FirstEnergy Corp.; FirstEnergy Solutions; FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC; FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, 14136-14141 [2019-06987]

Download as PDF 14136 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices Written comments should be received on or before June 10, 2019 to be assured consideration. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the information collections to Dawn Wolfgang, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Suite 5080, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; Fax No. 703–519–8579; or Email at PRAComments@NCUA.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Address requests for additional information to Dawn Wolfgang at the address above or telephone 703–548– 2279. DATES: amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OMB Number: 3133–0039. Title: Borrowed Funds from Natural Persons, 12 CFR 701.38. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Abstract: Section 701.38 of the NCUA regulations grants federal credit unions the authority to borrow funds from a natural person as long as they maintain a signed promissory note which includes the terms and conditions of maturity, repayment, interest rate, method of computation and method of payment; and the promissory note and any advertisements for borrowing have clearly visible language stating that the note represents money borrowed by the credit union and does not represent shares and is not insured by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). NCUA will use this information to ensure a credit union’s natural person borrowings are in compliance and address all regulatory and safety and soundness requirements. Affected Public: Private Sector: Notfor-profit institutions. Estimated No. of Respondents: 187. Estimated Annual Frequency: 1. Estimated Total Annual Responses: 187. Estimated Annual Responses per Respondent: 0.167. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 31. Reason for Change: Review of the previously reported burden has been adjusted to only account for burden that falls under the PRA. Regulatory burden has been removed. A reduction of 904 burden hours is due to this adjustment. A total of 31 burden hours is requested. OMB Number: 3133–0129. Title: Corporate Credit Union, 12 CFR part 704. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Abstract: Part 704 of NCUA’s regulations established the regulatory VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 framework for corporate credit unions. This includes various reporting and recordkeeping requirements as well as safety and soundness standards. NCUA has established and regulates corporate credit unions pursuant to its authority under sections 120, 201, and 209 of the Federal Credit Union Act, 12 U.S.C. 1766(a), 1781, and 1789. The collection of information is necessary to ensure that corporate credit unions operate in a safe and sound manner by limiting risk to their natural person credit union members and the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Affected Public: Private Sector: Notfor-profit institutions. Estimated No. of Respondents: 11. Estimated Annual Frequency: 20.18. Estimated Total Annual Responses: 222. Estimated Annual Responses per Respondent: 2.40. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 534. Reason for Change: The adjustment in the number of respondents are due to the decrease in the number of Corporate Credit Unions from 12 to 11 and the inclusion of information collection requirements that had been omitted on the previous submission. These adjustments increase the total burden request by 51 hours, for a total of 534 burden hours requested. Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. The public is invited to submit comments concerning: (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper execution of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of the information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. By Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board, the National Credit Union Administration, on April 4, 2019. Dated: April 4, 2019. Dawn D. Wolfgang, NCUA PRA Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–06969 Filed 4–8–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting TIME AND DATE: 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 23, 2019. NTSB Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20594. PLACE: STATUS: The one item is open to the public. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: 58957 Pipeline Accident Report— Building Explosion and Fire, Silver Spring, Maryland, August 10, 2016 News Media Contact: Telephone: (202) 314–6100. The press and public may enter the NTSB Conference Center one hour prior to the meeting for set up and seating. Individuals requesting specific accommodations should contact Rochelle McCallister at (202) 314–6305 or by email at Rochelle.McCallister@ ntsb.gov by Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The public may view the meeting via a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘News & Events’’ on the NTSB home page at www.ntsb.gov. Schedule updates, including weatherrelated cancellations, are also available at www.ntsb.gov. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Candi Bing at (202) 314–6403 or by email at bingc@ntsb.gov. For Media Information Contact: Keith Holloway at (202) 314–6100 or by email at keith.holloway@ntsb.gov. Dated: April 5, 2019. LaSean McCray, Assistant Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–07121 Filed 4–5–19; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–334 and 50–412, 50–346, 50–440; NRC–2018–0174] FirstEnergy Corp.; FirstEnergy Solutions; FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC; FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company Nuclear Regulatory Commission. AGENCY: Director’s Decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance. ACTION: E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a director’s decision with regard to a petition dated March 27, 2018, as supplemented on October 8, 2018, filed by the Environmental Law and Policy Center (the petitioner), requesting that the NRC take enforcement action with regard to FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC (NG), and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) (the licensees). The petitioner’s requests and the director’s decision are included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. SUMMARY: The Director’s Decision was issued on April 3, 2019. DATES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0174 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: ADDRESSES: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0174. Address questions about NRC Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individuals 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. For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided 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: Bhalchandra K. Vaidya, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–3308; email: Bhalchandra.Vaidya@nrc.gov and Perry Buckberg, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–1383, email: Perry.Buckberg@nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. The NRC is making the documents identified below available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated. To access documents related to this action, see ADDRESSES section of this document. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Document ADAMS accession No. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY CENTER—10 CFR 2.206 Petition and Attachments 1 through 6 Citizen Complaint and Request for Enforcement Action Regarding FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania Dated March 27, 2018. ELPC 2.206 Petition, Motion Of The Environmental Law & Policy Center, Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio Environmental Council and Environmental Defense Fund For Relief From The Automatic Stay, 11 U.S.C. § 362/L.R. 4001–1. Official Transcript of Proceedings, Meeting Between Petitioners and NRC Petition Review Board on June 19, 2018, Regarding 10 CFR 2.206 Petition OEDO–18–00160 Re: FENOC Operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. ELPC 2.206 Petition OEDO–18–00160 Regarding FENOC operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania—PRB’s Initial Recommendation On The Petition Dated March 27, 2018, on FENOC Bankruptcy. ELPC Supplement to 2.206 Petition—OEDO–18–00160, regarding Citizen Complaint and Request for Enforcement Action Regarding FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dated October 8, 2018. OEDO–18–00160—ELPC Proposed Director’s Decision on 10 CFR 2.206 Petition for Citizen Complaint and Request for Enforcement Action Regarding FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dated January 8, 2019. OEDO–18–00160—ELPC Comments on Proposed Director’s Decision on 10 CFR 2.206 Petition for Citizen Complaint and Request for Enforcement Action Regarding FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dated January 22, 2019. FENOC Submission—Submittal of the Decommissioning Funding Status Reports for Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant. Dated March 15, 2019. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 14137 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ML18094A642, ML18094A645, ML18094A647, ML18094A649, ML18094A650, ML18094A651, ML18094A641. ML18151A457. ML18194A395. ML18214A740. ML18282A242. ML18309A157. ML19037A340. ML19074A242. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 14138 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices The text of the director’s decision is attached. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of April, 2019. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Bhalchandra K. Vaidya, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. ATTACHMENT—DIRECTOR’S DECISION DD–19–01 DD–19–01 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION Ho K. Nieh, Director [Docket Nos. 50-334 and 50-412, 50-346, 50-440] [License Nos. DPR-66 and NPF-73, NPF3, NPF-58] In the Matter of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, Beaver Valley Power Station, Units 1 and 2, DavisBesse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 DIRECTOR’S DECISION UNDER 10 CFR 2.206 I. Introduction By letter dated March 27, 2018, as supplemented on October 8, 2018 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession Nos. ML18094A642 and ML18282A242, respectively), the Environmental Law and Policy Center filed a petition with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.206, ‘‘Requests for action under this subpart.’’ The petitioner requested that the NRC take the following actions: amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES (A) Issue Demands for Information (1) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC (NG), and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) requesting site-specific decommissioning funding plans for Beaver Valley Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (BVPS), Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1 (DBNPS), and Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 (PNPP). (2) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and FENOC with regard to their reliance on external trust funds from FE and FES to satisfy VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 their decommissioning financial obligations. (3) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and FENOC with regard to their continued reliance on parent company guarantees from FE to satisfy decommissioning funding obligations, including the ability of FE to satisfy the parent company guarantee financial test under Appendix A, ‘‘Criteria Relating to Use of Financial Tests and Parent Company Guarantees for Providing Reasonable Assurance of Funds for Decommissioning,’’ to 10 CFR part 30, ‘‘Rules of General Applicability to the Domestic Licensing of Byproduct Material.’’ (4) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FES, NG, and FENOC to the extent that they are relying on parent company guarantees from FES to satisfy decommissioning funding obligations, including the ability of FES to satisfy the parent company guarantee financial test under 10 CFR part 30, Appendix A. (5) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and FENOC with regard to their proposed investment and financial contribution plans to make up the current decommissioning shortfall. (6) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE and FES with regard to each of their commitments to guarantee coverage of NG’s and FENOC’s decommissioning trust fund shortfalls in the event of bankruptcy. (B) Notice of Violation and Penalties (1) Promptly issue a Notice of Violation against FE, FES, NG, and FENOC for operating nuclear facilities without sufficient decommissioning funds in violation of 42 U.S.C.A. Section 2201(x)(1), and 10 CFR 50.75, ‘‘Reporting and Recordkeeping for Decommissioning Planning.’’ (2) Promptly issue civil penalties against FE, FES, NG, and FENOC for operating nuclear facilities without sufficient decommissioning funds in violation of 42 U.S.C.A., Section 2201(x)(1), and 10 CFR 50.75. (3) Promptly issue an order to suspend NG’s and FENOC’s licenses for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP. (C) Other Requests The petitioner also urges the NRC to prohibit NG and FENOC from placing their nuclear facilities into a safe storage (SAFSTOR) status for purely financial reasons. Under SAFSTOR, often considered ‘‘deferred dismantling,’’ a nuclear facility is maintained and monitored in a condition that allows the radioactivity to decay; afterwards, the plant is dismantled and the property PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 decontaminated. The petitioner requests that the NRC give immediate emergency consideration to this petition in light of FE’s and FES’s rapidly deteriorating financial conditions. (D) Basis for Petitioner’s Request The following points summarize the basis for the petitioner’s request, as stated in the petition and the supplement: (1) NG’s and FENOC’s decommissioning trust amounts are insufficient on their own to provide reasonable assurance of funding. (2) FE cannot rely on rate increases forced on retail ratepayers to pay for the decommissioning trust fund shortfalls. (3) The costs, including SAFSTOR, may be much higher than expected because of significantly higher trust fund shortfalls, as reported by the Callan Institute and flaws in the NRC’s cost estimating formula. (4) On March 28, 2018, FES and FENOC announced and informed the NRC by letter dated April 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18115A007), that they would permanently retire all four of their reactors within the next 3 years. If the plants close in 2020 and 2021, the funds cannot grow to levels that will pay for the required decommissioning. (5) The parent companies FE and FES filed for bankruptcy on March 31, 2018. (6) According to the petitioner, the transcript from a recent Federal court proceeding provides additional information about funding for FE’s nuclear plant decommissioning in the FES bankruptcy case (see Case No. 1850757, ‘‘Motion of Debtors to Approve Settlement (dated August. 26, 2018)), which was heard on September 25, 2018, by the Honorable Judge Alan M. Koschik, for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Although the petition does not request specific immediate action(s), it does request ‘‘immediate emergency consideration.’’ Based on the information provided in the petition, the Petition Review Board (PRB) determined that the financial concerns do not raise an imminent safety issue or indicate that the licensee, FENOC, is unable to safely operate the facilities listed in the petition. The PRB concluded that there is no current public health and safety concern requiring immediate NRC action because financial concerns do not raise an imminent safety issue or indicate that FENOC is unable to safely operate the facilities listed in the petition. The petition manager informed the petitioner of this conclusion by e-mail dated May 2, 2018 (ADAMS Accession E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices No. ML18123A299). The supplement, which the petitioner submitted on October 8, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18282A242), did not expand the scope of the petition or request additional actions that should be considered as a new petition. Additionally, the petitioner met with the PRB on June 19, 2018, to discuss the petition. The transcript of this meeting is treated as a supplement to the petition and is publicly available online at ADAMS Accession No. ML18194A395. The transcript is also available for purchase and examination at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located at O1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, MD 20852. Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are accessible electronically through ADAMS at http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents in ADAMS should contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff by telephone at 1-800397-4209, or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. On August 2, 2018, the petition manager informed the petitioner by letter that the PRB had determined that the petition meets the acceptance criteria for review and that the PRB has made an initial recommendation to accept the petition for review (ADAMS Accession No. ML18220B314). The petition manager also asked whether the petitioner desired an opportunity to comment on this recommendation, in person or through a teleconference, consistent with Management Directive 8.11, ‘‘Review Process for 10 CFR 2.206 Petitions,’’ dated October 25, 2000. The petitioner declined this offer for a second meeting with the PRB. On January 8, 2019, the NRC sent the proposed director’s decision to the petitioner and to the licensee for comments (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML18309A228 and ML18309A189, respectively). The petitioner responded with comments on the proposed director’s decision on January 22, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19037A340). The licensee did not submit comments on the proposed director’s decision. The petitioner’s comments and the staff’s responses to the comments are included as an attachment to this director’s decision. Based on the staff’s evaluation of the petitioner’s January 22, 2019, comments, the final director’s decision has not changed from the proposed director’s decision. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 II. Discussion FENOC Is Currently in Compliance with NRC Regulations The NRC has a comprehensive, regulation-based, framework that provides oversight of a licensee’s decommissioning funding during operations and decommissioning. During operations, licensees must biennially submit decommissioning funding status reports by March 31. At 5 years before the projected permanent shutdown of their reactors until license termination, licensees must submit annual decommissioning funding status reports by March 31 of each year. Additionally, at intervals not to exceed 3 years, a licensee must update and submit its decommissioning funding plans for its independent spent fuel storage installations (ISFSIs) to account for any changes in costs. FE is the parent company of FES and FENOC, which are wholly owned subsidiaries. The NG owns the nuclear plants, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of FES. FENOC operates the nuclear plants. FENOC and NG are the licensees for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP. FENOC submitted its most recent decommissioning funding status reports for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP in a letter to the NRC dated March 24, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17083B221). Based on its review of these reports, the NRC staff concluded that FENOC met the minimum funding requirements for future radiological decommissioning of its NRC-licensed facilities for the 2017 reporting cycle, and that there were no shortfalls in decommissioning funding. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.75(f)(1), FENOC is required to submit its next decommissioning funding status reports for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP to the NRC by March 31, 2019. The reports were submitted to the NRC on March 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19074A242). The NRC staff will conduct a similar review of these decommissioning funding status reports for the units, and will consider the new expected shutdown dates, funding levels as of December 31, 2018, and any updated financial information necessary to demonstrate reasonable assurance that sufficient funds will be available for the radiological decommissioning of the sites. If the staff identifies a funding shortfall, the NRC will evaluate any such scenario on a case-by-case basis. For an operating power reactor, the NRC reserves the right to take additional steps, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.75(e)(2), including reviewing the rate of accumulation of decommissioning funds, and to take additional actions, either independently or in cooperation PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14139 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the licensee’s State public utility commission, as appropriate. Additional actions may include modifying the licensee’s schedule for accumulating decommissioning funds. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(c), if a licensee permanently ceases operation before the expiration of its license, the NRC will determine the collection period for any shortfall of funds on a case-by-case basis upon application by the licensee, and will consider the specific financial situation of each licensee. The NRR continues to monitor FENOC’s decommissioning financial assurance for its reactors and ISFSIs to ensure adequate funding and compliance with requirements for decommissioning funding. Bankruptcy Proceedings On March 31, 2018, FES, FENOC, and NG, filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. FE has not filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. Department of Justice, and the NRC’s Office of the General Counsel, are working closely together to represent the NRC’s interests in the bankruptcy proceeding, including protection and preservation of the decommissioning trust funds and continued compliance with the requirements for decommissioning funding. The proceeding in the U.S. bankruptcy court may result in changes to FENOC’s debt structure, including reorganization and the transfer of control of the reactor operating licenses. Any such license transfers would be subject to NRC review and approval. NRC license transfer reviews include, among other things, a review of the applicant’s financial qualifications, technical qualifications, and decommissioning funding, and would provide for public participation and an opportunity to request a hearing and petition to intervene. While the bankruptcy proceeding is in progress, and until license termination, licensees are required to continue to comply with NRC regulations. Additionally, on October 8, 2018, the petitioner submitted the transcript from the recent Federal court proceeding in the FES bankruptcy case to the NRC as a supplement to the petition (ADAMS Accession No. ML18282A242). The NRC staff reviewed this transcript and did not find any information in the supplement of which it was not previously aware or that warranted immediate action. The NRC will continue to monitor the bankruptcy proceedings and take action, as necessary, to ensure that the licensee E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 14140 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices remains in compliance with the agency’s regulations. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES SAFSTOR The petition ‘‘urges the NRC to prohibit NG and FENOC from placing their nuclear facilities into SAFSTOR for purely financial reasons.’’ Section 3.2.2, ‘‘SAFSTOR’’ of NUREG-0586, ‘‘Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities,’’ Supplement 1, ‘‘Regarding the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants,’’ Volume 1, issued November 2002 (ADAMS Accession No. ML023470304), lists SAFSTOR as one of three options that the NRC finds acceptable for a licensee to use in decommissioning its facility. As such, SAFSTOR is an option currently available to FENOC. The NRC is currently considering changes to its decommissioning requirements through rulemaking. The NRC expects to publish the proposed rule later this year in the Federal Register. After the agency publishes the proposed rule, members of the public will be able to access the rule through a link on the NRC’s public Web site at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doccollections/rulemaking-ruleforum/ active/RuleDetails.html?id=49. During the comment period, members of the public may submit their comments through a link on the NRC’s Web site at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket? D=NRC-2015-0070. III. Conclusion In summary, the NRC has a comprehensive, regulation-based, framework that provides for oversight of a licensee’s decommissioning funding during operation and decommissioning. The licensees’ current decommissioning funding status report, dated March 24, 2017, indicates that the licensees met the minimum funding requirements for future radiological decommissioning of the NRC-licensed facilities for the 2017 reporting cycle, and that there were no shortfalls in decommissioning funding. If the NRC staff identifies a funding shortfall in its evaluation of the status reports, which were submitted to the NRC on March 15, 2019, the NRC will take appropriate action, including enforcement action, if necessary. Further, the NRC staff will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to protect and preserve its interests in FENOC’s compliance with decommissioning requirements in the bankruptcy proceeding. Based on the current information available, the NRC staff concludes that there is an insufficient basis to find that the licensees are out of compliance with the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 NRC’s decommissioning financial assurance requirements. Therefore, based on the continuing oversight and actions described above, no further action is necessary at this time. As a result of the NRC staff’s evaluation, NRR has denied the petitioner’s requests. The request to issue Demands for Information is denied because the licensees are required to provide the information requested, as applicable, in the decommissioning funding status reports. These decommissioning funding status reports were submitted to the NRC on March 15, 2019, and will undergo NRC review. The requests to issue a Notice of Violation and Notice of Civil Penalties to FE, FES, NG, and FENOC, and the request to issue an Order suspending NG’s and FENOC’s licenses, are denied as current information available to the NRC does not demonstrate that the entities are out of compliance with NRC regulations. Therefore, there is an insufficient basis on which to take enforcement action, issue civil penalties, or suspend a license. In accordance with 10 CFR 2.206(c), a copy of this director’s decision will be filed with the Secretary of the Commission for Commission review. As provided for by this regulation, the decision will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the decision within that time. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of April, 2019. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. /RA/ Ho K. Nieh, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment: Petitioner’s Comments on Proposed Director’s Decision and NRC Response ATTACHMENT PETITIONER’S COMMENTS ON PROPOSED DIRECTOR’S DECISION AND NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION RESPONSE The petitioner provided comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the proposed director’s decision (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML18309A157) by letter dated January 22, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19037A340). The petitioner’s comments do not alter the staff’s conclusions in the proposed director’s decision and, therefore, do not require modification to the final director’s decision. This PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 attachment provides the petitioner’s comments on the proposed director’s decision and the NRC responses to the comments. The petitioner’s comments are summarized as follows: Comment 1 (from the petitioner’s letter dated January 22, 2019, pages 1 and 2): The NRC staff should issue Demands for Information to immediately request the updated decommissioning funding status report from FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC (NG), and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC). Specifically, the NRC should order FE, FES, FENOC and NG to provide the most up-to-date information on decommissioning funds with respect to: site-specific funding plans (Request No. 1), reliance on any external funds or parent company guarantees (Request Nos. 2–4), proposed investment and financial contribution plans (Request No. 5), and commitments to guarantee coverage of shortfalls in light of bankruptcy (Request No. 6). Response 1: This comment restates the petitioner’s original requests. As stated in the proposed director’s decision, the next decommissioning funding status reports for Beaver Valley Power Station, Units 1 and 2, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 are due to the NRC by March 31, 2019, and were submitted on March 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19074A242). If the staff identifies a funding shortfall in those reports, the NRC will evaluate any such scenario on a case-by-case basis. For an operating power reactor, the NRC reserves the right to take additional steps, in accordance with paragraph 50.75(e)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), including reviewing the rate of accumulation of decommissioning funds, and to take additional actions, either independently or in cooperation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the licensee’s State public utility commission, as appropriate. Additional actions may include modifying the licensee’s schedule for accumulating decommissioning funds. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(c), if a licensee permanently ceases operation before the expiration of its license, the NRC will determine the collection period for any shortfall of funds on a case-by-case basis upon application by the licensee, and will consider the specific financial situation of each licensee. The NRC Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 68 / Tuesday, April 9, 2019 / Notices continues to monitor FENOC’s decommissioning financial assurance for its reactors and ISFSIs to ensure adequate funding and compliance with requirements for decommissioning funding. The Petition Review Board (PRB) determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC made no changes to the final director’s decision as a result of this comment. Comment 2 (from the petitioner’s letter dated January 22, 2019, page 2): The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) requested that the NRC postpone acting upon the proposed director’s decision and hold open ELPC’s petition until the NRC can review the December 31, 2018, decommissioning funding status information. Response 2: In the proposed director’s decision, the NRC described the existing requirements and processes in place to monitor the decommissioning funding status of the licensees. If the report demonstrates that FENOC has sufficient funding in its trust, then no further action is necessary. For licensees that are no longer rate-regulated or do not have access to a non-bypassable charge, as is the case for FENOC and NG, any shortfalls identified in the report must be corrected by the time the next decommissioning funding status reports are due (March 31, 2020). The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC made no changes to the final director’s decision as a result of this comment. amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES Comment 3 (from the petitioner’s letter dated January 22, 2019, pages 2 and 3): If the NRC does not act now to ensure that FES, FENOC, and NG reserve adequate funds for decommissioning, parent company FE could seek to fully extricate itself from any decommissioning obligations before the NRC can identify the extent of the funding shortfalls. Response 3: As stated in the proposed director’s decision, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the NRC’s Office of the General Counsel, are working closely together to represent the NRC’s interests in the bankruptcy proceeding, including protection and preservation of the decommissioning trust funds and continued compliance with decommissioning requirements. The proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court may result in changes to FENOC’s debt structure, including reorganization VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:15 Apr 08, 2019 Jkt 247001 and the transfer of control of the reactor operating licenses. Any such license transfers would be subject to NRC review and approval. As such, NRC approval of a license transfer would be required before FE could be removed from the current corporate structure for purposes relating to NRC licensing. NRC license transfer reviews include, among other things, a review of the applicant’s financial qualifications, technical qualifications, and decommissioning funding. To approve the license transfer, the NRC must find that the applicant has demonstrated that there is reasonable assurance that sufficient funds will be available for the decommissioning process. Ultimately, the licensee is responsible for compliance with NRC decommissioning financial assurance regulations, and the NRC will continue to monitor the remaining licensee’s continued compliance. While the bankruptcy proceeding is in progress, and until license termination, licensees are required to continue to comply with NRC regulations. The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC made no changes to the final director’s decision as a result of this comment. Comment 4 (from the petitioner’s letter dated January 22, 2019, page 3): There is no suggestion in the proposed Director’s Decision that the NRC has reviewed Chapter 11 monthly statements of financial affairs, nor that it has assessed the status of the Chapter 11 proceedings. Response 4: As stated in the proposed director’s decision, the U.S. Department of Justice and the NRC’s Office of the General Counsel are working closely together to represent the NRC’s interests in the bankruptcy proceeding, including protection and preservation of the decommissioning trust funds and continued compliance with decommissioning requirements. The U.S. Department of Justice has reviewed Chapter 11 monthly statements of financial affairs, and is actively involved in the status of the Chapter 11 proceedings. The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC made no changes to the final director’s decision as a result of this comment. [FR Doc. 2019–06987 Filed 4–8–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14141 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2019–0001] Sunshine Act Meetings Weeks of April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6, 13, 2019. PLACE: Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and Closed. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: TIME AND DATE: Week of April 8, 2019 There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 8, 2019. Week of April 15, 2019—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 15, 2019. Week of April 22, 2019—Tentative Tuesday, April 23, 2019 10:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Fuel Facilities and the Nuclear Materials Users Business Lines (Public Meeting) (Contact: Paul Michalak: 301–415– 5804) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/. Week of April 29, 2019—Tentative Tuesday, April 30, 2019 10:00 a.m. Briefing on the Annual Threat Environment (Closed Ex. 1) Week of May 6, 2019—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of May 6, 2019. Week of May 13, 2019—Tentative Tuesday, May 14, 2019 9:00 a.m. Briefing on Digital Instrumentation and Control (Public Meeting) (Contact: Jason Paige: 301– 415–1474) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov/. Thursday, May 16, 2019 10:00 a.m. Briefing on Security Issues (Closed Ex. 1) 2:00 p.m. Briefing on Security Issues (Closed Ex. 1) CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301–415–0681 or via email at Denise.McGovern@nrc.gov. The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/ public-meetings/schedule.html. E:\FR\FM\09APN1.SGM 09APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 68 (Tuesday, April 9, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14136-14141]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06987]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-334 and 50-412, 50-346, 50-440; NRC-2018-0174]


