[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 65 (Friday, April 4, 2003)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16579-16593]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-8203]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Availability of Model Application Concerning Technical 
Specification Improvement To Modify Requirements Regarding Mode Change 
Limitations 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 technical specifications 
(TS) mode change limitations. The purpose of this model is to permit 
the NRC to efficiently process amendments that propose to modify 
requirements for TS mode change limitations 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 (67 FR 50475, 
August 2, 2002) which provided a model safety evaluation relating to 
modification of requirements regarding TS mode change limitations; \1\ 
similarly, the NRC staff, herein provides a Model Application, 
including a revised model safety evaluation. 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. 
Similarly, the STS requirements of SR 3.0.1 and associated bases 
shall be adopted by units that do not already contain them.]

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-
0001, telephone 301-415-1161.

[[Page 16580]]


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. The included model safety 
evaluation provides the justification for the changes, stands alone, 
and is not an endorsement of the TSTF-359, Revision 8, Change 
Description and Justification. Each amendment application made in 
response to the notice of availability will be processed and noticed in 
accordance with applicable NRC rules and procedures.
    This notice involves the modification of requirements regarding 
mode change limitations in technical specifications. The change 
referenced in the Federal Register Notice (FRN) 67 FR 50475, of August 
2, 2002, is TSTF-359, Revision 7. TSTF-359, Revision 8, incorporates 
most, but not all responses to the public comments. Two additional 
changes to TSTF-359, Revision 8, are required and discussed in this 
notice. TSTF-359, Revision 7; TSTF-359, Revision 8; and TSTF-359, 
Revision 8, as modified; can all be viewed on the NRC's Web page at 
http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/techspecs/changes-
issued-for-adoption.html.

Applicability

    This proposed change to modify technical specification requirements 
for TS mode change limitations is applicable to all licensees who 
currently have or who will adopt, in conjunction with the 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, and 
STS Surveillance Requirement (SR) 3.0.1 and associated bases.
    To efficiently process the incoming license amendment applications, 
the staff requests each licensee applying for the changes addressed by 
TSTF-359, Revision 8, as modified, using the CLIIP to include bases for 
the proposed technical specification consistent with the bases proposed 
in the TSTF-359, Revision 8, as modified by staff responses to public 
comments 8 and 20 below. In addition, for those licensees that have not 
adopted requirements for a bases control program or STS SR 3.0.1 by 
converting to the improved STS or by other means, the staff requests 
that they include the requirements for a bases control program and STS 
SR 3.0.1 and associated bases 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 Limiting 
Condition for Operation (LCO) 3.0.4, SR 3.0.4, and SR 3.0.1. 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 basis. 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 (67 FR 50475, August 2, 
2002) that requested public comment on the NRC's pending action to 
approve modification of technical specification (TS) requirements 
regarding mode change limitations. 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-359, Revision 7. TSTF-359, 
Revision 8, incorporates most, but not all responses to the public 
comments. Two additional changes to TSTF-359, Revision 8, are required 
and discussed in this notice. TSTF-359, Revision 7; TSTF-359, Revision 
8; and TSTF-359, Revision 8, as modified; can all be viewed on the 
NRC's Web page at, http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/
techspecs/changes-issued-for-adoption.html. The TSTF-359, Revision 7, 
change request, the TSTF-359, Revision 8, change request, the TSTF-359, 
Revision 8, change request as modified by this notice, 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 Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (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 
mode change limitations, the staff received eight sets of comments 
(three from individual licensees, one from an industry contractor, and 
four from members of the public). Specific comments on the model SE are 
discussed below:
    1. Comment: The last sentence of the first paragraph of Section 
3.0, ``Technical Evaluation'' states, ``Good practice should dictate 
that such transitions should normally be initiated only when all 
required equipment is operable and that mode transition with inoperable 
equipment should be the exception rather than the rule.'' If the 
required risk evaluation determines that it is acceptable to enter a 
Mode with certain required equipment inoperable, then this restriction 
is unnecessary. There may be some situations that recur routinely where 
the plant would benefit by changing modes with certain equipment 
inoperable. If the risk evaluation has determined that this change in 
modes is acceptable, then it should not matter if it is done routinely 
or as an ``exception rather than the rule.''
    Staff Response: The statement reiterates a longstanding staff 
position. On June 4, 1987, Generic Letter 87-09 provided the first step 
in mode change flexibility, allowing mode changes where action 
requirements permitted continued operation for an indefinite

[[Page 16581]]

period (the starting point for the current increase in flexibility). As 
part of the discussion, that letter stated:

    For an LCO that has Action Requirements permitting continued 
operation for an unlimited period of time, entry into an operational 
mode or other specified condition of operation should be permitted 
in accordance with those action requirements * * *. However, nothing 
in this staff position should be interpreted as endorsing or 
encouraging a plant startup with inoperable equipment. The staff 
believes that good practice should dictate that plant startup should 
normally be initiated only when all required equipment is operable 
and that startup with inoperable equipment must be the exception 
rather than the rule.

Any risk, whether large or small, should be incurred only when 
necessary. With appropriate planning, it should not be necessary to 
``routinely'' start up with inoperable equipment.
    2. Comment: Section 2.0, first paragraph, second to last sentence: 
Change ``provide'' to ``provides.''
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    3. Comment: Section 3.0, second paragraph, third sentence: Change 
``plants'' to ``plant's.''
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    4. Comment: Section 3.0, second paragraph, fourth sentence: Change 
``allowances'' to ``allowance.''
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    5. Comment: Section 3.1.1, fifth paragraph, third sentence: Change 
``the systems/components not to be granted the LCO 3.0.4 or SR 3.0.4 
allowances for the various modes listed'' to ``the systems/components 
not to be granted the LCO 3.0.4 or SR 3.0.4 allowances for the various 
modes are listed.''
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    6. Comment: Section 3.1.2, first paragraph, second sentence: change 
``delta DCDF'' to ``delta CDF.''
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    7. Comment: Section 2.1 Proposed Change to LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 
where it talks about SR 3.0.4 wording changes (about halfway through 
5th paragraph on page 50478): The revised new wording, ``The revised SR 
3.0.4 will conform to the changes to LCO 3.0.4 and read: ``Entry into a 
MODE or other specified condition in the Applicability of an LCO shall 
not be made unless the LCO's Surveillances have been met within their 
specified frequency.'' is incompatible with TSTF 359 regarding the new 
SR 3.0.3 on missed surveillances that the NRC recently approved.
    New SR 3.0.4 requires Surveillances to be met within their 
specified Frequency prior to entry into a MODE or other specified 
condition in the Applicability. If SR 3.0.3 is applied to a missed 
Surveillance and a risk evaluation supports a delay beyond 24 hours, 
new SR 3.0.4 would only allow this delay to be applied in the MODE or 
other specified condition in the Applicability in which the plant is 
operating at the time of discovery that the Surveillance has been 
missed. While this provision does not prevent a shutdown, it would 
prevent entry into a higher MODE of operation with a Surveillance that 
had not been performed within its specified Frequency.
    To address this situation, SR 3.0.4 needs to be modified to state 
that SR 3.0.4 prohibits entry into a MODE or other specified condition 
in the Applicability of an LCO unless the associated Surveillances have 
been met within their specified Frequency, except as provided by SR 
3.0.3. The bases for SR 3.0.4 need to be modified also to provide the 
flexibility for entry into higher MODES with a missed Surveillance 
since the equipment is still OPERABLE and the risk evaluation is still 
valid for this situation. SR 3.0.3 evaluation considers missed 
surveillance equipment to be still OPERABLE, and new SR 3.0.4 would 
allow going up in MODES except that it specifically says no mode entry 
``unless the LCO's Surveillances have been met within their specified 
frequency.'' and doesn't talk about OPERABLE equipment.
    To fix this, reword new SR 3.0.3 to say, ``Entry into a MODE or 
other specified condition in the Applicability of an LCO shall not be 
made unless the LCO's Surveillances have been met within their 
specified frequency, except as provided by SR 3.0.3.'' (And add the 
bases wording indicated above.)
    Rev. 7 of TSTF 359 had addressed this issue but it does not appear 
to be addressed by the NRC in the FR notice. Staff Response: The staff 
agrees. SR 3.0.4 will be modified to included the phrase, ``* * * , 
except as provided by SR 3.0.3.'' The bases wording will be modified 
accordingly.
    In reviewing LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4, the redundancy in stating the 
criteria (items a, b and c) for allowing entry into a Mode or other 
specified condition in the Applicability is unnecessary. The listing of 
the criteria (items a, b and c) are more appropriately stated in LCO 
3.0.4, since it controls the Mode transition; the LCO is not met due to 
a SR not being met. Therefore, to eliminate the redundancy and make the 
statements more accurate, SR 3.0.4 is changed to read, in its' 
entirety:

    ``Entry into a MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability of an LCO shall only be made when the LCO's 
Surveillances have been met within their specified frequency, except 
as provided by SR 3.0.3. When an LCO is not met due to Surveillances 
not having been met, entry into a MODE or other specified condition 
in the Applicability shall only be made in accordance with LCO 
3.0.4.
    This provision shall not prevent entry into MODES or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability that are required to 
comply with ACTIONS or that are part of a shutdown of the unit.''

