Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, 48451-48454 [2021-18601]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 165 / Monday, August 30, 2021 / Notices For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Wesley W. Held, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2021–18680 Filed 8–26–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. STN 50–454 and STN 50–455; NRC–2021–0156] Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a September 28, 2020, request from Exelon Generation Company, LLC. The exemption allows either a licensed senior operator or a certified fuel handler to approve the emergency suspension of security measures for Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather after both the certification of permanent cessation of operations and the certification of permanent fuel removal have been docketed for the facility. DATES: The exemption was issued on August 23, 2021. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2021–0156 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–2021–0156. 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 problems with ADAMS, 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 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:40 Aug 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 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. (ET), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joel S. Wiebe, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–6606; email: Joel.Wiebe@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. Dated: August 25, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joel S. Wiebe, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. Attachment: Exemption NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket Nos. STN 50–454 and STN 50– 455 Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 Exemption Related to the Approval Authority for Suspension of Security Measures in an Emergency or During Severe Weather I. Background Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–37 and NPF–66 for the Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Byron). The licenses provide, among other things, that the facility is subject to all applicable rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission), now or hereafter in effect. The Byron facility consists of two pressurized-water reactors located in Ogle County, Illinois. By letter dated September 2, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20246G613), Exelon provided formal notification to the NRC pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Sections 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.4(b)(8) of the intention to permanently cease power operations at Byron on or before September 30, 2021. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i)–(ii) and 50.82(a)(2), the 10 PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48451 CFR part 50 licenses for the facility will no longer authorize reactor operation or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel after certifications of permanent cessation of operations and permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel are docketed for Byron. As a result, licensed senior operators (i.e., individuals licensed under 10 CFR part 55 to manipulate the controls of a facility and to direct the licensed activities of licensed operators) will no longer be required to support plant operating activities. Instead, certified fuel handlers (CFHs) (i.e., non-licensed operators who have qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission) will perform activities associated with decommissioning, irradiated fuel handling, and management. Commission approval of a fuel handler training program is needed to facilitate these activities. By letter dated September 24, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20269A233), Exelon submitted a request for Commission approval of the CFH Training and Retraining Program for Byron. By letter dated August 17, 2021 (ADAMS Accession No. ML21076A371), the Commission approved the CFH Training and Retraining Program for Byron. The CFH Training and Retraining Program is to be used to satisfy training requirements for the plant personnel responsible for supervising and directing the monitoring, storage, handling, and cooling of irradiated fuel in a manner consistent with ensuring the health and safety of the public. As stated in 10 CFR 50.2, ‘‘Definitions,’’ CFHs are qualified in accordance with a Commissionapproved training program. II. Request/Action The Commission’s regulation at 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1) addresses the suspension of security measures in an emergency (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i)) or during severe weather (10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii)) by stating: The licensee may suspend implementation of affected requirements of this section under the following conditions: (i) In accordance with §§ 50.54(x) and 50.54(y) of this chapter, the licensee may suspend any security measures under this section in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension of security measures must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator before taking this action. E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 48452 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 165 / Monday, August 30, 2021 / Notices (ii) During severe weather when the suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent protection. This suspension of security measures must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from the security supervisor or manager, before taking this action. By letter dated September 28, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20272A212), Exelon requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ‘‘Specific exemptions.’’ Consistent with 10 CFR 50.54(y), the proposed exemption would authorize a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron. III. Discussion The NRC’s security rules have long recognized the potential need to suspend security or safeguards measures under certain conditions. Accordingly, 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y), first published in 1983, allow a licensee to take reasonable actions in an emergency that depart from license conditions or technical specifications when those actions are immediately ‘‘needed to protect the public health and safety’’ and no actions consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection are immediately apparent (48 FR 13970; April 1, 1983). This departure from license conditions or technical specifications must be approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator. In 1986, in its final rule, ‘‘Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical Protection of Nuclear Power Plants’’ (51 FR 27817; August 4, 1986), the Commission issued 10 CFR 73.55(a), stating, in part: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES In accordance with § 50.54 (x) and (y) of Part 50, the licensee may suspend any safeguards measures pursuant to § 73.55 in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specification that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension must be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator prior to taking the action. In 1996, the