Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp., Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC, Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, 31553-31555 [2020-11221]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Notices Dated: May 19, 2020. E. Roy Hawkens, Chief Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, Rockville, Maryland. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer C. Tobin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 2328, email: Jennifer.Tobin@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. [FR Doc. 2020–11140 Filed 5–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–334 and 50–412; NRC– 2020–0120] Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp., Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC, Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a temporary exemption from certain periodic training and requalification requirements for security personnel at the Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, in response to an April 23, 2020, request, as supplemented on May 6, 2020, from Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. DATES: The temporary exemption was issued on May 19, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0120. 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–2020–0120. 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 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. The NRC staff’s approval is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20119B083. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:08 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 Attachment—Exemption Nuclear Regulatory Commission Docket Nos. 50–334 and 50–412 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Dated: May 19, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jennifer C. Tobin, Project Manager,Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp., Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC, Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, Exemption I. Background Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. (EHNC) and Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC (collectively, the licensees) are the holders of Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR–56 and NPF–73 for Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Beaver Valley), which consist of two pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) located in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The licenses provide, among other things, that the facility is subject to all the rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. II. Request/Action By letter dated April 23, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20114E136), as supplemented by letter dated May 6, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20128J218), EHNC requested a temporary exemption from certain periodic requalification requirements for security personnel in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 73, Appendix B, Section VI, ‘‘Nuclear Power Reactor Training and Qualification Plan for Personnel Performing Security Program Duties,’’ pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ‘‘Specific exemptions.’’ Specifically, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) public health emergency (PHE) currently affecting the United States and the state of emergency declared by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 6, 2020, EHNC requested a temporary exemption from the following requirements in 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI, related to periodic training and requalification of security personnel at Beaver Valley: • Paragraph B.5.(a): ‘‘At least annually, armed and unarmed individuals shall be required to demonstrate the capability to meet the physical requirements of this appendix [10 CFR part 73, Appendix B] and the licensee training and qualification plan.’’ • Paragraph C.3.(l)(1) in part: ‘‘Each member of each shift who is assigned duties and responsibilities required to implement the safeguards contingency plan and licensee PO 00000 Frm 00123 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31553 protective strategy participates in at least one (1) tactical response drill on a quarterly basis and one (1) force-on-force exercise on an annual basis.’’ • Paragraph D.1.(b)(3) in part: ‘‘Armed individuals shall be administered an annual written exam that demonstrates the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to carry out assigned duties and responsibilities as an armed member of the security organization.’’ • Paragraph D.2.(a): ‘‘Armed and unarmed individuals shall be requalified at least annually in accordance with the requirements of this appendix [10 CFR part 73, Appendix B] and the Commissionapproved training and qualification plan.’’ • Paragraph E.1.(c): ‘‘The licensee shall conduct annual firearms familiarization training in accordance with the Commissionapproved training and qualification plan.’’ • Paragraph E.1.(f) in part: ‘‘Armed members of the security organization shall participate in weapons range activities on a nominal four (4) month periodicity.’’ • Paragraph F.5.(a): ‘‘Armed members of the security organization shall be re-qualified for each assigned weapon at least annually in accordance with Commission requirements and the Commission-approved training and qualification plan, and the results documented and retained as a record.’’ EHNC requested that this temporary exemption expire 90 days following the end of the COVID–19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs first. III. Discussion On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a PHE for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID–19. Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73 when the exemptions are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest. EHNC is requesting a temporary exemption from the requirements in paragraphs B.5.(a), C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI, related to the periodic training and requalification of security personnel pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5. EHNC is requesting this temporary exemption to support licensee isolation activities (e.g., social distancing, group size limitations, and self-quarantining) to help protect required site personnel from COVID–19 and ensure personnel remain capable of maintaining plant security. EHNC stated that these ‘‘isolation activities restrict certain training activities.’’ EHNC stated, in part, that: Range activities are challenged by current social distancing and safety guidelines relevant to COVID–19 response standards. Weapons range activities require significant staff support that potentially places armed individuals in the Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. security organization and other security staff in close proximity to one another, increasing the likelihood of staff and officer exposure to COVID–19. Range E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 31554 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Notices activities present additional hygiene issues relevant to range facilities during the PHE. EHNC also stated that the requested exemption does not change physical security plans or defensive strategy. More specifically, EHNC stated that security personnel impacted by this exemption are currently satisfactorily qualified on all required tasks and are monitored regularly by supervisory personnel. Licensee Provided Controls To Maintain the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of Security Personnel EHNC has identified controls that have been or will be implemented at Beaver Valley to ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities during the period of this temporary exemption (i.e., up to 90 days after the end of the COVID–19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs first). A discussion of how these controls relate to the current requirements is provided below: 1. Paragraph B.5.