[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 208 (Friday, October 27, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63050-63053]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-18076]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Availability of Model Safety Evaluation on Technical 
Specification Improvement To Modify Requirements Regarding LCO 3.10.1, 
Inservice Leak and Hydrostatic Testing Operation 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) 
relating to the modification of shutdown testing requirements in 
technical specifications (TS) for Boiling Water Reactors (BWR). 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 modify LCO 3.10.1. The proposed changes would revise LCO 
3.10.1, and the associated Bases, to expand its scope to include 
provisions for temperature excursions greater than [200] [deg]F as a 
consequence of inservice leak and hydrostatic testing, and as a 
consequence of scram time testing initiated in conjunction with an 
inservice leak or hydrostatic test, while considering operational 
conditions to be in Mode 4. Licensees of nuclear power reactors to 
which the models apply could then request amendments, confirming the 
applicability of the SE and NSHC determination to their reactors.

DATES: The NRC staff issued a Federal Register notice on August 21, 
2006 (71 FR 48561) that provided a model safety evaluation (SE) and a 
model no significant hazards consideration (NSHC) determination 
relating to modification of requirements regarding LCO 3.10.1, 
``Inservice Leak and Hydrostatic Testing Operation.'' The NRC staff 
hereby announces that the model SE and NSHC determination may be 
referenced in plant-specific applications to adopt the changes. The 
staff will post a model application on the NRC web site to assist 
licensees in using the consolidated line item

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improvement process (CLIIP) to revise the TS on LCO 3.10.1, ``Inservice 
Leak and Hydrostatic Testing Operation.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Kobetz, Mail Stop: O-12H2, 
Division of Inspections and Regional Support, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, telephone 301-415-1932.

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 of NRC licensing processes 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 a proposed 
change to the STS after a preliminary assessment by the NRC staff and a 
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 announce the availability of the change for adoption by 
licensees.
    This notice involves the modification of LCO 3.10.1. The proposed 
changes would revise LCO 3.10.1, and the associated Bases, to expand 
its scope to include provisions for temperature excursions greater than 
[200] [deg]F as a consequence of inservice leak and hydrostatic 
testing, and as a consequence of scram time testing initiated in 
conjunction with an inservice leak or hydrostatic test, while 
considering operational conditions to be in Mode 4. This change was 
proposed for incorporation into the standard technical specifications 
by the owners groups participants in the Technical Specification Task 
Force (TSTF) and is designated TSTF-484. TSTF-484 can be viewed on the 
NRC's web page utilizing the Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS). ADAMS accession numbers are ML052930102 (TSTF-484 
Submittal), ML060970568 (NRC Request for Additional Information, RAI), 
ML061560523 (TSTF Response to NRC RAIs), and ML062650171 (TSTF Response 
to NRC Notice for Comment).

Applicability

    Licensees opting to apply for this TS change 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.

