[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 14 (Tuesday, January 22, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4465-4467]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01148]



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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 52-039; NRC-2008-0603]


PPL Bell Bend, LLC; Combined License Application for Bell Bend 
Nuclear Power Plant; Exemption

1.0 Background

    PPL Bell Bend, LLC, submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) a combined license application (COL) for a single unit 
of AREVA NP's U.S. EPR in accordance with the requirements of Title 10 
of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Subpart C of Part 52, 
``Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.'' 
This reactor is to be identified as Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant 
(BBNPP), in Salem County, Pennsylvania. The NRC docketed the BBNPP COL 
application on October 10, 2008. The BBNPP COL application incorporates 
by reference AREVA NP's application for a standard design certification 
for the U.S. EPR. Additionally, the BBNPP COL application is based upon 
the U.S. EPR reference COL (RCOL) application for UniStar's Calvert 
Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 3 (CCNPP3). The NRC is currently 
performing the detailed reviews of the CCNPP3 RCOL application, and 
AREVA NP's application for design certification of the U.S. EPR. PPL 
Bell Bend, LLC previously requested an exemption on October 21, 2011, 
pursuant to 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) to allow for late filing of their 
mandatory application revision for calendar year 2011. The NRC granted 
the exemption as described in Federal Register notice (FRN) 76 FR 81992 
(December 29, 2011).

2.0 Request/Action

    The regulations specified in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii), require that 
an applicant for a combined license under 10 CFR part 52 shall, during 
the period from docketing of a COL application until the Commission 
makes a finding under 10 CFR 52.103(g) pertaining to facility 
operation, submit an annual update to the application's Final Safety 
Analysis Report (FSAR).
    On March 30, 2012, PPL Bell Bend, LLC submitted Revision 3 to the 
COL application, including updates to the FSAR. Since this submittal 
was provided to satisfy their approved exemption of December 29, 2011, 
the next annual update is due by the end of calendar year 2012. PPL 
Bell Bend, LLC has again requested a one-time exemption from the 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(3)(iii) requirements to submit the scheduled 2012 update, and 
proposed a new submittal deadline of April 15, 2013, for the next FSAR 
update.
    In summary, the 2012 requested exemption is a one-time schedule 
change from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). The exemption 
would allow PPL Bell Bend, LLC to submit the next FSAR update at a 
later date. The current FSAR update schedule could not be changed, 
absent the exemption. PPL Bell Bend, LLC requested the exemption by 
letter dated November 2, 2012 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML12321A037). Documents related 
to this action, including the application for amendment and supporting 
documentation, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic 
Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this 
site, you can access ADAMS, which provides text and image files of 
NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for the documents 
related to this notice are ML12325A753 and ML12325A841.

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the NRC may, upon application by any 
interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR part 50, including Section 50.71(e)(3)(iii) 
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) special circumstances are present. 
As relevant to the requested exemption, special circumstances exist if: 
(1) ``Application of the regulation in the particular circumstances 
would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary 
to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii)); or (2) ``The exemption would provide only temporary 
relief from the applicable regulation and the licensee or applicant has 
made good faith efforts to comply with the regulation'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(v)).
    PPL Bell Bend, LLC, commits to submit the next COL FSAR update by 
April 15, 2013, and would need to identify all changes to the U.S. EPR 
FSAR in order to prepare a COL application FSAR revision that 
accurately and completely reflects the changes to the U.S. EPR FSAR.
    The requested one-time schedule exemption to defer submittal of the 
next update to the BBNPP COL application FSAR would provide only 
temporary relief from the regulations of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii).

Authorized by Law

    The exemption is a one-time schedule exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). The exemption would allow PPL 
Bell Bend, LLC to submit the next BBNPP COL application FSAR update on 
or before April 15, 2013. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the NRC staff has 
determined that granting PPL Bell Bend, LLC, the requested one-time 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) will provide 
only temporary relief from this regulation and will not result in a 
violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the NRC's 
regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) is to provide for 
a timely and comprehensive update of the FSAR associated with a COL 
application in order to support an effective and efficient review by 
the NRC staff and issuance of the NRC staff's safety evaluation report 
(SER). The requested exemption is solely administrative in nature, in 
that it pertains to the schedule for submittal to the NRC of revisions 
to an application under 10 CFR part 52, for which a license has not 
been granted. Based on the nature of the requested exemption as 
described above, no new accident precursors are created by the 
exemption; thus, neither the probability, nor the consequences of 
postulated accidents are increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk 
to public health and safety.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The requested exemption would allow PPL Bell Bend, LLC to submit 
the next FSAR update on or before April 15, 2013. This schedule change 
has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and 
security is not impacted by this exemption.

