[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 244 (Tuesday, December 20, 2016)]
[Pages 92860-92861]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-30631]



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

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric 
Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Initial Test Program Changes

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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. 34 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF-91 and NPF-92. 
The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., and 
Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, 
LLC, MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC, MEAG Power SPVP, LLC, Authority of Georgia, 
and the City of Dalton, Georgia (the licensee); 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: The Exemption was issued on June 4, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2008-0252 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 is publicly available, using any of the following 
     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 November 21, 2014, and available in ADAMS under Accession 
No. ML14325A835.
     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 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

[[Page 92861]]

License Amendment No. 34 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 would revise the 
Updated Final Safety Analysis Report by making changes to the Initial 
Test Program (ITP), and making changes to the corresponding Tier 1 
information. Specifically, the licensee redefined certain 
``construction and installation tests'' as ``component tests'' and 
moved them to the first phase of the ITP. 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. ML15138A140.
    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. ML15138A127 and 
ML15138A132, 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. ML15138A116 and 
ML15138A120, 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 VEGP 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 November 21, 2014, the licensee requested from 
the Commission an exemption to allow departures from Tier 1 information 
in the certified DCD incorporated by reference in 10 CFR part 52, 
Appendix d, as part of license amendment request 14-010, ``Initial Test 
Program Changes.''
    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.1 of the NRC staff's Safety 
Evaluation that supports this license amendment, which can be found in 
ADAMS under Accession No. ML15138A140, 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 Section 3.4, as described in the licensee's 
request dated November 21, 2014. This exemption is related to, and 
necessary for, the granting of License Amendment No. 34, which is being 
issued concurrently with this exemption.
    3. As explained in Section 5 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation 
that supports this license amendment (ADAMS Accession No. ML15138A140), 
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 November 21, 2014, 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 COL, 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 
January 6, 2015 (80 FR 520). 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 November 21, 2014.
    The exemption and amendment were issued on June 4, 2015, as part of 
a combined package to the licensee (ADAMS Accession No. ML15138A052).

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

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Jennifer Dixon-Herrity,
Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of 
New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2016-30631 Filed 12-19-16; 8:45 am]