NRC made a number of regulatory changes to address decommissioning. One of the changes was to amend 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y) to authorize a non-licensed operator called a ‘‘certified fuel handler,’’ in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve such protective actions in an VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:40 Aug 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 emergency situation at a permanently shutdown facility. Specifically, in addressing the role of the CFH during emergencies, the Commission stated in the proposed rule, ‘‘Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors’’ (60 FR 37379; July 20, 1995): The Commission is proposing to amend 10 CFR 50.54(y) to permit a certified fuel handler at nuclear power reactors that have permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel, subject to the requirements of § 50.82(a) and consistent with the proposed definition of ‘‘Certified Fuel Handler’’ specified in § 50.2, to make these evaluations and judgments. A nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and no longer has fuel in the reactor vessel does not require a licensed individual to monitor core conditions. A certified fuel handler at a permanently shutdown and defueled nuclear power reactor undergoing decommissioning is an individual who has the requisite knowledge and experience to evaluate plant conditions and make these judgments. In the final rule (61 FR 39298; July 29, 1996), the NRC added the following definition to 10 CFR 50.2: ‘‘Certified fuel handler means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved by the Commission.’’ However, the decommissioning rule did not propose or make parallel changes to 10 CFR 73.55(a), and did not discuss the role of a non-licensed CFH at a permanently shutdown facility. In the final rule, ‘‘Power Reactor Security Requirements’’ (74 FR 13926; March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated the security suspension requirements from 10 CFR 73.55(a) to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii). The role of a CFH was not discussed in the rulemaking; therefore, the suspension of security measures in accordance with 10 CFR 73.55(p) continues to require approval, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, even for a permanently shutdown facility. Under 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon application of any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 73, as it determines are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest. As explained below, the proposed exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law The proposed exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) would permit, as a minimum, a CFH, in addition to a PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron when it is permanently shutdown. Although the exemption is effective upon receipt, the actions permitted by the proposed exemption may not be implemented at Byron until the 10 CFR part 50 licenses no longer authorize operation of the reactors or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessels in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2). The intent of the proposed exemption is to align these regulations with 10 CFR 50.54(y) by using the authority of either a licensed senior operator or a CFH to approve the suspension of security measures during an emergency or during severe weather. Per 10 CFR 73.5, the NRC is authorized to grant specific exemptions from the regulations in 10 CFR part 73, as are authorized by law. The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption is consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not otherwise inconsistent with NRC regulations or other applicable laws. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. B. The Exemption Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security Permitting, as a minimum, a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron when it is permanently shutdown will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security for the reasons discussed below. First, 10 CFR 73.55(p)(2) will continue to require that ‘‘[s]uspended security measures must be reinstated as soon as conditions permit.’’ Second, the suspension of security measures for non-weather emergencies under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ‘‘when this action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is immediately apparent.’’ Thus, the exemption would not prevent the licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) to protect the public health and safety. Third, the suspension of security measures for severe weather under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ‘‘the suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 165 / Monday, August 30, 2021 / Notices force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent protection.’’ The requirement in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to receive input from the security supervisor or manager will remain. Therefore, the exemption would not prevent the licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) to protect the health and safety of the security force. Additionally, by letter dated August 17, 2021, the NRC approved the Byron CFH Training and Retraining Program. The NRC staff found that, among other things, the program addresses the safe conduct of decommissioning activities, the safe handling and storage of spent fuel, and the appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because a CFH at Byron will be sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-approved program, the NRC staff considers the CFH to have sufficient knowledge of operational and safety concerns, such that allowing the CFH to suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe weather will not result in undue risk to the public health and safety. In addition, since the exemption allows a CFH the same authority currently given to the licensed senior operator under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), no change is required to physical security. Since no change is required to physical security, the exemption would not reduce the overall effectiveness of the Byron physical security plan and would not adversely impact the licensee’s ability to physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material at Byron, and thus, would not have an effect on the common defense and security. The NRC staff has determined that the exemption would not reduce security measures currently in place to protect against radiological sabotage. Instead, the exemption would align the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) with the existing requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(y). For these reasons, granting the exemption from the requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) to permit, as a minimum, a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron when it is permanently shutdown will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:40 Aug 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 C. The Exemption Is Otherwise in the Public Interest The proposed exemption would allow a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the public health and safety’’ or during severe weather when ‘‘immediately needed