Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1, 31818-31821 [2020-11347]

Download as PDF 31818 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 102 / Wednesday, May 27, 2020 / Notices SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–289; NRC–2020–0122] Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a partial exemption in response to a July 12, 2019, request from Exelon Generation Company, LLC (the licensee). The issuance of the exemption grants the licensee a partial exemption from regulations that require the retention of records for certain systems, structures, and components associated with Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1, until the termination of its operating license. The exemption was issued on May 19, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0122 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0122. 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 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. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Justin C. Poole, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 2048, email: Justin.Poole@nrc.gov. 16:59 May 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 Dated: May 21, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. James S. Kim, Project Manager, Projects Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment: Exemption SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 The text of the exemption is attached. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket No. 50–289 Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 Exemption Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–50 for Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (TMI–1). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The TMI–1 facility is located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. By letter dated June 20, 2017 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML17171A151), Exelon submitted a certification in accordance with Section 50.82(a)(1)(i) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), stating its determination to permanently cease operations at TMl-1 no later than September 30, 2019. By letter dated September 26, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19269E480), Exelon submitted to the NRC a certification in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(ii), stating that as of September 26, 2019, all fuel had been permanently removed from the TMl-1 reactor vessel. However, the licensee is still authorized to possess and store irradiated nuclear fuel. Irradiated fuel is currently being stored onsite in a spent fuel pool (SFP). TMI–1 is currently designing and constructing an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) facility, which is expected to be completed in early 2021 and that will allow for dry cask storage. The irradiated fuel will be stored in the ISFSI until it is shipped offsite. With the reactor emptied of fuel, the reactor, reactor coolant system, and secondary system will no longer be in operation and will have no function related to the safe storage and management of irradiated fuel. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 II. Request/Action By letter dated July 12, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19193A005), Exelon submitted a partial exemption request for NRC approval from the record retention requirements of: (1) 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII, which requires certain records (e.g., results of inspections, tests, and materials analyses) be maintained, consistent with applicable regulatory requirements; (2) 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which requires that records of changes in the facility must be maintained until termination of a license is issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 50; and (3) 10 CFR 50.71(c), which requires certain records to be retained for the period specified by the appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification (TS), or until termination of the license, if not otherwise specified. The licensee requested the partial exemptions because it wants to eliminate: (1) Records associated with structures, systems, and components (SSCs) and activities that were applicable to the nuclear unit, which are no longer required by the 10 CFR part 50 licensing basis (i.e., removed from the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) and/or TSs by appropriate change mechanisms; and (2) records associated with the storage of spent nuclear fuel in the SFP once all fuel has been removed from the spent fuel pool and the TMI–1 license no longer allows storage of fuel in the SFP. The licensee cites record retention partial exemptions granted to Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML18122A306); Millstone Power Station, Unit 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070110567); Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (ADAMS Accession No. ML111260277); Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML15344A243); San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15355A055); Kewaunee Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML17069A394); and Fort Calhoun Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML17172A730), as examples of the NRC granting similar requests. Records associated with residual radiological activity and with programmatic controls necessary to support decommissioning, such as security and quality assurance, are not affected by the partial exemption request because they will be retained as decommissioning records, as required by 10 CFR part 50, until the termination of the TMI–1 license. In addition, the licensee did not request an exemption E:\FR\FM\27MYN1.SGM 27MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 102 / Wednesday, May 27, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES associated with any other recordkeeping requirements for the storage of spent fuel at its ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license requirements of 10 CFR part 72. No exemption was requested from the decommissioning records retention requirements of 10 CFR 50.75 or any other requirements of 10 CFR part 50 applicable to decommissioning and dismantlement. 