Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1; Requests for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning Requirements, 60770-60773 [2017-27590]

Download as PDF 60770 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 245 / Friday, December 22, 2017 / Notices concerning the performance of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) drillship facility JOIDES Resolution during FY 2017. AGENDA: Wednesday, February 28 Thursday, March 1 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. JRSO discussion of major challenges in operational context, and how they are responding (Open) 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Effectiveness of Programmatic Planning Structure (Open) 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch (Open) 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. JRSO discussion of major challenges in providing services and innovation to IODP science community, and how they are responding (Open) 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Response of JRSO to Panel questions if any remain (Open) 3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Break 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Site Visit Panel discussion on panel report structure and overnight questions to JRSO (Closed) sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Friday, March 2 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. Site Visit Panel discussion; work on report (Closed) 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Response of JRSO to Panel questions (Open) 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Site Visit Panel discussion; work on report (Closed) 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch (Closed) 1:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Site Visit Panel discussion; work on report (Closed) 3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Break 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Site Visit Panel presents report and recommendations to JRSO (Closed) REASON FOR CLOSING: During closed sessions the review will include information of a proprietary or confidential nature, including technical information; financial data, such as salaries; and personal information concerning individuals associated with the review. These matters are exempt 16:59 Dec 21, 2017 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Dated: December 19, 2017. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer. [Docket No. 50–285; NRC–2017–0223] [FR Doc. 2017–27587 Filed 12–21–17; 8:45 am] 9:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m. NSF and panel introduction (Open) 9:15 a.m.–11:00 a.m. Initial Report of the JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) (Open) 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Co-Chief Review Report (Open) 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch (Open) 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. JRSO response to Co-Chief Review Report (Open) 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Meet with JRSO Staff (Open) 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Site Visit Panel discussion of presentations and overnight questions to JRSO (Closed) VerDate Sep<11>2014 under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), (4) and (6) of the Government in the Sunshine Act. Jkt 244001 BILLING CODE 7555–01–P Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1; Requests for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning Requirements Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92– 463, as amended), the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the following meeting: Advisory Committee for International Science and Engineering Meeting (#25104). NAME AND COMMITTEE CODE: January 26, 2018; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. DATE AND TIME: National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 703–292–8710. PLACE: TYPE OF MEETING: Open. Roxanne Nikolaus, Program Manager, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 703–292– 8710. CONTACT PERSON: To provide advice, recommendations and counsel on major goals and policies pertaining to international programs and activities. PURPOSE OF MEETING: AGENDA: • Update on Office of International Science and Engineering activities • Strategic reviews of Directorate international collaboration • Readout from December 4–6, 2017, Committee of Visitors • Discussion of Environment and Security Joint Activities with the NSF Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education • Preliminary overview of Subcommittee on International Collaboration report • Meeting with NSF leadership Dated: December 19, 2017. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–27588 Filed 12–21–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing exemptions in response to a request from Omaha Public Power District (OPPD or the licensee) regarding certain emergency planning (EP) requirements. The exemptions will eliminate the requirements to maintain an offsite radiological emergency plan and reduce the scope of onsite EP activities at the Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1 (FCS), based on the reduced risks of accidents that could result in an offsite radiological release at a decommissioning nuclear power reactor. SUMMARY: The exemption was issued on December 11, 2017. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2017–0223 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 Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2017–0223. 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 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 (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time it is mentioned in this document. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at DATES: E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 245 / Friday, December 22, 2017 / Notices the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Kim, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–4125; email: James.Kim@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, on December 19, 2017. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. James S. Kim, Project Manager, Special Projects and Process Branch, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment—Exemption NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket No. 50–285 Omaha Public Power District Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Exemption I. Background Omaha Public Power District (OPPD, the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–40 for Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1 (FCS). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in Washington County, Nebraska. By letter dated August 25, 2016 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML16242A127), OPPD submitted a certification to the NRC indicating it would permanently cease power operations at FCS on October 24, 2016. On October 24, 2016, OPPD permanently ceased power operation at FCS. On November 13, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16319A254), OPPD certified that it had permanently defueled the FCS reactor vessel. In accordance with § 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii), and § 50.82(a)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the specific license for the facility no longer authorizes reactor operation, or emplacement or retention of fuel in the respective reactor vessel, after certifications of permanent cessation of operations and of permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel are docketed. The facility is still authorized to possess and store irradiated (i.e., spent) nuclear fuel. The spent fuel is currently being stored onsite in a spent fuel pool (SFP). During normal power reactor operations, the forced flow of water through the reactor coolant system removes heat generated by the reactor. The reactor coolant system, operating at high temperatures and pressures, transfers this heat through the steam generator tubes converting non-radioactive