Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3, 13673-13676 [2020-04710]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 46 / Monday, March 9, 2020 / Notices 5. Vote on Inv. Nos. 701–TA–618–619 and 731–TA–1441–1442 (Final) (Carbon and Alloy Steel Threaded Rod from China and India). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations and views of the Commission by April 3, 2020. 6. Outstanding action jackets: None. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer, 202–205–2595. The Commission is holding the meeting under the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b). In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting. By order of the Commission. Issued: March 4, 2020. William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer. BILLING CODE 7020–02–P INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [USITC SE–20–009] Sunshine Act Meetings United States International Trade Commission. TIME AND DATE: March 17, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. PLACE: Room 101, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, Telephone: (202) 205–2000. STATUS: Open to the public. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: 1. Agendas for future meetings: None. 2. Minutes. 3. Ratification List. 4. Vote on Inv. Nos. 731–TA–1435– 1436 and 1439 (Final) (Acetone from Belgium, Korea, and South Africa). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determinations and views of the Commission by March 30, 2020. 5. Outstanding action jackets: None. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer, 202–205–2595. The Commission is holding the meeting under the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b). In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES By order of the Commission. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 [FR Doc. 2020–04792 Filed 3–5–20; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7020–02–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–247 and 50–286; NRC– 2020–0045] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to an April 15, 2019 request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee). The exemption allows a certified fuel handler, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe weather for Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 (Indian Point 2 and 3) after both the ‘‘Certification of Permanent Cessation of Operations’’ and the ‘‘Certification of Permanent Fuel Removal’’ have been docketed for that respective unit. DATES: The exemption was issued on February 28, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0045 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 https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0045. 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 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 https://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@ SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2020–04791 Filed 3–5–20; 11:15 am] AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETING: Issued: March 4, 2020. William Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13673 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. • 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: Richard V. Guzman, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 1030, email: Richard.Guzman@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of March, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Richard V. Guzman, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment—Exemption NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket Nos. 50–247 and 50–286 Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 Exemption Related to the Approval Authority for Suspension of Security Measures in an Emergency or During Severe Weather I. Background Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR–26 and DPR–64 for Indian Point Nuclear Generating Units Nos. 2 and 3 (Indian Point 2 and 3). The licenses provide, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission), now or hereafter in effect. The Indian Point 2 and 3 facility consists of two pressurized-water reactors located in Buchanan, New York. By letter dated February 8, 2017 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML17044A004), the licensee submitted a Notification of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations for Indian Point 2 and 3. In this letter, Entergy provided notification to the NRC of its intent to permanently cease power operations at Indian Point 2 and 3 no later than April 30, 2020, and April 30, 2021, respectively, subject to E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 13674 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 46 / Monday, March 9, 2020 / Notices operating extensions through, but not beyond, 2024 and 2025, respectively. In accordance with title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Sections 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) and 50.82(a)(2), upon the docketing of the certifications for permanent cessation of operations and the permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel, the 10 CFR part 50 license no longer authorizes reactor operation or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel. As a result, licensed senior operators (i.e., individuals licensed under 10 CFR part 55 to manipulate the controls of a facility and to direct the licensed activities of licensed operators) will no longer be required to support plant operating activities. Instead, certified fuel handlers (CFHs) (i.e., non-licensed operators who have qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission) will perform activities associated with decommissioning and irradiated fuel handling and management. Commission approval of a fuel handler training program is needed to facilitate these activities. By letter dated April 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19105A632), Entergy submitted a request for Commission approval of the CFH Training and Retraining Program for Indian Point 2 and 3. By letter dated December 18, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19333B868), the Commission approved the CFH Training and Retraining Program for Indian Point 2 and 3. The CFH Training and Retraining Program is to be used to satisfy training requirements for the plant personnel responsible for supervising and directing the monitoring, storage, handling, and cooling of irradiated fuel in a manner consistent with ensuring the health and safety of the public. As stated in 10 CFR 50.2, ‘‘Definitions,’’ CFHs are qualified in accordance with a Commission-approved training program. II. Request/Action jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES The Commission’s regulations at 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1) address the suspension of security measures in an emergency (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i)) or during severe weather (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii)): The licensee may suspend implementation of affected requirements of this section under the following conditions: (i) In accordance with §§ 50.54(x) and 50.54(y) of this chapter, the licensee may suspend any security measures under this section in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension of security measures must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator before taking this action. (ii) During severe weather when the suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent protection. This suspension of security measures must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from the security supervisor or manager, before taking this action. By letter dated April 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19105B237), the licensee requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ‘‘Specific exemptions.’’ Consistent with 10 CFR 50.54(y), Entergy intends to have a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 3. III. Discussion The NRC’s security rules have long recognized the potential need to suspend security or safeguards measures under certain conditions. Accordingly, 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y), first published in 1983, allow a licensee to take reasonable actions in an emergency that depart from license conditions or technical specifications when those actions are immediately ‘‘needed to protect the public health and safety,’’ and no actions consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection are immediately apparent (48 FR 13970; April 1, 1983). As originally issued, the departure from license conditions or technical specifications must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator. In 1986, in its final rule, ‘‘Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical Protection of Nuclear Power Plants’’ (51 FR 27821; August 4, 1986), the Commission issued 10 CFR 73.55(a), stating in part: In accordance with § [§ ] 50.54 (x) and (y) of Part 50, the licensee may suspend any safeguards measures pursuant to § 73.55 in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specification that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator prior to taking the action. In 1996, the NRC made a number of regulatory changes to address decommissioning. One of the changes PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 was to amend 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y) to authorize a non-licensed operator called a ‘‘certified fuel handler,’’ in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve such protective actions in an emergency situation at a permanently shutdown facility. Specifically, in addressing the role of the CFH during emergencies, the Commission stated in the proposed rule, ‘‘Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors’’ (60 FR 37379; July 20, 1995): The Commission is proposing to amend 10 CFR 50.54(y) to permit a certified fuel handler at nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel, subject to the requirements of § 50.82(a) and consistent with the proposed definition of ‘‘Certified Fuel Handler’’ specified in § 50.2, to make these evaluations and judgments. A nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and no longer has fuel in the reactor vessel does not require a licensed individual to monitor core conditions. A certified fuel handler at a permanently shutdown and defueled nuclear power reactor undergoing decommissioning is an individual who has the requisite knowledge and experience to evaluate plant conditions and make these judgments. In the final rule (61 FR 39298; July 29, 1996), the NRC added the following definition to 10 CFR 50.2: ‘‘Certified fuel handler means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission.’’ However, the decommissioning rule did not propose or make parallel changes to 10 CFR 73.55(a), and did not discuss the role of a non-licensed CFH at a permanently shutdown facility. In the final rule, ‘‘Power Reactor Security Requirements’’ (74 FR 13926; March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated the security suspension requirements from 10 CFR 73.55(a) to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii). The role of a CFH was not discussed in the rulemaking; therefore, the suspension of security measures in accordance with 10 CFR 73.55(p) continues to require approval, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, even for a permanently shutdown facility. Under 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon application of any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73 as it determines are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest. As explained below, the proposed exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 46 / Monday, March 9, 2020 / Notices A. The Exemption is Authorized by Law The proposed exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator at Indian Point 2 and 3 approve the suspension of security measures under certain emergency conditions or severe weather. The licensee intends to use the authority of a non-licensed CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather. Although the exemption is effective upon receipt, the exemption may not be implemented at Indian Point 2 and 3 until the respective 10 CFR part 50 license no longer authorizes operation of the reactor or the emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2). Per 10 CFR 73.5, the NRC may grant specific exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73. Granting the proposed exemption is consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not otherwise inconsistent with NRC regulations or other applicable laws. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES B. The Exemption Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security The requested exemption would permit a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 3 only when that respective reactor is permanently shut down and defueled. The NRC staff finds that the exemption will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security for the reasons discussed below. First, 10 CFR 73.55(p)(2) will continue to require that ‘‘[s]uspended security measures must be reinstated as soon as conditions permit.’’ Second, the suspension of security measures for emergencies under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ‘‘when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent.’’ Thus, the exemption would not prevent the licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) to protect the public health and safety. Third, the suspension of security measures for severe weather under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ‘‘the suspension of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent protection.’’ The requirement in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to receive input from the security supervisor or manager will remain. Therefore, the exemption would not prevent the licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to protect the health and safety of the security force. Additionally, by letter dated December 18, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19333B868), the NRC approved the Indian Point 2 and 3 CFH Training and Retraining Program. The NRC staff found that, among other things, the program addresses the safe conduct of decommissioning activities, the safe handling and storage of spent fuel, and the appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because a CFH at Indian Point 2 and 3 will be sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-approved program, the NRC staff considers the CFH to have sufficient knowledge of operational and safety concerns, such that allowing the CFH to suspend security measures in emergencies or during severe weather will not result in undue risk to the public health and safety. In addition, since the exemption allows a CFH the same authority currently given to the licensed senior operator under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), no change is required to physical security. Since no change is required to physical security, the exemption would not reduce the overall effectiveness of the Indian Point 2 and 3 physical security plan and would not adversely impact the licensee’s ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material at Indian Point 2 and 3, and thus, would not have an adverse effect on the common defense and security. The NRC staff has determined that the exemption would not reduce security measures currently in place to protect against radiological sabotage. Instead, the exemption would align the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) with