Energy Northwest; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing, 6606-6609 [E7-2374]

Download as PDF 6606 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 28 / Monday, February 12, 2007 / Notices Estimated Total Annual Cost: $912,800. By the National Credit Union Administration Board on January 22, 2007. Mary Rupp, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. E7–2235 Filed 2–9–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–P Estimated No. of Respondents/ Recordkeepers: 1,000. Estimated Burden Hours per Response: 4 hours. Frequency of Response: On occasion. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,000. Estimated Total Annual Cost: $100,000. NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review; Comment Request By the National Credit Union Administration Board on January 22, 2007. Mary Rupp, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. E7–2237 Filed 2–9–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–P National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). ACTION: Request for comment. AGENCY: The NCUA intends to submit the following information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). This information collection is published to obtain comments from the public. DATES: Comments will be accepted until April 13, 2007. ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments to NCUA Clearance Officer listed below: Clearance Officer: Mr. Neil McNamara, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314–3428, Fax No. 703–837–2861, Email: OCIOmail@ncua.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or a copy of the information collection request, should be directed to Tracy Sumpter at the National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314–3428, or at (703) 518–6444. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Proposal for the following collection of information: OMB Number: 3133–0141. Form Number: N/A. Type of Review: Reinstatement, without change, of a previously approved collection. Title: 12 CFR 701.22 Organization and Operation of Federal Credit Unions— Loan Participations. Description: NCUA has authorized federal credit unions to engage in loan participations, provided they establish written policies and enter into a written loan participation agreement. NCUA believes written policies are necessary to ensure a plan is fully considered before being adopted by the Board. Respondents: All Federal Credit Unions. SUMMARY: sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:52 Feb 09, 2007 Jkt 211001 Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ACTION: Notice of pending NRC action to submit an information collection request to OMB and solicitation of public comment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The NRC is preparing a submittal to OMB for review of continued approval of information collections under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Information pertaining to the requirement to be submitted: 1. The title of the information collection: 10 CFR Part 95—Facility Security Clearance and Safeguarding of National Security Information and Restricted Data. 2. Current OMB approval number: OMB No. 3150–0047. 3. How often the collection is required: On occasion. 4. Who is required or asked to report: NRC-regulated facilities and other organizations requiring access to NRCclassified information. 5. The number of annual respondents: 26 (16 plus 10 recordkeepers). 6. The number of hours needed annually to complete the requirement or request: 954 hours (805 hours reporting [3 hrs per response] and 149 hours recordkeeping [14 hrs per recordkeeper]). 7. Abstract: NRC-regulated facilities and other organizations are required to provide information and maintain records to ensure that an adequate level of protection is provided to NRCclassified information and material. Submit, by April 13, 2007, comments that address the following questions: 1. Is the proposed collection of information necessary for the NRC to PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 properly perform its functions? Does the information have practical utility? 2. Is the burden estimate accurate? 3. Is there a way to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected? 4. How can the burden of the information collection be minimized, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology? A copy of the draft supporting statement may be viewed free of charge at the NRC Public Document Room, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Room O–1 F21, Rockville, MD 20852. OMB clearance requests are available at the NRC worldwide Web site: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/ doc-comment/omb/index.html. The document will be available on the NRC home page site for 60 days after the signature date of this notice. Comments and questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the NRC Clearance Officer, Margaret A. Janney (T–5 F52), U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, by telephone at 301–415–7245, or by Internet electronic mail to INFOCOLLECTS@NRC.GOV. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of February 2007. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Margaret A. Janney, NRC Clearance Officer, Office of Information Services. [FR Doc. E7–2324 Filed 2–9–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–397] Energy Northwest; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF– 21, issued to Energy Northwest (the licensee), for operation of the Columbia Generating Station located in Benton County, Washington. The proposed amendment would revise Technical Specification (TS) 3.6.1.7, ‘‘Suppression Chamber-toDrywell Vacuum Breakers,’’ to allow a one-time extension to the current closure verification surveillance requirement (SR) for one of two E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 28 / Monday, February 12, 2007 / Notices redundant disks in one of nine vacuum breakers until reliable position indication can be restored in the main control room during the next refueling outage (R–18). Verification of closure of each vacuum breaker disk is currently