License Exemption Request for NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC; Seabrook Station, Unit 1, 14304-14307 [2014-05498]

Download as PDF 14304 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 49 / Thursday, March 13, 2014 / Notices 2. Category of Respondents In its evaluation forms, the NTSB will generally seek information only from attendees of each course. The NTSB will have the contact information for each attendee, because such information is required when registering for Training Center courses. 3. Maximum Burden Hours The NTSB plans to distribute the evaluations to attendees of each Training Center course. The NTSB offers 12 courses per year including multiple iterations. Among all courses, the NTSB estimates a total of 600 non-Government attendees complete courses in any given year. As a result, the NTSB estimates it will distribute approximately 600 Training Center evaluation forms each year. Each evaluation form will take approximately 11 minutes to complete. The NTSB seeks to emphasize these estimations are approximate, as they are depend on the number of courses the NTSB offers in the Training Center. Some courses may be cancelled due to low registration. In addition, only Government employees may choose to attend other courses. As a result, the NTSB can only provide an approximate estimate of the number of attendees per year. 4. Use of the Information Collected Feedback from attendees of NTSB Training Center courses is extremely important to the NTSB. The NTSB plans its course offerings based on the level of interest from potential attendees and on the degree to which attendees have found useful the information they learned during such courses. As a result, evaluations of NTSB Training Center courses will influence future course offerings. The NTSB will rely upon the provision of completed course evaluations to assist with the planning of course offerings. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 5. Public Input Regarding the Information Collected The NTSB does not generally obtain public input concerning the scope of, or specific questions on, NTSB Training Center evaluation forms. 6. Internal Procedures Lastly, the OIRA Administrator’s memorandum describing generic clearances recommends agencies describe the procedures it will undertake to ensure information collections to which the generic clearance applies will comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act, applicable regulations, and the terms provided in the generic clearance. The NTSB Office of General Counsel plans to provide VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Mar 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 internal guidance to agency personnel who offer courses and distribute course evaluations at the NTSB Training Center. Such guidance will include this publication, as well as the OIRA Administrator’s memorandum discussing generic clearances, upon OMB approval of the clearance. The internal guidance will include specific instructions concerning use of evaluation forms, and explain the applicable provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act and its implementing regulations. C. Description of Burden The NTSB has carefully reviewed previous questionnaires it has used to obtain information from attendees of courses the NTSB Training Center offers. The NTSB assures the public that these questionnaires have used plain, coherent, and unambiguous terminology in its requests for feedback. In addition, the questionnaires are not duplicative of other agencies’ collections of information, because the NTSB maintains unique authority to offer such courses concerning investigations of transportation events. 49 U.S.C. 1113(b)(1)(I). In general, the NTSB believes the evaluation forms will impose a minimal burden on respondents: As indicated above, the NTSB estimates that each respondent will spend approximately 11 minutes in completing the evaluation. The NTSB estimates that a maximum of 240 respondents per year would complete an evaluation. Although the NTSB may distribute evaluations to perhaps as many as 600 people, historic response rates indicate only 40 percent of the evaluations will be returned completed. However, the NTSB again notes this number will vary, given the changes and demand for course offerings at the NTSB Training Center. D. Request for Comments In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the NTSB seeks feedback from the public concerning this proposed plan for information collection. In particular, the NTSB asks the public to evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary; to assess the accuracy of the NTSB’s burden estimate; to comment on how to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and to comment on how the NTSB might minimize the burden of the collection of information. The NTSB will carefully consider all feedback it receives in response to this notice. As described above, obtaining the information the NTSB seeks on these evaluations in a timely manner is PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 important to course offerings at the NTSB Training Center; therefore, obtaining approval from OIRA for these collections of information on a generic basis is a priority for the NTSB. Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman. [FR Doc. 2014–05531 Filed 3–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–443; NRC–2014–0043] License Exemption Request for NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC; Seabrook Station, Unit 1 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a June 25, 2013, request from NextEra Energy, Seabrook, LLC, requesting an exemption for the use of a different fuel rod cladding material (Optimized ZIRLOTM). ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2014–0043 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2014–0043. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–287–3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 49 / Thursday, March 13, 2014 / Notices the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, telephone: 301–415–3100; email: John.Lamb@nrc.gov. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Background NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC (NextEra or the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License No. NPF–86, which authorizes operation of the Seabrook Station, Unit 1 (Seabrook). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the NRC now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in Rockingham County in New Hampshire. II. Request/Action Pursuant to § 50.12, of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ the licensee has, by letter dated June 25, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13183A056), requested an exemption from specific requirements of 10 CFR 50.46, ‘‘Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems [ECCS] for light-water nuclear power reactors,’’ and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix K, ‘‘ECCS Evaluation Models,’’ to allow the use of fuel rod cladding with optimized ZIRLOTM alloy for future reload applications. The regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 contain acceptance criteria for the ECCS for reactors fueled with zircaloy or ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material. In addition, Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50 requires that the Baker-Just equation be used to predict the rates of energy release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal/water reaction. The Baker-Just equation assumes the use of a zirconium alloy, which is a material different from Optimized ZIRLOTM. The licensee requested the exemption because these regulations do not have provisions for the use of fuel rod cladding material other than zircaloy or ZIRLOTM. Because the material specifications of Optimized ZIRLOTM differ from the specifications for zircaloy or ZIRLOTM, a plant-specific exemption is required to support the reload applications for Seabrook. The exemption request relates solely to the cladding material specified in these regulations (i.e., fuel rods with Zircaloy or ZIRLOTM cladding material). This exemption would provide for the application of the acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 50.46 and 10 CFR Part 50, VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Mar 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 Appendix K, to fuel assembly designs using Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material. In its letter dated June 25, 2013, the licensee indicated that it was not seeking an exemption from the acceptance and analytical criteria of these regulations. The intent of the request is to allow the use of the criteria set forth in these regulations for application to the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material. III. Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 when: (1) The exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) when special circumstances are present. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), special circumstances include, among other things, when application of the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule. A. Special Circumstances Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50 is to establish acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. The regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K are not directly applicable to Optimized ZIRLOTM, even though the evaluations described in the following sections of this exemption show that the intent of the regulation is met. Therefore, since the underlying purposes of 10 CFR 50.46 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix K are achieved through the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) for the granting of an exemption exist. B. Authorized by Law This exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material for future reload applications at Seabrook. 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 the licensee’s proposed exemption would not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission’s PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14305 regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. C. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety Section 10 CFR 50.46 requires that each boiling or pressurized light-water nuclear power reactor fueled with uranium oxide pellets within cylindrical zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding must be provided with an ECCS that must be designed so that its calculated cooling performance following postulated loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCAs) conforms to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance criteria for adequate ECCS performance. As previously documented in the NRC staff’s safety evaluation dated June 10, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML051670395), of topical reports submitted by Westinghouse, and subject to compliance with the specific conditions of approval established in the safety evaluation, the NRC staff found that Westinghouse demonstrated the applicability of these ECCS acceptance criteria to Optimized ZIRLOTM. Ring compression tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM (see WCAP– 14342–A & CENPD–404–NP–A at ADAMS Accession No. ML062080569) demonstrate an acceptable retention of postquench ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit and 17 percent equivalent clad reacted. Furthermore, the NRC staff concluded that oxidation measurements provided by the licensee by letter LTR–NRC–07– 58 from Westinghouse to the NRC, ‘‘SER Compliance with WCAP–12610–P–A & CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A, ‘Optimized ZIRLOTM,’ ’’ dated November 6, 2007 (public version is at ADAMS Accession No. ML073130560), illustrate that oxide thickness and associated hydrogen pickup for Optimized ZIRLOTM at any given burnup would be less than both zircaloy-4 and ZIRLOTM. Hence, the NRC staff concludes that Optimized ZIRLOTM would be expected to maintain better postquench ductility than ZIRLOTM. This finding is further supported by an ongoing LOCA research program at Argonne National Laboratory, which has identified a strong correlation between cladding hydrogen content (caused by in-service corrosion) and postquench ductility. In addition, the provisions of 10 CFR 50.46 require the licensee to periodically evaluate the performance of the ECCS, using currently approved LOCA models and methods, to ensure that the fuel rods will continue to satisfy E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 14306 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 49 / Thursday, March 13, 2014 / Notices the 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria. In its letter dated June 25, 2013, the licensee stated that for LOCA scenarios, where the slight difference in Optimized ZIRLOTM material properties relative to