FirstEnergy Corp.; FirstEnergy Solutions; FirstEnergy Nuclear 
Generation, LLC; FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Director's Decision under 10 CFR 2.206; issuance.

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

[[Page 14137]]

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a 
director's decision with regard to a petition dated March 27, 2018, as 
supplemented on October 8, 2018, filed by the Environmental Law and 
Policy Center (the petitioner), requesting that the NRC take 
enforcement action with regard to FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), FirstEnergy 
Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC (NG), and 
FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) (the licensees). The 
petitioner's requests and the director's decision are included in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

DATES: The Director's Decision was issued on April 3, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0174 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-2018-0174. Address 
questions about NRC Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individuals 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]. For the convenience of the reader, 
instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are 
provided 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: Bhalchandra K. Vaidya, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3308; email: 
[email protected] and Perry Buckberg, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1383, email: [email protected]. 
Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NRC is making the documents identified 
below available to interested persons through one or more of the 
following methods, as indicated. To access documents related to this 
action, see ADDRESSES section of this document.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Document                        ADAMS accession No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY CENTER--10     ML18094A642, ML18094A645,
 CFR 2.206 Petition and Attachments 1        ML18094A647, ML18094A649,
 through 6 Citizen Complaint and Request     ML18094A650, ML18094A651,
 for Enforcement Action Regarding            ML18094A641.
 FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations
 in Ohio and Pennsylvania Dated March 27,
 2018.
ELPC 2.206 Petition, Motion Of The          ML18151A457.
 Environmental Law & Policy Center, Ohio
 Citizen Action, Ohio Environmental
 Council and Environmental Defense Fund
 For Relief From The Automatic Stay, 11
 U.S.C. Sec.   362/L.R. 4001-1.
Official Transcript of Proceedings,         ML18194A395.
 Meeting Between Petitioners and NRC
 Petition Review Board on June 19, 2018,
 Regarding 10 CFR 2.206 Petition OEDO-18-
 00160 Re: FENOC Operations in Ohio and
 Pennsylvania.
ELPC 2.206 Petition OEDO-18-00160           ML18214A740.
 Regarding FENOC operations in Ohio and
 Pennsylvania--PRB's Initial
 Recommendation On The Petition Dated
 March 27, 2018, on FENOC Bankruptcy.
ELPC Supplement to 2.206 Petition--OEDO-18- ML18282A242.
 00160, regarding Citizen Complaint and
 Request for Enforcement Action Regarding
 FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations
 in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dated October
 8, 2018.
OEDO-18-00160--ELPC Proposed Director's     ML18309A157.
 Decision on 10 CFR 2.206 Petition for
 Citizen Complaint and Request for
 Enforcement Action Regarding FirstEnergy
 Nuclear Facility Operations in Ohio and
 Pennsylvania. Dated January 8, 2019.
OEDO-18-00160--ELPC Comments on Proposed    ML19037A340.
 Director's Decision on 10 CFR 2.206
 Petition for Citizen Complaint and
 Request for Enforcement Action Regarding
 FirstEnergy Nuclear Facility Operations
 in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Dated January
 22, 2019.
FENOC Submission--Submittal of the          ML19074A242.
 Decommissioning Funding Status Reports
 for Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit
 Nos. 1 and 2, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power
 Station, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant.
 Dated March 15, 2019.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 14138]]

    The text of the director's decision is attached.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of April, 2019.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Bhalchandra K. Vaidya,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

ATTACHMENT--DIRECTOR'S DECISION DD-19-01

DD-19-01

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION

Ho K. Nieh, Director
[Docket Nos. 50-334 and 50-412, 50-346, 50-440]
[License Nos. DPR-66 and NPF-73, NPF-3, NPF-58]
In the Matter of FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company, Beaver Valley 
Power Station, Units 1 and 2, Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 
1, Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1

DIRECTOR'S DECISION UNDER 10 CFR 2.206

I. Introduction

    By letter dated March 27, 2018, as supplemented on October 8, 2018 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
Nos. ML18094A642 and ML18282A242, respectively), the Environmental Law 
and Policy Center filed a petition with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC or the Commission) pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.206, ``Requests for action under this 
subpart.'' The petitioner requested that the NRC take the following 
actions:

(A) Issue Demands for Information

    (1) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FirstEnergy Corp. 
(FE), FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy Nuclear Generation, LLC 
(NG), and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC) requesting 
site-specific decommissioning funding plans for Beaver Valley Power 
Station, Units 1 and 2 (BVPS), Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 
1 (DBNPS), and Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 (PNPP).
    (2) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and 
FENOC with regard to their reliance on external trust funds from FE and 
FES to satisfy their decommissioning financial obligations.
    (3) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and 
FENOC with regard to their continued reliance on parent company 
guarantees from FE to satisfy decommissioning funding obligations, 
including the ability of FE to satisfy the parent company guarantee 
financial test under Appendix A, ``Criteria Relating to Use of 
Financial Tests and Parent Company Guarantees for Providing Reasonable 
Assurance of Funds for Decommissioning,'' to 10 CFR part 30, ``Rules of 
General Applicability to the Domestic Licensing of Byproduct 
Material.''
    (4) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FES, NG, and FENOC 
to the extent that they are relying on parent company guarantees from 
FES to satisfy decommissioning funding obligations, including the 
ability of FES to satisfy the parent company guarantee financial test 
under 10 CFR part 30, Appendix A.
    (5) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE, FES, NG, and 
FENOC with regard to their proposed investment and financial 
contribution plans to make up the current decommissioning shortfall.
    (6) Promptly issue a Demand for Information to FE and FES with 
regard to each of their commitments to guarantee coverage of NG's and 
FENOC's decommissioning trust fund shortfalls in the event of 
bankruptcy.