(a) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The purpose of the annual physical requirements in paragraph B.5.(a) is to ensure armed and unarmed members of the licensee’s security organization are capable of performing their assigned duties necessary for implementing the licensee’s Commission-approved security plans, protective strategy, and implementing procedures. To help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC has established measures ‘‘to ensure security personnel selfreport and notify supervision or medical personnel, as appropriate, of changes related to their physical fitness that could impact their ability to perform their respective job function.’’ 2. Paragraph C.3.(l)(1) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The purpose of the quarterly tactical drills and the annual licensee-conducted force-on-force exercises is to ensure that the site security force maintains its contingency response readiness. Participation in these drills and exercises also supports the requalification of security force members. To help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC described the measures it is taking to ensure contingency response readiness. These measures are: Conducting individual table top discussions during shifts and reviewing response locations with adherence to social distancing standards; providing officers with shift discussion topics utilizing lessons learned from previous exercises and based on training lesson plans/material objectives; and providing for officer follow-up questions and answers relevant to the focus topics with adherence to social distancing standards. 3. Paragraphs D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The purpose of the annual requalification requirements is to ensure the licensee’s armed and unarmed individuals possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:08 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 abilities to effectively perform assigned duties in accordance with the Commissionapproved security plans, protective strategy, and implementing procedures for the site. To help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC stated that it ‘‘has established measures to ensure that individuals maintain performance capability despite not completing the annual requalification for the annual written exam, firearms familiarization and weapons requalification.’’ These measures include lesson plan objective-based discussions topics regarding critical tasks necessary for performance of security duties and regarding the fundamentals of marksmanship. 4. Paragraph E.1.(f) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The purpose of the weapons range activity is to ensure that armed individuals in the licensee’s security organization maintain weapons proficiency in support of the licensee’s physical protection program. To help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC stated that it ‘‘will establish measures to ensure that individuals maintain performance capability despite not completing weapons range activities on a nominal four-month periodicity. Those measures include discussion topics regarding relevant range activities and are based on range training lesson plan objectives to maintain knowledge of weapon performance requirements.’’ Restoring Compliance With 10 CFR Part 73, Appendix B, Section VI EHNC requested that this exemption expire 90 days following the end of the COVID–19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs first. EHNC indicates that the additional time period after the end of the COVID–19 PHE will be used to restore compliance with the periodic security training and requalification requirements at Beaver Valley. To support restoring compliance with these requirements, EHNC stated that it will maintain a list with the names of the individuals that do not meet the periodic security requalification requirements, including the date(s) when each individual exceeds the required training periodicities. It is the NRC’s expectation that any annual licensee-conducted force-on-force exercises that are delayed will be rescheduled so that they are completed after the PHE ends. Security personnel that miss one or more quarterly tactical drills during the period of the exemption would need to resume participation in those drills after the exemption expires. A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law EHNC is requesting an exemption from the requirements related to periodic training and requalification of security personnel in paragraphs B.5.(a), C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI. In accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may grant exemptions from the regulations in 10 CFR part 73, as authorized PO 00000 Frm 00124 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by law. The NRC staff finds that granting the proposed exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or other laws, and is, thus, authorized by law. B. The Exemption Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security EHNC stated that the requested exemption will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. The requested exemption would temporarily allow the identified security training and requalification requirements to be deferred for security personnel currently satisfactorily qualified at Beaver Valley. EHNC indicated that although it had scheduled these requalification activities to comply with the regulation, these activities must be rescheduled to allow implementation of the EHNC pandemic response plan mitigation strategies. EHNC asserts that these strategies serve the public interest by ensuring adequate staff isolation and maintaining staff health to perform their job function actions during the COVID–19 PHE. EHNC stated that the requested exemption is related to training requalification and does not change physical security plans or defensive strategy. EHNC stated that security personnel impacted by the requested exemption are currently satisfactorily qualified on all required tasks. EHNC also stated that security personnel are monitored regularly by supervisory personnel. As discussed above, EHNC identified controls that have been or will be implemented at Beaver Valley to ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities. Therefore, EHNC stated that granting the requested temporary exemption will not endanger or compromise the common defense or security or the safeguarding of Beaver Valley. EHNC requested that the exemption expire 90 days following the end of the COVID–19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs first. EHNC stated that this timeframe is needed for it to restore compliance with the periodic security training and requalification requirements at Beaver Valley. The NRC staff finds that the controls EHNC has or will establish for the duration of the exemption are adequate to ensure that the required security posture at Beaver Valley is maintained. These controls are adequate because they include a variety of mechanisms to help ensure impacted security personnel continue to maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform assigned duties and responsibilities, and as a result, will continue to ensure adequate security of Beaver Valley. In addition, the requested duration of the exemption would allow EHNC time to restore normal requalification processes at Beaver Valley in a systematic manner. For example, it may take time after the PHE has ended for security personnel affected by COVID–19 to fully recover and return to duty status. Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed exemption would not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 101 / Tuesday, May 26, 2020 / Notices C. Otherwise in the Public Interest On April 17, 2020, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published Version 3.0 of its ‘‘Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID–19 Response.’’ Although that guidance is advisory in nature, it is designed to ensure ‘‘continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.’’ In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations (e.g., social distancing, limiting assemblies) to limit the spread of COVID–19. EHNC stated, in part, that: The Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. pandemic response plan is based on [the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) guidance document] NEI 06–03, Pandemic Threat Planning, Preparation, and Response Reference Guide (Reference 4), which recommends isolation strategies such as sequestering, use of super crews or minimum staffing as well as social distancing, group size limitations and self-quarantining, in the event of a pandemic, to prevent the spread of the virus to the plant. NEI 06–03 provides other mitigation strategies that serve the public interest during a pandemic by ensuring adequate staff is isolated from the pandemic and remains healthy to perform their job function. Keeping [Beaver Valley] in operation during the pandemic will help to support the public need for reliable electricity supply to cope with the pandemic. As the US Departments of Homeland Security and Energy have stated in their guidance, the electric grid and nuclear plant operation make up the nation’s critical infrastructure similar to the medical, food, communications, and other critical industries. If the plant operation is impacted because it cannot comply with the security training requalification requirements while isolation activities are in effect for essential crew members, the area electrical grid would lose this reliable source of baseload power. In addition, [Beaver Valley] personnel could face the added transient challenge of shutting down their respective plant and possibly not restarting it until the pandemic passes. This does not serve the public interest in maintaining a safe and reliable supply of electricity. EHNC stated that the requalification activities for security personnel at Beaver Valley must be rescheduled to allow implementation of the EHNC pandemic response plan mitigation strategies. In addition, EHNC indicated that this exemption would support the licensee’s implementation of isolation activities (e.g., social distancing, group size limitations, and self-quarantining) at Beaver Valley. EHNC stated these actions serve the public interest by ensuring adequate staff isolation and maintaining staff health to perform their job function during the COVID–19 PHE. Based on the above and the NRC staff’s aforementioned findings, the NRC staff concludes that granting the temporary VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:08 May 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 exemption is in the public interest because it allows EHNC to maintain the required security posture at Beaver Valley while the facility continues to provide electrical power. The exemption also enables EHNC to reduce the risk of exposing essential security personnel at Beaver Valley to COVID–19. D. Environmental Considerations NRC approval of this exemption request is categorically excluded under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), and there are no special circumstances present that would preclude reliance on this exclusion. The NRC staff determined, per 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(E), that the requirements from which the exemption is sought involve education, training, experience, qualification, requalification, or other employment suitability requirements. The NRC staff also determined that approval of this exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because it does not authorize any physical changes to the facility or any of its safety systems, nor does it change any of the assumptions or limits used in the facility licensee’s safety analyses or introduce any new failure modes; no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite because this exemption does not affect any effluent release limits as provided in the facility licensee’s technical specifications or by the regulations in 10 CFR part 20, ‘‘Standards for Protection Against Radiation’’; no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure because this exemption does not affect limits on the release of any radioactive material or the limits provided in 10 CFR part 20 for radiation exposure to workers or members of the public; no significant construction impact because this exemption does not involve any changes to a construction permit; and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents because this exemption does not alter any of the assumptions or limits in the facility licensee’s safety analysis. In addition, the NRC staff determined that there would be no significant impacts to biota, water resources, historic properties, cultural resources, or socioeconomic conditions in the region. As such, there are no special circumstances present that would preclude reliance on this categorical exclusion. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request. IV. Conclusions Accordingly, the NRC has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR part 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 EHNC’s request to exempt Beaver Valley from the requirements for periodic requalification of security personnel in paragraphs B.5.(a), C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI. This exemption expires 90 days after the end of PO 00000 Frm 00125 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31555 the COVID–19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs first. Dated: May 19, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Craig G. Erlanger, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2020–11221 Filed 5–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PEACE CORPS Submission for OMB Emergency Review: Request for Comments Peace Corps. Notice of information collection—OMB emergency review and request for comments requested. AGENCY: ACTION: The Peace Corps has submitted the following information collection request, utilizing emergency review procedures, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and OMB regulations. OMB approval has been requested by the Office of Strategic Information, Research and Planning (OSIRP). OMB is particularly interested in comments that: Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. DATES: Comments on this proposal for emergency review should be received by May 22, 2020. If granted, the emergency approval is only valid for 180 days. We are requesting OMB to take action within two calendar days from the close of this Federal Register Notice on the request for emergency review. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, Attention: Desk SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26MYN1.SGM 26MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 101 (Tuesday, May 26, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31553-31555]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11221]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-334 and 50-412; NRC-2020-0120]


Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp., Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation 
LLC, Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a 
temporary exemption from certain periodic training and requalification 
requirements for security personnel at the Beaver Valley Power Station, 
Unit Nos. 1 and 2, in response to an April 23, 2020, request, as 
supplemented on May 6, 2020, from Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp.

DATES: The temporary exemption was issued on May 19, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0120. 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-2020-0120. 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. The NRC staff's approval is 
available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML20119B083.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer C. Tobin, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2328, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated: May 19, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Jennifer C. Tobin,
Project Manager,Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor 
Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment--Exemption

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Docket Nos. 50-334 and 50-412

Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp., Energy Harbor Nuclear Generation LLC, 
Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, Exemption

I. Background

    Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. (EHNC) and Energy Harbor Nuclear 
Generation LLC (collectively, the licensees) are the holders of 
Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-56 and NPF-73 for Beaver 
Valley Power Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Beaver Valley), which 
consist of two pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) located in Beaver 
County, Pennsylvania. The licenses provide, among other things, that 
the facility is subject to all the rules, regulations, and orders of 
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) now 
or hereafter in effect.

II. Request/Action

    By letter dated April 23, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20114E136), as 
supplemented by letter dated May 6, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML20128J218), EHNC requested a temporary exemption from certain 
periodic requalification requirements for security personnel in 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 73, 
Appendix B, Section VI, ``Nuclear Power Reactor Training and 
Qualification Plan for Personnel Performing Security Program 
Duties,'' pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' 
Specifically, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public 
health emergency (PHE) currently affecting the United States and the 
state of emergency declared by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on 
March 6, 2020, EHNC requested a temporary exemption from the 
following requirements in 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI, 
related to periodic training and requalification of security 
personnel at Beaver Valley:
     Paragraph B.5.(a): ``At least annually, armed and 
unarmed individuals shall be required to demonstrate the capability 
to meet the physical requirements of this appendix [10 CFR part 73, 
Appendix B] and the licensee training and qualification plan.''
     Paragraph C.3.(l)(1) in part: ``Each member of each 
shift who is assigned duties and responsibilities required to 
implement the safeguards contingency plan and licensee protective 
strategy participates in at least one (1) tactical response drill on 
a quarterly basis and one (1) force-on-force exercise on an annual 
basis.''
     Paragraph D.1.(b)(3) in part: ``Armed individuals shall 
be administered an annual written exam that demonstrates the 
required knowledge, skills, and abilities to carry out assigned 
duties and responsibilities as an armed member of the security 
organization.''
     Paragraph D.2.(a): ``Armed and unarmed individuals 
shall be requalified at least annually in accordance with the 
requirements of this appendix [10 CFR part 73, Appendix B] and the 
Commission-approved training and qualification plan.''
     Paragraph E.1.(c): ``The licensee shall conduct annual 
firearms familiarization training in accordance with the Commission-
approved training and qualification plan.''
     Paragraph E.1.(f) in part: ``Armed members of the 
security organization shall participate in weapons range activities 
on a nominal four (4) month periodicity.''
     Paragraph F.5.(a): ``Armed members of the security 
organization shall be re-qualified for each assigned weapon at least 
annually in accordance with Commission requirements and the 
Commission-approved training and qualification plan, and the results 
documented and retained as a record.''
    EHNC requested that this temporary exemption expire 90 days 
following the end of the COVID-19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, 
whichever occurs first.

