[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 83 (Thursday, April 29, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23542-23546]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-9691]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice for Opportunity to Comment on Model Safety Evaluation on 
Technical Specification Improvement to Eliminate Requirements to 
Provide Monthly Operating Reports and Occupational Radiation Exposure 
Reports Using the Consolidated Line Item Improvement Process

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Request for Comment.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the staff of the Nuclear 
Regulatory

[[Page 23543]]

Commission (NRC) has prepared a model safety evaluation (SE) relating 
to the elimination of requirements for licensees to provide monthly 
operating reports (MORs) and occupational radiation exposure reports 
(ORERs). The requirements to submit MORs and ORERs are imposed on 
licensees through technical specifications. The NRC staff has also 
prepared a model no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) 
determination relating to this matter. The purpose of these models is 
to permit the NRC to efficiently process amendments that propose to 
remove the requirements for these reports. Licensees of nuclear power 
reactors to which the models apply could request amendments confirming 
the applicability of the SE and NSHC determination to their reactors 
and providing the requested plant-specific verifications and 
commitments. The NRC staff is requesting comments on the model SE and 
model NSHC determination prior to announcing their availability for 
referencing in license amendment applications.

DATES: The comment period expires May 28, 2004. Comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the 
Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received 
on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted either electronically or via U.S. 
mail.
    Submit written comments to: Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, 
Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mail 
Stop T-6-D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001.
    Hand deliver comments to 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 
between 7:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. on Federal workdays.
    Copies of comments received may be examined at the NRC's Public 
Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike 
(first floor), Rockville, Maryland.
    Comments may be submitted by electronic mail to CLIIP@nrc.gov.

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 Specification 
Changes for Power Reactors,'' was issued on March 20, 2000. The 
consolidated line item improvement process (CLIIP) is intended to 
improve the efficiency and transparency 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. This notice is 
soliciting comment on a proposed change to the STS that removes 
requirements for providing MORs and ORERs. 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 to 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. Each amendment application made in response to 
the notice of availability would be processed and noticed in accordance 
with applicable rules and NRC procedures.
    This notice for comment involves the elimination of requirements in 
the administrative controls in technical specifications for licensees 
to submit selected reports. The removal of the requirements to submit 
MORs and ORERs was proposed by the Technical Specification Task Force 
(TSTF) in Revision 1 to STS Change Traveler TSTF-369, accessible 
electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System's (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet (ADAMS 
Accession Number ML040050211) 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 Public Document Room Reference staff by telephone at 1-
800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

Applicability

    This proposed change to remove requirements for MORs and ORERs is 
applicable to all nuclear power reactors.
    To efficiently process incoming license amendment applications, the 
staff requests each licensee applying for the changes addressed by 
TSTF-369 using the CLIIP to address the following plant-specific 
verifications and regulatory commitments. The CLIIP does not prevent 
licensees from requesting an alternative approach or proposing the 
changes without the requested verifications and regulatory commitments. 
Licensees choosing to request an approach different than that described 
in this notice should submit applications with appropriate plant-
specific justifications for the proposed changes and an analysis of the 
issue of no significant hazards consideration. Variations from the 
approach recommended in this notice may require additional review by 
the NRC staff and may increase the time and resources needed for the 
review.
    Each licensee requesting approval to revise their technical 
specifications using the CLIIP will make a regulatory commitment to 
provide to the NRC the information defined in Generic Letter 97-02, 
``Revised Contents of the Monthly Operating Report,'' by the 21st of 
the month following the end of each calendar quarter. This coincides 
with the schedule for the submission of performance indicator data 
associated with the Reactor Oversight Process. The regulatory 
commitment will be based on use of an industry database (e.g., the 
industry's Consolidated Data Entry (CDE) program, currently being 
developed and maintained by the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations).

Public Notices

    This notice requests comments from interested members of the public 
within 30 days of the date of publication in the Federal Register. 
Following the staff's evaluation of comments received as a result of 
this notice, the staff may reconsider the proposed change or may 
proceed with announcing the availability of the change in a subsequent 
notice (perhaps with some changes to the SE or proposed NSHC 
determination as a result of public comments). If the staff announces 
the availability of the change, licensees wishing to adopt the change 
will submit an application in accordance with applicable rules and 
other regulatory requirements. The staff will in turn issue for each 
application a notice of proposed action, which includes a proposed NSHC 
determination. A notice of issuance of an amendment of operating 
license will also be issued to announce the removal of the reporting 
requirements for each plant that applies for and receives the requested 
change.

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Proposed Safety Evaluation

    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, Consolidated Line Item Improvement, Technical Specification 
Task Force (TSTF) Change Traveler TSTF-369, Elimination of Requirements 
for Monthly Operating Reports and Occupational Radiation Exposure 
Reports.