the existing requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(y). For these reasons, granting the exemption from the requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) and permitting a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 3 when that respective reactor is permanently shut PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13675 down and defueled will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. C. The Exemption is Otherwise in the Public Interest The proposed exemption would allow a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the public health and safety,’’ or during severe weather events when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel’’ at Indian Point 2 and 3 when that respective reactor is permanently shut down. If the exemption is not granted, Indian Point 2 and 3 will be required to have a licensed senior operator available to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather for a permanently shutdown plant, even though there would no longer be an NRC requirement for Entergy to maintain a licensed senior operator at Indian Point 2 and 3 after the certifications required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) are submitted respective to each reactor. This exemption is in the public interest for the following reasons. Without the exemption, there would be uncertainty regarding how the licensee will invoke the temporary suspension of security measures that may be needed for protecting the public health and safety or the personal health and safety of the security force personnel in emergencies or during severe weather, given the differences between the requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), and 10 CFR 50.54(y). The exemption would allow the licensee to make decisions pursuant to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) without having to maintain a staff of licensed senior operators at a nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel. The exemption would also allow the licensee to have an established procedure in place to allow a CFH to suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe weather after the certifications required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) have been submitted. Finally, the consistent and efficient regulation of nuclear power plants serves the public interest, and this exemption would ensure consistency between the regulations in 10 CFR part 73 and 10 CFR 50.54(y) and the requirements concerning licensed operators in 10 CFR part 55. The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption would allow the licensee to designate a CFH E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 13676 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 46 / Monday, March 9, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES with qualifications appropriate for a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency to protect the public health and safety and during severe weather to protect the personal health and safety of the security force personnel. The actions permitted by the exemption may be implemented at each Indian Point 2 and 3 unit separately when both the ‘‘Certification of Permanent Cessation of Operations’’ and the ‘‘Certification of Permanent Fuel Removal’’ for that respective reactor is submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii), which is consistent with the similar authority provided by 10 CFR 50.54(y). Therefore, the exemption is in the public interest. D. Environmental Consideration The NRC’s approval of the proposed exemption belongs to a category of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has declared to be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the category of actions does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), as determined by the Commission, an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement is not required for any action within a category of actions included in the list of categorical exclusions set out in paragraph (c) of Section 51.22. Specifically, the NRC’s approval of the exemption is categorically excluded from further environmental analysis under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical exclusion provided that: (i) There is no significant hazards consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought involve: Recordkeeping requirements; reporting requirements; inspection or surveillance requirements; equipment servicing or maintenance scheduling requirements; education, training, experience, qualification, requalification or other employment suitability requirements; safeguard plans, and materials control and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:47 Mar 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 accounting inventory scheduling requirements; scheduling requirements; surety, insurance or indemnity requirements; or other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption involves no significant hazards consideration because allowing a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the security suspension at a permanently shutdown and defueled power plant does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated, or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The proposed exemption is unrelated to any operational restriction. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite and no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. The proposed exemption is not associated with construction, so there is no significant construction impact. The proposed exemption does not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an accident) or mitigation. Thus, there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents. Finally, the requirement regarding suspensions of security measures involves either safeguards, materials control, or managerial/ organizational matters. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and (c)(25), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the approval of the proposed exemption. IV. Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, the exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the licensee’s request for an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) to authorize that the suspension of security measures must be approved, as a minimum, by either a licensed senior operator or a CFH at Indian Point 2 and 3 during emergency or severe weather, once the respective unit’s certifications required under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1) have been submitted. PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Craig G. Erlanger, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2020–04710 Filed 3–6–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. STN 50–528, STN 50–529, and STN 50–530; NRC–2020–0069] Arizona Public Service Company; Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a July 6, 2018, request, as supplemented by letters dated October 18, 2018; March 1, 2019; May 17, 2019; October 4, 2019; November 26, 2019; and December 19, 2019, from Arizona Public Service Company (the licensee) in order to use Framatome M5® alloy as a fuel rod cladding material at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3. DATES: The exemption was issued on March 4, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0069 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–2020–0069. 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 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 in this SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 46 (Monday, March 9, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13673-13676]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-04710]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-247 and 50-286; NRC-2020-0045]


Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Indian Point Nuclear Generating 
Unit Nos. 2 and 3

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to an April 15, 2019 request from Entergy Nuclear 
Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee). The exemption allows a 
certified fuel handler, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to 
suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe weather for 
Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 (Indian Point 2 and 
3) after both the ``Certification of Permanent Cessation of 
Operations'' and the ``Certification of Permanent Fuel Removal'' have 
been docketed for that respective unit.

DATES: The exemption was issued on February 28, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0045 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 https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0045. Address 
questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov 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 https://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.
     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: Richard V. Guzman, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1030, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of March, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Richard V. Guzman,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment--Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket Nos. 50-247 and 50-286

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.

Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3

Exemption Related to the Approval Authority for Suspension of Security 
Measures in an Emergency or During Severe Weather

I. Background

    Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee) is the 
holder of Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-26 and DPR-64 for 
Indian Point Nuclear Generating Units Nos. 2 and 3 (Indian Point 2 and 
3). The licenses provide, among other things, that the facility is 
subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission), now or hereafter in 
effect. The Indian Point 2 and 3 facility consists of two pressurized-
water reactors located in Buchanan, New York.
    By letter dated February 8, 2017 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML17044A004), the licensee 
submitted a Notification of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations for 
Indian Point 2 and 3. In this letter, Entergy provided notification to 
the NRC of its intent to permanently cease power operations at Indian 
Point 2 and 3 no later than April 30, 2020, and April 30, 2021, 
respectively, subject to

