Virginia Electric and Power Company; Surry Power Station Unit Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption, 80546-80547 [2010-32144]

Download as PDF 80546 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 22, 2010 / Notices impacts are expected as a result of the proposed exemption. Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. With its request to extend the implementation deadline, the licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to the NRC and that will continue to provide acceptable physical protection of HBRSEP in lieu of the new requirements in 10 CFR Part 73. Therefore, the extension of the implementation date for one element of the new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73 to September 16, 2011, would not have any significant environmental impacts. The NRC staff’s safety evaluation will be provided as part of a letter to the licensee approving the exemption to the regulation, if granted. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ‘‘no action’’ alternative). Denial of the exemption request would result in no change in current environmental impacts. If the proposed action was denied, the licensee would have to comply with the existing implementation deadline of December 30, 2010, for one remaining item of the two requirements, as granted on March 3, 2010. The environmental impacts of the proposed exemption and the ‘‘no action’’ alternative are similar. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Alternative Use of Resources The action does not involve the use of any different resources than those considered in the Final Environmental Statement for the HBRSEP, dated April 1975, as supplemented through the ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: H.B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant, Unit 2—Final Report (NUREG—1437, Supplement 13).’’ Agencies and Persons Consulted In accordance with its stated policy, on December 15, 2010, the NRC staff consulted with the South Carolina State official, Susan Jenkins of the South Carolina Bureau of Land and Waste Management, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments. Finding of No Significant Impact On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:24 Dec 21, 2010 Jkt 223001 human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action. For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the licensee’s letter dated September 30, 2010. Portions of the September 30, 2010, submittal contain proprietary and security-related information, and accordingly, a redacted version of this letter is available for public review in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), Accession No. ML102770306. This document may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’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 ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.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 send an e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of December 2010. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Farideh E. Saba, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II–2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2010–32142 Filed 12–21–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P [ Docket Nos. 50–280 and 50–281; NRC– 2010–0283] Virginia Electric and Power Company; Surry Power Station Unit Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption Background Virginia Electric and Power Company (the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. DPR–32 and DPR–37 which authorizes operation of the Surry Power Station (SURRY) Unit Nos. 1 and 2. The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and Orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2.0 Request/Action Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 50.12, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ the Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO), by letter dated February 10, 2010,1 requested an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.46, ‘‘Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems [ECCS] 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 ECCS for reactors fueled with zircaloy or ZIRLOTM 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 Baker-Just equation assumed the use of a zirconium alloy different than Optimized ZIRLOTM. The 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 ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding. Thus, an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is needed to support the use of different fuel rod cladding material. Therefore, the licensee requested an exemption that would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding at SURRY. The NRC staff will prepare a separate safety evaluation, fully addressing VEPCO’s application for a related license amendment. 3.0 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 1.0 The facility consists of a pressurizedwater reactor located in Surry County, Virginia. 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. 1 VEPCO letter to NRC, Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML100470738. E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 245 / Wednesday, December 22, 2010 / Notices Authorized by Law This exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material at SURRY. 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. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance criteria for adequate ECCS performance. By letter dated June 10, 2005, the NRC staff issued a safety evaluation (SE) 2 approving Addendum 1 to Westinghouse Topical Report WCAP– 12610–P–A and CENPD–404–P–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLOTM (these topical reports are non-publicly available because they contain proprietary information),’’ wherein the NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM as a fuel cladding material. The NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM as a fuel cladding material based on: (1) Similarities with standard ZIRLOTM, (2) demonstrated material performance, and (3) a commitment to provide irradiated data and validate fuel performance models ahead of burnups achieved in batch application. The NRC staff’s safety evaluation for Optimized ZIRLOTM includes 10 conditions and limitations for its use. As previously documented in the NRC staff’s review of topical reports submitted by Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse), and subject to compliance with the specific conditions of approval established therein, the NRC staff finds that the applicability of these ECCS acceptance criteria to Optimized ZIRLOTM has been demonstrated by Westinghouse. Ring compression tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM (NRC-reviewed, approved, and documented in Appendix B of WCAP– 12610–P–A and CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLOTM’’) demonstrate an acceptable retention of post-quench ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit and 17 percent equivalent clad reacted. Furthermore, the NRC staff has concluded that oxidation measurements provided by the licensee illustrate that oxide thickness (and associated hydrogen pickup) for Optimized 2 ADAMS Accession No. ML051670408. VerDate Mar<15>2010 20:24 Dec 21, 2010 Jkt 223001 ZIRLOTM at any given burnup would be less than both zircaloy-4 and ZIRLOTM. Hence, the NRC staff concludes that Optimized ZIRLOTM would be expected to maintain better post-quench ductility than ZIRLOTM. This finding is further supported by an ongoing loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) research program at Argonne National Laboratory, which has identified a strong correlation between cladding hydrogen content (due to inservice corrosion) and post-quench ductility. 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 states that the rates of energy release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal-water reaction shall be calculated using the Baker-Just equation. Since the Baker-Just equation presumes the use of zircaloy clad fuel, strict application of the rule would not permit use of the equation for Optimized ZIRLOTM cladding for determining acceptable fuel performance. However, the NRC staff has found that metal-water reaction tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM demonstrate conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just equation and are bounding for those approved for ZIRLOTM under anticipated operational occurrences and postulated accidents. Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by using Optimized ZIRLOTM; thus, the probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Also, based on the above, the consequences of postulated accidents are not increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk to public health and safety due to using Optimized ZIRLOTM. Consistent With Common Defense and Security The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material at SURRY. This change to the plant configuration 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 regulation in the particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 80547 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, even though the evaluations above show that the intent of the regulation is met. Therefore, since the underlying purposes of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K are achieved through the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) for the granting of an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K exist. 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 VEPCO an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50, to allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material, for SURRY, Unit Nos. 1 and 2. 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 October 5, 2010 (75 FR 61528). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of December 2010. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2010–32144 Filed 12–21–10; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–400; NRC–2010–0020] Carolina Power & Light Company, Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, Unit No. 1; Exemption 1.0 Background Carolina Power & Light Company (CP&L, the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. NPF–63, which authorizes operation of the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant (HNP), Unit 1. The license provides, among other things, that the facility is E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 245 (Wednesday, December 22, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 80546-80547]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32144]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[ Docket Nos. 50-280 and 50-281; NRC-2010-0283]


