Arizona Public Service Company, et al., Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Unit 3; Temporary Exemption, 53985-53987 [2010-21942]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 170 / Thursday, September 2, 2010 / Notices Issued at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of August 2010. E. Roy Hawkens, Chief Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52–025–COL and 52–026– COL; ASLBP No.10–903–01–COL–BD02] Southern Nuclear Operating Company Establishment of Atomic Safety And Licensing Board [FR Doc. 2010–21940 Filed 9–1–10; 8:45 am] Pursuant to delegation by the Commission dated December 29, 1972, published in the Federal Register, 37 FR 28,710 (1972), and the Commission’s regulations, see 10 CFR 2.104, 2.300, 2.303, 2.309, 2.311, 2.318, and 2.321, notice is hereby given that an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) is being established to preside over the following proceeding: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Southern Nuclear Operating Company; (Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4) wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 This proceeding arises from the August 12, 2010 submission of a request for admission of a new contention to challenge the application of Southern Nuclear Operating Company’s application for a combined license for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, to be located in Burke County, Georgia. The request was submitted by the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, the Center for a Sustainable Coast, and Georgia Women’s Action for New Directions for Clean Energy.1 The Board is comprised of the following administrative judges: G. Paul Bollwerk, III, Chairman, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. Nicholas G. Trikouros, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. James F. Jackson, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. All correspondence, documents, and other materials shall be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule, which the NRC promulgated in August 2007 (72 FR 49,139). 1 On May 19, 2010, a Board that previously was established to adjudicate the contested portion of this proceeding granted summary disposition in favor of applicant, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, on the only admitted contention. Because that decision was not appealed to the Commission, and because the Commission did not take sua sponte review, the contested proceeding was terminated and the prior Board was divested of jurisdiction, thus necessitating the establishment of the instant Board to consider the August 12, 2010 submission. See Commission Order (Aug. 25, 2010) at 1 (unpublished); Licensing Board Memorandum (Referring Request to Admit New Contention to the Commission) (Aug. 17, 2010) at 2–3 (unpublished). VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Sep 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 BILLING CODE 7590–01–P [Docket No. STN 50–530; NRC–2010–0281] Arizona Public Service Company, et al., Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Unit 3; Temporary Exemption 1.0 Background Arizona Public Service Company (APS, the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License No. NPF–74, which authorizes operation of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), Unit 3. The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of a pressurizedwater reactor located in Maricopa County, Arizona. 2.0 Request/Action Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 50.12, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ APS has, by letter dated November 2, 2009, and supplemented by letter dated May 12, 2010 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession Nos. ML093160596 and ML101410262, respectively), requested a temporary exemption from 10 CFR 50.46, ‘‘Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors,’’ and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50, ‘‘ECCS Evaluation Models,’’ (Appendix K). The regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 contain acceptance criteria for the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) for reactors fueled with zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding. In addition, Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 requires that the Baker-Just equation be used to predict the rates of energy release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal-water reaction. The temporary exemption request relates solely to the specific types of cladding material specified in these regulations. As written, the regulations presume the use of zircaloy or ZIRLO fuel rod cladding. Thus, an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is needed to irradiate lead fuel assemblies (LFAs) comprised of different cladding alloys at PVNGS, Unit 3. PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53985 The temporary exemption requested by the licensee would allow up to eight LFAs manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (Westinghouse) with fuel rods clad with Optimized ZIRLOTM to be inserted into the PVNGS, Unit 3, core during the fall 2010 refueling outage. The temporary exemption would allow the LFAs to be used for up to three operating cycles (Cycles 16, 17, and 18). 3.0 Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) when special circumstances are present. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), special circumstances include, among other things, when application of the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule. Authorized by Law This exemption would allow up to eight LFAs with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding to be inserted into the PVNGS, Unit 3 reactor core during the fall 2010 refueling outage. It would also allow the LFAs to be used for up to three operating cycles (Cycles 16, 17, and 18). The Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding is of a slightly different material composition than the zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding explicitly identified in 10 CFR 50.46, and implicitly assumed in 10 CFR part 50, Appendix K, for light water reactor fuel. However, the fundamental requirements regarding ECCS performance can still be satisfied by the LFAs with the Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding. As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50. The NRC staff has determined that granting of the licensee’s 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. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. Westinghouse topical reports WCAP–16500–P–A, Revision 0, ‘‘CE [Combustion Engineering] 16x16 Next Generation Fuel Core Reference Report,’’ dated E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 53986 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 170 / Thursday, September 2, 2010 / Notices August 2007, and WCAP–12610–P–A & CENPD–404–P–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLOTM,’’ dated July 2006, contain the justification to use Optimized ZIRLOTM as a fuel cladding material in addition to Zircaloy-4 and ZIRLO (these topical reports are non-publicly available because they contain proprietary information). The NRC staff approved the use of these topical reports, subject to the conditions stated in the staff’s safety evaluations for each. In these topical reports, Westinghouse evaluated the structural and material properties of Optimized ZIRLOTM and determined that the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM as cladding would have either no significant impact or would produce a reduction in corrosion or oxidation and a corresponding reduction in hydrogen pickup. Westinghouse also evaluated the impact of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel cladding on the LOCA and non-LOCA accident analyses. The evaluations determined that the LOCA analyses for fuel with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding complied with 10 CFR 50.46, and that there was a negligible difference in the non-LOCA analyses between fuel clad with standard ZIRLO and fuel clad with Optimized ZIRLOTM. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix K, Section I.A.5, ‘‘Metal-Water Reaction Rate,’’ is to ensure that cladding oxidation and hydrogen generation are appropriately limited during a LOCA and conservatively accounted for in the ECCS evaluation model. Appendix K of 10 CFR part 50 requires that the BakerJust equation be used in the ECCS evaluation model to determine the rate of energy release, cladding oxidation, and hydrogen generation. Westinghouse has shown in WCAP–12610–P–A that the Baker-Just model is conservative in all post-LOCA scenarios with respect to the use of the Optimized ZIRLOTM advanced alloy as a fuel cladding material. In its exemption request dated November 2, 2009, APS commits to evaluate the performance of the Next Generation Fuel (NGF) LFAs with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding with respect to the PVNGS safety analyses. The analyses to be performed as part of that evaluation, which the licensee commits to being due October 30, 2010, shall include thermal hydraulic compatibility, loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) and non-LOCA criteria, mechanical design, thermal hydraulics, seismic, core physics, and neutronic capability of the NGF LFAs in the PVNGS, Unit 3 reactor core. The thermal-hydraulic compatibility analyses for the LFAs shall include evaluations of departure from nucleate VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Sep 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 boiling (DNB) performance, guide tube heating, core bypass flow, fuel centerline melt, rod bow, and LOCA. The neutronic compatibility evaluation will compare design characteristics of the LFAs to co-resident fuel to ensure compatibility. Furthermore, APS commits to having a compatibility study performed to ensure that insertion of the LFAs will not cause the remaining Westinghouse fuel to exceed its operating limits and ensure there is no adverse impact on the fuel performance or mechanical integrity. In order to ensure compatibility, the study shall include detailed evaluations in several functional areas, such as structural/ seismic analyses, ECCS performance, LOCA dose assessment, thermal hydraulics, and mechanical design. In addition, the evaluations will determine the impact on the analyses of record, if any. The licensee commits to a due date of October 30, 2010, for the compatibility study. In addition, the licensee commits to poolside examinations of the ongoing assembly and cladding performance as detailed in the ‘‘Commitments, Conditions, and Limitations’’ section below. APS shall place the LFAs in nonlimiting power locations where the predicted peak pin power is less than or equal to 0.95 of the predicted cycle maximum peak pin power in the core. Therefore, the LFAs will not contain the lead rod in the core and will have margin relative to cycle maximum peak power. Since the LFAs will not be in the highest core power density locations, their operation will be bounded by the safety analyses performed for the existing fuel assemblies. Additionally, the maximum LFA integrated fuel rod burnup shall be maintained less than or equal to 60 gigawatt days per metric ton uranium. The PVNGS, Unit 3, temporary exemption request relates solely to the specific types of cladding material specified in the regulations. No new or altered design limits for purposes of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix A, General Design Criterion 10, ‘‘Reactor Design,’’ need to be applied or are required for this exemption. Based on the use of approved models and methods, expected material performance, and the placement of the LFAs in non-limiting core locations, the NRC staff concludes that the irradiation of up to eight LFAs in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core will not result in unsafe operation or violation of specified acceptable fuel design limits. Furthermore, in the event of a designbasis accident, these LFAs will not cause consequences beyond those previously analyzed. Based upon results PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 from experimental data using Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding for its cooling performance, and the results of the calculations of rate of energy release, hydrogen generation, and cladding oxidation from the metal-water reaction, which ensure the applicability of ECCS models and acceptance criteria, and the use of approved LOCA evaluation models to ensure that LFAs satisfy 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria, the NRC staff considers the LFAs acceptable for use in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core as proposed, subject to the additional commitments made by APS. Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by allowing the use of the LFAs with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding material in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core during Operating Cycles 16, 17, and 18. Also, based on the above, the consequences of postulated accidents are not increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk to public health and safety in granting this temporary exemption. Consistent With Common Defense and Security The proposed exemption would allow the use of up to 8 LFAs with advanced cladding material. This change to the plant has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption. Special Circumstances Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), are present whenever application of the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 is to establish acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. The wording of the regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is not directly applicable to Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding, even though the evaluations above show that the intent of the regulations is met. Therefore, since the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is achieved with the use of the Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) for the granting of an exemption exist. Commitments, Conditions, and Limitations In its letter dated November 2, 2009, the licensee made the following regulatory commitments: 1. Prior to startup for Unit 3 Cycle 17, poolside examinations will be E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1 wwoods2 on DSK1DXX6B1PROD with NOTICES_PART 1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 170 / Thursday, September 2, 2010 / Notices performed to evaluate ongoing assembly and cladding performance. (Due 4/30/ 2012) 2. Prior to startup for Unit 3 Cycle 18, poolside examinations will be performed to evaluate ongoing assembly and cladding performance. (Due 10/30/ 2013) 3. After completion of Unit 3 Cycle 18 (the third and final irradiation cycle), poolside examinations will be performed to evaluate assembly and cladding performance. (Due 6/30/2015) 4. The Westinghouse NGF LFAs will be modeled in the PVNGS core physics models, including the Zirconium diboride integral fuel burnable absorber (IFBA). As such, the impact of the LFAs will be included in the PVNGS cyclespecific core physics calculations supporting the reload effort for each cycle during use of the LFAs. (Due 10/ 30/2010, 4/30/2012, and 10/30/2013, respectively) 5. Evaluations will verify performance of the Westinghouse NGF LFAs with respect to the safety analysis. The analyses will include thermal-hydraulic compatibility, loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) and non-LOCA criteria, mechanical design, thermal hydraulic, seismic, core physics, and neutronic compatibility of the LFAs in the PVNGS Unit 3 core. The evaluations will make use of the fact that the LFAs will be operated in non-limiting locations and will verify the reload analyses are not adversely impacted. The results will be documented in a final design report. (Due 10/30/2010) 6. A compatibility study will be performed to ensure that insertion of the Westinghouse NGF LFAs will not cause the remaining Westinghouse fuel to exceed its operating limits and ensure there is no adverse impact on fuel performance or mechanical integrity. The results of the compatibility study will be documented in a final design report. (Due 10/30/2010) In addition, since APS referenced Westinghouse Topical Report WCAP– 12610–P–A & CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLOTM,’’ dated July 2006, in its request for the exemption to use LFAs with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding, the licensee shall ensure compliance with the conditions and limitations listed in Section 5.0 of the NRC staff’s Safety Evaluation Report for that report. 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:22 Sep 01, 2010 Jkt 220001 and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants APS a temporary exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to allow the use of fuel rods clad with an advanced alloy, Optimized ZIRLOTM, in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core in non-limiting locations during Operating Cycles 16, 17, and 18. 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 as published in the Federal Register on August 24, 2010 (75 FR 52045). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of August 2010. For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2010–21942 Filed 9–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549–0213. Extension: Rule 15Ba2–1 and Form MSD; SEC File No. 270–0088; OMB Control No. 3235–0083. Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a request for extension of the previously approved collection of information provided for in Rule 15Ba2–1 (17 CFR 240.15Ba2–1) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Exchange Act’’) (17 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) Rule 15Ba2–1 provides that an application for registration with the Commission by a bank municipal securities dealer must be filed on Form MSD (17 CFR 249.1100). The Commission uses the information contained in Form MSD to determine whether bank municipal securities dealers meet the standards for registration set forth in the Exchange Act, to develop a central registry where members of the public may obtain PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53987 information about particular bank municipal securities dealers, and to develop statistical information about bank municipal securities dealers. Based upon past submissions, the staff estimates that approximately 41 respondents will utilize this application procedure annually. The staff estimates that the average number of hours necessary to comply with the requirements of Rule 15Ba2–1 is 1.5 hours per respondent, for a total burden of 61.5 hours. The average cost per hour is approximately $67. Therefore, the total cost of compliance for the respondents is approximately $4,120. Rule 15Ba2–1 does not contain an explicit recordkeeping requirement, but the rule does require the prompt correction of any information on Form MSD that becomes inaccurate, meaning that bank municipal securities dealers need to maintain a current copy of Form MSD indefinitely. Providing the information on the application is mandatory in order to register with the Commission as a bank municipal securities dealer. The information contained in the application will not be kept confidential. 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 control number. Comments should be directed to: (i) Desk Officer for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10102, New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503 or send an e-mail to: Sagufta_Ahmed@omb.eop.gov and (ii) Charles Boucher, Director/Chief Information Officer, Securities and Exchange Commission, c/o Remi PavlikSimon, 6432 General Green Way, Alexandria, VA 22312 or send an e-mail to: PRA_Mailbox@sec.gov. Comments must be submitted to OMB within 30 days of this notice. Dated: August 27, 2010. Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2010–21935 Filed 9–1–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, Washington, DC 20549–0213. E:\FR\FM\02SEN1.SGM 02SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 170 (Thursday, September 2, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53985-53987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-21942]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. STN 50-530; NRC-2010-0281]


