Virginia Electric and Power Company North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2; Exemption, 17715-17717 [2011-7455]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 61 / Wednesday, March 30, 2011 / Notices WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES The report characterized a variety of issues ranging from policy issues to communications improvement opportunities. The complete report may be found under ADAMS Accession No. ML101680435. The GTF determined that the NRC is accomplishing its stated mission of protecting public health, safety, and protection of the environment through its response to groundwater leaks/spills. Within the current regulatory structure, the NRC is correctly applying requirements and properly characterizing the relevant issues. However, the GTF reported that there are further observations, conclusions, and recommendations that the NRC should consider in its oversight of licensed material outside of its design confinement. The EDO appointed a group of NRC senior executives to review the report and consider its findings. Over the past several months, the group has been reviewing the GTF final report, including the conclusions, recommendations, and their bases. They identified conclusions and recommendations that do not involve policy issues, and tasked the NRC staff to address them. They have also identified policy issues, are developing options to address them, and will send a policy paper to the Commission discussing those options. The NRC held a public workshop on October 4, 2010, with external stakeholders to discuss the findings of the GTF report and to receive input on the potential policy issues. In addition, a request for public comment was published in the Federal Register (75 FR 57987, September 23, 2010). These efforts help to ensure the NRC is considering the right issues on which to focus its attention as it moves forward. The transcript from this meeting is available on the NRC’s Web site at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doccollections/fact-sheets/buried-pipestritium.html. III. Conclusion Based on the information summarized above, the NRC staff concludes that the activities requested by the Petitioner have been completed, with the exception of preventing the restart of Vermont Yankee. Therefore, NRR concludes that the Petition has been granted in part and denied in part. Related documentation includes an NRC letter to Entergy on increased oversight dated April 8, 2010, ADAMS Accession No. ML100990458. As provided in 10 CFR 2.206(c), a copy of this Director’s Decision will be filed with the Secretary of the Commission for the Commission to VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:59 Mar 29, 2011 Jkt 223001 review. As provided for by this regulation, the Decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the Decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the Decision within that time. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27 day of January 2011. For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eric J. Leeds, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. ATTACHMENT TO THE FINAL DIRECTOR’S DECISION; DISCUSSION OF COMMENTS ON THE PROPOSED DIRECTOR’S DECISION FROM THE LICENSEE, AND THE NRC STAFF RESPONSES By e-mail dated December 21, 2010, ADAMS Accession No. ML110050341, the licensee provided comments on the proposed Director’s Decision on the Petition filed by Congressman Paul Hodes pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206, ‘‘Requests for action under this subpart.’’ The licensee’s comments and corresponding response from the NRC staff are provided below: Comment 1: Section II, ‘‘Discussion: a) GZ–3 is actually located approximately 70 ft from the Connecticut River. Actual distance depends on river stage. b) The highest reading from any monitoring well has been 2.52 million pci/L (measured on 2/8/2010) from monitoring well GZ–10. c) On June 8th, Entergy reported a leak in the reactor building (June 8th was the date that RHR relief valve leakage was discovered. This required a 4-hour notification to the NRC). The NRC Staff Response: Revised the Director’s Decision to reflect the comments. Comment 2: A. The Tritiated Groundwater Remediation Process: a) Monitoring well GZ–15 was utilized for groundwater extraction from July 28, 2010, until September 2, 2010, and again from October 28, 2010, until November 8, 2010. b) As of December 21, 2010, Entergy has pumped 307,000 gallons of groundwater. c) About 298,000 gallons of water was shipped offsite for disposal and 9,000 gallons was returned to the station’s liquid radioactive waste system for in-plant use. d) Evaluation of continued extraction is ongoing. e) On March 23, 2010, Entergy installed an extraction well (GZ–EW1). (The well was installed on 3/23 and placed in service on 3/ 24). The NRC Staff Response: Revised the Director’s Decision to reflect the comments. [FR Doc. 2011–7453 Filed 3–29–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17715 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–338 and 50–339; NRC– 2010–0283] Virginia Electric and Power Company North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2; Exemption 1.0 Background Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO, the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–4 and NPF–7 which authorizes operation of the North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (NAPS). 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 Louisa County, Virginia. 2.0 Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 50, Section 50.46, ‘‘Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems [ECCS] for light-water nuclear power reactors,’’ requires that each power reactor meet the acceptance criteria for ECCS provided therein for zircaloy or ZIRLO TM cladding. Appendix K of 10 CFR Part 50, ‘‘ECCS Evaluation Models,’’ requires the rate of energy release, hydrogen generation, and cladding oxidation from the metal/water reaction to be calculated using the Baker-Just equation (Baker, L., Just, L.C., ‘‘Studies of Metal Water Reactions at High Temperatures, III. Experimental and Theoretical Studies of the ZirconiumWater Reaction,’’ ANL–6548, page 7, May 1962). Both of the above requirements require the use of zircaloy or ZIRLO TM cladding. The licensee proposes to use Optimized ZIRLO TM as the cladding material and therefore is requesting an exemption from the requirements. In summary, by letter dated May 6, 2010, (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), Accession No. ML101260517), the licensee requested an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50. The reason for the exemption is to allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a cladding material. 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 E:\FR\FM\30MRN1.SGM 30MRN1 17716 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 61 / Wednesday, March 30, 2011 / Notices 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. These circumstances include the special circumstances that application of the regulation is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES Authorized by Law This exemption would allow the licensee to use Optimized ZIRLO TM fuel rod cladding material at NAPS. 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 (ADAMS Accession No. ML051670408), the NRC staff issued a safety evaluation (SE) approving Addendum 1 to Westinghouse Topical Report WCAP– 12610–P–A and CENPD–404–P–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLO TM’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML062080576) (portions of this topical report are non-publicly available because they contain proprietary information) (the report with the proprietary information removed is available at ADAMS Accession No. ML062080569), wherein the NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a fuel cladding material. The NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a fuel cladding material based on: (1) Similarities with ZIRLO TM, (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 SE for Optimized ZIRLO TM 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 ZIRLO TM has been demonstrated by Westinghouse. Ring VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:59 Mar 29, 2011 Jkt 223001 compression tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLO TM (NRC-reviewed, approved, and documented in Appendix B of WCAP– 12610–P–A and CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A, ‘‘Optimized ZIRLO TM’’) (ADAMS Accession No. ML062080576) demonstrate an acceptable retention of post-quench ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits of 2200° 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 ZIRLO TM at any given burnup would be less than both zircaloy-4 and ZIRLO TM. Hence, the NRC staff concludes that Optimized ZIRLO TM would be expected to maintain better post-quench ductility than ZIRLO TM. 