Exelon Generation Company LLC, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, 20523-20526 [2021-08061]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices Institute of Museum and Library Services Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request, Proposed Collection: 2022–2024 IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries/Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Notice of Funding Opportunity Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Foundation for the Arts and the Humanities. ACTION: Submission for OMB Review, comment request. AGENCY: The Institute of Museum and Library Services announces the following information collection has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. 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SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this Notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection request by selecting ‘‘Institute of Museum and Library Services’’ under ‘‘Currently Under Review;’’ then check ‘‘Only Show ICR for Public Comment’’ checkbox. Once you have found this information collection request, select ‘‘Comment,’’ and enter or upload your comment and information. Alternatively, please mail your written comments to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn.: OMB Desk Officer for Education, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or call (202) 395–7316. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony D. 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Current Actions: This action is to renew the forms and instructions for the Notice of Funding Opportunities for the next three years. The 60-Day Notice was published in the Federal Register on January 8, 2021 (86 FR 1535). One comment was received. Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services. Title of Collection: 2022–2024 IMLS National Leadership Grants for Libraries/Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Notice of Funding Opportunity. OMB Control Number: 3137–0091. Agency Number: 3137. Affected Public: Library organization applicants. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 648. ADDRESSES: NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20523 Frequency of Response: Twice per year. Average Hours per Response: 32.5. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 15,756. Total Annual Cost Burden: $481,503.36. Total Annual Federal Costs: $75,710.60. Dated: April 14, 2021. Kim Miller, Senior Grants Management Specialist, Institute of Museum and Library Services. [FR Doc. 2021–08023 Filed 4–19–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7036–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–244; NRC–2021–0075] Exelon Generation Company LLC, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued an exemption in response to a September 11, 2020, request from Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon), to allow Exelon to submit a subsequent license renewal application for R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, at least 3 years prior to the expiration of the existing license and, if it is found sufficient, still receive timely renewal protection. SUMMARY: The exemption was issued on April 14, 2021. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2021–0075 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2021–0075. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann; telephone: 301–415–0624; email: Stacy.Schumann@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 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 DATES: E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 20524 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices 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. • Attention: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies of public documents, is currently closed. You may submit your request to the PDR via email at pdr.resource@nrc.gov or call 1– 800–397–4209 or 301–415–4737, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: V. Sreenivas, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–2597, email: V.Sreenivas@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. Dated: April 14, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Venkataiah Sreenivas, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment—Exemption NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket No. 50–244 Exelon Generation Company, LLC R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant Exemption I. Background Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon, the licensee), is the holder of the Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–18 which authorizes operation of the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (Ginna), a pressurized-water reactor located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, in the town of Ontario, Wayne County, New York. 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, Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The current operating license for Ginna expires on September 18, 2029. By letter dated September 11, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20255A001), Exelon requested an exemption that would allow submittal of a subsequent license renewal application (SLRA) for Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration of the existing license and, if the NRC VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 finds the application sufficient for docketing, to still receive timely renewal protection under title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 2, Section 2.109(b). Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.109(b), the NRC provides timely renewal protection to licensees that submit a sufficient license renewal application at least 5 years before the expiration of the existing license. II. Request/Action Under 10 CFR 54.17(a), the NRC requires that the filing of an application for a renewed license be in accordance with, among other regulations, 10 CFR 2.109(b). In turn, 10 CFR 2.109(b) states, ‘‘If the licensee of a nuclear power plant licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(b) or 50.22 files a sufficient application for renewal of either an operating license or a combined license at least 5 years before the expiration of the existing license, the existing license will not be deemed to have expired until the application has been finally determined.’’ In its letter dated September 11, 2020, Exelon requested an exemption from 10 CFR 54.17(a) to allow Exelon to submit its SLRA for Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration of the existing license and still receive timely renewal protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b). III. Discussion Under 10 CFR 54.15, exemptions from the requirements of Part 54 are governed by 10 CFR 50.12. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) special circumstances are present, as defined in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2). In its application, Exelon stated that three special circumstances apply to its request. The three special circumstances that Exelon included in its request are: (1) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) states, ‘‘[a]pplication 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 (2) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii) states, ‘‘[c]ompliance would result in undue hardship or other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was adopted, or that are significantly in excess of those incurred by others similarly situated PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (3) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(vi) states, ‘‘[t]here is present other material circumstance not considered when the regulation was adopted for which it would be in the public interest to grant an exemption.’’ A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law This exemption would allow Exelon to submit a sufficient SLRA for Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration of its existing license and still receive timely renewal protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b). Section 2.109 implements Section 9(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 558(c), which states: When the licensee has made timely and sufficient application for a renewal or a new license in accordance with agency rules, a license with reference to an activity of a continuing nature does not expire until the application has been finally determined by the agency. The 5-year time period specified in 10 CFR 2.109 is the result of a discretionary agency rulemaking under Sections 161 and 181 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not required by the APA. As stated above, 10 CFR 54.17(a) requires that the filing of an application for a renewed license be in accordance with, among other regulations, 10 CFR 2.109(b). In addition, 10 CFR 54.15 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 54. The NRC has determined that granting this exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the APA, or the NRC’s regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety The requested exemption to allow a 3year time period, rather than the 5 years specified in 10 CFR 2.109(b), for Exelon to submit a sufficient SLRA and receive timely renewal protection is a scheduling change. The action does not change the manner in which the plant operates and maintains public health and safety because no additional changes are made as a result of the action. The NRC expects that a period of 3 years provides sufficient time for the NRC to perform a full and adequate safety and environmental review, and for the completion of the hearing process. Pending final action on the SLRA, the NRC will continue to conduct all regulatory activities associated with licensing, inspection, and oversight, and will take whatever action may be necessary to ensure adequate protection of the public health and safety. The existence of this exemption does not E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices affect NRC’s authority, applicable to all licenses, to modify, suspend, or revoke a license for cause, such as a serious safety concern. Based on the above, the NRC finds that the action does not cause undue risk to public health and safety. C. The Exemption Is Consistent With the Common Defense and Security The requested exemption to allow for a timely renewal protection deadline of at least 3 years instead of 5 years is a scheduling change. The exemption does not change any site security matters. Therefore, the NRC finds that the action is consistent with the common defense and security. D. Special Circumstances The purpose of 10 CFR 2.109(b), as it is applied to nuclear power reactors licensed by the NRC, is to implement the ‘‘timely renewal’’ provision of Section 9(b) of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 558(c), which states: When the licensee has made timely and sufficient application for a renewal or a new license in accordance with agency rules, a license with reference to an activity of a continuing nature does not expire until the application has been finally determined by the agency. The underlying purpose of this ‘‘timely renewal’’ provision in the APA is to protect a licensee who is engaged in an ongoing licensed activity and who has complied with agency rules in applying for a renewed or new license from facing license expiration as the result of delays in the administrative process. On December 13, 1991, the NRC published the final license renewal rule, 10 CFR part 54, with associated changes to 10 CFR parts 2, 50, and 140, in the Federal Register (56 FR 64943). The statement of considerations discussed the basis for establishing the latest date for filing license renewal applications and the timely renewal doctrine (56 FR 64962). The statement of considerations stated that: Because the review of a renewal application will involve a review of many complex technical issues, the NRC estimates that the technical review would take approximately 2 years. Any necessary hearing could likely add an additional year or more. Therefore, in the proposed rule, the Commission modified § 2.109 to require that nuclear power plant operating license renewal applications be submitted at least 3 years prior to their expiration in order to take advantage of the timely renewal doctrine. No specific comment was received concerning the proposal to add a 3-year provision for the timely renewal provision for license renewal. The current regulations require licensees to submit decommissioning plans and related financial assurance VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 information on or about 5 years prior to the expiration of their operating licenses. The Commission has concluded that, for consistency, the deadline for submittal of a license renewal application should be 5 years prior to the expiration of the current operating license. The timely renewal provisions of § 2.109 now reflect the decision that a 5-year time limit is more appropriate. Thus, the NRC originally estimated that 3 years was needed to review a renewal application and to complete any hearing that might be held on the application. The NRC changed its original deadline from 3 years to 5 years to have consistent deadlines for when licensees must submit their decommissioning plans and related financial assurance information and when they must submit their license renewal application to receive timely renewal protection. Application of the 5-year period in 10 CFR 2.109(b) is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the timely renewal provision in the regulation if Exelon files a sufficient Ginna SLRA at least 3 years prior to expiration of the license. The NRC’s current schedule for review of SLRAs is to complete its review and make a decision on issuing the renewed license within 18 months of receipt if there is no hearing. If a hearing is held, the NRC’s model schedule anticipates completion of the NRC’s review and of the hearing process, and issuance of a decision on the license renewal application within 30 months of receipt. However, it is recognized that the estimate of 30 months for completion of a contested hearing is subject to variation in any given proceeding. A period of 3 years (36 months), nevertheless, is expected to provide sufficient time for performance of a full and adequate safety and environmental review, and completion of the hearing process. Meeting this schedule is based on a complete and sufficient application being submitted and on the review being completed in accordance with the NRC’s established license renewal review schedule. Based on the above, the NRC finds that the special circumstance of 10 CFR 50 12(a)(2)(ii) is present in the particular circumstance of Ginna. In addition, the NRC finds that the special circumstance of 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii) is present in the circumstances of Ginna. Compliance with § 2.109(b) would result in undue hardship or other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was adopted. In its application, Exelon stated that the decision