Duke Energy Florida, Inc., 75595-75597 [2014-29656]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 243 / Thursday, December 18, 2014 / Notices number, expiration date and country of issue; and employer/affiliation information (name of institution, address, country, telephone, email, phone). Contact the International Visitor Coordinator, Mary Treat, at (228) 688– 3916 for the specifics on any foreign national visitors. To expedite admittance, attendees with U.S. citizenship and Permanent Residents (green card holders) can provide identifying information 3 working days in advance by emailing the NASA Office of Communications at SSC–PAO@ mail.nasa.gov. It is imperative that the meeting be held on these dates to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants. Patricia D. Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a July 17, 2013, request from Duke Energy Florida, Inc. (DEF or the licensee), from certain regulatory requirements. The exemption would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve the emergency suspension of security measures for Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant (CR3) during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather. DATES: December 18, 2014. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2014–0266 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain 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–2014–0266. 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 ADAMS Public Documents collection 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 SUMMARY: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards Renewal U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of renewal of the Charter of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). AGENCY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that renewal of the charter for the ACRS until December 4, 2016, is in the public interest in connection with the statutory responsibilities assigned to the ACRS. This action is being taken in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew L. Bates, Office of the Secretary, NRC, Washington, DC 20555; by telephone: (301) 415–1963, or email at ALB@NRC.GOV. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards was established by Section 29 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) of 1954, as amended. Its purpose is to provide advice to the Commission with regard to the hazards of proposed or existing reactor facilities, to review each application for a construction permit or operating license for certain facilities specified in the AEA, and such other duties as the Commission may request. The AEA as amended by PL 100–456 also specifies that the Defense Nuclear Safety Board may obtain the advice and recommendations of the ACRS. SUMMARY: mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES [FR Doc. 2014–29194 Filed 12–17–14; 8:45 a.m.] Duke Energy Florida, Inc. BILLING CODE 7510–13–P 19:23 Dec 17, 2014 Dated: December 8, 2014. Andrew L. Bates, Advisory Committee Management Officer. [Docket No. 50–302; NRC–2014–0266] [FR Doc. 2014–29624 Filed 12–17–14; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 Membership on the Committee includes individuals experienced in reactor operations, management; probabilistic risk assessment; analysis of reactor accident phenomena; design of nuclear power plant structures, systems and components; materials science; and mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00065 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75595 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 the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Orenak, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–3229; email: Michael.Orenak@nrc.gov. I. Background Duke Energy Florida, Inc., is the holder of Facility License No. DPR–72. 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 permanently shutdown and defueled pressurized water reactor located in Citrus County, Florida. By letter dated February 20, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13056A005), DEF submitted to the NRC the certification in accordance with §§ 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.82(a)(1)(ii) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) indicating it permanently ceased power operations and that the CR3 reactor vessel was permanently defueled. II. Request/Action On July 17, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13204A397), the licensee requested an exemption from §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), pursuant to § 73.5, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ which requires, in part, that a licensed senior operator approves the suspension of security measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather. Portions of the letter dated July 17, 2013, contain sensitive unclassified nonsafeguards information (security-related) and, accordingly, have been withheld from public disclosure. The regulations in §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), respectively, specify that the suspension of security measures must be approved by, as a minimum, a licensed senior operator, or a licensed senior operator with input from the security supervisor or manager. The exemption request relates solely to the licensing requirements specified in the regulations for the staff directing suspension of security measures in E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 75596 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 243 / Thursday, December 18, 2014 / Notices accordance with §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii). Section 73.55(p)(1)(i) requires that ‘‘suspension of security measures must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator before taking this action;’’ § 73.55(p)(1)(ii) requires that ‘‘suspension of security measures must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from the security supervisor or manager, before taking this action.’’ This exemption would remove the requirement for a licensed senior operator to provide the approval. Instead, the licensee intends that suspension of security measures to be authorized by a certified fuel hander (CFH), as defined by § 50.2, ‘‘Definitions.’’ III. Discussion Historically, the Commission’s security rules have long recognized the potential need to suspend security or safeguards measures. In 1986, in its final rule, ‘‘Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical Protection of Nuclear Power Plants’’ (51 FR 27817; August 4, 1986), the Commission promulgated § 73.55(a), stating in part: In accordance with § 50.54(x) and (y) of Part 50, the licensee may suspend any safeguards measures pursuant to § 73.55 in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specification that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator prior to taking the action. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Later, in Proposed Rule, ‘‘Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants,’’ July 20, 1995; 60 FR 37379, the Commission made a number of proposed rule changes to address decommissioning. Among the changes were new regulations that affected §§ 50.54(x) and (y) by allowing a nonlicensed operator called a ‘‘Certified Fuel Handler,’’ in addition to a licensed senior operator, to authorize protective steps. Specifically, when proposing the rule addressing the role of the CFH during emergencies, the Commission stated: The Commission is proposing to amend 10 CFR 50.54(y) to permit a certified fuel handler at nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel, subject to the requirements of § 50.82(a) and consistent with the proposed definition of ‘‘Certified Fuel Handler’’ specified in § 50.2, to make these evaluations and judgments. A nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and no longer has fuel in the reactor vessel does not VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:23 Dec 17, 2014 Jkt 235001 require a licensed individual to monitor core conditions. A certified fuel handler at a permanently shutdown and defueled nuclear power reactor undergoing decommissioning is an individual who has the requisite knowledge and experience to evaluate plant conditions and make these judgments. In the final rule (61 FR 39298; July 29, 1996), the Commission added the following definition to § 50.2: ‘‘Certified fuel handler means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission.’’ However, the Decommissioning Rule did not propose or make parallel changes to § 73.55(a), and did not discuss the role of a nonlicensed certified fuel handler. In the final rule, ‘‘Power Reactor Security Requirements’’ (74 FR 13926; March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated and split the security suspension requirements from § 73.55(a) to §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (p)(1)(ii). The CFHs were not discussed in the rulemaking, so the requirements of § 73.55(p) to use a licensed senior operator remains, even for a site that otherwise no longer has an operating reactor. However, pursuant to § 73.5, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73 as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest. A. Authorized by Law The exemption from §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii) would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve the suspension of security measures, under certain emergency conditions or severe weather. The licensee intends to align these regulations with § 50.54(y) by using the authority of a non-licensed CFH in place of a licensed senior operator to approve the suspension of security measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather. Per § 73.5, the Commission is allowed to grant exemptions from the regulations in 10 CFR part 73 as authorized by law. 