feedwater to VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Dec 21, 2017 Jkt 244001 60771 steam, which then flows to the main turbine generator to produce electricity. Many of the accident scenarios postulated in the updated safety analysis reports (USARs) for operating power reactors involve failures or malfunctions of systems, which could affect the fuel in the reactor core and, in the most severe postulated accidents, would involve the release of large quantities of fission products. With the permanent cessation of reactor operations at FCS and the permanent removal of the fuel from the reactor vessel, such accidents are no longer possible. The reactor, reactor coolant system, and supporting systems are no longer in operation and have no function related to the storage of the spent fuel. Therefore, emergency planning (EP) provisions for postulated accidents involving failure or malfunction of the reactor, reactor coolant system, or supporting systems are no longer applicable. The EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47, ‘‘Emergency plans,’’ and Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50, ‘‘Emergency Planning and Preparedness for Production and Utilization Facilities,’’ continue to apply to nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operation and have removed all fuel from the reactor vessel. There are no explicit regulatory provisions distinguishing EP requirements for a power reactor that is permanently shut down and defueled from those for a reactor that is authorized to operate. To reduce or eliminate EP requirements that are no longer necessary due to the decommissioning status of the facility, OPPD must obtain exemptions from those EP regulations. Only then can OPPD modify the FCS emergency plan to reflect the reduced risk associated with the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of FCS. The licensee stated that the application of all of the standards and requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E is not needed for adequate emergency response capability, based on the substantially lower onsite and offsite radiological consequences of accidents still possible at the permanently shutdown and defueled facility, as compared to an operating facility. If offsite protective actions were needed for a very unlikely accident that could challenge the safe storage of spent fuel at FCS, provisions exist for offsite agencies to take protective actions using a comprehensive emergency management plan (CEMP) under the National Preparedness System to protect the health and safety of the public. A CEMP in this context, also referred to as an emergency operations plan (EOP), is addressed in FEMA’s Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101, ‘‘Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans,’’ which is publicly available at http:// www.fema.gov/pdf/about/divisions/npd/ CPG_101_V2.pdf. Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 is the foundation for State, territorial, Tribal, and local EP in the United States. It promotes a common understanding of the fundamentals of riskinformed planning and decision-making and helps planners at all levels of government in their efforts to develop and maintain viable, all-hazards, all-threats emergency plans. An EOP is flexible enough for use in all emergencies. It describes how people and property will be protected; details who is responsible for carrying out specific actions; identifies the personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies and other resources available; and outlines how all actions will be coordinated. A CEMP is often referred to as a synonym for ‘‘all-hazards planning.’’ II. Request/Action By letter dated December 16, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16356A578), OPPD requested exemptions from certain EP requirements of 10 CFR part 50 for FCS. More specifically, OPPD requested exemptions from certain planning standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b) regarding onsite and offsite radiological emergency plans for nuclear power reactors; from certain requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2) that require establishment of plume exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power reactors; and from certain requirements in 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, Section IV, which establish the elements that make up the content of emergency plans. In letters dated February 10, April 14, and April 20, 2017 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML17041A443, ML17104A191, and ML17111A857, respectively), OPPD provided responses to the NRC staff’s requests for additional information concerning the proposed exemptions. The information provided by OPPD included justifications for each exemption requested. The exemptions requested by OPPD would eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency plans, reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the requirements of 44 CFR part 350, and reduce the scope of onsite EP activities. III. Discussion In accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, ‘‘Specific exemptions,’’ 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) any of the special circumstances listed in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) are present. These special circumstances include, among other things, that the application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. As noted previously, the current EP regulations contained in 10 CFR 50.47(b) and Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 apply to both operating and shutdown power reactors. The NRC has consistently acknowledged that the risk of an offsite radiological release at a power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and removed fuel from the reactor vessel is significantly lower, and the types of possible accidents are significantly fewer, than at an operating power reactor. However, current EP regulations do not recognize that once a power reactor permanently ceases operation, the risk of a large radiological release from credible emergency accident PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 60772 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 245 / Friday, December 22, 2017 / Notices scenarios is significantly reduced. The reduced risk for any significant offsite radiological release is based on two factors. One factor is the elimination of accidents applicable only to an operating power reactor, resulting in fewer credible accident scenarios. The second factor is the reduced short-lived radionuclide inventory and decay heat production due to radioactive decay. Due to the permanently defueled status of the reactor, no new spent fuel will be added to the SFP and the radionuclides in the current spent fuel will continue to decay as the spent fuel ages. The irradiated fuel will produce less heat due to radioactive decay, increasing the available time to mitigate the SFP inventory loss. The NRC’s NUREG/CR–6451, ‘‘A Safety and Regulatory Assessment of Generic BWR [Boiling Water Reactor] and PWR [Pressurized Water Reactor] Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Plants,’’ dated August 31, 1997 (ADAMS Accession No. ML082260098) and the NRC’s NUREG–1738, ‘‘Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,’’ February 2001 (ADAMS Accession No. ML010430066), confirmed that for permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors that are bounded by the assumptions and conditions in the report, the risk of offsite radiological release is significantly less than for an operating power reactor. In the past, EP exemptions similar to those requested by FCS, have been granted to permanently shutdown and defueled power reactor licensees. However, the exemptions did not relieve the licensees of all EP requirements. Rather, the exemptions allowed the licensees to modify their emergency plans commensurate with the credible site-specific risks that were consistent with a permanently shutdown and defueled status. Specifically, the