Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station Request for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning Requirements, 53317-53321 [2018-22986]

Download as PDF 53317 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2018 / Notices granted the exemptions and issued the amendments that SNC requested on April 26, 2018. The exemption and amendment were issued on August 24, 2018, as part of a combined package to SNC (ADAMS Accession No. ML18220B095). Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 17th day of October 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jennifer L. Dixon-Herrity, Chief, Licensing Branch 4, Division of Licensing, Siting, and Environmental Analysis, Office of New Reactors. [FR Doc. 2018–22983 Filed 10–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–219; NRC–2018–0167] Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station Request for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning Requirements Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued exemptions in response to a request from Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee) regarding daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: certain emergency planning (EP) requirements. The exemptions eliminate the requirements to maintain an offsite radiological emergency preparedness plan and reduce the scope of onsite EP activities at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Oyster Creek), 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 October 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0167 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–2018–0167. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@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 ‘‘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 that it is mentioned in this document. In addition, for the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the ‘‘Availability of Documents’’ section 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: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–3100; email: John.Lamb@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. I. Availability of Documents The documents identified in the following table are available for public inspection through ADAMS, a public web page, or by using one of the methods discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. ADAMS accession no. or public web page Title Date Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Certification of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station’’. Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Request for Exemptions from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E’’. Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Response to Request for Additional Information (RAI) Regarding Request for Exemption from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E’’. Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Supplement to Request for Exemption from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E’’. Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Supplement to Request for Exemption from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E’’. Exelon Generation Company, LLC, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Response to Request for Additional Information (RAI) Related to Exemption Request from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E’’. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG/CR–6451, ‘‘A Safety and Regulatory Assessment of Generic BWR and PWR Permanently Shutdown Nuclear Power Plants’’. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG–1738, ‘‘Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants’’. Federal Emergency Management Agency Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101, ‘‘Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans,’’ Version 2.0. February 14, 2018 ......... ML18045A084. August 22, 2017 ............ ML17234A082. December 6, 2017 ......... ML17340A708. January 23, 2018 ........... ML18023A138. March 8, 2018 ................ ML18067A087. March 19, 2018 .............. ML18078A146. August 1997 ................... ML082260098. February 2001 ............... ML010430066. November 2010 ............. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG–2161, ‘‘Consequence Study of a BeyondDesign-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water Reactor’’. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, COMSECY–13–0030, ‘‘Staff Evaluation and Recommendation for Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 Issue on Expedited Transfer of Spent Fuel’’. September 2014 ............ http://www.fema.gov/pdf/ about/divisions/npd/ CPG_101_V2.pdf. ML14255A365. November 12, 2013 ....... ML13329A918. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1 53318 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2018 / Notices Date U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, SECY–18–0062, ‘‘Request by the Exelon Generation Company, LLC for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station’’. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Staff Requirements—SECY–18–0062, Request by the Exelon Generation Company, LLC for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station’’. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, letter to Exelon Generation Company, LLC ‘‘Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station—Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements and Related Safety Evaluation’’. May 31, 2018 ................. ML18030B359. July 17, 2018 ................. ML18198A449. October 16, 2018 ........... ML18220A980. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, on October 17, 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. John G. Lamb, Senior Project Manager, Special Projects and Process Branch, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment—Exemption NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket No. 50–219 Exelon Generation Company, LLC Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station Exemption daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES ADAMS accession no. or public web page Title I. Background. Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-16 for Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Oyster Creek). 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 boiling-water reactor (BWR) located in Ocean County, New Jersey. By letter dated February 14, 2018 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML18045A084), Exelon submitted a certification to the NRC that it would permanently cease power operations at Oyster Creek no later than October 31, 2018. On September 17, 2018, Exelon permanently ceased power operations at Oyster Creek. By letter dated September 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18268A258), Exelon certified the permanent removal of fuel from the Oyster Creek reactor vessel. In accordance with § 50.82(a)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the license for a power reactor facility no longer authorizes operation of the reactor or emplacement or retention of fuel into the reactor vessel upon the docketing of the certifications for permanent cessation of operations and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel. The facility is still authorized to possess and store irradiated (i.e., spent) nuclear fuel. Spent fuel is currently stored onsite in the Oyster Creek spent fuel pool (SFP) and a dry cask independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Oyster Creek facility. During normal power reactor operations, the forced flow of water through the reactor coolant system removes heat generated by the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 operations at Oyster Creek 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 permanently 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, Exelon must obtain exemptions from those EP regulations. Only then can Exelon modify the Oyster Creek emergency plan to reflect the reduced risk associated with the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of Oyster Creek. II. Request/Action. By letter dated August 22, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17234A082), Exelon requested exemptions from certain EP requirements of 10 CFR part 50 for Oyster Creek. Specifically, Exelon requested exemptions from certain planning standards in 10 CFR 50.47(b) regarding onsite and offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans for nuclear power reactors, from certain requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2) for establishment of plume exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear power reactors; and from certain PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requirements in 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Section IV, which establishes the elements that make up the content of emergency plans. In letters dated December 6, 2017, and January 23, March 8, and March 19, 2018 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML17340A708, ML18023A138, ML18067A087, and ML18078A146, respectively), Exelon provided supplemental information and responses to the NRC staff’s requests for additional information concerning the proposed exemptions. The information provided by Exelon included justifications for each exemption requested. The exemptions requested by Exelon would eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the requirements of 44 CFR part 350 and would reduce the scope of onsite EP activities at Oyster Creek. 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 highly unlikely beyond-designbasis accident that could challenge the safe storage of spent fuel at Oyster Creek, 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, 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 emergency operations plan 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 E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2018 / Notices daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 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 and 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 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 permanently 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, the EP regulations do not recognize that once a power reactor permanently ceases operation, the risk of a large radiological release from credible emergency accident 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 a loss of water inventory from the SFP. 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 1997 (ADAMS Accession No. ML082260098), and the NRC’s NUREG-1738, ‘‘Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,’’ dated 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 for Oyster Creek, 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 highly unlikely event of a beyond-designbasis 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 Oyster Creek, the licensee provided an analysis demonstrating that 12 months (365 days) following permanent cessation of power operations, the radiological consequences of the only remaining design-basis accident with potential for offsite radiological release (the fuel handling accident in the Auxiliary Building, where the SFP is located) will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion area boundary. With respect to beyond-design-basis accidents at Oyster Creek, the licensee analyzed a drain down of the SFP water that would effectively impede any decay heat removal. The analysis demonstrates that at 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power operations, there would be 10 hours after the assemblies have been uncovered until the limiting fuel assembly (for decay heat and adiabatic heatup analysis) reaches 900 degrees Celsius (°C), the temperature used to assess the potential onset of fission product release. The analysis conservatively assumed that the heat up time starts when the SFP 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 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) will be met, and that the exemptions should be granted 365 days after Oyster Creek has permanently defueled. An assessment of the Exelon EP exemptions is described in SECY–18–0062, ‘‘Request by the Exelon Generation Company, LLC for Exemptions from Certain Emergency