Arizona Public Service Company, et al.; Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Exemption, 37064-37066 [E9-17790]

Download as PDF jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 37064 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 142 / Monday, July 27, 2009 / Notices of radioactive source and byproduct material. 7. An estimate of the number of annual responses: 894 (273 NRC Licensees [68 NRC responses + 205 NRC Recordkeepers] + 621 Agreement State Licensees [349 Agreement State responses + 272 Agreement State recordkeepers]). 8. The estimated number of annual respondents: 340 (68 NRC Licensees + 272 Agreement State Licensees). 9. An estimate of the total number of hours needed annually to complete the requirement or request: 65,418 total hours [20,769 for NRC Licensees (16,067 hours for reporting and 4,702 hours for recordkeeping) and 44,649 for Agreement State Licensees (26,923 hours for reporting and 17,726 hours for recordkeeping)]. 10. Abstract: 10 CFR Part 40 establishes requirements for licenses for the receipt, possession, use and transfer of radioactive source and byproduct material. The application, reporting and recordkeeping requirements are necessary to permit the NRC to make a determination on whether the possession, use, and transfer of source and byproduct material is in conformance with the Commission’s regulations for protection of public health and safety. A copy of the final 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, Maryland 20852. OMB clearance requests are available at the NRC worldwide Web site: http:// www.nrc.gov/public-involve/doccomment/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 should be directed to the OMB reviewer listed below by August 26, 2009. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given to comments received after this date. NRC Desk Officer, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (3150–0020), NEOB–10202, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503. The Acting NRC Clearance Officer is Tremaine Donnell, (301) 415–6258. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July 2009. VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Jul 24, 2009 Jkt 217001 For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Tremaine Donnell, Acting NRC Clearance Officer, Office of Information Services. [FR Doc. E9–17789 Filed 7–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2009–0316; Docket Nos. STN 50–528, STN 50–529, and STN 50–530] Arizona Public Service Company, et al.; Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Exemption 1.0 Background The Arizona Public Service Company (APS, the facility licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF– 41, NPF–51, and NPF–74, which authorize operation of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS, the facility), Units 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The licenses provide, among other things, that the PVNGS is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of three pressurized-water reactors located 55 miles west of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona. 2.0 Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 55, ‘‘Operators’ Licenses,’’ specifies the requirements and procedures governing the issuance of licenses to operators and senior operators of utilization facilities licensed under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or Section 202 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended, and 10 CFR part 50, part 52, or part 54 of the Commission’s regulations. Section 55.11, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ of 10 CFR states that the Commission may, upon application by an interested person, or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations in this part as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and are otherwise in the public interest. The specific requirements for written examinations and operating tests for senior operator candidates are described in 10 CFR 55.43, ‘‘Written examination: Senior operators,’’ and 10 CFR 55.45, ‘‘Operating tests,’’ respectively. 10 CFR 55.47, ‘‘Waiver of examination and test requirements,’’ provides the criteria under which the Commission may waive any or all of the test PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requirements, upon application by a facility licensee. By letter dated February 6, 2009, APS requested a one-time exemption, in accordance with 10 CFR 55.11, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ from the reactor operator licensing examination waiver requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1). Specifically, the facility licensee requested that Mr. Mark A. Sharp be exempted from the requirement to have extensive actual operating experience at PVNGS (or a comparable facility) within 2 years before the date of application (i.e., December 10, 2008), so that he would not have to take and pass an NRC-administered written examination and operating test as a requirement for re-licensing as a senior reactor operator at PVNGS. Mr. Sharp (Docket No. 55–31662) was the holder of Senior Reactor Operator License No. SOP–43795 from December 6, 1996, until December 11, 2006. The license authorized Mr. Sharp to manipulate the controls of the PVNGS facility and to direct the licensed activities of licensed operators at the facility. Mr. Sharp’s license was terminated at the request of facility management when he resigned his employment with APS. By letter dated December 10, 2008, and in accordance with 10 CFR 55.31, APS submitted a new license application (NRC Form 398, ‘‘Personal Qualification Statement—Licensee’’) on behalf of Mr. Sharp. In that letter, APS requested, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.47(a), that