1.0 Introduction

    By application dated [DATE], [LICENSEE NAME] (the licensee), 
submitted a request for changes to the [PLANT NAME], Technical 
Specifications (TSs) (ADAMS Accession No. MLxxx). The requested change 
would delete TS [5.6.1], ``Occupational Radiation Exposure Report,'' 
and TS [5.6.4], ``Monthly Operating Reports,'' as described in the 
Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register on [DATE ] (xx 
FR yyyyy).

2.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    Section 182a. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, (the 
``Act'') requires applicants for nuclear power plant operating licenses 
to state TS to be included as part of the license. The Commission's 
regulatory requirements related to the content of TSs are set forth in 
10 CFR 50.36, ``Technical specifications.'' The regulation requires 
that TSs include items in five specific categories, including (1) 
safety limits, limiting safety system settings, and limiting control 
settings; (2) limiting conditions for operation (LCOs); (3) 
surveillance requirements; (4) design features; and (5) administrative 
controls. However, the regulation does not specify the particular 
requirements to be included in a plant's TSs.
    The Commission has provided guidance for the content of TSs in its 
``Final Policy Statement on Technical Specification Improvements for 
Nuclear Power Reactors' (58 FR 39132, published July 22, 1993), in 
which the Commission indicated that compliance with the Final Policy 
Statement satisfies Section 182a. of the Act. The Final Policy 
Statement identified four criteria to be used in determining whether a 
particular item should be addressed in the TSs as an LCO. The criteria 
were subsequently incorporated into 10 CFR 50.36 (60 FR 36593, 
published July 19, 1995). While the criteria specifically apply to 
LCOs, the Commission indicated that the intent of these criteria may be 
used to identify the optimum set of administrative controls in TSs. 
Addressing administrative controls, 10 CFR 50.36 states that they are 
``the provisions relating to organization and management, procedures, 
recordkeeping, review and audit, and reporting necessary to assure 
operation of the facility in a safe manner.'' The specific content of 
the administrative controls section of the TS is, therefore, related to 
those programs and reports that the Commission deems essential for the 
safe operation of the facility, which are not adequately covered by 
regulations or other regulatory requirements. Accordingly, the staff 
may determine that specific requirements, such as those associated with 
this change, may be removed from the administrative controls in the TS 
if they are not explicitly required by 10 CFR 50.36(c)(5) and are not 
otherwise necessary to obviate the possibility of an abnormal situation 
or event giving rise to an immediate threat to the public health and 
safety.
    The impetus for the monthly operating report (MOR) came from the 
1973-1974 oil embargo. Regulatory Guide 1.16, Revision 4, ``Reporting 
of Operating Information--Appendix A Technical Specifications,'' 
published for comment in August 1975, identifies operating statistics 
and shutdown experience information that was desired in the operating 
report at that time. In the mid-1990s, the NRC staff assessed the 
information that is submitted in the MOR and determined that while some 
of the information was no longer used by the staff, the MOR was the 
only source of some data used in the NRC Performance Indicator (PI) 
Program of that time period (see NRC Generic Letter (GL) 97-02, 
``Revised Contents of the Monthly Operating Report''). Beginning in the 
late 1990s, the NRC developed and implemented a major revision to its 
assessment, inspection, and enforcement processes through its Reactor 
Oversight Process (ROP). The ROP uses both plant-level PIs and 
inspections performed by NRC personnel. In conjunction with the 
development of the ROP, the NRC developed the Industry Trends Program 
(ITP). The ITP provides the NRC a means to assess overall industry 
performance using industry level indicators and to report on industry 
trends to various stakeholders (e.g., Congress). Information from the 
ITP is used to assess the NRC's performance related to its goal of 
having ``no statistically significant adverse industry trends in safety 
performance.'' The ITP uses some of the same PIs as the PI Program from 
the mid-1990s and, therefore, the NRC has a continuing use for the data 
provided in MORs. The NRC also uses some data from the MORs to support 
the evaluation of operating experience, licensee event reports, and 
other assessments performed by the staff and its contractors.
    Licensees are required by TSs to submit annual occupational 
radiation exposure reports (ORERs) to the NRC. The reports, developed 
in the mid-1970s, supplement the reporting requirements currently 
defined in 10 CFR 20.2206, ``Reports of individual monitoring,'' by 
providing a tabulation of data by work areas and job functions. The NRC 
included data from the ORERs in its annual publication of NUREG-0713, 
``Occupational Radiation Exposure at Commercial Nuclear Power Reactors 
and Other Facilities,'' through the year 1997, but no longer includes 
the data in that or other reports.