    Related consistency changes are made throughout the SE.
    8. Comment: If the NRC requires a Revision 8 be prepared before the 
Notice of Availability is published, then the Notice of Availability 
should use that revision (8) as the basis for licensee 
applications.
    Staff Response: The staff agrees; the staff will reference the 
latest approved TSTF-359 revision; TSTF-359, Revision 8, as modified by 
the response to Comment 20 below and the following modification to the 
TSTF-359 Revision 8 LCO 3.0.4 bases Insert. The 11th paragraph shall be 
re-written to read:

    ``Upon entry into a MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability with the LCO not met, LCO 3.0.1 and LCO 3.0.2 require 
entry into the applicable Conditions and Required Actions for no 
more than the duration of the applicable ACTIONS Completion Time or 
until the LCO is met or the unit is not within the Applicability of 
the TS.''

    9. Comment: For Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) with Mark 1 
containments, the Table lists the Hardened Wetwell Vent as such a SSC 
that should be excluded. However, the Hardened Wetwell Vent is not a 
SSC included within Technical Specifications (TS). Thus, the proposed 
TSTF implies that TS Actions should be applied to a non-TS SSC. This is 
inappropriate and not necessary to properly manage overall risk. The 
existing plant programs that implement paragraph (a)(4) of the 
Maintenance Rule (10 CFR 50.65) are the appropriate mechanism for this 
specific SSC. Consequently, we request that TSTF-359 be clarified to 
not include the Hardened Wetwell Vent.
    Staff Response: The tables included in TSTF-359 and the draft 
safety evaluation were provided by the BWR Owners Group as a result of 
generic analysis, which the staff has reviewed and accepted. The 
analysis and tables are comprehensive and do cover systems that are not 
in TS. The staff does not believe that the presence in the analysis and 
tables implies that TS actions are required for those systems such as 
the Hardened Wetwell Vent system.

[[Page 16582]]

    10. Comment: Second, this table and the accompanying mark-up of the 
actual TS pages for BWRs included in TSTF-359, Revision 7, state that 
the Limiting Conditions for Operation (LCO) 3.0.4.b exclusion note 
should be added to the TS LCO 3.4.9, Residual Heat Removal (RHR) 
Shutdown Cooling System-Cold Shutdown, such that a MODE change from 
MODE 5 to MODE 4 would be precluded with LCO 3.4.9 not met. However, 
LCO 3.0.4 only applies to MODE changes in MODES 1, 2, or 3. Thus, the 
proposed change to LCO 3.4.9 is inconsistent with the existing wording 
of the LCO 3.0.4 applicability. Therefore, we believe that the LCO 
3.0.4 Note to LCO 3.4.9 should not be included in the proposed changes.
    Staff Response: The notes limiting the applicability (to Modes 1, 
2, 3, and 4 for PWRS, and to Modes 1, 2, and 3 for BWRs) of the current 
STS LCO 3.0.4 and STS SR 3.0.4 are holdovers from the existing Standard 
Technical Specifications (STS). The notes limiting the applicability of 
LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 are no longer needed and are removed by TSTF-
359, Revision 8. The industry owners groups' analyses would 
subsequently support adding notes to various TS, as defined by the 
tables of higher risk systems in the FRN, precluding entry into Modes 5 
and 6 for PWRs, and Modes 4 and 5 for BWRs. However, the addition of 
notes in these cases is made unnecessary by action statements that 
require immediate completion times, which means that entry into the 
Mode or other specified condition in the Applicability is not allowed 
and the notes would be superfluous.
    11. Comment: Two editorial corrections to TSTF-359, Revision 7, are 
needed. First, in INSERT 6 (SR 3.0.4 BASES) the word ``that'' in the 
second line, after the word ``Surveillance,'' should be deleted. 
Second, the second sentence to INSERT 8 (RCS SPECIFIC ACTIVITY BASES) 
should be deleted, since it is redundant to the existing Bases and 
therefore need not be included.
    Staff Response: The staff agrees.
    12. Comment: Reliance on a licensee's 50.65 (a)(4) ``program'' 
appears to be a flawed basis. While this proposed change to the TS as 
well as the previous one for surveillance interval and completion time 
extensions (66 FR 49714) rely on the ``program'', that program is not 
required by 50.65 (a)(4) to be a written program, it's not required by 
the regulation to meet the risk management objectives of RG 1.177 or 
any other standard, nor does it require a licensee to find any 
particular level of risk to be unacceptable. It, in fact, only requires 
that the risk be assessed (without specifying a method, a degree of 
rigor or even that the assessment be documented) and managed (with no 
definition what that means). While Page 23 of the document states 
``Risk assessments will be conducted using the procedures and guidance 
endorsed by Regulatory Guide 1.182, ``Assessing and Managing Risk 
Before Maintenance Activities at Nuclear Power Plants.'', licensee 
adherence to this standard or the NUMARC guidance it endorses is 
neither required in the regulation nor are any licensees committed to 
those documents through their license or FSAR. The fact that licensees 
will be inspected in this area using IP 71111.13 and Supplemental IP 
62709 is of little value if those inspections are not being done 
against specific standards that the licensees are required to meet 
rather than the general standard of (a)(4) which has the limitations 
discussed above.
    Staff Response: A licensee adopting this change will be required to 
commit in the bases to the Technical Specifications to follow 
Regulatory Guide 1.182. In addition, the licensee will be required to 
adopt a bases control program identical to that contained in the 
Standard Technical Specifications. Regulatory Guide 1.182, ``Assessing 
and Managing Risk Before Maintenance Activities at Nuclear Power 
Plants,'' endorses NUMARC 93-01 Section 11, ``Assessment of Risk 
Resulting from Performance of Maintenance Activities,'' which provides 
risk assessment and management ``methods that are acceptable to the NRC 
staff for complying with the provision of 10 CFR 50.65 (a)(4).'' NUMARC 
93-01 Section 11 requires that this assessment process be 
proceduralized. Furthermore, Inspection Procedure 71111.13 provides 
inspection guidance on, among other things, the verification of the 
performance of maintenance risk assessments, the adequacy of risk 
assessments and the management of the resulting risk.
    13. Comment: It is noted that the Standard TS Bases for the revised 
TS 3.0.4 has not been provided for comment. Are the standards above 
such as Reg Guide 1.182 being included in the TS Bases and therefore 
subject to the bases control program? If not, why not?
    Staff Response: The proposed STS bases are included in TSTF-359 and 
were open for comment. The portion of the question related to the TS 
Bases and bases control program was answered in the response to comment 
12 above.
    14. Comment: Notwithstanding statements like ``Good practice should 
dictate that such transitions should normally be initiated only when 
all required equipment is operable and that mode transition with 
inoperable equipment should be the exception rather than the rule'' and 
``* * * the expected low frequency of the proposed mode changes with 
inoperable equipment * * *'', isn't it just as likely (and perfectly 
acceptable under this proposed change) that once the licensee has 
justified a mode change with a certain piece of equipment inoperable 
during a particular startup, that during subsequent startups the 
licensee could actually plan into the startup the return of that 
equipment after the Mode change it was required for, by using that 
previous assessment? What would prevent the licensee from doing that 
(assuming other system alignments are equivalent)? Taking it a step 
further, what will prevent the licensee from, over time, developing a 
whole combination of assessments that justify not having multiple 
pieces of equipment operable during a particular mode change and 
routinely using those assessments in subsequent startups? Similarly, 
wouldn't the proposed TS allow multiple mode changes in the same 
startup with same piece(s) of inoperable equipment as along as the 
assessment covers each mode? Is that what was intended?
    Staff Response: See the response to comment 1 above. It is 
acceptable for licensees to utilize pre-existing risk assessments, as 
long as they adequately address the existing plant conditions. The 
applicability of TS frequently covers multiple modes, and therefore 
mode changes within the applicability of the TS would be allowed, as 
long as the risk assessment is re-evaluated prior to each mode change.
    15. Comment: [Page 21][The SE] states ``For systems and components 
which are not higher risk, any temporary risk increase associated with 
the proposed allowance will be smaller than what is considered 
acceptable when the same systems and components are inoperable at 
power. This is due to the fact that the CTs associated with the 
majority of TS systems and components were developed for power 
operation and pose smaller plant risk for action statement entries 
initiated or occurring at lower modes operation as compared to power 
operations.'' The first sentence above is only restricted by whether 
something is higher or lower risk but the justifying statement only 
applies to the majority of TS systems which are associated with power 
operations. What is the minority of TS systems for which plant risk is 
higher in lower modes of operation? Are all those systems on the list 
of higher risk systems? If all those systems are not included on the 
list of high risk systems