standard ZIRLOTM could have some impact on the overall accident scenario, plant-specific LOCA analyses using Optimized ZIRLOTM properties will demonstrate that the acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 50.46 have been satisfied. Granting the exemption to allow the licensee to use Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in addition to the current mix of fuel rods does not diminish this requirement of periodic evaluation of ECCS performance. Thus, the underlying purpose of the rule will continue to be achieved for Seabrook. Paragraph I.A.5 of Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50 states that the rates of energy release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metalwater reaction shall be calculated using the Baker-Just equation. Since the Baker-Just equation presumes the use of zircaloy clad fuel, strict application of this provision of the rule would not permit use of the equation for the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material for determining acceptable fuel performance. However, the NRC staff previously found that metal-water reaction tests performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM (see Appendix B of WCAP–12610–P–A & CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A) demonstrate conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just equation. Thus, the NRC staff determined that the application of Appendix K, Paragraph I.A.5 is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule in these circumstances. Since these evaluations demonstrate that the underlying purpose of the rule will be met, there will be no undue risk to the public health and safety. TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES D. Consistent With the Common Defense and Security The licensee’s exemption request is only to allow the application of the aforementioned regulations to an improved fuel rod cladding material. In its letter dated June 25, 2013, the licensee stated that all the requirements and acceptance criteria will be maintained. The licensee is required to handle and control special nuclear material in these assemblies in accordance with its approved procedures. This change to the plant configuration is not related to security issues. Therefore, the NRC staff determined that this exemption does not impact common defense and security. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Mar 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 E. Environmental Considerations The NRC staff determined that the exemption discussed herein meets the eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9) because it is related to a requirement concerning the installation or use of a facility component located within the restricted area, as defined in 10 CFR Part 20, and the granting of this exemption involves: (i) No significant hazards consideration, (ii) no significant change in the types or a significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite, and (iii) no significant increase in individual or cumulative occupational radiation exposure. Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the NRC’s consideration of this exemption request. The basis for the NRC staff’s determination is discussed as follows with an evaluation against each of the requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(i) The NRC staff evaluated the issue of no significant hazards consideration, using the standards described in 10 CFR 50.92(c), as presented below: 1. Does the proposed exemption involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated? Response: No. The proposed change would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. The NRC approved topical report WCAP– 12610–P–A and CENPD–404–P–A, Addendum 1–A ‘‘Optimized ZIRLOTM,’’ prepared by Westinghouse, addresses Optimized ZIRLOTM and demonstrates that Optimized ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the currently licensed ZIRLO®. The fuel cladding itself is not an accident initiator and does not affect accident probability. Use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will continue to meet all 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria and, therefore, will not increase the consequences of an accident. Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. 2. Does the proposed exemption create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated? Response: No. The use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will not result in changes in the operation or PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 configuration of the facility. Topical Report WCAP–12610–P–A and CENPD– 404–P–A demonstrated that the material properties of Optimized ZIRLOTM are similar to those of standard ZIRLO®. Therefore, the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will perform similarly to those fabricated from standard ZIRLO®, thus precluding the possibility of the fuel cladding becoming an accident initiator and causing a new or different type of accident. Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated. 3. Does the proposed exemption involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety? Response: No. The proposed change will not involve a significant reduction in the margin of safety, because it has been demonstrated that the material properties of the Optimized ZIRLOTM are not significantly different from those of standard ZIRLO®. Optimized ZIRLOTM is expected to perform similarly to standard ZIRLO® for all normal operating and accident scenarios, including both LOCA and non-LOCA scenarios. For LOCA scenarios, where the slight difference in the Optimized ZIRLOTM material properties, relative to standard ZIRLO® could have some impact on the overall accident scenario, plant-specific LOCA analyses using the Optimized ZIRLOTM properties demonstrate that the acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 50.46 have been satisfied. Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed exemption presents no significant hazards consideration under the standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92(c), and, accordingly, a finding of no significant hazards consideration is justified (i.e., satisfies the provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(i)). Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(ii) The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. Optimized ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the currently licensed ZIRLO®. The use of the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will not significantly change the types of effluents that may be released offsite, or significantly increase the amount of effluents that may be released offsite. Therefore, the provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(ii) is satisfied. E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 49 / Thursday, March 13, 2014 / Notices Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(iii) The proposed exemption would allow the use of the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. Optimized ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the currently licensed ZIRLO®. The use of the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will not significantly increase individual occupational radiation exposure, or significantly increase cumulative occupational radiation exposure. Therefore, the provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(iii) is satisfied. Conclusion Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed exemption meets the eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the NRC’s proposed issuance of this exemption. IV. Conclusions 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 NextEra an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50, to allow the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material at Seabrook. As stated above, this exemption relates solely to the cladding material specified in these regulations. This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2014. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Michele Evans, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2014–05498 Filed 3–12–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P TKELLEY on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2014–21 and R2014–6; Order No. 2009] New Postal Product Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Mar 12, 2014 Jkt 232001 The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing requesting the addition of PHI Acquisitions, Inc. to the market dominant product list. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: March 27, 2014. Reply comments are due: April 3, 2014. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Corcoran, Acting General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Notice of Filings III. Ordering Paragraphs I. Introduction On March 5, 2014, the Postal Service filed a request pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3622 and 3642, as well as 39 CFR 3010 and 3020, et seq., to add a PHI Acquisitions, Inc. (PHI) negotiated service agreement to the market dominant product list.1 Request. In support of its Request, the Postal Service filed six attachments as follows: • Attachment A—a copy of Governors’ Resolution No. 14–02, authorizing a negotiated service agreement with PHI; • Attachment B—a copy of the contract; • Attachment C—proposed descriptive language changes to the Mail Classification Schedule; • Attachment D—a proposed data collection plan; • Attachment E—a Statement of Supporting Justification as required by 39 CFR 3020.32, which the Postal Service also is using to satisfy the requirements of 39 CFR 3010.42(b)–(e); and • Attachment F—a financial model, which the Postal Service believes demonstrates that the agreement will have a net value of approximately $10.748 million.2 1 Notice of the United States Postal Service of Filing Contract and Supporting Data and Request to Add PHI Acquisitions, Inc. Negotiated Service Agreement to the Market-Dominant Product List, March 5, 2014 (Request). 2 This Attachment is also referred to as ‘‘Attachment X’’ in the Request. Request at 12. PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14307 In its Request, the Postal Service identifies Bruce Allen, Manager, Pricing Innovation as the official able to provide responses to queries from the Commission. In his Statement of Supporting Justification, Mr. Allen reviews the factors and objectives of section 3622(b) and (c) and concludes, inter alia, that the agreement will provide an incentive for profitable mail; will enhance the financial position of the Postal Service; will increase mail volume; will not imperil the ability of Standard Mail to cover its attributable costs; and promotes the use of intelligent mail. Id., Attachment E at 1– 3. The Postal Service believes that the PHI negotiated service agreement conforms to the policies of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and meets the statutory standards supporting the desirability of this special classification under 39 U.S.C. 3622(c)(10). Request at 3. In particular, the Postal Service believes the agreement has the potential to enhance the Postal Service’s financial position, and it will not cause unreasonable harm to the marketplace. Id. Related contract. The Postal Service indicates that the agreement is designed to increase the total contribution the Postal Service receives from PHI Standard Mail Carrier Route Flats volume and revenue by generating new, incremental Standard Mail Carrier Route Flats volume and revenue. Id. at 6–7. The Postal Service describes the agreement and its four main components: (1) A volume threshold, (2) a volume threshold adjustment, (3) a volume commitment, and (4) rebates on qualifying Standard Mail Carrier Route Flats volume. Specifically, the volume threshold is based on the amount of PHI’s total volume for all four categories of Carrier Route Flats (Saturation, High Density Plus, High Density, and Basic), as well as Flats Sequencing System (‘‘FSS’’) Flats with a full-service IMb barcode.3 Id. The baseline for the volume threshold is PHI’s total volume for these categories over the four quarters from October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013. For the first year of the agreement, the threshold is the baseline volume. Id. For years two through five of the agreement, the threshold is the previous year’s annual volume growth times the adjustment factor plus the previous year’s volume threshold. Id. at 7–8. 3 FSS Flats are included in the event FSS Flats become a category or sub-category during the term of the negotiated service agreement. Id. at 7. E:\FR\FM\13MRN1.SGM 13MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 49 (Thursday, March 13, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14304-14307]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-05498]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-443; NRC-2014-0043]


