Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel Pools, 11159-11162 [2017-03284]

Download as PDF 11159 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 33 Tuesday, February 21, 2017 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Office of Procurement and Property Management 7 CFR Part 3201 RIN 0599–AA24 Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement Office of Procurement and Property Management, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period. AGENCY: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending by 30 days the deadline to submit comments on the proposed rule to designate 12 product categories for federal procurement, which was published on January 13, 2017 (82 FR 4206) under the authority of section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (the 2002 Farm Bill), as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the 2008 Farm Bill), and further amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), 7 U.S.C. 8102. The 60-day comment period in the proposed rule is scheduled to end on March 14, 2017. The extended comment period will now close on April 13, 2017. In this proposed rule, USDA is proposing to amend the Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement (Guidelines) to add 12 sections that will designate the product categories within which biobased products would be afforded procurement preference by Federal agencies and their contractors. DATES: Comments on the proposed rule published January 13, 2017 (82 FR 4206) must be received on or before April 13, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods. All submissions received must include the agency name and Regulatory Information Number (RIN). The RIN for this rulemaking is 0599–AA24. Also, please identify submittals as pertaining rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Feb 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 to the ‘‘Proposed Designation of Product Categories.’’ • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Email: biopreferred_support@ amecfw.com. Include RIN number 0599–AA24 and ‘‘Proposed Designation of Product Categories’’ on the subject line. Please include your name and address in your message. • Mail/commercial/hand delivery: Mail or deliver your comments to: Marie Wheat, USDA, Office of Procurement and Property Management, Room 361, Reporters Building, 300 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20024. • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication for regulatory information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at (202) 720– 2600 (voice) and (202) 690–0942 (TTY). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marie Wheat, USDA, Office of Procurement and Property Management, Room 361, Reporters Building, 300 7th St. SW., Washington, DC 20024; email: biopreferred_support@amecfw.com; phone (202) 239–4502. Information regarding the Federal preferred procurement program (one initiative of the BioPreferred Program) is available on the Internet at http:// www.biopreferred.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comment Period USDA is extending the public comment period for an additional 30 days. The public comment period will end on April 13, 2017, instead on March 14, 2017. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 3201 Biobased products, Procurement. Dated: February 3, 2017. Malcom Shorter, Acting Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture. [FR Doc. 2017–03288 Filed 2–17–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–93–P PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 50 [Docket No. PRM–50–113; NRC–2015–0230] Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel Pools Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; denial. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a petition for rulemaking (PRM), dated September 10, 2015, submitted by Dr. Alexander DeVolpi (the petitioner). The petition was docketed by the NRC on September 21, 2015, and was assigned Docket No. PRM–50–113. The petitioner requested that the NRC amend its regulations to require ‘‘installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.’’ The NRC is denying the petition because the Commission finds that the issues raised by the petitioner have been addressed by actions taken by the NRC in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident. SUMMARY: The docket for the petition for rulemaking, PRM–50–113, is closed on February 21, 2017. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2015–0230, when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this petition. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this petition by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2015–0230. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; 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 obtain publiclyavailable 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 DATES: E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1 11160 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules 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. For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in Section IV, ‘‘Availability of Documents,’’ of this document. • 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: Jennifer C. Tobin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301– 415–2328; email: Jennifer.Tobin@ nrc.gov; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. The Petition II. Reasons for Denial III. Conclusion IV. Availability of Documents rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS I. The Petition Section 2.802 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ‘‘Petition for rulemaking,’’ provides an opportunity for any interested person to petition the Commission to issue, amend, or rescind any regulation. The NRC received a petition dated September 10, 2015, from Dr. Alexander DeVolpi and assigned it Docket No. PRM–50–113. The NRC published a notice of docketing in the Federal Register (FR) on December 1, 2015 (80 FR 75009). The NRC did not request public comment on PRM–50–113 because it had sufficient information to review the issues raised by the petitioner. The petitioner requested that the NRC amend 10 CFR part 50, ‘‘Domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities,’’ to require ‘‘installation of exvessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.’’ II. Reasons for Denial The NRC is denying the petition because the issues raised by the petitioner have been addressed through actions taken in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident. The NRC determined that there is no sufficient technical or regulatory basis to amend the NRC’s regulations as requested by the petitioner. The petitioner proposed that Recommendation 5.1A in the 2014 VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Feb 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled ‘‘Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants’’ should be mandated (as an NRC regulation) to require installation of exvessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent fuel pools. The petitioner stated that NAS gave a high priority to this recommendation and the petitioner indicated that he has developed instrumentation that is capable of uninterruptible monitoring of critical thermodynamic parameters. The petitioner included diagrams and explanations of his patented instrumentation and supportive technical papers and requested that the NRC require use of such instrumentation to prevent or mitigate accidents. In particular, the petitioner contends that the accident at Three Mile Island, Unit 2 might have been prevented if real-time uninterruptible ex-vessel reactor water-level monitoring had been in place. Further, the petitioner states that one or two of the Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns might have been delayed or averted if uninterruptible ex-vessel real-time reactor water-level monitoring had been in place and operating on self-contained low-current battery supplies. The NRC staff responded to the NAS report and its recommendations in SECY–15–0059, ‘‘Seventh 6-Month Status Update on Response to Lessons Learned from Japan’s March 11, 2011, ¯ Great Tohoku Earthquake and Subsequent Tsunami,’’ dated April 9, 2015. The NRC staff’s discussion of Recommendation 5.1A in enclosure 6 of SECY–15–0059 addresses the installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent fuel pools. The NRC staff found that this recommendation was addressed by existing requirements and other ongoing activities. The issues that the petitioner’s proposal would address are being or have already been addressed by NRC actions taken in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident, as summarized in this document. Instrumentation used to support strategies in the mitigation of beyonddesign-basis events is addressed in Order EA–12–049, ‘‘Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events.’’ This Order ensures that plant operators have the information concerning key parameters needed to support implementation of mitigation strategies to maintain or restore core PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 cooling, spent fuel pool cooling, and containment prior to the onset of core or spent fuel damage. Either installed instrumentation remains powered during an extended loss of alternating current power via safety-related batteries and other power supplies that provide coping capabilities for an indefinite period of time, or portable instruments are used that are independent from installed plant power systems. If mitigation strategies are not successful and severe accident conditions develop, the enhancements made in response to Order EA–12–049 will provide for monitoring of key parameters on the condition of the reactor, containment, and spent fuel pool throughout the accident’s progression until instrumentation becomes unavailable or unreliable. These enhancements should also enable licensees to more easily transition to the use of computational aids when direct diagnosis of key plant conditions cannot be determined reliably from instrumentation. Further, spent fuel pool instrumentation is also required by Order EA–12–051, ‘‘Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation,’’ to remotely report three distinct water levels: Normal level; low level but still enough to shield workers above the pools from radiation; and a level near the top of the spent fuel rods, at which more water should be added without delay. Following the issuance of the Orders, the NRC staff presented its evaluation of enhanced instrumentation for beyonddesign-basis conditions in enclosure 5 to SECY–15–0137, ‘‘Proposed Plans for Resolving Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations.’’ The staff recommended that the Commission not pursue additional regulatory requirements for enhanced reactor and containment instrumentation. The NRC staff concluded that additional studies are unlikely to support additional regulatory requirements related to enhanced reactor and containment instrumentation for beyond-design-basis conditions, when evaluated against the criteria for operating reactors in § 50.109, ‘‘Backfitting,’’ or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52, ‘‘Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.’’ In the staff requirements memorandum associated with SECY– 15–0137, the Commission directed the NRC staff to provide the final results of its evaluation following interactions with external stakeholders and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). Accordingly, the NRC staff provided updated information regarding enhanced reactor and E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules containment instrumentation for beyond-design-basis conditions in enclosure 2 to SECY–16–0041, ‘‘Closure of Fukushima Tier 3 Recommendations Related to Containment Vents, Hydrogen Control, and Instrumentation.’’ The updated information addressed the observations provided by the ACRS in letters dated November 16, 2015, and March 15, 2016, and insights provided by external stakeholders. For example, information was added to the final assessment that describes the technical support guidance (TSG) for the severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs) and related assessments of plant parameters as well as the status of safety functions that would be performed by plant personnel during a severe accident. The SAMGs are entered when plant conditions indicate that cooling of the spent fuel pool or core cannot be maintained and the fuel in the spent fuel pool or reactor is on a trajectory towards damage. The SAMGs then invoke the TSGs that are based on an engineering evaluation of the scenario. This would include an assessment of the available parameter indications, their functional consistency, and their trends as the plant transitions to severe accident conditions, which may be more severe than the conditions assumed in instrument design and environmental qualifications. The severe accident response strategies are then based on fundamental principles that do not rely on precise indications of parameter values, but rather on an integrated technical assessment of the evolving event scenario and the conditions that preceded the onset of fuel damage in the spent fuel pool or core. The additional NRC staff evaluations further support the conclusion that regulatory actions to require enhancements to reactor and containment instrumentation to support the response to severe accidents would not provide a substantial safety enhancement, and therefore, additional regulatory actions would not be warranted when evaluated against the § 50.109 criteria. The ACRS agreed in its March 15, 2016, letter that no further regulatory action is warranted in support of the closure of the recommendation on enhanced instrumentation. In addition to the discussions in SECY–15–0137 and SECY–16–0041, the NRC staff notes that, depending on an accident’s progression, licensees will use available indicators and technical assessments of the evolving scenario to implement adequate measures to protect public health and safety in accordance with the NRC’s emergency preparedness requirements. If an accident progresses to fuel damage, specific additional actions may be required, including initiating predetermined protective actions for the public. Moreover, the NRC is proposing to amend its regulations to establish regulatory requirements for nuclear power reactor applicants and licensees to mitigate beyond-design-basis events to reflect requirements imposed on current licensees by Order and the lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. This proposed rule, ‘‘Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events,’’ which was published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2015 (80 FR 70610; corrected November 30, 2015 at 80 FR 74717), would, among other things, add a new regulation (proposed 10 CFR 50.155) to make Orders EA–12–049 and EA–12–051 generically applicable, establish regulatory requirements for an integrated response capability, and include requirements for enhanced onsite emergency response capabilities. Therefore, in accordance with the NRC staff’s evaluation in SECY–15– 0137, the Commission’s direction on SECY–15–0137, updated information provided in SECY–16–0041, and existing emergency preparedness requirements, and the proposed Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events rulemaking, the NRC has determined that additional instrumentation requirements to address severe accident conditions proposed in PRM–50–113 are not necessary. III. Conclusion For the reasons cited in Section II of this document, the NRC has concluded that the issues raised by the petitioner have been addressed by NRC actions taken in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident and there is no sufficient technical or regulatory basis to amend the NRC’s regulations as requested by the petitioner. Therefore, the NRC is denying PRM–50–113. IV. Availability of Documents The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. ADAMS accession No./Web link/Federal Register citation Document rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ACRS Letter, ‘‘Plans for Resolving the NRC Near-Term Task Force Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations,’’ November 16, 2015. ACRS Letter, ‘‘Closure of Fukushima Tier 3 Recommendations Related to Vents, Hydrogen Control, and Enhanced Instrumentation,’’ March 15, 2016. Federal Register notice, ‘‘Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent Fuel Pools,’’ December 1, 2015. Federal Register notice, ‘‘Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events,’’ November 13, 2015 ............... Letter from Nuclear Energy Institute to NRC, ‘‘Submittal of Industry Initiative to Maintain Severe Accident Management Guidelines,’’ October 26, 2015. National Academy of Sciences, ‘‘Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants,’’ 2014. NRC Generic Letter 1982–033, ‘‘Supplement 1 to NUREG–0737—Requirements for Emergency Response Capability,’’ December 17, 1982. NUREG–0933, ‘‘Resolution of Generic Safety Issues,’’ December 2011 ............................................... Order EA–12–049, ‘‘Issuance of Order to Modify Licenses With Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events,’’ March 12, 2012. Order EA–12–051, ‘‘Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation,’’ March 12, 2012. PRM–50–113, ‘‘Uninterruptible Monitoring of Critical Thermodynamic Parameters (Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and Spent-Fuel Pools),’’ September 10, 2015. SECY–15–0059, ‘‘Seventh 6-Month Status Update on Response to Lessons Learned from Japan’s March 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and Subsequent Tsunami,’’ April 9, 2015. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Feb 17, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 11161 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ML15320A074. ML16075A330. 