Virginia Electric and Power Company, Surry Power Station, Units 1 and 2; Exemption, 58844-58846 [2011-24359]

Download as PDF 58844 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 184 / Thursday, September 22, 2011 / Notices to conduct activities regulated under the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978. NSF has published regulations under the Antarctic Conservation Act at Title 45 Part 670 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This is the required notice of permit applications received. Interested parties are invited to submit written data, comments, or views with respect to this permit application by October 24, 2011. This application may be inspected by interested parties at the Permit Office, address below. DATES: Comments should be addressed to Permit Office, Room 755, Office of Polar Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Polly A. Penhale at the above address or (703) 292–7420. The National Science Foundation, as directed by the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95–541), as amended by the Antarctic Science, Tourism and Conservation Act of 1996, has developed regulations for the establishment of a permit system for various activities in Antarctica and designation of certain animals and certain geographic areas a requiring special protection. The regulations establish such a permit system to designate Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The applications received are as follows: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Permit Application: 2012–009 1. Applicant: Sam Feola, Director, Raytheon Polar Services Company, 7400 S. Tucson Way, Centennial, CO 80112. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Activity for Which Permit Is Requested Enter Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The applicant plans to enter the Antarctic Specially Protect Areas at Port Foster, Deception Island (ASPA 145), Western Bransfield Straight (ASPA 152), and Eastern Dallmann Bay (ASPA 153) for marine transit of U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) research vessels, Nathaniel B. Palmer and the Lawrence M. Gould through the ASPA’s listed above. Any transits through these areas would only occur when necessary in the best interests of the USAP. The ASPA’s will be avoided whenever possible. Location ASPA 145-Port Foster, Deception Island, ASPA 152-Western Bransfield Straight, and ASPA 153-Eastern Dallmann Bay. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Sep 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 Dates October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2014. Nadene G. Kennedy, Permit Officer, Office of Polar Programs. [FR Doc. 2011–24358 Filed 9–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–280 and 50–281; NRC– 2011–0185] Virginia Electric and Power Company, Surry 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. DPR–32 and DRP–37, which authorize operation of the Surry Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (Surry 1 and 2) respectively. 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 two pressurized water reactors located in Surry County, Virginia. 2.0 Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 26, ‘‘Fitness For Duty Programs,’’ Subpart I ‘‘Managing Fatigue,’’ requires that individuals described in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) are subject to the work hour controls provided in 10 CFR 26.205. By letter dated February 10, 2011 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML110450583), and supplemented on March 10, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML110740442), and pursuant to 10 CFR 26.9 VEPCO doing business as Dominion requested an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during declarations of severe weather conditions such as tropical storm and hurricane force winds at the Surry 1 and 2 site. A subsequent response to requests for additional information (RAI) is dated May 26, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML111470265). The requested exemption applies to individuals who perform duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) who are designated to perform work as a member of the Surry 1 and 2 hurricane response organization (HRO). The exemption request states that the station HRO typically consists of PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 enough individuals to staff two 12-hour shifts of workers consisting of personnel from operations, maintenance, engineering, emergency planning, radiation protection, chemistry, site services and security to maintain the safe and secure operation of the plant. Entry conditions for the requested exemption occur when the site activates the station HRO and the Site Vice President (or his designee) determines that travel conditions to the site will potentially become hazardous such that HRO staffing will be required—based on verifiable weather conditions. Verifiable weather conditions are defined in the exemption request as when the National Weather Service issues an Inland High Wind Warning for Hurricane Force Winds for Surry County or when the Dominion Weather Center projects tropical storm or hurricane force winds onsite within 12 hours. 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 also delay the return of sufficient relief personnel. The exemption request states that the exemption will terminate when hurricane watches and warnings or inland hurricane watches and warnings have been cancelled; when weather conditions and highway infrastructure support safe travel and; when the Site Vice President or his designee determine that sufficient personnel who perform the duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) are available to restore normal shift rotation and thereby meet the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d). 3.0 Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 26.09, the Commission may, upon application of an interested person or on its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 26 when the exemptions are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security or are otherwise in the public interest. Authorized By Law The exemption being requested for Surry 1 and 2 would allow the licensee site to not meet the work hour control requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d), which would allow the sequester of specific individuals on site, prior and subsequent to severe weather conditions such as tropical storms and hurricanes. No law exists which precludes the activities covered by this exemption request. As stated above, 10 CFR 26.09 E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 184 / Thursday, September 22, 2011 / Notices allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 26. 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. jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES No Endangerment of Life or Property and Otherwise in the Public Interest This exemption request expands on an exception that is already provided in 10 CFR part 26, during declared emergencies, and allows the licensee to not meet the requirements in 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during time periods just prior and subsequent to the existing exception (10 CFR 26.207(d)). Granting this exemption will allow the licensee to ensure that the control of work hours does not impede the ability to use whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a severe weather event to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and secure status. Therefore, this exemption will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. Thus, this exemption request is in the interest of the public health and safety. The Fatigue Management provisions found in 10 CFR part 26, Subpart I are designed as an integrated approach to managing both cumulative and acute fatigue through a partnership between licensees and individuals. It is the responsibility of the licensees to provide training to individuals regarding fatigue management. It is also the responsibility of the licensee to provide covered workers with work schedules that are consistent with the objective of preventing impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency or sequencing of successive shifts. Individuals are required to remain fit-for-duty while at work. • Section 26.205(c) is the requirement to schedule individuals work hours consistent with the objective of preventing impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency or sequencing of successive shifts. The requirement to schedule is important as the work hour controls, contained in 10 CFR 26.205 are not necessarily sufficient to ensure that individuals will not be impaired owing to the effects of fatigue. • Section 26.205(d) provides the actual work hour controls. Work hour controls are limits on the number of hours an individual may work; limits on the minimum break times between work periods; and limits for the minimum number of days off an individual must be given. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Sep 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 • Section 26.205(b) is the requirement to count work hours and days worked. Section 26.205(d)(3) is the requirement to look back into the ‘‘calculation period’’ so that all work hours can be included in appropriate work hour calculations, when a covered individual resumes covered work. • Section 26.207(d) provides an allowance for licensees to not meet the requirements of Section. 