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 the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security. However, the Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special circumstances are present. Special circumstances are described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2). Many of the TMI–1 reactor facility SSCs are planned to be abandoned in place pending dismantlement. Abandoned SSCs will no longer be operable or maintained. Following permanent removal of fuel from the SFP, those SSCs required to support safe storage of spent fuel in the SFP will also be abandoned. In its July 12, 2019, partial exemption request, the licensee stated that the basis for eliminating records associated with reactor facility SSCs and activities is that these SSCs have been (or will be) removed from service per regulatory change processes, dismantled or demolished, and no longer have any function regulated by the NRC. The licensee recognizes that some records related to the nuclear unit will continue to be under NRC regulation primarily due to residual radioactivity. The radiological and other necessary programmatic controls (such as security, quality assurance, etc.) for the facility and the implementation of controls for the defueled condition and the decommissioning activities are and will continue to be appropriately addressed through the license and current plant documents such as the UFSAR and TSs. Except for future changes made through the applicable change process defined in the regulations (e.g., 10 CFR 50.48(f), 10 CFR 50.59, 10 CFR 50.90, 10 CFR 50.54(a), 10 CFR 50.54(p), 10 CFR 50.54(q), etc.), these programmatic elements and their associated records are unaffected by the requested partial exemption. Records necessary for SFP SSCs and activities will continue to be retained through the period that the SFP is VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 May 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 needed for safe storage of irradiated fuel. Analogous to other plant records, once the SFP is permanently emptied of fuel, there will be no need for retaining SFP-related records. Exelon’s general justification for eliminating records associated with TMI–1 SSCs that have been or will be removed from service under the NRC license, dismantled, or demolished, is that these SSCs will not in the future serve any TMI–1 functions regulated by the NRC. Exelon’s decommissioning plans for TMI–1 are described in the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report dated April 5, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19095A041). The licensee’s decommissioning process involves evaluating SSCs with respect to the current facility safety analysis; progressively removing them from the licensing basis where necessary through appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 or by NRC-approved TS changes, as applicable); revising the defueled safety analysis report and/or UFSAR as necessary; and then proceeding with an orderly dismantlement. Exelon intends to retain the records required by its license as the state of the facility transitions through decommissioning. However, equipment abandonment will obviate the regulatory and business needs for maintenance of most records. As the SSCs are removed from the licensing basis, Exelon asserts that the need for its records is, on a practical basis, eliminated. Therefore, Exelon is requesting partial exemptions from the associated records retention requirements for SSCs and historical activities that are no longer relevant. Exelon is not requesting to be exempted from any recordkeeping requirements for storage of spent fuel at an ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license requirements of 10 CFR part 72. A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from 10 CFR part 50 requirements if it makes certain findings. As described here and in the sections below, the NRC staff has determined that special circumstances exist to grant the partial exemption. In addition, granting the licensee’s proposed partial exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; other laws; or the Commission’s regulations. Therefore, the granting of the partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) is authorized by law. PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31819 B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety As SSCs are prepared for SAFSTOR and eventual decommissioning and dismantlement, they will be removed from NRC licensing basis documents through appropriate change mechanisms, such as through the 10 CFR 50.59 process or through a license amendment request approved by the NRC. These change processes involve either a determination by the licensee or an approval from the NRC that the affected SSCs no longer serve any safety purpose regulated by the NRC. Therefore, the removal of the SSCs would not present an undue risk to public health and safety. In turn, elimination of records associated with these removed SSCs would not cause any additional impact to public health and safety. The granting of the partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the records described is administrative in nature and will have no impact on any remaining decommissioning activities or on radiological effluents. The granting of the partial exemption request will only advance the schedule for disposition of the specified records. Because these records contain information about SSCs associated with reactor operation and contain no information needed to maintain the facility in a safe condition when the facility is permanently defueled and the SSCs are dismantled, the elimination of these records on an advanced timetable will have no reasonable possibility of presenting any undue risk to the public health and safety. C. The Exemption is Consistent With the Common Defense and Security The elimination of the recordkeeping requirements does not involve information or activities that could potentially impact the common defense and security of the United States. Upon dismantlement of the affected SSCs, the records have no functional purpose relative to maintaining the safe operation of the SSCs, maintaining conditions that would affect the ongoing health and safety of workers or the public, or informing decisions related to nuclear security. Rather, the partial exemption requested is administrative in nature and would only advance the current schedule for disposition of the specified records. Therefore, the partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR E:\FR\FM\27MYN1.SGM 27MYN1 31820 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 102 / Wednesday, May 27, 2020 / Notices 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the types of records described is consistent with the common defense and security. D. Special Circumstances Paragraph 50.12(a)(2) of 10 CFR states, in part: The Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special circumstances are present. Special circumstances are present whenever— . . . (ii) 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; or (iii) Compliance would result in undue hardship or other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was adopted . . . Criterion XVII of Appendix B to 10 CFR part 50 states, in part: ‘‘Sufficient records shall be maintained to furnish evidence of activities affecting quality.’’ Paragraph 50.59(d)(3) of 10 CFR states, in part: ‘‘The records of changes in the facility must be maintained until the termination of an operating license issued under this part . . .’’ Paragraph 50.71(c) of 10 CFR, states, in part: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Records that are required by the regulations in this part or part 52 of this chapter, by license condition, or by technical specifications must be retained for the period specified by the appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification. If a retention period is not otherwise specified, these records must be retained until the Commission terminates the facility license. . . . In the statement of considerations for the final rulemaking, ‘‘Retention Periods for Records’’ (53 FR 19240; May 27, 1988), in response to public comments received during the rulemaking process, the NRC stated that records must be retained ‘‘for NRC to ensure compliance with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for the NRC to accomplish its mission to protect the public health and safety.’’ In the statement of considerations, the Commission also explained that requiring licensees to maintain adequate records assists the NRC ‘‘in judging compliance and noncompliance, to act on possible noncompliance, and to examine facts as necessary following any incident.’’ These regulations apply to licensees in decommissioning. During the decommissioning process, safety-related SSCs are retired or disabled and subsequently removed from NRC licensing basis documents by appropriate change mechanisms. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 May 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 Appropriate removal of an SSC from the licensing basis requires either a determination by the licensee or an approval from the NRC that the SSC no longer has the potential to cause an accident, event, or other problem that would adversely impact public health and safety. The records subject to removal under this partial exemption request are associated with SSCs that had been important to safety during power operation or operation of the SFP, but are no longer capable of causing an event, incident, or condition that would adversely impact public health and safety, as evidenced by their appropriate removal from the licensing basis documents. If the SSCs no longer have the potential to cause these scenarios, then it is reasonable to conclude that the records associated with these SSCs would not reasonably be necessary to assist the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, or examining facts following an incident. Therefore, their retention would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule. In addition, once removed from the licensing basis documents (e.g., UFSAR or TSs), SSCs are no longer governed by the NRC’s regulations, and therefore, are not subject to compliance with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment. As such, retention of records associated with SSCs that are or will no longer be part of the facility serves no safety or regulatory purpose, nor does it serve the underlying purpose of the rule of maintaining compliance with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment in order to accomplish the NRC’s mission. Therefore, special circumstances are present that the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), to grant the partial exemption request. Records that continue to serve the underlying purpose of the rule, that is, to maintain compliance and to protect public health and safety in support of the NRC’s mission, will continue to be retained pursuant to other regulations in 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 72. Retained records that are not subject to the proposed partial exemption include those associated with programmatic controls, such as those pertaining to residual radioactivity, security, and quality assurance, as well as records associated with the ISFSI and spent fuel assemblies. The retention of records required by 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) provides assurance that records associated with SSCs will be PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 captured, indexed, and stored in an environmentally suitable and retrievable condition. Given the volume of records associated with the SSCs, compliance with the records retention rule results in a considerable cost to the licensee. Retention of the volume of records associated with the SSCs during the operational phase is appropriate to serve the underlying purpose of determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident, as discussed. However, the cost effect of retaining operational phase records beyond the operations phase until the termination of the license was not fully considered or understood when the records retention rule was put in place. For example, existing records storage facilities are eliminated as decommissioning progresses. Retaining records associated with SSCs and activities that no longer serve a safety or regulatory purpose would, therefore, result in an unnecessary financial and administrative burden. As such, compliance with the rule would result in an undue cost in excess of that contemplated when the rule was adopted. Therefore, special circumstances are present that the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), to grant the partial exemption request. E. Environmental