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 other laws. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. B. Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security Removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 suspension of security measures during emergencies or severe weather will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security for the reasons described below. First, § 73.55(p)(2) continues to require that ‘‘[s]uspended security measures must be reinstated as soon as conditions permit.’’ Second, the suspension for nonweather emergency conditions under § 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ‘‘when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent.’’ Thus, the underlying purpose of § 73.55(p)(1)(i) will still be to protect public health and safety even after the exemption is granted. Third, the suspension for severe weather under § 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ‘‘the suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent protection.’’ The requirement to receive input from the security supervisor or manager will remain. The underlying purpose of § 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be to protect the health and safety of the security force. Additionally, by letter dated June 26, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14155A181), the NRC approved DEF’s CFH training and retraining program for the CR3 facility. The NRC staff found that, among other things, the program addresses the safe conduct of decommissioning activities, safe handling and storage of spent fuel, and the appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because the CFH is sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-approved program, the NRC staff considers a CFH to have sufficient knowledge of operational and safety concerns such that there will be no adverse effects or undue risk to the public health and safety as a result of the suspension of security measures during the emergencies or severe weather. In addition, the exemption does not reduce the overall effectiveness of the physical security plan and has no adverse impacts to DEF’s ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material at CR3, and thus would not have an effect on the common defense and security. The NRC E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 243 / Thursday, December 18, 2014 / Notices staff has concluded that the exemption would not reduce security measures currently in place to protect against radiological sabotage. Therefore, removing the requirement for a licensed senior operator to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather so that suspension of security measures can be authorized by CFH does not adversely affect public health and safety issues or the assurance of the common defense and security. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES C. Is Otherwise in the Public Interest The DEF’s proposed exemption would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve suspension of security measures in an emergency when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the public health and safety’’ or during severe weather when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel.’’ Without the exemption, the licensee cannot implement changes to its security plan to authorize a CFH to approve temporary suspension of security regulations during an emergency or severe weather comparable to the authority given to the CFH by the Commission when it promulgated § 50.54(y). Instead, the regulations would continue to require that a licensed senior operator be available to make decisions for a permanently shutdown plant, even though CR3 no longer requires a licensed senior operator. It is unclear how the licensee would implement emergency or severe weather suspensions of security measures without a licensed senior operator. This exemption is in the public interest for two reasons. First, without the exemption, there is uncertainty on how the licensee will invoke temporary suspension of security matters that may be needed to protect public health and safety or the safety of the security forces during emergencies and severe weather. Additionally, the consistent and efficient regulation of nuclear power plants serves the public interest by assuring consistency between the security regulations in 10 CFR part 73 and the operating reactor regulations in 10 CFR part 50, and the requirements concerning licensed operators in 10 CFR part 55. Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that the exemption requirements to obtain approval from a licensed senior operator, who is not otherwise required for a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor, before taking steps to protect the public health and safety, or to protect the safety of the security force, is in the public interest. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:23 Dec 17, 2014 Jkt 235001 D. Environmental Considerations The NRC approval of the exemption to security requirements belongs to a category of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has declared to be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the category of actions does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Specifically, the exemption is categorically excluded from further analysis under § 51.22(c)(25). Under § 51.22(c)(25), granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical exclusion provided that (i) there is no significant hazards consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought involve: safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting inventory scheduling requirements; or involve other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. The Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has determined that approval of the exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve the security suspension at a defueled shutdown power plant does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The exempted security regulation is unrelated to any operational restriction. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; and no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. The exempted regulation is not associated with construction, so there is no significant construction impact. The exempted regulation does not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an accident), nor mitigation. Thus, there is PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75597 no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences of, a radiological accident. The requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve departure from security actions may be viewed as involving either safeguards, materials control, or managerial matters. Therefore, pursuant to §§ 51.22(b) and 51.22(c)(25), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request. IV. Conclusions Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to § 73.5, the exemption is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants DEF exemption from the requirements of §§ 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), which otherwise would require suspension of security measures during emergencies and severe weather, respectively, to be approved by a licensed senior operator. The exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of December 2014. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Michele G. Evans, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2014–29656 Filed 12–17–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2014–0178] Standard Review Plan for Conventional Uranium Mills and Heap Leach Facilities Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Draft NUREG; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft NUREG, NUREG–2126, ‘‘Standard Review Plan for Conventional Uranium Mills and Heap Leach Facilities.’’ The NRC has developed draft NUREG–2126 to provide guidance for NRC staff reviews of applications to develop and operate conventional uranium mills and heap leach facilities and to ensure a consistent quality and uniformity of staff reviews. DATES: Submit comments by March 18, 2015. Comments received after this date SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18DEN1.SGM 18DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 243 (Thursday, December 18, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75595-75597]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-29656]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-302; NRC-2014-0266]