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies as defined in the licensee’s emergency plan. Surry Units 1 and 2 are located in Surry County, Virginia on a point of land that is bordered by the James River on either side. Historical severe weather in the vicinity of the station, over a 100 year period, includes 34 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes that have passed within 100 nautical miles of the site. Consequently, there is a reasonable likelihood of Surry 1 and 2 being affected by severe wind events. The proposed exemption would support effective response to severe weather conditions when travel to and from the Surry 1 and 2 site may not be safe or even possible. During these times, the Surry 1 and 2 HRO staff typically consists of enough individuals to staff two 12-hour shifts of workers consisting of personnel from operations, maintenance, engineering, emergency planning, radiation protection, chemistry, site services and security to maintain the safe and secure operation of the plant. This exemption would be applied to the period established by the entry and exit conditions regardless of whether the Emergency Plan is entered or not. Therefore, Surry 1 and 2’s exemption request 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 a 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. Once Surry 1 and 2 has entered into a high-wind exemption or 10 CFR 26.207(d) exception, it would not need to make a declaration that it is invoking the recovery exemption. As a tropical storm or hurricane approaches landfall, high wind speeds—in excess of wind speeds that create unsafe travel conditions are expected. The National Hurricane Center defines a hurricane warning as an announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 58845 or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within a 24-hour period. Severe wind preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, a tropical storm warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 73 mph). Lessons learned that are included in NUREG–1474, ‘‘Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station from August 20–30, 1992,’’ include the acknowledgement that detailed, methodical preparations should be made prior to the onset of hurricane force winds. The NRC staff finds the Surry 1 and 2 proceduralized actions are consistent with those lessons learned. The entry conditions for the requested exemption could have been exceeded, yet wind speeds necessary for the declaration of an unusual event may not have been reached. This circumstance 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) 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). The RAI response letter states that the HRO shift start times will be preplanned and consistent and that the hurricane response plan is being revised to emphasize the need for pre-planned and consistent work shift start times to better facilitate fatigue management. The RAI response also states that the hurricane response plan will be updated to include that the HRO staff will be provided with an opportunity for restorative rest of at least 10 hours when off and that these individuals will not be assigned any duties when off shift. The exemption request specifies that the exemption is not for discretionary maintenance activities. The exemption request states that the exemption would provide for use of whatever plant staff and resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure that the units achieve and E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1 jlentini on DSK4TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 58846 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 184 / Thursday, September 22, 2011 / Notices maintain a safe and secure status and can be safely restarted. The exemption request also states that maintenance activities for structures, systems and components that are significant to public health and safety will be performed, if required. The NRC staff finds the exclusion of discretionary maintenance from the exemption request to be consistent with the intent of the exemption. In its exemption request the licensee committed to maintain the following guidance in a Surry 1 and 2 site procedure: • The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that are consistent with the conditions specified in the Surry 1 and 2 exemption request. • The provisions for ensuring that personnel who are not performing duties are provided an opportunity as well as accommodations for restorative rest. • The condition for departure from this exemption, consistent with the Site Vice President’s (or his designee’s) determination that adequate staffing is available to meet the requirements of Part 26.205(c) and (d). In its RAI response letter the licensee committed to maintain the following guidance in its hurricane response procedure: • Guidance that emphasizes the need for pre-planned and consistent workshift start times to better facilitate fatigue management. • Guidance that states that the Station Hurricane Response Organization staff will be provided an opportunity for at least 10 hours of restorative rest when off-shift and should not be assigned any duties when off-shift. When the exemption period(s) ends, the licensee is immediately subject to the scheduling requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and the work hour/rest break/ days off requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d), and must ensure that any individual performing covered work complies with these requirements. Section 26.205(d)(3) requires the licensee to ‘‘look back’’ over the calculation period and count the hours the individual has worked and the rest breaks and days off he/she has had, including those that occurred during the licensee-declared emergency. Hours worked must be below the maximum limits and rest breaks must be above the minimum requirements in order for the licensee to allow the individual to perform covered work. Days off and hours and shifts worked during the licensee-declared emergency and the exempted period before and after the declared emergency, would be counted as usual in the establishment of the VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:29 Sep 21, 2011 Jkt 223001 applicable shift schedule and compliance with the minimum-days-off requirements. Granting these exemptions is consistent with 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 Part 26 Statement of Considerations, page 17148 states 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 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d).’’ The objective of the exemption is to ensure that the control of work hours does 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 reaches and 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, the 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 discussed above, the NRC staff has concluded that (1) There is reasonable assurance that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by the proposed exemption, (2) such activities will be consistent with the Commission’s regulations and guidance, and (3) the issuance of the exemption will not be contrary to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public. Consistent With Common Defense and Security This change has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption. 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 26.09, granting an exemption to the licensee from the requirements in 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during severe wind events such as tropical storms and PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 hurricanes and bounded by the entry and exit conditions of the exemption request, by allowing Surry 1 and 2 to sequester individuals to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and secure status, is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Virginia Electric Power Company an exemption from the requirement of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during periods of severe winds. 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 published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2011 (76 FR 54259). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of September 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–24359 Filed 9–21–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2009–0494] Final Interim Staff Guidance: Review of Evaluation To Address Gas Accumulation Issues in Safety Related Systems Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is issuing its Final Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) DC/ COL–ISG–019 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML111110572). The purpose of this ISG is to clarify the NRC staff guidance to address issues of gas accumulation in safety related systems. This ISG revises and updates the guidance provided to the staff in Standard Review Plan (SRP) Section 5.4.7, ‘‘Residual Heat Removal System,’’ Section 6.3, ‘‘Emergency Core Cooling System,’’ and Section 6.5.2, ‘‘Containment Spray System’’ of NUREG–0800, ‘‘Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants,’’ March 2007. The NRC staff issues DC/ COL–ISGs to facilitate timely implementation of current staff SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22SEN1.SGM 22SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 184 (Thursday, September 22, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 58844-58846]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24359]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-280 and 50-281; NRC-2011-0185]