Planning Requirements for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station,’’ dated May 31, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18030B340). The Commission approved the NRC staff’s recommendation to grant the exemptions in the staff requirements memorandum to SECY–18–0062, dated July 17, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18198A449). Descriptions of the specific exemptions requested by Exelon and the NRC staff’s basis for granting each exemption are PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53319 provided in SECY–18–0062. The NRC staff’s detailed review and technical basis for the approval of the specific EP exemptions requested by Exelon, are provided in the NRC staff’s safety evaluation associated with this exemption (ADAMS Accession No. ML18220A980). A. The Exemption is 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 Exelon to revise the Oyster Creek Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the facility. 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. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety. As stated previously, Exelon provided an analysis that show that 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 preparedness plans required under 10 CFR part 50 will no longer be needed for protection of the public beyond the exclusion area boundary, based on the radiological consequences of design-basis accidents still possible at Oyster Creek 365 days after the plant has permanently ceased power operations. Although highly 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 conclude 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 beyond 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 for the severe earthquakes that dominate SFP risk. All other sequences including cask drops (for which offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans are expected to be more effective) are too low in likelihood to have a significant impact on risk. E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1 53320 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2018 / Notices Therefore, granting exemptions to eliminate the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 to maintain offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans and to reduce the scope of onsite EP activities will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES C. The Exemption Is Consistent With the Common Defense and Security. The requested exemptions only involve EP requirements under 10 CFR part 50 and will allow Exelon to revise the Oyster Creek Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of the facility. Physical security measures at Oyster Creek are not affected by the requested EP exemptions. The discontinuation of formal offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans and the reduction in scope of the onsite EP activities at Oyster Creek will not adversely affect Exelon’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 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 preparedness 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 Oyster Creek will be permanently shut down and defueled, there will no longer be 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 Oyster Creek by comparing the generic risk assumptions in the analyses in NUREG-1738 to site-specific conditions at Oyster Creek and determined that the risk values in NUREG-1738 bound the risks presented at Oyster Creek. 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,’’ dated September 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14255A365), while other consequences can be extensive, accidents from SFPs with VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 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 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power operations, the time for the limiting fuel assembly to reach 900 °C is at least 10 hours after the assemblies have been uncovered assuming a loss of all cooling means. The only analyzed beyond-design-basis accident scenario that progresses to a condition where a significant offsite release might occur, involves the highly 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 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power operations, at least 10 hours would be available between the time that all cooling means are lost to the fuel (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 Exelon’s analyses and its calculations. The analyses provide reasonable assurance that in granting the requested exemptions to Exelon, 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 highly 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 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 highly 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 rapid oxidation temperature. The NRC staff concluded in its previously granted exemptions, as it does with Exelon’s 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 PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 using a CEMP approach, then formal offsite radiological emergency preparedness plans, required under 10 CFR Part 50, are not necessary at permanently shutdown and defueled facilities. Additionally, Oyster Creek committed to maintaining SFP makeup strategies in its letters to the NRC dated March 8 and 19, 2018. 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 Barnegat Bay. These strategies will continue to be required as condition 2.C.(8), ‘‘Mitigation Strategy License Condition,’’ of renewed facility operating license DPR–16 for Oyster Creek. 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 of the reasons stated above, the NRC staff finds that the licensee’s requested exemptions 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, and satisfy the special circumstances provision 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 Oyster Creek facility 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power operations. The NRC staff has concluded that the exemptions being granted by this action will maintain an acceptable level of emergency preparedness at Oyster Creek 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 Oyster Creek. 