80 FR 75009. 80 FR 70610 (corrected by 80 FR 74717; November 30, 2015). ML15335A442. http://www.nap.edu/read/18294/chapter/1. ML031080548. http://nureg.nrc.gov/sr0933. ML12054A735. ML12056A044. ML15264A857. ML15069A444, ML15069A568 (enc. 3), ML15069A600 (enc. 6). E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1 11162 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 21, 2017 / Proposed Rules ADAMS accession No./Web link/Federal Register citation Document SECY–15–0065, ‘‘Proposed Rulemaking: Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events (RIN 3150– AJ49),’’ April 30, 2015. SECY–15–0137, ‘‘Proposed Plans for Resolving Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations,’’ October 29, 2015. SECY–16–0041, ‘‘Closure of Fukushima Tier 3 Recommendations Related to Containment Vents, Hydrogen Control, and Enhanced Instrumentation,’’ March 31, 2016. SRM–SECY–15–0065, ‘‘Proposed Rulemaking: Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events (RIN 3150–AJ49),’’ August 27, 2015. SRM–SECY–15–0137, ‘‘Proposed Plans for Resolving Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations,’’ February 8, 2016. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of February 2017. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette L. Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 2017–03284 Filed 2–17–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2016–9571; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–139–AD] Examining the AD Docket RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: We propose to adopt a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. This proposed AD was prompted by a full scale fatigue test campaign on these airplanes in the context of the extended service goal. This proposed AD would require inspections of the affected frame locations, and repair if necessary. We are proposing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: We must receive comments on this proposed AD by April 7, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in 14 CFR 11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Fax: 202–493–2251. • Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M– 30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. • Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9 a.m. and 5 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:44 Feb 17, 2017 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this NPRM, contact Airbus, Airworthiness Office—EIAS, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 44 51; email account.airworth-eas@airbus.com; Internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this referenced service information at the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 425–227–1221. Jkt 241001 You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 9571; or in person at the Docket Management Facility between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this proposed AD, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other information. The street address for the Docket Operations office (telephone 800–647–5527) is in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after receipt. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sanjay Ralhan, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, Transport Airplane Directorate, FAA, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, WA 98057–3356; telephone 425–227–1405; fax 425–227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited We invite you to send any written relevant data, views, or arguments about this proposed AD. Send your comments to an address listed under the ADDRESSES section. Include ‘‘Docket No. FAA–2016–9571; Directorate Identifier 2016–NM–139–AD’’ at the beginning of your comments. We specifically invite comments on the overall regulatory, economic, environmental, and energy PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ML15049A201. ML15254A006, ML15254A034 (enc. 5). ML16049A079. ML15239A767. ML16039A175. aspects of this proposed AD. We will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend this proposed AD based on those comments. We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. We will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal contact we receive about this proposed AD. Discussion The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA Airworthiness Directive 2016–0146, dated July 20, 2016 (referred to after this as the Mandatory Continuing Airworthiness Information, or ‘‘the MCAI’’), to correct an unsafe condition for all Airbus Model A321 series airplanes. The MCAI states: Following the results of a new full scale fatigue test campaign on the A321 airframe in the context of the A321 extended service goal, it was identified that cracks could develop on the fastener holes of frame (FR) 35.1, FR 35.2, and FR 35.3 between stringers (STR) 29 and STR 32 and at the FR 35.2 to Slidebox junction (Triform fitting), both left hand (LH) and right hand (RH) sides. This condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the fuselage. Prompted by these findings, Airbus developed an inspection programme, published in Service Bulletin (SB) A320–53–1308, SB A320–53–1309, SB A320–53–1310, SB A320–53–1311, SB A320– 53–1312 and SB A320–53–1313, each containing instructions for a different location. For the reasons described above, this [EASA] AD requires repetitive special detailed (rototest) inspections (SDI) of the affected frame locations and, depending on findings, accomplishment of a repair. This [EASA] AD is considered an interim action, pending the development of a permanent solution. You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket on the Internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2016– 9571. E:\FR\FM\21FEP1.SGM 21FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 33 (Tuesday, February 21, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11159-11162]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-03284]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 50