Considerations Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and (c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 10 CFR part 50 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). The partial exemption request is administrative in nature. The partial exemption request has no effect on SSCs and no effect on the capability of any plant SSC to perform its design function. The partial exemption request would not increase the likelihood of the malfunction of any plant SSC. The probability of occurrence of previously evaluated accidents is not E:\FR\FM\27MYN1.SGM 27MYN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 102 / Wednesday, May 27, 2020 / Notices increased since most previously analyzed accidents will no longer be able to occur, and the probability and consequences of the remaining fuel handling accident are unaffected by the partial exemption request. Therefore, the partial exemption request does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. The partial exemption request does not involve a physical alteration of the plant. No new or different types of equipment will be installed, and there are no physical modifications to existing equipment associated with the partial exemption request. Similarly, the partial exemption request will not physically change any SSCs involved in the mitigation of any accidents. Thus, no new initiators or precursors of a new or different kind of accident are created. Furthermore, the partial exemption request does not create the possibility of a new accident as a result of new failure modes associated with any equipment or personnel failures. No changes are being made to parameters within which the plant is normally operated or in the setpoints that initiate protective or mitigative actions, and no new failure modes are being introduced. Therefore, the partial exemption request does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated. The partial exemption request does not alter the design basis or any safety limits for the plant. The partial exemption request does not impact station operation or any plant SSC that is relied upon for accident mitigation. Therefore, the partial exemption request does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. For these reasons, the NRC staff has determined that approval of the partial exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because granting the licensee’s partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) at the decommissioning TMI–1 does not: (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, (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 (10 CFR 50.92(c)). Likewise, there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite and no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:59 May 26, 2020 Jkt 250001 The partial exempted regulations are not associated with construction, so there is no significant construction impact. The partial exempted regulations do not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation involved for an accident) or accident mitigation; therefore, there is no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences from, radiological accidents. Allowing the licensee partial exemption from the record retention requirements for which the exemption is sought involves recordkeeping requirements, as well as reporting requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request. IV. Conclusions The NRC staff has determined that the granting of the partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. The destruction of the identified records, following permanent removal of the related SSCs and/or SFP from service, will not impact remaining decommissioning activities; plant operations, configuration, and/or radiological effluents; operational and/ or installed SSCs that are quality-related or important to safety; or nuclear security. The NRC staff has determined that the destruction of the identified records at that time is administrative in nature and does not involve information or activities that could potentially impact the common defense and security of the United States. The purpose for the recordkeeping regulations is to assist the NRC in carrying out its mission to protect the public health and safety by ensuring that the licensing and design basis of the facility are understood, documented, preserved, and retrievable in such a way that will aid the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident. Since the TMI–1 SSCs that were safetyrelated or important to safety have been or will have been removed from the licensing basis and permanently removed from service prior to destruction of the related records, the NRC staff has determined that the records identified in the partial exemption request will no longer be PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31821 required to achieve the underlying purpose of the records retention rule. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the partial exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Exelon a partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for TMI–1 only to the extent necessary to allow the licensee to advance the schedule to remove records associated with SSCs that have been or will have been removed from NRC licensing basis prior to the destruction of the related documents by appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 or by NRC-approved license amendment request, as applicable). This exemption is effective upon issuance. 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. 2020–11347 Filed 5–26–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2020–0049] Information Collection: ‘‘Standard Specification for the Granting of Patent Licenses’’ Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Renewal of existing information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) invites public comment on the renewal of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for an existing collection of information. The information collection is entitled, ‘‘Standard Specification for the Granting of Patent Licenses.’ ’’ DATES: Submit comments by July 27, 2020. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27MYN1.SGM 27MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 102 (Wednesday, May 27, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31818-31821]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11347]



