Entergy Operations, Inc. Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 Exemption, 12137-12140 [2011-4985]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 43 / Friday, March 4, 2011 / Notices approval from ‘‘1 percent or more of the awarding Directorate’s or Office’s prior year current plan or $3 million— whichever is greater’’—to the greater of either 1 percent or more of the awarding Directorate’s or Office’s prior year current plan or 0.1 percent or more of the prior year total NSF budget. The Board also added a provision to the delegation to highlight existing NSF policy requiring the NSF Director to make no award from the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account without the prior approval of the Board, as required by law. Finally, the Board clarified a previous delegation by making clear that in the case of procurements requiring Board approval, when the Board approves or authorizes the Director to make an award and no amount is specified in the Board resolution, the Director may subsequently amend the award to change the expiration date of the award and/or to commit additional sums not to exceed the lesser of 10 million dollars or 20 percent of the contract ceiling award amount. Point of contact is: Jennie Moehlmann, National Science Board Office, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. Telephone: (703) 292–7000. Daniel A. Lauretano, Counsel to the National Science Board. [FR Doc. 2011–4856 Filed 3–3–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2011–0023; Docket No. 50–382] Entergy Operations, Inc. Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 Exemption jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 1.0 Background Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License Number NPF–42, which authorizes operation of the Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 (Waterford 3). 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 one pressurized-water reactor located in Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana. 2.0 Request/Action By letter dated May 27, 2010 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:16 Mar 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 Accession No. ML101520325), and supplemented by letters dated November 3 and 29, 2010 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML103090716 and ML103350158, respectively), Entergy requested an exemption, pursuant to Section 26.9, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), from the requirements of Sections 26.205(c) and (d) during declarations of severe weather conditions, such as a tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, as described in Entergy’s document, Procedure ENS–EP–302, ‘‘Severe Weather Response.’’ The requested exemption would apply to individuals who perform duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) who are sequestered in the event of severe winds and who would need to be available to ensure the plant remains in a safe and secure status to protect the public. Waterford 3 is located in a coastal area and has a likelihood of being affected by hurricane watches and warnings or inland hurricane wind watches and warnings caused by a hurricane impacting the coast. The most recent events were Hurricanes Katrina (August 27, 2005) and Gustav (August 31, 2008). In both events, the site was under a hurricane warning. Widespread evacuations were required for both storms and response personnel were sequestered on site. The site entered an Unusual Event in both cases. The exemption request proposes to extend the exception provided by Section 26.207(d) for pre-defined entry and exit conditions related to hurricane events because the sequestering of plant personnel and related staff resource limitations may occur at times prior to and following the hurricane. The exemption will allow Waterford 3 to sequester individuals on-site, when travel to and from the site during highwind conditions may be hazardous or simply not possible. If conditions are such that sustained winds of 74 mile per hour are present on-site, then Waterford 3 must declare a notice of Unusual Event (UE). When this declaration is made, an exemption from work hour controls is available under 10 CFR 26.207(d). The regulations in 10 CFR 26.205(c), ‘‘Work hours scheduling,’’ a performance-based provision, require that licensees schedule the work hours of individuals who are subject to this section consistent with the objective of preventing impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency, or sequencing of successive shifts. The regulations in 10 CFR 26.205(d), ‘‘Work hour controls,’’ specify the maximum work hour limits, the minimum break requirements and PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12137 the minimum day-off requirements for covered workers. After the high-wind conditions pass, wind damage to the plant and surrounding area might preclude sufficient numbers of individuals from immediately returning to the site. Additionally, if mandatory civil evacuations were ordered, this would possibly delay the return of sufficient relief personnel. In its letter dated November 3, 2010, the licensee clarified that the exemption will be exited if the relevant hurricane watch/warning or Inland Hurricane Watch/Warning has been canceled; if weather conditions and highway infrastructure support safe travel; and if relief crews are available to restore normal shift rotation determined by the Site VP (or designee). When this declaration is made, full compliance with 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) is again required. Thus, to summarize, the Entergy exemption request for Waterford 3 can be characterized as having three parts: (1) High-wind exemption encompassing the period starting with the initiating conditions to just prior to declaration of an unusual event, (2) a period defined as immediately following high-wind condition, when an unusual event is not declared, but when a recovery period is still required, and (3) a recovery exemption immediately following an existing 10 CFR 26.207(d) exception as discussed above. 3.0 Discussion The NRC, pursuant to 10 CFR 26.9, requires that upon application of any interested person or on its own initiative, the Commission may grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations at 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d), as ‘‘it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.’’ The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee’s request using the regulations contained in 10 CFR 26.205 and 10 CFR 26.207 and related Statements of Consideration in the 10 CFR part 26 Final Rule published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2008 (73 FR 17148). Other references include: • NRC Regulatory Guide 5.73, ‘‘Fatigue Management for Nuclear Power Plant Personnel,’’ dated March 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML083450028); • NRC Information Notice 93–53, ‘‘Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons Learned,’’ dated July 20, 1993 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031070364); • NRC Information Notice 93–53, Supplement 1, ‘‘Effect of Hurricane E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 12138 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 43 / Friday, March 4, 2011 / Notices Andrew on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons Learned,’’ dated April 29, 2004 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031070490); • NUREG–0933, ‘‘Resolution of Generic Safety Issues, Section 3, ‘New Generic Issues: Issue 178: Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Turkey Point (Revision 2)’ ’’; and • NUREG–1474, ‘‘Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station from August 20–30, 1992,’’ produced jointly by the NRC and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (non-publicly available). Based on its review, the NRC staff agrees that preparing the site for the onset of tropical storms and hurricanes, which includes sequestering enough essential personnel to provide for shift relief, is necessary to ensure adequate protection of the plant and personnel safety, would maintain protection of health and safety of the public, would not adversely affect the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Workers covered by the requirement are workers who perform duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5), who are sequestered in the event of severe winds, and who would need to be available to ensure the plant remains in a safe and secure status to protect the public. Those duties are: [(1) Operating or onsite directing of the operation of structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that a risk-informed evaluation process has shown to be significant to public health and safety; (2) performing health physics or chemistry duties required as a member of the onsite emergency response organization’s minimum shift complement; (3) performing the duties of a fire brigade member who is responsible for understanding the effects of fire and fire suppressants on safe shutdown capability; (4) performing maintenance or onsite directing of the maintenance of SSCs that a riskinformed evaluation process has shown to be significant to public health and safety; and (5) performing security duties as an armed security force officer, alarm station operator, response team leader, or watchperson [security personnel]. Pursuant to 10 CFR 26.207(d), licensees need not meet the requirements of Section 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies as defined in the licensee’s emergency plan. A tropical storm watch occurs when sustained winds are at least 39 mph. The entry condition for the Waterford 3 declaration of an Unusual Event is a confirmed hurricane-force wind greater or equal to 74 mph that is VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:16 Mar 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 expected to arrive on site in less than 12 hours as projected by the National Weather Service. Therefore, entry conditions for the requested exemption precede the declaration of an Unusual Event. Section 26.207(d) states that licensees need not meet the requirements of 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies, therefore there is no need for an additional exemption to be granted during the period of a declared emergency for severe winds. Although work hours, breaks, and days off are calculated as usual during a licenseedeclared plant emergency, licensees are unconstrained in the number of hours they may allow individuals to work performing covered duties or the timing and duration of breaks they must require them to take. High-Wind Exemption A high-wind exemption includes the period starting with the entry conditions prior to the declaration of an Unusual Event (confirmed hurricane watch or warning is in effect). As a hurricane approaches landfall, high-wind speeds—in excess of wind speeds that create unsafe travel conditions—are expected. During these times, the National Weather Service typically publishes a projected path of the storm. This condition will be described as the ‘‘high-wind condition,’’ or ‘‘period of high winds.’’ The National Hurricane Center defines a hurricane warning as an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because severe wind preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, a hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropicalstorm-force winds (39 to 73 mph). The following are entry conditions where the site may apply a proposed allowance period for exemption from fatigue rule requirements (Entergy Procedure EN–EP–309, ‘‘Fatigue Management for Hurricane Response Activities’’). (a) The site location is expected to be within a Hurricane Watch or Warning area. OR (b) The site location is expected to be within an Inland Hurricane Watch or Warning area. OR (c) Travel conditions are forecasted to be hazardous for employee commutes to and from the site (i.e., sustained wind conditions of greater than 40 mph). OR (d) Local municipalities are preparing to declare restrictions on travel that would impact employee commutes and/ PO 00000 Frm 00126 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 or are preparing to order or recommend evacuations in areas that affect essential staffing levels for the site. Lessons learned that are included in NUREG–1474, include the acknowledgement that detailed, methodical preparations should be made prior to the onset of hurricaneforce winds. The NRC staff concludes that Waterford 3’s organized actions are consistent with the lessons learned. Recovery Exemption Immediately Following a High-Wind Exemption The period immediately following the high-wind exemption, but when the conditions for an Unusual Event no longer exist, may still require a recovery period. Also, high winds that make travel unsafe but that fall below the threshold of an emergency, could be present for several days. After the highwind condition has passed, sufficient numbers of personnel may not be able to access the site to relieve the sequestered