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 preparedness plans and the reduction in the scope of the onsite emergency planning activities at Oyster Creek, 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 in the Federal Register on August 13, 2018 (83 FR 40092). IV. Conclusions. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, Exelon’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, E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 204 / Monday, October 22, 2018 / Notices Section IV, and as summarized in Enclosure 2 to SECY–18–0062, 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 Exelon’s 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, as discussed and evaluated in detail in the NRC staff’s safety evaluation associated with this exemption. The exemptions are effective as of 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power operations. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of October 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. /RA/ Kathryn M. Brock, Deputy Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2018–22986 Filed 10–19–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. II. NRC Staff Determination of Completion of ITAAC • 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 ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The NRC staff has determined that the specified inspections, tests, and analyses have been successfully completed, and that the specified acceptance criteria are met. The documentation of the NRC staff’s determination is in the ITAAC Closure Verification Evaluation Form (VEF) for each ITAAC. The VEF is a form that represents the NRC staff’s structured process for reviewing ICNs. Each ICN presents a narrative description of how the ITAAC was completed. The NRC’s ICN review process involves a determination on whether, among other things: (1) Each ICN provides sufficient information, including a summary of the methodology used to perform the ITAAC, to demonstrate that the inspections, tests, and analyses have been successfully completed; (2) each ICN provides sufficient information to demonstrate that the acceptance criteria of the ITAAC are met; and (3) any NRC inspections for the ITAAC have been completed and any ITAAC findings associated with that ITAAC have been closed. The NRC staff’s determination of the successful completion of these ITAAC is based on information available at this time and is subject to the licensee’s ability to maintain the condition that the acceptance criteria are met. If the staff receives new information that suggests the staff’s determination on any of these ITAAC is incorrect, then the staff will determine whether to reopen that ITAAC (including withdrawing the staff’s determination on that ITAAC). The NRC staff’s determination will be used to support a subsequent finding, pursuant to 10 CFR 52.103(g), at the end of construction that all acceptance criteria in the combined license are met. The ITAAC closure process is not finalized for these ITAAC until the NRC makes an affirmative finding under 10 CFR 52.103(g). Any future updates to the status of these ITAAC will be reflected on the NRC’s website at http:// www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/ oversight/itaac.html. This notice fulfills the staff’s obligations under 10 CFR 52.99(e)(1) to publish a notice in the Federal Register of the NRC staff’s determination of the successful completion of inspections, tests, and analyses. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Chandu Patel, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–3025; email: Chandu.Patel@ nrc.gov. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52–025 and 52–026; NRC– 2008–0252] Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4; Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Determination of the successful completion of inspections, tests, and analyses. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff has determined that the inspections, tests, and analyses have been successfully completed, and that the specified acceptance criteria are met for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4. DATES: The determination of the successful completion of inspections, tests, and analyses for VEGP Units 3 and 4 is effective October 22, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2008–0252 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–2008–0252. Address questions regarding Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:12 Oct 19, 2018 Jkt 247001 53321 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Licensee Notification of Completion of ITAAC Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, MEAG Power SPVM, LLC., MEAG Power SPVJ, LLC., MEAG Power SPVP, LLC., and the City of Dalton, Georgia, (hereafter called the licensee) have submitted Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and Acceptance Criteria (ITAAC) closure notifications (ICNs) under paragraph 52.99(c)(1) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), informing the NRC that the licensee has successfully performed the required inspections, tests, and analyses, and that the acceptance criteria are met for: VEGP Unit 3 ITAAC: 2.2.03.08b.02 (176), 2.2.03.08c.iv.04 (186), 2.2.05.07a.ii (266), 2.3.05.03a.i (343), 2.3.09.03.iii (425), 3.2.00.01c.ii (742), and 3.2.00.01d (743). VEGP Unit 4 ITAAC: 2.2.05.07a.ii (266), 3.2.00.01c.ii (742), and 3.2.00.01d (743). The ITAAC for VEGP Unit 3 are in Appendix C of the VEGP Unit 3 combined license (ADAMS Accession No. ML14100A106). The ITAAC for VEGP Unit 4 are in Appendix C of VEGP Unit 4 combined license (ADAMS Accession No. ML14100A135). PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Unit 3, Docket No. 5200025 A complete list of the review status for VEGP Unit 3 ITAAC, including the submission date and ADAMS Accession Number for each ICN received, the E:\FR\FM\22OCN1.SGM 22OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 204 (Monday, October 22, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53317-53321]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-22986]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-219; NRC-2018-0167]


Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station Request for Exemptions Regarding Emergency Planning 
Requirements

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued 
exemptions in response to a request from Exelon Generation Company, LLC 
(Exelon or the licensee) regarding certain emergency planning (EP) 
requirements. The exemptions eliminate the requirements to maintain an 
offsite radiological emergency preparedness plan and reduce the scope 
of onsite EP activities at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station 
(Oyster Creek), 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 October 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0167 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-2018-0167. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-
9127; 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 ``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 that it is mentioned in this document. In addition, for the 
convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in 
a table in the ``Availability of Documents'' section 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: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3100; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

I. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available for 
public inspection through ADAMS, a public web page, or by using one of 
the methods discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              ADAMS accession no. or public web
               Title                                  Date                                  page
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      February 14, 2018....................  ML18045A084.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Certification of
 Permanent Cessation of Power
 Operations for Oyster Creek
 Nuclear Generating Station''.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      August 22, 2017......................  ML17234A082.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Request for
 Exemptions from Portions of 10 CFR
 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix
 E''.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      December 6, 2017.....................  ML17340A708.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Response to Request
 for Additional Information (RAI)
 Regarding Request for Exemption
 from Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and
 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E''.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      January 23, 2018.....................  ML18023A138.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Supplement to
 Request for Exemption from
 Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10
 CFR Part 50, Appendix E''.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      March 8, 2018........................  ML18067A087.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Supplement to
 Request for Exemption from
 Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10
 CFR Part 50, Appendix E''.
Exelon Generation Company, LLC,      March 19, 2018.......................  ML18078A146.
 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
 Commission, ``Response to Request
 for Additional Information (RAI)
 Related to Exemption Request from
 Portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10
 CFR Part 50, Appendix E''.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  August 1997..........................  ML082260098.
 NUREG/CR-6451, ``A Safety and
 Regulatory Assessment of Generic
 BWR and PWR Permanently Shutdown
 Nuclear Power Plants''.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  February 2001........................  ML010430066.
 NUREG-1738, ``Technical Study of
 Spent Fuel Pool Accident Risk at
 Decommissioning Nuclear Power
 Plants''.
Federal Emergency Management Agency  November 2010........................  http://www.fema.gov/pdf/about/
 Comprehensive Preparedness Guide                                            divisions/npd/CPG_101_V2.pdf.
 101, ``Developing and Maintaining
 Emergency Operations Plans,''
 Version 2.0.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  September 2014.......................  ML14255A365.
 NUREG-2161, ``Consequence Study of
 a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake
 Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for
 a U.S. Mark I Boiling Water
 Reactor''.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  November 12, 2013....................  ML13329A918.
 COMSECY-13-0030, ``Staff
 Evaluation and Recommendation for
 Japan Lessons-Learned Tier 3 Issue
 on Expedited Transfer of Spent
 Fuel''.

[[Page 53318]]

 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  May 31, 2018.........................  ML18030B359.
 SECY-18-0062, ``Request by the
 Exelon Generation Company, LLC for
 Exemptions from Certain Emergency
 Planning Requirements for the
 Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating
 Station''.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  July 17, 2018........................  ML18198A449.
 ``Staff Requirements--SECY-18-
 0062, Request by the Exelon
 Generation Company, LLC for
 Exemptions from Certain Emergency
 Planning Requirements for the
 Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating
 Station''.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,  October 16, 2018.....................  ML18220A980.
 letter to Exelon Generation
 Company, LLC ``Oyster Creek
 Nuclear Generating Station--
 Exemptions from Certain Emergency
 Planning Requirements and Related
 Safety Evaluation''.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, on October 17, 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John G. Lamb,
Senior Project Manager, Special Projects and Process Branch, Division 
of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment--Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 50-219

Exelon Generation Company, LLC

Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station

Exemption

I. Background.

    Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee) is the 
holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR[dash]16 for 
Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (Oyster Creek). 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 boiling[dash]water reactor (BWR) located in Ocean County, New 
Jersey.
    By letter dated February 14, 2018 (Agencywide Documents Access 
and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML18045A084), Exelon 
submitted a certification to the NRC that it would permanently cease 
power operations at Oyster Creek no later than October 31, 2018. On 
September 17, 2018, Exelon permanently ceased power operations at 
Oyster Creek. By letter dated September 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML18268A258), Exelon certified the permanent removal of fuel 
from the Oyster Creek reactor vessel.
    In accordance with Sec.  50.82(a)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the license for a power reactor 
facility no longer authorizes operation of the reactor or 
emplacement or retention of fuel into the reactor vessel upon the 
docketing of the certifications for permanent cessation of 
operations and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel. 
The facility is still authorized to possess and store irradiated 
(i.e., spent) nuclear fuel. Spent fuel is currently stored onsite in 
the Oyster Creek spent fuel pool (SFP) and a dry cask independent 
spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Oyster Creek 
facility.
    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[dash]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 operations at Oyster Creek 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 permanently 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, Exelon must obtain 
exemptions from those EP regulations. Only then can Exelon modify 
the Oyster Creek emergency plan to reflect the reduced risk 
associated with the permanently shutdown and defueled condition of 
Oyster Creek.

