[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 189 (Friday, September 28, 2001)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49714-49717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-24342]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Availability of Model Application Concerning Technical 
Specification Improvement To Modify Requirements Regarding Missed 
Surveillances Using the Consolidated Line Item Improvement Process

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Availability.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the staff of the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) has prepared a model application relating 
to the modification of requirements regarding missed surveillances 
imposed on licensees through technical specifications. The purpose of 
this model is to permit the NRC to efficiently process amendments that 
propose to modify requirements for missed surveillances as generically 
approved by this notice. Licensees of nuclear power reactors to which 
the model applies could request amendments utilizing the model 
application.

DATES: The NRC staff issued a Federal Register Notice (66 FR 32400, 
June 14, 2001) which provided a Model Safety Evaluation relating to 
modification of requirements regarding missed surveillances \1\ 
similarly, the NRC staff, herein provides a Model Application. The NRC 
staff can most efficiently consider applications based upon the Model 
Application, which reference the Model Safety Evaluation, if the 
application is submitted within a year of this Federal Register Notice.
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    \1\ [In conjunction with the proposed change, technical 
specifications (TS) requirements for a Bases Control Program, 
consistent with the TS Bases Control Program described in Section 
5.5 of the applicable vendor's standard TS (STS), shall be 
incorporated into the licensee's TS, if not already in the TS.]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Dennig, Mail Stop: O-12H4, 
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
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0001, telephone 301-415-1161.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Regulatory Issue Summary 2000-06, ``Consolidated Line Item 
Improvement Process for Adopting Standard Technical Specification 
Changes for Power Reactors,'' was issued on March 20, 2000. The 
consolidated line item improvement process (CLIIP) is intended to 
improve the efficiency of NRC licensing processes. This is accomplished 
by processing proposed changes to the standard technical specifications 
(STS) in a manner that supports subsequent license amendment 
applications. The CLIIP includes an opportunity for the public to 
comment on proposed changes to the STS following a preliminary 
assessment by the NRC staff and finding that the change will likely be 
offered for adoption by licensees. The CLIIP directs the NRC staff to 
evaluate any comments received for a proposed change to the STS and to 
either reconsider the change or to proceed with announcing the 
availability of the change for proposed adoption by licensees. Those 
licensees opting to apply for the subject change to technical 
specifications are responsible for reviewing the staff's evaluation, 
referencing the applicable technical justifications, and providing any 
necessary plant-specific information. Each amendment application made 
in response to the notice of availability will be processed and noticed 
in accordance with applicable rules and NRC procedures.
    This notice involves the modification of requirements regarding 
missed surveillances in technical specifications. This change was 
proposed for incorporation into the standard technical specifications 
by all Owners Groups participants in the Technical Specification Task 
Force (TSTF) and is designated TSTF-358 Revision 5. The change 
referenced in the Federal Register Notice (FRN) 66FR32400, of June 14, 
2001, is TSTF-358 Revision 5 with some modifications that are 
identified in the FRN. The modified TSTF-358 Revision 5 is further 
revised by the response to the public comments, as noted in the 
responses. The TSTF-358 Revision 5 as submitted, and as revised by both 
the FRN and the public comments (``fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 
5''), can both be viewed on the NRC's web page at http://www.nrc.gov/
NRR/sts/sts.htm.

Applicability

    This proposed change to modify technical specification requirements 
for missed surveillances is applicable to all licensees who currently 
have or who will adopt, in conjunction with the

[[Page 49715]]

proposed change, technical specification requirements for a Bases 
control program consistent with the Technical Specifications (TS) Bases 
Control Program described in Section 5.5 of the applicable vendor's 
STS.
    To efficiently process the incoming license amendment applications, 
the staff requests each licensee applying for the changes addressed by 
the fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5 using the CLIIP to include Bases 
for the proposed technical specification consistent with the Bases 
proposed in the fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5. In addition, for 
those licensees that have not adopted requirements for a Bases control 
program by converting to the improved STS or by other means, the staff 
requests that you include the requirements for a Bases control program 
consistent with the STS in your request for the proposed change. The 
need for a Bases control program stems from the need for adequate 
regulatory control of some key elements of the proposal that are 
contained in the proposed Bases for SR 3.0.3. The staff is requesting 
that the Bases be included with the proposed license amendments 
because, in this case, the changes to the technical specifications and 
changes to the associated Bases form an integrated change to a plant's 
licensing bases. To ensure that the overall change, including the 
Bases, includes the appropriate regulatory controls, the staff plans to 
condition the issuance of each license amendment on incorporation of 
the changes to the Bases document and on ensuring the licensee's TS 
have a Bases Control Program for controlling changes to the Bases. The 
CLIIP does not prevent licensees from requesting an alternative 
approach or proposing the changes without the requested Bases and Bases 
control program. Variations from the approach recommended in this 
notice may, however, require additional justification, additional 
review by the NRC staff and may increase the time and resources needed 
for the review.