NRC’s approval of these prior exemptions was based on the licensee’s demonstration that: (1) the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents would not exceed the limits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Early Phase Protective Action Guides (PAGs) of one roentgen equivalent man (rem) at the exclusion area boundary; and (2) in the unlikely event of a beyond-design-basis accident resulting in a loss of all modes of heat transfer from the fuel stored in the SFP, there is sufficient time to initiate appropriate mitigating actions, and if needed, for offsite authorities to implement offsite protective actions using a CEMP approach to protect the health and safety of the public. With respect to design-basis accidents at FCS, the licensee provided analysis demonstrating that 10 days following permanent shutdown, the radiological consequences of the only remaining designbasis accident with potential for offsite radiological release (the FHA in the Auxiliary Building, where the SFP is located) will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. Therefore, because FCS has been permanently shutdown for approximately 13 months, there is no longer any design-basis accident that would warrant an offsite radiological emergency plan meeting the requirements of 10 CFR part 50. With respect to beyond design-basis accidents at FCS, the licensee analyzed a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Dec 21, 2017 Jkt 244001 drain down of the spent fuel pool water that would effectively impede any decay heat removal. The analysis demonstrates that at 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after shutdown, there would be at least 10 hours after the assemblies have been uncovered until the limiting fuel assembly (for decay heat and adiabatic heatup analysis) reaches 900 degrees Celsius, the temperature used to assess the potential onset of fission product release. The analysis conservatively assumed the heat up time starts when the spent fuel pool has been completely drained, although it is likely that site personnel will start to respond to an incident when drain down starts. The analysis also does not consider the period of time from the initiating event causing loss of SFP water inventory until cooling is lost. The NRC staff reviewed the licensee’s justification for the requested exemptions against the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) and determined, as described below, that the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) are met, and that the exemptions should be granted. An assessment of the OPPD EP exemptions is described in SECY–17–0080, ‘‘Request by the Omaha Public Power District for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements for the Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1,’’ dated August 10, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17116A430). The Commission approved the NRC staff’s recommendation to grant the exemptions in the staff requirements memorandum to SECY–17–0080, dated October 25, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17298A976). Descriptions of the specific exemptions requested by OPPD and the NRC staff’s basis for granting each exemption are provided in SECY–17–0080 and summarized in Table 1, ‘‘Evaluation of Specific Exemptions to EP Requirements,’’ of the exemption issued December 11, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17263B191). The staff’s detailed review and technical basis for the approval of the specific EP exemptions, requested by OPPD, are provided in the NRC staff’s safety evaluation dated December 11, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17263B198). A. Authorized by Law The licensee has proposed exemptions from certain EP requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, Section IV, that would allow OPPD to revise the FCS Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the station. As stated above, in accordance with 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. The NRC staff has determined that granting of the licensee’s proposed exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the NRC’s regulations. Therefore, the exemptions are authorized by law. B. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety As stated previously, OPPD provided analyses that show the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents will not exceed the limits of the EPA early phase PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. Therefore, formal offsite radiological emergency plans required under 10 CFR part 50 are no longer needed for protection of the public beyond the exclusion area boundary, based on the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents still possible at FCS. Although very unlikely, there is one postulated beyond-design-basis accident that might result in significant offsite radiological releases. However, NUREG–1738 confirms that the risk of beyond-design-basis accidents is greatly reduced at permanently shutdown and defueled reactors. The NRC staff’s analyses in NUREG–1738 concludes that the event sequences important to risk at permanently shutdown and defueled power reactors are limited to large earthquakes and cask drop events. For EP assessments, this is an important difference relative to operating power reactors, where typically a large number of different sequences make significant contributions to risk. As described in NUREG–1738, relaxation of offsite EP requirements in 10 CFR part 50, a few months after shutdown resulted in only a small change in risk. The report further concludes that the change in risk due to relaxation of offsite EP requirements is small because the overall risk is low, and because even under current EP requirements for operating power reactors, EP was judged to have marginal impact on evacuation effectiveness in the severe earthquakes that dominate SFP risk. All other sequences including cask drops (for which offsite radiological emergency plans are expected to be more effective) are too low in likelihood to have a significant impact on risk. Therefore, granting exemptions to eliminate the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 to maintain offsite radiological emergency plans and to reduce the scope of onsite EP activities will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. C. Consistent with the Common Defense and Security The requested exemptions by OPPD only involve EP requirements under 10 CFR part 50 and will allow OPPD to revise the FCS Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the facility. Physical security measures at FCS are not affected by the requested EP exemptions. The discontinuation of formal offsite radiological emergency plans and the reduction in scope of the onsite emergency planning activities at FCS will not adversely affect OPPD’s ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material. Therefore, the proposed exemptions are consistent with common defense and security. D. 