II. Request/Action.

    By letter dated August 22, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17234A082), Exelon requested exemptions from certain EP 
requirements of 10 CFR part 50 for Oyster Creek. Specifically, 
Exelon requested exemptions from certain planning standards in 10 
CFR 50.47(b) regarding onsite and offsite radiological emergency 
preparedness plans for nuclear power reactors, from certain 
requirements in 10 CFR 50.47(c)(2) for establishment of plume 
exposure and ingestion pathway emergency planning zones for nuclear 
power reactors; and from certain requirements in 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix E, Section IV, which establishes the elements that make up 
the content of emergency plans. In letters dated December 6, 2017, 
and January 23, March 8, and March 19, 2018 (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML17340A708, ML18023A138, ML18067A087, and ML18078A146, 
respectively), Exelon provided supplemental information and 
responses to the NRC staff's requests for additional information 
concerning the proposed exemptions.
    The information provided by Exelon included justifications for 
each exemption requested. The exemptions requested by Exelon would 
eliminate the requirements to maintain formal offsite radiological 
emergency preparedness plans reviewed by the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) under the requirements of 44 CFR part 350 
and would reduce the scope of onsite EP activities at Oyster Creek. 
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 
highly unlikely beyond-design-basis accident that could challenge 
the safe storage of spent fuel at Oyster Creek, 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, 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[dash]informed planning and decision[dash]making 
and helps planners at all levels of government in their efforts to 
develop and maintain viable, all[dash]hazards, all[dash]threats 
emergency plans. An emergency operations plan 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

[[Page 53319]]

available; and outlines how all actions will be coordinated. A CEMP 
is often referred to as a synonym for ``all[dash]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 and 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 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 permanently 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, the EP regulations do not recognize that 
once a power reactor permanently ceases operation, the risk of a 
large radiological release from credible emergency accident 
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[dash]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 a loss of water inventory 
from the SFP. 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 1997 (ADAMS Accession No. ML082260098), and 
the NRC's NUREG[dash]1738, ``Technical Study of Spent Fuel Pool 
Accident Risk at Decommissioning Nuclear Power Plants,'' dated 
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 for Oyster 
Creek, 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 highly 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[dash]basis accidents at Oyster Creek, the 
licensee provided an analysis demonstrating that 12 months (365 
days) following permanent cessation of power operations, the 
radiological consequences of the only remaining design[dash]basis 
accident with potential for offsite radiological release (the fuel 
handling accident in the Auxiliary Building, where the SFP is 
located) will not exceed the limits of the EPA PAGs at the exclusion 
area boundary.
    With respect to beyond-design-basis accidents at Oyster Creek, 
the licensee analyzed a drain down of the SFP water that would 
effectively impede any decay heat removal. The analysis demonstrates 
that at 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power 
operations, there would be 10 hours after the assemblies have been 
uncovered until the limiting fuel assembly (for decay heat and 
adiabatic heatup analysis) reaches 900 degrees Celsius ([deg]C), the 
temperature used to assess the potential onset of fission product 
release. The analysis conservatively assumed that the heat up time 
starts when the SFP 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 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) will be 
met, and that the exemptions should be granted 365 days after Oyster 
Creek has permanently defueled. An assessment of the Exelon EP 
exemptions is described in SECY-18-0062, ``Request by the Exelon 
Generation Company, LLC for Exemptions from Certain Emergency 
Planning Requirements for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station,'' dated May 31, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18030B340). The 
Commission approved the NRC staff's recommendation to grant the 
exemptions in the staff requirements memorandum to SECY-18-0062, 
dated July 17, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18198A449). Descriptions 
of the specific exemptions requested by Exelon and the NRC staff's 
basis for granting each exemption are provided in SECY-18-0062. The 
NRC staff's detailed review and technical basis for the approval of 
the specific EP exemptions requested by Exelon, are provided in the 
NRC staff's safety evaluation associated with this exemption (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML18220A980).