(B) Notice of Violation and Penalties

    (1) Promptly issue a Notice of Violation against FE, FES, NG, and 
FENOC for operating nuclear facilities without sufficient 
decommissioning funds in violation of 42 U.S.C.A. Section 2201(x)(1), 
and 10 CFR 50.75, ``Reporting and Recordkeeping for Decommissioning 
Planning.''
    (2) Promptly issue civil penalties against FE, FES, NG, and FENOC 
for operating nuclear facilities without sufficient decommissioning 
funds in violation of 42 U.S.C.A., Section 2201(x)(1), and 10 CFR 
50.75.
    (3) Promptly issue an order to suspend NG's and FENOC's licenses 
for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP.

(C) Other Requests

    The petitioner also urges the NRC to prohibit NG and FENOC from 
placing their nuclear facilities into a safe storage (SAFSTOR) status 
for purely financial reasons. Under SAFSTOR, often considered 
``deferred dismantling,'' a nuclear facility is maintained and 
monitored in a condition that allows the radioactivity to decay; 
afterwards, the plant is dismantled and the property decontaminated. 
The petitioner requests that the NRC give immediate emergency 
consideration to this petition in light of FE's and FES's rapidly 
deteriorating financial conditions.

(D) Basis for Petitioner's Request

    The following points summarize the basis for the petitioner's 
request, as stated in the petition and the supplement:
    (1) NG's and FENOC's decommissioning trust amounts are insufficient 
on their own to provide reasonable assurance of funding.
    (2) FE cannot rely on rate increases forced on retail ratepayers to 
pay for the decommissioning trust fund shortfalls.
    (3) The costs, including SAFSTOR, may be much higher than expected 
because of significantly higher trust fund shortfalls, as reported by 
the Callan Institute and flaws in the NRC's cost estimating formula.
    (4) On March 28, 2018, FES and FENOC announced and informed the NRC 
by letter dated April 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18115A007), that 
they would permanently retire all four of their reactors within the 
next 3 years. If the plants close in 2020 and 2021, the funds cannot 
grow to levels that will pay for the required decommissioning.
    (5) The parent companies FE and FES filed for bankruptcy on March 
31, 2018.
    (6) According to the petitioner, the transcript from a recent 
Federal court proceeding provides additional information about funding 
for FE's nuclear plant decommissioning in the FES bankruptcy case (see 
Case No. 18-50757, ``Motion of Debtors to Approve Settlement (dated 
August. 26, 2018)), which was heard on September 25, 2018, by the 
Honorable Judge Alan M. Koschik, for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the 
Northern District of Ohio.
    Although the petition does not request specific immediate 
action(s), it does request ``immediate emergency consideration.'' Based 
on the information provided in the petition, the Petition Review Board 
(PRB) determined that the financial concerns do not raise an imminent 
safety issue or indicate that the licensee, FENOC, is unable to safely 
operate the facilities listed in the petition. The PRB concluded that 
there is no current public health and safety concern requiring 
immediate NRC action because financial concerns do not raise an 
imminent safety issue or indicate that FENOC is unable to safely 
operate the facilities listed in the petition. The petition manager 
informed the petitioner of this conclusion by e[dash]mail dated May 2, 
2018 (ADAMS Accession

[[Page 14139]]

No. ML18123A299). The supplement, which the petitioner submitted on 
October 8, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18282A242), did not expand the 
scope of the petition or request additional actions that should be 
considered as a new petition.
    Additionally, the petitioner met with the PRB on June 19, 2018, to 
discuss the petition. The transcript of this meeting is treated as a 
supplement to the petition and is publicly available online at ADAMS 
Accession No. ML18194A395. The transcript is also available for 
purchase and examination at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), 
located at O1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, MD 
20852. Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are 
accessible electronically through ADAMS at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter 
problems in accessing the documents in ADAMS should contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-
4209, or 301[dash]415-4737, or by e-mail to [email protected].
    On August 2, 2018, the petition manager informed the petitioner by 
letter that the PRB had determined that the petition meets the 
acceptance criteria for review and that the PRB has made an initial 
recommendation to accept the petition for review (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML18220B314). The petition manager also asked whether the petitioner 
desired an opportunity to comment on this recommendation, in person or 
through a teleconference, consistent with Management Directive 8.11, 
``Review Process for 10 CFR 2.206 Petitions,'' dated October 25, 2000. 
The petitioner declined this offer for a second meeting with the PRB.
    On January 8, 2019, the NRC sent the proposed director's decision 
to the petitioner and to the licensee for comments (ADAMS Accession 
Nos. ML18309A228 and ML18309A189, respectively). The petitioner 
responded with comments on the proposed director's decision on January 
22, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19037A340). The licensee did not submit 
comments on the proposed director's decision. The petitioner's comments 
and the staff's responses to the comments are included as an attachment 
to this director's decision.
    Based on the staff's evaluation of the petitioner's January 22, 
2019, comments, the final director's decision has not changed from the 
proposed director's decision.

