Virginia Electric and Power Company; North Anna Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption, 59745-59748 [2011-24776]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Notices plan for the emergency closing of these fire doors, notification of personnel, and deenergization of electric power inby the doors will be included in the mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction plan. (14) Two separate lines or systems for voice communication will be maintained in the two-entry mining section. Mine pager phones will be installed every 1,000 feet within one crosscut of the location of the dieseldiscriminating sensor in the belt and intake entries. The two systems will not be routed through the same entry. (15) An approved wireless and tracking communication system will be used as a communication link between the AMS operator, the designated person on each working section, all diesel equipment operators in each active two-entry panel gate roads, and any person investigating an alert condition. Methods of personnel tracking and communications will be subject to approval of the District Manager. (16) In addition to self-contained selfrescuers (SCSRs) specified in the Lila Canyon Emergency Response Plan, at least one SCSR will be available for each person on the working section at all times and will be carried into the section and carried on the section, or stored on the section while advancing the two-entry development. (17) During longwall retreat mining, in addition to SCSRs specified in the Lila Canyon Emergency Response Plan, at least two SCSRs will be available for each regularly assigned person on the working section. One will be stored near the face in the headgate entries at a readily accessible location and one will be stored near the tailgate entries. (18) In addition to the requirements of 30 CFR 75.1100–2(b), fire hose outlets with valves every 300 feet will be installed along the intake entry. At least 500 feet of fire hose with fittings and nozzles suitable for connection with the outlets will be stored at each strategic location along the intake entry. The locations will be specified in the mine emergency evacuation and firefighting program of instruction plan. (19) Compressor stations and unattended portable compressors will not be located in the two-entry panel. (20) The details for the fire detection system and methane monitoring system, including the type of monitor and specific sensor location on the mine map, will be included in the ventilation plan required by 30 CFR 75.370. The District Manager may require additional diesel-discriminating sensors, carbon monoxide sensors, or methane sensors to be installed as part of the ventilation VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 plan to ensure the safety of the miners in any part of the two-entry system. (21) Lifelines that meet the requirements of 30 CFR 75.380 will be provided in the primary and secondary escapeways during two-entry development, longwall setup, recovery, and longwall retreat mining. (22) The AMS will activate an alarm signal if the total concentration of uncorrected carbon monoxide measured by any sensor exceeds or is equal to 50 ppm. This concentration will represent all the carbon monoxide present in the sensor’s atmosphere, including carbon monoxide from diesel engines. The petitioner states that prior to implementation of this petition, all affected personnel will complete training on the following: (1) The fire suppression systems used on diesel equipment used in the twoentry system; (2) Precautions for working around the hydraulic pumping station when the hydraulic pumping station for the longwall supports is located in the twoentry system; (3) All conditions specified by this petition; (4) Procedures for emergency closing of fire doors and permanent ventilation control devices, notification of personnel, and deenergization of electric power within the longwall district; and (5) Conditions specified in the approved ventilation plan. The petitioner further states that the terms and conditions of the petition will not apply during the time period from completion of the development mining of the two-entry longwall panel until the beginning of the longwall equipment set-up activities, provided the conveyor belt in the two-entry panel is not energized. During this time period, all other mandatory standards will apply. Persons may review a complete description of petitioner’s alternative method and procedures at the MSHA address listed in this petition. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will always guarantee the miners affected no less protection than is provided by the standard and application of the standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners. Dated: September 21, 2011. Patricia W. Silvey, Certifying Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–24727 Filed 9–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59745 NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, October 12, 2011. PLACE: NTSB Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, SW., Washington, DC 20594. STATUS: The One item is open to the public. MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: 8345 International Investigations: Global Collaboration with Domestic Impact. NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Telephone: (202) 314–6100. The press and public may enter the NTSB Conference Center one hour prior to the meeting for set up and seating. Individuals requesting specific accommodations should contact Rochelle Hall at (202) 314–6305 by Friday, October 7, 2011. The public may view the meeting via a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘News & Events’’ on the NTSB home page at http:// www.ntsb.gov. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: andi Bing, (202) 314–6403 or by e-mail at bingc@ntsb.gov. TIME AND DATE: Dated: Friday, September 23, 2011. Candi R. Bing, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–24992 Filed 9–23–11; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–338 and 50–339] Virginia Electric and Power Company; North Anna Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption 1.0 Background Virginia Electric Power Company (VEPCO, the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–4 and NPF–7, which authorize operation of the North Anna Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (North Anna) 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 or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of two pressurized water reactors located in Louisa County, Virginia. 2.0 Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 26, ‘‘Fitness E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59746 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Notices 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 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 North Anna 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 North Anna 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 Louisa 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 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 North Anna would allow the licensee to not meet the work hour control requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(c) and (d), which would allow the licensee to sequester 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 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 PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. 10 CFR 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 Sec. 26.205(c) and (d) during declared emergencies as defined in the licensee’s emergency plan. North Anna is located in Louisa County, Virginia, and is approximately 40 miles north-northwest of Richmond, Virginia. Historical analysis of severe weather in the vicinity of the station shows that there has been approximately an average of two tropical storms or hurricanes every five years that have passed within 100 nautical miles of the site. Consequently, there is a reasonable likelihood of North Anna being affected by severe wind events. The proposed exemption would support effective response to severe weather conditions when travel to and from the North Anna site may not be safe or even possible. During these times, the North Anna 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 E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Notices established by the entry and exit conditions regardless of whether the Emergency Plan is entered or not. Therefore, North Anna’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 North Anna 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 North Anna 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 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 licensee’s RAI response letter of May 26, 2011, 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 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 North Anna site procedure: • The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that are consistent with the conditions specified in the North Anna 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. PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59747 • 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 in the Federal Register on March 31, 2008, 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 § 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 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, NRC staff expects the licensee would have completed a reasonable amount of hurricane preparation prior to the need to sequester personnel, in order to E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1 59748 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 187 / Tuesday, September 27, 2011 / Notices Wednesday, October 12, 2011 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 a 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. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Consistent With Common Defense and Security 8:55 a.m. Affirmation Session (Public Meeting) (Tentative). a. Southern Nuclear Operating Co. (Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4)—Appeal of LBP–10– 21 (Tentative). b. Luminant Generation Company LLC (Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 3 and 4), Intervenors’ Petition for Review Pursuant to 10 CFR § 2.341 (Mar. 11, 2011) (Tentative). c. Progress Energy Florida, Inc. (Levy County Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2), Staff Petition for Review of LBP–10–20 (Tentative). This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. 9 a.m. Mandatory Hearing—Southern Nuclear Operating Co., et al.; Combined Licenses for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, and Limited Work Authorizations (Public Meeting). (Contact: Rochelle Bavol, 301–415– 1651.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. This change has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption. 4.0 Conclusion mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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 North Anna to sequester individuals to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and secure status, 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. 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 20th 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. 2011–24776 Filed 9–26–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Sep 26, 2011 Jkt 223001 [NRC–2011–0006] Sunshine Act Notice Nuclear Regulatory Commission. DATE: Weeks of September 26, and October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2011. PLACE: Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and Closed. AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETINGS: Week of September 26, 2011 Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Week of October 3, 2011—Tentative Thursday, October 6, 2011 9 a.m. Briefing on NRC International Activities (Public Meeting). (Contact: Karen Henderson, 301– 415–0202.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. Week of October 10, 2011—Tentative Tuesday, October 11, 2011 9 a.m. Briefing on the Japan Near Term Task Force Report—Prioritization of Recommendations (Public Meeting). (Contact: Rob Taylor, 301–415– 3172.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9 a.m. Mandatory Hearing—South Carolina Electric & Gas Company and South Carolina Public Service Authority (Also Referred to as Santee Cooper); Combined Licenses for Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3 (Public Meeting). (Contact: Rochelle Bavol, 301–415–1651.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. Week of October 17, 2011—Tentative Tuesday, October 18, 2011 9 a.m. Briefing on Browns Ferry Unit 1 (Public Meeting). (Contact: Eugene Guthrie, 404–997–4662.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. Thursday, October 20, 2011 1:30 p.m. NRC All Employees Meeting (Public Meeting), Marriott Bethesda North Hotel, 5701 Marinelli Road, Rockville, MD 20852. Week of October 24, 2011—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 24, 2011. Week of October 31, 2011—Tentative Tuesday, November 1, 2011 9 a.m. Briefing on the Fuel Cycle Oversight Program (Public Meeting). (Contact: Margie Kotzalas, 301–492–3550.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. * * * * * * The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. To verify the status of meetings, call (recording)—(301) 415–1292. Contact person for more information: Rochelle Bavol, (301) 415–1651. * * * * * The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the Internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/ public-meetings/schedule.html. * * * * * The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g. braille, large print), please notify Bill Dosch, Chief, Work Life and Benefits Branch, at 301–415–6200, TDD: 301– 415–2100, or by e-mail at william.dosch@nrc.gov. Determinations on requests for reasonable E:\FR\FM\27SEN1.SGM 27SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 187 (Tuesday, September 27, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59745-59748]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24776]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-338 and 50-339]