Arizona Public Service Company, et al., Palo Verde Nuclear 
Generating Station, Unit 3; Temporary Exemption

1.0 Background

    Arizona Public Service Company (APS, the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License No. NPF-74, which authorizes operation of 
the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS), Unit 3. The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in 
Maricopa County, Arizona.

2.0 Request/Action

    Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), 
Section 50.12, ``Specific exemptions,'' APS has, by letter dated 
November 2, 2009, and supplemented by letter dated May 12, 2010 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
Nos. ML093160596 and ML101410262, respectively), requested a temporary 
exemption from 10 CFR 50.46, ``Acceptance criteria for emergency core 
cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors,'' and Appendix 
K to 10 CFR part 50, ``ECCS Evaluation Models,'' (Appendix K). The 
regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 contain acceptance criteria for the 
emergency core cooling system (ECCS) for reactors fueled with zircaloy 
or ZIRLO cladding. In addition, Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 requires 
that the Baker-Just equation be used to predict the rates of energy 
release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal-
water reaction. The temporary exemption request relates solely to the 
specific types of cladding material specified in these regulations. As 
written, the regulations presume the use of zircaloy or ZIRLO fuel rod 
cladding. Thus, an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and 
Appendix K is needed to irradiate lead fuel assemblies (LFAs) comprised 
of different cladding alloys at PVNGS, Unit 3.
    The temporary exemption requested by the licensee would allow up to 
eight LFAs manufactured by Westinghouse Electric Company LLC 
(Westinghouse) with fuel rods clad with Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ to be 
inserted into the PVNGS, Unit 3, core during the fall 2010 refueling 
outage. The temporary exemption would allow the LFAs to be used for up 
to three operating cycles (Cycles 16, 17, and 18).

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) when special circumstances are present. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), 
special circumstances include, among other things, when application of 
the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, 
or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule.

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow up to eight LFAs with Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\ cladding to be inserted into the PVNGS, Unit 3 reactor core 
during the fall 2010 refueling outage. It would also allow the LFAs to 
be used for up to three operating cycles (Cycles 16, 17, and 18). The 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding is of a slightly different material 
composition than the zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding explicitly identified 
in 10 CFR 50.46, and implicitly assumed in 10 CFR part 50, Appendix K, 
for light water reactor fuel. However, the fundamental requirements 
regarding ECCS performance can still be satisfied by the LFAs with the 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding. As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the 
NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50. The 
NRC staff has determined that granting of the licensee's 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.