Public Notices

    The staff issued a Federal Register Notice (66 FR 32400, June 14, 
2001) that requested public comment on the NRC's pending action to 
approve modification of technical specification (TS) requirements 
regarding missed surveillances. In particular, following an assessment 
and draft safety evaluation by the NRC staff, the staff sought public 
comment on proposed changes to the standard technical specifications 
(STS), designated as TSTF-358 Revision 5 with some modifications that 
are identified in the FRN. The modified TSTF-358 Revision 5 is further 
revised by the response to the public comments. The TSTF-358 Revision 5 
as submitted, and as revised by both the FRN and the public comments 
(``fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5''), can both be viewed on the 
NRC's web page at http:/www.nrc.gov/NRR/sts/sts.htm. The TSTF-358 
Revision 5 change request, the fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5, as 
well as the NRC staff's safety evaluation may be examined, and/or 
copied for a fee, at the NRC/s Public Document Room, located at One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records are accessible electronically from 
the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC Web site, (the Electronic 
Reading Room).
    In response to the notice soliciting comments from interested 
members of the public about modifying the TS requirements regarding 
missed surveillances, the staff received six sets of comments (three 
from individual licensees, one from the Nuclear Energy Institute, one 
from a law firm that represents licensees, and one from a member of the 
public). Specific comments on the model SE were offered, and are 
summarized and discussed below:
    1. Comment: A licensee suggested that the risk evaluation required 
by the modification to SR 3.0.3 for a missed surveillance (SR) after 24 
hours is: (1) Redundant to 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) since a missed 
surveillance would be treated as an emergent condition per NEI guidance 
and, in addition, since the SR would still need to be performed, a risk 
assessment is required per (a)(4); and (2) in error in that it implies 
that there is no need to perform a risk assessment for surveillances 
that will be missed for less than 24 hours since 10 CFR 50.65 (a)(4) 
requires a risk assessment regardless of the time the surveillance will 
remain missed.
    Response: SR 3.0.3 does not supplant the requirements of 10 CFR 
50.65 (a)(4). In accordance with (a)(4), before any maintenance 
activity (including performing surveillances under any circumstances), 
the licensee shall assess and manage risk associated with the 
maintenance activity.
    The SR 3.0.3 required risk evaluation is an additional increment to 
the usual (a)(4) evaluation, and is to address the decision to use the 
extended surveillance frequency (the longer surveillance test interval 
(STI) of performing the SR late) and provide information on the length 
of time the STI can be safely extended. For surveillances that would be 
delayed beyond 24 hours after discovery of being missed, it is 
essential to satisfy technical specifications that a specific risk 
assessment be performed, above that required by 10 CFR 50.65 (a)(4), to 
account for STI increases. This additional risk evaluation, stipulated 
by SR 3.0.3, is not required if the surveillance can be performed 
within 24 hours of its discovery of being missed; the usual (a)(4) 
analysis will suffice.
    2. Comment: Several of the comments addressed the Bases statement 
that a missed surveillance ``shall be performed at the first reasonable 
opportunity.'' There are two aspects to these comments: first, that the 
list of considerations for ``first reasonable opportunity'' is 
different in the SE and the Base, and the impact on the safety analysis 
may be difficult to determine; and second, that the use of the term 
``shall'' implies a requirement, which should not be made in the Bases.
    Response: The list of considerations for the basis of the delay in 
the safety evaluation (SE) is intended to clarify the Bases list in 
light of the risk informed nature of the SR 3.0.3 modification, and not 
intended to be materially different. However, to avoid confusion, the 
Bases list will be made consistent with the SE list. The added phrase 
on evaluating the ``impact on the accident analysis,'' while it is very 
rare that a missed surveillance will have any effect on the accident 
analysis, will be retained since it is consistent with the purpose of 
the maintenance rule. The staff felt that the use of the term ``shall'' 
in the Bases was balanced by the ``first reasonable'' phrase. However, 
to avoid confusion, and since the intent of SE 3.0.3 is to impose 
requirements and the intent of its Bases is to provide clarification, 
the staff will replace the word ``shall'' with the word ``should'' in 
the Bases.
    3. Comment: A licensee commented that the proposed Bases statement, 
``the missed surveillance should be treated as an emergent condition as 
discussed in the Regulatory Guide,'' is in error since Regulatory Guide 
1.182 does not discuss emergent conditions, or other similarly 
mentioned phrases.
    Response: Regulatory Guide 1.182 endorses NEI document, ``NUMARC 
93-01,'' which discusses these terms; Regulatory Guide 1.182 contains 
these phrases, and associated discussion, through reference of NUMARC 
93-01. The significant point being made is that the missed surveillance 
should be treated as an emergent condition.
    4. Comment: A member of the public commented that the FRN did not 
provide a complete and accurate text of the proposed change, because it 
lacked a mark-up of the STS that showed the changes.