individuals. An exemption during these conditions is consistent with the intent of the 10 CFR 26.207(d). Recovery Exemption Immediately Following an Emergency Plan Exemption Following a declared emergency, under 10 CFR 26.207(d), due to highwind conditions, the site may not be accessible by sufficient numbers of personnel to allow relief of the sequestered individuals. Once the highwind conditions have passed and the Unusual Event exited, a recovery period might be necessary. An exemption during these circumstances is consistent with the intent of 10 CFR 26.207(d). Once Waterford 3 has entered into either the high-wind exemption or the 10 CFR 26.207(d) exemption, the licensee does not need to make a declaration that it is invoking the recovery exemption. Unit Shutdown If a hurricane warning is in effect and the storm is projected to reach the site, Waterford 3 specifies that 12 hours prior to arrival of hurricane conditions onsite, as projected by the National Weather Service, Waterford 3 will commence a plant shutdown as directed by plant management in anticipation of a loss of offsite power. Lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew, NUREG–1474, include having the unit shut down and on decay heat removal when the storm strikes so that a loss of offsite power will not jeopardize core cooling. The NRC staff concludes the Waterford 3 plan is consistent with the lessons learned. E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 43 / Friday, March 4, 2011 / Notices Fatigue Management Waterford 3 plans to establish a 12hour duty schedule comprised of a day shift and a night shift. In its letter dated November 3, 2010, the licensee provided a checklist, in procedure ENS– EP–302, Attachment 9.2 which includes ‘‘Management Expectations’’ which incorporates an expectation of responders to sleep when off duty. When personnel are to be sequestered on site, Waterford 3 permits arrangements for onsite reliefs and bunking to be made in order to allow for a sufficient period of restorative sleep for personnel. The relief and bunking areas will be developed prior to sequestering personnel. Sleeping accommodations within a weather protected environment will be made available that will attempt to minimize the interruption of sleep. The licensee has also provided key features of managing fatigue, which highlight sufficient numbers of management and supervision that will be available to provide oversight for plant operating conditions and who are tasked with monitoring the effects of fatigue such that the public health and safety is adequately protected. The NRC staff concludes that the actions presented are consistent with the practice of fatigue management. Maintenance In its letter dated November 3, 2010, the licensee clarified that the exemption request will only apply to individuals involved in hurricane response activities that perform duties indentified in 10 CFR 26.4 (1) through (5). The exemption does not apply to discretionary maintenance activities. The exemption is for work necessary to maintain the plant in a safe and secure condition. Suspension of work hour controls is for storm preparation activities and those deemed critical for plant and public safety. The NRC staff concludes that the exclusion of discretionary maintenance from the exemption request to be consistent with the intent of the exemption. jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES Procedural Guidance In its letter dated November 29, 2010, the licensee made a commitment to incorporate the following guidance in site procedures: (1) The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that are consistent with the conditions specified in the Waterford 3 exemption request (W3F1–2010–0045). (2) Provisions for ensuring that personnel who are not performing duties are provided an opportunity as VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:16 Mar 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 well as accommodations for restorative rest. (3) The condition for departure from the exemption is based on the Site VP’s [Vice President’s] (or his duly assigned designee’s) determination that adequate staffing is available to meet the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d). Returning to Work Hour Controls The licensee must return to work hour controls when the Site VP (or designee) determines that sufficient relief crews are available to restore normal shift rotation. Waterford 3 utilizes staffing rosters tied to a departmental or organizational function, known as watch bills, to monitor compliance with the fatigue rule requirements. Capability to restore normal shift rotation would be ascertained via restoration of the watch bill process. Upon exiting the exemption, the work hour controls in Section 26.205(c) and (d) apply and the requirements in Section 26.205(3)(b) must be met. Authorized by Law As stated above, this exemption would apply to the storm crew sequestered on site. The licensee’s request states that adherence to all work hour controls could impede the licensee’s ability to use whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status. As stated above, 10 CFR 26.9 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d). 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 purposes of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) are to prevent impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency, or sequencing of successive shifts. Based on the above evaluation, no new accident precursors are created by utilizing whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status; therefore, the probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Also, the consequences of postulated accidents are not increased, because there is no change in the types of accidents previously evaluated. Therefore, there is PO 00000 Frm 00127 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 12139 no undue risk to public health and safety. Consistent With Common Defense and Security The proposed exemption would allow the licensee to utilize whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status. This change to the operation of the plant has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption. Otherwise in the Public Interest The proposed exemption would increase the availability of licensee staff to perform additional duties to ensure that the plant is in a safe configuration during weather-related emergencies. Therefore, granting this exemption is in the public interest. 