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 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Section IV, is to provide reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 245 / Friday, December 22, 2017 / Notices of a radiological emergency, to establish plume exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power plants, and to ensure that licensees maintain effective offsite and onsite radiological emergency plans. The standards and requirements in these regulations were developed by considering the risks associated with operation of a power reactor at its licensed full-power level. These risks include the potential for a reactor accident with offsite radiological dose consequences. As discussed previously in Section III, because FCS is permanently shut down and defueled, there is no longer a risk of a significant offsite radiological release from a design-basis accident exceeding EPA early phase PAG at the exclusion area boundary and the risk of a significant offsite radiological release from a beyond-designbasis accident is greatly reduced when compared to an operating power reactor. The NRC staff has confirmed the reduced risks at FCS by comparing the generic risk assumptions in the analyses in NUREG–1738 to site-specific conditions at FCS and determined that the risk values in NUREG– 1738 bound the risks presented by FCS. As indicated by the results of the research conducted for NUREG–1738 and more recently, for NUREG–2161, ‘‘Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML14255A365), while other consequences can be extensive, accidents from SFPs with significant decay time have little potential to cause offsite early fatalities, even if the formal offsite radiological EP requirements were relaxed. The licensee’s analysis of a beyond-design-basis accident involving a complete loss of SFP water inventory, based on an adiabatic heatup analysis of the limiting fuel assembly for decay heat, shows that within 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after shutdown, the time for the limiting fuel assembly to reach 900 °C is 10 hours after the assemblies have been uncovered assuming a loss of air cooling. The only analyzed beyond-design-basis accident scenario that progresses to a condition where a significant offsite release might occur, involves the very unlikely event where the SFP drains in such a way that all modes of cooling or heat transfer are assumed to be unavailable, which is referred to as an adiabatic heatup of the spent fuel. The licensee’s analysis of this beyond-designbasis accident shows that within 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after shutdown, more than 10 hours would be available between the time the fuel is initially uncovered (at which time adiabatic heatup is conservatively assumed to begin), until the fuel cladding reaches a temperature of 1652 degrees Fahrenheit (900 °C), which is the temperature associated with rapid cladding oxidation and the potential for a significant radiological release. This analysis conservatively does not include the period of time from the initiating event causing a loss of SFP water inventory until all cooling means are lost. The NRC staff has verified OPPD’s analyses and its calculations. The analyses provide reasonable assurance that in granting the requested exemptions to OPPD, there is no VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 Dec 21, 2017 Jkt 244001 design-basis accident that will result in an offsite radiological release exceeding the EPA early phase PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. In the unlikely event of a beyonddesign-basis accident affecting the SFP that results in a complete loss of heat removal via all modes of heat transfer, there will be well over 10 hours available before an offsite release might occur and, therefore, at least 10 hours to initiate appropriate mitigating actions to restore a means of heat removal to the spent fuel. If a radiological release were projected to occur under this unlikely scenario, a minimum of 10 hours is considered sufficient time for offsite authorities to implement protective actions using a CEMP approach to protect the health and safety of the public. Exemptions from the offsite EP requirements in 10 CFR part 50 have previously been approved by the NRC when the site-specific analyses show that at least 10 hours is available following a loss of SFP coolant inventory accident with no air cooling (or other methods of removing decay heat) until cladding of the hottest fuel assembly reaches the zirconium rapid oxidation temperature. The NRC staff concluded in its previously granted exemptions, as it does with the OPPD requested EP exemptions, that if a minimum of 10 hours is available to initiate mitigative actions consistent with plant conditions, or if needed, for offsite authorities to implement protective actions using a CEMP approach, then formal offsite radiological emergency plans, required under 10 CFR part 50, are not necessary at permanently shutdown and defueled facilities. Additionally, FCS committed to maintaining SFP makeup strategies in its letter to the NRC dated December 16, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16356A578). The multiple strategies for providing makeup to the SFP include: using existing plant systems for inventory makeup; an internal strategy that relies on the fire protection system with redundant pumps (one diesel-driven and electric motor-driven); and onsite diesel fire truck that can take suction from the Missouri River. These strategies will continue to be required as license condition 3.G, ‘‘Mitigation Strategy License Condition.’’ Considering the very low probability of beyond-design-basis accidents affecting the SFP, these diverse strategies provide multiple methods to obtain additional makeup or spray to the SFP before the onset of any postulated offsite radiological release. For all the reasons stated above, the NRC staff finds that the licensee’s requested exemptions to meet the underlying purpose of all of the standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b), and requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2) and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, acceptably satisfy the special circumstances in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) in view of the greatly reduced risk of offsite radiological consequences associated with the permanently shutdown and defueled state of the FCS facility. The NRC staff has concluded that the exemptions being granted by this action will maintain an acceptable level of emergency preparedness at FCS and, if needed, that there is reasonable assurance that adequate offsite protective measures can and will be PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 60773 taken by State and local government agencies using a CEMP approach in the unlikely event of a radiological emergency at the FCS facility. Since the underlying purposes of the rules, as exempted, would continue to be achieved, even with the elimination of the requirements under 10 CFR part 50 to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency plans and reduction in the scope of the onsite emergency planning activities at FCS, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) exist. E. Environmental Considerations In accordance with 10 CFR 51.31(a), the Commission has determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment as discussed in the NRC staff’s Finding of No Significant Impact and associated Environmental Assessment published November 27, 2017 (82 FR 56060). IV. Conclusions Accordingly, the Commission has determined, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a), that OPPD’s request for exemptions from certain EP requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Section IV, and as summarized in Table 1 of the exemption dated December 11, 2017, are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants OPPD’s exemptions from certain EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Section IV, as discussed and evaluated in detail in the staff’s safety evaluation dated December 11, 2017. The exemptions are effective as of April 7, 2018. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of December, 2017. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kathryn M. Brock, Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2017–27590 Filed 12–21–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2016–0061] In the Matter of All Operating Reactor Licensees Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Director’s decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a director’s decision in response to a petition dated February 19, 2016, filed by Roy Mathew, Sheila Ray, Swagata Som, Gurcharan Singh Matharu, Tania Martinez Navedo, Thomas Koshy, and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 245 (Friday, December 22, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 60770-60773]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27590]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-285; NRC-2017-0223]