required every 14 days by SR 3.6.1.7.1. The licensee requested that the proposed change be considered on an exigent basis. The licensee stated that during the January 6, 2007, functional test of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK, one of the redundant disks in the vacuum breaker assembly did not meet the procedurally defined acceptance criteria for open or close due to an issue with position indication limit switches. This problem has resulted in unreliable position indication for closure of the rear disk of the vacuum breaker and requires an alternate method of closure verification be employed (i.e., a differential pressure test). Consistent with SR 3.6.1.7.1, this test must be performed every 14 days. However, performance of the alternate test creates an unnecessary increase in plant risk relative to other compensatory options. The proposed one-time change to TS 3.6.1.7 would revise SR 3.6.1.7.1 by adding a note to provide an extension to the SR for the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK. This extension would remain in effect until the end of R–18, currently scheduled to begin on May 12, 2007. On January 6, 2007, during a functional test of vacuum breaker CVB– V–1JK, the rear disk of the vacuum breaker did not meet the procedurally defined acceptance criteria for open or close due to an issue with the position indication limit switches. When CVB– V–1JK was cycled from the control room, the close position indication did not extinguish and prevented the open position indication from illuminating. The separate full open indication did illuminate, indicating that the rear disk opened as expected; however, the closure of the disk could not be confirmed using normal position indication. With unreliable position indication in the main control room for the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–1JK, the alternate method of closure verification using the differential pressure test is required. This test, as described in the TS Bases, involves establishing a differential pressure between the drywell and suppression chamber equal to, or in excess of, 0.5 pounds per square inch differential (psid) to verify that the disk being tested can maintain that differential for 60 minutes. Current test procedures specify that a differential pressure of 0.7 to 0.75 psid VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:52 Feb 09, 2007 Jkt 211001 be established between the drywell and suppression chamber. This value provides margin to accommodate minor internal drywell temperature changes during the testing. Maintaining a differential pressure between the drywell and suppression chamber is a positive indication that the vacuum breaker disk being tested is closed. This test was performed on the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK on January 8, 2007, and again on January 22, 2007, and confirmed that the disk was seated. The degraded limit switches and associated circuitry are located in the inerted wetwell and cannot be accessed to restore normal position indication in the control room for the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK while at power. Therefore, continued compliance with SR 3.6.1.7.1 would require that this pressure test be performed every 14 days. The licensee stated that when performing the vacuum breaker closure differential pressure test, drywell pressure is increased from near atmospheric conditions to approximately 45 percent of the Drywell Pressure—High scram setpoint of 1.68 pounds per square inch gauge. Frequent differential pressure testing places the plant in a condition with degraded margin for a reactor scram. This increases the risk of an inadvertent reactor scram from a minor drywell pressure transient which may have been managed by the operator if it occurred at a normal drywell pressure and can unduly challenge plant safety systems and personnel. Furthermore, when performing the differential pressure test to verify continued closure of the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK, the front disk is required to be open for at least 60 minutes while the test is being performed which degrades the capability of the vacuum breaker assembly to prevent bypass leakage when required. As previously discussed, TS 3.6.1.7 recognizes this increase in plant risk by drawing a distinction between an actual communication path and a potential communication path in the derivation of entry conditions and required actions. The licensee concluded that a more appropriate method to maintain public health and safety is to ensure that both disks of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK continue to maintain their current closed position without a change of state. Operating in this configuration, both the front and rear disks of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK would conservatively not be credited to perform the open safety function and would be declared inoperable for opening. Both disks are currently closed PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6607 and have been verified as such using the normal position indication in the control room for the front disk and by the differential pressure test for the rear disk. This configuration is currently allowed by TS 3.6.1.7, since only seven of nine vacuum breakers are required to be operable for opening while in Modes 1, 2, and 3. In addition, with vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK declared inoperable for the open function, SR 3.6.1.7.2 would not be required to be performed and the breaker disks would not need to be cycled. Continued operation in this manner until the end of R–18 would ensure that plant risk is minimized but also requires an extension from the current 14-day interval of SR 3.6.1.7.1. The proposed change is necessary because continued performance of SR 3.6.1.7.1 for the rear disk of CVB–V–1JK results in putting the plant in a condition that unduly increases the risk of an inadvertent reactor scram challenging both plant systems and personnel. Failure to perform the differential pressure test required by SR 3.6.1.7.1 would result in a failed