[[Page 16583]]

how is the first quoted sentence true?! How do the lists of high and 
low risk systems at power and in lower modes discussed in this proposal 
compare with the results of the shutdown risk analysis the NRC now has 
underway? If there are differences what is the justification?
    Staff Response: The ``minority of TS systems for which plant risk 
is higher in lower modes of operation,'' are those systems identified 
in the analyses and listed in the SE. These systems are determined by a 
qualitative analysis that compares risk in the shutdown mode with that 
at power. The qualitative analysis also takes into account potential 
risk increases (e.g., due to realignments and human errors) when 
entering a new mode or configuration. Those systems that have a 
potential to be more important to risk in the lower modes, are 
conservatively selected and mode changes are precluded when there is an 
inoperability associated with any of these potentially higher risk 
systems. The lists of ``higher risk'' systems, being based on both 
deterministic and probabilistic arguments with conservative 
assumptions, are not expected to conflict with the results of any 
shutdown risk analysis.
    16. Comment: Appendix A Examples--In a number of the examples it 
says ``if there is reasonable assurance'' that the inoperable component 
will be restored within the CT, a risk assessment has been done, and 
the requisite risk management actions have been taken. Where does this 
need for ``reasonable assurance'' come from and how does the LCO 
require it? If a component is inoperable, what in the new LCO prevents 
the licensee from assuming the full CT in the risk assessment, managing 
the risk for that full time and simply hoping (whether that is 
reasonable or not) that they will get the component back before the end 
of the CT?
    Staff Response: Unplanned reactor scrams and unplanned power 
changes are two of the Reactor Safety Performance Indicators that the 
ROP utilizes to assess licensee performance and inform the public. 
Thus, the ROP provides a disincentive to entering a mode or other 
specified condition in the applicability of an LCO and moving up into 
power operation (Mode 1), when there is a significant likelihood that 
the mode would have to be subsequently exited due to failure to restore 
the unavailable equipment within the completion time. Additional 
disincentives are the 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(i) and 10 CFR 
50.73(a)(2)(i)(A) reporting requirements. NUREG-1022, ``Event Reporting 
Guidelines 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73,'' makes it clear that a report is 
required when a nuclear plant shutdown required by Technical 
Specifications is initiated or completed.
    17. Comment: Carrying the logic above a step further--What in the 
LCO (not in some voluntary cumulative risk monitoring) will prevent a 
licensee from changing Mode without a piece of equipment after doing 
the assessment and management of risk, reaching the CT, returning to a 
nonapplicable mode doing another assessment for the same piece of 
equipment that is still inoperable, changing Mode again with the proper 
management of the risk and simply hoping that the equipment is operable 
before the CT expires yet again?
    Staff Response: While feasible from a legalistic perspective, such 
actions by a licensee would be indication of a poorly run plant and 
should result in close scrutiny by plant management and the NRC. Such 
licensee actions would constitute clear evidence of poor performance 
that would be reviewed by the performance based ROP, and management 
corrective oversight should result. Also, see the related response to 
comment 16 above.
    18. Comment: Are the provisions of SR 3.0.2 applicable if a 
licensee changes mode without first doing a required surveillance? If 
the provisions are to be applicable, there appears to be a problem in 
the language of SR 3.0.2. For example, if the surveillance has a 7-day 
frequency but has not been performed for some months, the wording of SR 
3.0.2 would require that the surveillance be performed within 1.25 
times ``as measured from the previous performance or as measured from 
the time a specified condition of Frequency is met.'' Given that the 
surveillance had last been performed months before application of 1.25 
from the previous performance would appear problematic. The language of 
SR 3.0.2 appears to assume (based on the present requirements of SR 
3.0.4 that the surveillance be successfully performed within the 
required frequency before the mode change) that there will be a 
previous ``in-frequency'' performance of the surveillance from which 
the 1.25 can be measured. Assuming that the 1.25 interval is supposed 
to be available, it should start from the time of entry into the 
applicable Mode, however that does not appear to be ``a specified 
condition of Frequency'' as now defined in TS usage examples or bases.
    Staff Response: SR 3.0.2 (25% extension) does not apply; the SR 
must be met within the required action completion time, except as 
provided by SR 3.0.3.
    19. Comment: Is the ``which ever is greater'' provision of SR 3.0.3 
meant to apply to cases where a licensee changes modes without 
performing a surveillance? While the word ``discover'' would appear to 
argue against such a use, the first sentence of the Bases for SR 3.0.3 
make it less clear ``* * * when a surveillance has not been met * * 
*''?
    Staff Response: See the response to Comment 7 above. The applicable 
portion of SR 3.0.4 will be reworded to say, ``Entry into a MODE or 
other specified condition in the Applicability of an LCO shall only be 
made when the LCO's Surveillances have been met within their specified 
frequency, except as provided by SR 3.0.3.''
    20. Comment: Section 3.1.3 states ``It should be noted that, the 
risk assessment, for the purposes of LCO 3.0.4(b) and SR 3.0.4(b), must 
take into account all inoperable TS equipment regardless of whether the 
equipment is included in the licensee's normal 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) risk 
assessment scope.'' How is the NRC going to require this ``must'' 
provision if it is not incorporated into the requirements of 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4), the TS themselves, the license or the plant FSAR?
    Staff Response: If TS equipment is not covered by the 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4) program, in order to transition up in mode with that TS 
equipment inoperable, the licensee would have to incorporate it into 
the program. The following sentence is to be added to the one-sentence 
fourth paragraph of the LCO 3.0.4 bases insert that begins, ``The risk 
assessment may use quantitative, qualitative, or blended approaches * * 
*'':

    The risk assessment, for the purposes of LCO 3.0.4 (b), must 
take into account all inoperable TS equipment regardless of whether 
the equipment is included in the licensee's normal 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4)risk assessment scope.''

    21. Comment: Similarly Section 3.1.3 goes on to state ``The 
requirements associated with the proposed change are established to 
ensure that such conditions will not occur.'' What is the legal basis 
for calling voluntary conformance with the guidelines of RG 1.174, 
1.177 and 1.182, a set of requirements? Will findings under the ROP 
that find deviations from implementation of these standards constitute 
legal violations?
    Staff Response: Paragraph (a)(4) of 10 CFR 50.65, by itself, does 
not prohibit putting a plant in high-risk configurations due to 
maintenance activities. It only requires that maintenance-related risk 
be assessed

[[Page 16584]]

and managed. The industry guidance for implementation of (a)(4), the 
revised Section 11 of NUMARC 93-01, as endorsed by NRC Regulatory Guide 
1.182, is more restrictive. Section 11 states that configurations for 
which the incremental core damage probability (ICDP) is greater than 
10EXP-5 should not be entered voluntarily. While the regulatory 
guidance is not a regulatory requirement with respect to compliance 
with 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4), the requirements associated with the proposed 
change to TS 3.0.4 are a different matter.
    Unlike (a)(4), the revised TS 3.0.4 is intended to ensure that 
high-risk configurations are not allowed; although like (a)(4), the TS 
is also intended to ensure that any risk that is allowed is adequately 
managed. Therefore, mode changes with a potentially ``higher-risk 
system'' inoperable (see definition of ``higher risk system'' in the 
SE) are prohibited by the TS; and in addition to this restriction, the 
revised TS 3.0.4 will also require licensees to comply in all other 
respects with their programs established to implement 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4). Note that the Commission has determined that such a 
program is a satisfactory replacement for a configuration risk 
management program (CRMP). With regard to the basis for treatment of RG 
1.182 provisions, it is noted that: (1) The regulatory guide is one way 
to meet the TS requirements; (2) the licensee would commit to follow RG 
1.182 in the TS Bases (see also the staff's response to Comment No. 
12); and, (3) if the licensee did not follow RG 1.182, the ROP would 
inspect the licensees process for acceptability.
    With regard to ROP inspection findings in support of the 
requirements in the proposed change to TS 3.0.4, the associated TS 
Bases will reference the provisions of certain regulatory guides and 
the industry guidance that they endorse. This will, in effect, make a 
licensee's compliance with the provisions of certain otherwise 
voluntary industry guidance documents be governed by the TS Bases 
Control Program. It is envisioned that the significance of this 
potential TS violation, to the extent that the violation involves 
inadequate risk assessment and/or inadequate risk management, will be 
determined in a manner similar to that in which the significance of 
(a)(4) violations is determined. When issued, the specialized 
significance determination process (SDP) designed for (a)(4) violations 
would be used under such circumstances.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of March 2003.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William D. Beckner,
Program Director, Operating Reactor Improvements Program, Division of 
Regulatory Improvement Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

Model Safety Evaluation

1.0 Introduction

    On July 17, 2002, the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Risk Informed 
Technical Specifications Task Force (RITSTF) submitted proposed change, 
TSTF-359, Revision 7, to the standard technical specifications (STS) 
(NUREGs 1430-1434) on behalf of the industry. TSTF-359, Revision 7, is 
a proposal to change the STS Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) 
3.0.4 and Surveillance Requirement (SR) 3.0.4 requirements regarding 
mode change limitations. The proposed change would modify LCO 3.0.4 and 
SR 3.0.4 by risk informing limitations on entering the mode of 
applicability of a LCO. The first Consolidated Line Item Improvement 
Process (CLIIP) Federal Register Notice with respect to this change was 
published on August 2, 2002, requesting public comments. In response to 
the public comments, the NRC staff decided that TSTF-359, Revision 7, 
be revised. The RITSTF submitted TSTF-359, Revision 8, on December 4, 
2002. Two additional changes were deemed necessary. The NRC staff has 
prepared this revised model safety evaluation incorporating changes 
resulting from public comments. TSTF-359, Revision 8, as modified, 
provides the complete approved change. This proposal is one of the 
industry's initiatives under the risk-informed technical specifications 
program. These initiatives are intended to maintain or improve safety 
while reducing unnecessary burden and to make technical specification 
requirements consistent with the Commission's other risk-informed 
regulatory requirements, in particular the maintenance rule.
    The current technical specifications (TS) specify that a nuclear 
power plant cannot go to higher modes of operation \2\ (i.e., move 
towards power operation) unless all TS systems, normally required for 
the higher mode, are operable. This limitation is included (with 
several exceptions for some plants) in LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4. LCO 
3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 in the STS currently state in part that when an LCO 
or SR is not met, ``entry into a MODE or other specified condition in 
the applicability shall not be made except when the associated actions 
to be entered permit continued operation in the MODE or other specified 
condition in the applicability for an unlimited period of time.'' The 
industry believes that this requirement is unnecessarily restrictive 
and can unduly delay plant startup while considerable resources are 
being used to resolve startup issues that are risk insignificant or low 
risk. A maintenance activity that takes longer than planned can delay a 
mode change and adversely impact a utility's orderly plant startup and 
return to power operation. The objective of the proposed change is to 
provide additional operational flexibility without compromising plant 
safety.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ MODE numbers decrease in the transition ``up to a higher 
mode of operation;'' power operation is MODE 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed changes to LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 would allow, for 
systems and components, mode changes into a TS condition that has a 
specific required action and completion time. The licensee will utilize 
the LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 allowances only when they determine that 
there is a high likelihood that the LCO will be satisfied within the 
LCO completion time (CT), after the mode change. In addition, the LCO 
3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 allowances can be applied to values and parameters 
in specifications when explicitly stated in the TS (non-system/
component TS such as: Reactor Coolant System Specific Activity). These 
changes are in addition to the current mode change allowance when a 
required action has an indefinite completion time. The LCO 3.0.4 and SR 
3.0.4 mode change allowances are not permitted for the systems and 
components (termed ``higher risk'') listed in Section 3.1.1, 
``Identification of Risk-Important TS Systems and Components,'' for the 
modes specified. Two examples are: (1) Westinghouse plants cannot 
transition from Mode 5 to Mode 4 without a High Head Safety Injection 
System train operable; and, (2) Westinghouse plants cannot transition 
up into any mode with an inoperable required emergency diesel 
generator.