III. Discussion

    On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human 
Services declared a PHE for the United States to aid the nation's 
healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions 
from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73 when the exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.
    EHNC is requesting a temporary exemption from the requirements 
in paragraphs B.5.(a), C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), 
E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI, 
related to the periodic training and requalification of security 
personnel pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5. EHNC is requesting this temporary 
exemption to support licensee isolation activities (e.g., social 
distancing, group size limitations, and self-quarantining) to help 
protect required site personnel from COVID-19 and ensure personnel 
remain capable of maintaining plant security. EHNC stated that these 
``isolation activities restrict certain training activities.'' EHNC 
stated, in part, that:

    Range activities are challenged by current social distancing and 
safety guidelines relevant to COVID-19 response standards. Weapons 
range activities require significant staff support that potentially 
places armed individuals in the Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. security 
organization and other security staff in close proximity to one 
another, increasing the likelihood of staff and officer exposure to 
COVID-19. Range

[[Page 31554]]

activities present additional hygiene issues relevant to range 
facilities during the PHE.

    EHNC also stated that the requested exemption does not change 
physical security plans or defensive strategy. More specifically, 
EHNC stated that security personnel impacted by this exemption are 
currently satisfactorily qualified on all required tasks and are 
monitored regularly by supervisory personnel.

Licensee Provided Controls To Maintain the Knowledge, Skills, and 
Abilities of Security Personnel

    EHNC has identified controls that have been or will be 
implemented at Beaver Valley to ensure impacted security personnel 
maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to 
effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities during the 
period of this temporary exemption (i.e., up to 90 days after the 
end of the COVID-19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs 
first). A discussion of how these controls relate to the current 
requirements is provided below:
    1. Paragraph B.5.(a) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The 
purpose of the annual physical requirements in paragraph B.5.(a) is 
to ensure armed and unarmed members of the licensee's security 
organization are capable of performing their assigned duties 
necessary for implementing the licensee's Commission-approved 
security plans, protective strategy, and implementing procedures. To 
help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the knowledge, 
skills, and abilities required to effectively perform assigned 
duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC has established 
measures ``to ensure security personnel self-report and notify 
supervision or medical personnel, as appropriate, of changes related 
to their physical fitness that could impact their ability to perform 
their respective job function.''
    2. Paragraph C.3.(l)(1) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: 
The purpose of the quarterly tactical drills and the annual 
licensee-conducted force-on-force exercises is to ensure that the 
site security force maintains its contingency response readiness. 
Participation in these drills and exercises also supports the 
requalification of security force members. To help ensure impacted 
security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities 
required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities 
at Beaver Valley, EHNC described the measures it is taking to ensure 
contingency response readiness. These measures are: Conducting 
individual table top discussions during shifts and reviewing 
response locations with adherence to social distancing standards; 
providing officers with shift discussion topics utilizing lessons 
learned from previous exercises and based on training lesson plans/
material objectives; and providing for officer follow-up questions 
and answers relevant to the focus topics with adherence to social 
distancing standards.
    3. Paragraphs D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), and F.5.(a) of 10 
CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The purpose of the annual 
requalification requirements is to ensure the licensee's armed and 
unarmed individuals possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and 
abilities to effectively perform assigned duties in accordance with 
the Commission-approved security plans, protective strategy, and 
implementing procedures for the site. To help ensure impacted 
security personnel maintain the knowledge, skills, and abilities 
required to effectively perform assigned duties and responsibilities 
at Beaver Valley, EHNC stated that it ``has established measures to 
ensure that individuals maintain performance capability despite not 
completing the annual requalification for the annual written exam, 
firearms familiarization and weapons requalification.'' These 
measures include lesson plan objective-based discussions topics 
regarding critical tasks necessary for performance of security 
duties and regarding the fundamentals of marksmanship.
    4. Paragraph E.1.(f) of 10 CFR 73, Appendix B, Section VI: The 
purpose of the weapons range activity is to ensure that armed 
individuals in the licensee's security organization maintain weapons 
proficiency in support of the licensee's physical protection 
program. To help ensure impacted security personnel maintain the 
knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform 
assigned duties and responsibilities at Beaver Valley, EHNC stated 
that it ``will establish measures to ensure that individuals 
maintain performance capability despite not completing weapons range 
activities on a nominal four-month periodicity. Those measures 
include discussion topics regarding relevant range activities and 
are based on range training lesson plan objectives to maintain 
knowledge of weapon performance requirements.''