[Docket No. PRM-50-113; NRC-2015-0230]


Uninterruptible Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and 
Spent Fuel Pools

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; denial.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is denying a 
petition for rulemaking (PRM), dated September 10, 2015, submitted by 
Dr. Alexander DeVolpi (the petitioner). The petition was docketed by 
the NRC on September 21, 2015, and was assigned Docket No. PRM-50-113. 
The petitioner requested that the NRC amend its regulations to require 
``installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible 
monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.'' The 
NRC is denying the petition because the Commission finds that the 
issues raised by the petitioner have been addressed by actions taken by 
the NRC in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident.

DATES: The docket for the petition for rulemaking, PRM-50-113, is 
closed on February 21, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0230, when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this petition. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this petition by 
any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0230. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; 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 obtain 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

[[Page 11160]]

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. For the convenience of the reader, 
instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are 
provided in Section IV, ``Availability of Documents,'' of this 
document.
     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: Jennifer C. Tobin, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-2328; email: 
Jennifer.Tobin@nrc.gov; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. The Petition
II. Reasons for Denial
III. Conclusion
IV. Availability of Documents

I. The Petition

    Section 2.802 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR), ``Petition for rulemaking,'' provides an opportunity for any 
interested person to petition the Commission to issue, amend, or 
rescind any regulation. The NRC received a petition dated September 10, 
2015, from Dr. Alexander DeVolpi and assigned it Docket No. PRM-50-113. 
The NRC published a notice of docketing in the Federal Register (FR) on 
December 1, 2015 (80 FR 75009). The NRC did not request public comment 
on PRM-50-113 because it had sufficient information to review the 
issues raised by the petitioner.
    The petitioner requested that the NRC amend 10 CFR part 50, 
``Domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities,'' to 
require ``installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible 
monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent-fuel pools.''

II. Reasons for Denial

    The NRC is denying the petition because the issues raised by the 
petitioner have been addressed through actions taken in response to the 
Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident. The NRC determined that there is 
no sufficient technical or regulatory basis to amend the NRC's 
regulations as requested by the petitioner.
    The petitioner proposed that Recommendation 5.1A in the 2014 
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report entitled ``Lessons Learned 
from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. 
Nuclear Plants'' should be mandated (as an NRC regulation) to require 
installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible 
monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent fuel pools. The 
petitioner stated that NAS gave a high priority to this recommendation 
and the petitioner indicated that he has developed instrumentation that 
is capable of uninterruptible monitoring of critical thermodynamic 
parameters. The petitioner included diagrams and explanations of his 
patented instrumentation and supportive technical papers and requested 
that the NRC require use of such instrumentation to prevent or mitigate 
accidents. In particular, the petitioner contends that the accident at 
Three Mile Island, Unit 2 might have been prevented if real-time 
uninterruptible ex-vessel reactor water-level monitoring had been in 
place. Further, the petitioner states that one or two of the Fukushima 
Dai-ichi meltdowns might have been delayed or averted if 
uninterruptible ex-vessel real-time reactor water-level monitoring had 
been in place and operating on self-contained low-current battery 
supplies.
    The NRC staff responded to the NAS report and its recommendations 
in SECY-15-0059, ``Seventh 6-Month Status Update on Response to Lessons 
Learned from Japan's March 11, 2011, Great T[omacr]hoku Earthquake and 
Subsequent Tsunami,'' dated April 9, 2015. The NRC staff's discussion 
of Recommendation 5.1A in enclosure 6 of SECY-15-0059 addresses the 
installation of ex-vessel instrumentation for uninterruptible 
monitoring of coolant and fuel in reactors and spent fuel pools. The 
NRC staff found that this recommendation was addressed by existing 
requirements and other ongoing activities. The issues that the 
petitioner's proposal would address are being or have already been 
addressed by NRC actions taken in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi 
nuclear accident, as summarized in this document.
    Instrumentation used to support strategies in the mitigation of 
beyond-design-basis events is addressed in Order EA-12-049, ``Issuance 
of Order to Modify Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation 
Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events.'' This Order 
ensures that plant operators have the information concerning key 
parameters needed to support implementation of mitigation strategies to 
maintain or restore core cooling, spent fuel pool cooling, and 
containment prior to the onset of core or spent fuel damage. Either 
installed instrumentation remains powered during an extended loss of 
alternating current power via safety-related batteries and other power 
supplies that provide coping capabilities for an indefinite period of 
time, or portable instruments are used that are independent from 
installed plant power systems. If mitigation strategies are not 
successful and severe accident conditions develop, the enhancements 
made in response to Order EA-12-049 will provide for monitoring of key 
parameters on the condition of the reactor, containment, and spent fuel 
pool throughout the accident's progression until instrumentation 
becomes unavailable or unreliable. These enhancements should also 
enable licensees to more easily transition to the use of computational 
aids when direct diagnosis of key plant conditions cannot be determined 
reliably from instrumentation. Further, spent fuel pool instrumentation 
is also required by Order EA-12-051, ``Order Modifying Licenses with 
Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation,'' to remotely 
report three distinct water levels: Normal level; low level but still 
enough to shield workers above the pools from radiation; and a level 
near the top of the spent fuel rods, at which more water should be 
added without delay.
    Following the issuance of the Orders, the NRC staff presented its 
evaluation of enhanced instrumentation for beyond-design-basis 
conditions in enclosure 5 to SECY-15-0137, ``Proposed Plans for 
Resolving Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations.'' The staff 
recommended that the Commission not pursue additional regulatory 
requirements for enhanced reactor and containment instrumentation. The 
NRC staff concluded that additional studies are unlikely to support 
additional regulatory requirements related to enhanced reactor and 
containment instrumentation for beyond-design-basis conditions, when 
evaluated against the criteria for operating reactors in Sec.  50.109, 
``Backfitting,'' or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52, 
``Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.''
    In the staff requirements memorandum associated with SECY-15-0137, 
the Commission directed the NRC staff to provide the final results of 
its evaluation following interactions with external stakeholders and 
the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS). Accordingly, the 
NRC staff provided updated information regarding enhanced reactor and

