[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33779-33780]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13810]



[[Page 33779]]

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2012-0068]


Interim Staff Guidance JLD-ISG-2012-01; Compliance With Order EA-
12-049, Order Modifying Licenses With Regard to Requirements for 
Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events

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-2012-01, ``Compliance with Order EA-
12-049, Order Modifying Licenses with Regard to Requirements for 
Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-Basis External Events.'' 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-
0068. You may submit comments by the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0068. 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. Steven D. Bloom, Japan Lessons-
Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 
301-415-2431; email: Steven.Bloom@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0068 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-2012-0068.
     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-2012-01 is available in ADAMS under 
Accession No. ML12146A014.
     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 Lessons Learned'' heading 
at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/#int.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0068 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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

II. Background Information

    The NRC staff developed draft JLD-ISG-2012-01 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-12-049, ``Order Modifying 
Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for 
Beyond-Design-Basis External Events,'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12054A736). The draft ISG is not a substitute for the requirements in 
Order EA-12-049, and compliance with the ISG is not required. This ISG 
is being issued in draft form for public comment to involve the public 
in development of the implementation 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 andsignificantly 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

[[Page 33780]]

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 
enhanced mitigation strategies intended to maintain or restore core 
cooling, containment, and SFP cooling capabilities following beyond-
design-basis external events. At these meetings, the industry described 
its proposal for a Diverse and Flexible Mitigation Capability (FLEX), 
as documented in the Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI's) letter, dated 
December 16, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11353A008). FLEX is proposed 
as a strategy to fulfill the key safety functions of core cooling, 
containment integrity, and spent fuel cooling. Stakeholder input 
influenced the staff to pursue a more performance-based approach to 
improve the safety of operating power reactors than was originally 
envisioned in NTTF Recommendation 4.2, SECY-11-0124, and SECY-11-0137.
    On February 17, 2012, the NRC staff provided 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 proposed order to implement the enhanced mitigation 
strategies. As directed by SRM-SECY-12-0025 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML120690347), the NRC staff issued Order EA-12-049, ``Order Modifying 
Licenses with Regard to Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for 
Beyond-Design-Basis External Events'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12073A195). On March 30, 2012, the Commission issued memorandum and 
Order CLI-12-09, ``In the Matter of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. 
and South Carolina Public Service Authority (Also Referred to as Santee 
Cooper; Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3),'' (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12090A531), which includes the requirements for 
mitigation strategies as a license condition for Virgil C. Summer 
Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3.
    Guidance and strategies required by the Order would be available if 
the loss of power, motive force and normal access to the ultimate heat 
sink to prevent fuel damage in the reactor, and SFP affected all units 
at a site simultaneously. The Order requires a three-phase approach for 
mitigating beyond-design-basis external events. The initial phase 
requires the use of installed equipment and resources to maintain or 
restore core cooling, containment, and SFP cooling. The transition 
phase requires providing sufficient, portable, onsite equipment and 
consumables to maintain or restore these functions until they can be 
accomplished with resources brought from off site. The final phase 
requires obtaining sufficient offsite resources to sustain those 
functions indefinitely.
    On May 4, 2012, NEI submitted document 12-06, ``Diverse and 
Flexible Coping Strategies (FLEX) Implementation Guide,'' Revision B 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML12128A124), and on May 13, 2012, Revision B1 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML12143A232), to provide specifications for an 
industry-developed methodology for the development, implementation, and 
maintenance of guidance and strategies in response to the mitigating 
strategies Order. The strategies and guidance described in NEI 12-06 
expand on the strategies the industry developed and implemented to 
address the limited set of beyond-design-basis external events that 
involve the loss of a large area of the plant due to explosions and 
fire required pursuant to paragraph (hh)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 50.54, ``Conditions of licenses.''

Proposed Action

    By this action, the NRC is requesting public comments on draft JLD-
ISG-2012-01. This draft JLD-ISG proposes guidance related to 
requirements contained in Order EA-12-049, Mitigation Strategies for 
Beyond-Design-Basis External Events. 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. 2012-13810 Filed 6-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P