[[Page 49716]]

    Response: The staff believes that the FRN completely and accurately 
described the TS and Bases changes such that the public could 
understand the proposal. The markup of STS wording was available in the 
TSTF; the proposed TSTF-358 Revision 5 markup was available upon 
request.
    5. Comment: A member of the public and NEI noted that ``the staff 
plans to condition the issuance of each license amendment on 
incorporation of the changes into the Bases document and on requiring 
the licensee to control the changes in accordance with the Bases 
Control Program.'' The member of the public stated that this 
requirement is not addressed the SE and seems contrary to the concept 
of the Improved Standard Technical Specifications (STS). NEI is 
concerned that the addition of NRC conditions just before publication 
for comment of a model safety evaluation could impede industry adoption 
of the associated CLIIP.
    Response: The staff believes that the need for this requirement is 
adequately addressed in the Applicability paragraph of the introduction 
to the SE, and need not be in the SE proper since it is not directly 
related to the proposed SR 3.0.3 modification, but rather to the 
control process of the related Bases. Further, this requirement is not 
contrary to the concept of the STS since all plants adopt this program 
upon conversion to the STS. The intent of this statement is to indicate 
that this aspect of the STS is viewed as essential to approval of the 
proposed change, and will be included as part of the CLIIP. Thus, prior 
to granting this change, the staff will ensure that the licensee has a 
Bases Control Program, consistent with the STS. Licensees wishing to 
justify adopting this change without adopting the Bases Control Program 
can submit such a request under the normal license amendment process, 
and not part of the CLIIP.
    The staff does not believe that the addition of this condition will 
impede industry adoption of this change. In addition to being needed to 
adopt TSTF-358, this requirement facilitates the common goal of 
standardizing this program, which is part of the STS that serves as the 
``point of departure'' for this proposed change.
    6. Comment: A member of the public commented that it was 
unnecessary to state, ``All missed Surveillances will be placed in the 
licensees Corrective Action Program,'' since a missed Surveillance is a 
nonconformance and 10 CFR 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, already 
requires a nonconformance be evaluated by a Corrective Action Program. 
Another comment was that it should be clarified how invoking SR 3.0.3 
will be viewed and treated with regard to ``violation.''
    Response: As long as the requirements of SR 3.0.3 are met for TS 
surveillances, then a missed surveillance will not be considered either 
a nonconformance issue nor a TS violation. Therefore, it is necessary 
to explicitly state that, ``All missed Surveillances will be placed in 
the licensee's Corrective Action Program.''
    7. Comment: A member of the public commented that it should be 
clarified that SR 3.0.3 does not extend the regulation requirements; TS 
cannot override regulation.
    Response: The comment is correct in that TS cannot override 
regulation. If a regulation-based surveillance frequency is exceeded, 
the licensee is in nonconformance with the regulations and the TS 
cannot alter that fact. This differs from the previous questions where 
a TS controlled STI has been exceeded and SR 3.0.3 is entered, all with 
in the framework of the TS, and the TS are not then violated. When a 
regulation-based surveillance frequency is exceeded, the regulation has 
been violated, but the appropriate operational course of action still 
needs to be determined. If a regulation based SR is missed, the 
regulation normally does not stipulate the subsequent course of action; 
the TS provide the appropriate actions. What the Bases are intending to 
clarify is that once the surveillance frequency is exceeded, and the 
unit is out of the condition in which the surveillance can be 
performed, SR 3.0.3 then will provide the means for determining the 
correct and safest course of action.
    8. Comment: A commenter suggested that a period of at least one 
year be provided during which licensees may reference the model SE and 
NSHC determination of the CLIIP product.
    Response: This will be stipulated.
    9. Comment: NEI commented that the CLIIP process should be refined 
such that modifications to a TSTF change traveler that are identified 
before publication of a CLIIP for public comment can be resolved prior 
to that publication. The objective would be a ``notice of opportunity 
to comment'' that endorses a TSTF traveler without exception.
    Response: In general, that staff agrees. However, in some specific 
cases when the proposed change does not involve a substantive technical 
change, as in this case, it may be beneficial to publish the change in 
the FRN, and resolve any issues through the comment process. Also, 
public comments may require changes. Those changes, if substantive, 
will be discussed with stakeholders in a public forum prior to the 
second FRN.
    10. Comment: It was commented that a sample model application 
package should be noticed to facilitate the adoption of these changes.
    Response: A sample model application package is included with this 
second FRN.
    11. Comment: It was commented that the first paragraph of Section 
2.1, ``Background Determination,'' in the Proposed Safety Evaluation 
(66 FR 32402), Item 2 should read: ``(as stated in the existing [SR 
3.0.3] Bases).''
    Response: This editorial comment is correct, and the Proposed 
Safety Evaluation will be revised accordingly.
    12. Comment: It was commented that TSTF-358, Revision 5, should be 
updated to include the NRC noted editorial changes to enable the model 
SE to endorse the TSTF revision without exception.
    Response: The change referenced in the Federal Register Notice 
(FRN) 66FR32400, of June 14, 2001, is TSTF-358 Revision 5 with some 
modifications that are identified in the FRN. The modified TSTF-358 
Revision 5 is further revised by the response to the public comments 
(fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5). The model SE references the final 
fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5. The NEI TSTF can incorporate the 
modifying changes to TSTF-358 Revision 5 and submit TSTF-358 Revision 
6.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of September 2001.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William D. Beckner,
Technical Specification Branch, Division of Regulatory Improvement 
Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
Attachment: Sample Model Application.