to continue power operation at Ginna depended on PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20525 economic and legislative factors that evolved in a way that did not permit the preparation and submission of an SLRA 5 years prior to the license expiration date. Exelon further stated that if the exemption is not granted, and it submits its SLRA less than 5 years before license expiration, then Exelon would face the risk of being forced to shut down if the application is not approved before the current license expires. The impact of changes in economic and legislative conditions on licensees’ decisions to pursue license renewal was not a factor considered at the time the timely renewal rule was issued. The NRC therefore finds that the special circumstance of 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii) also is present. Because the NRC staff finds that special circumstances exist under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) and 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), the NRC staff did not consider whether special circumstances also exist under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(vi), as presented by Exelon in its exemption request. E. Environmental Considerations The NRC has determined that the issuance of the requested exemption meets the provisions of categorical exclusion 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G). Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation of chapter 10 qualifies as a categorical exclusion if (i) there is no significant hazards consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought involves scheduling requirements. The basis for NRC’s determination is provided in the following evaluation of the requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)– (vi). Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i) To qualify for a categorical exclusion under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i), the exemption must involve a no significant hazards consideration. The criteria for making a no significant hazards consideration determination are found in 10 CFR 50.92(c). The NRC has determined that the granting of the exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because allowing the submittal of the license renewal application at least 3 E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1 20526 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 74 / Tuesday, April 20, 2021 / Notices years before the expiration of the existing license while maintaining the protection of the timely renewal provision in 10 CFR 2.109(b) does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i) are met. than the 5 years specified in 10 CFR 2.109(b), and still receive timely renewal protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b). Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) are met. Based on the above, the NRC concludes that the proposed exemption meets the eligibility criteria for a categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). 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. Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii) and (iii) The exemption constitutes a change to the schedule by which Exelon must submit its SLRA and still receive timely renewal protection, which is administrative in nature, and does not involve any change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of effluents that may be released offsite and does not contribute to any significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite, and no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii) and (iii) are met. IV. Conclusions Accordingly, the NRC has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 54.15 and 10 CFR 50.12, the 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 as defined in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), are present. Therefore, the NRC hereby grants the licensee a onetime exemption for Ginna, from 10 CFR 54.17(a) to allow the submittal of the Ginna SLRA at least 3 years prior to expiration of the operating license while maintaining the protection of the timely renewal provision in 10 CFR 2.109(b). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv) The exempted regulation is not associated with construction and the exemption does not propose any changes to the site, alter the site, or change the operation of the site. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv) are met because there is no significant construction impact. Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) The exemption constitutes a change to the schedule by which Exelon must submit its SLRA and still receive timely renewal protection, which is administrative in nature, and does not impact the probability or consequences of accidents. Thus, there is no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences of, a radiological accident. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) are met. Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) To qualify for a categorical exclusion under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G), the exemption must involve scheduling requirements. The exemption involves scheduling requirements because it would allow Exelon to submit a SLRA for Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration of the existing license, rather VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:10 Apr 19, 2021 Jkt 253001 Dated April 14, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. /RA/ Craig G. Erlanger, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2021–08061 Filed 4–19–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2021–0095] Monthly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Monthly notice. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information Pursuant to section 189.a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this regular monthly notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, and grants the Commission the authority to SUMMARY: issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration (NSHC), notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person. This monthly notice includes all amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, from March 5, 2021, to April 1, 2021. The last monthly notice was published on March 23, 2021. DATES: Comments must be filed by May 20, 2021. A request for a hearing or petitions for leave to intervene must be filed by June 21, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods; however, the NRC encourages electronic comment submission through the Federal Rulemaking website: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2021–0095. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann; telephone: 301–415–0624; email: Stacy.Schumann@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN–7– A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rhonda Butler, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone: 301–415– 8025, email: Rhonda.Butler@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2021– 0095, facility name, unit number(s), docket number(s), application date, and subject when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly available information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2021–0095. E:\FR\FM\20APN1.SGM 20APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 74 (Tuesday, April 20, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20523-20526]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-08061]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-244; NRC-2021-0075]