II. Discussion

FENOC Is Currently in Compliance with NRC Regulations
    The NRC has a comprehensive, regulation-based, framework that 
provides oversight of a licensee's decommissioning funding during 
operations and decommissioning. During operations, licensees must 
biennially submit decommissioning funding status reports by March 31. 
At 5 years before the projected permanent shutdown of their reactors 
until license termination, licensees must submit annual decommissioning 
funding status reports by March 31 of each year. Additionally, at 
intervals not to exceed 3 years, a licensee must update and submit its 
decommissioning funding plans for its independent spent fuel storage 
installations (ISFSIs) to account for any changes in costs.
    FE is the parent company of FES and FENOC, which are wholly owned 
subsidiaries. The NG owns the nuclear plants, which is a wholly owned 
subsidiary of FES. FENOC operates the nuclear plants. FENOC and NG are 
the licensees for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP. FENOC submitted its most 
recent decommissioning funding status reports for BVPS, DBNPS, and PNPP 
in a letter to the NRC dated March 24, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17083B221). Based on its review of these reports, the NRC staff 
concluded that FENOC met the minimum funding requirements for future 
radiological decommissioning of its NRC-licensed facilities for the 
2017 reporting cycle, and that there were no shortfalls in 
decommissioning funding.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.75(f)(1), FENOC is required to submit 
its next decommissioning funding status reports for BVPS, DBNPS, and 
PNPP to the NRC by March 31, 2019. The reports were submitted to the 
NRC on March 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19074A242). The NRC staff 
will conduct a similar review of these decommissioning funding status 
reports for the units, and will consider the new expected shutdown 
dates, funding levels as of December 31, 2018, and any updated 
financial information necessary to demonstrate reasonable assurance 
that sufficient funds will be available for the radiological 
decommissioning of the sites. If the staff identifies a funding 
shortfall, the NRC will evaluate any such scenario on a case-by-case 
basis. For an operating power reactor, the NRC reserves the right to 
take additional steps, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.75(e)(2), including 
reviewing the rate of accumulation of decommissioning funds, and to 
take additional actions, either independently or in cooperation with 
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the licensee's State 
public utility commission, as appropriate. Additional actions may 
include modifying the licensee's schedule for accumulating 
decommissioning funds. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(c), if a 
licensee permanently ceases operation before the expiration of its 
license, the NRC will determine the collection period for any shortfall 
of funds on a case-by-case basis upon application by the licensee, and 
will consider the specific financial situation of each licensee. The 
NRR continues to monitor FENOC's decommissioning financial assurance 
for its reactors and ISFSIs to ensure adequate funding and compliance 
with requirements for decommissioning funding.
Bankruptcy Proceedings
    On March 31, 2018, FES, FENOC, and NG, filed a petition for 
reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. FE has not 
filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. Department of Justice, and the NRC's 
Office of the General Counsel, are working closely together to 
represent the NRC's interests in the bankruptcy proceeding, including 
protection and preservation of the decommissioning trust funds and 
continued compliance with the requirements for decommissioning funding. 
The proceeding in the U.S. bankruptcy court may result in changes to 
FENOC's debt structure, including reorganization and the transfer of 
control of the reactor operating licenses. Any such license transfers 
would be subject to NRC review and approval. NRC license transfer 
reviews include, among other things, a review of the applicant's 
financial qualifications, technical qualifications, and decommissioning 
funding, and would provide for public participation and an opportunity 
to request a hearing and petition to intervene. While the bankruptcy 
proceeding is in progress, and until license termination, licensees are 
required to continue to comply with NRC regulations.
    Additionally, on October 8, 2018, the petitioner submitted the 
transcript from the recent Federal court proceeding in the FES 
bankruptcy case to the NRC as a supplement to the petition (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML18282A242). The NRC staff reviewed this transcript and 
did not find any information in the supplement of which it was not 
previously aware or that warranted immediate action. The NRC will 
continue to monitor the bankruptcy proceedings and take action, as 
necessary, to ensure that the licensee

[[Page 14140]]

remains in compliance with the agency's regulations.
SAFSTOR
    The petition ``urges the NRC to prohibit NG and FENOC from placing 
their nuclear facilities into SAFSTOR for purely financial reasons.'' 
Section 3.2.2, ``SAFSTOR'' of NUREG[dash]0586, ``Final Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear 
Facilities,'' Supplement 1, ``Regarding the Decommissioning of Nuclear 
Power Plants,'' Volume 1, issued November 2002 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML023470304), lists SAFSTOR as one of three options that the NRC finds 
acceptable for a licensee to use in decommissioning its facility. As 
such, SAFSTOR is an option currently available to FENOC.
    The NRC is currently considering changes to its decommissioning 
requirements through rulemaking. The NRC expects to publish the 
proposed rule later this year in the Federal Register. After the agency 
publishes the proposed rule, members of the public will be able to 
access the rule through a link on the NRC's public Web site at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/rulemaking-ruleforum/active/RuleDetails.html?id=49. During the comment period, members of the 
public may submit their comments through a link on the NRC's Web site 
at: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NRC-2015-0070.

III. Conclusion

    In summary, the NRC has a comprehensive, regulation-based, 
framework that provides for oversight of a licensee's decommissioning 
funding during operation and decommissioning. The licensees' current 
decommissioning funding status report, dated March 24, 2017, indicates 
that the licensees met the minimum funding requirements for future 
radiological decommissioning of the NRC-licensed facilities for the 
2017 reporting cycle, and that there were no shortfalls in 
decommissioning funding. If the NRC staff identifies a funding 
shortfall in its evaluation of the status reports, which were submitted 
to the NRC on March 15, 2019, the NRC will take appropriate action, 
including enforcement action, if necessary. Further, the NRC staff will 
continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice to protect and 
preserve its interests in FENOC's compliance with decommissioning 
requirements in the bankruptcy proceeding. Based on the current 
information available, the NRC staff concludes that there is an 
insufficient basis to find that the licensees are out of compliance 
with the NRC's decommissioning financial assurance requirements. 
Therefore, based on the continuing oversight and actions described 
above, no further action is necessary at this time.
    As a result of the NRC staff's evaluation, NRR has denied the 
petitioner's requests. The request to issue Demands for Information is 
denied because the licensees are required to provide the information 
requested, as applicable, in the decommissioning funding status 
reports. These decommissioning funding status reports were submitted to 
the NRC on March 15, 2019, and will undergo NRC review. The requests to 
issue a Notice of Violation and Notice of Civil Penalties to FE, FES, 
NG, and FENOC, and the request to issue an Order suspending NG's and 
FENOC's licenses, are denied as current information available to the 
NRC does not demonstrate that the entities are out of compliance with 
NRC regulations. Therefore, there is an insufficient basis on which to 
take enforcement action, issue civil penalties, or suspend a license.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.206(c), a copy of this director's 
decision will be filed with the Secretary of the Commission for 
Commission review. As provided for by this regulation, the decision 
will constitute the final action of the Commission 25 days after the 
date of the decision unless the Commission, on its own motion, 
institutes a review of the decision within that time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of April, 2019.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    /RA/
Ho K. Nieh,
Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment: Petitioner's Comments on Proposed Director's Decision and 
NRC Response