[[Page 13674]]

operating extensions through, but not beyond, 2024 and 2025, 
respectively.
    In accordance with title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR) Sections 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) and 50.82(a)(2), upon the 
docketing of the certifications for permanent cessation of operations 
and the permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel, the 10 CFR 
part 50 license no longer authorizes reactor operation or emplacement 
or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel. As a result, licensed 
senior operators (i.e., individuals licensed under 10 CFR part 55 to 
manipulate the controls of a facility and to direct the licensed 
activities of licensed operators) will no longer be required to support 
plant operating activities. Instead, certified fuel handlers (CFHs) 
(i.e., non-licensed operators who have qualified in accordance with a 
fuel handler training program approved by the Commission) will perform 
activities associated with decommissioning and irradiated fuel handling 
and management. Commission approval of a fuel handler training program 
is needed to facilitate these activities.
    By letter dated April 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19105A632), 
Entergy submitted a request for Commission approval of the CFH Training 
and Retraining Program for Indian Point 2 and 3. By letter dated 
December 18, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19333B868), the Commission 
approved the CFH Training and Retraining Program for Indian Point 2 and 
3. The CFH Training and Retraining Program is to be used to satisfy 
training requirements for the plant personnel responsible for 
supervising and directing the monitoring, storage, handling, and 
cooling of irradiated fuel in a manner consistent with ensuring the 
health and safety of the public. As stated in 10 CFR 50.2, 
``Definitions,'' CFHs are qualified in accordance with a Commission-
approved training program.

II. Request/Action

    The Commission's regulations at 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1) address the 
suspension of security measures in an emergency (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i)) 
or during severe weather (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii)):

    The licensee may suspend implementation of affected requirements 
of this section under the following conditions:
    (i) In accordance with Sec. Sec.  50.54(x) and 50.54(y) of this 
chapter, the licensee may suspend any security measures under this 
section in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to 
protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with 
license conditions and technical specifications that can provide 
adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This 
suspension of security measures must be approved as a minimum by a 
licensed senior operator before taking this action.
    (ii) During severe weather when the suspension of affected 
security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal 
health and safety of security force personnel and no other 
immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions 
and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent 
protection. This suspension of security measures must be approved, 
as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from the 
security supervisor or manager, before taking this action.

    By letter dated April 15, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19105B237), 
the licensee requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 
(ii), pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' Consistent with 
10 CFR 50.54(y), Entergy intends to have a CFH, in addition to a 
licensed senior operator, approve the suspension of security measures 
in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 3.

III. Discussion

    The NRC's security rules have long recognized the potential need to 
suspend security or safeguards measures under certain conditions. 
Accordingly, 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y), first published in 1983, allow a 
licensee to take reasonable actions in an emergency that depart from 
license conditions or technical specifications when those actions are 
immediately ``needed to protect the public health and safety,'' and no 
actions consistent with license conditions and technical specifications 
that can provide adequate or equivalent protection are immediately 
apparent (48 FR 13970; April 1, 1983). As originally issued, the 
departure from license conditions or technical specifications must be 
approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator. In 1986, in its 
final rule, ``Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical 
Protection of Nuclear Power Plants'' (51 FR 27821; August 4, 1986), the 
Commission issued 10 CFR 73.55(a), stating in part:

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

    In 1996, the NRC made a number of regulatory changes to address 
decommissioning. One of the changes was to amend 10 CFR 50.54(x) and 
(y) to authorize a non-licensed operator called a ``certified fuel 
handler,'' in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve such 
protective actions in an emergency situation at a permanently shutdown 
facility. Specifically, in addressing the role of the CFH during 
emergencies, the Commission stated in the proposed rule, 
``Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors'' (60 FR 37379; July 20, 
1995):

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

    In the final rule (61 FR 39298; July 29, 1996), the NRC added the 
following definition to 10 CFR 50.2: ``Certified fuel handler means, 
for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator who has 
qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved 
by the Commission.'' However, the decommissioning rule did not propose 
or make parallel changes to 10 CFR 73.55(a), and did not discuss the 
role of a non-licensed CFH at a permanently shutdown facility.
    In the final rule, ``Power Reactor Security Requirements'' (74 FR 
13926; March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated the security suspension 
requirements from 10 CFR 73.55(a) to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii). 
The role of a CFH was not discussed in the rulemaking; therefore, the 
suspension of security measures in accordance with 10 CFR 73.55(p) 
continues to require approval, as a minimum, by a licensed senior 
operator, even for a permanently shutdown facility.
    Under 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon application of any 
interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR part 73 as it determines are authorized by law, 
will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, 
and are otherwise in the public interest. As explained below, the 
proposed exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest.