    The following example of an application was prepared by the NRC 
staff to facilitate use of the consolidated line item improvement 
process (CLIIP). The model provides the expected level of detail and 
content for an application to revise technical specifications 
regarding missed surveillance (and adoption of a technical 
specification bases control program) \1\ using CLIIP. licensees 
remain responsible for ensuring that their actual application 
fulfills their administrative requirements as well as Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission Regulations.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Document Control Desk,
Washington, DC 20555.

Subject: Plant name
Docket no. 50--Application for technical specification change 
regarding missed surveillance (and adoption of a technical

[[Page 49717]]

specifications bases control program) \2\ using the consolidated 
line item improvement process

    \1\ If not already in the facility Technical Specifications.
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    Gentleman: In accordance with the provisions of 10 CFR 50.90 
[LICENSEE] is submitting a request for an amendment to the technical 
specifications (TS) for [PLANT NAME, UNIT NOS.].
    The proposed amendment would modify TS requirements for missed 
surveillances in SR 3.0.3, (and, in conjunction with the proposed 
change, TS requirements for a Bases control program consistent with 
TS Bases Control Program described in Section 5.5 of the applicable 
vendor's Standard Technical Specifications.)
    Attachment 1 provides a description of the proposed change, the 
requested confirmation of applicability, and plant-specific 
verifications. Attachment 2 provides the existing TS pages marked up 
to show the proposed change. Attachment 3 provides revised (clean) 
TS pages. Attachment 4 provides a summary of the regulatory 
commitments made in this submittal. (IF APPLICABLE: Attachment 5 
provides the existing TS Bases pages marked up to show the proposed 
change (for information only).)
    [LICENSEE] requests approval of the proposed License Amendment 
by [DATE], with the amendment being implemented [BY DATE OR WITHIN X 
DAYS].
    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.91, a copy of this application, 
with attachments, is being provided to the designated [STATE] 
Official.
    I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United 
Stats of America that I am authorized by [LICENSEE] to make this 
request and that the foregoing true and correct. (Note that request 
may be notarized in lieu of using this oath or affirmation 
statement).
    If you should have any questions regarding this submittal, 
please contact [NAME, TELEPHONE NUMBER]
Sincerely,
[Name, Title]

Attachments:
1. Description and Assessment
2. Proposed Technical Specification Changes
3. Revised Technical Specification Pages
4. If applicable: Regulatory Commitments
5. Proposed Technical Specification Bases Changes

cc: NRC Project Manager
NRC Regional Office
NRC Resident Inspector
State Contact

ATTACHMENT 1

Description and Assessment

1.0  DESCRIPTION

    The proposed amendment would modify technical specifications 
(TS) requirements for missed surveillances in SR 3.0.3.\2\
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    \2\ In conjunction with the proposed change, technical 
specifications (TS) requirements for a Bases Control Program, 
consistent with the TS Bases Control Program described in Section 
5.5 of the applicable vendor's standard TS (STS), shall be 
incorporated into the licensee's TS, if not already in the TS.
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    The changes are consistent with Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC) approved Industry/Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) 
STS change TSTF-358 Revision 5, as modified by Federal Register 
Notice 66FR32400, of June 14, 2001, and in response to public 
comments. The availability of this TS improvement was published in 
the Federal Register on [DATE] as part of the consolidated line item 
improvement process (CLIIP).

