[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 72 (Tuesday, April 15, 2003)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18294-18296]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-9196]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Availability of Model Application Concerning Technical 
Specifications Improvement Regarding Scram Discharge Volume Vent and 
Drain Valves Actions for Boiling Water Reactors 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 safety evaluation 
(SE), a model no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) 
determination, and a model license amendment application relating to a 
change in the technical specifications (TSs) required actions for 
inoperable vent and drain valves for the scram discharge volume (SDV) 
for boiling water reactors (BWRs). The purpose of these models is to 
permit the NRC to efficiently process amendments that propose to 
incorporate this change into plant-specific TS. Licensees of nuclear 
power reactors to which the models apply may request amendments 
utilizing the model application.

DATES: The NRC staff issued a Federal Register Notice (68 FR 8637, 
February 24, 2003) which provided a model SE and a model NSHC 
determination related to changing the completion times to address 
inoperable valves in SDV vent or drain lines. The NRC staff hereby 
announces that the model SE and NSHC determination may be referenced in 
plant-specific applications. The staff has posted a model application 
on the NRC web site to assist licensees in using the consolidated line 
item improvement process (CLIIP) to incorporate this change. The NRC 
staff can most efficiently consider applications based upon the model 
application if the application is submitted within a year of this 
Federal Register Notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Reckley, Mail Stop: O-7D1, 
Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, telephone 301-415-1323.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Regulatory Issue Summary 2000-06, ``Consolidated Line Item 
Improvement Process for Adopting Standard Technical Specifications 
Changes for Power Reactors,'' was issued on March 20, 2000. The 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 TS 
are responsible for reviewing the staff's evaluation, referencing the 
applicable technical justifications, and providing any necessary plant-
specific information. Each amendment application made in response to 
the notice of availability will be processed and noticed in accordance 
with applicable rules and NRC procedures.
    This notice involves changes to required actions for inoperable SDV 
vent and drain valves for BWRs. This proposed change was proposed for 
incorporation into the STS by the BWR Owners Group as Technical 
Specification Task Force (TSTF)-404, Revision 0.

Applicability

    This proposed change to required actions for inoperable SDV vent 
and drain valves is applicable to BWRs.
    The CLIIP does not prevent licensees from requesting an alternative 
approach or proposing the changes without referencing the model SE and 
the NSHC. Variations from the approach recommended in this notice may, 
however, require additional review by the NRC staff and may increase 
the time and resources needed for the review.

Public Notices

    In a notice in the Federal Register dated February 24, 2003 (68 FR 
8637), the staff requested comment on the use

[[Page 18295]]

of the CLIIP for proposed changes to the required actions and 
completion times for inoperable SDV vent and drain valves at BWRs.
    TSTF-404, as well as the NRC staff's SE and model application, may 
be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document 
Room, located at One White Flint North, Public File Area 01 F21, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available 
records will be accessible electronically from the Agency wide 
Documents Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public Electronic 
Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/
reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who 
encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should 
contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, 
301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    The staff received only informal comments regarding typographical 
and editorial errors in the model SE and NSHC determination. A specific 
change involves correcting the abbreviation for scram discharge volume 
in the model SE and NSHC determination (from S.V. to SDV). Licensees 
may reference in their plant-specific applications the corrected SE, 
NSHC determination, and environmental assessment provided below.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation

Model Safety Evaluation--Consolidated Line Item Improvement Technical 
Specifications Task Force (TSTF) Change TSTF-404, Scram Discharge 
Volume Vent and Drain Valves

1.0 Introduction

    By application dated [[squ]], [Licensee] (the licensee) requested 
changes to the Technical Specifications (TSs) for [facility]. The 
proposed changes would revise the required action within TS [3.1.8, 
``Scram Discharge Volume (SDV) Vent and Drain Valves''] for the 
condition of having one or more SDV vent or drain lines with one valve 
inoperable. These changes are based on Technical Specifications Task 
Force (TSTF) change traveler TSTF-404 (Revision 0) that has been 
approved generically for the BWR [boiling water reactor]/4[6] Standard 
Technical Specifications (STS), NUREG-1433 [1434], Revision 2. A notice 
announcing the availability of this proposed TS change using the 
consolidated line item improvement process (CLIIP) was published in the 
Federal Register on [[squ]] (68 FR yyyyy).