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission concludes that granting the requested exemption is consistent with existing regulation at 10 CFR 26.207(d), ‘‘Plant emergencies,’’ which allows the licensee to not meet the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies as defined in the licensee’s emergency plan. The 10 CFR part 26 Statements of Consideration (73 FR 17148; March 31, 2008), state that ‘‘Plant emergencies are extraordinary circumstances that may be most effectively addressed through staff augmentation that can only be practically achieved through the use of work hours in excess of the limits of § 26.205(c) and (d).’’ The objective of the exemption is to ensure that the control of work hours do not impede a licensee’s ability to use whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status. The actions described in the exemption request and submitted procedures are consistent with the recommendations in NUREG–1474, ‘‘Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station from August 20–30, 1992.’’ Also consistent with NUREG–1474, NRC staff expects the licensee would have completed a reasonable amount of hurricane preparation prior to the need to sequester personnel, in order to minimize personnel exposure to high winds. The NRC staff has reviewed the exemption request from certain work hour controls during conditions of high winds and recovery from high-wind conditions. Based on the considerations E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1 12140 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 43 / Friday, March 4, 2011 / Notices Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of February 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–4985 Filed 3–3–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P amendment dated February 22, 2010, and the licensee’s letter dated February 22, 2011, which withdrew the application for license amendment. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Room O1–F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (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 by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. amendment dated March 3, 2010, and the licensee’s letter dated February 22, 2011, which withdrew the application for license amendment. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Room O1–F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (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 by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eva A. Brown, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III–2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Nicholas J. DiFrancesco, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch 3– 2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–4982 Filed 3–3–11; 8:45 am] discussed above, the NRC staff has determined that (1) The proposed exemption is authorized by law, (2) there is a reasonable assurance that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by the proposed exemption, (3) such activities will be consistent with the Commission’s regulations and guidance, and (4) the issuance of the exemption will not endanger the common defense and security or the health and safety of the public. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, ‘‘Finding of no significant impact,’’ the Commission has previously determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment (76 FR 5408; January 31, 2011). This exemption is effective upon issuance. BILLING CODE 7590–01–P BILLING CODE 7590–01–P [Docket Nos. 50–373 and 50–374; NRC– 2011–0051] NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Exelon Generation Company, LLC Notice of Withdrawal of Application for Amendment to Facility Operating License jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–461; NRC–2011–0050] [FR Doc. 2011–4984 Filed 3–3–11; 8:45 am] The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) has granted the request of Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon, or the licensee) to withdraw its February 22, 2010 application for proposed amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF–11 and Facility Operating License No. NPF–18 for LaSalle County Station, Units 1 and 2, respectively, in LaSalle County, Illinois. The proposed amendment would have relocated selected Surveillance Requirement frequencies from the LaSalle County Station Units 1 and 2 Technical Specifications (TSs) to a licensee-controlled program. The Commission had previously issued a Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2010 (75 FR 20637). However, by letter dated February 22, 2011, the licensee withdrew the proposed change. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:16 Mar 03, 2011 Jkt 223001 PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION Clinton Power Station Notice of Withdrawal of Application for Amendment to Facility Operating License The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) has granted the request of Exelon Generation Company, LLC, to withdraw its March 3, 2010 application for proposed amendment to Facility Operating License No. NPF–62 for the Clinton Power Station, Unit 1, located in DeWitt County, Illinois. The proposed amendment would have revised the Technical Specifications 3.1.7, to extend the completion time for Condition B (i.e., two standby liquid control subsystems inoperable) from 8 hours to 72 hours. The Commission had previously issued a Notice of Consideration of Issuance of Amendment published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2010, 75 FR 23814. However, by letter dated February 22, 2011, the licensee withdrew the proposed change. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for PO 00000 Frm 00128 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. ACTION: 30-Day notice of submission of information collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget and request for comments. AGENCY: As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (‘‘PBGC’’ or ‘‘the Agency’’) has submitted a Generic Information Collection Request (Generic ICR): ‘‘Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery’’ to OMB for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). DATES: Comments must be submitted April 4, 2011. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04MRN1.SGM 04MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 43 (Friday, March 4, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12137-12140]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-4985]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2011-0023; Docket No. 50-382]


