[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 56 (Tuesday, March 23, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13596-13598]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-6422]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-499]


STP Nuclear Operating Company, et al.; 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. 
NPF-80 issued to STP Nuclear Operating Company (the licensee) for 
operation of the South Texas Project (STP) Unit 2 located in Matagordo 
County, Texas.
    The proposed amendment would allow STP Unit 2 to change modes with 
standby diesel generator (SDG) 22 inoperable. This is a one-time change 
that would expire 14 days after entering Mode 4 on restart from the STP 
Unit 2 Spring 2004 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

[[Page 13597]]

amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under 
the Commission's regulations in Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), section 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. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    SDG 22 provides onsite electrical power to one of three trains 
of vital systems should offsite electrical power be interrupted. It 
is not an initiator to any accident previously evaluated. Therefore, 
allowing a mode change with SDG 22 out-of-service will not increase 
the probability of an accident previously evaluated.
    SDG 22 acts to mitigate the consequences of design-basis 
accidents that assume a loss of offsite power. For that purpose, 
redundant standby diesel generators are provided to protect against 
a single failure. During the Technical Specification allowed outage 
time, an operating unit is allowed by the Technical Specifications 
to remove one of the standby diesel generators from service, thereby 
losing this single-failure protection. This operating condition is 
considered acceptable. The consequences of a design-basis accident 
coincident with a failure of the redundant standby diesel generator 
during the extended allowed outage time are the same as those during 
the 14-day allowed outage time. Therefore, during the changes in 
mode there is no significant increase in consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated.
    Therefore, the proposed change will not involve [a] significant 
increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated.
    2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or 
different accident from any accident previously evaluated?
    There are no new failure modes or mechanisms created due to 
plant operation for changing mode with an inoperable standby diesel 
generator. The proposed change does not involve any modification in 
the operational limits or physical design of plant systems. There 
are no new accident precursors generated due to permitting mode 
changes with an inoperable standby diesel generator.
    Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility 
of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated.
    3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety?
    Plant mode changes with an [ ] inoperable [DG] have been shown 
to have a very small impact on plant risk using the criteria of RG 
[Regulatory Guide] 1.174 and RG 1.177. During the mode change, the 
electrical power system maintains the ability to perform its safety 
function of providing an available source of power to the Engineered 
Safety Feature (ESF) systems as assumed in the accident analyses. 
During the mode change with an inoperable standby diesel generator, 
risk impact will be managed through the application of 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.'' The results of the risk assessment will 
be considered in determining the acceptability of entering the mode 
or other specified condition in the Applicability, and any 
corresponding risk management actions.
    Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant 
reduction in a margin of safety as defined in the basis for any 
Technical Specification.

    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 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. The 
Commission may issue the license amendment before expiration of the 60-
day period provided that its final determination is that the amendment 
involves no significant hazards consideration. In addition, the 
Commission may issue the amendment prior to the expiration of the 30-
day comment period should circumstances change during the 30-day 
comment period such that failure to act in a timely way would result, 
for example in derating or shutdown of the facility. Should the 
Commission take action prior to the expiration of either the comment 
period or the notice period, it will publish in the Federal Register a 
notice of issuance. Should the Commission make a final No Significant 
Hazards Consideration Determination, any hearing will take place 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.
    Within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice, 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 2.309, which is available 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/
doc-collections/cfr/. If a request for a hearing or petition for leave 
to intervene is filed by the above date, the Commission or a presiding 
officer designated by the Commission or by the Chief Administrative 
Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, will rule on the 
request and/or petition; and the Secretary or the Chief Administrative 
Judge of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice of a 
hearing or an appropriate order.
    As required by 10 CFR 2.309, 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

[[Page 13598]]

following general requirements: (1) The name, address and telephone 
number of the requestor or petitioner; (2) the nature of the 
requestor's/petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the 
proceeding; (3) the nature and extent of the requestor's/petitioner's 
property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (4) the 
possible effect of any decision or order which may be entered in the 
proceeding on the requestor's/petitioner's interest. The petition must 
also identify the specific contentions which the petitioner/requestor 
seeks to have litigated at the proceeding.
    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue 
of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the 
petitioner/requestor shall provide a brief explanation of the bases for 
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/requestor 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. 
The petition must include 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/requestor 
who fails to satisfy these requirements with respect to at least one 
contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.
    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.
    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.
    Nontimely requests and or/petitions and contentions will not be 
entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding 
officer of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition, 
request and/or the contentions should be granted based on a balancing 
of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(a)(1)(i)-(viii).
    A request for a hearing or a petition for leave to intervene must 
be filed by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the 
Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications 
Staff; (2) courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: 
Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and 
Adjudications Staff; (3) e-mail addressed to the Office of the 
Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV; 
or (4) facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: 
Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff at (301) 415-1101, verification 
number is (301) 415-1966. A copy of the request for hearing and 
petition for leave to intervene should also be sent to the Office of 
the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, and 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 A. H. Gutterman, Esq., 
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 
20004, the attorney for the licensee.
    For further details with respect to this action, see the 
application for amendment dated March 4, 2004, which is available for 
public inspection at the Commission's PDR, located at One White Flint 
North, File Public 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 17th day of March 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michael K. Webb,
Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate IV, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-6422 Filed 3-22-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P