[[Page 31818]]

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-289; NRC-2020-0122]


Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Three Mile Island Nuclear 
Station, Unit 1

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
partial exemption in response to a July 12, 2019, request from Exelon 
Generation Company, LLC (the licensee). The issuance of the exemption 
grants the licensee a partial exemption from regulations that require 
the retention of records for certain systems, structures, and 
components associated with Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1, 
until the termination of its operating license.

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

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0122 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0122. 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 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Justin C. Poole, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2048, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated: May 21, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
James S. Kim,
Project Manager, Projects Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment: Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 50-289

Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 
1

Exemption

    Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon or the licensee) is the 
holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-50 for Three Mile 
Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (TMI-1). The license provides, among 
other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, 
and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the 
Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The TMI-1 facility is located 
in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
    By letter dated June 20, 2017 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML17171A151), Exelon submitted 
a certification in accordance with Section 50.82(a)(1)(i) of Title 10 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), stating its determination 
to permanently cease operations at TMl-1 no later than September 30, 
2019. By letter dated September 26, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML19269E480), Exelon submitted to the NRC a certification in accordance 
with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(ii), stating that as of September 26, 2019, all 
fuel had been permanently removed from the TMl-1 reactor vessel. 
However, the licensee is still authorized to possess and store 
irradiated nuclear fuel. Irradiated fuel is currently being stored 
onsite in a spent fuel pool (SFP). TMI-1 is currently designing and 
constructing an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) 
facility, which is expected to be completed in early 2021 and that will 
allow for dry cask storage. The irradiated fuel will be stored in the 
ISFSI until it is shipped offsite. With the reactor emptied of fuel, 
the reactor, reactor coolant system, and secondary system will no 
longer be in operation and will have no function related to the safe 
storage and management of irradiated fuel.

II. Request/Action

    By letter dated July 12, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML19193A005), 
Exelon submitted a partial exemption request for NRC approval from the 
record retention requirements of: (1) 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, 
Criterion XVII, which requires certain records (e.g., results of 
inspections, tests, and materials analyses) be maintained, consistent 
with applicable regulatory requirements; (2) 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which 
requires that records of changes in the facility must be maintained 
until termination of a license is issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 50; 
and (3) 10 CFR 50.71(c), which requires certain records to be retained 
for the period specified by the appropriate regulation, license 
condition, or technical specification (TS), or until termination of the 
license, if not otherwise specified.
    The licensee requested the partial exemptions because it wants to 
eliminate: (1) Records associated with structures, systems, and 
components (SSCs) and activities that were applicable to the nuclear 
unit, which are no longer required by the 10 CFR part 50 licensing 
basis (i.e., removed from the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report 
(UFSAR) and/or TSs by appropriate change mechanisms; and (2) records 
associated with the storage of spent nuclear fuel in the SFP once all 
fuel has been removed from the spent fuel pool and the TMI-1 license no 
longer allows storage of fuel in the SFP. The licensee cites record 
retention partial exemptions granted to Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML18122A306); Millstone Power Station, 
Unit 1 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070110567); Zion Nuclear Power Station, 
Units 1 and 2 (ADAMS Accession No. ML111260277); Vermont Yankee Nuclear 
Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML15344A243); San Onofre Nuclear 
Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML15355A055); Kewaunee Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML17069A394); 
and Fort Calhoun Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML17172A730), as examples 
of the NRC granting similar requests.
    Records associated with residual radiological activity and with 
programmatic controls necessary to support decommissioning, such as 
security and quality assurance, are not affected by the partial 
exemption request because they will be retained as decommissioning 
records, as required by 10 CFR part 50, until the termination of the 
TMI-1 license. In addition, the licensee did not request an exemption

[[Page 31819]]

associated with any other recordkeeping requirements for the storage of 
spent fuel at its ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license 
requirements of 10 CFR part 72. No exemption was requested from the 
decommissioning records retention requirements of 10 CFR 50.75 or any 
other requirements of 10 CFR part 50 applicable to decommissioning and 
dismantlement.