verification of the current closed state of these vacuum breakers. TS 3.6.1.7 would then require placing the reactor in Mode 3 within the next 84 hours and Mode 4 in the following 24 hours and would also challenge plant system and personnel. The licensee states that it will continue to verify that the front disk of CVB–V–1JK and both disks of the other 8 vacuum breakers are closed every 14 days as required by SR 3.6.1.7.1. If reasonable evidence is discovered to conclude that the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB–V–1JK may no longer be in a closed position, the licensee states that it will take compensatory measures to verify that this disk is closed within 72 hours or declare the disk not closed and enter the appropriate action statement. In the proposed note, evidence that the rear disk may no longer be in a closed position is defined as evidence that the front disk has opened or that the rear disk has experienced a differential pressure in the direction that could cause the disk to open. Before issuance of the proposed license amendment, the Commission will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act) and the Commission’s regulations. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.91(a)(6) for amendments to be granted under exigent circumstances, the NRC staff must determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission’s regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 6608 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 28 / Monday, February 12, 2007 / Notices sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below: 1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated? Response: No. Proper functioning of the suppression chamber-to-drywell vacuum breakers is required for accident mitigation. Failure of the vacuum breakers is not assumed as an accident initiator for any accident previously evaluated. Therefore, any potential failure of a vacuum breaker to perform when necessary will not affect the probability of an accident previously evaluated. During a LOCA [loss-of-coolant accident], the vacuum breakers are assumed to initially be closed to limit drywell-to-suppression chamber bypass leakage and must be capable of re-closing following a suppression pool swell event. The vacuum breakers open to prevent an excessive vacuum in the drywell. The proposed change will not affect the capability of the required vacuum breakers to perform their open and close safety functions since the change only affects position verification and high confidence is assured that the disk remains closed. Therefore, the proposed changes do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. 2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated? Response: No. The suppression chamber-to-drywell vacuum breakers are used to mitigate the potential consequences of an accident. The proposed change does not affect the capability of required vacuum breakers to perform their open and closed safety functions. Thus, the initial conditions assumed in the accident analysis are not affected. The proposed amendment does not involve a change to plant design and does not involve any new modes of operation or testing methods. Accordingly, the required vacuum breakers will continue to perform their accident mitigation safety functions as previously evaluated. Therefore, the proposed changes do not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated. 3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety? Response: No. The extension of the closure verification surveillance interval for one of the two disks in a vacuum breaker for approximately 4 VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:52 Feb 09, 2007 Jkt 211001 months is not risk significant as all required safety functions will continue to be performed. The vacuum breakers are not modified by the proposed amendment. The accident analysis assumptions for the closed safety functions of the vacuum breakers are satisfied when at least one of the disks in each of the nine vacuum breaker lines are fully closed and capable of re-closing following a suppression pool swell. The additional disk in each line satisfies the single failure criterion. The open safety function of the vacuum breakers is satisfied when 6 of the 9 vacuum breaker assemblies open during a DBA [design basis accident]. The other vacuum breakers satisfy the single failure criterion and provide additional defense-in-depth. Since all of the vacuum breakers are considered to perform their close safety function and 8 of 9 would be available to perform their open safety function, the proposed change will not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee’s analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed determination. Any comments received within 14 days after the date of publication of this notice will be considered in making any final determination. Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the expiration of the 14-day notice period. However, should circumstances change during the notice period, such that failure to act in a timely way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility, the Commission may issue the license amendment before the expiration of the 14-day notice period, provided that its final determination is that the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will consider all public and State comments received. Should the Commission take this action, it will publish in the Federal Register a notice of issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this action will occur very infrequently. Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rulemaking, Directives and Editing Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be delivered to Room 6D59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, from 7:30 PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene is discussed below. Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, the licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in accordance with the Commission’s ‘‘Rules of Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings and Issuance of Orders’’ in 10 CFR Part 2. Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the Commission’s PDR, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System’s (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order. As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following general requirements: (1) The name, address and telephone number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the requestor’s/petitioner’s right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor’s/petitioner’s property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the possible E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 28 / Monday, February 12, 2007 / Notices effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding on the requestor’s/petitioner’s interest. The petition must also identify the specific contentions which the petitioner/ requestor seeks to have litigated at the proceeding. Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner/requestor shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The petitioner/requestor must also provide references to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner/requestor is aware and on which the petitioner/requestor intends to rely to establish those facts or expert opinion. The petitioner/requestor must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner/ requestor to relief. A petitioner/ requestor who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be permitted to participate as a party. Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing. If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a significant hazards consideration, any hearing held would take place before the issuance of any amendment. Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition, request and/or the contentions should be granted based on VerDate Aug<31>2005 19:52 Feb 09, 2007 Jkt 211001 a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)–(viii). A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must be filed by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; (3) E-mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV; or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415–1101, verification number is (301) 415–1966. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, and it is requested that copies be transmitted either by means of facsimile transmission to 301–415–3725 or by email to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to William A. Horin, Esq., Winston & Strawn, 1700 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006–3817, attorney for the licensee. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for amendment dated February 2, 2007, which is available for public inspection at the Commission’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System’s (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1–800–397–4209, or 301– 415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of February 2007. PO 00000 6609 For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Carl F. Lyon, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E7–2374 Filed 2–9–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–272] Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR–35 issued to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (the licensee) for operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Pilgrim), located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The amendment request dated January 15, 2007, supercedes the previously submitted license amendment request dated April 12, 2006, proposing new PressureTemperature (PT) curves and to extend the applicability of current PT limits expressed in Technical Specification Figures 3.6.1, 3.6.2, and 3.6.3 through the end of operating cycle 18. Before issuance of the proposed license amendment, the Commission will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission’s regulations. The Commission has made a proposed determination that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission’s regulations in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below: 1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 28 (Monday, February 12, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6606-6609]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-2374]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-397]


Energy Northwest; Notice of Consideration of Issuance of 
Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No Significant 
Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a Hearing

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is 
considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. 
NPF-21, issued to Energy Northwest (the licensee), for operation of the 
Columbia Generating Station located in Benton County, Washington.
    The proposed amendment would revise Technical Specification (TS) 
3.6.1.7, ``Suppression Chamber-to-Drywell Vacuum Breakers,'' to allow a 
one-time extension to the current closure verification surveillance 
requirement (SR) for one of two

[[Page 6607]]

redundant disks in one of nine vacuum breakers until reliable position 
indication can be restored in the main control room during the next 
refueling outage (R-18). Verification of closure of each vacuum breaker 
disk is currently required every 14 days by SR 3.6.1.7.1. The licensee 
requested that the proposed change be considered on an exigent basis.
    The licensee stated that during the January 6, 2007, functional 
test of vacuum breaker CVB-V-1JK, one of the redundant disks in the 
vacuum breaker assembly did not meet the procedurally defined 
acceptance criteria for open or close due to an issue with position 
indication limit switches. This problem has resulted in unreliable 
position indication for closure of the rear disk of the vacuum breaker 
and requires an alternate method of closure verification be employed 
(i.e., a differential pressure test). Consistent with SR 3.6.1.7.1, 
this test must be performed every 14 days. However, performance of the 
alternate test creates an unnecessary increase in plant risk relative 
to other compensatory options.