Virginia Electric and Power Company, Surry 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. DPR-32 and DRP-37, which 
authorize operation of the Surry Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (Surry 1 
and 2) respectively. 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 two pressurized water reactors located 
in Surry County, Virginia.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 26, 
``Fitness For Duty Programs,'' Subpart I ``Managing Fatigue,'' requires 
that individuals described in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) are 
subject to the work hour controls provided in 10 CFR 26.205. By letter 
dated February 10, 2011 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML110450583), and supplemented on March 
10, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML110740442), and pursuant to 10 CFR 26.9 
VEPCO doing business as Dominion requested an exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during declarations of severe 
weather conditions such as tropical storm and hurricane force winds at 
the Surry 1 and 2 site. A subsequent response to requests for 
additional information (RAI) is dated May 26, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML111470265).
    The requested exemption applies to individuals who perform duties 
identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) who are designated to 
perform work as a member of the Surry 1 and 2 hurricane response 
organization (HRO). The exemption request states that the station HRO 
typically consists of enough individuals to staff two 12-hour shifts of 
workers consisting of personnel from operations, maintenance, 
engineering, emergency planning, radiation protection, chemistry, site 
services and security to maintain the safe and secure operation of the 
plant.
    Entry conditions for the requested exemption occur when the site 
activates the station HRO and the Site Vice President (or his designee) 
determines that travel conditions to the site will potentially become 
hazardous such that HRO staffing will be required--based on verifiable 
weather conditions. Verifiable weather conditions are defined in the 
exemption request as when the National Weather Service issues an Inland 
High Wind Warning for Hurricane Force Winds for Surry County or when 
the Dominion Weather Center projects tropical storm or hurricane force 
winds onsite within 12 hours.
    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 also delay the return of 
sufficient relief personnel. The exemption request states that the 
exemption will terminate when hurricane watches and warnings or inland 
hurricane watches and warnings have been cancelled; when weather 
conditions and highway infrastructure support safe travel and; when the 
Site Vice President or his designee determine that sufficient personnel 
who perform the duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) 
are available to restore normal shift rotation and thereby meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d).