2.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    In 10 CFR 50.36, the Commission established its regulatory 
requirements related to the content of TS. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.36, TS 
are required to include items in the following five specific categories 
related to station operation: (1) Safety limits, limiting safety system 
settings, and limiting control settings; (2) limiting conditions for 
operation (LCOs); (3) surveillance requirements (SRs); (4) design 
features; and (5) administrative controls. The rule does not specify 
the particular requirements to be included in a plant's TS. As stated 
in 10 CFR 50.36(c)(2)(i), the ``Limiting conditions for operation

[[Page 16585]]

are the lowest functional capability or performance levels of equipment 
required for safe operation of the facility. When a limiting condition 
for operation of a nuclear reactor is not met, the licensee shall shut 
down the reactor or follow any remedial action permitted by the 
technical specification * * *'' By convention, the LCOs are contained 
in Sections 3.1 through 3.10 of the TS. TS Section 3.0, on ``LCO and SR 
Applicability,'' provides details or ground rules for complying with 
the LCOs. LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 address requirements for LCO 
compliance when transitioning between modes of operation.
    Technical specifications have taken advantage of risk technology as 
experience and capability have increased. Since the mid-1980's, the NRC 
has been reviewing and granting improvements to technical 
specifications that are based, at least in part, on probabilistic risk 
assessment (PRA) insights. In its final policy statement on technical 
specification improvements of July 22, 1993, the Commission stated that 
it expects that licensees will utilize any plant specific PRA or risk 
survey in preparing their technical specification-related submittals. 
In evaluating these submittals, the staff applies the guidance in RG 
1.174, ``An Approach for Using Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-
Informed Decisions on Plant-Specific Changes to the Licensing Basis,'' 
dated July 1998 and in RG 1.177, ``An Approach for Plant-Specific, 
Risk-Informed Decisionmaking: Technical Specifications,'' dated August 
1998. The staff has appropriately adapted this guidance to assess the 
acceptability of upward mode changes with equipment inoperable. This 
review had the following objectives:
    [sbull] To ensure that the plant risk does not increase 
unacceptably during the actual implementation of the proposed change 
(e.g., when the plant enters a higher mode while an LCO is not met). 
This risk increase is referred to as ``temporary.''
    [sbull] To compare and assess the risk impact of the proposed 
change to the acceptance guidelines of the Commission's Safety Goal 
Policy Statement, as documented in RG 1.174. The risk impact, which is 
measured by the average yearly risk increase associated with the 
change, aims at minimizing the ``cumulative'' risk associated with the 
proposed change so that the plant's average baseline risk is maintained 
within a minimal range.
    [sbull] To assess the licensee's ability to identify risk-
significant configurations resulting from maintenance or other 
operational activities and take appropriate compensatory measures to 
avoid such configurations.
    The staff reviewed the reliance on 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) for the non-
higher-risk systems and components, and related guidance to assess and 
manage the risk of upward mode changes. The Commission has found that 
compliance with the industry guidance for implementation of 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4), as endorsed by RG 1.182 and mandated by LCO 3.0.4, SR 
3.0.4 and SR 3.0.3, satisfies the configuration risk management 
objectives of RG 1.177 for technical specification surveillance 
interval and completion time extensions. Reliance on 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) 
processes that are consistent with the provisions of the NRC-endorsed 
industry guidance was also found adequate for managing risk of missed 
surveillances as described in the Federal Register on September 28, 
2001 (66 FR 49714).
    The staff review also had the objective of ensuring that existing 
inspection programs have the necessary controls in place to allow NRC 
staff to oversee the implementation of the proposed change, reliance on 
10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) processes or programs, and the ability to adequately 
assess the licensee's performance associated with risk assessments. The 
review encompassed inspection procedures (i.e., NRC Inspection 
Procedure 62709 (12/28/00), ``Configuration Risk Assessment and Risk 
Management Process,'' and NRC Inspection Procedure 71111.13 (1/17/02), 
``Maintenance Risk Assessments and Emergent Work Control''), the 
significance determination process (SDP) (i.e., draft ``Maintenance 
Risk Assessment and Risk Management Significance Determination 
Process''), enforcement guidance (i.e., draft Enforcement Manual 
Section 8.1.11, ``Actions Involving the Maintenance Rule''), and the 
associated reactor oversight process.

2.1 Proposed Change to LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4

    Currently LCO 3.0.4 does not allow entrance into a higher mode (or 
other specified condition) in the applicability when an LCO is not met, 
except when the associated actions to be entered permit continued 
operation in that mode or condition indefinitely or a specific 
exception is granted. Similarly, when an LCO's surveillances have not 
been met within their specified frequency, entry into a higher mode (or 
other specified condition) is not allowed by SR 3.0.4. The current STS 
\3\ LCO 3.0.4 reads:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Plant specific wording for current equivalent LCO 3.0.4 is 
similar to current STS LCO 3.0.4 wording.

    ``When an LCO is not met, entry into a MODE or other specified 
condition in the Applicability shall not be made except when the 
associated ACTIONS to be entered permit continued operation in the 
MODE or other specified condition in the Applicability for an 
unlimited period of time. This Specification shall not prevent 
changes in MODES or other specified conditions in the Applicability 
that are required to comply with ACTIONS or that are part of a 
shutdown of the unit.
    Exceptions to this Specification are stated in the individual 
Specifications. These exceptions allow entry into MODES or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability when the associated 
ACTIONS to be entered allow unit operation in the MODE or other 
specified condition in the Applicability only for a limited period 
of time.
    LCO 3.0.4 is only applicable for entry into a MODE or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability in [MODES 1, 2, 3, and 4 
{for PWRs{time} ][MODES 1, 2, and 3 {for BWRs{time} ].''

    The revised LCO 3.0.4 will read:

    ``When an LCO is not met, entry into a MODE or other specified 
condition in the Applicability shall only be made
    (a) When the associated Actions to be entered permit continued 
operation in that MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability for an unlimited period of time, or
    (b) After performance of a risk assessment addressing inoperable 
systems and components, consideration of the results, determination 
of the acceptability of entering the MODE or other specified 
condition in the Applicability, and establishment of risk management 
actions, if appropriate; exceptions to this Specification are stated 
in the individual Specifications, or
    (c) When an allowance is stated in the individual value or 
parameter Specification.
    This Specification shall not prevent changes in MODES or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability that are required to 
comply with ACTIONS or that are part of a shutdown of the unit.''

    The current STS \4\ SR 3.0.4 reads:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Plant specific wording for current equivalent SR 3.0.4 is 
similar to current STS SR 3.0.4 wording.

    ``Entry into a MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability of an LCO shall not be made unless the LCO's 
Surveillances have been met within their specified frequency. This 
provision shall not prevent entry into MODES or other specified 
conditions in the Applicability that are required to comply with 
ACTIONS or that are part of a shutdown of the unit.
    SR 3.0.4 is only applicable for entry into a MODE or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability in [MODES 1, 2, 3, and 4 
{for PWRs{time} ][MODES 1, 2, and 3 {for BWRs{time} ].''

    The revised SR 3.0.4 will conform to the changes to LCO 3.0.4 and 
read:


[[Page 16586]]


    ``Entry into a MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability of an LCO shall only be made when the LCO's 
Surveillances have been met within their specified frequency, except 
as provided by SR 3.0.3. When an LCO is not met due to Surveillances 
not having been met, entry into a MODE or other specified condition 
in the Applicability shall only be made in accordance with LCO 
3.0.4.
    This provision shall not prevent entry into MODES or other 
specified conditions in the Applicability that are required to 
comply with ACTIONS or that are part of a shutdown of the unit.''