Duke Energy Florida, Inc.

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to a July 17, 2013, request from Duke Energy 
Florida, Inc. (DEF or the licensee), from certain regulatory 
requirements. The exemption would remove the requirement that a 
licensed senior operator approve the emergency suspension of security 
measures for Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant (CR3) during 
certain emergency conditions or during severe weather.

DATES: December 18, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0266 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain 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-2014-0266. 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 
ADAMS Public Documents collection 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 the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Orenak, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3229; email: Michael.Orenak@nrc.gov.

I. Background

    Duke Energy Florida, Inc., is the holder of Facility License No. 
DPR-72. 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 permanently shutdown and defueled 
pressurized water reactor located in Citrus County, Florida.
    By letter dated February 20, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13056A005), DEF submitted to the NRC the certification in accordance 
with Sec. Sec.  50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.82(a)(1)(ii) of Title 10 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) indicating it permanently ceased 
power operations and that the CR3 reactor vessel was permanently 
defueled.

II. Request/Action

    On July 17, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13204A397), the licensee 
requested an exemption from Sec. Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) and 
73.55(p)(1)(ii), pursuant to Sec.  73.5, ``Specific exemptions,'' which 
requires, in part, that a licensed senior operator approves the 
suspension of security measures during certain emergency conditions or 
during severe weather. Portions of the letter dated July 17, 2013, 
contain sensitive unclassified nonsafeguards information (security-
related) and, accordingly, have been withheld from public disclosure. 
The regulations in Sec. Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), 
respectively, specify that the suspension of security measures must be 
approved by, as a minimum, a licensed senior operator, or a licensed 
senior operator with input from the security supervisor or manager.
    The exemption request relates solely to the licensing requirements 
specified in the regulations for the staff directing suspension of 
security measures in

[[Page 75596]]

accordance with Sec. Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii). Section 
73.55(p)(1)(i) requires that ``suspension of security measures must be 
approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator before taking this 
action;'' Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(ii) requires that ``suspension of security 
measures must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, 
with input from the security supervisor or manager, before taking this 
action.''
    This exemption would remove the requirement for a licensed senior 
operator to provide the approval. Instead, the licensee intends that 
suspension of security measures to be authorized by a certified fuel 
hander (CFH), as defined by Sec.  50.2, ``Definitions.''

