[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 29 (Thursday, February 12, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7023-7025]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E4-264]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-298]


Nebraska Public Power District; Notice of Consideration of 
Issuance of Amendment to Facility Operating License, Proposed No 
Significant Hazards Consideration Determination, and Opportunity for a 
Hearing

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is 
considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. 
DPR-46 issued to Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD or the licensee) 
for operation of the Cooper Nuclear Station (CNS) located in Nemaha 
County, NE.
    The proposed amendment would revise the CNS Technical 
Specifications (TSs) by adding a temporary note to allow a one-time 
extension of a limited number of TS Surveillance Requirements (SRs). 
The temporary note states that the next required performance of the SR 
may be delayed until the current cycle refueling outage, but no later 
than February 2, 2005, and it expires upon startup from the refueling 
outage. With the exception of one SR, the period of additional time 
requested occurs during the next planned refueling outage.
    Before issuance of the proposed license amendment, the Commission 
will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as 
amended (the Act), and the Commission's regulations.
    The Commission has made a proposed determination that the amendment 
request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the 
Commission's regulations in title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR), Sec. 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in 
accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a 
significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or 
different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or 
(3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. As required 
by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue 
of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:

    1. Do the proposed changes involve a significant increase in the 
probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    The requested action is a one-time extension of the performance 
of a limited number of TS SRs. The performance of these 
surveillances, or the failure to perform these surveillances, is not 
a precursor to an accident. Performing these surveillances or 
failing to perform these surveillances does not affect the 
probability of an accident. Therefore, the proposed delay in 
performance of the SRs in this amendment request does not increase 
the probability of an accident previously evaluated.
    In general a delay in performing these surveillances does not 
result in a system being unable to perform its required function. In 
the case of this one-time extension request the relatively short 
period of additional time that the systems and components will be in 
service prior to the next performance of the SRs associated with 
this amendment request will not impact the ability of those systems 
to operate. Therefore, the systems required to mitigate accidents 
will remain capable of performing their required function. 
Additionally, the more frequent TS channel functional tests and 
surveillances performed on the systems associated with the requested 
surveillance extensions provide assurance that these systems are 
capable of performing their functions. No new failures are 
introduced as a result of this action and the consequences remain 
consistent with previously evaluated accidents. Therefore, the 
proposed delay in performance of the SRs in this amendment request 
does not involve a significant increase in the consequences of an 
accident.
    Based on the above NPPD concludes that the proposed changes do 
not involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated.
    2. Do the proposed changes create the possibility of a new or 
different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?

[[Page 7024]]

    The requested action is a one-time extension of the performance 
of a limited number of TS SRs. This action does not involve the 
addition of any new plant structure, system, or component (SSC), a 
modification in any existing SSC, nor a change in how any existing 
SSC is operated.
    Based on the above NPPD concludes that the proposed changes do 
not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident 
from any previously evaluated.
    3. Do the proposed changes involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety?
    The proposed change is a one-time extension of the performance 
of a limited number of TS SRs. Extending these SRs does not involve 
a modification of any TS Limiting Conditions for Operation. 
Extending these SRs does not involve a change to any limit on 
accident consequences specified in the license or regulations. 
Extending these SRs does not involve a change to how accidents are 
mitigated or a significant increase in the consequences of an 
accident. Extending these SRs does not involve a change in a 
methodology used to evaluate consequences of an accident. Extending 
these SRs does not involve a change in any operating procedure or 
process.
    The instrumentation and components exhibit reliable operation 
based on the three most recent performances of the 18-month SRs 
being successful, and the successful performance of related SRs with 
a shorter surveillance interval.
    Based on the minimal additional period of time that the systems 
and components will be in service before the surveillances are next 
performed, as well as the fact that surveillances are typically 
successful when performed, it is reasonable to conclude that the 
margins of safety associated with these SRs are not affected by the 
requested extension.
    Based on the above NPPD concludes that the proposed changes do 
not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