Public Notices

    In a notice in the Federal Register dated August 21, 2006 (71 FR 
48561), the staff requested comment on the use of the CLIIP to process 
requests to revise the TS regarding LCO 3.10.1, ``Inservice Leak and 
Hydrostatic Testing Operation.'' In addition, there have been several 
plant-specific amendment requests to adopt changes similar to those 
described in TSTF-484 and notices have been published for these 
applications. TSTF-484, as well as the NRC staff's safety evaluation 
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 staff received one response with seven comments following the 
notice published August 21, 2006 (71 FR 48561), soliciting comments on 
the model SE and NSHC determination related to TSTF-484, Revision 0. 
The comments were offered by the TSTF in a letter dated September 20, 
2006 (ADAMS ML062650171). The comments are administrative in 
nature in that they provide clarification and do not have a material 
impact on the model SE and NSHC determination published August 21, 2006 
(71 FR 48561). TSTF comments that were incorporated include the comment 
on the Federal Register Notice for Comment and comments 1, 3, 4, and 5 
on the Model Safety Evaluation. The TSTF has been informed of NRC staff 
decision not to incorporate comments 2 and 6. Comment 2 provides for 
additional information about TSTF-484 regarding scram time testing to 
be included in paragraph one of section 3.0. In the original Model 
Safety Evaluation published for comment on August 21, 2006 (71 FR 
48561), the first half of section 3.0 discusses hydrostatic and leakage 
testing, while the second half of section 3.0 discusses scram time 
testing. NRC staff believe that there may be confusion if the comment 
is incorporated into the first section of 3.0 while scram time testing 
is not discussed until the second half of section 3.0. The information 
provided in the comment is captured in the second half of section 3.0. 
Comment 6 was not incorporated due to possible confusion regarding the 
term ``conservatively''. In reviewing the TSTF-484, Revision 0 
submittal, the NRC has concluded that there is reasonable assurance 
that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by 
operation in the proposed manner, such activities will be conducted in 
compliance with the Commission's regulations, and the issuance of the 
amendment will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to 
the health and safety of the public. Therefore, it was decided that 
comment 6 was not needed in order to justify TSTF-484, Revision 0 
approval. The revised model SE is included in this notice for use by 
licensees. As described in the model application prepared by the staff, 
licensees may reference in their plant-specific applications to adopt 
TSTF-484, the SE and NSHC determination.

Model Safety Evaluation

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, Consolidated Line Item Improvement, Technical Specification 
Task Force Change TSTF-484, Revision 0, Use of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Time 
Testing Activities

1.0 Introduction
    By application dated [Date], [Name of Licensee] (the licensee) 
requested changes to the Technical Specifications (TS) for the [Name of 
Facility].
    The proposed changes would revise Limiting Condition for Operation 
(LCO) 3.10.1, and the associated Bases, to expand its scope to include 
provisions for temperature excursions greater than [200] [deg]F as a 
consequence of inservice leak and hydrostatic testing, and as a 
consequence of scram time testing initiated in conjunction with an 
inservice leak or hydrostatic test, while considering operational 
conditions to be in Mode 4.
2.0 Regulatory Evaluation
    2.1 Inservice Leak and Hydrostatic Testing. The Reactor Coolant 
System (RCS) serves as a pressure boundary and also serves to provide a 
flow path for the circulation of coolant past the fuel. In order to 
maintain RCS integrity, Section XI of the American Society of 
Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Pressure Vessel Code requires periodic 
hydrostatic and leakage testing. Hydrostatic tests are required to be

[[Page 63052]]