    The proposed one-time change to TS 3.6.1.7 would revise SR 
3.6.1.7.1 by adding a note to provide an extension to the SR for the 
rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB-V-1JK. This extension would remain in 
effect until the end of R-18, currently scheduled to begin on May 12, 
2007.
    On January 6, 2007, during a functional test of vacuum breaker CVB-
V-1JK, the rear disk of the vacuum breaker did not meet the 
procedurally defined acceptance criteria for open or close due to an 
issue with the position indication limit switches. When CVB-V-1JK was 
cycled from the control room, the close position indication did not 
extinguish and prevented the open position indication from 
illuminating. The separate full open indication did illuminate, 
indicating that the rear disk opened as expected; however, the closure 
of the disk could not be confirmed using normal position indication.
    With unreliable position indication in the main control room for 
the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB-1JK, the alternate method of 
closure verification using the differential pressure test is required. 
This test, as described in the TS Bases, involves establishing a 
differential pressure between the drywell and suppression chamber equal 
to, or in excess of, 0.5 pounds per square inch differential (psid) to 
verify that the disk being tested can maintain that differential for 60 
minutes. Current test procedures specify that a differential pressure 
of 0.7 to 0.75 psid be established between the drywell and suppression 
chamber. This value provides margin to accommodate minor internal 
drywell temperature changes during the testing. Maintaining a 
differential pressure between the drywell and suppression chamber is a 
positive indication that the vacuum breaker disk being tested is 
closed. This test was performed on the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB-
V-1JK on January 8, 2007, and again on January 22, 2007, and confirmed 
that the disk was seated. The degraded limit switches and associated 
circuitry are located in the inerted wetwell and cannot be accessed to 
restore normal position indication in the control room for the rear 
disk of vacuum breaker CVB-V-1JK while at power. Therefore, continued 
compliance with SR 3.6.1.7.1 would require that this pressure test be 
performed every 14 days.
    The licensee stated that when performing the vacuum breaker closure 
differential pressure test, drywell pressure is increased from near 
atmospheric conditions to approximately 45 percent of the Drywell 
Pressure--High scram setpoint of 1.68 pounds per square inch gauge. 
Frequent differential pressure testing places the plant in a condition 
with degraded margin for a reactor scram. This increases the risk of an 
inadvertent reactor scram from a minor drywell pressure transient which 
may have been managed by the operator if it occurred at a normal 
drywell pressure and can unduly challenge plant safety systems and 
personnel. Furthermore, when performing the differential pressure test 
to verify continued closure of the rear disk of vacuum breaker CVB-V-
1JK, the front disk is required to be open for at least 60 minutes 
while the test is being performed which degrades the capability of the 
vacuum breaker assembly to prevent bypass leakage when required. As 
previously discussed, TS 3.6.1.7 recognizes this increase in plant risk 
by drawing a distinction between an actual communication path and a 
potential communication path in the derivation of entry conditions and 
required actions.
    The licensee concluded that a more appropriate method to maintain 
public health and safety is to ensure that both disks of vacuum breaker 
CVB-V-1JK continue to maintain their current closed position without a 
change of state. Operating in this configuration, both the front and 
rear disks of vacuum breaker CVB-V-1JK would conservatively not be 
credited to perform the open safety function and would be declared 
inoperable for opening. Both disks are currently closed and have been 
verified as such using the normal position indication in the control 
room for the front disk and by the differential pressure test for the 
rear disk. This configuration is currently allowed by TS 3.6.1.7, since 
only seven of nine vacuum breakers are required to be operable for 
opening while in Modes 1, 2, and 3. In addition, with vacuum breaker 
CVB-V-1JK declared inoperable for the open function, SR 3.6.1.7.2 would 
not be required to be performed and the breaker disks would not need to 
be cycled.