Exelon Generation Company LLC, R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued an 
exemption in response to a September 11, 2020, request from Exelon 
Generation Company, LLC (Exelon), to allow Exelon to submit a 
subsequent license renewal application for R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power 
Plant, at least 3 years prior to the expiration of the existing license 
and, if it is found sufficient, still receive timely renewal 
protection.

DATES: The exemption was issued on April 14, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2021-0075 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2021-0075. Address 
questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann; 
telephone: 301-415-0624; 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

[[Page 20524]]

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.
     Attention: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies 
of public documents, is currently closed. You may submit your request 
to the PDR via email at [email protected] or call 1-800-397-4209 or 
301-415-4737, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: V. Sreenivas, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2597, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated: April 14, 2021.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Venkataiah Sreenivas,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment--Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 50-244

Exelon Generation Company, LLC

R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

Exemption

I. Background

    Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon, the licensee), is the 
holder of the Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-18 which 
authorizes operation of the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (Ginna), a 
pressurized-water reactor located on the southern shore of Lake 
Ontario, in the town of Ontario, Wayne County, New York. 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, Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The current 
operating license for Ginna expires on September 18, 2029.
    By letter dated September 11, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20255A001), Exelon requested 
an exemption that would allow submittal of a subsequent license renewal 
application (SLRA) for Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration 
of the existing license and, if the NRC finds the application 
sufficient for docketing, to still receive timely renewal protection 
under title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 2, 
Section 2.109(b). Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.109(b), the NRC provides timely 
renewal protection to licensees that submit a sufficient license 
renewal application at least 5 years before the expiration of the 
existing license.

II. Request/Action

    Under 10 CFR 54.17(a), the NRC requires that the filing of an 
application for a renewed license be in accordance with, among other 
regulations, 10 CFR 2.109(b). In turn, 10 CFR 2.109(b) states, ``If the 
licensee of a nuclear power plant licensed under 10 CFR 50.21(b) or 
50.22 files a sufficient application for renewal of either an operating 
license or a combined license at least 5 years before the expiration of 
the existing license, the existing license will not be deemed to have 
expired until the application has been finally determined.'' In its 
letter dated September 11, 2020, Exelon requested an exemption from 10 
CFR 54.17(a) to allow Exelon to submit its SLRA for Ginna at least 3 
years prior to the expiration of the existing license and still receive 
timely renewal protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b).

III. Discussion

    Under 10 CFR 54.15, exemptions from the requirements of Part 54 are 
governed by 10 CFR 50.12. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, 
upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, 
grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when (1) the 
exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to 
public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and 
security; and (2) special circumstances are present, as defined in 10 
CFR 50.12(a)(2). In its application, Exelon stated that three special 
circumstances apply to its request. The three special circumstances 
that Exelon included in its request are:
    (1) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) states, 
``[a]pplication 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
    (2) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii) states, 
``[c]ompliance would result in undue hardship or other costs that are 
significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was 
adopted, or that are significantly in excess of those incurred by 
others similarly situated
    (3) The special circumstance in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(vi) states, 
``[t]here is present other material circumstance not considered when 
the regulation was adopted for which it would be in the public interest 
to grant an exemption.''

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow Exelon to submit a sufficient SLRA for 
Ginna at least 3 years prior to the expiration of its existing license 
and still receive timely renewal protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b). 
Section 2.109 implements Section 9(b) of the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 558(c), which states:

    When the licensee has made timely and sufficient application for 
a renewal or a new license in accordance with agency rules, a 
license with reference to an activity of a continuing nature does 
not expire until the application has been finally determined by the 
agency.

