[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33777-33778]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13806]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2012-0069]


Interim Staff Guidance JLD-ISG-2012-02; Compliance With Order EA-
12-050, Order Modifying Licenses With Regard to Reliable Hardened 
Containment Vents

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate guidance; 
request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) 
is issuing the draft Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim 
Staff Guidance (JLD-ISG), JLD-ISG-2012-02, ``Compliance with Order EA-
12-050, Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened 
Containment Vents.'' This draft JLD-ISG provides guidance and 
clarification to assist nuclear power reactors applicants and licensees 
with the identification of measures needed to comply with requirements 
to mitigate challenges to key safety functions.

DATES: Comments must be filed no later than July 7, 2012. Comments 
received after this date will be considered, if it is practical to do 
so, but the NRC staff is able to ensure consideration only for comments 
received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publically available, 
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-
0069. You may submit comments by the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0069. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
     Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert J. Fretz, Japan Lessons-
Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 
301-415-1980; email: Robert.Fretz@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0069 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
access information related to this document by the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0069.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The draft JLD-ISG-2012-02 is available under ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12146A371.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
     NRC's Interim Staff Guidance Web Site: JLD-ISG documents 
are also available online under the ``Japan

[[Page 33778]]

Lessons Learned'' heading at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/#int.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0069 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly 
disclosed. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into 
ADAMS, and the NRC does not edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information in their comment submissions 
that they do not want to be publicly disclosed. Your request should 
state that the NRC will not edit comment submissions to remove such 
information before making the comment submissions available to the 
public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background Information

    The NRC staff developed draft JLD-ISG-2012-02 to provide guidance 
and clarification to assist nuclear power reactor applicants and 
licensees with the identification of measures needed to comply with 
requirements to mitigate challenges to key safety functions. These 
requirements are contained in Order EA-12-050, ``Order Modifying 
Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment Vents'' (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12054A696). The draft ISG is not a substitute for the 
requirements in Order EA-12-050, and compliance with the ISG is not a 
requirement. This ISG is being issued in draft form for public comment 
to involve the public in development of the implementing guidance.
    On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast 
of the Japanese island of Honshu. The earthquake resulted in a large 
tsunami, estimated to have exceeded 14 meters (45 feet) in height that 
inundated the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant site. The 
earthquake and tsunami produced widespread devastation across 
northeastern Japan and significantly affected the infrastructure and 
industry in the northeastern coastal areas of Japan. When the 
earthquake occurred, Fukushima Dai-ichi Units 1, 2, and 3, were in 
operation and Units 4, 5, and 6, were shut down for routine refueling 
and maintenance activities. The Unit 4 reactor fuel was offloaded to 
the Unit 4 spent fuel pool (SFP). Following the earthquake, the three 
operating units automatically shut down and offsite power was lost to 
the entire facility. The emergency diesel generators started at all six 
units providing alternating current (ac) electrical power to critical 
systems at each unit. The facility response to the earthquake appears 
to have been normal.
    Following the events at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, 
the NRC established a senior-level agency task force referred to as the 
Near-Term Task Force (NTTF). The NTTF was tasked with conducting a 
systematic and methodical review of the NRC regulations and processes, 
and determining if the agency should make additional improvements to 
these programs in light of the events at Fukushima Dai-ichi. As a 
result of this review, the NTTF developed a comprehensive set of 
recommendations, documented in SECY-11-0093, ``Near-Term Report and 
Recommendations for Agency Actions Following the Events in Japan,'' 
dated July 12, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11186A950). These 
recommendations were enhanced by the NRC staff following interactions 
with stakeholders. Documentation of the staff's efforts is contained in 
SECY-11-0124, ``Recommended Actions to be Taken without Delay from the 
Near-Term Task Force Report,'' dated September 9, 2011 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML11245A158) and SECY-11-0137, ``Prioritization of Recommended 
Actions to be Taken in Response to Fukushima Lessons Learned,'' dated 
October 3, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11272A111).
    As directed by the Commission's Staff Requirement Memorandum (SRM) 
for SECY-11-0093 (ADAMS Accession No. ML112310021), the NRC staff 
reviewed the NTTF recommendations within the context of the NRC's 
existing regulatory framework and considered the various regulatory 
vehicles available to the NRC to implement the recommendations. SECY-
11-0124 and SECY-11-0137 established the staff's prioritization of the 
recommendations based upon the potential for each recommendation to 
enhance safety.
    After receiving the Commission's direction in SRM-SECY-11-0124 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML112911571) and SRM-SECY-11-0137 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML113490055), the NRC staff conducted public meetings to discuss 
the importance of reliable operation of hardened vents during 
conditions involving loss of containment heat removal capability which 
was already well established and this understanding has been reinforced 
by the clear lessons of Fukushima. Hardened vents have been in place in 
U.S. plants with boiling-water reactor (BWR) Mark I containments for 
many years but a wide variance exists with regard to the reliability of 
the vents. Additionally, hardened vents are not required on plants with 
BWR Mark II containments although as discussed above, Mark II 
containments are only slightly larger than Mark I. Therefore, reliable 
hardened venting systems in BWR facilities with Mark I and Mark II 
containments are needed to ensure that adequate protection of public 
health and safety is maintained.
    In SRM-SECY-11-0137, the Commission directed the NRC staff to take 
certain actions and provided further guidance including directing the 
staff to consider filtered vents. The NRC staff plans to submit a 
Policy Paper to the Commission in July 2012.
    On February 17, 2012, the NRC staff submitted SECY-12-0025, 
``Proposed Orders and Requests for Information in Response to Lessons 
Learned from Japan's March 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and 
Tsunami'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML12039A103) to the Commission, 
including the order to implement requirements relating to reliable 
hardened venting systems at BWR facilities with Mark I and Mark II 
containment designs. As directed by SRM-SECY-12-0025 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML120690347), the NRC staff issued Order EA-12-050, ``Order 
Modifying Licenses with Regard to Reliable Hardened Containment 
Vents.''

Proposed Action

    By this action, the NRC is requesting public comments on draft JLD-
ISG-2012-02. This draft JLD-ISG proposes guidance related to 
requirements contained in Order EA-12-050, Reliable Hardened 
Containment Vents. The NRC staff will make a final determination 
regarding issuance of the JLD-ISG after it considers any public 
comments received in response to this request.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of May 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
David L. Skeen,
Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-13806 Filed 6-6-12; 8:45 am]
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