Omaha Public Power District; Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1; 
Requests for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning Requirements

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing 
exemptions in response to a request from Omaha Public Power District 
(OPPD or the licensee) regarding certain emergency planning (EP) 
requirements. The exemptions will eliminate the requirements to 
maintain an offsite radiological emergency plan and reduce the scope of 
onsite EP activities at the Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1 (FCS), 
based on the reduced risks of accidents that could result in an offsite 
radiological release at a decommissioning nuclear power reactor.

DATES: The exemption was issued on December 11, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2017-0223 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 Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2017-0223. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: [email protected]. 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 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 [email protected]. The 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time it is mentioned in this document.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at

[[Page 60771]]

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

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Kim, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555-
0001; telephone: 301-415-4125; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, on December 19, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
James S. Kim,
Project Manager, Special Projects and Process Branch, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment--Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 50-285

Omaha Public Power District

Fort Calhoun Station, Unit No. 1

Exemption

I. Background

    Omaha Public Power District (OPPD, the licensee) is the holder 
of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-40 for Fort Calhoun 
Station, Unit No. 1 (FCS). The license provides, among other things, 
that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders 
of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) now or hereafter in 
effect. The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located 
in Washington County, Nebraska.
    By letter dated August 25, 2016 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML16242A127), OPPD submitted 
a certification to the NRC indicating it would permanently cease 
power operations at FCS on October 24, 2016. On October 24, 2016, 
OPPD permanently ceased power operation at FCS. On November 13, 2016 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML16319A254), OPPD certified that it had 
permanently defueled the FCS reactor vessel.
    In accordance with Sec.  50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii), and Sec.  
50.82(a)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), 
the specific license for the facility no longer authorizes reactor 
operation, or emplacement or retention of fuel in the respective 
reactor vessel, after certifications of permanent cessation of 
operations and of permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel 
are docketed. The facility is still authorized to possess and store 
irradiated (i.e., spent) nuclear fuel. The spent fuel is currently 
being stored onsite in a spent fuel pool (SFP).
    During normal power reactor operations, the forced flow of water 
through the reactor coolant system removes heat generated by the 
reactor. The reactor coolant system, operating at high temperatures 
and pressures, transfers this heat through the steam generator tubes 
converting non-radioactive feedwater to steam, which then flows to 
the main turbine generator to produce electricity. Many of the 
accident scenarios postulated in the updated safety analysis reports 
(USARs) for operating power reactors involve failures or 
malfunctions of systems, which could affect the fuel in the reactor 
core and, in the most severe postulated accidents, would involve the 
release of large quantities of fission products. With the permanent 
cessation of reactor operations at FCS and the permanent removal of 
the fuel from the reactor vessel, such accidents are no longer 
possible. The reactor, reactor coolant system, and supporting 
systems are no longer in operation and have no function related to 
the storage of the spent fuel. Therefore, emergency planning (EP) 
provisions for postulated accidents involving failure or malfunction 
of the reactor, reactor coolant system, or supporting systems are no 
longer applicable.
    The EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47, ``Emergency plans,'' and 
Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50, ``Emergency Planning and Preparedness 
for Production and Utilization Facilities,'' continue to apply to 
nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operation and 
have removed all fuel from the reactor vessel. There are no explicit 
regulatory provisions distinguishing EP requirements for a power 
reactor that is permanently shut down and defueled from those for a 
reactor that is authorized to operate. To reduce or eliminate EP 
requirements that are no longer necessary due to the decommissioning 
status of the facility, OPPD must obtain exemptions from those EP 
regulations. Only then can OPPD modify the FCS emergency plan to 
reflect the reduced risk associated with the permanently shutdown 
and defueled condition of FCS.

II. Request/Action

    By letter dated December 16, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16356A578), OPPD requested exemptions from certain EP requirements 
of 10 CFR part 50 for FCS. More specifically, OPPD requested 
exemptions from certain planning standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b) 
regarding onsite and offsite radiological emergency plans for 
nuclear power reactors; from certain requirements in 10 CFR 
50.47(c)(2) that require establishment of plume exposure and 
ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power 
reactors; and from certain requirements in 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, 
Section IV, which establish the elements that make up the content of 
emergency plans. In letters dated February 10, April 14, and April 
20, 2017 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML17041A443, ML17104A191, and 
ML17111A857, respectively), OPPD provided responses to the NRC 
staff's requests for additional information concerning the proposed 
exemptions.
    The information provided by OPPD included justifications for 
each exemption requested. The exemptions requested by OPPD would 
eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological 
emergency plans, reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA) under the requirements of 44 CFR part 350, and reduce the 
scope of onsite EP activities. The licensee stated that the 
application of all of the standards and requirements in 10 CFR 
50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E is not 
needed for adequate emergency response capability, based on the 
substantially lower onsite and offsite radiological consequences of 
accidents still possible at the permanently shutdown and defueled 
facility, as compared to an operating facility. If offsite 
protective actions were needed for a very unlikely accident that 
could challenge the safe storage of spent fuel at FCS, provisions 
exist for offsite agencies to take protective actions using a 
comprehensive emergency management plan (CEMP) under the National 
Preparedness System to protect the health and safety of the public. 
A CEMP in this context, also referred to as an emergency operations 
plan (EOP), is addressed in FEMA's Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 
101, ``Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans,'' 
which is publicly available at http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/divisions/npd/CPG_101_V2.pdf. Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101 
is the foundation for State, territorial, Tribal, and local EP in 
the United States. It promotes a common understanding of the 
fundamentals of risk-informed planning and decision-making and helps 
planners at all levels of government in their efforts to develop and 
maintain viable, all-hazards, all-threats emergency plans. An EOP is 
flexible enough for use in all emergencies. It describes how people 
and property will be protected; details who is responsible for 
carrying out specific actions; identifies the personnel, equipment, 
facilities, supplies and other resources available; and outlines how 
all actions will be coordinated. A CEMP is often referred to as a 
synonym for ``all-hazards planning.''

