[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 65 (Monday, April 5, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17718-17720]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-7554]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-498 and 50-499]


STP Nuclear Operating Company 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 Nos. 
NPF-76 and NPF-80, issued to STP Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC or 
the licensee), for operation of the South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2, 
located in Matagorda County, Texas.
    The proposed amendment would change the Technical Specification 
(TS) Surveillance Requirement (SR) 4.7.7.e.3 to add a footnote that 
will allow an evaluation for points that do not meet the \1/8\ inch 
Water Gauge criterion of the current TS. The footnote would state that 
``Measured points at a positive pressure but less than \1/8\ inch Water 
Gauge are acceptable if an evaluation, considering appropriate 
compensatory action, demonstrates that the condition meets the 
requirements of GDC [General Design Criterion]-19. The provisions of 
this note expire at 0800 on September 19, 2005.''
    During testing, STPNOC identified points on the boundary of the 
control room envelope that do not meet the \1/8\ inch Water Gauge 
requirement of SR 4.7.7.e.3. On March 17, 2004, STPNOC requested and 
received from the NRC staff enforcement discretion from taking the TS 
actions required if SR 4.7.7.e.3 is not met. Based on information 
submitted as part of the enforcement discretion process, STPNOC 
committed to submit a proposed change to the TS.
    Exigent approval of the proposed license amendments is needed in 
accordance with the enforcement discretion granted on March 17, 2004. 
Therefore, STPNOC has requested approval of this license amendment 
application on an exigent basis and issuance of the amendment as 
described in the terms of the enforcement discretion.
    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.
    Pursuant to 50.91(a)(6) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) for amendments to be granted under exigent 
circumstances, the NRC staff must determine that the amendment request 
involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the Commission's 
regulations in 10 CFR 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

[[Page 17719]]

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?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change does not involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of a previously evaluated accident. 
The Control Room ventilation system has no significant role as a 
potential accident initiator. The Control Room ventilation system 
continues to remain functional and provides positive pressure with 
respect to adjacent areas. The test results demonstrate that the 
operator dose limits of General Design Criterion 19 of 10 CFR 50, 
Appendix A are met.
    2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or 
different accident from any accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or 
different accident from any previously evaluated. No new accident 
precursors will be created by adding a provision to allow 
compensatory action to mitigate the margin lost if the control room 
envelope is degraded. The Control Room ventilation system continues 
to remain functional and provides positive pressure with respect to 
adjacent areas and to limit inleakage so that the operator dose 
limits of General Design Criterion 19 of 10 CFR 50, Appendix A are 
met.
    3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in 
the margin of safety. Three trains of Control Room ventilation 
remain functional and continue to provide positive pressure with 
respect to adjacent plant areas. The proposed condition of the plant 
meets the operator dose limits of General Design Criterion 19 of 10 
CFR 50, Appendix A.

    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 14 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 14-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 14-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. 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 
(PDR), located at One White Flint North, 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 
01F21, 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/crf/. 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 
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/requestor is aware and on 
which the petitioner/requestor intends to rely to establish those facts 
or expert opinion. The petitioner/requestor must provide sufficient 
information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on 
a material issue of law or fact.\1\ 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/
requestor 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.
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    \1\ To the extent that the applications contain attachments and 
supporting documents that are not publically available because they 
are asserted to contain safeguards or proprietary information, 
petitioners desiring access to this information should contact 
applicant's counsel and discuss the need for a protective order.
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    Each contention shall be given a separate numeric or alpha 
designation

[[Page 17720]]

within one of the following groups, and all like subject-matters shall 
be grouped together.
    1. Technical--primarily concerns issues relating to technical and/
or health and safety matters discussed or referenced in the applicant's 
safety analysis for the application (including issues related to 
emergency planning and physical security to the extent such matters are 
discussed or referenced in the application).
    2. Environmental--primarily concerns issues relating to matters 
discussed or referenced in the Environmental Report for the 
application.
    3. Miscellaneous--does not fall into one of the categories outlined 
above.
    As specified in 10 CFR 2.309, if two or more requestors/petitioners 
seek to co-sponsor a contention or propose substantially the same 
contention, the requestors/petitioners will be required to jointly 
designate a single representative who shall have the authority to act 
for the requestors/petitioners with respect to that contention within 
ten (10) days after admission of such contention.
    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.
    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: 
Rulemaking 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 email 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, Morgan, 
Lewis & Bockius, 1111 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004, 
attorney for the licensee.
    Nontimely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be 
entertained absent a determination by the Commission or the presiding 
officer or 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).
    For further details with respect to this action, see the 
application for amendment dated March 18, 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 
electronically from the 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 30th 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. 04-7554 Filed 4-2-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P