the NRC waive the requirement for Mr. Sharp to take and pass an NRCadministered licensing examination (including both the written examination and operating test) normally required by 10 CFR 55.33(a)(2) to approve an operator license application. In support of the request, APS stated that Mr. Sharp had previously been licensed at PVNGS for approximately 10 years, had extensive actual operating experience at the facility, had re-enrolled in the licensed operator requalification training program and made up the training that he had missed during his absence, and had passed the recently administered written requalification examination and operating test. As holder of the PVNGS facility operating license by which Mr. Sharp was previously employed and where his services would again be utilized, APS also provided the certifications of past performance and current qualifications required by 10 CFR 55.47(b) and (c). By letter dated January 29, 2009, the NRC notified Mr. Sharp that his request for a waiver of the written examination and operating test had been denied because he did not satisfy the E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 142 / Monday, July 27, 2009 / Notices experience requirements stated in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1). Although there was no question that Mr. Sharp had extensive operating experience at PVNGS, he had no actual operating experience at PVNGS (or any comparable facility) within the 2-year period immediately prior to the date of his application. The NRC letter informed Mr. Sharp that PVNGS could request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) in accordance with 10 CFR 55.11. The NRC letter did not specifically address the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(2) and (3); however, the NRC staff found no reason to reject APS’s certification that Mr. Sharp would continue to competently and safely discharge his responsibilities and that he had learned the procedures for and was qualified to operate the PVNGS facility. Following receipt of the NRC letter of January 29, 2009, APS submitted the February 6, 2009, exemption request, which further explained the facility licensee’s need for the requested action. NRC Inspection Report 2008–002, dated May 9, 2008, had identified a violation involving the excessive use of operator overtime that resulted from a failure of APS to maintain a sufficient number of licensed operators at PVNGS. In order to increase its staff of licensed reactor operators as part of its corrective action for that violation, APS has been seeking to re-license individuals who had been previously licensed at PVNGS, and has increased the number of students in its licensed reactor operator training classes. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 3.0 Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, the Commission may, upon application by an interested person, or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations in this part as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and are otherwise in the public interest. The requested action would exempt Mr. Sharp from meeting the waiver requirement in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) for an applicant to have had extensive actual operating experience within 2 years of the date of an operator license application. Mr. Sharp’s last actual operating experience at PVNGS (or a comparable facility) occurred on November 7, 2006, which was more than 2 years before the date on which APS submitted his current license application (December 10, 2008); therefore, the exemption would effectively extend the waiver criterion specified in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), by approximately 1 month. VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Jul 24, 2009 Jkt 217001 As described in the December 10, 2008, license application and in APS’s February 6, 2009, exemption request, Mr. Sharp was away from the PVNGS and the licensed operator requalification training program for a period of 19 months, from November 2006 to June 2008. Since returning to PVNGS, Mr. Sharp has completed the following training and experience activities: • Through a process involving selfstudy and one-on-one instruction, Mr. Sharp made up all of the licensed operator requalification training that he had missed during his absence. Since completing that training, Mr. Sharp has rejoined and remains current in the PVNGS licensed operator requalification training program. • Mr. Sharp spent a total of 104 hours on shift as an operator under instruction, including 20 hours as a non-licensed operator performing plant walk-downs and tours, 36 hours as a Reactor Operator, and 48 hours as a Control Room Supervisor. • In September and October 2008, Mr. Sharp took and passed the regularly scheduled licensed operator written requalification examination, simulator operating test, and walk-through (job performance measure) operating test. • Since returning to the site in June 2008, Mr. Sharp has been working as a Senior Reactor Operator certified classroom and simulator instructor at the PVNGS. This position requires detailed knowledge of the facility and its operating procedures at a level comparable to that required of a licensed senior reactor operator, and involves routine interaction with the facility’s operating staff. The NRC staff accepts the facility licensee’s certification that Mr. Sharp discharged his responsibilities competently and safely in the past and is capable of continuing to do so. Similarly, the NRC staff accepts the facility licensee’s certification that Mr. Sharp has learned the operating procedures for and is qualified to competently and safely operate the PVNGS