    The proposed LCO 3.0.4(a) retains the current allowance for when 
the required actions allow indefinite operation. The proposed LCO 
3.0.4(b) allows entering modes or other specified conditions in the 
applicability except when higher-risk systems and components (listed in 
Section 3.1.1), for the mode being entered, are inoperable. The 
decision for entering a higher mode or condition in the applicability 
of the LCO will be made by plant management after the required risk 
assessment has been performed and requisite risk management actions 
established, through the program established to implement 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4). Entry into the modes or other specified conditions in the 
applicability of the TS shall be for no more than the duration of the 
applicable required actions completion time, or until the LCO is met. 
Current notes in individual specifications that permitted mode changes 
are now encompassed by LCO 3.0.4(b) and can be removed. Notes that 
prohibit mode changes under LCO 3.0.4(b) must be added (i.e., for 
higher-risk systems and components). The proposed LCO 3.0.4(b) 
allowance can involve multiple components in a single LCO or in 
multiple LCOs; however, use of the LCO 3.0.4(b) provisions are always 
contingent upon completion of a 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) based risk 
assessment.
    The notes limiting the applicability (to Modes 1, 2, 3, and 4 for 
PWRS, and to Modes 1, 2, and 3 for BWRs) of the current STS LCO 3.0.4 
and STS SR 3.0.4 are holdovers from the existing Standard Technical 
Specifications (STS). The notes limiting the applicability of LCO 3.0.4 
and SR 3.0.4 are no longer needed and are removed by TSTF-359, Revision 
8. The industry owners groups analyses would subsequently support 
adding notes to various TS, as defined by the tables of higher-risk 
systems, precluding entry into Modes 5 and 6 for PWRs, and Modes 4 and 
5 for BWRs. However, the addition of notes in these cases is made 
unnecessary by action statements that require immediate completion 
times, which means that entry into the Mode or other specified 
condition in the Applicability is not allowed and the notes would be 
superfluous.
    LCO 3.0.4 allowances related to values and parameters of TS are not 
typically addressed by LCO 3.0.4(b) risk assessments, and are therefore 
addressed by a new LCO 3.0.4 (c). LCO 3.0.4 (c) refers to allowances 
already in the TS and annotated in the individual TS. LCO 3.0.4 (c) 
also allows for entry into the modes or other specified conditions in 
the applicability of a TS for no more than the duration of the 
applicable required actions completion time or until the LCO is met or 
the unit is not within the Applicability of the TS.

3.0 Technical Evaluation

    During the development of the current STS, improvements were made 
to LCO 3.0.4, such as clarifying its applicability with respect to 
plant shutdowns, cold shutdown mode and refueling mode. In addition, 
during the STS development, almost all the LCOs with completion times 
greater than or equal to 30 days, and many LCOs with completion times 
greater than or equal to 7 days, were given individual LCO 3.0.4 
exceptions. During some conversions to the STS, individual plants 
provided acceptable justifications for other LCO 3.0.4 exceptions. All 
of these specific LCO 3.0.4 exceptions allow entry into a mode or other 
specified condition in the TS applicability while relying on the TS 
required actions and associated completion times. The proposed change 
under evaluation would provide standardization and consistency to the 
use and application of LCO 3.0.4, both internal to and between each of 
the specifications and STS NUREGs. This proposed change will also 
ensure consistency through the utilization of appropriate levels of 
risk assessment of plant configurations for application of LCO 3.0.4. 
However, nothing in this safety evaluation should be interpreted as 
encouraging upward mode transition with inoperable equipment. Good 
practice should dictate that such transitions should normally be 
initiated only when all required equipment is operable and that mode 
transition with inoperable equipment should be the exception rather 
than the rule.
    The current LCO 3.0.4(a) allowances are retained in the proposal 
and do not represent a change in risk from the current situation. The 
LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances apply to systems and components, and require a 
risk assessment prior to utilization to ensure an acceptable level of 
safety is maintained. The LCO 3.0.4(c) allowances apply to parameters 
and values which have been previously approved by the NRC in a plant's 
specific TS. The licensee will provide in their TS Bases a discussion 
and list of each NRC-approved, LCO 3.0.4(c)-specific value and 
parameter allowance. The bases of LCO 3.0.4 will be revised to explain 
the new allowances and their utilization.
    The staff did a qualitative assessment of the risk impact of the 
proposed change in LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances by evaluating how the 
licensee's implementation of the proposed risk-informed approach is 
expected to meet the requirements of the applicable RGs. The staff 
referred to the guidance provided in RG 1.174, ``An Approach for Using 
Probabilistic Risk Assessment in Risk-Informed Decisions on Plant-
Specific Changes to the Licensing Basis,'' and in RG 1.177, ``An 
approach for Plant-Specific, Risk-Informed Decisionmaking: Technical 
Specifications.'' RG 1.177 provides the staff's recommendations on 
utilizing risk information to assess the impact of proposed changes to 
nuclear power plant technical specifications on the risk associated 
with plant operation. Although RG 1.177 does not specifically address 
the type of generic change in this proposal, the staff considered the 
approach documented in RG 1.177 in evaluating the risk information 
provided in support of the proposed changes in LCO 3.0.4.
    The staff's evaluation of how the implementation of the proposed 
risk-informed approach, used to justify LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances, agrees 
with theobjectives of the guidance outlined in RG 1.177 is discussed in 
Section 3.1. Oversight of the risk-informed approach associated with 
the LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances is discussed in Sections 3.2.

3.1 Evaluation of Risk Management

    Both the temporary and cumulative risk of the proposed change are 
adequately limited. The temporary risk is limited by the exclusion of 
higher-risk systems and components, and completion time limits 
contained in technical specifications (Section 3.1.1). The cumulative 
risk is limited by the temporary risk limitations and by the expected 
low frequency of the proposed mode changes with inoperable equipment 
(Section 3.1.2). Adequate NRC oversight of the licensee's ability to 
use the LCO 3.0.4(b) provisions under appropriate circumstances, i.e., 
to identify risk-significant configurations when entering a higher mode 
or condition in the applicability of an LCO (Section 3.1.3) is provided 
by NRC inspection of the licensee's

[[Page 16587]]

implementation of 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) as applied to the proposed change.
3.1.1 Temporary Risk Increases
    RG 1.177 proposes the incremental conditional core damage 
probability (ICCDP) and the incremental conditional large early release 
probability (ICLERP) as appropriate measures of the increase in 
probability of core damage and large early release, respectively, 
during the period of implementation of a proposed TS change. In 
addition, RG 1.177 stresses the need to preclude potentially high risk 
configurations introduced by the proposed change. The ICCDP associated 
with any specified plant condition, such as the condition introduced by 
entering a higher mode with plant equipment inoperable, is expressed by 
the following equation:
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN04AP03.023

Where:

[Delta]R = the conditional risk increase, in terms of core damage 
frequency (CDF), caused by the specified condition
d = the duration of the specified plant condition
R1 = the plant CDF with the specified condition permanently 
present
R0 = the plant CDF without the specified condition

    The same expression can be used for ICLERP by substituting the 
measure of risk, i.e., large early release frequency (LERF) for CDF. 
The magnitude of the ICCDP and ICLERP values associated with plant 
conditions applicable to LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances can be managed by 
controlling the conditional risk increase, [xutri]R (in terms of both 
CDF and LERF) and the duration, d, of such conditions. The following 
sections discuss how the key elements of the proposed risk-informed 
approach, used to justify LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances, are expected to 
limit [xutri]R and d and, thus, prevent any significant temporary risk 
increases.

Identification of Risk-Important TS Systems and Components

    A major element that limits the risk of the proposed mode change 
flexibility is the exclusion of certain systems and associated LCOs for 
the mode change allowance. Technical specifications allow operation in 
Mode 1 (power operation) with specified levels of inoperability for 
specified times. This provides a benchmark of currently acceptable risk 
against which to measure any incremental risk inherent in the proposed 
LCO 3.0.4(b). If a system inoperability accrues risk at a higher rate 
in one or more of the transition modes than it would in Mode 1, then an 
upward transition into that mode should not be allowed without 
demonstration of a high degree of experience and sophistication in risk 
management. However, the risk management process evaluated in Section 
3.1.3 is adequate if higher-risk systems/components are excluded from 
the scope of LCO 3.0.4(b).
    The importance of most TS systems in mitigating accidents increases 
as power increases. However, some TS systems are relatively more 
important during lower power and shutdown operations, because:
    [sbull] Certain events are peculiar to modes of plant operation 
other than power operation,
    [sbull] Certain events are more probable at modes of plant 
operation other than power operation,
    [sbull] Some modes of plant operation have less mitigation system 
capability than power operation.
    The risk information submitted in support of the proposed changes 
to LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4 includes qualitative risk assessments 
performed by each owners group to identify higher risk systems and 
components at the various modes of operation, including transitions 
between modes, as the plant moves upward from the refueling mode of 
operation toward power operation. The owners groups' generic 
qualitative risk assessments are included as attachments to TSTF-359, 
Revision 8. Each of the owners groups' generic qualitative risk 
assessments discuss the technical approach used and the systems/
components subsequently determined to be of higher risk significance; 
the systems/components not to be granted the LCO 3.0.4 allowances for 
the various modes are listed. The owners groups generic qualitative 
risk assessments are:
    [sbull] BWR owners' group Risk-Informed Technical Specification 
Committee, ``Technical Justification to Support Risk-Informed 
Improvements to Technical Specification Mode Restraints for BWR 
Plants,'' General Electric Company GE-NE A13-00464 (Rev[2])
    [sbull] ``B&W owners group Qualitative Risk Assessment for 
Increased Flexibility in MODE Restraints,'' Framatome Technologies BAW-
2383
    [sbull] Combustion Engineering owners group (CEOG) Task 1181, 
``Qualitative Risk Assessment for Relaxation of Mode Entry 
Restraints,'' CE Nuclear Power LLC, CE NPSD-1207 (Rev[0])
    [sbull] ``WOG Qualitative Risk Assessment Supporting Increased 
Flexibility in MODE Restraints.''
    Following interactions with the staff, all owners groups used the 
same systematic approach in their qualitative risk assessments to 
identify the higher-risk systems in the STS, consisting of the 
following steps:
    [sbull] Identification of plant conditions (i.e., plant parameters 
and availability of key mitigation systems) associated with changes in 
plant operating modes while returning to power
    [sbull] Identification of key activities that have the potential to 
impact risk and which are in progress during transitions between modes 
while the plant is returning to power
    [sbull] Identification of applicable accident initiating events for 
each mode or other specified condition in the applicability
    [sbull] Identification of the higher-risk systems and components by 
combining the information in the first three steps (qualitative risk 
assessment)
    The risk assessments properly used the results and insights from 
previous deterministic and probabilistic studies to systematically 
search for plant conditions in which certain key plant components are 
more important in mitigating accidents than during operation at power 
(Mode 1). This search was systematic, taking the following factors into 
account for the various stages of returning the plant to power:
    [sbull] The status of accident mitigation and normally operating 
systems
    [sbull] The status of key plant parameters such as reactor coolant 
system pressure
    [sbull] The key activities that are in progress during transitions 
between modes which have the potential to impact risk (e.g., the 
transfer from auxiliary to main feedwater at some PWR plants when Mode 
1 is entered)
    [sbull] The applicable accident initiating events for each mode of 
plant operation
    [sbull] Design and operational differences among plants or groups 
of plants
    The following systems and components were identified by each of the 
four owners groups as higher-risk systems and components, when the 
plant is entering a new mode.