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 26.09, the Commission may, upon application of 
an interested person or on its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 26 when the exemptions are authorized 
by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and 
security or are otherwise in the public interest.

Authorized By Law

    The exemption being requested for Surry 1 and 2 would allow the 
licensee site to not meet the work hour control requirements of 10 CFR 
26.205(c) and (d), which would allow the sequester of specific 
individuals on site, prior and subsequent to severe weather conditions 
such as tropical storms and hurricanes. No law exists which precludes 
the activities covered by this exemption request. As stated above, 10 
CFR 26.09

[[Page 58845]]

allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 
26. 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 Endangerment of Life or Property and Otherwise in the Public 
Interest

    This exemption request expands on an exception that is already 
provided in 10 CFR part 26, during declared emergencies, and allows the 
licensee to not meet the requirements in 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) 
during time periods just prior and subsequent to the existing exception 
(10 CFR 26.207(d)). Granting this exemption will allow the licensee to 
ensure that the control of work hours does not impede the ability to 
use whatever staff resources may be necessary to respond to a severe 
weather event to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and 
secure status. Therefore, this exemption will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security. Thus, this exemption 
request is in the interest of the public health and safety.
    The Fatigue Management provisions found in 10 CFR part 26, Subpart 
I are designed as an integrated approach to managing both cumulative 
and acute fatigue through a partnership between licensees and 
individuals. It is the responsibility of the licensees to provide 
training to individuals regarding fatigue management. It is also the 
responsibility of the licensee to provide covered workers with work 
schedules that are consistent with the objective of preventing 
impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency or sequencing of 
successive shifts. Individuals are required to remain fit-for-duty 
while at work.
     Section 26.205(c) is the requirement to schedule 
individuals work hours consistent with the objective of preventing 
impairment from fatigue due to duration, frequency or sequencing of 
successive shifts. The requirement to schedule is important as the work 
hour controls, contained in 10 CFR 26.205 are not necessarily 
sufficient to ensure that individuals will not be impaired owing to the 
effects of fatigue.
     Section 26.205(d) provides the actual work hour controls. 
Work hour controls are limits on the number of hours an individual may 
work; limits on the minimum break times between work periods; and 
limits for the minimum number of days off an individual must be given.
     Section 26.205(b) is the requirement to count work hours 
and days worked. Section 26.205(d)(3) is the requirement to look back 
into the ``calculation period'' so that all work hours can be included 
in appropriate work hour calculations, when a covered individual 
resumes covered work.
     Section 26.207(d) provides an allowance for licensees to 
not meet the requirements of Section. 26.205(c) and (d) during declared 
emergencies as defined in the licensee's emergency plan.
    Surry Units 1 and 2 are located in Surry County, Virginia on a 
point of land that is bordered by the James River on either side. 
Historical severe weather in the vicinity of the station, over a 100 
year period, includes 34 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes that have 
passed within 100 nautical miles of the site. Consequently, there is a 
reasonable likelihood of Surry 1 and 2 being affected by severe wind 
events. The proposed exemption would support effective response to 
severe weather conditions when travel to and from the Surry 1 and 2 
site may not be safe or even possible.
    During these times, the Surry 1 and 2 HRO staff typically consists 
of enough individuals to staff two 12-hour shifts of workers consisting 
of personnel from operations, maintenance, engineering, emergency 
planning, radiation protection, chemistry, site services and security 
to maintain the safe and secure operation of the plant. This exemption 
would be applied to the period established by the entry and exit 
conditions regardless of whether the Emergency Plan is entered or not. 
Therefore, Surry 1 and 2's exemption request 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 a 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. Once Surry 1 and 2 has entered into a high-wind 
exemption or 10 CFR 26.207(d) exception, it would not need to make a 
declaration that it is invoking the recovery exemption.
    As a tropical storm or hurricane approaches landfall, high wind 
speeds--in excess of wind speeds that create unsafe travel conditions 
are expected. 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 
within a 24-hour period. Severe wind preparedness activities become 
difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, a tropical storm 
warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of 
tropical-storm-force winds (39 to 73 mph). Lessons learned that are 
included in NUREG-1474, ``Effect of Hurricane Andrew on the Turkey 
Point Nuclear Generating Station from August 20-30, 1992,'' include the 
acknowledgement that detailed, methodical preparations should be made 
prior to the onset of hurricane force winds. The NRC staff finds the 
Surry 1 and 2 proceduralized actions are consistent with those lessons 
learned.
    The entry conditions for the requested exemption could have been 
exceeded, yet wind speeds necessary for the declaration of an unusual 
event may not have been reached. This circumstance 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) 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).
    The RAI response letter states that the HRO shift start times will 
be pre-planned and consistent and that the hurricane response plan is 
being revised to emphasize the need for pre-planned and consistent work 
shift start times to better facilitate fatigue management. The RAI 
response also states that the hurricane response plan will be updated 
to include that the HRO staff will be provided with an opportunity for 
restorative rest of at least 10 hours when off and that these 
individuals will not be assigned any duties when off shift.
    The exemption request specifies that the exemption is not for 
discretionary maintenance activities. The exemption request states that 
the exemption would provide for use of whatever plant staff and 
resources may be necessary to respond to a plant emergency and ensure 
that the units achieve and