A. The Exemption is 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 Exelon to revise the Oyster 
Creek Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and 
defueled condition of the facility. 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. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety.

    As stated previously, Exelon provided an analysis that show that 
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 
preparedness plans required under 10 CFR part 50 will no longer be 
needed for protection of the public beyond the exclusion area 
boundary, based on the radiological consequences of design-basis 
accidents still possible at Oyster Creek 365 days after the plant 
has permanently ceased power operations.
    Although highly 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 
conclude 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 beyond 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 for 
the severe earthquakes that dominate SFP risk. All other sequences 
including cask drops (for which offsite radiological emergency 
preparedness plans are expected to be more effective) are too low in 
likelihood to have a significant impact on risk.

[[Page 53320]]

    Therefore, granting exemptions to eliminate the requirements of 
10 CFR part 50 to maintain offsite radiological emergency 
preparedness plans and to reduce the scope of onsite EP activities 
will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety.

C. The Exemption Is Consistent With the Common Defense and Security.

    The requested exemptions only involve EP requirements under 10 
CFR part 50 and will allow Exelon to revise the Oyster Creek 
Emergency Plan to reflect the permanently shutdown and defueled 
condition of the facility. Physical security measures at Oyster 
Creek are not affected by the requested EP exemptions. The 
discontinuation of formal offsite radiological emergency 
preparedness plans and the reduction in scope of the onsite EP 
activities at Oyster Creek will not adversely affect Exelon'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 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 preparedness 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 Oyster Creek 
will be permanently shut down and defueled, there will no longer be 
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 Oyster Creek by comparing the generic risk 
assumptions in the analyses in NUREG-1738 to site-specific 
conditions at Oyster Creek and determined that the risk values in 
NUREG-1738 bound the risks presented at Oyster Creek. 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,'' dated September 2014 (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 12 months (365 days) 
after permanent cessation of power operations, the time for the 
limiting fuel assembly to reach 900 [deg]C is at least 10 hours 
after the assemblies have been uncovered assuming a loss of all 
cooling means.
    The only analyzed beyond-design-basis accident scenario that 
progresses to a condition where a significant offsite release might 
occur, involves the highly 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 12 months (365 days) after permanent 
cessation of power operations, at least 10 hours would be available 
between the time that all cooling means are lost to the fuel (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 Exelon's analyses and its 
calculations. The analyses provide reasonable assurance that in 
granting the requested exemptions to Exelon, 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 highly 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 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 highly 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 rapid oxidation temperature. The NRC staff 
concluded in its previously granted exemptions, as it does with 
Exelon's 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 preparedness plans, required under 10 CFR 
Part 50, are not necessary at permanently shutdown and defueled 
facilities.
    Additionally, Oyster Creek committed to maintaining SFP makeup 
strategies in its letters to the NRC dated March 8 and 19, 2018. 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 Barnegat Bay. These strategies 
will continue to be required as condition 2.C.(8), ``Mitigation 
Strategy License Condition,'' of renewed facility operating license 
DPR-16 for Oyster Creek. 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 of the reasons stated above, the NRC staff finds that 
the licensee's requested exemptions 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, and satisfy the special 
circumstances provision 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 Oyster Creek 
facility 12 months (365 days) after permanent cessation of power 
operations.
    The NRC staff has concluded that the exemptions being granted by 
this action will maintain an acceptable level of emergency 
preparedness at Oyster Creek 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 
Oyster Creek. 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 preparedness plans and the reduction in the 
scope of the onsite emergency planning activities at Oyster Creek, 
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 in the Federal 
Register on August 13, 2018 (83 FR 40092).

IV. Conclusions.

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 
CFR 50.12, Exelon'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,

[[Page 53321]]

Section IV, and as summarized in Enclosure 2 to SECY-18-0062, 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 Exelon's 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, as discussed and evaluated in detail in 
the NRC staff's safety evaluation associated with this exemption. 
The exemptions are effective as of 12 months (365 days) after 
permanent cessation of power operations.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of October 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

/RA/

Kathryn M. Brock,

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

[FR Doc. 2018-22986 Filed 10-19-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P