III. Discussion

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, ``Specific exemptions,'' 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) any of the special 
circumstances listed in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) are present. These 
special circumstances include, among other things, that the 
application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would 
not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to 
achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.
    As noted previously, the current EP regulations contained in 10 
CFR 50.47(b) and Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 apply to both 
operating and shutdown power reactors. The NRC has consistently 
acknowledged that the risk of an offsite radiological release at a 
power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and removed 
fuel from the reactor vessel is significantly lower, and the types 
of possible accidents are significantly fewer, than at an operating 
power reactor. However, current EP regulations do not recognize that 
once a power reactor permanently ceases operation, the risk of a 
large radiological release from credible emergency accident

[[Page 60772]]

scenarios is significantly reduced. The reduced risk for any 
significant offsite radiological release is based on two factors. 
One factor is the elimination of accidents applicable only to an 
operating power reactor, resulting in fewer credible accident 
scenarios. The second factor is the reduced short-lived radionuclide 
inventory and decay heat production due to radioactive decay. Due to 
the permanently defueled status of the reactor, no new spent fuel 
will be added to the SFP and the radionuclides in the current spent 
fuel will continue to decay as the spent fuel ages. The irradiated 
fuel will produce less heat due to radioactive decay, increasing the 
available time to mitigate the SFP inventory loss. The NRC's NUREG/
CR-6451, ``A Safety and Regulatory Assessment of Generic BWR 
[Boiling Water Reactor] and PWR [Pressurized Water Reactor] 
Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Plants,'' dated August 31, 1997 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML082260098) and the NRC's NUREG-1738, 
``Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at 
Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,'' February 2001 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML010430066), confirmed that for permanently shutdown 
and defueled power reactors that are bounded by the assumptions and 
conditions in the report, the risk of offsite radiological release 
is significantly less than for an operating power reactor.
    In the past, EP exemptions similar to those requested by FCS, 
have been granted to permanently shutdown and defueled power reactor 
licensees. However, the exemptions did not relieve the licensees of 
all EP requirements. Rather, the exemptions allowed the licensees to 
modify their emergency plans commensurate with the credible site-
specific risks that were consistent with a permanently shutdown and 
defueled status. Specifically, the NRC's approval of these prior 
exemptions was based on the licensee's demonstration that: (1) the 
radiological consequences of design-basis accidents would not exceed 
the limits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Early 
Phase Protective Action Guides (PAGs) of one roentgen equivalent man 
(rem) at the exclusion area boundary; and (2) in the unlikely event 
of a beyond-design-basis accident resulting in a loss of all modes 
of heat transfer from the fuel stored in the SFP, there is 
sufficient time to initiate appropriate mitigating actions, and if 
needed, for offsite authorities to implement offsite protective 
actions using a CEMP approach to protect the health and safety of 
the public.
    With respect to design-basis accidents at FCS, the licensee 
provided analysis demonstrating that 10 days following permanent 
shutdown, the radiological consequences of the only remaining 
design-basis accident with potential for offsite radiological 
release (the FHA in the Auxiliary Building, where the SFP is 
located) will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion 
area boundary. Therefore, because FCS has been permanently shutdown 
for approximately 13 months, there is no longer any design-basis 
accident that would warrant an offsite radiological emergency plan 
meeting the requirements of 10 CFR part 50.
    With respect to beyond design-basis accidents at FCS, the 
licensee analyzed a drain down of the spent fuel pool water that 
would effectively impede any decay heat removal. The analysis 
demonstrates that at 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after shutdown, 
there would be at least 10 hours after the assemblies have been 
uncovered until the limiting fuel assembly (for decay heat and 
adiabatic heatup analysis) reaches 900 degrees Celsius, the 
temperature used to assess the potential onset of fission product 
release. The analysis conservatively assumed the heat up time starts 
when the spent fuel pool has been completely drained, although it is 
likely that site personnel will start to respond to an incident when 
drain down starts. The analysis also does not consider the period of 
time from the initiating event causing loss of SFP water inventory 
until cooling is lost.
    The NRC staff reviewed the licensee's justification for the 
requested exemptions against the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) and 
determined, as described below, that the criteria in 10 CFR 50.12(a) 
are met, and that the exemptions should be granted. An assessment of 
the OPPD EP exemptions is described in SECY-17-0080, ``Request by 
the Omaha Public Power District for Exemptions from Certain 
Emergency Planning Requirements for the Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 
No. 1,'' dated August 10, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17116A430). 
The Commission approved the NRC staff's recommendation to grant the 
exemptions in the staff requirements memorandum to SECY-17-0080, 
dated October 25, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17298A976). 
Descriptions of the specific exemptions requested by OPPD and the 
NRC staff's basis for granting each exemption are provided in SECY-
17-0080 and summarized in Table 1, ``Evaluation of Specific 
Exemptions to EP Requirements,'' of the exemption issued December 
11, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17263B191). The staff's detailed 
review and technical basis for the approval of the specific EP 
exemptions, requested by OPPD, are provided in the NRC staff's 
safety evaluation dated December 11, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17263B198).