Entergy Operations, Inc. Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 
Exemption

1.0 Background

    Entergy Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License Number NPF-42, which authorizes operation of 
the Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3 (Waterford 3). 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 one pressurized-water reactor located in 
Saint Charles Parish, Louisiana.

2.0 Request/Action

    By letter dated May 27, 2010 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML101520325), and supplemented 
by letters dated November 3 and 29, 2010 (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML103090716 and ML103350158, respectively), Entergy requested an 
exemption, pursuant to Section 26.9, ``Specific exemptions,'' of Title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), from the requirements 
of Sections 26.205(c) and (d) during declarations of severe weather 
conditions, such as a tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, as 
described in Entergy's document, Procedure ENS-EP-302, ``Severe Weather 
Response.'' The requested exemption would apply to individuals who 
perform duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) who are 
sequestered in the event of severe winds and who would need to be 
available to ensure the plant remains in a safe and secure status to 
protect the public.
    Waterford 3 is located in a coastal area and has a likelihood of 
being affected by hurricane watches and warnings or inland hurricane 
wind watches and warnings caused by a hurricane impacting the coast. 
The most recent events were Hurricanes Katrina (August 27, 2005) and 
Gustav (August 31, 2008). In both events, the site was under a 
hurricane warning. Widespread evacuations were required for both storms 
and response personnel were sequestered on site. The site entered an 
Unusual Event in both cases. The exemption request proposes to extend 
the exception provided by Section 26.207(d) for pre-defined entry and 
exit conditions related to hurricane events because the sequestering of 
plant personnel and related staff resource limitations may occur at 
times prior to and following the hurricane.
    The exemption will allow Waterford 3 to sequester individuals on-
site, when travel to and from the site during high-wind conditions may 
be hazardous or simply not possible. If conditions are such that 
sustained winds of 74 mile per hour are present on-site, then Waterford 
3 must declare a notice of Unusual Event (UE). When this declaration is 
made, an exemption from work hour controls is available under 10 CFR 
26.207(d).
    The regulations in 10 CFR 26.205(c), ``Work hours scheduling,'' a 
performance-based provision, require that licensees schedule the work 
hours of individuals who are subject to this section consistent with 
the objective of preventing impairment from fatigue due to duration, 
frequency, or sequencing of successive shifts. The regulations in 10 
CFR 26.205(d), ``Work hour controls,'' specify the maximum work hour 
limits, the minimum break requirements and the minimum day-off 
requirements for covered workers.
    After the high-wind conditions pass, wind damage to the plant and 
surrounding area might preclude sufficient numbers of individuals from 
immediately returning to the site. Additionally, if mandatory civil 
evacuations were ordered, this would possibly delay the return of 
sufficient relief personnel. In its letter dated November 3, 2010, the 
licensee clarified that the exemption will be exited if the relevant 
hurricane watch/warning or Inland Hurricane Watch/Warning has been 
canceled; if weather conditions and highway infrastructure support safe 
travel; and if relief crews are available to restore normal shift 
rotation determined by the Site VP (or designee). When this declaration 
is made, full compliance with 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) is again 
required.
    Thus, to summarize, the Entergy exemption request for Waterford 3 
can be characterized as having three parts: (1) High-wind exemption 
encompassing the period starting with the initiating conditions to just 
prior to declaration of an unusual event, (2) a period defined as 
immediately following high-wind condition, when an unusual event is not 
declared, but when a recovery period is still required, and (3) a 
recovery exemption immediately following an existing 10 CFR 26.207(d) 
exception as discussed above.