[[Page 11161]]

containment instrumentation for beyond-design-basis conditions in 
enclosure 2 to SECY-16-0041, ``Closure of Fukushima Tier 3 
Recommendations Related to Containment Vents, Hydrogen Control, and 
Instrumentation.'' The updated information addressed the observations 
provided by the ACRS in letters dated November 16, 2015, and March 15, 
2016, and insights provided by external stakeholders. For example, 
information was added to the final assessment that describes the 
technical support guidance (TSG) for the severe accident management 
guidelines (SAMGs) and related assessments of plant parameters as well 
as the status of safety functions that would be performed by plant 
personnel during a severe accident. The SAMGs are entered when plant 
conditions indicate that cooling of the spent fuel pool or core cannot 
be maintained and the fuel in the spent fuel pool or reactor is on a 
trajectory towards damage. The SAMGs then invoke the TSGs that are 
based on an engineering evaluation of the scenario. This would include 
an assessment of the available parameter indications, their functional 
consistency, and their trends as the plant transitions to severe 
accident conditions, which may be more severe than the conditions 
assumed in instrument design and environmental qualifications. The 
severe accident response strategies are then based on fundamental 
principles that do not rely on precise indications of parameter values, 
but rather on an integrated technical assessment of the evolving event 
scenario and the conditions that preceded the onset of fuel damage in 
the spent fuel pool or core.
    The additional NRC staff evaluations further support the conclusion 
that regulatory actions to require enhancements to reactor and 
containment instrumentation to support the response to severe accidents 
would not provide a substantial safety enhancement, and therefore, 
additional regulatory actions would not be warranted when evaluated 
against the Sec.  50.109 criteria. The ACRS agreed in its March 15, 
2016, letter that no further regulatory action is warranted in support 
of the closure of the recommendation on enhanced instrumentation.
    In addition to the discussions in SECY-15-0137 and SECY-16-0041, 
the NRC staff notes that, depending on an accident's progression, 
licensees will use available indicators and technical assessments of 
the evolving scenario to implement adequate measures to protect public 
health and safety in accordance with the NRC's emergency preparedness 
requirements. If an accident progresses to fuel damage, specific 
additional actions may be required, including initiating predetermined 
protective actions for the public.
    Moreover, the NRC is proposing to amend its regulations to 
establish regulatory requirements for nuclear power reactor applicants 
and licensees to mitigate beyond-design-basis events to reflect 
requirements imposed on current licensees by Order and the lessons 
learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. This proposed rule, 
``Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events,'' which was published in 
the Federal Register on November 13, 2015 (80 FR 70610; corrected 
November 30, 2015 at 80 FR 74717), would, among other things, add a new 
regulation (proposed 10 CFR 50.155) to make Orders EA-12-049 and EA-12-
051 generically applicable, establish regulatory requirements for an 
integrated response capability, and include requirements for enhanced 
onsite emergency response capabilities.
    Therefore, in accordance with the NRC staff's evaluation in SECY-
15-0137, the Commission's direction on SECY-15-0137, updated 
information provided in SECY-16-0041, and existing emergency 
preparedness requirements, and the proposed Mitigation of Beyond-
Design-Basis Events rulemaking, the NRC has determined that additional 
instrumentation requirements to address severe accident conditions 
proposed in PRM-50-113 are not necessary.