No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance 
criteria for ECCS performance. Westinghouse topical reports WCAP-16500-
P-A, Revision 0, ``CE [Combustion Engineering] 16x16 Next Generation 
Fuel Core Reference Report,'' dated

[[Page 53986]]

August 2007, and WCAP-12610-P-A & CENPD-404-P-A, ``Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\,'' dated July 2006, contain the justification to use 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ as a fuel cladding material in addition to 
Zircaloy-4 and ZIRLO (these topical reports are non-publicly available 
because they contain proprietary information). The NRC staff approved 
the use of these topical reports, subject to the conditions stated in 
the staff's safety evaluations for each. In these topical reports, 
Westinghouse evaluated the structural and material properties of 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ and determined that the use of Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ 
as cladding would have either no significant impact or would produce a 
reduction in corrosion or oxidation and a corresponding reduction in 
hydrogen pickup. Westinghouse also evaluated the impact of Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\ fuel cladding on the LOCA and non-LOCA accident analyses. The 
evaluations determined that the LOCA analyses for fuel with Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\ cladding complied with 10 CFR 50.46, and that there was a 
negligible difference in the non-LOCA analyses between fuel clad with 
standard ZIRLO and fuel clad with Optimized ZIRLO\TM\.
    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix K, Section 
I.A.5, ``Metal-Water Reaction Rate,'' is to ensure that cladding 
oxidation and hydrogen generation are appropriately limited during a 
LOCA and conservatively accounted for in the ECCS evaluation model. 
Appendix K of 10 CFR part 50 requires that the Baker-Just equation be 
used in the ECCS evaluation model to determine the rate of energy 
release, cladding oxidation, and hydrogen generation. Westinghouse has 
shown in WCAP-12610-P-A that the Baker-Just model is conservative in 
all post-LOCA scenarios with respect to the use of the Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\ advanced alloy as a fuel cladding material.
    In its exemption request dated November 2, 2009, APS commits to 
evaluate the performance of the Next Generation Fuel (NGF) LFAs with 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding with respect to the PVNGS safety analyses. 
The analyses to be performed as part of that evaluation, which the 
licensee commits to being due October 30, 2010, shall include thermal 
hydraulic compatibility, loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) and non-LOCA 
criteria, mechanical design, thermal hydraulics, seismic, core physics, 
and neutronic capability of the NGF LFAs in the PVNGS, Unit 3 reactor 
core. The thermal-hydraulic compatibility analyses for the LFAs shall 
include evaluations of departure from nucleate boiling (DNB) 
performance, guide tube heating, core bypass flow, fuel centerline 
melt, rod bow, and LOCA. The neutronic compatibility evaluation will 
compare design characteristics of the LFAs to co-resident fuel to 
ensure compatibility. Furthermore, APS commits to having a 
compatibility study performed to ensure that insertion of the LFAs will 
not cause the remaining Westinghouse fuel to exceed its operating 
limits and ensure there is no adverse impact on the fuel performance or 
mechanical integrity. In order to ensure compatibility, the study shall 
include detailed evaluations in several functional areas, such as 
structural/seismic analyses, ECCS performance, LOCA dose assessment, 
thermal hydraulics, and mechanical design. In addition, the evaluations 
will determine the impact on the analyses of record, if any. The 
licensee commits to a due date of October 30, 2010, for the 
compatibility study. In addition, the licensee commits to poolside 
examinations of the ongoing assembly and cladding performance as 
detailed in the ``Commitments, Conditions, and Limitations'' section 
below.
    APS shall place the LFAs in non-limiting power locations where the 
predicted peak pin power is less than or equal to 0.95 of the predicted 
cycle maximum peak pin power in the core. Therefore, the LFAs will not 
contain the lead rod in the core and will have margin relative to cycle 
maximum peak power. Since the LFAs will not be in the highest core 
power density locations, their operation will be bounded by the safety 
analyses performed for the existing fuel assemblies. Additionally, the 
maximum LFA integrated fuel rod burnup shall be maintained less than or 
equal to 60 gigawatt days per metric ton uranium.
    The PVNGS, Unit 3, temporary exemption request relates solely to 
the specific types of cladding material specified in the regulations. 
No new or altered design limits for purposes of 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix A, General Design Criterion 10, ``Reactor Design,'' need to be 
applied or are required for this exemption.
    Based on the use of approved models and methods, expected material 
performance, and the placement of the LFAs in non-limiting core 
locations, the NRC staff concludes that the irradiation of up to eight 
LFAs in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core will not result in unsafe operation or 
violation of specified acceptable fuel design limits. Furthermore, in 
the event of a design-basis accident, these LFAs will not cause 
consequences beyond those previously analyzed. Based upon results from 
experimental data using Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding for its cooling 
performance, and the results of the calculations of rate of energy 
release, hydrogen generation, and cladding oxidation from the metal-
water reaction, which ensure the applicability of ECCS models and 
acceptance criteria, and the use of approved LOCA evaluation models to 
ensure that LFAs satisfy 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria, the NRC 
staff considers the LFAs acceptable for use in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core 
as proposed, subject to the additional commitments made by APS.
    Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by 
allowing the use of the LFAs with Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding material 
in the PVNGS, Unit 3, core during Operating Cycles 16, 17, and 18. 
Also, based on the above, the consequences of postulated accidents are 
not increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk to public health and 
safety in granting this temporary exemption.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow the use of up to 8 LFAs with 
advanced cladding material. This change to the plant has no relation to 
security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not 
impacted by this exemption.

