power Plant Applications,'' Standard ASME/ANS RA-Sa-2009, 
2009 (hereafter called the ASME/ANS PRA standard) and the Screening, 
Prioritization, and Implementation document (SPID) currently under 
development by the Nuclear Energy Institute (with NRC staff input) for 
NRC endorsement.
    Licensees may propose other methods for satisfying these 
requirements. The NRC staff will review such methods and determine 
their acceptability on a case-by-case basis.
    This guidance, at this time, is only intended to be used for an SMA 
conducted in response to the 50.54(f) letter, and not for other 
    The NRC ISG DC/COL-ISG-020, ``Seismic Margin Analysis for New 
Reactors Based on Probabilistic Risk Assessment'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML100491233), remains the NRC's current guidance for application to new 
reactors. The contents of this draft JLD-ISG have no implications for 
NRC ISG DC/COL-ISG-020, the ASME/ANS PRA standard, or any other 
    The draft JLD-ISG is not a substitute for the requirements in the 
March 12, 2012, 50.54(f) letter and compliance with the draft JLD-ISG 
is not required. This draft JLD-ISG is being issued in draft form for 
public comment to involve the public in developing the regulatory 

Proposed Action

    By this action, the NRC is requesting public comments on draft JLD-
ISG-2012-04. This draft JLD-ISG proposes guidance related to 
requirements contained in the seismic portion of the March 12, 2012, 
50.54(f) letter. The NRC staff will make a final determination 
regarding issuance of the JLD-ISG after it considers any public 
comments received in response to this request.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of September, 2012.
David L. Skeen,
Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-22174 Filed 9-7-12; 8:45 am]