Virginia Electric and Power Company; Surry Power Station Unit 
Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Virginia Electric and Power Company (the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-32 and DPR-37 which authorizes 
operation of the Surry Power Station (SURRY) Unit Nos. 1 and 2. The 
license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to 
all rules, regulations, and Orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in 
Surry County, Virginia.

2.0 Request/Action

    Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), 
Section 50.12, ``Specific exemptions,'' the Virginia Electric and Power 
Company (VEPCO), by letter dated February 10, 2010,\1\ requested an 
exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.46, ``Acceptance 
criteria for emergency core cooling systems [ECCS] 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 ECCS for reactors fueled with 
zircaloy or ZIRLOTM 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 Baker-Just equation 
assumed the use of a zirconium alloy different than Optimized 
ZIRLOTM. The 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 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding. Thus, an exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is needed to support the 
use of different fuel rod cladding material. Therefore, the licensee 
requested an exemption that would allow the use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding at SURRY. The NRC staff will 
prepare a separate safety evaluation, fully addressing VEPCO's 
application for a related license amendment.
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    \1\ VEPCO letter to NRC, Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML100470738.
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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.

[[Page 80547]]

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM 
fuel rod cladding material at SURRY. 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 adequate ECCS performance. By letter dated June 10, 2005, 
the NRC staff issued a safety evaluation (SE) \2\ approving Addendum 1 
to Westinghouse Topical Report WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A, 
``Optimized ZIRLOTM (these topical reports are non-publicly 
available because they contain proprietary information),'' wherein the 
NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM as a fuel 
cladding material. The NRC staff approved the use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM as a fuel cladding material based on: (1) 
Similarities with standard ZIRLOTM, (2) demonstrated 
material performance, and (3) a commitment to provide irradiated data 
and validate fuel performance models ahead of burnups achieved in batch 
application. The NRC staff's safety evaluation for Optimized 
ZIRLOTM includes 10 conditions and limitations for its use. 
As previously documented in the NRC staff's review of topical reports 
submitted by Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse), and 
subject to compliance with the specific conditions of approval 
established therein, the NRC staff finds that the applicability of 
these ECCS acceptance criteria to Optimized ZIRLOTM has been 
demonstrated by Westinghouse. Ring compression tests performed by 
Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM (NRC-reviewed, approved, 
and documented in Appendix B of WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A, 
Addendum 1-A, ``Optimized ZIRLOTM'') demonstrate an 
acceptable retention of post-quench ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits 
of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit and 17 percent equivalent clad reacted. 
Furthermore, the NRC staff has concluded that oxidation measurements 
provided by the licensee illustrate that oxide thickness (and 
associated hydrogen pickup) for Optimized ZIRLOTM at any 
given burnup would be less than both zircaloy-4 and ZIRLOTM. 
Hence, the NRC staff concludes that Optimized ZIRLOTM would 
be expected to maintain better post-quench ductility than 
ZIRLOTM. This finding is further supported by an ongoing 
loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) research program at Argonne National 
Laboratory, which has identified a strong correlation between cladding 
hydrogen content (due to in-service corrosion) and post-quench 
ductility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ ADAMS Accession No. ML051670408.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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 states that the rates of energy release, hydrogen 
concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal-water reaction 
shall be calculated using the Baker-Just equation. Since the Baker-Just 
equation presumes the use of zircaloy clad fuel, strict application of 
the rule would not permit use of the equation for Optimized 
ZIRLOTM cladding for determining acceptable fuel 
performance. However, the NRC staff has found that metal-water reaction 
tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM 
demonstrate conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just 
equation and are bounding for those approved for ZIRLOTM 
under anticipated operational occurrences and postulated accidents.
    Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by using 
Optimized ZIRLOTM; thus, the probability of postulated 
accidents is not increased. Also, based on the above, the consequences 
of postulated accidents are not increased. Therefore, there is no undue 
risk to public health and safety due to using Optimized 
ZIRLOTM.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material at SURRY. This change to 
the plant configuration 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 regulation in the particular 
circumstances 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, even though the 
evaluations above show that the intent of the regulation is met. 
Therefore, since the underlying purposes of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K 
are achieved through the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod 
cladding material, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii) for the granting of an exemption from certain 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K exist.

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 VEPCO an exemption from certain 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50, to allow 
the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material, for 
SURRY, Unit Nos. 1 and 2.
    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 October 5, 2010 (75 FR 61528).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of December 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-32144 Filed 12-21-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P