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 the exemptions are authorized 
by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and 
are consistent with the common defense and security. However, the 
Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special 
circumstances are present. Special circumstances are described in 10 
CFR 50.12(a)(2).
    Many of the TMI-1 reactor facility SSCs are planned to be abandoned 
in place pending dismantlement. Abandoned SSCs will no longer be 
operable or maintained. Following permanent removal of fuel from the 
SFP, those SSCs required to support safe storage of spent fuel in the 
SFP will also be abandoned. In its July 12, 2019, partial exemption 
request, the licensee stated that the basis for eliminating records 
associated with reactor facility SSCs and activities is that these SSCs 
have been (or will be) removed from service per regulatory change 
processes, dismantled or demolished, and no longer have any function 
regulated by the NRC.
    The licensee recognizes that some records related to the nuclear 
unit will continue to be under NRC regulation primarily due to residual 
radioactivity. The radiological and other necessary programmatic 
controls (such as security, quality assurance, etc.) for the facility 
and the implementation of controls for the defueled condition and the 
decommissioning activities are and will continue to be appropriately 
addressed through the license and current plant documents such as the 
UFSAR and TSs. Except for future changes made through the applicable 
change process defined in the regulations (e.g., 10 CFR 50.48(f), 10 
CFR 50.59, 10 CFR 50.90, 10 CFR 50.54(a), 10 CFR 50.54(p), 10 CFR 
50.54(q), etc.), these programmatic elements and their associated 
records are unaffected by the requested partial exemption.
    Records necessary for SFP SSCs and activities will continue to be 
retained through the period that the SFP is needed for safe storage of 
irradiated fuel. Analogous to other plant records, once the SFP is 
permanently emptied of fuel, there will be no need for retaining SFP-
related records.
    Exelon's general justification for eliminating records associated 
with TMI-1 SSCs that have been or will be removed from service under 
the NRC license, dismantled, or demolished, is that these SSCs will not 
in the future serve any TMI-1 functions regulated by the NRC. Exelon's 
decommissioning plans for TMI-1 are described in the Post Shutdown 
Decommissioning Activities Report dated April 5, 2019 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML19095A041). The licensee's decommissioning process involves 
evaluating SSCs with respect to the current facility safety analysis; 
progressively removing them from the licensing basis where necessary 
through appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 or by NRC-
approved TS changes, as applicable); revising the defueled safety 
analysis report and/or UFSAR as necessary; and then proceeding with an 
orderly dismantlement.
    Exelon intends to retain the records required by its license as the 
state of the facility transitions through decommissioning. However, 
equipment abandonment will obviate the regulatory and business needs 
for maintenance of most records. As the SSCs are removed from the 
licensing basis, Exelon asserts that the need for its records is, on a 
practical basis, eliminated. Therefore, Exelon is requesting partial 
exemptions from the associated records retention requirements for SSCs 
and historical activities that are no longer relevant. Exelon is not 
requesting to be exempted from any recordkeeping requirements for 
storage of spent fuel at an ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general 
license requirements of 10 CFR part 72.

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions 
from 10 CFR part 50 requirements if it makes certain findings. As 
described here and in the sections below, the NRC staff has determined 
that special circumstances exist to grant the partial exemption. In 
addition, granting the licensee's proposed partial exemption will not 
result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; 
other laws; or the Commission's regulations. Therefore, the granting of 
the partial exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 
CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 
50.59(d)(3) is authorized by law.

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

    As SSCs are prepared for SAFSTOR and eventual decommissioning and 
dismantlement, they will be removed from NRC licensing basis documents 
through appropriate change mechanisms, such as through the 10 CFR 50.59 
process or through a license amendment request approved by the NRC. 
These change processes involve either a determination by the licensee 
or an approval from the NRC that the affected SSCs no longer serve any 
safety purpose regulated by the NRC. Therefore, the removal of the SSCs 
would not present an undue risk to public health and safety. In turn, 
elimination of records associated with these removed SSCs would not 
cause any additional impact to public health and safety.
    The granting of the partial exemption request from the 
recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix 
B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the records described is 
administrative in nature and will have no impact on any remaining 
decommissioning activities or on radiological effluents. The granting 
of the partial exemption request will only advance the schedule for 
disposition of the specified records. Because these records contain 
information about SSCs associated with reactor operation and contain no 
information needed to maintain the facility in a safe condition when 
the facility is permanently defueled and the SSCs are dismantled, the 
elimination of these records on an advanced timetable will have no 
reasonable possibility of presenting any undue risk to the public 
health and safety.

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

    The elimination of the recordkeeping requirements does not involve 
information or activities that could potentially impact the common 
defense and security of the United States. Upon dismantlement of the 
affected SSCs, the records have no functional purpose relative to 
maintaining the safe operation of the SSCs, maintaining conditions that 
would affect the ongoing health and safety of workers or the public, or 
informing decisions related to nuclear security.
    Rather, the partial exemption requested is administrative in nature 
and would only advance the current schedule for disposition of the 
specified records. Therefore, the partial exemption request from the 
recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR

[[Page 31820]]

50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 
50.59(d)(3) for the types of records described is consistent with the 
common defense and security.