    Continued operation in this manner until the end of R-18 would 
ensure that plant risk is minimized but also requires an extension from 
the current 14-day interval of SR 3.6.1.7.1. The proposed change is 
necessary because continued performance of SR 3.6.1.7.1 for the rear 
disk of CVB-V-1JK results in putting the plant in a condition that 
unduly increases the risk of an inadvertent reactor scram challenging 
both plant systems and personnel. Failure to perform the differential 
pressure test required by SR 3.6.1.7.1 would result in a failed 
verification of the current closed state of these vacuum breakers. TS 
3.6.1.7 would then require placing the reactor in Mode 3 within the 
next 84 hours and Mode 4 in the following 24 hours and would also 
challenge plant system and personnel.
    The licensee states that it will continue to verify that the front 
disk of CVB-V-1JK and both disks of the other 8 vacuum breakers are 
closed every 14 days as required by SR 3.6.1.7.1. If reasonable 
evidence is discovered to conclude that the rear disk of vacuum breaker 
CVB-V-1JK may no longer be in a closed position, the licensee states 
that it will take compensatory measures to verify that this disk is 
closed within 72 hours or declare the disk not closed and enter the 
appropriate action statement. In the proposed note, evidence that the 
rear disk may no longer be in a closed position is defined as evidence 
that the front disk has opened or that the rear disk has experienced a 
differential pressure in the direction that could cause the disk to 
open.
    Before issuance of the proposed license amendment, the Commission 
will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as 
amended (the Act) and the Commission's regulations.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.91(a)(6) for amendments to be granted under 
exigent circumstances, the NRC staff must determine that the amendment 
request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the 
Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of 
the facility in

[[Page 6608]]

accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) Involve a 
significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or 
different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or 
(3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required 
by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue 
of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    Proper functioning of the suppression chamber-to-drywell vacuum 
breakers is required for accident mitigation. Failure of the vacuum 
breakers is not assumed as an accident initiator for any accident 
previously evaluated. Therefore, any potential failure of a vacuum 
breaker to perform when necessary will not affect the probability of 
an accident previously evaluated.
    During a LOCA [loss-of-coolant accident], the vacuum breakers 
are assumed to initially be closed to limit drywell-to-suppression 
chamber bypass leakage and must be capable of re-closing following a 
suppression pool swell event. The vacuum breakers open to prevent an 
excessive vacuum in the drywell. The proposed change will not affect 
the capability of the required vacuum breakers to perform their open 
and close safety functions since the change only affects position 
verification and high confidence is assured that the disk remains 
closed. Therefore, the proposed changes do not involve a significant 
increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated.
    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new 
or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The suppression chamber-to-drywell vacuum breakers are used to 
mitigate the potential consequences of an accident. The proposed 
change does not affect the capability of required vacuum breakers to 
perform their open and closed safety functions. Thus, the initial 
conditions assumed in the accident analysis are not affected. The 
proposed amendment does not involve a change to plant design and 
does not involve any new modes of operation or testing methods. 
Accordingly, the required vacuum breakers will continue to perform 
their accident mitigation safety functions as previously evaluated. 
Therefore, the proposed changes do not create the possibility of a 
new or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated.
    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction 
in a margin of safety?
    Response: No.
    The extension of the closure verification surveillance interval 
for one of the two disks in a vacuum breaker for approximately 4 
months is not risk significant as all required safety functions will 
continue to be performed. The vacuum breakers are not modified by 
the proposed amendment. The accident analysis assumptions for the 
closed safety functions of the vacuum breakers are satisfied when at 
least one of the disks in each of the nine vacuum breaker lines are 
fully closed and capable of re-closing following a suppression pool 
swell. The additional disk in each line satisfies the single failure 
criterion. The open safety function of the vacuum breakers is 
satisfied when 6 of the 9 vacuum breaker assemblies open during a 
DBA [design basis accident]. The other vacuum breakers satisfy the 
single failure criterion and provide additional defense-in-depth. 