[[Page 13675]]

A. The Exemption is Authorized by Law

    The proposed exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) would 
remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator at Indian Point 
2 and 3 approve the suspension of security measures under certain 
emergency conditions or severe weather. The licensee intends to use the 
authority of a non-licensed CFH, in addition to a licensed senior 
operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an 
emergency or during severe weather. Although the exemption is effective 
upon receipt, the exemption may not be implemented at Indian Point 2 
and 3 until the respective 10 CFR part 50 license no longer authorizes 
operation of the reactor or the emplacement or retention of fuel in the 
reactor vessel in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2).
    Per 10 CFR 73.5, the NRC may grant specific exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR part 73. Granting the proposed exemption is 
consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not 
otherwise inconsistent with NRC regulations or other applicable laws. 
Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

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

    The requested exemption would permit a CFH, in addition to a 
licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security 
measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 
3 only when that respective reactor is permanently shut down and 
defueled. The NRC staff finds that the exemption will not endanger life 
or property or the common defense and security for the reasons 
discussed below.
    First, 10 CFR 73.55(p)(2) will continue to require that 
``[s]uspended security measures must be reinstated as soon as 
conditions permit.''
    Second, the suspension of security measures for emergencies under 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ``when this 
action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety 
and no action consistent with license conditions and technical 
specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is 
immediately apparent.'' Thus, the exemption would not prevent the 
licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) 
to protect the public health and safety.
    Third, the suspension of security measures for severe weather under 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ``the 
suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to 
protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel and 
no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license 
conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or 
equivalent protection.'' The requirement in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to 
receive input from the security supervisor or manager will remain. 
Therefore, the exemption would not prevent the licensee from meeting 
the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to protect the health 
and safety of the security force.
    Additionally, by letter dated December 18, 2019 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML19333B868), the NRC approved the Indian Point 2 and 3 CFH 
Training and Retraining Program. The NRC staff found that, among other 
things, the program addresses the safe conduct of decommissioning 
activities, the safe handling and storage of spent fuel, and the 
appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because a CFH at Indian 
Point 2 and 3 will be sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-
approved program, the NRC staff considers the CFH to have sufficient 
knowledge of operational and safety concerns, such that allowing the 
CFH to suspend security measures in emergencies or during severe 
weather will not result in undue risk to the public health and safety.
    In addition, since the exemption allows a CFH the same authority 
currently given to the licensed senior operator under 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), no change is required to physical security. 
Since no change is required to physical security, the exemption would 
not reduce the overall effectiveness of the Indian Point 2 and 3 
physical security plan and would not adversely impact the licensee's 
ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear 
material at Indian Point 2 and 3, and thus, would not have an adverse 
effect on the common defense and security. The NRC staff has determined 
that the exemption would not reduce security measures currently in 
place to protect against radiological sabotage. Instead, the exemption 
would align the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) with the 
existing requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(y).
    For these reasons, granting the exemption from the requirements in 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) and permitting a CFH, in addition to a 
licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security 
measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Indian Point 2 and 
3 when that respective reactor is permanently shut down and defueled 
will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security.

