[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 162 (Monday, August 23, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51864-51867]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-19203]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Availability of Model Application Concerning Technical 
Specifications Improvement Regarding Revision to the Control Rod Scram 
Time Testing Frequency in STS 3.1.4, ``Control Rod Scram Times'' for 
General Electric Boiling Water Reactors Using the Consolidated Line 
Item Improvement Process

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the staff of the Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) has prepared a model safety evaluation 
(SE), a model no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) 
determination, and a model license amendment application relating to a 
change in the Technical Specifications (TS) to extend the interval for 
the surveillance requirement (SR) in Standard Technical Specifications 
(STS) 3.1.4, ``Control Rod Scram Times.'' The purpose of these models 
is to permit the NRC to efficiently process amendments that propose to 
incorporate this change into plant-specific TS. Licensees of nuclear 
power reactors to which the models apply may request amendments 
utilizing the model application.

DATES: The NRC staff issued a Federal Register Notice (69 FR 30339) on 
May 27, 2004, which proposed a model SE and a model NSHC determination 
related to changing plant TS to extend the control rod scram time 
testing interval from ``120 days cumulative operation in MODE 1'' to 
``200 days cumulative operation in MODE 1.'' The

[[Page 51865]]

NRC staff hereby announces that the enclosed model SE and NSHC 
determination may be referenced in plant-specific applications. The NRC 
staff has posted a model application on the NRC web site to assist 
licensees in using the consolidated line item improvement process 
(CLIIP) to incorporate this change. The NRC staff can most efficiently 
consider applications based upon the model application if the 
application is submitted within a year of this Federal Register Notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bhalchandra Vaidya, 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) 415-3308, or William Reckley at (301) 415-1323.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Regulatory Issue Summary 2000-06, ``Consolidated Line Item 
Improvement Process for Adopting Standard Technical Specifications 
Changes for Power Reactors,'' was issued on March 20, 2000. The CLIIP 
is intended to improve the efficiency of NRC licensing processes. This 
is accomplished by processing proposed changes to the 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. 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 for 
proposed adoption by licensees. Those licensees opting to apply for the 
subject change to TS 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 will be 
processed and noticed in accordance with applicable rules and NRC 
procedures.
    This notice involves changes to plant TS to extend the control rod 
scram time testing interval from ``120 days cumulative operation in 
MODE 1'' to ``200 days cumulative operation in MODE 1.'' This proposed 
change was proposed for incorporation into the STS by the industry's TS 
Task Force as TSTF-460, ``Control Rod Scram Time Testing Frequency.''

Applicability

    This proposed change to extend the surveillance interval for 
control rod scram time testing is applicable to boiling water reactors 
(BWRs).
    The CLIIP does not prevent licensees from requesting an alternative 
approach or proposing the changes without referencing the model SE and 
the NSHC. Variations from the approach recommended in this notice may, 
however, require additional review by the NRC staff and may increase 
the time and resources needed for the review.

Public Notices

    In a notice in the Federal Register dated May 27, 2004 (69 FR 
30339), the NRC staff requested comment on the use of the CLIIP for 
proposed changes to extend the control rod scram time testing interval 
as proposed in TSTF-460.
    TSTF-460, as well as the NRC staff's SE and model application, may 
be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document 
Room, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first 
floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records are accessible 
electronically from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC Web 
site, (the Electronic Reading Room).
    The NRC staff received no formal comments from the request 
published in the Federal Register. Several editorial changes were 
identified to the staff and are reflected in the model safety 
evaluation included in this notice.
    To efficiently process the incoming license amendment applications, 
the NRC staff requests each licensee applying for the changes addressed 
by TSTF-460 using the CLIIP to address the plant-specific information 
identified in the model SE. Namely, each licensee submitting amendments 
to extend the surveillance frequency should demonstrate the reliability 
of the control rod insertion system based on historical control rod 
scram time test data, and by the more restrictive acceptance criterion 
for the number of slow rods allowed during at-power surveillance 
testing.