Since all of the vacuum breakers are considered to perform their 
close safety function and 8 of 9 would be available to perform their 
open safety function, the proposed change will not involve a 
significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on 
this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are 
satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the 
amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.
    The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed 
determination. Any comments received within 14 days after the date of 
publication of this notice will be considered in making any final 
determination.
    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the 
expiration of the 14-day notice period. However, should circumstances 
change during the notice period, such that failure to act in a timely 
way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility, 
the Commission may issue the license amendment before the expiration of 
the 14-day notice period, provided that its final determination is that 
the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. The final 
determination will consider all public and State comments received. 
Should the Commission take this action, it will publish in the Federal 
Register a notice of issuance. The Commission expects that the need to 
take this action will occur very infrequently.
    Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rulemaking, 
Directives and Editing Branch, Division of Administrative Services, 
Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, and should cite the publication date and 
page number of this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also 
be delivered to Room 6D59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. 
Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public 
Document Room, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 
F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.
    The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to 
intervene is discussed below.
    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, the 
licensee may file a request for a hearing with respect to issuance of 
the amendment to the subject facility operating license and any person 
whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to 
participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written request 
for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene. Requests for a 
hearing and a petition for leave to intervene shall be filed in 
accordance with the Commission's ``Rules of Practice for Domestic 
Licensing Proceedings and Issuance of Orders'' in 10 CFR Part 2. 
Interested persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.309, which 
is available at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint North, 
Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible from the 
Agencywide Documents Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public 
Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://
www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing 
or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, the 
Commission or a presiding officer designated by the Commission or by 
the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board 
Panel, will rule on the request and/or petition; and the Secretary or 
the Chief Administrative Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board 
will issue a notice of a hearing or an appropriate order.
    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene 
shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in 
the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of 
the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons 
why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the 
following general requirements: (1) The name, address and telephone 
number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the 
requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the 
proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's 
property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the 
possible

[[Page 6609]]

effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the proceeding 
on the requestor's/petitioner's interest. The petition must also 
identify the specific contentions which the petitioner/requestor seeks 
to have litigated at the proceeding.
    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue 
of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the 
petitioner/requestor shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for 
the contention and a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert 
opinion which support the contention and on which the petitioner 
intends to rely in proving the contention at the hearing. The 
petitioner/requestor must also provide references to those specific 
sources and documents of which the petitioner/requestor is aware and on 
which the petitioner/requestor intends to rely to establish those facts 
or expert opinion. The petitioner/requestor must provide sufficient 
information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on 
a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to 
matters within the scope of the amendment under consideration. The 
contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner/
requestor to relief. A petitioner/requestor who fails to satisfy these 
requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be 
permitted to participate as a party.
    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, 
subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, 
and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the 
hearing.
    If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final 
determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The 
final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held. If 
the final determination is that the amendment request involves no 
significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the 
amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the 
request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance 
of the amendment. If the final determination is that the amendment 
request involves a significant hazards consideration, any hearing held 
would take place before the issuance of any amendment.
    Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be 
entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding 
officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition, 
request and/or the contentions should be granted based on a balancing 
of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(viii).
    A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must 
be filed by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the 
Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications 
Staff; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: 
Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and 
Adjudications Staff; (3) E-mail addressed to the Office of the 
Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV; 
or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: 
Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415-1101, verification 
number is (301) 415-1966. A copy of the request for hearing and 
petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of 
the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, and it is requested that copies be transmitted either by 
means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-3725 or by e-mail to 
OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A copy of the request for hearing and petition 
for leave to intervene should also be sent to William A. Horin, Esq., 
Winston & Strawn, 1700 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20006-3817, 
attorney for the licensee.
    For further details with respect to this action, see the 
application for amendment dated February 2, 2007, which is available 
for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), 
located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available 
records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room 
on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html. 
Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR 
Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-415-4737, or by 
e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of February 2007.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Carl F. Lyon,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E7-2374 Filed 2-9-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P