C. The Exemption is Otherwise in the Public Interest

    The proposed exemption would allow a CFH, in addition to a licensed 
senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an 
emergency when ``immediately needed to protect the public health and 
safety,'' or during severe weather events when ``immediately needed to 
protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel'' at 
Indian Point 2 and 3 when that respective reactor is permanently shut 
down. If the exemption is not granted, Indian Point 2 and 3 will be 
required to have a licensed senior operator available to approve the 
suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe 
weather for a permanently shutdown plant, even though there would no 
longer be an NRC requirement for Entergy to maintain a licensed senior 
operator at Indian Point 2 and 3 after the certifications required by 
10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) are submitted respective to each 
reactor.
    This exemption is in the public interest for the following reasons. 
Without the exemption, there would be uncertainty regarding how the 
licensee will invoke the temporary suspension of security measures that 
may be needed for protecting the public health and safety or the 
personal health and safety of the security force personnel in 
emergencies or during severe weather, given the differences between the 
requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), and 10 CFR 50.54(y). 
The exemption would allow the licensee to make decisions pursuant to 10 
CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) without having to maintain a staff of 
licensed senior operators at a nuclear power reactor that has 
permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the 
reactor vessel. The exemption would also allow the licensee to have an 
established procedure in place to allow a CFH to suspend security 
measures in an emergency or during severe weather after the 
certifications required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) have been 
submitted. Finally, the consistent and efficient regulation of nuclear 
power plants serves the public interest, and this exemption would 
ensure consistency between the regulations in 10 CFR part 73 and 10 CFR 
50.54(y) and the requirements concerning licensed operators in 10 CFR 
part 55.
    The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption 
would allow the licensee to designate a CFH

[[Page 13676]]

with qualifications appropriate for a permanently shutdown and defueled 
reactor to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency 
to protect the public health and safety and during severe weather to 
protect the personal health and safety of the security force personnel. 
The actions permitted by the exemption may be implemented at each 
Indian Point 2 and 3 unit separately when both the ``Certification of 
Permanent Cessation of Operations'' and the ``Certification of 
Permanent Fuel Removal'' for that respective reactor is submitted in 
accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii), which is consistent 
with the similar authority provided by 10 CFR 50.54(y). Therefore, the 
exemption is in the public interest.

D. Environmental Consideration

    The NRC's approval of the proposed exemption belongs to a category 
of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has declared to 
be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the category of 
actions does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect 
on the human environment. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), as determined by 
the Commission, an environmental assessment or an environmental impact 
statement is not required for any action within a category of actions 
included in the list of categorical exclusions set out in paragraph (c) 
of Section 51.22. Specifically, the NRC's approval of the exemption is 
categorically excluded from further environmental analysis under 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25).
    Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the 
requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical 
exclusion provided that: (i) There is no significant hazards 
consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or 
significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual 
or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is 
no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought 
involve: Recordkeeping requirements; reporting requirements; inspection 
or surveillance requirements; equipment servicing or maintenance 
scheduling requirements; education, training, experience, 
qualification, requalification or other employment suitability 
requirements; safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting 
inventory scheduling requirements; scheduling requirements; surety, 
insurance or indemnity requirements; or other requirements of an 
administrative, managerial, or organizational nature.
    The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption 
involves no significant hazards consideration because allowing a CFH, 
in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the security 
suspension at a permanently shutdown and defueled power plant does not 
(1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences 
of an accident previously evaluated, or (2) create the possibility of a 
new or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated, or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of 
safety. The proposed exemption is unrelated to any operational 
restriction. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite and no significant increase in individual or 
cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. The proposed 
exemption is not associated with construction, so there is no 
significant construction impact. The proposed exemption does not 
concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an 
accident) or mitigation. Thus, there is no significant increase in the 
potential for or consequences from radiological accidents. Finally, the 
requirement regarding suspensions of security measures involves either 
safeguards, materials control, or managerial/organizational matters.
    Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and (c)(25), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the approval of the proposed exemption.

IV. Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, the exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the licensee's 
request for an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) 
and (ii) to authorize that the suspension of security measures must be 
approved, as a minimum, by either a licensed senior operator or a CFH 
at Indian Point 2 and 3 during emergency or severe weather, once the 
respective unit's certifications required under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1) have 
been submitted.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Craig G. Erlanger,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.

[FR Doc. 2020-04710 Filed 3-6-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P