 Virginia Electric and Power Company; North Anna Power Station, 
Unit Nos. 1 and 2; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Virginia Electric Power Company (VEPCO, the licensee) is the holder 
of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-4 and NPF-7, which authorize 
operation of the North Anna Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (North 
Anna) 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 or the Commission) now or hereafter 
in effect. The facility consists of two pressurized water reactors 
located in Louisa County, Virginia.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 26, 
``Fitness

[[Page 59746]]

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 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 North Anna 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 North Anna 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 Louisa 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 North Anna would allow the 
licensee to not meet the work hour control requirements of 10 CFR 
26.205(c) and (d), which would allow the licensee to sequester 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 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. 10 CFR 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 Sec. 26.205(c) and (d) during declared 
emergencies as defined in the licensee's emergency plan.
    North Anna is located in Louisa County, Virginia, and is 
approximately 40 miles north-northwest of Richmond, Virginia. 
Historical analysis of severe weather in the vicinity of the station 
shows that there has been approximately an average of two tropical 
storms or hurricanes every five years that have passed within 100 
nautical miles of the site. Consequently, there is a reasonable 
likelihood of North Anna being affected by severe wind events. The 
proposed exemption would support effective response to severe weather 
conditions when travel to and from the North Anna site may not be safe 
or even possible.
    During these times, the North Anna 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

[[Page 59747]]

established by the entry and exit conditions regardless of whether the 
Emergency Plan is entered or not. Therefore, North Anna'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 North Anna 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 North Anna 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 licensee's RAI response letter of May 26, 2011, 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 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 North Anna site procedure:
     The conditions necessary to sequester site personnel that 
are consistent with the conditions specified in the North Anna 
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 in 
the Federal Register on March 31, 2008, 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 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 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, NRC staff expects the licensee would have completed a 
reasonable amount of hurricane preparation prior to the need to 
sequester personnel, in order to

[[Page 59748]]

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 a 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 North Anna to sequester individuals 
to ensure the plant reaches and maintains a safe and secure status, 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. 
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 20th 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. 2011-24776 Filed 9-26-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P