2.0  ASSESSMENT

2.1  Applicability of Published Safety Evaluation

    [LICENSEE] has reviewed the safety evaluation dated [DATE] as 
part of the CLIIP. This review included a review of the NRC staff's 
evaluation, as well as the supporting information provided to 
support TSTF-358. [LICENSEE] has concluded that the justifications 
presented in the TSTF proposal and the safety evaluation prepared by 
the NRC staff are applicable to [PLANT, UNIT NOS.] and justify this 
amendment for the incorporation of the changes to the [PLANT] TS.

2.2  Optional Changes and Variations

    [LICENSEE] is not proposing any variations or deviations from 
the TS changes described in the fully modified TSTF-358 Revision 5 
or the NRC staff's model safety evaluation dated [DATE].

3.0  REGULATORY ANALYSIS

3.1  No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    [LICENSEE] has reviewed the proposed no significant hazards 
consideration determination (NSHCD) published in the Federal 
Register as part of the CLIIP. [LICENSEE] has concluded that the 
proposed NSHCD presented in the Federal Register notice is 
applicable to [PLANT] and is hereby incorporated by reference to 
satisfy the requirements of 10 CFR 50.91(a).

3.2  Verification and Commitments

    As discussed in the notice of availability published in the 
Federal Register on [DATE] for this TS improvement, plant-specific 
verifications were performed as follows:
    [LICENSEE] has established TS Bases for SR 3.0.3 which state 
that use of the delay period established by [Surveillance 
Requirement 3.0.3] is a flexibility which is not intended to be used 
as an operational convenience to extend surveillance intervals, but 
only for the performance of missed surveillances.
    The modification will also include changes to the Bases for [SR 
3.0.3] that provide details on how to implement the new 
requirements. The Bases changes provide guidance for surveillance 
frequencies that are not based on time intervals but are based on 
specified unit conditions, operating situations, or requirements of 
regulations. In addition, the Bases changes state that [LICENSEE] is 
expected to perform a missed surveillance test at the first 
reasonable opportunity, taking into account appropriate 
considerations, such as the impact on plant risk and accident 
analysis assumptions, consideration of unit conditions, planning, 
availability of personnel, and the time required to perform the 
surveillance. The Bases also state that the risk impact should be 
managed through the program in place to implement 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) 
and its implementation guidance, NRC Regulatory Guide 1.182. 
``Assessing and Managing Risks Before Maintenance Activities at 
Nuclear Power Plants,'' and that the missed surveillance should be 
treated as an emergent condition, as discussed in Regulatory Guide 
1.182. In addition, the Bases state that the degree of depth and 
rigor of the evaluation should be commensurate with the importance 
of the component and that missed surveillances for important 
components should be analyzed quantitatively. The Bases also state 
that the results of the risk evaluation determine the safest course 
of action. In addition, the Bases state that all missed 
surveillances will be placed in the licensee's Corrective Action 
Program. Finally, [LICENSEE] has a Bases Control Program consistent 
with Section 5.5 of the STS.

4.0  ENVIRONMENTAL EVALUATION

    [LICENSEE] has reviewed the environmental evaluation included in 
the model safety evaluation dated [DATE] as part of the CLIIP. 
[LICENSEE] has concluded that the staff's findings presented in that 
evaluation are applicable to [PLANT] and the evaluation is hereby 
incorporated by reference for this application.

ATTACHMENT 2

PROPOSED TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION CHANGES (MARK-UP)

ATTACHMENT 3

PROPOSED TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION PAGES

ATTACHMENT 4

LIST OF REGULATORY COMMITMENTS

    The following table identifies those actions committed to by 
[LICENSEE] in this document. Any other statements in this submittal 
are provided for information purposes and are not considered to be 
regulatory commitments. Please direct questions regarding these 
commitments to [CONTACT NAME].

------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Regulatory commitments                   Due date/event
------------------------------------------------------------------------
[LICENSEE] will establish the Technical     [Complete or implemented
 Specification Bases for SR 3.0.3 as         with amendment].
 adopted with the applicable license
 amendment.
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ATTACHMENT 5

PROPOSED CHANGES TO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION BASES PAGES

[FR Doc. 01-24342 Filed 9-27-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P