3.0 Discussion

    The NRC, pursuant to 10 CFR 26.9, requires that upon application of 
any interested person or on its own initiative, the Commission may 
grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations at 10 
CFR 26.205(c) and (d), as ``it determines are authorized by law and 
will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, 
and are otherwise in the public interest.''
    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's request using the 
regulations contained in 10 CFR 26.205 and 10 CFR 26.207 and related 
Statements of Consideration in the 10 CFR part 26 Final Rule published 
in the Federal Register on March 31, 2008 (73 FR 17148). Other 
references include:
     NRC Regulatory Guide 5.73, ``Fatigue Management for 
Nuclear Power Plant Personnel,'' dated March 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML083450028);
     NRC Information Notice 93-53, ``Effect of Hurricane Andrew 
on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons Learned,'' dated 
July 20, 1993 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031070364);
     NRC Information Notice 93-53, Supplement 1, ``Effect of 
Hurricane

[[Page 12138]]

Andrew on Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station and Lessons 
Learned,'' dated April 29, 2004 (ADAMS Accession No. ML031070490);
     NUREG-0933, ``Resolution of Generic Safety Issues, Section 
3, `New Generic Issues: Issue 178: Effect of Hurricane Andrew on Turkey 
Point (Revision 2)' ''; and
     NUREG-1474, ``Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey 
Point Nuclear Generating Station from August 20-30, 1992,'' produced 
jointly by the NRC and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (non-
publicly available).
    Based on its review, the NRC staff agrees that preparing the site 
for the onset of tropical storms and hurricanes, which includes 
sequestering enough essential personnel to provide for shift relief, is 
necessary to ensure adequate protection of the plant and personnel 
safety, would maintain protection of health and safety of the public, 
would not adversely affect the common defense and security, and is 
otherwise in the public interest.
    Workers covered by the requirement are workers who perform duties 
identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5), who are sequestered in 
the event of severe winds, and who would need to be available to ensure 
the plant remains in a safe and secure status to protect the public. 
Those duties are: [(1) Operating or onsite directing of the operation 
of structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that a risk-informed 
evaluation process has shown to be significant to public health and 
safety; (2) performing health physics or chemistry duties required as a 
member of the onsite emergency response organization's minimum shift 
complement; (3) performing the duties of a fire brigade member who is 
responsible for understanding the effects of fire and fire suppressants 
on safe shutdown capability; (4) performing maintenance or onsite 
directing of the maintenance of SSCs that a risk-informed evaluation 
process has shown to be significant to public health and safety; and 
(5) performing security duties as an armed security force officer, 
alarm station operator, response team leader, or watchperson [security 
personnel].
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 26.207(d), licensees need not meet the 
requirements of Section 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies 
as defined in the licensee's emergency plan. A tropical storm watch 
occurs when sustained winds are at least 39 mph. The entry condition 
for the Waterford 3 declaration of an Unusual Event is a confirmed 
hurricane-force wind greater or equal to 74 mph that is expected to 
arrive on site in less than 12 hours as projected by the National 
Weather Service. Therefore, entry conditions for the requested 
exemption precede the declaration of an Unusual Event.
    Section 26.207(d) states that licensees need not meet the 
requirements of 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies, 
therefore there is no need for an additional exemption to be granted 
during the period of a declared emergency for severe winds. Although 
work hours, breaks, and days off are calculated as usual during a 
licensee-declared plant emergency, licensees are unconstrained in the 
number of hours they may allow individuals to work performing covered 
duties or the timing and duration of breaks they must require them to 
take.

