[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 236 (Friday, December 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 73057-73059]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29619]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2012-0222]


Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim Staff Guidance 
JLD-ISG-2012-05; Performance of an Integrated Assessment for External 
Flooding

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim Staff 
Guidance; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing the 
Final Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim Staff Guidance 
(JLD-ISG), JLD-ISG-2012-05, ``Performance of an Integrated Assessment'' 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
No. ML12311A214). This JLD-ISG provides guidance and clarification to 
assist nuclear power reactors applicants and licensees with performing 
an integrated assessment for external flooding in response to Enclosure 
2 of a March 12, 2012, information request (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12053A340).

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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-
0222.
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0222. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     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 JLD-ISG-2012-05 is 
available under ADAMS Accession No. ML12311A214.
     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, MD 20852
     NRC's Interim Staff Guidance Web Site: Go to http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/isg/japan-lessons-learned.html 
and refer to JLD-ISG-2012-05.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. G. Edward Miller, Japan Lessons-
Learned Project Directorate, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 
301-415-2481; email: ed.miller@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background Information

    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. Following the earthquake, the three 
operating units automatically shut down and offsite power was lost to 
the entire facility. The emergency diesel generators (EDGs) 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. Approximately 40 minutes following the 
earthquake and shutdown of the operating units, however, the first 
large tsunami wave inundated the site, followed by additional waves. 
The tsunami caused extensive damage to site facilities and resulted in 
a complete loss of all ac electrical power at Units 1 through 5, a 
condition known as station blackout. In addition, all direct current 
electrical power was lost early in the event on Units 1 and 2 and after 
some period of time at the other units. Unit 6 retained the function of 
one air-cooled EDG. Despite their actions, the operators lost the 
ability to cool the fuel in the Unit 1 reactor after several hours, in 
the Unit 2 reactor after about 70 hours, and in the Unit 3 reactor 
after about 36 hours, resulting in damage to the nuclear fuel shortly 
after the loss of cooling capabilities.
    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's 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, dated August 19, 2011 (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.
    As part of the SRM for SECY-11-0124, dated October 18, 2011, the 
Commission approved the staff's proposed actions, including the 
development of three information requests under section 50.54(f) of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The information 
collected would be used to support the NRC staff's evaluation of 
whether further regulatory action was needed in the areas of seismic 
and flooding design, and emergency preparedness.
    In addition to Commission direction, the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, Public Law 112-074, was signed into law on December 
23, 2011, which contains the Energy and Water Development 
Appropriations Act, 2012 (Act). Section 402 of the Act directs the NRC 
to require licensees to reevaluate their design basis for seismic, 
tsunami, flooding, and other external hazards against current 
applicable Commission requirements and guidance.
    In response to the aforementioned Commission and Congressional 
direction, the NRC issued a request for information to all power 
reactor licensees and holders of construction permits under 10 CFR part 
50 on March 12, 2012. The March 12, 2012, letter includes a request 
that licensees reevaluate flooding hazards at nuclear power plant sites 
using updated flooding hazard information and present day regulatory 
guidance and methodologies. The letter also requests the comparison of 
the reevaluated hazard to the current design basis at the site for each 
potential flood mechanism. If the reevaluated flood hazard at a site is 
not bounded by the current design basis, licensees are requested to 
perform an integrated assessment. The integrated assessment will 
evaluate the total plant response to the flood hazard, considering 
multiple and diverse capabilities such as physical barriers, temporary 
protective measures, and operational procedures. The NRC staff will 
review the licensees' responses to this request for information and 
determine whether regulatory actions are necessary to provide 
additional protection against flooding.
    The NRC staff developed draft JLD-ISG-2012-05 to provide guidance 
and clarification to assist nuclear power

[[Page 73059]]

reactor applicants and licensees and holders of construction permits in 
active or deferred status with the performance of an integrated 
assessment for external flooding.
    Numerous public meetings were held to receive stakeholder input on 
the proposed guidance prior to its issuance formally for public 
comment. On September 28, 2012 (77 FR 65417), the NRC requested public 
comments on draft JLD-ISG-2012-05. The staff received sixty-one (61) 
comments from four (4) stakeholders. Comments were received related to 
the following topical areas: (1) Evaluation of mitigation capability, 
particularly the perceived limitations associated with use of the 
scenario-based evaluation method; (2) expectations and attributes of 
the peer review; (3) the availability of illustrative examples; (4) 
equipment redundancy and quantification of reliability; (5) the 
evaluation of manual actions associated with protective and mitgative 
actions; (6) the evaluation of flood protection and demonstration of 
reliability and margin using available performance criteria; and (7) 
general and miscellaneous other topics. In public meetings on October 
24-25, 2012, and November 7, 2012, the NRC staff interacted extensively 
with external stakeholders to discuss and resolve public comments 
(including discussion of proposed modifications to the text of the ISG) 
related to the evaluation of mitigation capability, the expectations 
and attributes of peer review, and other topics. Significant 
modifications were made to text of the ISG in response to the public 
comments and the outcomes of the public meetings. In addition, to 
provide more detailed guidance, staff has augmented the ISG by 
providing additional references related to the evaluation of flood 
protection and significantly enhancing portions of the ISG related to 
the evaluation of manual actions. The comments were considered, 
evaluated, and resulted in modifications to the final JLD-ISG-2012-05. 
The comments, staff responses, and the staff's bases for changes to the 
ISG are contained in ``NRC Responses to Public Comments,'' for JLD-ISG-
2012-05, which can be found under ADAMS at Accession No. ML12311A216.

Backfitting and Issue Finality

    This ISG does not constitute backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 
50.109 (the Backfit Rule) and is not otherwise inconsistent with the 
issue finality provision in 10 CFR part 52, ``Licenses, Certifications, 
and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.'' This ISG provides guidance on 
an acceptable method for responding to a portion of an information 
request issued pursuant to 10 CFR 50.54(f). Neither the information 
request nor the ISG require the modification or addition to systems, 
structures, or components, or design of a facility. Applicants and 
licensees may voluntarily use the guidance in JLD-ISG-2012-06 to comply 
with the request for information. The information received by this 
request may, at a later date, be used in the basis for a backfit at a 
later date. In this case, the appropriate backfit review process would 
be followed at that time.

Congressional Review Act

    This interim staff guidance is a rule as designated in the 
Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801-808). OMB has found that this is 
not a major rule in accordance with the Congressional Review Act.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of November 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert M. Taylor,
Deputy Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2012-29619 Filed 12-6-12; 8:45 am]
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