facility. Therefore, based on these certifications and the additional information provided by APS in support of Mr. Sharp’s experience and qualifications, the NRC staff has concluded, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, that granting this exemption from the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), will have a negligible effect on plant safety and will not endanger life or property. The NRC staff has also concluded, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, that granting this exemption to the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), is authorized by law and is otherwise in the public interest. PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37065 Section 55.11 of 10 CFR allows the NRC to grant exemptions to the regulations in 10 CFR part 55, and the NRC has determined that the granting of the proposed exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission’s regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. As noted in the exemption request, Mr. Sharp only exceeded the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), for extensive actual operating experience within the previous 2 years, by 33 days; thus, the granting of the exemption in this instance would effectively extend that criterion by only a brief time. APS has had a shortage of licensed operators for PVNGS that resulted in an excessive use of operator overtime, which in turn led to the issuance of an NRC notice of violation and the establishment of an on-going activity in the corrective action program. Worker fatigue, at PVNGS and in the nuclear industry, in general, is of serious concern to the NRC and prompted the Commission to amend 10 CFR part 26 in March 2008 to include new requirements for facility licensees to establish written policies for the management of fatigue for all individuals who are subject to the licensee’s fitness-for-duty program, including licensed reactor operators. The new regulations, which are scheduled to go into effect in the fall of 2009, are expected to increase the number of licensed operators that facility licensees will need in order to maintain minimum shift staffing requirements without exceeding workhour limits. The next NRC licensing examination at PVNGS is currently scheduled for November 2009. Delaying Mr. Sharp’s opportunity to be re-licensed until that time would not serve the best interests of APS or the surrounding public, and the cost of preparing, approving, and administering a special licensing examination for Mr. Sharp would be substantial for both APS and the NRC, without a commensurate benefit to either party or the public. Therefore, the NRC has determined that the granting of this exemption is in the public interest. 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, granting an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) to allow Mr. Sharp to be eligible for a waiver from the NRC licensing examination requirements, is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and is otherwise in the public interest. E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 37066 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 142 / Monday, July 27, 2009 / Notices Therefore, the Commission hereby grants APS an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) for Mr. Mark A. Sharp, an applicant for a senior reactor operator license at the PVNGS. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment (74 FR 34803; dated July 17, 2009). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July 2009. For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E9–17790 Filed 7–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION Submission of Information Collection for OMB Review; Comment Request; Qualified Domestic Relations Orders Submitted to PBGC Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. ACTION: Notice of request for extension of OMB approval. AGENCY: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (‘‘PBGC’’) is requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) extend approval, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, of the collection of information in PBGC’s booklet Qualified Domestic Relations Orders & PBGC (OMB control number 1212–0054; expires August 31, 2009). This notice informs the public of PBGC’s request and solicits public comment on the collection of information. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: DATES: Comments should be submitted by August 26, 2009. ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, via electronic mail at OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to 202–395–6974. A copy of PBGC’s request may be obtained without charge by writing to the Disclosure Division of the Office of the General Counsel of PBGC at the above address or by visiting that office or calling 202 326 4040 during normal business hours. (TTY and TDD users VerDate Nov<24>2008 19:02 Jul 24, 2009 Jkt 217001 may call the Federal relay service toll free at 1 800 877 8339 and ask to be connected to 202 326 4040.) The request is also available at http:// www.reginfo.gov. The current QDRO booklet is available on PBGC’s Web site at http://www.pbgc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jo Amato Burns, Attorney, Legislative and Regulatory Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20005–4026, 202– 326–4024. (TTY and TDD users may call the Federal relay service toll-free at 1– 800–877–8339 and ask to be connected to 202–326–4024.