[[Page 16588]]



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               System                       BWR type                            Entering mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Boiling Water Reactor Owners Group (BWROG) Plants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
High Pressure Coolant Injection      BWR 3 & 4.............  2, 1.
 (HPCI) System.
High Pressure Core Spray (HPCS)....  BWR 5 & 6.............  2, 1.
Reactor Core Isolation Cooling       BWR 3, 4, 5 & 6.......  2, 1.
 (RCIC) System.
Isolation Condenser................  BWR 2.................  2, 1.
Diesel Generators (including other   All...................  All.
 Emergency/Shutdown AC Power
 Supplies).
Hardened Wetwell Vent System.......  BWR 2, 3 & 4 with Mark  3, 2, 1.
                                      I Containment.
Residual Heat Removal System.......  All...................  4.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     System                                               Entering mode
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  Babcock & Wilcox Owners Group (B&WOG) Plants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG) & Hydro-       5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
 Electric Units for Oconee.
Emergency Feedwater (EFW) System...............  1.
Decay Heat Removal (DHR) System................  5, 4.
------------------------------------------------
                                Combustion Engineering Owners Group (CEOG) Plants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency Diesel Generators (EDGs).............  5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Auxiliary Feedwater/Emergency Feedwater (AFW/    4, 3, 2, 1.
 EFW) System.
High Pressure Safety Injection (HPSI) System...  4, 3 (below 1700 psia).
LTOP/PORVs (when used for Low Temperature        5, 4 (below set temperature)
 Overpressure Protection (LTOP)).
Shutdown Cooling System (Low Pressure Safety     5.
 Injection (LPSI) pumps).
------------------------------------------------
                                     Westinghouse Owners Group (WOG) Plants
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency Diesel Generators (EDGs).............  5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Auxiliary Feedwater (AFW) System (for plants     4, 3, 2, 1.
 depending on AFW for startup).
High Head Safety Injection System..............  4.
Cold Overpressure Protection System............  5, 4.
Residual Heat Removal (RHR) System.............  5.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If a licensee identifies a higher-risk system for only some of the 
modes of applicability, the TS for that system would be modified by a 
note that reads, for example, ``LCO 3.0.4(b) is not applicable when 
entering MODE 1 from MODE 2.'' Systems identified as higher risk for 
Modes 5 and 6 for PWRs, and Modes 4 and 5 for BWRs, are also excluded 
from transitioning up to the mode of higher risk, and as previously 
discussed, notes for those transitions are superfluous. In addition, 
mode transitions for Modes 5 and 6 for PWRs, and Modes 4 and 5 for 
BWRs, will be addressed by administrative controls.
    In summary, the staff's review of the owners groups qualitative 
risk assessments finds that they are of adequate quality to support the 
application (i.e., they identify the higher-risk systems and 
components) associated with entering higher modes of plant operation 
with equipment inoperable while returning to power.

[Plant Specific changes will be described here.]

Limited Time in TS Required Actions

    Any temporary risk increase will be limited by, among other 
factors, duration constraints imposed by the TS CTs of the inoperable 
systems. For the systems and components which are not higher risk, any 
temporary risk increase associated with the proposed allowance will be 
smaller than what is considered acceptable when the same systems and 
components are inoperable at power. This is due to the fact that CTs 
associated with the majority of TS systems and components were 
developed for power operation and pose a smaller plant risk for action 
statement entries initiated or occurring at lower modes of operation as 
compared to power operation.
    The LCO 3.0.4(b) allowance will be used only when the licensee 
determines that there is a high likelihood that the LCO will be 
satisfied following the mode change. This will minimize the likelihood 
of additional temporary risk increases associated with the need to exit 
a mode due to failure to restore the unavailable equipment within the 
CT. In most cases, licensees will enter into a higher mode with the 
intent to move up to Mode 1 (power operation). As discussed in Section 
3.2, the revised reactor oversight process monitors unplanned power 
changes as a performance indicator. The reactor oversight process thus 
discourages licensees from entering a mode or other specified condition 
in the applicability of an LCO, and moving up in power, when there is a 
likelihood that the mode would have to be subsequently exited due to 
failure to restore the unavailable equipment within the CT. Another 
disincentive for licensees to enter a higher mode when an LCO is not 
met is related to reporting requirements. 10 CFR 50.72 and 50.73 make 
it clear that a report is required when a nuclear plant shutdown or 
mode change is required by TS. The NRC's oversight program will provide 
the framework for inspectors and other staff to follow the history at a 
specific plant of entering higher modes while an LCO is not met, and 
use such information in assessing the licensee's actions and 
performance.
3.1.2 Cumulative Risk Increases
    The cumulative risk impact of the change to allow the plant to 
enter a higher mode of operation with one or more safety-related 
components unavailable (as proposed here), is measured by the average 
yearly risk increase associated with the change. In general, this 
cumulative risk increase is assessed in terms of both CDF and LERF 
(i.e., [Delta]CDF and [Delta]LERF, respectively). The increase in CDF 
due to the proposed change is expressed by the following equation, 
which integrates the

[[Page 16589]]

risk impact from all expected specified conditions (i.e., all expected 
plant conditions caused by mode changes with various TS systems and 
components unavailable).
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN04AP03.024

Where:

[Delta]CDFi = the CDF increase due to specified condition i
ICCDPi = the ICCDP associated with specified condition i
fi = the average yearly frequency of occurrence of specified 
condition i

    A similar expression can be used for [Delta]LERF by substituting 
the measure of risk, i.e., LERF for CDF. The magnitude of the 
[Delta]CDF and [Delta]LERF values associated with plant conditions 
applicable to LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances can be managed by controlling the 
temporary risk increases, in terms of both CDF and LERF (i.e., ICCDP 
and ICLERP), and the frequency (f), of each of such conditions. In 
addition to the points made in the previous section regarding temporary 
risk increases, the following points put into perspective how the key 
elements of the proposed risk-informed approach, used to justify an LCO 
3.0.4(b) allowance, are expected to prevent significant cumulative risk 
increases by limiting the frequency of its use:
    [sbull] The frequency of risk significant conditions will be 
limited by not providing the LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances to the higher risk 
systems and components.
    [sbull] The frequency of risk significant conditions will be 
limited by the requirement to assess the likelihood that the LCO will 
be satisfied following the mode change.
    [sbull] The frequency of risk significant conditions is limited by 
the fact that such conditions can occur only when the plant is 
returning to power following shutdown, i.e., during a small fraction of 
time per year (data over the past five years indicate that the plants 
are averaging 2.1 startups per year).
    The addition of the proposed LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances to the plant 
maintenance activities is not expected to change the plant's average 
(cumulative) risk significantly.
3.1.3 Risk Assessment and Risk Management of Mode Changes
    With all safety systems and components operable, a plant can 
transition up in mode to power operation. With one or more system(s) or 
component(s) inoperable, this change permits a plant to transition up 
in mode to power operation if the inoperable system(s) or component(s) 
are not in the pre-analyzed higher risk category, a 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) 
based risk assessment is performed prior to the mode transition, and 
the requisite risk management actions are taken. The proposed TS Bases 
state, ``When an LCO is not met, LCO 3.0.4 also allows entering MODES 
or other specified conditions in the Applicability following assessment 
of the risk impact and determination that the impact can be managed. 
The risk assessment may use quantitative, qualitative, or blended 
approaches, and the risk assessment will be conducted using the plant 
program, procedures, and criteria in place to implement 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4), which requires that risk impacts of maintenance activities 
to be assessed and managed.'' It should be noted that, the risk 
assessment, for the purposes of LCO 3.0.4(b), must take into account 
all inoperable TS equipment regardless whether the equipment is 
included in the licensee's normal 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) risk assessment 
scope. The risk assessments will be conducted using the procedures and 
guidance endorsed by Regulatory Guide 1.182, ``Assessing and Managing 
Risk Before Maintenance Activities at Nuclear Power Plants.'' The 
results of the risk assessment shall be considered in determining the 
acceptability of entering the MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability, and any corresponding risk management actions. * * * A 
risk assessment and establishment of risk management actions, as 
appropriate, are required for determination of acceptable risk for 
entering MODES or other specified conditions in the Applicability when 
an LCO is not met. Elements of acceptable risk assessment and risk 
management actions are included in Section 11 of NUMARC 93-01 
``Assessment of Risk Resulting from Performance of Maintenance 
Activities,'' as endorsed by RG 1.182, which addresses general guidance 
for conduct of the risk assessment, gives quantitative and qualitative 
guidelines for establishing risk management actions, and provides 
example risk management actions. These risk management actions include 
actions to plan and conduct other activities in a manner that controls 
overall risk, actions to increase risk awareness by shift and 
management personnel, actions to reduce the duration of the conditions, 
actions to minimize the magnitude of risk increases (establishment of 
backup success paths or compensatory measures), and determination that 
the proposed MODE change is acceptable.
    The guidance references state that a licensee's risk assessment 
process should be sufficiently robust and comprehensive to assess risk 
associated with maintenance activities during power operation, low 
power and shutdown conditions (all modes of operation), including 
changes in plant conditions. NUMARC 93-01 states that the risk 
assessment should include consideration of: the degree of redundancy 
available for performance of the safety function(s) served by the out-
of-service equipment; the duration of the out-of-service condition; 
component and system dependencies that are affected; the risk impact of 
performing the maintenance during shutdown versus at power; and, the 
impact of mode transition risk. For power operation, key plant safety 
functions are those that ensure the integrity of the reactor coolant 
pressure boundary, ensure the capability to shut down and maintain the 
reactor in safe shutdown condition, and ensure the capability to 
prevent or mitigate the consequences of accidents that could result in 
potentially significant offsite exposures.
    While the inoperabilities permitted by the completion times of 
technical specification required actions take into consideration the 
safety significance and redundancy of the system or components within 
the scope of an LCO, the completion times generally do not address or 
consider concurrent system or component inoperabilities in multiple 
LCOs. Therefore, the performance of the 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) risk 
assessment which looks at the entire plant configuration is essential 
(and required) prior to changing operational mode. The 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4) based risk assessment will be used to confirm (or reject) 
the appropriateness of transitioning up in mode given the actual status 
of plant safety equipment.
    The risk impact on the plant condition of invoking an LCO 3.0.4(b) 
allowance will be assessed and managed through the program established 
to