High-Wind Exemption

    A high-wind exemption includes the period starting with the entry 
conditions prior to the declaration of an Unusual Event (confirmed 
hurricane watch or warning is in effect). As a hurricane approaches 
landfall, high-wind speeds--in excess of wind speeds that create unsafe 
travel conditions--are expected. During these times, the National 
Weather Service typically publishes a projected path of the storm. This 
condition will be described as the ``high-wind condition,'' or ``period 
of high winds.''
    The National Hurricane Center defines a hurricane warning as an 
announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or 
higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. 
Because severe wind preparedness activities become difficult once winds 
reach tropical storm force, a hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in 
advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 
73 mph).
    The following are entry conditions where the site may apply a 
proposed allowance period for exemption from fatigue rule requirements 
(Entergy Procedure EN-EP-309, ``Fatigue Management for Hurricane 
Response Activities'').
    (a) The site location is expected to be within a Hurricane Watch or 
Warning area. OR
    (b) The site location is expected to be within an Inland Hurricane 
Watch or Warning area. OR
    (c) Travel conditions are forecasted to be hazardous for employee 
commutes to and from the site (i.e., sustained wind conditions of 
greater than 40 mph). OR
    (d) Local municipalities are preparing to declare restrictions on 
travel that would impact employee commutes and/or are preparing to 
order or recommend evacuations in areas that affect essential staffing 
levels for the site.
    Lessons learned that are included in NUREG-1474, include the 
acknowledgement that detailed, methodical preparations should be made 
prior to the onset of hurricane-force winds. The NRC staff concludes 
that Waterford 3's organized actions are consistent with the lessons 
learned.

Recovery Exemption Immediately Following a High-Wind Exemption

    The period immediately following the high-wind exemption, but when 
the conditions for an Unusual Event no longer exist, may still require 
a recovery period. Also, high winds that make travel unsafe but that 
fall below the threshold of an emergency, could be present for several 
days. After the high-wind condition has passed, sufficient numbers of 
personnel may not be able to access the site to relieve the sequestered 
individuals. An exemption during these conditions is consistent with 
the intent of the 10 CFR 26.207(d).

Recovery Exemption Immediately Following an Emergency Plan Exemption

    Following a declared emergency, under 10 CFR 26.207(d), due to 
high-wind conditions, the site may not be accessible by sufficient 
numbers of personnel to allow relief of the sequestered individuals. 
Once the high-wind conditions have passed and the Unusual Event exited, 
a recovery period might be necessary. An exemption during these 
circumstances is consistent with the intent of 10 CFR 26.207(d).
    Once Waterford 3 has entered into either the high-wind exemption or 
the 10 CFR 26.207(d) exemption, the licensee does not need to make a 
declaration that it is invoking the recovery exemption.

Unit Shutdown

    If a hurricane warning is in effect and the storm is projected to 
reach the site, Waterford 3 specifies that 12 hours prior to arrival of 
hurricane conditions onsite, as projected by the National Weather 
Service, Waterford 3 will commence a plant shutdown as directed by 
plant management in anticipation of a loss of offsite power.
    Lessons learned from Hurricane Andrew, NUREG-1474, include having 
the unit shut down and on decay heat removal when the storm strikes so 
that a loss of offsite power will not jeopardize core cooling. The NRC 
staff concludes the Waterford 3 plan is consistent with the lessons 
learned.

[[Page 12139]]

Fatigue Management

    Waterford 3 plans to establish a 12-hour duty schedule comprised of 
a day shift and a night shift. In its letter dated November 3, 2010, 
the licensee provided a checklist, in procedure ENS-EP-302, Attachment 
9.2 which includes ``Management Expectations'' which incorporates an 
expectation of responders to sleep when off duty. When personnel are to 
be sequestered on site, Waterford 3 permits arrangements for onsite 
reliefs and bunking to be made in order to allow for a sufficient 
period of restorative sleep for personnel. The relief and bunking areas 
will be developed prior to sequestering personnel. Sleeping 
accommodations within a weather protected environment will be made 
available that will attempt to minimize the interruption of sleep. The 
licensee has also provided key features of managing fatigue, which 
highlight sufficient numbers of management and supervision that will be 
available to provide oversight for plant operating conditions and who 
are tasked with monitoring the effects of fatigue such that the public 
health and safety is adequately protected. The NRC staff concludes that 
the actions presented are consistent with the practice of fatigue 
management.