ATTACHMENT

PETITIONER'S COMMENTS ON PROPOSED DIRECTOR'S DECISION AND NUCLEAR 
REGULATORY COMMISSION RESPONSE

    The petitioner provided comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) on the proposed director's decision (Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. 
ML18309A157) by letter dated January 22, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML19037A340).
    The petitioner's comments do not alter the staff's conclusions in 
the proposed director's decision and, therefore, do not require 
modification to the final director's decision. This attachment provides 
the petitioner's comments on the proposed director's decision and the 
NRC responses to the comments.
    The petitioner's comments are summarized as follows:

Comment 1 (from the petitioner's letter dated January 22, 2019, pages 1 
and 2):

    The NRC staff should issue Demands for Information to immediately 
request the updated decommissioning funding status report from 
FirstEnergy Corp. (FE), FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), FirstEnergy 
Nuclear Generation, LLC (NG), and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company 
(FENOC). Specifically, the NRC should order FE, FES, FENOC and NG to 
provide the most up-to-date information on decommissioning funds with 
respect to: site-specific funding plans (Request No. 1), reliance on 
any external funds or parent company guarantees (Request Nos. 2-4), 
proposed investment and financial contribution plans (Request No. 5), 
and commitments to guarantee coverage of shortfalls in light of 
bankruptcy (Request No. 6).

Response 1:

    This comment restates the petitioner's original requests. As stated 
in the proposed director's decision, the next decommissioning funding 
status reports for Beaver Valley Power Station, Units 1 and 2, Davis-
Besse Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, and Perry Nuclear Power Plant, 
Unit 1 are due to the NRC by March 31, 2019, and were submitted on 
March 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19074A242). If the staff 
identifies a funding shortfall in those reports, the NRC will evaluate 
any such scenario on a case-by-case basis. For an operating power 
reactor, the NRC reserves the right to take additional steps, in 
accordance with paragraph 50.75(e)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), including reviewing the rate of 
accumulation of decommissioning funds, and to take additional actions, 
either independently or in cooperation with the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission and the licensee's State public utility 
commission, as appropriate. Additional actions may include modifying 
the licensee's schedule for accumulating decommissioning funds. In 
accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(c), if a licensee permanently ceases 
operation before the expiration of its license, the NRC will determine 
the collection period for any shortfall of funds on a case-by-case 
basis upon application by the licensee, and will consider the specific 
financial situation of each licensee. The NRC Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation

[[Page 14141]]

continues to monitor FENOC's decommissioning financial assurance for 
its reactors and ISFSIs to ensure adequate funding and compliance with 
requirements for decommissioning funding.
    The Petition Review Board (PRB) determined that no further actions 
were needed, and the NRC made no changes to the final director's 
decision as a result of this comment.

Comment 2 (from the petitioner's letter dated January 22, 2019, page 
2):

    The Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) requested that the 
NRC postpone acting upon the proposed director's decision and hold open 
ELPC's petition until the NRC can review the December 31, 2018, 
decommissioning funding status information.

Response 2:

    In the proposed director's decision, the NRC described the existing 
requirements and processes in place to monitor the decommissioning 
funding status of the licensees. If the report demonstrates that FENOC 
has sufficient funding in its trust, then no further action is 
necessary. For licensees that are no longer rate-regulated or do not 
have access to a non-bypassable charge, as is the case for FENOC and 
NG, any shortfalls identified in the report must be corrected by the 
time the next decommissioning funding status reports are due (March 31, 
2020).
    The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC 
made no changes to the final director's decision as a result of this 
comment.

Comment 3 (from the petitioner's letter dated January 22, 2019, pages 2 
and 3):

    If the NRC does not act now to ensure that FES, FENOC, and NG 
reserve adequate funds for decommissioning, parent company FE could 
seek to fully extricate itself from any decommissioning obligations 
before the NRC can identify the extent of the funding shortfalls.

Response 3:

    As stated in the proposed director's decision, the U.S. Department 
of Justice, and the NRC's Office of the General Counsel, are working 
closely together to represent the NRC's interests in the bankruptcy 
proceeding, including protection and preservation of the 
decommissioning trust funds and continued compliance with 
decommissioning requirements. The proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy 
Court may result in changes to FENOC's debt structure, including 
reorganization and the transfer of control of the reactor operating 
licenses. Any such license transfers would be subject to NRC review and 
approval. As such, NRC approval of a license transfer would be required 
before FE could be removed from the current corporate structure for 
purposes relating to NRC licensing. NRC license transfer reviews 
include, among other things, a review of the applicant's financial 
qualifications, technical qualifications, and decommissioning funding. 
To approve the license transfer, the NRC must find that the applicant 
has demonstrated that there is reasonable assurance that sufficient 
funds will be available for the decommissioning process. Ultimately, 
the licensee is responsible for compliance with NRC decommissioning 
financial assurance regulations, and the NRC will continue to monitor 
the remaining licensee's continued compliance. While the bankruptcy 
proceeding is in progress, and until license termination, licensees are 
required to continue to comply with NRC regulations.
    The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC 
made no changes to the final director's decision as a result of this 
comment.

Comment 4 (from the petitioner's letter dated January 22, 2019, page 
3):

    There is no suggestion in the proposed Director's Decision that the 
NRC has reviewed Chapter 11 monthly statements of financial affairs, 
nor that it has assessed the status of the Chapter 11 proceedings.

Response 4:

    As stated in the proposed director's decision, the U.S. Department 
of Justice and the NRC's Office of the General Counsel are working 
closely together to represent the NRC's interests in the bankruptcy 
proceeding, including protection and preservation of the 
decommissioning trust funds and continued compliance with 
decommissioning requirements. The U.S. Department of Justice has 
reviewed Chapter 11 monthly statements of financial affairs, and is 
actively involved in the status of the Chapter 11 proceedings.
    The PRB determined that no further actions were needed, and the NRC 
made no changes to the final director's decision as a result of this 
comment.

[FR Doc. 2019-06987 Filed 4-8-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P