    The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee's analysis and, based on 
this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are 
satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the 
amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.
    The Commission is seeking public comments on this proposed 
determination. Any comments received within 30 days after the date of 
publication of this notice will be considered in making any final 
determination.
    Normally, the Commission will not issue the amendment until the 
expiration of the 30-day notice period. However, should circumstances 
change during the notice period such that failure to act in a timely 
way would result, for example, in derating or shutdown of the facility, 
the Commission may issue the license amendment before the expiration of 
the 30-day notice period, provided that its final determination is that 
the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration. The final 
determination will consider all public and State comments received. 
Should the Commission take this action, it will publish in the Federal 
Register a notice of issuance and provide for opportunity for a hearing 
after issuance. The Commission expects that the need to take this 
action will occur very infrequently.
    Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Chief, Rules and 
Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of 
Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of 
this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be delivered to 
Room 6D59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
Maryland, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. Documents 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 O1 F21, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland.
    The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to 
intervene is discussed below.
    By March 15, 2004, the licensee may file a request for a hearing 
with respect to issuance of the amendment to the subject facility 
operating license and any person whose interest may be affected by this 
proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding 
must file a written request for a hearing and a petition for leave to 
intervene. Requests for a hearing and a petition for leave to intervene 
shall be filed in accordance with the Commission's ``Rules of Practice 
for Domestic Licensing Proceedings'' in 10 CFR part 2. Interested 
persons should consult a current copy of 10 CFR 2.714, which is 
available at the Commission's Public Document Room, located at One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland, or electronically on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://
www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/. If there are problems in 
accessing the document, contact the Public Document Room Reference 
staff at 1-800-397-4209, (301) 415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. 
If a request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed 
by the above date, the Commission or an Atomic Safety and Licensing 
Board, designated by the Commission or by the Chairman of the Atomic 
Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the request and/or 
petition; and the Secretary or the designated Atomic Safety and 
Licensing Board will issue a notice of hearing or an appropriate order.
    As required by 10 CFR 2.714, a petition for leave to intervene 
shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in 
the proceeding, and how that interest may be affected by the results of 
the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons 
why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the 
following factors: (1) The nature of the petitioner's right under the 
Act to be made party to the proceeding; (2) the nature and extent of 
the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the 
proceeding; and (3) the possible effect of any order which may be 
entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest. The petition 
should also identify the specific aspect(s) of the subject matter of 
the proceeding as to which petitioner wishes to intervene. Any person 
who has filed a petition for leave to intervene or who has been 
admitted as a party may amend the petition without requesting leave of 
the Board up to 15 days prior to the first prehearing conference 
scheduled in the proceeding, but such an amended petition must satisfy 
the specificity requirements described above.
    Not later than 15 days prior to the first prehearing conference 
scheduled in the proceeding, a petitioner shall file a supplement to 
the petition to intervene which must include a list of the contentions 
which are sought to be litigated in the matter. Each contention must 
consist of a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be 
raised or controverted. In addition, the petitioner shall provide a 
brief explanation of the bases of the contention and a concise 
statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which support the 
contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in proving the 
contention at the hearing. The petitioner must also provide references 
to those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is 
aware and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those 
facts or expert opinion. Petitioner must provide sufficient information 
to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material 
issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be limited to matters within 
the scope of the amendment under consideration. The contention must be 
one which, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief. A 
petitioner who fails to file such a supplement which satisfies these 
requirements with respect to at least one contention will not be 
permitted to participate as a party.

[[Page 7025]]

    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, 
subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, 
and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the 
hearing, including the opportunity to present evidence and cross-
examine witnesses.
    If a hearing is requested, the Commission will make a final 
determination on the issue of no significant hazards consideration. The 
final determination will serve to decide when the hearing is held.
    If the final determination is that the amendment request involves 
no significant hazards consideration, the Commission may issue the 
amendment and make it immediately effective, notwithstanding the 
request for a hearing. Any hearing held would take place after issuance 
of the amendment.
    If the final determination is that the amendment request involves a 
significant hazards consideration, any hearing held would take place 
before the issuance of any amendment.
    A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must 
be filed with the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and 
Adjudications Staff, or may be delivered to the Commission's Public 
Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area 
O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, by the 
above date. Because of the continuing disruptions in delivery of mail 
to United States Government offices, it is requested that petitions for 
leave to intervene and requests for hearing be transmitted to the 
Secretary of the Commission either by means of facsimile transmission 
to 301-415-1101 or by e-mail to hearingdocket@nrc.gov. A copy of the 
petition for leave to intervene and request for hearing should also be 
sent to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and because of continuing 
disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it 
is requested that copies be transmitted either by means of facsimile 
transmission to 301-415-3725 or by e-mail to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov. A 
copy of the request for hearing and petition for leave to intervene 
should also be sent to Mr. John R. McPhail, Nebraska Public Power 
District, Post Office Box 499, Columbus, NE 68602-0499, attorney for 
the licensee.
    Nontimely filings of petitions for leave to intervene, amended 
petitions, supplemental petitions and/or requests for hearing will not 
be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the presiding 
officer or the presiding Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the 
petition and/or request should be granted based upon a balancing of the 
factors specified in 10 CFR 2.714(a)(1)(i)-(v) and 2.714(d).
    For further details with respect to this action, see the 
application for amendment dated January 30, 2004, which is available 
for public inspection at the Commission's PDR, located at One White 
Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first 
floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be 
accessible from the Agencywide 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.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of February, 2004.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michelle C. Honcharik,
Project Manager, Section I, Project Directorate IV, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
 [FR Doc. E4-264 Filed 2-11-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P