Model Safety Evaluation

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, Consolidated Line Item Improvement

Technical Specification Task Force (TSTF) Change Traveler TSTF-460, 
``Control Rod Scram Time Testing Frequency''

1.0 Introduction

    By application dated [Date], [Licensee] (the licensee) requested 
changes to the Technical Specifications (TS) for [facility]. The 
proposed changes would revise TS testing frequency for the surveillance 
requirement (SR) in TS 3.1.4, ``Control Rod Scram Times.''
    These changes are based on TS Task Force (TSTF) change traveler 
TSTF-460 (Revision 0) that has been approved generically for the 
boiling water reactor (BWR) Standard TS, NUREG-1433 (BWR/4) and NUREG-
1434 (BWR/6) by revising the frequency of SR 3.1.4.2, control rod scram 
time testing, from ``120 days cumulative operation in MODE 1'' to ``200 
days cumulative operation in MODE 1.'' A notice announcing the 
availability of this proposed TS change using the consolidated line 
item improvement process was published in the Federal Register on 
[DATE] (XX FR XXXXXX).

2.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    The TS governing the control rod scram time surveillance is 
intended to assure proper function of control rod insertion. Following 
each refueling outage, all control rod scram times are verified. In 
addition, periodically during power operation, a representative sample 
of control rods is selected to be inserted to verify the insertion 
speed. A representative sample is defined as a sample containing at 
least 10 percent of the total number of control rods. The current TS 
stipulates that no more than 20 percent of the control rods in this 
representative sample can be ``slow'' during the post outage testing. 
With more than 20 percent of the sample declared to be ``slow'' per the 
criteria in Table 3.1.4-1, additional control rods are tested until 
this 20 percent criterion (e.g., 20 percent of the entire sample size) 
is satisfied, or until the total number of ``slow'' control rods 
(throughout the core, from all surveillances) exceeds the Limiting 
Condition for Operation limit. For planned testing, the control rods 
selected for the sample should be different for each test. The 
acceptance criterion for at-power surveillance testing has been 
redefined from 20 percent to 7.5 percent. This tightened acceptance 
criterion for at-power surveillance aligns with the TS 3.1.4 
requirement for the total control rods allowed to have scram times 
exceeding the specified limit.
    The proposed change does not affect any current operability 
requirements and the test frequency being revised is not specified in 
regulations. As a result, no regulatory requirements or criteria are 
affected.

[[Page 51866]]

3.0 Technical Evaluation

3.1 Statement of Proposed Changes

    NUREG-1433, SR 3.1.4.2 states, ``Verify, for a representative 
sample, each tested control rod scram time is within the limits of 
Table 3.1.4-1 with reactor steam dome pressure >=[800] psig.'' NUREG-
1434, SR 3.1.4.2 states, ``Verify, for a representative sample, each 
tested control rod scram time is within the limits of Table 3.1.4-1 
with reactor steam dome pressure >=[950] psig.'' Both SRs have a 
frequency of ``120 days cumulative operation in MODE 1.'' The proposed 
change revises the frequency to ``200 days cumulative operation in MODE 
1.'' The Bases are revised to reference the new frequency and to reduce 
the percentage of the tested rods which can be ``slow'' from 20 percent 
to 7.5 percent.