Restoring Compliance With 10 CFR Part 73, Appendix B, Section VI

    EHNC requested that this exemption expire 90 days following the 
end of the COVID-19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever occurs 
first. EHNC indicates that the additional time period after the end 
of the COVID-19 PHE will be used to restore compliance with the 
periodic security training and requalification requirements at 
Beaver Valley. To support restoring compliance with these 
requirements, EHNC stated that it will maintain a list with the 
names of the individuals that do not meet the periodic security 
requalification requirements, including the date(s) when each 
individual exceeds the required training periodicities. It is the 
NRC's expectation that any annual licensee-conducted force-on-force 
exercises that are delayed will be rescheduled so that they are 
completed after the PHE ends. Security personnel that miss one or 
more quarterly tactical drills during the period of the exemption 
would need to resume participation in those drills after the 
exemption expires.

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    EHNC is requesting an exemption from the requirements related to 
periodic training and requalification of security personnel in 
paragraphs B.5.(a), C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), 
E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI. In 
accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may grant exemptions 
from the regulations in 10 CFR part 73, as authorized by law. The 
NRC staff finds that granting the proposed exemption will not result 
in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or 
other laws, and is, thus, authorized by law.

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

    EHNC stated that the requested exemption will not endanger life 
or property or the common defense and security. The requested 
exemption would temporarily allow the identified security training 
and requalification requirements to be deferred for security 
personnel currently satisfactorily qualified at Beaver Valley. EHNC 
indicated that although it had scheduled these requalification 
activities to comply with the regulation, these activities must be 
rescheduled to allow implementation of the EHNC pandemic response 
plan mitigation strategies. EHNC asserts that these strategies serve 
the public interest by ensuring adequate staff isolation and 
maintaining staff health to perform their job function actions 
during the COVID-19 PHE.
    EHNC stated that the requested exemption is related to training 
requalification and does not change physical security plans or 
defensive strategy. EHNC stated that security personnel impacted by 
the requested exemption are currently satisfactorily qualified on 
all required tasks. EHNC also stated that security personnel are 
monitored regularly by supervisory personnel. As discussed above, 
EHNC identified controls that have been or will be implemented at 
Beaver Valley to ensure impacted security personnel maintain the 
knowledge, skills, and abilities required to effectively perform 
assigned duties and responsibilities. Therefore, EHNC stated that 
granting the requested temporary exemption will not endanger or 
compromise the common defense or security or the safeguarding of 
Beaver Valley. EHNC requested that the exemption expire 90 days 
following the end of the COVID-19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, 
whichever occurs first. EHNC stated that this timeframe is needed 
for it to restore compliance with the periodic security training and 
requalification requirements at Beaver Valley.
    The NRC staff finds that the controls EHNC has or will establish 
for the duration of the exemption are adequate to ensure that the 
required security posture at Beaver Valley is maintained. These 
controls are adequate because they include a variety of mechanisms 
to help ensure impacted security personnel continue to maintain the 
knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform assigned duties 
and responsibilities, and as a result, will continue to ensure 
adequate security of Beaver Valley. In addition, the requested 
duration of the exemption would allow EHNC time to restore normal 
requalification processes at Beaver Valley in a systematic manner. 
For example, it may take time after the PHE has ended for security 
personnel affected by COVID-19 to fully recover and return to duty 
status. Based on the above, the NRC staff concludes that the 
proposed exemption would not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security.