A. Authorized by Law

    The licensee has proposed exemptions from certain EP 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR 50, 
Appendix E, Section IV, that would allow OPPD to revise the FCS 
Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled 
condition of the station. As stated above, in accordance with 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. The NRC staff has determined that granting of the 
licensee's proposed exemptions will not result in a violation of the 
Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the NRC's regulations. 
Therefore, the exemptions are authorized by law.

B. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    As stated previously, OPPD provided analyses that show the 
radiological consequences of design-basis accidents will not exceed 
the limits of the EPA early phase PAGs at the exclusion area 
boundary. Therefore, formal offsite radiological emergency plans 
required under 10 CFR part 50 are no longer needed for protection of 
the public beyond the exclusion area boundary, based on the 
radiological consequences of design-basis accidents still possible 
at FCS.
    Although very unlikely, there is one postulated beyond-design-
basis accident that might result in significant offsite radiological 
releases. However, NUREG-1738 confirms that the risk of beyond-
design-basis accidents is greatly reduced at permanently shutdown 
and defueled reactors. The NRC staff's analyses in NUREG-1738 
concludes that the event sequences important to risk at permanently 
shutdown and defueled power reactors are limited to large 
earthquakes and cask drop events. For EP assessments, this is an 
important difference relative to operating power reactors, where 
typically a large number of different sequences make significant 
contributions to risk. As described in NUREG-1738, relaxation of 
offsite EP requirements in 10 CFR part 50, a few months after 
shutdown resulted in only a small change in risk. The report further 
concludes that the change in risk due to relaxation of offsite EP 
requirements is small because the overall risk is low, and because 
even under current EP requirements for operating power reactors, EP 
was judged to have marginal impact on evacuation effectiveness in 
the severe earthquakes that dominate SFP risk. All other sequences 
including cask drops (for which offsite radiological emergency plans 
are expected to be more effective) are too low in likelihood to have 
a significant impact on risk.
    Therefore, granting exemptions to eliminate the requirements of 
10 CFR part 50 to maintain offsite radiological emergency plans and 
to reduce the scope of onsite EP activities will not present an 
undue risk to the public health and safety.

C. Consistent with the Common Defense and Security

    The requested exemptions by OPPD only involve EP requirements 
under 10 CFR part 50 and will allow OPPD to revise the FCS Emergency 
Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of 
the facility. Physical security measures at FCS are not affected by 
the requested EP exemptions. The discontinuation of formal offsite 
radiological emergency plans and the reduction in scope of the 
onsite emergency planning activities at FCS will not adversely 
affect OPPD's ability to physically secure the site or protect 
special nuclear material. Therefore, the proposed exemptions are 
consistent with common defense and security.

D. 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 
50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, 
Section IV, is to provide reasonable assurance that adequate 
protective measures can and will be taken in the event

[[Page 60773]]