2.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    NRC regulations and review standards such as Appendix A, ``General 
Design Criteria for Nuclear Power Plants,'' to 10 CFR Part 50 of Title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations
 (10 CFR), include specific requirements for reactor protection and 
reactivity control systems. The reactor protection systems for BWRs use 
a hydraulic system to insert control rods into the reactor core. During 
an actuation of the reactor protection system (a scram), water is 
exhausted from the control rod drive mechanisms to the SDVs. Proper 
maintenance and operation of the SDVs in terms of instrumentation and 
limiting water volumes are essential for assuring the reliability of 
the reactor protection system (see NRC Bulletin 80-17, ``Failure of 
Control Rods to Insert During A Scram at a BWR,'' related Orders to 
specific facilities, and information provided in plant final safety 
analysis reports and TS Bases). Maintaining the SDVs to ensure that 
accumulated water does not hamper or slow the insertion of control rods 
requires vent and drain valves. The vent and drain valves isolate 
during a scram to limit the amount of coolant discharged so that 
adequate core cooling is maintained and offsite doses remain within 
regulatory limits.
    Specific regulatory requirements for SDV vent and drain valves are 
defined in TS [3.1.8, ``Scram Discharge Volume (SDV) Vent and Drain 
Valves.''] The existing limiting condition for operation [3.1.8], 
requires that each SDV vent and drain valve be operable. The 
operability of all SDV vent and drain valves ensures that the SDV vent 
and drain valves will close during a scram to contain reactor water 
discharged to the SDV piping. Since the vent and drain lines are 
provided with two valves in series, the single failure of one valve in 
the open position will not impair the isolation function of the system. 
Additionally, the valves are required to open on scram reset and during 
plant operation to control the amount of water accumulating in the SDV
    If one or more SDV vent and drain lines have a single valve that is 
inoperable, the existing required action is to restore the valve(s) to 
operable status within 7 days. If an inoperable valve is not restored 
to operable status, a plant shutdown to MODE 3 is required within 12 
hours. If one or more SDV vent or drain lines have both valves 
inoperable, the associated line must be isolated within 8 hours. In 
this condition, the plant is allowed to operate indefinitely. A note 
associated with the required action clarifies that the valves may be 
opened under administrative controls to allow draining of the SDV. The 
existing SDV vent and drain valve required actions are inconsistent in 
that, although the operational and safety concerns are similar for 
having one or both valves in a line being inoperable, the actions for a 
single inoperable valve do not allow for the isolation of the line and 
administrative controls to support the draining of the SDV.
    The proposed change would revise the required actions to be more 
consistent with the safety significance of one inoperable valve in a 
SDV line versus two inoperable valves in an SDV line.

3.0 Technical Evaluation

    The proposed changes to TS 3.1.8 are:
    1. Required Action A.1 is revised from restoring the single 
inoperable SDV vent and drain valve in one or more SDV vent and drain 
lines to operable status to isolating the associated line.
    2. The Note to Required Action B.1 which allows an isolated line to 
be unisolated under administrative controls for the purpose of draining 
and venting the SDV is moved to a note that applies to both Conditions 
A (single inoperable valve) and B (both valves inoperable).
    With one SDV vent or drain valve inoperable in one or more lines, 
the isolation function would be maintained since the redundant valve in 
the affected line would perform its safety function of isolating the 
SDV. The current ACTION statement allows 7 days to repair the 
inoperable valve; the proposed change is to allow for the isolation of 
the affected line and continue operation. If the affected line is not 
isolated within the 7-day time period (or the inoperable valve is not 
restored), the licensee would then be required to proceed to MODE 3 in 
the next 12 hours. Maintaining the 7-day Completion Time is acceptable 
because of the low probability of the concurrent events of a scram 
within the 7 days of the Completion Time and a failure of the redundant 
valve(s). Alternately, if the inoperable valve was initially closed, 
there would be ample time and warning available to drain the SDV before 
an automatic scram would occur due to SDV high level.
    The allowance to administratively open a line that is isolated to 
comply with the actions (to permit draining and venting the SDV) is 
allowed by existing Required Action B.1. This allowance is being moved 
to apply to all ACTIONS based on the change proposed to Action A. This 
would allow any accumulated