3.2 Evaluation of Proposed Change

    The control rod insertion time test results at [Plant Name] have 
shown the control rod scram rates to be highly reliable. During the 
most recent [XXX] years of operation, out of [XXX] control rod 
insertion tests, only [XXX] control rods have been slower than the 
insertion time limit. The extensive historical database substantiates 
the claim of high reliability of the [Plant Name] control rod drive 
system. The current TS requires that 10 percent of the [XXX] control 
rods, or [XXX] rods, be tested via sampling every 120 cumulative days 
of operation in Mode 1.
    The current TS states that the acceptance criteria have been met if 
20 percent or fewer of the sample control rods that are tested are 
found to be slow. The acceptance criterion has been re-defined for at-
power surveillance testing from 20 percent to 7.5 percent when the 
surveillance period is extended to 200 cumulative days of operation in 
Mode 1. This tightened acceptance criterion for at-power surveillance 
aligns with the TS 3.1.4 requirement for the total control rods allowed 
to have scram times exceeding the specified limit.
    The licensee will incorporate the revised acceptance criterion 
value of 7.5 percent into the TS Bases in accordance with their Bases 
Control Program and as a condition of this license amendment.\1\
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    \1\ Conditioning of the license amendment is accomplished by 
including wording similar to the following in the implementation 
language (typically included as item 3) in the Amendment of Facility 
Operating License: This license amendment is effective as of its 
date of issuance and shall be implemented within [XX] days from the 
date of issuance. The licensee shall incorporate during the next 
periodic update into the TS Bases Section the changes described in 
its application dated [Date].
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    The NRC staff considers the extended surveillance interval to be 
justified by the demonstrated reliability of the control rod insertion 
system, based on historical control rod scram time test data, and by 
the more restrictive acceptance criterion for the number of slow rods 
allowed during at-power surveillance testing. The NRC staff finds the 
proposed TS change acceptable.

4.0 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 [choose one: (1) No comments, or (2) the following 
comments--with subsequent disposition by the staff].

5.0 Environmental Consideration

    The amendment changes a requirement with respect to the 
installation or use of a facility component located within the 
restricted area as defined in 10 CFR Part 20 and changes surveillance 
requirements. The NRC staff has determined that the amendments involve 
no significant increase in the amounts and no significant change in the 
types of any effluents that may be released offsite, and that there is 
no significant increase in individual or cumulative occupational 
radiation exposure. The Commission has previously issued a proposed 
finding that the amendments involve no significant hazards 
consideration, and there has been no public comment on such finding (XX 
FR XXXXX). Accordingly, the amendment meets the eligibility criteria 
for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). 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.

6.0 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 the operation in the 
proposed manner, (2) such activities will be conducted in compliance 
with the Commission's regulations, and (3) the issuance of the 
amendment will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to 
the health and safety of the public.

Model Proposed No Significant Hazards Consideration Determination

    Description of Amendment Request: The proposed amendment changes 
the Technical Specification (TS) testing frequency for the surveillance 
requirement (SR) in TS 3.1.4, ``Control Rod Scram Times.'' The proposed 
change revises the test frequency of SR 3.1.4.2, control rod scram time 
testing, from ``120 days cumulative operation in MODE 1'' to ``200 days 
cumulative operation in Mode 1.''
    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 change involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.
    The proposed change extends the frequency for testing control rod 
scram time testing from every 120 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation 
to 200 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation. The frequency of 
surveillance testing is not an initiator of any accident previously 
evaluated. The frequency of surveillance testing does not affect the 
ability to mitigate any accident previously evaluated, as the tested 
component is still required to be operable. Therefore, the proposed 
change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the change create the possibility of a new or different kind of 
accident from any accident previously evaluated?

    Response: No.
    The proposed change extends the frequency for testing control rod 
scram time testing from every 120 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation 
to 200 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation. The proposed change does 
not result in any new or different modes of plant operation. Therefore, 
the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or 
different kind of accident from any previously evaluated.

3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin 
of safety?

    Response: No.
    The proposed change extends the frequency for testing control rod 
scram time testing from every 120 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation 
to 200 days of cumulative Mode 1 operation. The proposed change 
continues to test the control rod scram time to ensure the assumptions 
in the safety analysis are protected. Therefore, the proposed change 
does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
    Based on the above, the proposed change presents no significant 
hazards consideration under the standards set

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forth in 10 CFR 50.92(c), and accordingly, a finding of ``no 
significant hazards consideration'' is justified.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of August 2004.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William D. Reckley,
Chief (Acting), Section 1, Project Directorate IV,Division of Licensing 
Project Management,Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-19203 Filed 8-20-04; 8:45 am]
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