The 5-year time period specified in 10 CFR 2.109 is the result of a 
discretionary agency rulemaking under Sections 161 and 181 of the 
Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not required by the APA. As 
stated above, 10 CFR 54.17(a) requires that the filing of an 
application for a renewed license be in accordance with, among other 
regulations, 10 CFR 2.109(b). In addition, 10 CFR 54.15 allows the NRC 
to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 54. The NRC 
has determined that granting this exemption will not result in a 
violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, the APA, or the 
NRC's regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

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

    The requested exemption to allow a 3-year time period, rather than 
the 5 years specified in 10 CFR 2.109(b), for Exelon to submit a 
sufficient SLRA and receive timely renewal protection is a scheduling 
change. The action does not change the manner in which the plant 
operates and maintains public health and safety because no additional 
changes are made as a result of the action. The NRC expects that a 
period of 3 years provides sufficient time for the NRC to perform a 
full and adequate safety and environmental review, and for the 
completion of the hearing process. Pending final action on the SLRA, 
the NRC will continue to conduct all regulatory activities associated 
with licensing, inspection, and oversight, and will take whatever 
action may be necessary to ensure adequate protection of the public 
health and safety. The existence of this exemption does not

[[Page 20525]]

affect NRC's authority, applicable to all licenses, to modify, suspend, 
or revoke a license for cause, such as a serious safety concern. Based 
on the above, the NRC finds that the action does not cause undue risk 
to public health and safety.

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

    The requested exemption to allow for a timely renewal protection 
deadline of at least 3 years instead of 5 years is a scheduling change. 
The exemption does not change any site security matters. Therefore, the 
NRC finds that the action is consistent with the common defense and 
security.

D. Special Circumstances

    The purpose of 10 CFR 2.109(b), as it is applied to nuclear power 
reactors licensed by the NRC, is to implement the ``timely renewal'' 
provision of Section 9(b) of the APA, 5 U.S.C. 558(c), which states:

    When the licensee has made timely and sufficient application for 
a renewal or a new license in accordance with agency rules, a 
license with reference to an activity of a continuing nature does 
not expire until the application has been finally determined by the 
agency.

    The underlying purpose of this ``timely renewal'' provision in the 
APA is to protect a licensee who is engaged in an ongoing licensed 
activity and who has complied with agency rules in applying for a 
renewed or new license from facing license expiration as the result of 
delays in the administrative process.
    On December 13, 1991, the NRC published the final license renewal 
rule, 10 CFR part 54, with associated changes to 10 CFR parts 2, 50, 
and 140, in the Federal Register (56 FR 64943). The statement of 
considerations discussed the basis for establishing the latest date for 
filing license renewal applications and the timely renewal doctrine (56 
FR 64962). The statement of considerations stated that:

    Because the review of a renewal application will involve a 
review of many complex technical issues, the NRC estimates that the 
technical review would take approximately 2 years. Any necessary 
hearing could likely add an additional year or more. Therefore, in 
the proposed rule, the Commission modified Sec.  2.109 to require 
that nuclear power plant operating license renewal applications be 
submitted at least 3 years prior to their expiration in order to 
take advantage of the timely renewal doctrine.
    No specific comment was received concerning the proposal to add 
a 3-year provision for the timely renewal provision for license 
renewal. The current regulations require licensees to submit 
decommissioning plans and related financial assurance information on 
or about 5 years prior to the expiration of their operating 
licenses. The Commission has concluded that, for consistency, the 
deadline for submittal of a license renewal application should be 5 
years prior to the expiration of the current operating license. The 
timely renewal provisions of Sec.  2.109 now reflect the decision 
that a 5-year time limit is more appropriate.