3.0 Technical Evaluation

3.1 Monthly Operating Reports
    As previously mentioned, the administrative requirements in TSs are 
reserved for ``the provisions relating to organization and management, 
procedures, recordkeeping, review and audit, and reporting necessary to 
assure operation of the facility in a safe manner.'' The current use of 
the information from the MORs is not related to reporting on or 
confirming the safe operation of specific nuclear power plants. 
Instead, the data is used by the NRC to assess and communicate with 
stakeholders regarding the overall performance of the nuclear industry. 
Data related to PIs for specific plants are reported to the NRC as part 
of the ROP. The staff has determined that the MORs do not meet the 
criteria defined for requirements to be included in the administrative 
section of TSs and the reporting requirement may, therefore, be 
removed.
    Although the MORs do not satisfy the criteria for inclusion in TSs, 
the NRC staff nevertheless has a continuing need to receive the data in 
order to compile its reports on industry trends and to support other 
evaluations of operating experience. In addition, information such as 
plant capacity factors that are reported in the MORs are useful to the 
staff and are frequently asked for by agency stakeholders.
    The NRC staff interacted with licensees, industry organizations, 
and other stakeholders during the development of the Consolidated Data 
Entry (CDE) program (currently being developed and maintained by the 
Institute of Nuclear Power Operation), regarding the use of an industry 
database like CDE to provide data currently obtained from MORs. These 
discussions also involved the related Revision 1 to TSTF-369, ``Removal 
of

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Monthly Operating Report and Occupational Radiation Exposure Report.'' 
As described in Section 4 of this safety evaluation, the licensee is 
making a regulatory commitment to continue to provide the data 
identified in GL 97-02, following the removal of the TS requirement to 
submit MORs, and will, therefore, continue to meet the needs of the NRC 
staff for the ITP and other evaluations. The use of an industry 
database such as CDE is more efficient and cost-effective for both the 
NRC and licensees than would be having the NRC staff obtain the needed 
information from other means currently available. Should a licensee 
fail to satisfy the regulatory commitment to voluntarily provide the 
information, the NRC could obtain the information through its 
inspection program (similar to the process described in NRC Inspection 
Procedure 71150, ``Discrepant or Unreported Performance Indicator 
Data'') with the cost passed on to the licensee.
    The only significant changes resulting from the adoption of TSTF-
369 are that the information will be provided quarterly instead of 
monthly (although the operating data will still be divided by month) 
and the form of the reporting will be from a consolidated database such 
as CDE instead of in correspondence from individual licensees. The 
change of reporting frequency to quarterly has some advantages for both 
the staff and licensees, since it will coincide with the collection and 
submission of the ROP PI data. In terms of the specific method used to 
transmit the data to the NRC, the licensee has committed (see Section 
4.0) to provide data identified in GL 97-02 on a quarterly basis. The 
staff believes that the most efficient process for licensees and the 
NRC will be for all licensees to use a system such as CDE. Such systems 
have advantages in terms of improved data entry, data checking, and 
data verification and validation. The NRC will recognize efficiency 
gains by having the data from all plants reported using the same 
computer software and format. Although the data may be transmitted to 
the NRC from an industry organization maintaining a database such as 
CDE, the licensee provides the data for the system and remains 
responsible for the accuracy of the data submitted to the NRC for its 
plant(s). The public will continue to have access to the data through 
official agency records accessible on the Agencywide Documents Access 
and Management System (ADAMS).
3.2 Occupational Radiation Exposure Reports
    The information that the NRC staff needs regarding occupational 
doses is provided by licensees in the reports required under 10 CFR 
Part 20. The data from the Part 20 reports are sufficient to support 
the NRC trending programs, radiation related studies, and preparation 
of reports such as NUREG-0713. Accordingly, the NRC's limited use of 
the ORER submitted pursuant to the existing TS requirements no longer 
warrants the regulatory burden imposed on licensees. Therefore, the 
staff finds it acceptable that TS [5.6.1] is being deleted and the ORER 
will no longer be submitted by the licensee.

    [Note: For stations with both boiling and pressurized water 
reactors (i.e., Salem/Hope Creek and Millstone) and for stations 
with both operating and shutdown reactors (e.g., Dresden, Indian 
Point, Millstone, San Onofre, Three Mile Island), the NRC staff uses 
information provided in the ORERs to apportion the doses reported 
under 10 CFR Part 20 to the different categories of reactors at a 
single site. The licensees for facilities with different reactor 
types at a single site and those having both operating and shutdown 
reactors at a single site will include in their applications a 
regulatory commitment to provide information to the NRC annually 
(e.g., with their annual submittal in accordance with 10 CFR 
20.2206) to support the apportionment of the station doses to each 
type of reactor and to differentiate between operating and shutdown 
units. The data will provide the summary distribution of annual 
whole body doses as presented in Appendix B of NUREG-0713 for each 
reactor type and for operating and shutdown units.]