performed once every ten years and leakage tests are required to be 
performed each refueling outage. Appendix G to 10 CFR Part 50 states 
that pressure tests and leak tests of the reactor vessel that are 
required by Section XI of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 
(ASME) Pressure Vessel Code must be completed before the core is 
critical.
    NUREG-1433, General Electric Plants, BWR/4, Revision 3, Standard 
Technical Specifications (STS) and NUREG-1434, General Electric Plants, 
BWR/6, Revision 3, STS both currently contain LCO 3.10.1, ``Inservice 
Leak and Hydrostatic Testing Operation.'' LCO 3.10.1 was created to 
allow for hydrostatic and leakage testing to be conducted while in Mode 
4 with average reactor coolant temperature greater than [200] [deg]F 
provided certain secondary containment LCOs are met.
    TSTF-484, Revision 0, Use of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Time Testing 
Activities, modifies LCO 3.10.1 to allow a licensee to implement LCO 
3.10.1, while hydrostatic and leakage testing is being conducted, 
should average reactor coolant temperature exceed [200] [deg]F during 
testing. This modification does not alter current requirements for 
hydrostatic and leakage testing as required by Appendix G to 10 CFR 
Part 50.
    2.2 Control Rod Scram Time Testing. Control rods function to 
control reactor power level and to provide adequate excess negative 
reactivity to shut down the reactor from any normal operating or 
accident condition at any time during core life. The control rods are 
scrammed by using hydraulic pressure exerted by the control rod drive 
(CRD) system. Criterion 10 of Appendix A to 10 CFR part 50 states that 
the reactor core and associated coolant, control, and protection 
systems shall be designed with appropriate margin to assure that 
specified acceptable fuel limits are not exceeded during any condition 
of normal operation, including the effects of anticipated operational 
occurrences. The scram reactivity used in design basis accidents (DBA) 
and transient analyses is based on an assumed control rod scram time.
    NUREG-1433, General Electric Plants, BWR/4, Revision 3, STS and 
NUREG-1434, General Electric Plants, BWR/6, Revision 3, STS both 
currently contain surveillance requirements (SR) to conduct scram time 
testing when certain conditions are met in order to ensure that 
Criterion 10 of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 50 is satisfied. SR 3.1.4.1 
requires scram time testing to be conducted following a shutdown 
greater than 120 days while SR 3.1.4.4 requires scram time testing to 
be conducted following work on the CRD system or following fuel 
movement within the affected core cell. Both SRs must be performed at 
reactor steam dome pressure greater than or equal to [800] psig and 
prior to exceeding 40 percent rated thermal power (RTP).
    TSTF-484, Revision 0, Use of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Time Testing 
Activities, would modify LCO 3.10.1 to allow SR 3.1.4.1 and SR 3.1.4.4 
to be conducted in Mode 4 with average reactor coolant temperature 
greater than [200] [deg]F. Scram time testing would be performed in 
accordance with LCO 3.10.4, ``Single Control Rod Withdrawal--Cold 
Shutdown.'' This modification to LCO 3.10.1 does not alter the means of 
compliance with Criterion 10 of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 50.
3.0 Technical Evaluation
    The existing provisions of LCO 3.10.1 allow for hydrostatic and 
leakage testing to be conducted while in Mode 4 with average reactor 
coolant temperature greater than [200] [deg]F, while imposing Mode 3 
secondary containment requirements. Under the existing provision, LCO 
3.10.1 would have to be implemented prior to hydrostatic and leakage 
testing. As a result, if LCO 3.10.1 was not implemented prior to 
hydrostatic and leakage testing, hydrostatic and leakage testing would 
have to be terminated if average reactor coolant temperature exceeded 
[200] [deg]F during the conduct of the hydrostatic and leakage test. 
TSTF-484, Revision 0, Use of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Time Testing 
Activities, modifies LCO 3.10.1 to allow a licensee to implement LCO 
3.10.1, while hydrostatic and leakage testing is being conducted, 
should average reactor coolant temperature exceed [200] [deg]F during 
testing. The modification will allow completion of testing without the 
potential for interrupting the test in order to reduce reactor vessel 
pressure, cool the RCS, and restart the test below [200] [deg]F. Since 
the current LCO 3.10.1 allows testing to be conducted while in Mode 4 
with average reactor coolant temperature greater than [200] [deg]F, the 
proposed change does not introduce any new operational conditions 
beyond those currently allowed.
    SR 3.1.4.1 and SR 3.1.4.4 require that control rod scram time be 
tested at reactor steam dome pressure greater than or equal to [800] 
psig and before exceeding 40 percent rated thermal power (RTP). 
Performance of control rod scram time testing is typically scheduled 
concurrent with inservice leak or hydrostatic testing while the RCS is 
pressurized. Because of the number of control rods that must be tested, 
it is possible for the inservice leak or hydrostatic test to be 
completed prior to completing the scram time test. Under existing 
provisions, if scram time testing can not be completed during the LCO 
3.10.1 inservice leak or hydrostatic test, scram time testing must be 
suspended. Additionally, if LCO 3.10.1 is not implemented and average 
reactor coolant temperature exceeds [200] [deg]F while performing the 
scram time test, scram time testing must also be suspended. In both 
situations, scram time testing is resumed during startup and is 
completed prior to exceeding 40 percent RTP. TSTF-484, Revision 0, Use 
of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Time Testing Activities, modifies LCO 3.10.1 to 
allow a licensee to complete scram time testing initiated during 
inservice leak or hydrostatic testing. As stated earlier, since the 
current LCO 3.10.1 allows testing to be conducted while in Mode 4 with 
average reactor coolant temperature greater than [200] [deg]F, the 
proposed change does not introduce any new operational conditions 
beyond those currently allowed. Completion of scram time testing prior 
to reactor criticality and power operations results in a more 
conservative operating philosophy with attendant potential safety 
benefits.
    It is acceptable to perform other testing concurrent with the 
inservice leak or hydrostatic test provided that this testing can be 
performed safely and does not interfere with the leak or hydrostatic 
test. However, it is not permissible to remain in TS 3.10.1 solely to 
complete such testing following the completion of inservice leak or 
hydrostatic testing and scram time testing.
    Since the tests are performed with the reactor pressure vessel 
(RPV) nearly water solid, at low decay heat values, and near Mode 4 
conditions, the stored energy in the reactor core will be very low. 
Small leaks from the RCS would be detected by inspections before a 
significant loss of inventory occurred. In addition, two low-pressure 
emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) injection/spray subsystems are 
required to be operable in Mode 4 by TS 3.5.2, ECCS-Shutdown. In the 
event of a large RCS leak, the RPV would rapidly depressurize and allow 
operation of the low pressure ECCS. The capability of the low pressure 
ECCS would be adequate to maintain the fuel covered under the low decay 
heat conditions during these tests. Also, LCO 3.10.1 requires that 
secondary containment and standby gas treatment system be operable and 
capable of handling any