III. Discussion

    Historically, the Commission's security rules have long recognized 
the potential need to suspend security or safeguards measures. In 1986, 
in its final rule, ``Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical 
Protection of Nuclear Power Plants'' (51 FR 27817; August 4, 1986), the 
Commission promulgated Sec.  73.55(a), stating in part:

    In accordance with Sec.  50.54(x) and (y) of Part 50, the 
licensee may suspend any safeguards measures pursuant to Sec.  73.55 
in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect 
the public health and safety and no action consistent with license 
conditions and technical specification that can provide adequate or 
equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension must 
be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator prior to 
taking the action.

    Later, in Proposed Rule, ``Decommissioning of Nuclear Power 
Plants,'' July 20, 1995; 60 FR 37379, the Commission made a number of 
proposed rule changes to address decommissioning. Among the changes 
were new regulations that affected Sec. Sec.  50.54(x) and (y) by 
allowing a non-licensed operator called a ``Certified Fuel Handler,'' 
in addition to a licensed senior operator, to authorize protective 
steps. Specifically, when proposing the rule addressing the role of the 
CFH during emergencies, the Commission stated:

    The Commission is proposing to amend 10 CFR 50.54(y) to permit a 
certified fuel handler at nuclear power reactors that have 
permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the 
reactor vessel, subject to the requirements of Sec.  50.82(a) and 
consistent with the proposed definition of ``Certified Fuel 
Handler'' specified in Sec.  50.2, to make these evaluations and 
judgments. A nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased 
operations and no longer has fuel in the reactor vessel does not 
require a licensed individual to monitor core conditions. A 
certified fuel handler at a permanently shutdown and defueled 
nuclear power reactor undergoing decommissioning is an individual 
who has the requisite knowledge and experience to evaluate plant 
conditions and make these judgments.

    In the final rule (61 FR 39298; July 29, 1996), the Commission 
added the following definition to Sec.  50.2: ``Certified fuel handler 
means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator 
who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program 
approved by the Commission.'' However, the Decommissioning Rule did not 
propose or make parallel changes to Sec.  73.55(a), and did not discuss 
the role of a non-licensed certified fuel handler.
    In the final rule, ``Power Reactor Security Requirements'' (74 FR 
13926; March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated and split the security 
suspension requirements from Sec.  73.55(a) to Sec. Sec.  
73.55(p)(1)(i) and (p)(1)(ii). The CFHs were not discussed in the 
rulemaking, so the requirements of Sec.  73.55(p) to use a licensed 
senior operator remains, even for a site that otherwise no longer has 
an operating reactor.
    However, pursuant to Sec.  73.5, the Commission may, upon 
application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant 
exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73 as it determines are 
authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.

A. Authorized by Law

    The exemption from Sec. Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii) 
would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve 
the suspension of security measures, under certain emergency conditions 
or severe weather. The licensee intends to align these regulations with 
Sec.  50.54(y) by using the authority of a non-licensed CFH in place of 
a licensed senior operator to approve the suspension of security 
measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather.
    Per Sec.  73.5, the Commission is allowed to grant exemptions from 
the regulations in 10 CFR part 73 as authorized by law. 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 other laws. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

B. Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and 
Security

    Removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve 
suspension of security measures during emergencies or severe weather 
will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security 
for the reasons described below.
    First, Sec.  73.55(p)(2) continues to require that ``[s]uspended 
security measures must be reinstated as soon as conditions permit.''
    Second, the suspension for non-weather emergency conditions under 
Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ``when this 
action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety 
and no action consistent with license conditions and technical 
specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is 
immediately apparent.'' Thus, the underlying purpose of Sec.  
73.55(p)(1)(i) will still be to protect public health and safety even 
after the exemption is granted.
    Third, the suspension for severe weather under Sec.  
73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ``the suspension of 
affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the 
personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other 
immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and 
technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent 
protection.'' The requirement to receive input from the security 
supervisor or manager will remain. The underlying purpose of Sec.  
73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be to protect the health and safety of 
the security force.
    Additionally, by letter dated June 26, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML14155A181), the NRC approved DEF's CFH training and retraining 
program for the CR3 facility. The NRC staff found that, among other 
things, the program addresses the safe conduct of decommissioning 
activities, safe handling and storage of spent fuel, and the 
appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because the CFH is 
sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-approved program, the 
NRC staff considers a CFH to have sufficient knowledge of operational 
and safety concerns such that there will be no adverse effects or undue 
risk to the public health and safety as a result of the suspension of 
security measures during the emergencies or severe weather.
    In addition, the exemption does not reduce the overall 
effectiveness of the physical security plan and has no adverse impacts 
to DEF's ability to physically secure the site or protect special 
nuclear material at CR3, and thus would not have an effect on the 
common defense and security. The NRC

