Southern Nuclear Operating Company; Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Hatch Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2; and Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2, 15506-15509 [2020-05646]

Download as PDF 15506 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 53 / Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / Notices A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Balwant K. Singal, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone: 301–415– 3016; email: Balwant.Singal@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020– 0054 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0054. • 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@ nrc.gov. The Diablo Canyon, Units 1 and 2, PSDAR is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML19338F173. • 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. B. Submitting Comments Please include Docket ID NRC–2020– 0054 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https:// www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION II. Discussion AGENCY: On February 21, 2020 (85 FR 10200), the NRC solicited comments on the PSDAR for Diablo Canyon, Units 1 and 2. The PSDAR includes a description of the planned decommissioning activities, a proposed schedule for their accomplishment, cost summary from the Decommissioning Cost Estimate, and a discussion that provides the basis for concluding that the environmental impacts associated with the site-specific decommissioning activities will be bounded by appropriate, previously issued generic and plant-specific environmental impact statements. The NRC is requesting public comments on the PSDAR for Diablo Canyon, Units 1 and 2. The NRC had planned to conduct a public meeting to discuss the PSDAR and receive comments on Thursday, March 19, 2020, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at the Board of Supervisors Chambers, County Government Center, 1055 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo, California 93408. However, the NRC has decided to reschedule the meeting to a later date due to concerns with the Coronavirus: COVID–19. The comment period due date remains the same. The NRC requests that comments be submitted as noted in the ADDRESSES section of this document in writing by June 22, 2020. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 12th day of March 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jennifer L. Dixon-Herrity, Chief, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2020–05564 Filed 3–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 [Docket Nos. 50–348, 50–366, 50–321, 50– 366, 50–424, and 50–425; NRC–2020–0068] Southern Nuclear Operating Company; Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2; Hatch Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2; and Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued exemptions in response to an October 31, 2019, request from Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC). The exemptions would allow SNC to submit changes to the Quality Assurance Topical Report that do not reduce commitments on a 24-month calendar schedule. SUMMARY: The exemption was issued on March 12, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0068 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–2020–0068. 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@ nrc.gov. The exemption request dated October 31, 2019, ‘‘Quality Assurance Topical Report Submittal Request for Schedular Exemption—10 CFR 50.54(a)(3)’’ is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML19304C213. • 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. DATES: E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 53 / Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / Notices FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–3100, email: John.Lamb@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. SNC’s exemption request proposes that changes to the quality assurance program that do not reduce commitments be submitted on a 24month calendar schedule, not to exceed 24 months from the previous submittal. The exemptions would apply to each of the plants identified above. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of March, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. John G. Lamb, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II–1, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. III. Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health and safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) any of the special circumstances listed in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) are present. The special circumstances as stated in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), include, among other things that ‘‘Application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the purpose of the rule.’’ Operational quality assurance programs are generally described in Chapter 17.2 of a licensee’s Updated Safety Analysis Report (USAR) or, alternately, in a topical report incorporated into the USAR by reference. SNC’s quality assurance program, described in the Quality Assurance Topical Report (QATR), is common to the 6 units requesting the exemptions. Compliance with 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) and 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) would require these changes to be submitted annually or after a refueling outage for each of the licensee’s units. Attachment Exemption Nuclear Regulatory Commission Docket Nos. 50–348, 50–364, 50–321, 50–366, 50–424, and 50–425, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Power Plant, Units Nos. 1 and 2; Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Units Nos. 1 and 2; and Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, Exemption jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Background Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC, the licensee) is the holder of the Renewed Facility Operating Licenses (RFOLs) Nos. NPF–2 and NPF–8 for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Farley), which consist of two pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) located in Houston County, Alabama; DPR–57 and NPF–5 for Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Hatch), which consist of two boilingwater reactors (BWRs) located in Appling County, Georgia; and NPF–68 and NPF–81 for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Vogtle), which consist of two PWRs located in Burke County, Georgia. The RFOLs provide, among other things, that the facilities are subject to all the rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, Commission) now or hereafter in effect. II. Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 50.54(a)(3), requires that changes to the quality assurance program description that do not reduce commitments must be submitted to the NRC in accordance with the reporting requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e). The regulation at 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) requires that revisions to the final safety analysis report (FSAR) be submitted annually or six months after a refueling outage, provided the interval between updates does not exceed 24 months. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law In accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, the NRC may grant an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, if the exemption is authorized by law. As stated in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), subsequent revisions of the FSAR must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. SNC stated that changes to the QATR will be reviewed through the existing applicable administrative and programmatic control processes to ensure QATR changes are evaluated and implemented properly. Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the alternative reporting cycle of 24 months for submitting QATR changes specified under 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) provides adequate control. Further, the exemptions propose that changes to the PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15507 quality assurance program that do not reduce commitments be submitted on a 24-month calendar schedule, not to exceed the 24-month limit specified in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4). Therefore, the NRC staff finds that this exemption request is authorized by law, because granting the licensee’s proposed exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission’s regulations. B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety The licensee stated that the proposed exemptions will not alter the manner in which changes to the common QATR are evaluated and that there is no reduction in commitment. SNC stated that changes to the QATR will be reviewed through the existing applicable administrative and programmatic control processes to ensure that QATR changes are evaluated and implemented properly. The regulation 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) requires licensees to provide their QATRs periodically per 10 CFR 50.71(e) to assure that the NRC has the latest material developed by SNC. In 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), the NRC has determined that an update frequency not to exceed 24 months between successive updates to be acceptable for periodic submissions of the QATR. The exemptions propose that changes to the QATR that do not reduce commitments be submitted on a 24-month calendar schedule, not to exceed 24 months from the previous submittal. Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the proposed exemptions provide an equivalent level of protection to the existing requirements. Further, QA Program changes that are not considered to be reductions in commitment involve, among other things, administrative improvements and clarifications, spelling corrections, punctuation, or editorial items. Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the changes specified in 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) are administrative and routine in nature. Also, based on its review of the exemption request, the NRC staff concludes that the requested exemptions would not result in any significant reduction in the effectiveness of the QA program implemented by SNC. Based on the foregoing reasons, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed exemption would not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. C. The Exemption Is Consistent With the Common Defense and Security This exemption requests periodic updates of the SNC QATR to be E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 15508 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 53 / Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES submitted every 24 months, not to exceed 24 months from the previous submittal. Upon issuance of the exemptions, the regulatory requirement that an update be submitted annually or within six months following each plant’s refueling outage would not be retained. Since the underlying intent of the regulation is to ensure that QATR changes that do not reduce the level of commitment are periodically submitted to the NRC, and the required schedule per 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) allows for 24 months between periodic submittals, the NRC staff finds that processing more frequent changes to the common QATR is not an effective or efficient allocation of resources nor is it necessary to achieve the purpose of the rule. Moreover, as noted above, the proposed exemptions provide an equivalent level of protection to the existing regulation in that changes to the QATR that do not reduce commitments must be submitted on a schedule not to exceed 24 months of the SNC QATR from the previous submittal. Therefore, the common defense and security are not affected by this exemption request. D. Special Circumstances The regulation under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) states, in part, that ‘‘[t]he Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special circumstances are present,’’ and identifies, in 10 CFR 50.12(a)((i)–(vi), when special circumstances are present. The NRC staff determined that special circumstances are present. Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(ii), are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. As stated in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), subsequent revisions to the FSAR must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. The underlying purpose of the rule is to ensure that periodic submittals required under 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) would allow the NRC staff to provide regulatory oversight to changes to the licensee’s QA program, and to ensure that the changes are consistent with the regulations. The exemptions requested by SNC only extend the reporting period, and do not exceed the 24-month time period between successive updates established by 10 CFR 50.71(e). Thus, SNC would still provide updates of their QATR to the NRC periodically every 24 months, allowing periodic NRC oversight of changes to the licensee’s QA program. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 Therefore, the NRC staff finds that application of the regulation in this particular circumstance is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), special circumstances are present. E. Environmental Considerations Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 10 CFR meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion provided that: (1) There is no significant hazards consideration; (2) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (3) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (4) there is no significant construction impact; (5) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (6) the requirements from which an exemption is sought are among those identified in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi), including requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. There Is No Significant Hazards Consideration The criteria for determining whether an action involves a significant hazards consideration are found in 10 CFR 50.92. The proposed exemptions involve only a schedule change regarding the submission of an update to the QATR. The proposed exemptions do not adversely affect plant equipment, operation, or procedures. Therefore, there are no significant hazard considerations, because granting the exemptions would 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. There Is No Significant Change in the Types or Significant Increase in the Amounts of Any Effluents That May Be Released Offsite The proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is administrative in nature, and does not involve any changes in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite. PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 There Is No Significant Increase in Individual or Cumulative Public or Occupational Radiation Exposure Since the proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is administrative in nature, it does not contribute to any significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. There Is No Significant Construction Impact Since the proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is administrative in nature, it does not involve any construction impact. There Is No Significant Increase In the Potential For or Consequences From Radiological Accidents The proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is administrative in nature and does not impact the potential for or consequences from accidents. The Requirements From Which the Exemption Is Sought Involve Requirements That are Administrative in Nature The proposed action involves scheduling requirements and other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature, because it is associated with the schedule submittal requirements contained in 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3), and 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), which require that the QATR be filed annually or six months after each refueling outage, provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. Based on the above, NRC finds that the exemptions meet the eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with this exemption request. IV. Conclusions Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR part 50.12, the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the licensee exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) and 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) for the Farley, Hatch, and Vogtle plants. The exemptions are effective upon issuance. E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 53 / Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / Notices Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of March 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. /RA/ Craig G. Erlanger, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2020–05646 Filed 3–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2020–99 and CP2020–104; MC2020–100 and CP2020–105; and MC2020–101 and CP2020–106] New Postal Product Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission’s consideration concerning a negotiated service agreement. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: March 20, 2020. SUMMARY: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:54 Mar 17, 2020 Jkt 250001 request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3007.301.1 The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service’s request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3010, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3015, and 39 CFR part 3020, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II. II. Docketed Proceeding(s) 1. Docket No(s).: MC2020–99 and CP2020–104; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Contract 596 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: March 12, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: March 20, 2020. 2. Docket No(s).: MC2020–100 and CP2020–105; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 142 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: March 12, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: March 20, 2020. 3. Docket No(s).: MC2020–101 and CP2020–106; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 143 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15509 Acceptance Date: March 12, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3020.30 et seq., and 39 CFR 3015.5; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: March 20, 2020. This Notice will be published in the Federal Register. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–05650 Filed 3–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. DATES: Date of required notice: March 18, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sean Robinson, 202–268–8405. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on March 12, 2020, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 143 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2020–101, CP2020–106. SUMMARY: Sean Robinson, Attorney, Corporate and Postal Business Law. [FR Doc. 2020–05550 Filed 3–17–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–12–P POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail and First-Class Package Service Negotiated Service Agreement Postal ServiceTM. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule’s Competitive Products List. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\18MRN1.SGM 18MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 53 (Wednesday, March 18, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15506-15509]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-05646]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-348, 50-366, 50-321, 50-366, 50-424, and 50-425; NRC-
2020-0068]