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 ZIRLO TM cladding for determining acceptable fuel performance. However, the NRC staff has found that metal-water reaction tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLO TM demonstrate conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just equation and are bounding for those approved for ZIRLO TM under anticipated operational occurrences and postulated accidents. Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by using Optimized ZIRLO TM, 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. PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Consistent With Common Defense and Security The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM fuel rod cladding material at NAPS. 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 and to ensure that cladding oxidation and hydrogen generation are appropriately limited during a LOCA and conservatively accounted for in the ECCS evaluation model. The wording of the regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is not directly applicable to Optimized ZIRLO TM, 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 ZIRLO TM 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 ZIRLO TM fuel rod cladding material, for NAPS. 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 September 2, 2010 (75 FR 53984). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of March 2011. E:\FR\FM\30MRN1.SGM 30MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 61 / Wednesday, March 30, 2011 / Notices For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–7455 Filed 3–29–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. A2011–11; Order No. 702] Post Office Closing Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: This document informs the public that an appeal of the closing of the Ida Post Office in Ida, Arkansas has been filed. It identifies preliminary steps and provides a procedural schedule. Publication of this document will allow the Postal Service, petitioner, and others to take appropriate action. DATES: Administrative record due (from Postal Service): April 6, 2011; deadline for notices to intervene: April 18, 2011. See the Procedural Schedule in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for other dates of interest. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically by accessing the ‘‘Filing Online’’ link in the banner at the top of the Commission’s Web site (http:// www.prc.gov) or by directly accessing the Commission’s Filing Online system at https://www.prc.gov/prc-pages/filingonline/login.aspx. Commenters who cannot submit their views electronically should contact the person identified in SUMMARY: WReier-Aviles on DSKGBLS3C1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section as the source for case-related information for advice on alternatives to electronic filing. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephen L. Sharfman, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820 (case-related information) or DocketAdmins@prc.gov (electronic filing assistance). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 404(d), on March 22, 2011, the Commission received a petition for review of the Postal Service’s determination to close the Ida, Arkansas post office. The petition, which was filed by the Committee to Save Ida Post Office (Petitioner), is postmarked March 16, 2011, and was posted on the Commission’s Web site March 22, 2011. The Commission hereby institutes a proceeding under 39 U.S.C. 404(d)(5) and establishes Docket No. A2011–11 to consider the Petitioner’s appeal. If the Petitioner would like to further explain its position with supplemental information or facts, the Petitioner may either file a Participant Statement on PRC Form 61 or file a brief with the Commission no later than April 26, 2011. Categories of issues apparently raised. The Petitioner raises the issue of failure to consider the effect on the community. See 39 U.S.C. 404(d)(2)(A)(i). After the Postal Service files the administrative record and the Commission reviews it, the Commission may find that there are more legal issues than the one set forth above, or that the Postal Service’s determination disposes of one or more of those issues. The deadline for the Postal Service to file the administrative record with the Commission is April 6, 2011. See 39 CFR 3001.113. In addition, the due date for any responsive pleading by the Postal Service to this Notice is April 6, 2011. Availability; Web site posting. The Commission has posted the appeal and supporting material on its Web site at http://www.prc.gov. Additional filings in this case and participants’ submissions also will be posted on the Commission’s Web site, if provided in electronic format or amenable to conversion, and not subject to a valid protective order. Information on how to use the Commission’s Web site is available online or by contacting the Commission’s webmaster via telephone at 202–789–6873 or via electronic mail at prc-webmaster@prc.gov. The appeal and all related documents also are available for public inspection in the Commission’s docket section. Docket section hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Federal government holidays. Docket section personnel may be contacted via electronic mail at prcdockets@prc.gov or via telephone at 202–789–6846. Filing of documents. All filings of documents in this case shall be made using the Internet (Filing Online) pursuant to Commission rules 9(a) and 10(a) at the Commission’s Web site, http://www.prc.gov, unless a waiver is obtained. See 39 CFR 3001.9(a) and 3001.10(a). Instructions for obtaining an account to file documents online may be found on the Commission’s Web site or by contacting the Commission’s docket section at prc-dockets@prc.gov or via telephone at 202–789–6846. The Commission reserves the right to redact personal information which may infringe on an individual’s privacy rights from documents filed in this proceeding. Intervention. Those, other than the Petitioner and respondent, wishing to be heard in this matter are directed to file a notice of intervention. See 39 CFR 3001.111(b). Notices of intervention in this case are to be filed on or before April 18, 2011. A notice of intervention shall be filed using the Internet (Filing Online) at the Commission’s Web site unless a waiver is obtained for hardcopy filing. See 39 CFR 3001.9(a) and 3001.10(a). Further procedures. By statute, the Commission is required to issue its decision within 120 days from the date it receives the appeal. See 39 U.S.C. 404(d)(5). A procedural schedule has been developed to accommodate this statutory deadline. In the interest of expedition, in light of the 120-day decision schedule, the Commission may request the Postal Service or other participants to submit information or memoranda of law on any appropriate issue. As required by the Commission rules, if any motions are filed, responses are due 7 days after any such motion is filed. See 39 CFR 3001.21. It is ordered: 1. The Postal Service shall file the administrative record regarding this appeal no later than April 6, 2011. 2. Any responsive pleading by the Postal Service to this Notice is due no later than April 6, 2011. 3. The procedural schedule listed below is hereby adopted. 4. Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505, Cassandra L. Hicks is designated officer of the Commission (Public Representative) to represent the interests of the general public. 5. The Secretary shall arrange for publication of this Notice and Order in the Federal Register. PROCEDURAL SCHEDULE March 22, 2011 ....................................... April 6, 2011 ............................................ April 6, 2011 ............................................ April 18, 2011 .......................................... VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:59 Mar 29, 2011 Jkt 223001 Filing of Appeal. Deadline for Postal Service to file administrative record in this appeal. Deadline for the Postal Service to file any responsive pleading. Deadline for notices to intervene (see 39 CFR 3001.111(b)). PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17717 E:\FR\FM\30MRN1.SGM 30MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 61 (Wednesday, March 30, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17715-17717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-7455]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-338 and 50-339; NRC-2010-0283]