[[Page 16590]]

implement 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4). This program is consistent with RG 1.177 
and RG 1.174 in its approach. The implementation guidance for paragraph 
(a)(4) of the Maintenance Rule addresses controlling temporary risk 
increases resulting from maintenance activities. This guidance, 
consistent with guidance in RG 1.177, establishes action thresholds 
based on qualitative and quantitative considerations and risk 
management actions. Significant temporary risk increases following an 
LCO 3.0.4(b) allowance are unlikely to occur unless:
    [sbull] High-risk configurations are allowed (e.g., certain 
combinations of multiple component outages), or
    [sbull] Risk management of plant operation activities is 
inadequate.

The requirements associated with the proposed change are established to 
ensure that such conditions will not occur.
    The thresholds of the cumulative (aggregate) risk impacts, assessed 
pursuant to 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) and the associated implementation 
guidance, are based on the permanent change guidelines in NRC RG 1.174. 
Therefore, licensees will manage the risk exercising LCO 3.0.4 in 
conjunction with the risk from other concurrent plant activities to 
ensure that any increase, in terms of core damage frequency (CDF) and 
large early release frequency (LERF) will be small and consistent with 
the Commission's Safety Goal Policy Statement.

3.2 Oversight

    The reactor oversight process (ROP) provides a means for assessing 
the licensee's performance in the application of the proposed mode 
change flexibility. The adequacy of the licensee's assessment and 
management of maintenance-related risk is addressed by existing 
inspection programs and guidance for 50.65(a)(4). Although the current 
versions of that guidance do not specifically address application of 
the licensee's (a)(4) program to support risk-informed technical 
specifications, it is expected that in most cases, risk assessment and 
management associated with risk-informed technical specifications would 
be required by (a)(4) anyway because maintenance activities will be 
involved.
    Adoption of the proposed change will make failure to assess and 
manage the risk of an upward mode change with inoperable equipment 
covered by technical specifications, prior to commencing such a mode 
change, a violation of technical specifications. Further, as explained 
above in general, under most foreseeable circumstances, such a change 
in configuration would also require a risk assessment under 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4). Inoperable systems or components will necessitate 
maintenance to restore them to operability, and hence a 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4) risk assessment would be performed prior to the performance 
of those maintenance actions (except for immediate plant stabilization 
and restoration actions if necessary). Further, before altering the 
plant's configuration, including plant configuration changes associated 
with mode changes, the licensee must update the existing (a)(4) risk 
assessment to reflect those changes.
    The Federal Register Notice issuing a revision to the maintenance 
rule, 10 CFR 50.65, (Federal Register, Vol 64 No 137, Monday, July 19, 
1999, pg 38553), along with NRC Inspection Procedure 71111.13, and 
Section 11, dated February 22, 2000, ``Assessment of Risk Resulting 
from Performance of Maintenance Activities,'' of NUMARC 93-01, all 
indicate that to determine the safety impact of a change in plant 
conditions during maintenance, a risk assessment must be performed 
before changing plant conditions. The bases for the proposed TS change 
mandate that the risk assessment and management of upward mode changes 
will be conducted under the licensee's program and process for meeting 
10 CFR 50.65(a)(4). Oversight of licensee performance in assessing and 
managing the risk of plant maintenance activities is conducted 
principally by inspection in accordance with Reactor Oversight Program 
Baseline Inspection Procedure (IP) 71111.13, ``Maintenance Risk 
Assessment and Emergent Work Control.'' Supplemental IP 62709, 
``Configuration Risk Assessment and Risk Management Process,'' is 
utilized to evaluate the licensee's process, when necessary.
    The ROP is described in overview in NUREG-1649, Rev 3, ``Reactor 
Oversight Process,'' and in detail in the NRC Inspection Manual. 
Inspection Procedure 71111.13 requires verification of performance of 
risk assessments when they are required by 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) and in 
accordance with licensee procedures. The procedure also requires 
verification of the adequacy of those risk assessments and verification 
of effective implementation of licensee-prescribed risk management 
actions. The rule itself requires such assessment and management of 
risk prior to maintenance activities, including preventive maintenance, 
surveillance and testing, (and promptly for emergent work) during all 
modes of plant operation. The guidance documents for both industry 
implementation of (a)(4) and NRC oversight of that implementation 
indicate that changes in plant configuration (which would include mode 
changes) in support of maintenance activities must be taken into 
account in the risk assessment and management process. Revisions to NRC 
inspection guidance and licensee implementation procedures will be 
needed to address oversight of risk assessment and management required 
by TS in support of mode changes that are not already required under 
the circumstances by (a)(4). This consideration provides performance-
based regulatory oversight of the use of the proposed flexibility, and 
a disincentive to use the flexibility without the requisite care in 
planning.
    In addition, the staff is in the process of developing detailed 
significance determination process (SDP) guidance for use in assessing 
inspection findings related to 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4). This guidance was 
issued in draft for comment and is anticipated to become final during 
2003. The ROP considers inspection findings and performance indicators 
in evaluating licensee ability to operate safely. The SDP is used to 
determine the significance of inspection findings related to licensee 
assessment and management of the risk associated with performing 
maintenance activities under all plant operating or shutdown 
conditions. Unplanned reactor scrams and unplanned power changes are 
two of the Reactor Safety Performance Indicators that the ROP utilizes 
to assess licensee performance and inform the public. The ROP will 
provide a disincentive to entering into power operation (Mode 1), when 
there is a significant likelihood that the mode would have to be 
subsequently exited due to failure to restore the unavailable equipment 
within the completion time.

3.3 Summary

    The industry, through the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) Risk 
Informed Technical Specifications Task Force (RITSTF), has submitted a 
proposed technical specification (TS) change to allow entry into a 
higher mode of operation, or other specified condition in the TS 
applicability, while relying on the TS conditions, and associated 
required actions and completion times, provided a risk assessment is 
performed to confirm the acceptability of that action. The proposal 
revises standard technical specification (STS) LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4, 
and their application to the TS. New paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) are 
proposed for LCO 3.0.4.
    The proposed LCO 3.0.4(a) retains the current allowance, permitting 
the mode

[[Page 16591]]

change when the TS required actions allow indefinite operation.
    Proposed LCO 3.0.4(b) is the change to allow entry into a higher 
mode of operation, or other specified condition in the TS 
applicability, while relying on the TS conditions and associated 
required actions and completion times, provided a risk assessment is 
performed to confirm the acceptability of that action for the existing 
plant configuration. The staff review finds that the process proposed 
by industry for assessing and managing risk during the implementation 
of the proposed LCO 3.0.4(b) allowances, meets Commission guidance for 
technical specification changes. Key elements of this process are 
listed below.
    [sbull] A risk assessment shall be performed before any LCO 
3.0.4(b) allowance is invoked.
    [sbull] The risk impact on the plant condition of invoking an LCO 
3.0.4(b) allowance will be assessed and managed through the program 
established to implement 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) and the associated guidance 
in RG 1.182. Allowing entry into a higher mode or condition in the 
applicability of an LCO after an 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) based risk 
assessment and appropriate risk management actions are taken for the 
existing plant configuration will ensure that plant safety is 
maintained.
    [sbull] The LCO 3.0.4(b) allowance will be used only when the 
licensee determines that there is a high likelihood that the LCO will 
be satisfied within the required action's completion time.
    [sbull] TS systems and components which may be of higher risk 
during mode changes have been identified generically by each owner's 
group for each plant operational mode or condition. Licensees will 
identify such plant-specific systems and components in the individual 
plant TS. The proposed LCO 3.0.4(b) allowance does not apply to these 
systems and components for the mode or condition in the applicability 
of an LCO at which they are of higher risk.
    [sbull] Plants adopting LCO 3.0.4(b) will ensure that plant 
procedures in place to implement 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4) address the 
situation where entering a mode or other specified condition in the 
applicability is contemplated with plant equipment inoperable. Such 
plant procedures typically follow the guidance in NUMARC 93-01, Section 
11, as revised in February 2000 and endorsed by NRC RG 1.182.
    The NRC's reactor oversight process provides the framework for 
inspectors and other staff to oversee the implementation of 10 CFR 
50.65(a)(4) requirements at a specific plant and assess the licensee's 
actions and performance.
    The LCO 3.0.4(b) allowance does not apply to values and parameters 
of the technical specifications that have their own respective LCOs 
(e.g., Reactor Coolant System Specific Activity), but instead those 
values and parameters are addressed by LCO 3.0.4(c). The TS values and 
parameters for which mode transition allowances apply, will have a note 
that states LCO 3.0.4(c) is applicable.
    The objective of the proposed change is to provide additional 
operational flexibility without compromising plant safety.

