[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 105 (Wednesday, June 1, 2016)]
[Pages 35066-35067]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-12918]

[[Page 35066]]



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

Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Southern 
Nuclear Operating Company; Reclassification of Tier 2* Information on 
Fire Area Figures

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption and combined license amendment; issuance.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an 
exemption from certain Tier 2* information in the generic design 
control document (DCD) and is issuing License Amendment No. 44 to 
Combined Licenses (COLs) NPF-91 and NPF-92. The COLs were issued to 
Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC); Georgia Power Company; 
Oglethorpe Power Corporation; MEAG Power SPVM, LLC; MEAG Power SPVJ, 
LLC; MEAG Power SPVP, LLC; and the City of Dalton, Georgia (together 
``the licensee'') for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric 
Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, 
    The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 2* 
information requested 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: June 1, 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 is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this 
document. The request for the amendment and exemption was submitted by 
letter dated March 6, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15065A362).
     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: Chandu Patel, Office of New Reactors, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; 
telephone: 301-415-3025; email: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    The NRC is granting an exemption from Section VIII.B.6.b, Item (4), 
``Processes for Changes and Departures,'' of Appendix D, ``Design 
Certification Rule for the AP1000,'' to part 52 of title 10 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), and is issuing License Amendment No. 
44 to COLs NPF-91 and NPF-92 to the licensee. The exemption is required 
by paragraph VIII.B.6.b of Section VIII, ``Processes for Changes and 
Departures,'' Appendix D to 10 CFR part 52 to allow the licensee to 
change the designation of Tier 2* information. Specifically, with the 
requested amendment, the licensee sought to redesignate the Fire Area 
Figures, designated as Tier 2* in Appendix D, as Tier 2. This requires 
an exemption, rather than the departure that would be required for 
changes to the figures that preserve the Tier 2* designation, because 
it has been established that departures do not alter the change control 
process applicable to specific sections of a design certification rule.
    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, 10 CFR 52.63(b)(1) and 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. ML15191A194.
    Identical exemption documents (except as needed to reflect the 
unique 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. ML15191A185 and ML15191A190, 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. 
ML15191A158 and ML15191A176, 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 4 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 March 6, 2015, Southern Nuclear Operating 
Company (licensee) requested from the Commission an exemption from the 
provisions of 10 CFR part 52, Appendix D, Section VIII.B.6.b, Item (4), 
``Design Certification Rule for the AP1000 Design, Processes for 
Changes and Departures,'' to allow a departure from the certified 
information as part of license amendment request (LAR) 15-007, 
``Reclassification of Tier 2* Information on Fire Area Figures.''
    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.1, ``Evaluation of 
Exemption,'' of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation that supports this 
license amendment, which can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML15191A194, 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

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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 2* information, as described in the licensee's 
request dated March 6, 2015. This exemption is related to, and 
necessary for, the granting of License Amendment No. 44, which is being 
issued concurrently with this exemption.
    3. As explained in Section 5, ``Environmental Consideration,'' of 
the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation that supports this license amendment 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML15191A194), 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 the date of its issuance.

III. License Amendment Request

    By letter dated March 6, 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 April 14, 2015 (80 FR 20020).
    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 February 1, 2016. The exemption and amendment were issued 
to the licensee as part of a combined package (ADAMS Accession No. 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of May 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John McKirgan,
Acting Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2016-12918 Filed 5-31-16; 8:45 am]