to protect the personal health and safety of security force personnel’’ at Byron when it is permanently shutdown. If the exemption is not granted, Byron will be required to have a licensed senior operator available to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather for a permanently shutdown plant, even though there would no longer be an NRC requirement for Exelon to maintain a licensed senior operator at Byron after the certifications required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) are submitted. This proposed exemption is in the public interest for the following reasons. Without the exemption, there would be uncertainty regarding how the licensee would invoke the temporary suspension of security measures that may be needed for protecting the public health and safety or the personal health and safety of the security force personnel in emergencies or during severe weather, given the differences between the requirements in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) and 10 CFR 50.54(y). The exemption would allow the licensee to make decisions pursuant to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) without having to maintain a staff of licensed senior operators at a nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the reactor vessel. The exemption would also allow the licensee to have an established procedure in place to allow either a licensed senior operator or a CFH to suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe weather after the certifications required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii) have been submitted. Finally, the consistent and efficient regulation of nuclear power plants serves the public interest and this exemption would assure consistency between the regulations in 10 CFR part 73 and 10 CFR 50.54(y) and the requirements concerning licensed operators in 10 CFR part 55. The NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption would allow the licensee to designate a CFH with qualifications appropriate for a permanently shutdown and defueled reactor to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency to protect the public health and safety and PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48453 during severe weather to protect the personal health and safety of the security force personnel. The actions permitted by this exemption may be implemented at Byron when both the certification of permanent cessation of operations and the certification of permanent fuel removal are submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i) and (ii), which is consistent with the similar authority provided by 10 CFR 50.54(y). Therefore, the exemption is in the public interest. D. Environmental Consideration The NRC’s approval of the proposed exemption belongs to a category of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has declared to be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the category of actions does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. Specifically, the NRC’s approval of the exemption is categorically excluded from further environmental analysis under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical exclusion provided that: (i) There is no significant hazards consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which the exemption is sought involve, among others: safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting inventory scheduling requirements or other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. The basis for the 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 staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption involves no significant hazards consideration because allowing a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 48454 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 165 / Monday, August 30, 2021 / Notices operator, to approve the security suspension at a permanently shutdown and defueled power plant does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The proposed exemption is unrelated to any operational restriction. 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 proposed exemption would not change radioactive effluents or emissions that affect radiation exposures to plant workers and members of the public. 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 proposed exemption is not associated with construction or major renovations of any buildings or structures. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv) are met because there is no significant construction impact. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) The proposed exemption does not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an accident) or mitigation. Thus, there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) are met. Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) The proposed exemption is from the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve suspensions of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather. Therefore, the requirement from which the exemption is sought involves safeguard plans, materials control, and managerial and organizational matters and, thus, the requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) are met. Determination Regarding 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25) Requirements Based on the above, the NRC staff determines that the proposed exemption meets the eligibility criteria for a VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:40 Aug 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 the proposed exemption. IV. Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, the proposed exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the licensee’s request for an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) to allow either a licensed senior operator or a CFH to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron once the certifications required under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1) have been submitted. The exemption is effective upon receipt. Dated: August 23, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Caroline L. Carusone, Deputy Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2021–18601 Filed 8–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2021–129 and CP2021–134] New Postal Products Postal Regulatory Commission. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission’s consideration concerning a negotiated service agreement. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: September 1, 2021. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. SUMMARY: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3011.301.1 The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service’s request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3030, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3035, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II. II. Docketed Proceeding(s) 1. Docket No(s).: MC2021–129 and CP2021–134; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 76 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 165 (Monday, August 30, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48451-48454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-18601]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. STN 50-454 and STN 50-455; NRC-2021-0156]