D. Special Circumstances

    Paragraph 50.12(a)(2) of 10 CFR states, in part:

    The Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless 
special circumstances are present. Special circumstances are present 
whenever-- . . .
    (ii) 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; or
    (iii) Compliance would result in undue hardship or other costs 
that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the 
regulation was adopted . . .

    Criterion XVII of Appendix B to 10 CFR part 50 states, in part: 
``Sufficient records shall be maintained to furnish evidence of 
activities affecting quality.''
    Paragraph 50.59(d)(3) of 10 CFR states, in part: ``The records of 
changes in the facility must be maintained until the termination of an 
operating license issued under this part . . .''
    Paragraph 50.71(c) of 10 CFR, states, in part:

    Records that are required by the regulations in this part or 
part 52 of this chapter, by license condition, or by technical 
specifications must be retained for the period specified by the 
appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical 
specification. If a retention period is not otherwise specified, 
these records must be retained until the Commission terminates the 
facility license. . . .

    In the statement of considerations for the final rulemaking, 
``Retention Periods for Records'' (53 FR 19240; May 27, 1988), in 
response to public comments received during the rulemaking process, the 
NRC stated that records must be retained ``for NRC to ensure compliance 
with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for 
the NRC to accomplish its mission to protect the public health and 
safety.'' In the statement of considerations, the Commission also 
explained that requiring licensees to maintain adequate records assists 
the NRC ``in judging compliance and noncompliance, to act on possible 
noncompliance, and to examine facts as necessary following any 
incident.''
    These regulations apply to licensees in decommissioning. During the 
decommissioning process, safety-related SSCs are retired or disabled 
and subsequently removed from NRC licensing basis documents by 
appropriate change mechanisms. Appropriate removal of an SSC from the 
licensing basis requires either a determination by the licensee or an 
approval from the NRC that the SSC no longer has the potential to cause 
an accident, event, or other problem that would adversely impact public 
health and safety.
    The records subject to removal under this partial exemption request 
are associated with SSCs that had been important to safety during power 
operation or operation of the SFP, but are no longer capable of causing 
an event, incident, or condition that would adversely impact public 
health and safety, as evidenced by their appropriate removal from the 
licensing basis documents. If the SSCs no longer have the potential to 
cause these scenarios, then it is reasonable to conclude that the 
records associated with these SSCs would not reasonably be necessary to 
assist the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking 
action on possible noncompliance, or examining facts following an 
incident. Therefore, their retention would not serve the underlying 
purpose of the rule.
    In addition, once removed from the licensing basis documents (e.g., 
UFSAR or TSs), SSCs are no longer governed by the NRC's regulations, 
and therefore, are not subject to compliance with the safety and health 
aspects of the nuclear environment. As such, retention of records 
associated with SSCs that are or will no longer be part of the facility 
serves no safety or regulatory purpose, nor does it serve the 
underlying purpose of the rule of maintaining compliance with the 
safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment in order to 
accomplish the NRC's mission. Therefore, special circumstances are 
present that the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), 
to grant the partial exemption request.
    Records that continue to serve the underlying purpose of the rule, 
that is, to maintain compliance and to protect public health and safety 
in support of the NRC's mission, will continue to be retained pursuant 
to other regulations in 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 72. Retained 
records that are not subject to the proposed partial exemption include 
those associated with programmatic controls, such as those pertaining 
to residual radioactivity, security, and quality assurance, as well as 
records associated with the ISFSI and spent fuel assemblies.
    The retention of records required by 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 
50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) provides 
assurance that records associated with SSCs will be captured, indexed, 
and stored in an environmentally suitable and retrievable condition. 
Given the volume of records associated with the SSCs, compliance with 
the records retention rule results in a considerable cost to the 
licensee. Retention of the volume of records associated with the SSCs 
during the operational phase is appropriate to serve the underlying 
purpose of determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on 
possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident, as 
discussed.
    However, the cost effect of retaining operational phase records 
beyond the operations phase until the termination of the license was 
not fully considered or understood when the records retention rule was 
put in place. For example, existing records storage facilities are 
eliminated as decommissioning progresses. Retaining records associated 
with SSCs and activities that no longer serve a safety or regulatory 
purpose would, therefore, result in an unnecessary financial and 
administrative burden. As such, compliance with the rule would result 
in an undue cost in excess of that contemplated when the rule was 
adopted. Therefore, special circumstances are present that the NRC may 
consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), to grant the partial 
exemption request.