License Exemption Request for NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC; 
Seabrook Station, Unit 1

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to a June 25, 2013, request from NextEra Energy, 
Seabrook, LLC, requesting an exemption for the use of a different fuel 
rod cladding material (Optimized ZIRLO\TM\).

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0043 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0043. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this document (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at

[[Page 14305]]

the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville 
Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-3100; email: John.Lamb@nrc.gov.

I. Background

    NextEra Energy Seabrook, LLC (NextEra or the licensee) is the 
holder of Facility Operating License No. NPF-86, which authorizes 
operation of the Seabrook Station, Unit 1 (Seabrook). The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the NRC now or hereafter in effect. 
The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in 
Rockingham County in New Hampshire.

II. Request/Action

    Pursuant to Sec.  50.12, of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), ``Specific exemptions,'' the licensee has, by 
letter dated June 25, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13183A056), requested 
an exemption from specific requirements of 10 CFR 50.46, ``Acceptance 
criteria for emergency core cooling systems [ECCS] for light-water 
nuclear power reactors,'' and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix K, ``ECCS 
Evaluation Models,'' to allow the use of fuel rod cladding with 
optimized ZIRLO\TM\ alloy for future reload applications. The 
regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 contain acceptance criteria for the ECCS 
for reactors fueled with zircaloy or ZIRLO\TM\ fuel rod cladding 
material. In addition, Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50 requires that the 
Baker-Just equation be used to predict the rates of energy release, 
hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal/water 
reaction. The Baker-Just equation assumes the use of a zirconium alloy, 
which is a material different from Optimized ZIRLO\TM\. The licensee 
requested the exemption because these regulations do not have 
provisions for the use of fuel rod cladding material other than 
zircaloy or ZIRLO\TM\. Because the material specifications of Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\ differ from the specifications for zircaloy or ZIRLO\TM\, a 
plant-specific exemption is required to support the reload applications 
for Seabrook.
    The exemption request relates solely to the cladding material 
specified in these regulations (i.e., fuel rods with Zircaloy or 
ZIRLO\TM\ cladding material). This exemption would provide for the 
application of the acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 50.46 and 10 CFR Part 
50, Appendix K, to fuel assembly designs using Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ fuel 
rod cladding material. In its letter dated June 25, 2013, the licensee 
indicated that it was not seeking an exemption from the acceptance and 
analytical criteria of these regulations. The intent of the request is 
to allow the use of the criteria set forth in these regulations for 
application to the Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ fuel rod cladding material.

III. Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 when: (1) The exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) when special circumstances are present. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), 
special circumstances include, among other things, when application of 
the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, 
or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule.

A. Special Circumstances

    Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), 
are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular 
circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the 
rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR 
Part 50 is to establish acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. The 
regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K are not directly applicable 
to Optimized ZIRLO\TM\, even though the evaluations described in the 
following sections of this exemption show that the intent of the 
regulation is met. Therefore, since the underlying purposes of 10 CFR 
50.46 and 10 CFR Part 50, 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 exist.

B. Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ fuel rod 
cladding material for future reload applications at Seabrook. 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 the licensee's proposed exemption would 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.

C. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    Section 10 CFR 50.46 requires that each boiling or pressurized 
light-water nuclear power reactor fueled with uranium oxide pellets 
within cylindrical zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding must be provided with an 
ECCS that must be designed so that its calculated cooling performance 
following postulated loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCAs) conforms to the 
criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. The underlying 
purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance criteria for 
adequate ECCS performance. As previously documented in the NRC staff's 
safety evaluation dated June 10, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML051670395), of topical reports submitted by Westinghouse, and subject 
to compliance with the specific conditions of approval established in 
the safety evaluation, the NRC staff found that Westinghouse 
demonstrated the applicability of these ECCS acceptance criteria to 
Optimized ZIRLO\TM\. Ring compression tests performed by Westinghouse 
on Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ (see WCAP-14342-A & CENPD-404-NP-A at ADAMS 
Accession No. ML062080569) demonstrate an acceptable retention of 
postquench ductility up to 10 CFR 50.46 limits of 2200 degrees 
Fahrenheit and 17 percent equivalent clad reacted. Furthermore, the NRC 
staff concluded that oxidation measurements provided by the licensee by 
letter LTR-NRC-07-58 from Westinghouse to the NRC, ``SER Compliance 
with WCAP-12610-P-A & CENPD-404-P-A, Addendum 1-A, `Optimized 
ZIRLO\TM\,' '' dated November 6, 2007 (public version is at ADAMS 
Accession No. ML073130560), 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 
postquench ductility than ZIRLO\TM\. This finding is further supported 
by an ongoing LOCA research program at Argonne National Laboratory, 
which has identified a strong correlation between cladding hydrogen 
content (caused by in-service corrosion) and postquench ductility.
    In addition, the provisions of 10 CFR 50.46 require the licensee to 
periodically evaluate the performance of the ECCS, using currently 
approved LOCA models and methods, to ensure that the fuel rods will 
continue to satisfy

[[Page 14306]]

the 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria. In its letter dated June 25, 
2013, the licensee stated that for LOCA scenarios, where the slight 
difference in Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ material properties relative to 
standard ZIRLO\TM\ could have some impact on the overall accident 
scenario, plant-specific LOCA analyses using Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ 
properties will demonstrate that the acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 
50.46 have been satisfied. Granting the exemption to allow the licensee 
to use Optimized ZIRLO\TM\ fuel rod cladding material in addition to 
the current mix of fuel rods does not diminish this requirement of 
periodic evaluation of ECCS performance. Thus, the underlying purpose 
of the rule will continue to be achieved for Seabrook.
    Paragraph I.A.5 of Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50 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 this provision of the rule would not 
permit use of the equation for the Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel 
rod cladding material for determining acceptable fuel performance. 
However, the NRC staff previously found that metal-water reaction tests 
performed by Westinghouse on Optimized ZIRLOTM (see Appendix 
B of WCAP-12610-P-A & CENPD-404-P-A, Addendum 1-A) demonstrate 
conservative reaction rates relative to the Baker-Just equation. Thus, 
the NRC staff determined that the application of Appendix K, Paragraph 
I.A.5 is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule in 
these circumstances. Since these evaluations demonstrate that the 
underlying purpose of the rule will be met, there will be no undue risk 
to the public health and safety.

D. Consistent With the Common Defense and Security

    The licensee's exemption request is only to allow the application 
of the aforementioned regulations to an improved fuel rod cladding 
material. In its letter dated June 25, 2013, the licensee stated that 
all the requirements and acceptance criteria will be maintained. The 
licensee is required to handle and control special nuclear material in 
these assemblies in accordance with its approved procedures. This 
change to the plant configuration is not related to security issues. 
Therefore, the NRC staff determined that this exemption does not impact 
common defense and security.