Exelon Generation Company, LLC, Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to a September 28, 2020, request from Exelon 
Generation Company, LLC. The exemption allows either a licensed senior 
operator or a certified fuel handler to approve the emergency 
suspension of security measures for Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 
during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather after both 
the certification of permanent cessation of operations and the 
certification of permanent fuel removal have been docketed for the 
facility.

DATES: The exemption was issued on August 23, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2021-0156 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-2021-0156. 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 problems with ADAMS, 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. (ET), Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joel S. Wiebe, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6606; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated: August 25, 2021.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joel S. Wiebe,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Attachment: Exemption

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket Nos. STN 50-454 and STN 50-455

Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Byron Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2

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

I. Background

    Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) is the holder of Renewed 
Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-37 and NPF-66 for the Byron 
Station, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (Byron). The licenses provide, among other 
things, that the facility is subject to all applicable rules, 
regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, 
the Commission), now or hereafter in effect. The Byron facility 
consists of two pressurized-water reactors located in Ogle County, 
Illinois.
    By letter dated September 2, 2020 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML20246G613), Exelon provided 
formal notification to the NRC pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Sections 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.4(b)(8) of 
the intention to permanently cease power operations at Byron on or 
before September 30, 2021.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(i)-(ii) and 50.82(a)(2), the 
10 CFR part 50 licenses for the facility will no longer authorize 
reactor operation or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor 
vessel after certifications of permanent cessation of operations and 
permanent removal of fuel from the reactor vessel are docketed for 
Byron. As a result, licensed senior operators (i.e., individuals 
licensed under 10 CFR part 55 to manipulate the controls of a facility 
and to direct the licensed activities of licensed operators) will no 
longer be required to support plant operating activities. Instead, 
certified fuel handlers (CFHs) (i.e., non-licensed operators who have 
qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program approved 
by the Commission) will perform activities associated with 
decommissioning, irradiated fuel handling, and management. Commission 
approval of a fuel handler training program is needed to facilitate 
these activities.
    By letter dated September 24, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML20269A233), Exelon submitted a request for Commission approval of the 
CFH Training and Retraining Program for Byron. By letter dated August 
17, 2021 (ADAMS Accession No. ML21076A371), the Commission approved the 
CFH Training and Retraining Program for Byron. The CFH Training and 
Retraining Program is to be used to satisfy training requirements for 
the plant personnel responsible for supervising and directing the 
monitoring, storage, handling, and cooling of irradiated fuel in a 
manner consistent with ensuring the health and safety of the public. As 
stated in 10 CFR 50.2, ``Definitions,'' CFHs are qualified in 
accordance with a Commission-approved training program.

II. Request/Action

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

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

[[Page 48452]]

    (ii) During severe weather when the suspension of affected 
security measures is immediately needed to protect the personal 
health and safety of security force personnel and no other 
immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions 
and technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent 
protection. This suspension of security measures must be approved, 
as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from the 
security supervisor or manager, before taking this action.

    By letter dated September 28, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML20272A212), Exelon requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) 
and (ii), pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' Consistent 
with 10 CFR 50.54(y), the proposed exemption would authorize a CFH, in 
addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of 
security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron.

III. Discussion

    The NRC's security rules have long recognized the potential need to 
suspend security or safeguards measures under certain conditions. 
Accordingly, 10 CFR 50.54(x) and (y), first published in 1983, allow a 
licensee to take reasonable actions in an emergency that depart from 
license conditions or technical specifications when those actions are 
immediately ``needed to protect the public health and safety'' and no 
actions consistent with license conditions and technical specifications 
that can provide adequate or equivalent protection are immediately 
apparent (48 FR 13970; April 1, 1983). This departure from license 
conditions or technical specifications must be approved, as a minimum, 
by a licensed senior operator. In 1986, in its final rule, 
``Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical Protection of 
Nuclear Power Plants'' (51 FR 27817; August 4, 1986), the Commission 
issued 10 CFR 73.55(a), stating, in part:

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

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

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

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

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    The proposed exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) would 
permit, as a minimum, a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior operator, 
to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or 
during severe weather at Byron when it is permanently shutdown. 
Although the exemption is effective upon receipt, the actions permitted 
by the proposed exemption may not be implemented at Byron until the 10 
CFR part 50 licenses no longer authorize operation of the reactors or 
emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessels in accordance 
with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2). The intent of the proposed exemption is to 
align these regulations with 10 CFR 50.54(y) by using the authority of 
either a licensed senior operator or a CFH to approve the suspension of 
security measures during an emergency or during severe weather.
    Per 10 CFR 73.5, the NRC is authorized to grant specific exemptions 
from the regulations in 10 CFR part 73, as are authorized by law. The 
NRC staff has determined that granting the proposed exemption is 
consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not 
otherwise inconsistent with NRC regulations or other applicable laws. 
Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

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

    Permitting, as a minimum, a CFH, in addition to a licensed senior 
operator, to approve the suspension of security measures in an 
emergency or during severe weather at Byron when it is permanently 
shutdown will not endanger life or property or the common defense and 
security for the reasons discussed below.
    First, 10 CFR 73.55(p)(2) will continue to require that 
``[s]uspended security measures must be reinstated as soon as 
conditions permit.''
    Second, the suspension of security measures for non-weather 
emergencies under 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked 
only ``when this action is immediately needed to protect the public 
health and safety and no action consistent with license conditions and 
technical specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent 
protection is immediately apparent.'' Thus, the exemption would not 
prevent the licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(i) to protect the public health and safety.
    Third, the suspension of security measures for severe weather under 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ``the 
suspension of affected security measures is immediately needed to 
protect the personal health and safety of security