Virginia Electric and Power Company North Anna Power Station, 
Units 1 and 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Virginia Electric and Power Company (VEPCO, the licensee) is the 
holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-4 and NPF-7 which 
authorizes operation of the North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2 
(NAPS). 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 
Louisa County, Virginia.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 50, 
Section 50.46, ``Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems 
[ECCS] for light-water nuclear power reactors,'' requires that each 
power reactor meet the acceptance criteria for ECCS provided therein 
for zircaloy or ZIRLO TM cladding. Appendix K of 10 CFR Part 
50, ``ECCS Evaluation Models,'' requires the rate of energy release, 
hydrogen generation, and cladding oxidation from the metal/water 
reaction to be calculated using the Baker-Just equation (Baker, L., 
Just, L.C., ``Studies of Metal Water Reactions at High Temperatures, 
III. Experimental and Theoretical Studies of the Zirconium-Water 
Reaction,'' ANL-6548, page 7, May 1962).
    Both of the above requirements require the use of zircaloy or ZIRLO 
TM cladding. The licensee proposes to use Optimized ZIRLO 
TM as the cladding material and therefore is requesting an 
exemption from the requirements.
    In summary, by letter dated May 6, 2010, (Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS), Accession No. ML101260517), the 
licensee requested an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 
and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50. The reason for the exemption is to 
allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a cladding material.

