[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 199 (Monday, October 15, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62539-62540]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25241]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-336; NRC-2010-0128]


Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc.; Millstone Power Station, Unit 
2, Revocation of Exemption

1.0 Background

    Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, Inc., (DNC or the licensee) is the 
holder of Facility Operating License No. DPR-65, which authorizes 
operation of the Millstone Power Station, Unit 2 (MPS2). The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in New 
London County, Connecticut.

2.0 Request/Action

    By letter dated November 5, 2004,\1\ as supplemented by letters 
dated January 6 and January 25, 2005,\2\ the licensee

[[Page 62540]]

submitted a request for an exemption from the requirements in section 
50.68(b)(1) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) for 
loading, unloading, and handling of the components of the Transnuclear 
(TN) NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT dry cask storage system at MPS2. By Exemption 
dated February 15, 2005,\3\ the NRC granted DNC's request.
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    \1\ Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS) 
Accession No. ML043130360.
    \2\ ADAMS Accession Nos. ML050110079 and ML050260675, 
respectively.
    \3\ ADAMS Accession No. ML050420058.
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    Section 50.68(b)(1) of 10 CFR set forth the following requirement, 
at the time the exemption was granted, that must be met, in lieu of a 
monitoring system capable of detecting criticality events.

    Plant procedures shall prohibit the handling and storage at any 
one time of more fuel assemblies than have been determined to be 
safely subcritical under the most adverse moderation conditions 
feasible by unborated water.

    The licensee was unable to satisfy the above requirement for 
handling the 10 CFR Part 72 licensed contents of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-
32PT system. Section 50.12(a) allows licensees to apply for an 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 if the regulation is 
not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule and other 
conditions are met. The licensee stated in the application that 
compliance with 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) is not necessary for handling the 10 
CFR Part 72 licensed contents of the cask system to achieve the 
underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1). The Commission determined 
that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a), the exemption was authorized by law, 
would not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and 
was consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special 
circumstances were present. Therefore, the Commission granted DNC an 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) for the loading, 
unloading, and handling of the components of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT 
storage system at MPS2.
    On November 16, 2006 (71 FR 66648), the NRC published a direct 
final rule in the Federal Register amending its regulations ``so that 
the requirements governing criticality control for the spent fuel pool 
storage racks do not apply to the fuel within the spent fuel 
transportation package or storage cask when the package or cask is in 
the spent fuel pool.'' The regulation in 10 CFR 50.68 was amended by 
adding a new paragraph (c) which states the following:

    (c) While a spent fuel transportation package approved under 
Part 71 of this chapter or spent fuel storage cask approved under 
Part 72 of this chapter is in the spent fuel pool:
    (1) The requirements in Sec.  50.68(b) do not apply to the fuel 
located within that package or cask; and
    (2) The requirements in Part 71 or 72 of this chapter, as 
applicable, and the requirements of the Certificate of Compliance 
for that package or cask apply to the fuel within that package or 
cask.

    The statements of consideration state that for licensees with an 
approved exemption, these licensees can continue to use their approved 
exemption or they may choose to comply with the amended rule. The 
statements of consideration go on to say, ``[o]perating under the 
exemption or the amended rule have effectively the same criticality 
accident requirements for fuel within a package or cask in a spent fuel 
pool, namely only those of 10 CFR Part 71 or 72, as applicable.''
    By letter dated April 10, 2012,\4\ DNC stated that MPS2 will comply 
with the amended rule instead of the February 15, 2005, exemption.
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    \4\ ADAMS Accession No. ML12102A057.
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3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 when (1) the exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) when special circumstances are present. On February 15, 2005, the 
NRC granted the above exemption for the technical requirements of 10 
CFR 50.68(b)(1) for loading, unloading, and handling of the components 
of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT storage system at MPS2.
    Based on the NRC rule change that amended the requirements of 10 
CFR 50.68, in November 2006, DNC is able to comply with all 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.68. The NRC staff examined the licensee's 
rationale, and concluded that the revocation is acceptable because the 
licensee has established compliance with 10 CFR 50.68 for loading, 
unloading, and handling of the components of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT 
storage system at MPS2.
    This revocation of exemption would remove the licensee's exemption 
from the associated requirements of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) for loading, 
unloading, and handling of the components of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT 
dry cask storage system at MPS2, which was granted by the Commission on 
February 15, 2005. With the exemption removed, MPS2 will be subject to 
all of the applicable requirements of 10 CFR 50.68. The NRC staff has 
determined that revoking the exemption will not result in a violation 
of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission's 
regulations.

No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    The underlying purposes of 10 CFR 50.68 is to maintain spent fuel 
pools subcritical in an unborated, maximum moderation condition. DNC 
has decided to comply with all of the amended requirements of 10 CFR 
50.68 which were issued in November 2006, without exemption. Based on 
compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.68, no new accident 
precursors are created by the revocation of this exemption, thus, the 
probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Also, based on 
compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.68, the consequences of 
postulated accidents are not increased. Therefore, there is no undue 
risk to public health and safety.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed revocation of exemption would restore the requirements 
of 10 CFR 50.68 for loading, unloading, and handling of the components 
of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT dry cask storage system at MPS2 . This 
change to the operation of the plant has no relation to security 
issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by 
this exemption.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that the exemption 
granted February 15, 2005, related to loading, unloading, and handling 
of the components of the TN NUHOMS[supreg]-32PT dry cask storage system 
at MPS2 is hereby revoked.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the 
revocation of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment (71 FR 66650).
    This exemption revocation is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of October 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele G. Evans,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-25241 Filed 10-12-12; 8:45 am]
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