[[Page 48453]]

force personnel and no other immediately apparent action consistent 
with the license conditions and technical specifications can provide 
adequate or equivalent protection.'' The requirement in 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(ii) to receive input from the security supervisor or 
manager will remain. Therefore, the exemption would not prevent the 
licensee from meeting the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) 
to protect the health and safety of the security force.
    Additionally, by letter dated August 17, 2021, the NRC approved the 
Byron CFH Training and Retraining Program. The NRC staff found that, 
among other things, the program addresses the safe conduct of 
decommissioning activities, the safe handling and storage of spent 
fuel, and the appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because a CFH 
at Byron will be sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-
approved program, the NRC staff considers the CFH to have sufficient 
knowledge of operational and safety concerns, such that allowing the 
CFH to suspend security measures in an emergency or during severe 
weather will not result in undue risk to the public health and safety.
    In addition, since the exemption allows a CFH the same authority 
currently given to the licensed senior operator under 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii), no change is required to physical security. 
Since no change is required to physical security, the exemption would 
not reduce the overall effectiveness of the Byron physical security 
plan and would not adversely impact the licensee's ability to 
physically secure the site or protect special nuclear material at 
Byron, and thus, would not have an effect on the common defense and 
security. The NRC staff has determined that the exemption would not 
reduce security measures currently in place to protect against 
radiological sabotage. Instead, the exemption would align the 
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) with the existing 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.54(y).
    For these reasons, granting the exemption from the requirements in 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) to permit, as a minimum, a CFH, in 
addition to a licensed senior operator, to approve the suspension of 
security measures in an emergency or during severe weather at Byron 
when it is permanently shutdown will not endanger life or property or 
the common defense and security.

C. The Exemption Is Otherwise in the Public Interest

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

D. Environmental Consideration

    The NRC's approval of the proposed exemption belongs to a category 
of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has declared to 
be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the category of 
actions does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect 
on the human environment. Specifically, the NRC's approval of the 
exemption is categorically excluded from further environmental analysis 
under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25).
    Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the 
requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical 
exclusion provided that: (i) There is no significant hazards 
consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or 
significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual 
or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is 
no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which the exemption is sought 
involve, among others: safeguard plans, and materials control and 
accounting inventory scheduling requirements or other requirements of 
an administrative, managerial, or organizational nature. The basis for 
the 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 staff 
has determined that granting the proposed exemption involves no 
significant hazards consideration because allowing a CFH, in addition 
to a licensed senior

[[Page 48454]]

operator, to approve the security suspension at a permanently shutdown 
and defueled power plant does not (1) involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or 
(2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from 
any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant 
reduction in a margin of safety. The proposed exemption is unrelated to 
any operational restriction. 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 proposed exemption would not change radioactive effluents or 
emissions that affect radiation exposures to plant workers and members 
of the public. 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 proposed exemption is not associated with construction or major 
renovations of any buildings or structures. 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 proposed exemption does not concern the source term (i.e., 
potential amount of radiation in an accident) or mitigation. Thus, 
there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences 
from radiological accidents. Therefore, the requirements of 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(v) are met.
Requirements in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)
    The proposed exemption is from the requirement to have a licensed 
senior operator approve suspensions of security measures in an 
emergency or during severe weather. Therefore, the requirement from 
which the exemption is sought involves safeguard plans, materials 
control, and managerial and organizational matters and, thus, the 
requirements of 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) are met.
Determination Regarding 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25) Requirements
    Based on the above, the NRC staff determines 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 the proposed 
exemption.

IV. Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, the proposed exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger 
life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise 
in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants the 
licensee's request for an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(i) and (ii) to allow either a licensed senior operator or a 
CFH to approve the suspension of security measures in an emergency or 
during severe weather at Byron once the certifications required under 
10 CFR 50.82(a)(1) have been submitted.
    The exemption is effective upon receipt.

    Dated: August 23, 2021.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Caroline L. Carusone,
Deputy Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2021-18601 Filed 8-27-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P