of a radiological emergency, to establish plume exposure and 
ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power plants, 
and to ensure that licensees maintain effective offsite and onsite 
radiological emergency plans. The standards and requirements in 
these regulations were developed by considering the risks associated 
with operation of a power reactor at its licensed full-power level. 
These risks include the potential for a reactor accident with 
offsite radiological dose consequences.
    As discussed previously in Section III, because FCS is 
permanently shut down and defueled, there is no longer a risk of a 
significant offsite radiological release from a design-basis 
accident exceeding EPA early phase PAG at the exclusion area 
boundary and the risk of a significant offsite radiological release 
from a beyond-design-basis accident is greatly reduced when compared 
to an operating power reactor. The NRC staff has confirmed the 
reduced risks at FCS by comparing the generic risk assumptions in 
the analyses in NUREG-1738 to site-specific conditions at FCS and 
determined that the risk values in NUREG-1738 bound the risks 
presented by FCS. As indicated by the results of the research 
conducted for NUREG-1738 and more recently, for NUREG-2161, 
``Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting 
the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor'' (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML14255A365), while other consequences can be 
extensive, accidents from SFPs with significant decay time have 
little potential to cause offsite early fatalities, even if the 
formal offsite radiological EP requirements were relaxed. The 
licensee's analysis of a beyond-design-basis accident involving a 
complete loss of SFP water inventory, based on an adiabatic heatup 
analysis of the limiting fuel assembly for decay heat, shows that 
within 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after shutdown, the time for the 
limiting fuel assembly to reach 900 [deg]C is 10 hours after the 
assemblies have been uncovered assuming a loss of air cooling.
    The only analyzed beyond-design-basis accident scenario that 
progresses to a condition where a significant offsite release might 
occur, involves the very unlikely event where the SFP drains in such 
a way that all modes of cooling or heat transfer are assumed to be 
unavailable, which is referred to as an adiabatic heatup of the 
spent fuel. The licensee's analysis of this beyond-design-basis 
accident shows that within 530 days (1 year, 165 days) after 
shutdown, more than 10 hours would be available between the time the 
fuel is initially uncovered (at which time adiabatic heatup is 
conservatively assumed to begin), until the fuel cladding reaches a 
temperature of 1652 degrees Fahrenheit (900 [deg]C), which is the 
temperature associated with rapid cladding oxidation and the 
potential for a significant radiological release. This analysis 
conservatively does not include the period of time from the 
initiating event causing a loss of SFP water inventory until all 
cooling means are lost.
    The NRC staff has verified OPPD's analyses and its calculations. 
The analyses provide reasonable assurance that in granting the 
requested exemptions to OPPD, there is no design-basis accident that 
will result in an offsite radiological release exceeding the EPA 
early phase PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. In the unlikely 
event of a beyond-design-basis accident affecting the SFP that 
results in a complete loss of heat removal via all modes of heat 
transfer, there will be well over 10 hours available before an 
offsite release might occur and, therefore, at least 10 hours to 
initiate appropriate mitigating actions to restore a means of heat 
removal to the spent fuel. If a radiological release were projected 
to occur under this unlikely scenario, a minimum of 10 hours is 
considered sufficient time for offsite authorities to implement 
protective actions using a CEMP approach to protect the health and 
safety of the public.
    Exemptions from the offsite EP requirements in 10 CFR part 50 
have previously been approved by the NRC when the site-specific 
analyses show that at least 10 hours is available following a loss 
of SFP coolant inventory accident with no air cooling (or other 
methods of removing decay heat) until cladding of the hottest fuel 
assembly reaches the zirconium rapid oxidation temperature. The NRC 
staff concluded in its previously granted exemptions, as it does 
with the OPPD requested EP exemptions, that if a minimum of 10 hours 
is available to initiate mitigative actions consistent with plant 
conditions, or if needed, for offsite authorities to implement 
protective actions using a CEMP approach, then formal offsite 
radiological emergency plans, required under 10 CFR part 50, are not 
necessary at permanently shutdown and defueled facilities.
    Additionally, FCS committed to maintaining SFP makeup strategies 
in its letter to the NRC dated December 16, 2016 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML16356A578). The multiple strategies for providing makeup to 
the SFP include: using existing plant systems for inventory makeup; 
an internal strategy that relies on the fire protection system with 
redundant pumps (one diesel-driven and electric motor-driven); and 
onsite diesel fire truck that can take suction from the Missouri 
River. These strategies will continue to be required as license 
condition 3.G, ``Mitigation Strategy License Condition.'' 
Considering the very low probability of beyond-design-basis 
accidents affecting the SFP, these diverse strategies provide 
multiple methods to obtain additional makeup or spray to the SFP 
before the onset of any postulated offsite radiological release.
    For all the reasons stated above, the NRC staff finds that the 
licensee's requested exemptions to meet the underlying purpose of 
all of the standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b), and requirements in 10 CFR 
50.47(c)(2) and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, acceptably satisfy the 
special circumstances in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) in view of the 
greatly reduced risk of offsite radiological consequences associated 
with the permanently shutdown and defueled state of the FCS 
facility.
    The NRC staff has concluded that the exemptions being granted by 
this action will maintain an acceptable level of emergency 
preparedness at FCS and, if needed, that there is reasonable 
assurance that adequate offsite protective measures can and will be 
taken by State and local government agencies using a CEMP approach 
in the unlikely event of a radiological emergency at the FCS 
facility. Since the underlying purposes of the rules, as exempted, 
would continue to be achieved, even with the elimination of the 
requirements under 10 CFR part 50 to maintain formal offsite 
radiological emergency plans and reduction in the scope of the 
onsite emergency planning activities at FCS, the special 
circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) exist.

E. Environmental Considerations

    In accordance with 10 CFR 51.31(a), the Commission has 
determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a 
significant effect on the quality of the human environment as 
discussed in the NRC staff's Finding of No Significant Impact and 
associated Environmental Assessment published November 27, 2017 (82 
FR 56060).

IV. Conclusions

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined, pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12(a), that OPPD's request for exemptions from certain EP 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(b), 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 
50, Appendix E, Section IV, and as summarized in Table 1 of the 
exemption dated December 11, 2017, are authorized by law, will not 
present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and are 
consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special 
circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants 
OPPD's exemptions from certain EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b), 
10 CFR 50.47(c)(2), and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Section IV, as 
discussed and evaluated in detail in the staff's safety evaluation 
dated December 11, 2017. The exemptions are effective as of April 7, 
2018.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of December, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Kathryn M. Brock,

Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

[FR Doc. 2017-27590 Filed 12-21-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P