    Thus, the NRC originally estimated that 3 years was needed to 
review a renewal application and to complete any hearing that might be 
held on the application. The NRC changed its original deadline from 3 
years to 5 years to have consistent deadlines for when licensees must 
submit their decommissioning plans and related financial assurance 
information and when they must submit their license renewal application 
to receive timely renewal protection.
    Application of the 5-year period in 10 CFR 2.109(b) is not 
necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the timely renewal 
provision in the regulation if Exelon files a sufficient Ginna SLRA at 
least 3 years prior to expiration of the license. The NRC's current 
schedule for review of SLRAs is to complete its review and make a 
decision on issuing the renewed license within 18 months of receipt if 
there is no hearing. If a hearing is held, the NRC's model schedule 
anticipates completion of the NRC's review and of the hearing process, 
and issuance of a decision on the license renewal application within 30 
months of receipt.
    However, it is recognized that the estimate of 30 months for 
completion of a contested hearing is subject to variation in any given 
proceeding. A period of 3 years (36 months), nevertheless, is expected 
to provide sufficient time for performance of a full and adequate 
safety and environmental review, and completion of the hearing process. 
Meeting this schedule is based on a complete and sufficient application 
being submitted and on the review being completed in accordance with 
the NRC's established license renewal review schedule.
    Based on the above, the NRC finds that the special circumstance of 
10 CFR 50 12(a)(2)(ii) is present in the particular circumstance of 
Ginna.
    In addition, the NRC finds that the special circumstance of 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(iii) is present in the circumstances of Ginna. Compliance 
with Sec.  2.109(b) would result in undue hardship or other costs that 
are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation 
was adopted. In its application, Exelon stated that the decision to 
continue power operation at Ginna depended on economic and legislative 
factors that evolved in a way that did not permit the preparation and 
submission of an SLRA 5 years prior to the license expiration date. 
Exelon further stated that if the exemption is not granted, and it 
submits its SLRA less than 5 years before license expiration, then 
Exelon would face the risk of being forced to shut down if the 
application is not approved before the current license expires. The 
impact of changes in economic and legislative conditions on licensees' 
decisions to pursue license renewal was not a factor considered at the 
time the timely renewal rule was issued. The NRC therefore finds that 
the special circumstance of 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii) also is present. 
Because the NRC staff finds that special circumstances exist under 10 
CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) and 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), the NRC staff did not 
consider whether special circumstances also exist under 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(vi), as presented by Exelon in its exemption request.

E. Environmental Considerations

    The NRC has determined that the issuance of the requested exemption 
meets the provisions of categorical exclusion 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G). Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an 
exemption from the requirements of any regulation of chapter 10 
qualifies as a categorical exclusion if (i) there is no significant 
hazards consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual 
or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is 
no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought 
involves scheduling requirements. The basis for NRC's determination is 
provided in the following evaluation of the requirements in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(i)-(vi).
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)
    To qualify for a categorical exclusion under 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(i), the exemption must involve a no significant hazards 
consideration. The criteria for making a no significant hazards 
consideration determination are found in 10 CFR 50.92(c). The NRC has 
determined that the granting of the exemption request involves no 
significant hazards consideration because allowing the submittal of the 
license renewal application at least 3

[[Page 20526]]

years before the expiration of the existing license while maintaining 
the protection of the timely renewal provision in 10 CFR 2.109(b) does 
not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the 
possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident 
previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i) 
are met.
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii) and (iii)
    The exemption constitutes a change to the schedule by which Exelon 
must submit its SLRA and still receive timely renewal protection, which 
is administrative in nature, and does not involve any change in the 
types or significant increase in the amounts of effluents that may be 
released offsite and does not contribute to any significant increase in 
occupational or public radiation exposure. Accordingly, there is no 
significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts 
of any effluents that may be released offsite, and no significant 
increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation 
exposure. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii) and 
(iii) are met.
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv)
    The exempted regulation is not associated with construction and the 
exemption does not propose any changes to the site, alter the site, or 
change the operation of the site. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(iv) are met because there is no significant construction 
impact.
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v)
    The exemption constitutes a change to the schedule by which Exelon 
must submit its SLRA and still receive timely renewal protection, which 
is administrative in nature, and does not impact the probability or 
consequences of accidents. Thus, there is no significant increase in 
the potential for, or consequences of, a radiological accident. 
Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) are met.
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)
    To qualify for a categorical exclusion under 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G), the exemption must involve scheduling 
requirements. The exemption involves scheduling requirements because it 
would allow Exelon to submit a SLRA for Ginna at least 3 years prior to 
the expiration of the existing license, rather than the 5 years 
specified in 10 CFR 2.109(b), and still receive timely renewal 
protection under 10 CFR 2.109(b). Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(vi) are met.
    Based on the above, the NRC concludes that the proposed exemption 
meets the eligibility criteria for a categorical exclusion set forth in 
10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). 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 54.15 
and 10 CFR 50.12, the 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 as defined 
in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), are present. Therefore, the NRC hereby grants 
the licensee a one-time exemption for Ginna, from 10 CFR 54.17(a) to 
allow the submittal of the Ginna SLRA at least 3 years prior to 
expiration of the operating license while maintaining the protection of 
the timely renewal provision in 10 CFR 2.109(b).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated April 14, 2021.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

/RA/

Craig G. Erlanger,

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

[FR Doc. 2021-08061 Filed 4-19-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P