Maintenance

    In its letter dated November 3, 2010, the licensee clarified that 
the exemption request will only apply to individuals involved in 
hurricane response activities that perform duties indentified in 10 CFR 
26.4 (1) through (5). The exemption does not apply to discretionary 
maintenance activities. The exemption is for work necessary to maintain 
the plant in a safe and secure condition. Suspension of work hour 
controls is for storm preparation activities and those deemed critical 
for plant and public safety. The NRC staff concludes that the exclusion 
of discretionary maintenance from the exemption request to be 
consistent with the intent of the exemption.

Procedural Guidance

    In its letter dated November 29, 2010, the licensee made a 
commitment to incorporate the following guidance in site procedures:
    (1) The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that are 
consistent with the conditions specified in the Waterford 3 exemption 
request (W3F1-2010-0045).
    (2) Provisions for ensuring that personnel who are not performing 
duties are provided an opportunity as well as accommodations for 
restorative rest.
    (3) The condition for departure from the exemption is based on the 
Site VP's [Vice President's] (or his duly assigned designee's) 
determination that adequate staffing is available to meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d).

Returning to Work Hour Controls

    The licensee must return to work hour controls when the Site VP (or 
designee) determines that sufficient relief crews are available to 
restore normal shift rotation.
    Waterford 3 utilizes staffing rosters tied to a departmental or 
organizational function, known as watch bills, to monitor compliance 
with the fatigue rule requirements. Capability to restore normal shift 
rotation would be ascertained via restoration of the watch bill 
process. Upon exiting the exemption, the work hour controls in Section 
26.205(c) and (d) apply and the requirements in Section 26.205(3)(b) 
must be met.

Authorized by Law

    As stated above, this exemption would apply to the storm crew 
sequestered on site. The licensee's request states that adherence to 
all work hour controls could impede the licensee's ability to use 
whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant 
emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status. 
As stated above, 10 CFR 26.9 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d). 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 purposes of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) are to prevent 
impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency, or sequencing of 
successive shifts. Based on the above evaluation, no new accident 
precursors are created by utilizing whatever staff resources may be 
necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the plant 
maintains a safe and secure status; therefore, the probability of 
postulated accidents is not increased. Also, the consequences of 
postulated accidents are not increased, because there is no change in 
the types of accidents previously evaluated. Therefore, there is no 
undue risk to public health and safety.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow the licensee to utilize whatever 
staff resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and 
ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure status. This change 
to the operation of the plant has no relation to security issues. 
Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this 
exemption.

Otherwise in the Public Interest

    The proposed exemption would increase the availability of licensee 
staff to perform additional duties to ensure that the plant is in a 
safe configuration during weather-related emergencies. Therefore, 
granting this exemption is in the public interest.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission concludes that granting the requested 
exemption is consistent with existing regulation at 10 CFR 26.207(d), 
``Plant emergencies,'' which allows the licensee to not meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies as 
defined in the licensee's emergency plan. The 10 CFR part 26 Statements 
of Consideration (73 FR 17148; March 31, 2008), state that ``Plant 
emergencies are extraordinary circumstances that may be most 
effectively addressed through staff augmentation that can only be 
practically achieved through the use of work hours in excess of the 
limits of Sec.  26.205(c) and (d).'' The objective of the exemption is 
to ensure that the control of work hours do not impede a licensee's 
ability to use whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to 
a plant emergency and ensure that the plant maintains a safe and secure 
status.
    The actions described in the exemption request and submitted 
procedures are consistent with the recommendations in NUREG-1474, 
``Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating 
Station from August 20-30, 1992.'' Also consistent with NUREG-1474, NRC 
staff expects the licensee would have completed a reasonable amount of 
hurricane preparation prior to the need to sequester personnel, in 
order to minimize personnel exposure to high winds.
    The NRC staff has reviewed the exemption request from certain work 
hour controls during conditions of high winds and recovery from high-
wind conditions. Based on the considerations

[[Page 12140]]

discussed above, the NRC staff has determined that (1) The proposed 
exemption is authorized by law, (2) there is a reasonable assurance 
that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by the 
proposed exemption, (3) such activities will be consistent with the 
Commission's regulations and guidance, and (4) the issuance of the 
exemption will not endanger the common defense and security or the 
health and safety of the public.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, ``Finding of no significant impact,'' the 
Commission has previously determined that the granting of this 
exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the 
human environment (76 FR 5408; January 31, 2011).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of February 2011.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2011-4985 Filed 3-3-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P