Special Circumstances

    Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), 
are present whenever application of the specific regulation in the 
particular circumstance would not serve, or is not necessary to 
achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 
10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 is to establish 
acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. The wording of the 
regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is not directly applicable 
to Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding, even though the evaluations above show 
that the intent of the regulations is met. Therefore, since the 
underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is achieved with the 
use of the Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ cladding, the special circumstances 
required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) for the granting of an exemption 
exist.

Commitments, Conditions, and Limitations

    In its letter dated November 2, 2009, the licensee made the 
following regulatory commitments:
    1. Prior to startup for Unit 3 Cycle 17, poolside examinations will 
be

[[Page 53987]]

performed to evaluate ongoing assembly and cladding performance. (Due 
4/30/2012)
    2. Prior to startup for Unit 3 Cycle 18, poolside examinations will 
be performed to evaluate ongoing assembly and cladding performance. 
(Due 10/30/2013)
    3. After completion of Unit 3 Cycle 18 (the third and final 
irradiation cycle), poolside examinations will be performed to evaluate 
assembly and cladding performance. (Due 6/30/2015)
    4. The Westinghouse NGF LFAs will be modeled in the PVNGS core 
physics models, including the Zirconium di-boride integral fuel 
burnable absorber (IFBA). As such, the impact of the LFAs will be 
included in the PVNGS cycle-specific core physics calculations 
supporting the reload effort for each cycle during use of the LFAs. 
(Due 10/30/2010, 4/30/2012, and 10/30/2013, respectively)
    5. Evaluations will verify performance of the Westinghouse NGF LFAs 
with respect to the safety analysis. The analyses will include thermal-
hydraulic compatibility, loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) and non-LOCA 
criteria, mechanical design, thermal hydraulic, seismic, core physics, 
and neutronic compatibility of the LFAs in the PVNGS Unit 3 core. The 
evaluations will make use of the fact that the LFAs will be operated in 
non-limiting locations and will verify the reload analyses are not 
adversely impacted. The results will be documented in a final design 
report. (Due 10/30/2010)
    6. A compatibility study will be performed to ensure that insertion 
of the Westinghouse NGF LFAs will not cause the remaining Westinghouse 
fuel to exceed its operating limits and ensure there is no adverse 
impact on fuel performance or mechanical integrity. The results of the 
compatibility study will be documented in a final design report. (Due 
10/30/2010)
    In addition, since APS referenced Westinghouse Topical Report WCAP-
12610-P-A & CENPD-404-P-A, Addendum 1-A, ``Optimized 
ZIRLOTM,'' dated July 2006, in its request for the exemption 
to use LFAs with Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding, the licensee 
shall ensure compliance with the conditions and limitations listed in 
Section 5.0 of the NRC staff's Safety Evaluation Report for that 
report.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12, the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue 
risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common 
defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. 
Therefore, the Commission hereby grants APS a temporary exemption from 
the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to allow the use of 
fuel rods clad with an advanced alloy, Optimized ZIRLOTM, in 
the PVNGS, Unit 3, core in non-limiting locations during Operating 
Cycles 16, 17, and 18.
    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 as published in the Federal Register 
on August 24, 2010 (75 FR 52045).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of August 2010.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-21942 Filed 9-1-10; 8:45 am]
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