[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 8, 2016)]
[Pages 12134-12136]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-05133]



[Docket Nos. 52-025 and 52-026; NRC-2008-0252]

Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Southern 
Nuclear Operating Company; Control Rod Drive Mechanism Motor Generator 
Set Field Relay Change

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

[[Page 12135]]

ACTION: Exemption and combined license amendment; issuance.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an 
exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of 
Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and is issuing 
License Amendment No. 38 to Combined Licenses (COLs), NPF-91 and NPF-
92. The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., 
and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power 
of Dalton, Georgia (together ``the licensees''); for construction and 
operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4, 
located in Burke County, Georgia.
    The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 
information asked for in the amendment. Because the acceptability of 
the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the 
amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently.

DATES: March 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection 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 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it available in 
ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The 
request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by letter dated 
January 8, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15008A466).
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Kallan, Office of New Reactors, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; 
telephone: 301-415-2809; email: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    The NRC is granting an exemption from paragraph B of Section III, 
``Scope and Contents,'' of Appendix D, ``Design Certification Rule for 
the AP1000,'' to part 52 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR), and issuing License Amendment No. 38 to COLs, NPF-91 and NPF-
92, to the licensee. The exemption is required by paragraph A.4 of 
Section VIII, ``Processes for Changes and Departures,'' Appendix D, to 
10 CFR part 52 to allow the licensee to depart from Tier 1 information. 
With the requested amendment, the licensee sought proposed changes that 
specifies the use of latching control relays in lieu of breakers to de-
energize the control rod drive mechanism (CRDM) motor generator (MG) 
set generator field on a diverse actuation system (DAS) reactor trip 
signal. The replacement of the CRDM MG set generator field breakers 
with field control relays requires a UFSAR Tier 2 departure that 
involves changes to COL Appendix C, Tables 2.5.1-4, ``Inspections, 
Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria,'' and 3.7-1, ``Risk-
Significant Components,'' along with corresponding departures from 
plant-specific DCD Tier 1 information.
    Part of the justification for granting the exemption was provided 
by the review of the amendment. Because the exemption is necessary in 
order to issue the requested license amendment, the NRC granted the 
exemption and issued the amendment concurrently, rather than in 
sequence. This included issuing a combined safety evaluation containing 
the NRC staff's review of both the exemption request and the license 
amendment. The exemption met all applicable regulatory criteria set 
forth in 10 CFR 50.12, 10 CFR 52.7, and Section VIII.A.4 of Appendix D 
to 10 CFR part 52. The license amendment was found to be acceptable as 
well. The combined safety evaluation is available in ADAMS under 
Accession No. ML15187A361.
    Identical exemption documents (except for referenced unit numbers 
and license numbers) were issued to the licensee for VEGP Units 3 and 4 
(COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92). The exemption documents for VEGP Units 3 and 
4 can be found in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML15187A297 and 
ML15187A325, respectively. The exemption is reproduced (with the 
exception of abbreviated titles and additional citations) in Section II 
of this document. The amendment documents for COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92 
are available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML15187A281 and 
ML15187A285, respectively. A summary of the amendment documents is 
provided in Section III of this document.

II. Exemption

    Reproduced below is the exemption document issued to Vogtle Units 3 
and Unit 4. It makes reference to the combined safety evaluation that 
provides the reasoning for the findings made by the NRC (and listed 
under Item 1) in order to grant the exemption:
    1. In a letter dated January 08, 2015, the licensee requested from 
the Commission an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR part 52, 
Appendix D, Section III.B, as part of license amendment request 15-002, 
``Control Rod Mechanism Motor Generator Set Field Relay Change (LAR-15-
    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.1, ``Evaluation of 
Exemption,'' of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation, which can be found 
in ADAMS under Accession No. ML15187A361, the Commission finds that:
    A. the exemption is authorized by law;
    B. the exemption presents no undue risk to public health and 
    C. the exemption is consistent with the common defense and 
    D. special circumstances are present in that the application of the 
rule in this circumstance is not necessary to serve the underlying 
purpose of the rule;
    E. the special circumstances outweigh any decrease in safety that 
may result from the reduction in standardization caused by the 
exemption; and
    F. the exemption will not result in a significant decrease in the 
level of safety otherwise provided by the design.
    2. Accordingly, the licensee is granted an exemption from the 
certified DCD Tier 1, COL Appendix C, Table 2.5.1-4, and Table 3.7-1, 
as described in the licensee's request dated January 08, 2015. This 
exemption is related to, and necessary for the granting of License 
Amendment No. 38, which is being issued concurrently with this 
    3. As explained in Section 5.0, ``Environmental Consideration,'' of 
the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation (ADAMS

[[Page 12136]]

Accession No. ML15187A361), this exemption meets the eligibility 
criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). 
Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact 
statement or environmental assessment needs to be prepared in 
connection with the issuance of the exemption.
    4. This exemption is effective as of September 8, 2015.

III. License Amendment Request

    By letter dated January 8, 2015, the licensee requested that the 
NRC amend the COLs for VEGP, Units 3 and 4, COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92. The 
proposed amendment is described in Section I of this Federal Register 
    The Commission has determined for these amendments that the 
application complies with the standards and requirements of the Atomic 
Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's rules 
and regulations. The Commission has made appropriate findings as 
required by the Act and the Commission's rules and regulations in 10 
CFR Chapter I, which are set forth in the license amendment.
    A notice of consideration of issuance of amendment to facility 
operating license or combined license, as applicable, proposed no 
significant hazards consideration determination, and opportunity for a 
hearing in connection with these actions, was published in the Federal 
Register on February 3, 2015 (80 FR 5798). No comments were received 
during the 30-day comment period.
    The Commission has determined that these amendments satisfy the 
criteria for categorical exclusion in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22. 
Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact 
statement or environmental assessment need be prepared for these 

IV. Conclusion

    Using the reasons set forth in the combined safety evaluation, the 
staff granted the exemption and issued the amendment that the licensee 
requested on January 8, 2015. The exemption and amendment were issued 
on September 8, 2015, as part of a combined package to the licensee 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML15187A258).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March 2016.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John McKirgan,
Acting Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2016-05133 Filed 3-7-16; 8:45 am]