Southern Nuclear Operating Company; Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 
and 2; Hatch Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2; and Vogtle Electric 
Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued 
exemptions in response to an October 31, 2019, request from Southern 
Nuclear Operating Company (SNC). The exemptions would allow SNC to 
submit changes to the Quality Assurance Topical Report that do not 
reduce commitments on a 24-month calendar schedule.

DATES: The exemption was issued on March 12, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0068 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-2020-0068. 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 exemption request dated October 
31, 2019, ``Quality Assurance Topical Report Submittal Request for 
Schedular Exemption--10 CFR 50.54(a)(3)'' is available in ADAMS under 
Accession No. ML19304C213.
     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.

[[Page 15507]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3100, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of March, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John G. Lamb,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II-1, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment Exemption

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Docket Nos. 50-348, 50-364, 50-321, 50-366, 50-424, and 50-425, 
Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Power 
Plant, Units Nos. 1 and 2; Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant, Units Nos. 1 
and 2; and Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, 
Exemption

I. Background

    Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC, the licensee) is the 
holder of the Renewed Facility Operating Licenses (RFOLs) Nos. NPF-2 
and NPF-8 for Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 
(Farley), which consist of two pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) 
located in Houston County, Alabama; DPR-57 and NPF-5 for Edwin I. Hatch 
Nuclear Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Hatch), which consist of two boiling-
water reactors (BWRs) located in Appling County, Georgia; and NPF-68 
and NPF-81 for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 
(Vogtle), which consist of two PWRs located in Burke County, Georgia. 
The RFOLs provide, among other things, that the facilities are subject 
to all the rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC, Commission) now or hereafter in effect.

II. Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 
50.54(a)(3), requires that changes to the quality assurance program 
description that do not reduce commitments must be submitted to the NRC 
in accordance with the reporting requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e).
    The regulation at 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) requires that revisions to the 
final safety analysis report (FSAR) be submitted annually or six months 
after a refueling outage, provided the interval between updates does 
not exceed 24 months. SNC's exemption request proposes that changes to 
the quality assurance program that do not reduce commitments be 
submitted on a 24-month calendar schedule, not to exceed 24 months from 
the previous submittal. The exemptions would apply to each of the 
plants identified above.

III. Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health and 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) any of the special circumstances listed in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) are 
present. The special circumstances as stated in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), 
include, among other things that ``Application of the regulation in the 
particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the 
rule or is not necessary to achieve the purpose of the rule.''
    Operational quality assurance programs are generally described in 
Chapter 17.2 of a licensee's Updated Safety Analysis Report (USAR) or, 
alternately, in a topical report incorporated into the USAR by 
reference. SNC's quality assurance program, described in the Quality 
Assurance Topical Report (QATR), is common to the 6 units requesting 
the exemptions. Compliance with 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) and 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(4) would require these changes to be submitted annually or 
after a refueling outage for each of the licensee's units.

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, the NRC may grant an exemption 
from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, if the exemption is authorized 
by law. As stated in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), subsequent revisions of the 
FSAR must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage 
provided the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 
months.
    SNC stated that changes to the QATR will be reviewed through the 
existing applicable administrative and programmatic control processes 
to ensure QATR changes are evaluated and implemented properly. 
Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the alternative reporting cycle of 
24 months for submitting QATR changes specified under 10 CFR 
50.54(a)(3) provides adequate control. Further, the exemptions propose 
that changes to the quality assurance program that do not reduce 
commitments be submitted on a 24-month calendar schedule, not to exceed 
the 24-month limit specified in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4). Therefore, the NRC 
staff finds that this exemption request is authorized by law, because 
granting the licensee's proposed exemptions will not result in a 
violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the 
Commission's regulations.

B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    The licensee stated that the proposed exemptions will not alter the 
manner in which changes to the common QATR are evaluated and that there 
is no reduction in commitment. SNC stated that changes to the QATR will 
be reviewed through the existing applicable administrative and 
programmatic control processes to ensure that QATR changes are 
evaluated and implemented properly. The regulation 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) 
requires licensees to provide their QATRs periodically per 10 CFR 
50.71(e) to assure that the NRC has the latest material developed by 
SNC. In 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), the NRC has determined that an update 
frequency not to exceed 24 months between successive updates to be 
acceptable for periodic submissions of the QATR. The exemptions propose 
that changes to the QATR that do not reduce commitments be submitted on 
a 24-month calendar schedule, not to exceed 24 months from the previous 
submittal. Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the proposed exemptions 
provide an equivalent level of protection to the existing requirements. 
Further, QA Program changes that are not considered to be reductions in 
commitment involve, among other things, administrative improvements and 
clarifications, spelling corrections, punctuation, or editorial items. 
Therefore, the NRC staff finds that the changes specified in 10 CFR 
50.54(a)(3) are administrative and routine in nature.
    Also, based on its review of the exemption request, the NRC staff 
concludes that the requested exemptions would not result in any 
significant reduction in the effectiveness of the QA program 
implemented by SNC. Based on the foregoing reasons, the NRC staff 
concludes that the proposed exemption would not present an undue risk 
to the public health and safety.