III. Conclusion

    For the reasons cited in Section II of this document, the NRC has 
concluded that the issues raised by the petitioner have been addressed 
by NRC actions taken in response to the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear 
accident and there is no sufficient technical or regulatory basis to 
amend the NRC's regulations as requested by the petitioner. Therefore, 
the NRC is denying PRM-50-113.

IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to 
interested persons through one or more of the methods listed in the 
ADDRESSES section of this document.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Document                          ADAMS accession No./Web link/ Federal Register citation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ACRS Letter, ``Plans for Resolving the NRC Near-    ML15320A074.
 Term Task Force Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3
 Recommendations,'' November 16, 2015.
ACRS Letter, ``Closure of Fukushima Tier 3          ML16075A330.
 Recommendations Related to Vents, Hydrogen
 Control, and Enhanced Instrumentation,'' March
 15, 2016.
Federal Register notice, ``Uninterruptible          80 FR 75009.
 Monitoring of Coolant and Fuel in Reactors and
 Spent Fuel Pools,'' December 1, 2015.
Federal Register notice, ``Mitigation of Beyond-    80 FR 70610 (corrected by 80 FR 74717; November 30, 2015).
 Design-Basis Events,'' November 13, 2015.
Letter from Nuclear Energy Institute to NRC,        ML15335A442.
 ``Submittal of Industry Initiative to Maintain
 Severe Accident Management Guidelines,'' October
 26, 2015.
National Academy of Sciences, ``Lessons Learned     http://www.nap.edu/read/18294/chapter/1.
 from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving
 Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants,'' 2014.
NRC Generic Letter 1982-033, ``Supplement 1 to      ML031080548.
 NUREG-0737--Requirements for Emergency Response
 Capability,'' December 17, 1982.
NUREG-0933, ``Resolution of Generic Safety          http://nureg.nrc.gov/sr0933.
 Issues,'' December 2011.
Order EA-12-049, ``Issuance of Order to Modify      ML12054A735.
 Licenses With Regard to Requirements for
 Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis
 External Events,'' March 12, 2012.
Order EA-12-051, ``Order Modifying Licenses with    ML12056A044.
 Regard to Reliable Spent Fuel Pool
 Instrumentation,'' March 12, 2012.
PRM-50-113, ``Uninterruptible Monitoring of         ML15264A857.
 Critical Thermodynamic Parameters (Coolant and
 Fuel in Reactors and Spent-Fuel Pools),''
 September 10, 2015.
SECY-15-0059, ``Seventh 6-Month Status Update on    ML15069A444, ML15069A568 (enc. 3), ML15069A600 (enc. 6).
 Response to Lessons Learned from Japan's March
 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and Subsequent
 Tsunami,'' April 9, 2015.

[[Page 11162]]

 
SECY-15-0065, ``Proposed Rulemaking: Mitigation of  ML15049A201.
 Beyond-Design-Basis Events (RIN 3150-AJ49),''
 April 30, 2015.
SECY-15-0137, ``Proposed Plans for Resolving Open   ML15254A006, ML15254A034 (enc. 5).
 Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations,'' October
 29, 2015.
SECY-16-0041, ``Closure of Fukushima Tier 3         ML16049A079.
 Recommendations Related to Containment Vents,
 Hydrogen Control, and Enhanced Instrumentation,''
 March 31, 2016.
SRM-SECY-15-0065, ``Proposed Rulemaking:            ML15239A767.
 Mitigation of Beyond-Design-Basis Events (RIN
 3150-AJ49),'' August 27, 2015.
SRM-SECY-15-0137, ``Proposed Plans for Resolving    ML16039A175.
 Open Fukushima Tier 2 and 3 Recommendations,''
 February 8, 2016.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of February 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2017-03284 Filed 2-17-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P