[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 24 (Wednesday, February 5, 2020)]
[Pages 6584-6585]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-02164]



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

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

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 Nos. 173 and 171 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF-91 
and NPF-92, respectively. 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, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (Collectively SNC); 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 and amendment were issued on January 13, 2020.

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 website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2008-0252. Address 
questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges 
telephone: 301-287-9127; 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 https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, 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 July 16, 2019 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML19197A278), as supplemented by letters dated 
October 3, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19276G437), and December 12, 
2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19346E598).
     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 Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, 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 License Amendment Nos. 173 and 171 to COLs, NPF-
91 and NPF-92, respectively, to SNC. 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 SNC to depart from 
Tier 1 information. With the requested amendment, SNC proposed changes 
to COL Appendix C (and plant-specific DCD Tier 1) to revise 
Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria (ITAAC) to 
incorporate design basis passive residual heat removal heat exchanger 
leakage to the in-containment refueling water storage tank as a 
radiation source.
    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 sections 50.12, 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. ML19361A118.
    Identical exemption documents (except for referenced unit numbers 
and license numbers) were issued to SNC 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. ML19361A119 and ML19361A109, 
respectively. The exemption is reproduced (with the exception of 
abbreviated titles and additional citations) in Section II of this 

[[Page 6585]]

The amendment documents for COLs, NPF-91 and NPF-92 are available in 
ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML19361A103 and ML19361A115, respectively. A 
summary of the amendment documents is provided in Section III of this 

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 July 16, 2019, as supplemented by letters 
dated October 3, and December 12, 2019, Southern Nuclear Operating 
Company 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 19-
003, ``Addition of In-Containment Refueling Water Storage Tank to 
Radiation Analyses.''
    For the reasons set forth in Section 3.2 of the NRC staff's Safety 
Evaluation, which can be found in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML19361A118, 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, SNC is granted an exemption from the certified DCD 
Tier 1 information, with corresponding changes to Appendix C of the 
Facility Combined License, as described in the request dated July 16, 
2019, as supplemented by letters dated October 3, and December 12, 
2019. This exemption is related to, and necessary for the granting of 
License Amendment No. 173 [for Unit 3, 171 for Unit 4], which is being 
issued concurrently with this exemption.
    3. As explained in Section 5.0 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML19361A118), 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 July 16, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19197A278), as 
supplemented by letters dated October 3, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML19276G437), and December 12, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19346E598), 
SNC 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 notice.
    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 
October 8, 2019 (84 FR 53777). 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 exemptions and issued the amendments that SNC 
requested on July 16, 2019.
    The exemptions and amendments were issued on January 13, 2020, as 
part of a combined package to SNC (ADAMS Accession No. ML19361A114).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of January 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Victor E. Hall,
Chief, Vogtle Project Office, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2020-02164 Filed 2-4-20; 8:45 am]