[[Page 18296]]

water in the line to be drained, to preclude a reactor scram on SDV 
high level. A reactor scram is initiated if the SDV water level in the 
instrument volume exceeds a specified setpoint. The setpoint is chosen 
so that all control rods are inserted before the SDV has insufficient 
volume to accept a full scram. Regarding the isolation of the SDV, the 
remaining operable SDV vent and drain valve(s) would close 
automatically on a scram signal to isolate the lines. Or, if both 
valves in a line were inoperable (and opened under this provision), the 
reactor coolant release could be terminated by resetting the scram from 
the control room, or by manually closing the valves. Resetting the 
scram automatically closes the scram outlet valves, isolating the 
control rod drive discharge path to the SDV.
    Based on the low probability of an event occurring during the 
defined Completion Time associated with this condition, the subsequent 
isolation of the affected lines, and the ability to open and drain the 
lines before an automatic scram due to SDV high water level, the 
proposed change maintains the necessary safety features and is 
therefore acceptable. [Note-optional section if licensee provides 
markup of affected Bases pages: The change to TS [3.1.8] requires that 
the licensee revise the discussion in the associated Bases section. 
Although the licensee's application included possible wording for the 
revised Bases discussion for TS [3.1.8], the licensee will formally 
address the change to the Bases in accordance with [the Bases Control 
Program or its administrative procedure for revising Bases]. The staff 
does not believe that the Bases change will require prior NRC approval 
when evaluated against the criteria in 10 CFR 50.59, ``Changes, tests, 
and experiments,'' and, therefore, agrees that the revision of the 
Bases to TS [3.1.8] should be addressed separately from this amendment 
and should be included in a future update of the TS Bases in accordance 
with [the Bases Control Program or the licensee's administrative 
controls].

4.0 State Consultation

    In accordance with the Commission's regulations, the [ ] State 
official was notified of the proposed issuance of the amendments. 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. 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 consideration, and there has been no 
public comment on such finding ( FR ). Accordingly, the amendments meet 
the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(9). 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, based on 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.

Model No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    Description of Amendment Request: The proposed amendment revises TS 
[3.1.8, ``Scram Discharge Volume (SDV) Vent and Drain Valves,''] to 
allow a vent or drain line with one inoperable valve to be isolated 
instead of requiring the valve to be restored to Operable status within 
7 days.
    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.
    A change is proposed to allow the affected SDV vent and drain line 
to be isolated when there are one or more SDV vent or drain lines with 
one valve inoperable instead or requiring the valve to be restored to 
operable status within 7 days. With one SDV vent or drain valve 
inoperable in one or more lines, the isolation function would be 
maintained since the redundant valve in the affected line would perform 
its safety function of isolating the SDV. Following the completion of 
the required action, the isolation function is fulfilled since the 
associated line is isolated. The ability to vent and drain the SDVs is 
maintained and controlled through administrative controls. This 
requirement assures the reactor protection system is not adversely 
affected by the inoperable valves. With the safety functions of the 
valves being maintained, the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated are not significantly increased.
Criterion 2--The proposed change does not create the possibility of a 
new or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated.
    The proposed change does not involve a physical alteration of the 
plant (no new or different type of equipment will be installed) or a 
change in the methods governing normal plant operation. Thus, this 
change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of 
accident from any previously evaluated.
Criterion 3--The proposed change does not involve a significant 
reduction in the margin of safety.
    The proposed change ensures that the safety functions of the SDV 
vent and drain valves are fulfilled. The isolation function is 
maintained by redundant valves and by the required action to isolate 
the affected line. The ability to vent and drain the SDVs is maintained 
through administrative controls. In addition, the reactor protection 
system will prevent filling of an SDV to the point that it has 
insufficient volume to accept a full scram. Maintaining the safety 
functions related to isolation of the SDV and insertion of control rods 
ensures that the proposed change does not involve a significant 
reduction in the margin of safety.
    Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment 
request involves no significant hazards consideration.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of April 2003.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Herbert N. Berkow,
Director, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project 
Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 03-9196 Filed 4-14-03; 8:45 am]
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