[[Page 58846]]

maintain a safe and secure status and can be safely restarted. The 
exemption request also states that maintenance activities for 
structures, systems and components that are significant to public 
health and safety will be performed, if required. The NRC staff finds 
the exclusion of discretionary maintenance from the exemption request 
to be consistent with the intent of the exemption.
    In its exemption request the licensee committed to maintain the 
following guidance in a Surry 1 and 2 site procedure:
     The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that 
are consistent with the conditions specified in the Surry 1 and 2 
exemption request.
     The provisions for ensuring that personnel who are not 
performing duties are provided an opportunity as well as accommodations 
for restorative rest.
     The condition for departure from this exemption, 
consistent with the Site Vice President's (or his designee's) 
determination that adequate staffing is available to meet the 
requirements of Part 26.205(c) and (d).
    In its RAI response letter the licensee committed to maintain the 
following guidance in its hurricane response procedure:
     Guidance that emphasizes the need for pre-planned and 
consistent work-shift start times to better facilitate fatigue 
management.
     Guidance that states that the Station Hurricane Response 
Organization staff will be provided an opportunity for at least 10 
hours of restorative rest when off-shift and should not be assigned any 
duties when off-shift.
    When the exemption period(s) ends, the licensee is immediately 
subject to the scheduling requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and the work 
hour/rest break/days off requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d), and must 
ensure that any individual performing covered work complies with these 
requirements. Section 26.205(d)(3) requires the licensee to ``look 
back'' over the calculation period and count the hours the individual 
has worked and the rest breaks and days off he/she has had, including 
those that occurred during the licensee-declared emergency. Hours 
worked must be below the maximum limits and rest breaks must be above 
the minimum requirements in order for the licensee to allow the 
individual to perform covered work. Days off and hours and shifts 
worked during the licensee-declared emergency and the exempted period 
before and after the declared emergency, would be counted as usual in 
the establishment of the applicable shift schedule and compliance with 
the minimum-days-off requirements.
    Granting these exemptions is consistent with 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 Part 26 Statement of Considerations, 
page 17148 states 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 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d).'' The 
objective of the exemption is to ensure that the control of work hours 
does 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 reaches and 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, the 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 discussed above, the NRC 
staff has concluded that (1) There is reasonable assurance that the 
health and safety of the public will not be endangered by the proposed 
exemption, (2) such activities will be consistent with the Commission's 
regulations and guidance, and (3) the issuance of the exemption will 
not be contrary to the common defense and security or to the health and 
safety of the public.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    This change has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the 
common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
26.09, granting an exemption to the licensee from the requirements in 
10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during severe wind events such as tropical 
storms and hurricanes and bounded by the entry and exit conditions of 
the exemption request, by allowing Surry 1 and 2 to sequester 
individuals to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and secure 
status, is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property and 
is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby 
grants Virginia Electric Power Company an exemption from the 
requirement of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d) during periods of severe winds.
    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 published in the Federal Register on 
August 31, 2011 (76 FR 54259).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of September 2011.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph G. Giitter,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2011-24359 Filed 9-21-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P