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PBGC is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the guidance and model language and forms contained in the PBGC booklet, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders & PBGC. A defined benefit pension plan that does not have enough money to pay benefits may be terminated if the employer responsible for the plan faces severe financial difficulty, such as bankruptcy, and is unable to maintain the plan. In such an event, PBGC becomes trustee of the plan and pays benefits, subject to legal limits, to plan participants and beneficiaries. The benefits of a pension plan participant generally may not be assigned or alienated. However, Title I of ERISA provides an exception for domestic relations orders that relate to child support, alimony payments, or the marital property rights of an alternate payee (a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a plan participant). The exception applies only if the domestic relations order meets specific legal requirements that make it a qualified domestic relations order, or ‘‘QDRO.’’ ERISA provides that pension plans are required to comply with only those domestic relations orders which are QDROs, and that the decision as to whether a domestic relations order is a QDRO is made by the plan administrator. When PBGC is trustee of a plan, it reviews submitted domestic relations orders to determine whether the order is qualified before paying benefits to an alternate payee. The requirements for submitting a QDRO are established by statute. To simplify the process, PBGC has included model QDROs and accompanying guidance in a booklet, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders & PBGC.—The models and guidance assist parties by making it easier to comply with ERISA’s QDRO requirements when drafting orders for plans trusteed by PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 PBGC. The booklet does not create any additional requirements. PBGC is not making any substantive revisions to the current QDRO booklet. One definition has been conformed to a change under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and several references have been updated. The collection of information has been approved through August 31, 2009, by OMB under control number 1212– 0054. PBGC is requesting that OMB extend approval of the collection of information for three years. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. PBGC estimates that it will receive 895 domestic relations orders annually and that the average annual burden of this collection of information is 2105 hours and $495,060. Issued in Washington, DC, this 21 day of July, 2009. John H. Hanley, Director, Legislative and Regulatory Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. [FR Doc. E9–17873 Filed 7–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7709–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2009–27 and CP2009–37; Order No. 231] Priority Mail Contract Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: Commission Order No. 231, which addresses a new Priority Mail contract, was inadvertently submitted to the Federal Register for publication in the Notices category. It appeared in that category on July 16, 2009 (74 FR 34598). Order No. 231 should have been submitted for publication in the ‘‘Rules’’ category, as this would have effectuated an intended change in the Code of Federal Regulations. The Commission is withdrawing the referenced Notice document and is submitting Order No. 231 for publication in the appropriate category. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen L. Sharfman, general counsel, 202–789–6820 or stephen.sharfman@prc.gov. Judith M. Grady, Acting Secretary. [FR Doc. E9–17811 Filed 7–24–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 142 (Monday, July 27, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37064-37066]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-17790]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2009-0316; Docket Nos. STN 50-528, STN 50-529, and STN 50-530]


Arizona Public Service Company, et al.; Palo Verde Nuclear 
Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3; Exemption

1.0 Background

    The Arizona Public Service Company (APS, the facility licensee) is 
the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-41, NPF-51, and NPF-
74, which authorize operation of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating 
Station (PVNGS, the facility), Units 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The 
licenses provide, among other things, that the PVNGS is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC, or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of three pressurized-water reactors located 
55 miles west of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 55, 
``Operators' Licenses,'' specifies the requirements and procedures 
governing the issuance of licenses to operators and senior operators of 
utilization facilities licensed under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as 
amended, or Section 202 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as 
amended, and 10 CFR part 50, part 52, or part 54 of the Commission's 
regulations. Section 55.11, ``Specific exemptions,'' of 10 CFR states 
that the Commission may, upon application by an interested person, or 
upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements of 
the regulations in this part as it determines are authorized by law and 
will not endanger life or property and are otherwise in the public 
interest.
    The specific requirements for written examinations and operating 
tests for senior operator candidates are described in 10 CFR 55.43, 
``Written examination: Senior operators,'' and 10 CFR 55.45, 
``Operating tests,'' respectively. 10 CFR 55.47, ``Waiver of 
examination and test requirements,'' provides the criteria under which 
the Commission may waive any or all of the test requirements, upon 
application by a facility licensee.
