[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3039-3041]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00671]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2012-0261]


Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate Interim Staff Guidance 
JLD-ISG-2012-06; Performing a Tsunami, Surge, or Seiche Hazard 
Assessment

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-2012-06, ``Performing a Tsunami, Surge, or Seiche 
Hazard Assessment'' (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS) Accession No. ML12314A412). This JLD-ISG provides guidance and 
clarification to assist nuclear power reactors applicants and licensees 
with the flooding hazard reassessment in response to Enclosure 2 of the 
NRC staff's request for information, ``Request for Information Pursuant 
to section 50.54(f) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR), Regarding Recommendations 2.1, 2.3, and 9.3 of the Near-Term Task 
Force Review of Insights from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident,'' dated 
March 12, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12053A340).

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0261 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document, which the NRC 
possesses and are publicly-available, using any of the following 
methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0261. 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-2012-06 is 
available under ADAMS Accession No. ML12314A412.
     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-

[[Page 3040]]

learned.html and refer to JLD-ISG-2012-06.

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

    The NRC staff developed JLD-ISG-2012-06 to provide guidance and 
clarification to assist nuclear power reactor licensees, applicants for 
power reactor licenses, and holders of construction permits in active 
or deferred status with the performance of a tsunami, surge, or seiche 
hazard assessment.
    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 (EDG) 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 requirements 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 10 CFR 50.54(f). 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. Section 402 of the law directs the NRC to require licensees 
to reevaluate their design basis for external hazards.
    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 letter dated March 12, 2012, 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.
    Numerous public meetings were held to receive stakeholder input on 
the proposed guidance prior to its issuance formally for public 
comment. On October 26, 2012 (77 FR 65417), the NRC requested public 
comments on draft JLD-ISG-2012-06. The staff received thirty-eight (38) 
comments from four (4) stakeholders. Comments were received related to 
the following topical areas: (1) General comments; (2) comments 
specific to the storm surge evaluation; and (3) comments specific to 
the tsunami evaluation. In public meetings on October 24-25, 2012, and 
November 14, 2012, the NRC staff interacted extensively with external 
stakeholders to discuss, understand, and resolve public comments. 
Modifications were made to the text of the ISG in response to the 
public comments and the outcomes of the public meetings. Full detail of 
the comments, staff responses, and the staff's bases for changes to the 
ISG are contained in ``NRC Response to Public Comments'' to JLD-ISG-
2012-06, which can be found under ADAMS Accession No. ML12314A414.

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 provisions in 10 CFR part 52, ``Licenses,

[[Page 3041]]

Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.'' This ISG 
provides guidance on an acceptable method for implementing the March 
12, 2012, request for information. 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 imposing a backfit. 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 4th day of January 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Matthew A. Mitchell,
Acting Director, Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2013-00671 Filed 1-14-13; 8:45 am]
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