[[Page 63053]]

airborne radioactivity or steam leaks that may occur during performance 
of testing.
    The protection provided by the normally required Mode 4 applicable 
LCOs, in addition to the secondary containment requirements required to 
be met by LCO 3.10.1, minimizes potential consequences in the event of 
any postulated abnormal event during testing. In addition, the 
requested modification to LCO 3.10.1 does not create any new modes of 
operation or operating conditions that are not currently allowed. 
Therefore, the staff finds the proposed change acceptable.
4.0 State Consultation
    In accordance with the Commission's regulations, the [Name of 
State] State official was notified of the proposed issuance of the 
amendment. The State official had [no] comments. [If comments were 
provided, they should be addressed here].
5.0 Environmental Consideration
    The amendment changes a requirement with respect to installation or 
use of a facility component located within the restricted area as 
defined in 10 CFR Part 20. The NRC staff has determined that the 
amendment involves 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 amendment involves no 
significant hazards consideration, and there has been no public comment 
on such finding issued on [Date] ([ ] FR [ ]). 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 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.
7.0 References
    1. NUREG-1433, ``General Electric Plants, BWR/4, Revision 3, 
Standard Technical Specifications (STS)'', August 31, 2003.
    2. NUREG-1434, General Electric Plants, BWR/6, Revision 3, 
Standard Technical Specifications (STS)'', August 31, 2003.
    3. Request for Additional Information (RAI) Regarding TSTF-484, 
April 7, 2006, ADAMS accession number ML060970568.
    4. Response to NRC RAIs Regarding TSTF-484, June 5, 2006, ADAMS 
accession number ML061560523.
    5. TSTF-484 Revision 0, ``Use of TS 3.10.1 for Scram Times 
Testing Activities'', May 5, 2005, ADAMS accession number 
ML052930102.
    6. TSTF Response to NRC Notice for Comment, September 20, 2006, 
ADAMS accession number ML062650171.

    Principal Contributor: Aron Lewin.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 12th of October 2006.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Timothy Kobetz,
Branch Chief, Technical Specifications Branch, Division of Inspections 
and Regional Support, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
 [FR Doc. E6-18076 Filed 10-26-06; 8:45 am]
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