E. Environmental Considerations

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and (c)(25), the granting of an 
exemption from the requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 10 
CFR part 50 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).
    The partial exemption request is administrative in nature. The 
partial exemption request has no effect on SSCs and no effect on the 
capability of any plant SSC to perform its design function. The partial 
exemption request would not increase the likelihood of the malfunction 
of any plant SSC.
    The probability of occurrence of previously evaluated accidents is 
not

[[Page 31821]]

increased since most previously analyzed accidents will no longer be 
able to occur, and the probability and consequences of the remaining 
fuel handling accident are unaffected by the partial exemption request. 
Therefore, the partial exemption request does not involve a significant 
increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously 
evaluated.
    The partial exemption request does not involve a physical 
alteration of the plant. No new or different types of equipment will be 
installed, and there are no physical modifications to existing 
equipment associated with the partial exemption request. Similarly, the 
partial exemption request will not physically change any SSCs involved 
in the mitigation of any accidents. Thus, no new initiators or 
precursors of a new or different kind of accident are created. 
Furthermore, the partial exemption request does not create the 
possibility of a new accident as a result of new failure modes 
associated with any equipment or personnel failures. No changes are 
being made to parameters within which the plant is normally operated or 
in the setpoints that initiate protective or mitigative actions, and no 
new failure modes are being introduced. Therefore, the partial 
exemption request does not create the possibility of a new or different 
kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.
    The partial exemption request does not alter the design basis or 
any safety limits for the plant. The partial exemption request does not 
impact station operation or any plant SSC that is relied upon for 
accident mitigation. Therefore, the partial exemption request does not 
involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
    For these reasons, the NRC staff has determined that approval of 
the partial exemption request involves no significant hazards 
consideration because granting the licensee's partial exemption request 
from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) at the 
decommissioning TMI-1 does not: (1) Involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, 
(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 (10 CFR 50.92(c)). Likewise, there is 
no significant change in the types or significant increase in the 
amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite and no 
significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational 
radiation exposure.
    The partial exempted regulations are not associated with 
construction, so there is no significant construction impact. The 
partial exempted regulations do not concern the source term (i.e., 
potential amount of radiation involved for an accident) or accident 
mitigation; therefore, there is no significant increase in the 
potential for, or consequences from, radiological accidents. Allowing 
the licensee partial exemption from the record retention requirements 
for which the exemption is sought involves recordkeeping requirements, 
as well as reporting requirements of an administrative, managerial, or 
organizational nature.
    Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request.

IV. Conclusions

    The NRC staff has determined that the granting of the partial 
exemption request from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 
50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 
50.59(d)(3) will not present an undue risk to the public health and 
safety. The destruction of the identified records, following permanent 
removal of the related SSCs and/or SFP from service, will not impact 
remaining decommissioning activities; plant operations, configuration, 
and/or radiological effluents; operational and/or installed SSCs that 
are quality-related or important to safety; or nuclear security. The 
NRC staff has determined that the destruction of the identified records 
at that time is administrative in nature and does not involve 
information or activities that could potentially impact the common 
defense and security of the United States.
    The purpose for the recordkeeping regulations is to assist the NRC 
in carrying out its mission to protect the public health and safety by 
ensuring that the licensing and design basis of the facility are 
understood, documented, preserved, and retrievable in such a way that 
will aid the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking 
action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an 
incident. Since the TMI-1 SSCs that were safety-related or important to 
safety have been or will have been removed from the licensing basis and 
permanently removed from service prior to destruction of the related 
records, the NRC staff has determined that the records identified in 
the partial exemption request will no longer be required to achieve the 
underlying purpose of the records retention rule.
    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12, the partial exemption is authorized by law, will not present an 
undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the 
common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. 
Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Exelon a partial exemption from 
the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for TMI-1 only to 
the extent necessary to allow the licensee to advance the schedule to 
remove records associated with SSCs that have been or will have been 
removed from NRC licensing basis prior to the destruction of the 
related documents by appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 
or by NRC-approved license amendment request, as applicable).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    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. 2020-11347 Filed 5-26-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P