    By letter dated February 6, 2009, APS requested a one-time 
exemption, in accordance with 10 CFR 55.11, ``Specific exemptions,'' 
from the reactor operator licensing examination waiver requirements of 
10 CFR 55.47(a)(1). Specifically, the facility licensee requested that 
Mr. Mark A. Sharp be exempted from the requirement to have extensive 
actual operating experience at PVNGS (or a comparable facility) within 
2 years before the date of application (i.e., December 10, 2008), so 
that he would not have to take and pass an NRC-administered written 
examination and operating test as a requirement for re-licensing as a 
senior reactor operator at PVNGS.
    Mr. Sharp (Docket No. 55-31662) was the holder of Senior Reactor 
Operator License No. SOP-43795 from December 6, 1996, until December 
11, 2006. The license authorized Mr. Sharp to manipulate the controls 
of the PVNGS facility and to direct the licensed activities of licensed 
operators at the facility. Mr. Sharp's license was terminated at the 
request of facility management when he resigned his employment with 
APS.
    By letter dated December 10, 2008, and in accordance with 10 CFR 
55.31, APS submitted a new license application (NRC Form 398, 
``Personal Qualification Statement--Licensee'') on behalf of Mr. Sharp. 
In that letter, APS requested, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.47(a), that the 
NRC waive the requirement for Mr. Sharp to take and pass an NRC-
administered licensing examination (including both the written 
examination and operating test) normally required by 10 CFR 55.33(a)(2) 
to approve an operator license application. In support of the request, 
APS stated that Mr. Sharp had previously been licensed at PVNGS for 
approximately 10 years, had extensive actual operating experience at 
the facility, had re-enrolled in the licensed operator requalification 
training program and made up the training that he had missed during his 
absence, and had passed the recently administered written 
requalification examination and operating test. As holder of the PVNGS 
facility operating license by which Mr. Sharp was previously employed 
and where his services would again be utilized, APS also provided the 
certifications of past performance and current qualifications required 
by 10 CFR 55.47(b) and (c).
    By letter dated January 29, 2009, the NRC notified Mr. Sharp that 
his request for a waiver of the written examination and operating test 
had been denied because he did not satisfy the

[[Page 37065]]

experience requirements stated in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1). Although there 
was no question that Mr. Sharp had extensive operating experience at 
PVNGS, he had no actual operating experience at PVNGS (or any 
comparable facility) within the 2-year period immediately prior to the 
date of his application. The NRC letter informed Mr. Sharp that PVNGS 
could request an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) 
in accordance with 10 CFR 55.11. The NRC letter did not specifically 
address the requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(2) and (3); however, the 
NRC staff found no reason to reject APS's certification that Mr. Sharp 
would continue to competently and safely discharge his responsibilities 
and that he had learned the procedures for and was qualified to operate 
the PVNGS facility.
    Following receipt of the NRC letter of January 29, 2009, APS 
submitted the February 6, 2009, exemption request, which further 
explained the facility licensee's need for the requested action. NRC 
Inspection Report 2008-002, dated May 9, 2008, had identified a 
violation involving the excessive use of operator overtime that 
resulted from a failure of APS to maintain a sufficient number of 
licensed operators at PVNGS. In order to increase its staff of licensed 
reactor operators as part of its corrective action for that violation, 
APS has been seeking to re-license individuals who had been previously 
licensed at PVNGS, and has increased the number of students in its 
licensed reactor operator training classes.

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, the Commission may, upon application by 
an interested person, or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions 
from the requirements of the regulations in this part as it determines 
are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and are 
otherwise in the public interest. The requested action would exempt Mr. 
Sharp from meeting the waiver requirement in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) for an 
applicant to have had extensive actual operating experience within 2 
years of the date of an operator license application. Mr. Sharp's last 
actual operating experience at PVNGS (or a comparable facility) 
occurred on November 7, 2006, which was more than 2 years before the 
date on which APS submitted his current license application (December 
10, 2008); therefore, the exemption would effectively extend the waiver 
criterion specified in 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), by approximately 1 month.