[[Page 75597]]

staff has concluded that the exemption would not reduce security 
measures currently in place to protect against radiological sabotage. 
Therefore, removing the requirement for a licensed senior operator to 
approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during 
severe weather so that suspension of security measures can be 
authorized by CFH does not adversely affect public health and safety 
issues or the assurance of the common defense and security.

C. Is Otherwise in the Public Interest

    The DEF's proposed exemption would remove the requirement that a 
licensed senior operator approve suspension of security measures in an 
emergency when ``immediately needed to protect the public health and 
safety'' or during severe weather when ``immediately needed to protect 
the personal health and safety of security force personnel.'' Without 
the exemption, the licensee cannot implement changes to its security 
plan to authorize a CFH to approve temporary suspension of security 
regulations during an emergency or severe weather comparable to the 
authority given to the CFH by the Commission when it promulgated Sec.  
50.54(y). Instead, the regulations would continue to require that a 
licensed senior operator be available to make decisions for a 
permanently shutdown plant, even though CR3 no longer requires a 
licensed senior operator. It is unclear how the licensee would 
implement emergency or severe weather suspensions of security measures 
without a licensed senior operator. This exemption is in the public 
interest for two reasons. First, without the exemption, there is 
uncertainty on how the licensee will invoke temporary suspension of 
security matters that may be needed to protect public health and safety 
or the safety of the security forces during emergencies and severe 
weather. Additionally, the consistent and efficient regulation of 
nuclear power plants serves the public interest by assuring consistency 
between the security regulations in 10 CFR part 73 and the operating 
reactor regulations in 10 CFR part 50, and the requirements concerning 
licensed operators in 10 CFR part 55. Accordingly, the NRC staff 
concludes that the exemption requirements to obtain approval from a 
licensed senior operator, who is not otherwise required for a 
permanently shutdown and defueled reactor, before taking steps to 
protect the public health and safety, or to protect the safety of the 
security force, is in the public interest.

D. Environmental Considerations

    The NRC approval of the exemption to security requirements belongs 
to a category of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, 
has declared to be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that 
the category of actions does not individually or cumulatively have a 
significant effect on the human environment. Specifically, the 
exemption is categorically excluded from further analysis under Sec.  
51.22(c)(25).
    Under Sec.  51.22(c)(25), granting of an exemption from the 
requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical 
exclusion provided that (i) there is no significant hazards 
consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or 
significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual 
or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is 
no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought 
involve: safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting 
inventory scheduling requirements; or involve other requirements of an 
administrative, managerial, or organizational nature.
    The Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has determined that approval of the 
exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because 
removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve the 
security suspension at a defueled shutdown power plant does not (1) 
involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an 
accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new 
or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; 
or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The 
exempted security regulation is unrelated to any operational 
restriction. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; and no significant increase in individual or 
cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. The exempted 
regulation is not associated with construction, so there is no 
significant construction impact. The exempted regulation does not 
concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an 
accident), nor mitigation. Thus, there is no significant increase in 
the potential for, or consequences of, a radiological accident. The 
requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve departure from 
security actions may be viewed as involving either safeguards, 
materials control, or managerial matters.
    Therefore, pursuant to Sec. Sec.  51.22(b) and 51.22(c)(25), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request.

IV. Conclusions

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to Sec.  
73.5, the exemption is authorized by law and will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants DEF exemption 
from the requirements of Sec. Sec.  73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), 
which otherwise would require suspension of security measures during 
emergencies and severe weather, respectively, to be approved by a 
licensed senior operator. The exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of December 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele G. Evans,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2014-29656 Filed 12-17-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P