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

    This exemption requests periodic updates of the SNC QATR to be

[[Page 15508]]

submitted every 24 months, not to exceed 24 months from the previous 
submittal. Upon issuance of the exemptions, the regulatory requirement 
that an update be submitted annually or within six months following 
each plant's refueling outage would not be retained. Since the 
underlying intent of the regulation is to ensure that QATR changes that 
do not reduce the level of commitment are periodically submitted to the 
NRC, and the required schedule per 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) allows for 24 
months between periodic submittals, the NRC staff finds that processing 
more frequent changes to the common QATR is not an effective or 
efficient allocation of resources nor is it necessary to achieve the 
purpose of the rule. Moreover, as noted above, the proposed exemptions 
provide an equivalent level of protection to the existing regulation in 
that changes to the QATR that do not reduce commitments must be 
submitted on a schedule not to exceed 24 months of the SNC QATR from 
the previous submittal. Therefore, the common defense and security are 
not affected by this exemption request.

D. Special Circumstances

    The regulation under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) states, in part, that 
``[t]he Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless 
special circumstances are present,'' and identifies, in 10 CFR 
50.12(a)((i)-(vi), when special circumstances are present. The NRC 
staff determined that special circumstances are present. Special 
circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(ii), are present 
whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances 
would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary 
to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.
    As stated in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), subsequent revisions to the FSAR 
must be filed annually or 6 months after each refueling outage provided 
the interval between successive updates does not exceed 24 months. The 
underlying purpose of the rule is to ensure that periodic submittals 
required under 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) would allow the NRC staff to provide 
regulatory oversight to changes to the licensee's QA program, and to 
ensure that the changes are consistent with the regulations. The 
exemptions requested by SNC only extend the reporting period, and do 
not exceed the 24-month time period between successive updates 
established by 10 CFR 50.71(e). Thus, SNC would still provide updates 
of their QATR to the NRC periodically every 24 months, allowing 
periodic NRC oversight of changes to the licensee's QA program. 
Therefore, the NRC staff finds that application of the regulation in 
this particular circumstance is not necessary to achieve the underlying 
purpose of the rule.
    Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii), special circumstances are present.

E. Environmental Considerations

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting 
of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 
10 CFR meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion 
provided that: (1) There is no significant hazards consideration; (2) 
there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in 
the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (3) there is 
no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or 
occupational radiation exposure; (4) there is no significant 
construction impact; (5) there is no significant increase in the 
potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (6) the 
requirements from which an exemption is sought are among those 
identified in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi), including requirements of an 
administrative, managerial, or organizational nature.

There Is No Significant Hazards Consideration

    The criteria for determining whether an action involves a 
significant hazards consideration are found in 10 CFR 50.92. The 
proposed exemptions involve only a schedule change regarding the 
submission of an update to the QATR. The proposed exemptions do not 
adversely affect plant equipment, operation, or procedures. Therefore, 
there are no significant hazard considerations, because granting the 
exemptions would 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.

There Is No Significant Change in the Types or Significant Increase in 
the Amounts of Any Effluents That May Be Released Offsite

    The proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is 
administrative in nature, and does not involve any changes in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite.

There Is No Significant Increase in Individual or Cumulative Public or 
Occupational Radiation Exposure

    Since the proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is 
administrative in nature, it does not contribute to any significant 
increase in occupational or public radiation exposure.

There Is No Significant Construction Impact

    Since the proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is 
administrative in nature, it does not involve any construction impact.

There Is No Significant Increase In the Potential For or Consequences 
From Radiological Accidents

    The proposed action involves only a schedule change, which is 
administrative in nature and does not impact the potential for or 
consequences from accidents.

The Requirements From Which the Exemption Is Sought Involve 
Requirements That are Administrative in Nature

    The proposed action involves scheduling requirements and other 
requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational 
nature, because it is associated with the schedule submittal 
requirements contained in 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3), and 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4), 
which require that the QATR be filed annually or six months after each 
refueling outage, provided the interval between successive updates does 
not exceed 24 months.
    Based on the above, NRC finds that the exemptions meet the 
eligibility criteria for the categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25). Therefore, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.22(b), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with this exemption request.

IV. Conclusions

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
part 50.12, the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an 
undue risk to the public health and safety, and are consistent with the 
common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. 
Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the licensee exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(a)(3) and 10 CFR 50.71(e)(4) for the 
Farley, Hatch, and Vogtle plants.
    The exemptions are effective upon issuance.


[[Page 15509]]


    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of March 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
/RA/
Craig G. Erlanger, Director,
Division of Operating Reactor Licensing,
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2020-05646 Filed 3-17-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P