    As described in the December 10, 2008, license application and in 
APS's February 6, 2009, exemption request, Mr. Sharp was away from the 
PVNGS and the licensed operator requalification training program for a 
period of 19 months, from November 2006 to June 2008. Since returning 
to PVNGS, Mr. Sharp has completed the following training and experience 
activities:
     Through a process involving self-study and one-on-one 
instruction, Mr. Sharp made up all of the licensed operator 
requalification training that he had missed during his absence. Since 
completing that training, Mr. Sharp has rejoined and remains current in 
the PVNGS licensed operator requalification training program.
     Mr. Sharp spent a total of 104 hours on shift as an 
operator under instruction, including 20 hours as a non-licensed 
operator performing plant walk-downs and tours, 36 hours as a Reactor 
Operator, and 48 hours as a Control Room Supervisor.
     In September and October 2008, Mr. Sharp took and passed 
the regularly scheduled licensed operator written requalification 
examination, simulator operating test, and walk-through (job 
performance measure) operating test.
     Since returning to the site in June 2008, Mr. Sharp has 
been working as a Senior Reactor Operator certified classroom and 
simulator instructor at the PVNGS. This position requires detailed 
knowledge of the facility and its operating procedures at a level 
comparable to that required of a licensed senior reactor operator, and 
involves routine interaction with the facility's operating staff.
    The NRC staff accepts the facility licensee's certification that 
Mr. Sharp discharged his responsibilities competently and safely in the 
past and is capable of continuing to do so. Similarly, the NRC staff 
accepts the facility licensee's certification that Mr. Sharp has 
learned the operating procedures for and is qualified to competently 
and safely operate the PVNGS facility. Therefore, based on these 
certifications and the additional information provided by APS in 
support of Mr. Sharp's experience and qualifications, the NRC staff has 
concluded, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, that granting this exemption from 
the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), will have a negligible 
effect on plant safety and will not endanger life or property.
    The NRC staff has also concluded, pursuant to 10 CFR 55.11, that 
granting this exemption to the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), 
is authorized by law and is otherwise in the public interest. Section 
55.11 of 10 CFR allows the NRC to grant exemptions to the regulations 
in 10 CFR part 55, and the NRC has determined that the granting of the 
proposed exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy 
Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission's regulations. Therefore, 
the exemption is authorized by law. As noted in the exemption request, 
Mr. Sharp only exceeded the waiver criterion of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1), for 
extensive actual operating experience within the previous 2 years, by 
33 days; thus, the granting of the exemption in this instance would 
effectively extend that criterion by only a brief time. APS has had a 
shortage of licensed operators for PVNGS that resulted in an excessive 
use of operator overtime, which in turn led to the issuance of an NRC 
notice of violation and the establishment of an on-going activity in 
the corrective action program. Worker fatigue, at PVNGS and in the 
nuclear industry, in general, is of serious concern to the NRC and 
prompted the Commission to amend 10 CFR part 26 in March 2008 to 
include new requirements for facility licensees to establish written 
policies for the management of fatigue for all individuals who are 
subject to the licensee's fitness-for-duty program, including licensed 
reactor operators. The new regulations, which are scheduled to go into 
effect in the fall of 2009, are expected to increase the number of 
licensed operators that facility licensees will need in order to 
maintain minimum shift staffing requirements without exceeding work-
hour limits.
    The next NRC licensing examination at PVNGS is currently scheduled 
for November 2009. Delaying Mr. Sharp's opportunity to be re-licensed 
until that time would not serve the best interests of APS or the 
surrounding public, and the cost of preparing, approving, and 
administering a special licensing examination for Mr. Sharp would be 
substantial for both APS and the NRC, without a commensurate benefit to 
either party or the public. Therefore, the NRC has determined that the 
granting of this exemption is in the public interest.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
55.11, granting an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 
55.47(a)(1) to allow Mr. Sharp to be eligible for a waiver from the NRC 
licensing examination requirements, is authorized by law and will not 
endanger life or property and is otherwise in the public interest.

[[Page 37066]]

    Therefore, the Commission hereby grants APS an exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 55.47(a)(1) for Mr. Mark A. Sharp, an applicant 
for a senior reactor operator license at the PVNGS.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the 
granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment (74 FR 34803; dated July 17, 2009).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July 2009.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E9-17790 Filed 7-24-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P