[[Page 31555]]

C. Otherwise in the Public Interest

    On April 17, 2020, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security 
Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
published Version 3.0 of its ``Guidance on the Essential Critical 
Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience 
in COVID-19 Response.'' Although that guidance is advisory in 
nature, it is designed to ensure ``continuity of functions critical 
to public health and safety, as well as economic and national 
security.'' In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and 
Prevention (CDC) has issued recommendations (e.g., social 
distancing, limiting assemblies) to limit the spread of COVID-19.
    EHNC stated, in part, that:

    The Energy Harbor Nuclear Corp. pandemic response plan is based 
on [the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) guidance document] NEI 06-03, 
Pandemic Threat Planning, Preparation, and Response Reference Guide 
(Reference 4), which recommends isolation strategies such as 
sequestering, use of super crews or minimum staffing as well as 
social distancing, group size limitations and self-quarantining, in 
the event of a pandemic, to prevent the spread of the virus to the 
plant. NEI 06-03 provides other mitigation strategies that serve the 
public interest during a pandemic by ensuring adequate staff is 
isolated from the pandemic and remains healthy to perform their job 
function.
    Keeping [Beaver Valley] in operation during the pandemic will 
help to support the public need for reliable electricity supply to 
cope with the pandemic. As the US Departments of Homeland Security 
and Energy have stated in their guidance, the electric grid and 
nuclear plant operation make up the nation's critical infrastructure 
similar to the medical, food, communications, and other critical 
industries. If the plant operation is impacted because it cannot 
comply with the security training requalification requirements while 
isolation activities are in effect for essential crew members, the 
area electrical grid would lose this reliable source of baseload 
power. In addition, [Beaver Valley] personnel could face the added 
transient challenge of shutting down their respective plant and 
possibly not restarting it until the pandemic passes. This does not 
serve the public interest in maintaining a safe and reliable supply 
of electricity.

    EHNC stated that the requalification activities for security 
personnel at Beaver Valley must be rescheduled to allow 
implementation of the EHNC pandemic response plan mitigation 
strategies. In addition, EHNC indicated that this exemption would 
support the licensee's implementation of isolation activities (e.g., 
social distancing, group size limitations, and self-quarantining) at 
Beaver Valley. EHNC stated these actions serve the public interest 
by ensuring adequate staff isolation and maintaining staff health to 
perform their job function during the COVID-19 PHE.
    Based on the above and the NRC staff's aforementioned findings, 
the NRC staff concludes that granting the temporary exemption is in 
the public interest because it allows EHNC to maintain the required 
security posture at Beaver Valley while the facility continues to 
provide electrical power. The exemption also enables EHNC to reduce 
the risk of exposing essential security personnel at Beaver Valley 
to COVID-19.

D. Environmental Considerations

    NRC approval of this exemption request is categorically excluded 
under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), and there are no special circumstances 
present that would preclude reliance on this exclusion. The NRC 
staff determined, per 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(E), that the 
requirements from which the exemption is sought involve education, 
training, experience, qualification, requalification, or other 
employment suitability requirements. The NRC staff also determined 
that approval of this exemption request involves no significant 
hazards consideration because it does not authorize any physical 
changes to the facility or any of its safety systems, nor does it 
change any of the assumptions or limits used in the facility 
licensee's safety analyses or introduce any new failure modes; no 
significant change in the types or significant increase in the 
amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite because this 
exemption does not affect any effluent release limits as provided in 
the facility licensee's technical specifications or by the 
regulations in 10 CFR part 20, ``Standards for Protection Against 
Radiation''; no significant increase in individual or cumulative 
public or occupational radiation exposure because this exemption 
does not affect limits on the release of any radioactive material or 
the limits provided in 10 CFR part 20 for radiation exposure to 
workers or members of the public; no significant construction impact 
because this exemption does not involve any changes to a 
construction permit; and no significant increase in the potential 
for or consequences from radiological accidents because this 
exemption does not alter any of the assumptions or limits in the 
facility licensee's safety analysis. In addition, the NRC staff 
determined that there would be no significant impacts to biota, 
water resources, historic properties, cultural resources, or 
socioeconomic conditions in the region. As such, there are no 
special circumstances present that would preclude reliance on this 
categorical exclusion. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request.

IV. Conclusions

    Accordingly, the NRC has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR part 
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 EHNC's 
request to exempt Beaver Valley from the requirements for periodic 
requalification of security personnel in paragraphs B.5.(a), 
C.3.(l)(1), D.1.(b)(3), D.2.(a), E.1.(c), E.1.(f), and F.5.(a) of 10 
CFR part 73, Appendix B, Section VI. This exemption expires 90 days 
after the end of the COVID-19 PHE, or December 31, 2020, whichever 
occurs first.

    Dated: May 19, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Craig G. Erlanger, Director,

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

[FR Doc. 2020-11221 Filed 5-22-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P