E. Environmental Considerations

    The NRC staff determined that the exemption discussed herein meets 
the eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion set forth in 10 
CFR 51.22(c)(9) because it is related to a requirement concerning the 
installation or use of a facility component located within the 
restricted area, as defined in 10 CFR Part 20, and the granting of this 
exemption involves: (i) No significant hazards consideration, (ii) no 
significant change in the types or a significant increase in the 
amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite, and (iii) no 
significant increase in individual or cumulative occupational radiation 
exposure. Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(b), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the NRC's consideration of this exemption 
request. The basis for the NRC staff's determination is discussed as 
follows with an evaluation against each of the requirements in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(9).
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(i)
    The NRC staff evaluated the issue of no significant hazards 
consideration, using the standards described in 10 CFR 50.92(c), as 
presented below:
    1. Does the proposed exemption involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change would allow the use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. The NRC 
approved topical report WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A, Addendum 1-A 
``Optimized ZIRLOTM,'' prepared by Westinghouse, addresses 
Optimized ZIRLOTM and demonstrates that Optimized 
ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the currently 
licensed ZIRLO[supreg]. The fuel cladding itself is not an accident 
initiator and does not affect accident probability. Use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will continue to meet all 
10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria and, therefore, will not increase the 
consequences of an accident.
    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant 
increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously 
evaluated.
    2. Does the proposed exemption create the possibility of a new or 
different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material 
will not result in changes in the operation or configuration of the 
facility. Topical Report WCAP-12610-P-A and CENPD-404-P-A demonstrated 
that the material properties of Optimized ZIRLOTM are 
similar to those of standard ZIRLO[supreg]. Therefore, the Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will perform similarly to 
those fabricated from standard ZIRLO[supreg], thus precluding the 
possibility of the fuel cladding becoming an accident initiator and 
causing a new or different type of accident.
    Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a 
new or different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.
    3. Does the proposed exemption involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change will not involve a significant reduction in the 
margin of safety, because it has been demonstrated that the material 
properties of the Optimized ZIRLOTM are not significantly 
different from those of standard ZIRLO[supreg]. Optimized 
ZIRLOTM is expected to perform similarly to standard 
ZIRLO[supreg] for all normal operating and accident scenarios, 
including both LOCA and non-LOCA scenarios. For LOCA scenarios, where 
the slight difference in the Optimized ZIRLOTM material 
properties, relative to standard ZIRLO[supreg] could have some impact 
on the overall accident scenario, plant-specific LOCA analyses using 
the Optimized ZIRLOTM properties demonstrate that the 
acceptance criteria of 10 CFR 50.46 have been satisfied.
    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant 
reduction in a margin of safety.
    Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed 
exemption presents no significant hazards consideration under the 
standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92(c), and, accordingly, a finding of 
no significant hazards consideration is justified (i.e., satisfies the 
provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(i)).
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(ii)
    The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. 
Optimized ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the 
currently licensed ZIRLO[supreg]. The use of the Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will not significantly 
change the types of effluents that may be released offsite, or 
significantly increase the amount of effluents that may be released 
offsite. Therefore, the provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(ii) is 
satisfied.

[[Page 14307]]

Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(iii)
    The proposed exemption would allow the use of the Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material in the reactors. 
Optimized ZIRLOTM has essentially the same properties as the 
currently licensed ZIRLO[supreg]. The use of the Optimized 
ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material will not significantly 
increase individual occupational radiation exposure, or significantly 
increase cumulative occupational radiation exposure. Therefore, the 
provision of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9)(iii) is satisfied.
Conclusion
    Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed 
exemption meets the eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion 
set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 
51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment 
need be prepared in connection with the NRC's proposed issuance of this 
exemption.

IV. Conclusions

    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 NextEra an exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50, to allow 
the use of Optimized ZIRLOTM fuel rod cladding material at 
Seabrook. As stated above, this exemption relates solely to the 
cladding material specified in these regulations.
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele Evans,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2014-05498 Filed 3-12-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P