[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 99 (Friday, May 21, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29335-29337]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-11508]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-255]


Nuclear Management Company, LLC, 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-20 issued to Nuclear Management Company, LLC, (the licensee) for 
operation of the Palisades Plant located in Van Buren County, Michigan.
    The proposed amendment would replace existing License condition 
2.C.(5) and its corresponding table, with a new license condition 
stating that performance of Technical Specification surveillance 
requirement 3.1.4.3 is not required for control rod drive 19 only, 
until the next refueling outage, but no later than September 30, 2004.
    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), 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:

    Nuclear Management Company, LLC (NMC) has evaluated whether or 
not a significant hazards consideration is involved with the 
proposed amendment by focusing on the three standards set forth in 
10 CFR 50.92, ``Issuance of Amendment,'' as discussed below:
    1. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant increase in 
the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed license amendment deletes outdated information from 
the operating license and adds a license condition to delay testing 
of one control rod from the Palisades Technical Specification 
surveillance requirement for partial movement every 92 days. The 
proposed License Condition does not affect or create any accident 
initiators or precursors. As such, the proposed license condition 
does not increase the probability of an accident.
    The proposed license amendment does not significantly increase 
the consequences of an accident. The safety analyses assume full-
length control rod insertion, except the most reactive rod, upon 
reactor trip. The proposed surveillance requirement (SR) extension 
request does not increase the allowed outage time of any required 
operable structures, systems, or components (SSCs), and does not 
reduce the requirement to know that the deferred SR could be met at 
all times. Deferral of testing does not, by itself, increase the 
potential that the testing would not be met. The ability to move a 
full-length control rod by its drive mechanism is not an initial 
assumption used in the safety analyses. Control rod drop times are 
verified during performance of a surveillance that is normally 
performed during refueling outages. NMC has determined that control 
rod drive (CRD) seal leakage does not increase the likelihood of an 
untrippable control rod. Therefore, the assumptions of the safety 
analyses will be maintained, and the consequences of an accident 
will not be increased significantly.
    Deleting the existing license condition 2.C.(5) and Table 
2.C.(5) is administrative, since the provision has expired, and has 
no impact on plant operation or equipment.
    Therefore, operation of the facility in accordance with the 
proposed License Condition would not involve a significant increase 
in the probability or consequences of an accident previously 
evaluated.
    2. Does the proposed amendment create the possibility of a new 
or different kind of accident from any accident previously 
evaluated?
    Response: No.
    The proposed license condition does not involve a physical 
alteration of any SSC or change the way any SSC is operated. The 
proposed license condition does not involve operation of any 
required SSCs in a manner or configuration different from those 
previously recognized or evaluated. No new failure mechanisms will 
be introduced by the SR deferral being requested.
    Deleting the existing license condition 2.C.(5) and Table 
2.C.(5) is administrative, since the provision has expired, and has 
no impact on plant operation or equipment.
    Therefore, the proposed amendment does not create the 
possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident 
previously evaluated.
    3. Does the proposed amendment involve a significant reduction 
in a margin of safety?
    Response: No.
    The safety analyses assume full-length control rod insertion, 
except the most reactive rod, upon reactor trip. The proposed 
License Condition does not, by itself, introduce a failure 
mechanism. Past performance of the SR in question has demonstrated 
reliability in passing the deferred SR. The proposed license 
condition

[[Page 29336]]

does not involve any physical changes to the plant or manner in 
which the plant is operated. The ability to move a full-length 
control rod by its drive mechanism is not an initial assumption used 
in the safety analyses. Control rod drop times are verified during 
performance of a surveillance that is normally performed during 
refueling outages. NMC has determined that CRD seal leakage does not 
increase the likelihood of an untrippable control rod.
    Therefore, the assumptions of the safety analyses will be 
maintained, and the margin of safety is not reduced significantly.
    Deleting the existing license condition 2.C.(5) and Table 
2.C.(5) is administrative, since the provision has expired, and has 
no impact on plant operation or equipment.
    Therefore, the proposed amendment would 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 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 
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/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 
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 requestors/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

[[Page 29337]]

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 Jonathan Rogoff, Esquire, 
Vice President, Counsel & Secretary Nuclear Management Company, LLC, 
700 First Street, Hudson, WI 54016, attorney for the licensee.
    For further details with respect to this action, see the 
application for amendment dated May 10, 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 14th day of May 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John Stang,
Project Manager, Section I, Project Directorate III, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-11508 Filed 5-20-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P