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

[[Page 17716]]

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. These circumstances include the 
special circumstances that application of the regulation is not 
necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow the licensee to use Optimized ZIRLO 
TM fuel rod cladding material at NAPS. 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 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML051670408), the NRC staff issued a safety 
evaluation (SE) approving Addendum 1 to Westinghouse Topical Report 
WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A, ``Optimized ZIRLO TM'' 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML062080576) (portions of this topical report are 
non-publicly available because they contain proprietary information) 
(the report with the proprietary information removed is available at 
ADAMS Accession No. ML062080569), wherein the NRC staff approved the 
use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a fuel cladding material. The 
NRC staff approved the use of Optimized ZIRLO TM as a fuel 
cladding material based on: (1) Similarities with ZIRLO TM, 
(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 SE for Optimized ZIRLO 
TM 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 ZIRLO TM has 
been demonstrated by Westinghouse. Ring compression tests performed by 
Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLO TM (NRC-reviewed, approved, 
and documented in Appendix B of WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A, 
Addendum 1-A, ``Optimized ZIRLO TM'') (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML062080576) demonstrate an acceptable retention of post-quench 
ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits of 2200[deg] 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 ZIRLO TM at any given burnup would be less than 
both zircaloy-4 and ZIRLO TM. Hence, the NRC staff concludes 
that Optimized ZIRLO TM would be expected to maintain better 
post-quench ductility than ZIRLO TM. 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.
    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 ZIRLO 
TM cladding for determining acceptable fuel performance. 
However, the NRC staff has found that metal-water reaction tests 
performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLO TM demonstrate 
conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just equation and are 
bounding for those approved for ZIRLO TM under anticipated 
operational occurrences and postulated accidents.
    Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by using 
Optimized ZIRLO TM, 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.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO 
TM fuel rod cladding material at NAPS. 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 and to 
ensure that cladding oxidation and hydrogen generation are 
appropriately limited during a LOCA and conservatively accounted for in 
the ECCS evaluation model. The wording of the regulations in 10 CFR 
50.46 and Appendix K is not directly applicable to Optimized ZIRLO 
TM, 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 
ZIRLO TM 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 ZIRLO TM fuel rod cladding material, 
for NAPS.
    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 September 2, 2010 (75 FR 53984).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

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

[[Page 17717]]

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2011-7455 Filed 3-29-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P