    [The licensee's application included editorial and formatting 
changes such as the renumbering of TS sections to reflect the deletion 
of the sections related to MORs and ORERs. The NRC staff has reviewed 
these changes and found that they do not revise substantive technical 
or administrative requirements, and are acceptable.]

4.0 Verifications and Commitments

    In order to efficiently process incoming license amendment 
applications, the staff requested each licensee requesting the changes 
addressed by TSTF-369 using the CLIIP to address the following plant-
specific regulatory commitment.

4.1 Each licensee should make a regulatory commitment to provide to the 
NRC using an industry database the operating data (for each calender 
month) that is described in Generic Letter 97-02 ``Revised Contents of 
the Monthly Operating Report,'' by the 21st of the month following the 
end of each calendar quarter. This coincides with the schedule for the 
submission of performance indicator data associated with the Reactor 
Oversight Process. The regulatory commitment will be based on use of an 
industry database (e.g., the industry's Consolidated Data Entry (CDE) 
program, currently being developed and maintained by the Institute of 
Nuclear Power Operations).
    The licensee has made a regulatory commitment to provide the 
requested data via an industry database (i.e., the CDE) by the 21st of 
the month (coinciding with the schedule for the submission of 
performance indicator data associated with the Reactor Oversight 
Process) following each calendar quarter.

[4.2 Each licensee [(operating different reactor types at a single 
site) or (possessing both operating and shutdown reactors at a single 
site)] will include in its application a regulatory commitment to 
provide information to the NRC annually (e.g., with its annual 
submittal in accordance with 10 CFR 20.2206) to support the 
apportionment of station doses [(to each type of reactor) or (to 
differentiate between operating and shutdown units)]. The data will 
provide the summary distribution of annual whole body doses as 
presented in Appendix B of NUREG-0713 for each reactor type and for 
operating and shutdown units.
    The licensee has made a regulatory commitment to provide 
information to the NRC annually to support the apportionment of the 
station doses to each type of reactor and to differentiate between 
operating and shutdown units.] The NRC staff finds that reasonable 
controls for the implementation and for subsequent evaluation of 
proposed changes pertaining to the above regulatory commitment(s) can 
be provided by the licensee's administrative processes, including its 
commitment management program. The NRC staff has agreed that NEI 99-04, 
Revision 0, ``Guidelines for Managing NRC Commitment Changes,'' 
provides reasonable guidance for the control of regulatory commitments 
made to the NRC staff (see Regulatory Issue Summary 2000-17, ``Managing 
Regulatory Commitments Made by Power Reactor Licensees to the NRC 
Staff,'' dated September 21, 2000). The staff notes that this amendment 
establishes a voluntary reporting system for the operating data that is 
similar to

[[Page 23546]]

the system established for the ROP PI program.

5.0 State Consultation

    In accordance with the Commission's regulations, the [STATE] 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].

6.0 Environmental Consideration

    The amendment relates to changes in recordkeeping, reporting, or 
administrative procedures or requirements. The Commission has 
previously issued a proposed finding that the amendment involves no 
significant hazards consideration, and there has been no public comment 
on such finding (FR citation and date). Accordingly, the amendment 
meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 
10 CFR 51.22(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 amendment.

7.0 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.

Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    Description of amendment request: The requested change would delete 
Technical Specification (TS) [5.6.1], ``Occupational Radiation Exposure 
Report,'' and [5.6.4], ``Monthly Operating Reports,'' as described in 
the Notice of Availability published in the Federal Register on [DATE] 
(xx FR yyyyy).
    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:
    1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the 
probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change eliminates the Technical Specifications 
reporting requirements to provide a monthly operating report of 
shutdown experience and operating statistics if the equivalent data is 
submitted using an industry electronic database. It also eliminates the 
Technical Specification reporting requirement for an annual 
occupational radiation exposure report, which provides information 
beyond that specified in NRC regulations. The proposed change involves 
no changes to plant systems or accident analyses. As such, the change 
is administrative in nature and does not affect initiators of analyzed 
events or assumed mitigation of accidents or transients. Therefore, the 
proposed change does 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 kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed change does not involve a physical alteration of the 
plant, add any new equipment, or require any existing equipment to be 
operated in a manner different from the present design. 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?
    Response: No.
    This is an administrative change to reporting requirements of plant 
operating information and occupational radiation exposure data, and has 
no effect on plant equipment, operating practices or safety analyses 
assumptions. For these reasons, the proposed change does not involve a 
significant reduction in the margin of safety.
    Based upon the reasoning presented above, requested change does not 
involve a significant hazards consideration.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of April 2004.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert A. Gramm,
Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project 
Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-9691 Filed 4-28-04; 8:45 am]
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