4.0 State Consultation

    In accordance with the Commission's regulations, the [ ] State 
official was notified of the proposed issuance of the amendment. The 
State official had [(1) no comments or (2) the following comments--with 
subsequent disposition by the staff].

5.0 Environmental Consideration

    The amendments change a requirement with respect to the 
installation or use of a facility component located within the 
restricted area as defined in 10 CFR Part 20 and change surveillance 
requirements. [For licensees adding a bases control program: The 
amendment also changes record keeping, reporting, or administrative 
procedures or requirements.] The NRC staff has determined that the 
amendments involve no significant increase in the amounts and no 
significant change in the types of any effluents that may be released 
offsite, and that there is no significant increase in individual or 
cumulative occupational radiation exposure. The Commission has 
previously issued a proposed finding that the amendments involve no 
significant hazards considerations, and there has been no public 
comment on the finding [insert FR number]. Accordingly, the amendments 
meet the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 
CFR 51.22(c)(9) [and (c)(10)]. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the issuance of the amendments.

6.0 Conclusion

    The Commission has concluded, on the basis of the considerations 
discussed above, that (1) there is reasonable assurance that the health 
and safety of the public will not be endangered by operation in the 
proposed manner, (2) such activities will be conducted in compliance 
with the Commission's regulations, and (3) the issuance of the 
amendments will not be inimical to the common defense and security or 
to the health and safety of the public.

Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    Description of Amendment Request: A change is proposed to the 
standard technical specifications (STS)(NUREGs 1430 through 1434) and 
plant specific technical specifications (TS), to allow entry into a 
mode or other specified condition in the applicability of a TS, while 
in a condition statement and the associated required actions of the TS, 
provided the licensee performs a risk assessment and manages risk 
consistent with the program in place for complying with the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.65(a)(4). LCO 3.0.4 exceptions in individual 
TS would be eliminated, and SR 3.0.4 revised to reflect the LCO 3.0.4 
allowance.
    Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration 
determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), an analysis of the issue 
of no significant hazards consideration is presented below:

Criterion 1--The Proposed Change Does Not Involve a Significant 
Increase in the Probability or Consequences of an Accident Previously 
Evaluated

    The proposed change allows entry into a mode or other specified 
condition in the applicability of a TS, while in a TS condition 
statement and the associated required actions of the TS. Being in a TS 
condition and the associated required actions is not an initiator of 
any accident previously evaluated. Therefore, the probability of an 
accident previously evaluated is not significantly increased. The 
consequences of an accident while relying on required actions as 
allowed by proposed LCO 3.0.4, are no different than the consequences 
of an accident while entering and relying on the required actions while 
starting in a condition of applicability of the TS. Therefore, the 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated are not significantly 
affected by this change. The addition of a requirement to assess and 
manage the risk introduced by this change will further minimize 
possible concerns. Therefore, this change does not involve a 
significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated.

[[Page 16592]]

Criterion 2--The Proposed Change Does Not Create the Possibility of a 
New or Different Kind of Accident From Any Previously Evaluated

    The proposed change does not involve a physical alteration of the 
plant (no new or different type of equipment will be installed). 
Entering into a mode or other specified condition in the applicability 
of a TS, while in a TS condition statement and the associated required 
actions of the TS, will not introduce new failure modes or effects and 
will not, in the absence of other unrelated failures, lead to an 
accident whose consequences exceed the consequences of accidents 
previously evaluated. The addition of a requirement to assess and 
manage the risk introduced by this change will further minimize 
possible concerns. Thus, this change does not create the possibility of 
a new or different kind of accident from an accident previously 
evaluated.

Criterion 3--The Proposed Change Does Not Involve a Significant 
Reduction in the Margin of Safety

    The proposed change allows entry into a mode or other specified 
condition in the applicability of a TS, while in a TS condition 
statement and the associated required actions of the TS. The TS allow 
operation of the plant without the full complement of equipment through 
the conditions for not meeting the TS Limiting Conditions for Operation 
(LCO). The risk associated with this allowance is managed by the 
imposition of required actions that must be performed within the 
prescribed completion times. The net effect of being in a TS condition 
on the margin of safety is not considered significant. The proposed 
change does not alter the required actions or completion times of the 
TS. The proposed change allows TS conditions to be entered, and the 
associated required actions and completion times to be used in new 
circumstances. This use is predicated upon the licensee's performance 
of a risk assessment and the management of plant risk. The change also 
eliminates current allowances for utilizing required actions and 
completion times in similar circumstances, without assessing and 
managing risk. The net change to the margin of safety is insignificant. 
Therefore, this change does not involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety.
    Based upon the reasoning presented above and the previous 
discussion of the amendment request, the requested change does not 
involve a significant hazards consideration.
    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 
mode change limitations (and adoption of a technical specification 
bases control program)* 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, D.C. 20555.
Subject: Plant Name
Docket No. 50-
Application for technical specification change regarding mode change 
limitations (and adoption of a technical specifications bases 
control program, and STS SR 3.0.1 and associated bases)* using the 
consolidated line item improvement process

    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 mode 
change limitations in LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4, (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, and STS SR 3.0.1 and associated bases.)
    Attachment 1 provides a description of the proposed change 
(including a table of affected TS with a brief descriptor of the 
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. Attachment 5 provides the 
existing TS Bases pages marked up to show the proposed change.
    [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.

* If not already in the facility Technical Specifications
    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 s 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 mode change limitations in LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ [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. 
Similarly, the STS requirements of SR 3.0.1 and associated bases 
shall be adopted by units that do not already contain them.]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The changes are consistent with Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
approved Industry/Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) STS change 
TSTF-359 Revision 8, as modified by the notice in the Federal Register 
published on [DATE]. That Federal Register notice announced the 
availability of this TS improvement through 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-359 Revision 8. [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 modified TSTF-359 Revision 8 and the NRC 
staff's model safety evaluation dated [DATE].

[[Page 16593]]

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:
    The licenses has established TS Bases for [LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4] 
which state that use of the TS mode change limitation flexibility 
established by [LCO 3.0.4 and SR 3.0.4] is not to be interpreted as 
endorsing the failure to exercise the good practice of restoring 
systems or components to operable status before entering an associated 
mode or other specified condition in the TS Applicability.
    The modification also includes changes to the bases for [LCO 3.0.4 
and SR 3.0.4] that provide details on how to implement the new 
requirements. The bases changes provide guidance for changing Modes or 
other specified conditions in the Applicability when an LCO is not met. 
The bases changes describe in detail how: [LCO 3.0.4.a] allows entry 
into a MODE or other specified condition in the Applicability with the 
LCO not met when the associated ACTIONS to be entered permit continued 
operation in the MODE or other specified condition in the Applicability 
for an unlimited period of time; [LCO 3.0.4.b] allows entry into a MODE 
or other specified condition in the Applicability with the LCO not met 
after performance of a risk assessment addressing inoperable systems 
and components, consideration of the results, determination of the 
acceptability of entering the MODE or other specified condition in the 
Applicability, and establishment of risk management actions, if 
appropriate; and [LCO 3.0.4.c] allows entry into a MODE or other 
specified condition in the Applicability with the LCO not met based on 
a Note in the Specification, which is typically applied to 
Specifications which describe values and parameters (e.g., [Containment 
Air Temperature, Containment Pressure, MCPR, Moderator Temperature 
Coefficient]), though it may be applied to other Specifications based 
on NRC plant-specific approval. The bases also state that any 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 results of the risk assessment 
shall be considered in determining the acceptability of entering the 
MODE or other specified condition in the Applicability, and any 
corresponding risk management actions. In addition, the bases state 
that upon entry into a Mode or other specified condition in the 
Applicability with the LCO not met, LCO 3.0.1 and LCO 3.0.2 require 
entry in to the applicable Conditions and Required Actions for no more 
than the duration of the applicable Completion Time or until the LCO is 
met or the unit is not within the Applicability of the TS. The bases 
also state that SR 3.0.4 does not restrict changing MODES or other 
specified conditions of the Applicability when a Surveillance has not 
been performed within the specified Frequency, provided the requirement 
to declare the LCO not met has been delayed in accordance with SR 
3.0.3. Finally, the licensee is expected to have a bases control 
program consistent with Section 5.5 of the STS, and the equivalent of 
STS SR 3.0.1 and associated bases.

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, implemented with
 Specification Bases for TS 3.0.3 as      amendment OR within X days of
 adopted with the applicable license      implementation of amendment]
 amendment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Attachment 5--Proposed Changes to Technical Specification Bases Pages

[FR Doc. 03-8203 Filed 4-3-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P