Special Circumstances

    Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), are 
present whenever: (1) ``Application of the regulation in the particular 
circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is 
not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii)); or (2) ``The exemption would provide only temporary 
relief from the applicable regulation and the licensee or applicant has 
made good faith efforts to comply with the regulation'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(v)).

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    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) is to provide for 
a timely and comprehensive update of the FSAR associated with a COL 
application in order to support an effective and efficient review by 
the NRC staff and issuance of the NRC staff's SER. As discussed above, 
the requested one-time exemption is solely administrative in nature, in 
that it pertains to a one-time schedule change for submittal of 
revisions to an application under 10 CFR part 52, for which a license 
has not been granted. The requested one-time exemption will permit PPL 
Bell Bend, LLC, time to carefully review the most recent revisions of 
the U.S. EPR FSAR, and fully incorporate these revisions into a 
comprehensive update of the FSAR associated with the BBNPP COL 
application. This one-time exemption will support the NRC staff's 
effective and efficient review of the COL application when resumed, as 
well as issuance of the SER. For this reason, application of 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(3)(iii) in the particular circumstances is not necessary to 
achieve the underlying purpose of that rule. Therefore, special 
circumstances exist under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii). In addition, special 
circumstances are also present under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(v), because 
granting a one-time exemption from 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) would 
provide only temporary relief, and PPL Bell Bend, LLC, has made good 
faith efforts to comply with the regulation by submitting Revision 3 to 
the COL application on March 30, 2012. That revision incorporated 
changes resulting from Revisions 2 and 3 of the U.S. EPR FSAR and COLA 
changes resulting from relocation of the plant footprint within the 
existing project boundary. For the above reasons, the special 
circumstances required by 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2) for the granting of an 
exemption from 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) exist.

Eligibility for Categorical Exclusion From Environmental Review

    With respect to the exemption's impact on the human environment, 
the NRC has determined that this specific exemption request is eligible 
for categorical exclusion as identified in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Under 
10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), granting of an exemption from the requirements of 
any regulation of 10 CFR Chapter 1 [which includes 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(3)(iii)] is an action that is a categorical exclusion, 
provided that:
    (i) There is no significant hazards consideration;
    (ii) There is no significant change in the types or significant 
increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite;
    (iii) There is no significant increase in individual or cumulative 
public or occupational radiation exposure;
    (iv) There is no significant construction impact;
    (v) There is no significant increase in the potential for or 
consequences from radiological accidents; and
    (vi) The requirements from which an exemption is sought involve:
    (A) Recordkeeping requirements;
    (B) Reporting requirements;
    (C) Inspection or surveillance requirements;
    (D) Equipment servicing or maintenance scheduling requirements;
    (E) Education, training, experience, qualification, requalification 
or other employment suitability requirements;
    (F) Safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting inventory 
scheduling requirements;
    (G) Scheduling requirements;
    (H) Surety, insurance or indemnity requirements; or
    (I) Other requirements of an administrative, managerial, or 
organizational nature.
    The requirements from which this exemption is sought involve only 
(B) Reporting requirements; or (G) Scheduling requirements of those 
required by 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi).
    The NRC staff's determination that each of the applicable criteria 
for this categorical exclusion is met is justified as follows:
    I. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i) There is no significant hazards 
consideration;
    Staff Analysis: The criteria for determining if the exemption 
involves a significant hazards consideration are found in 10 CFR 50.92. 
The proposed action involves only a schedule change regarding the 
submission of an update to the application for which the licensing 
review is currently underway. Therefore, there are no significant 
hazard considerations because granting the proposed exemption would 
not:
    (1) Involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or
    (2) Create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident 
from any accident previously evaluated; or
    (3) Involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
    II. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(ii) There is no significant change in the 
types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may 
be released offsite;
    Staff Analysis: The proposed action involves only a schedule change 
which is administrative in nature, and does not involve any changes to 
be made in the types or significant increase in the amounts of 
effluents that may be released offsite.
    III. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iii) There is no significant increase in 
individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure;
    Staff Analysis: Since the proposed action involves only a schedule 
change, which is administrative in nature, it does not contribute to 
any significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure.
    IV. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(iv) There is no significant construction 
impact;
    Staff Analysis: The proposed action involves only a schedule 
change, which is administrative in nature. The application review is 
underway and no license will be issued prior to receipt of the afore-
mentioned application's April 15, 2013, submittal of the revised FSAR, 
therefore, the proposed action does not involve any construction 
impact.
    V. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(v) There is no significant increase in the 
potential for or consequences from radiological accidents;
    Staff Analysis: The proposed action involves only a schedule change 
which is administrative in nature and does not impact the probability 
or consequences of accidents.
    VI. 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi) The requirements from which this 
exemption is sought involve only (B) Reporting requirements; or (G) 
Scheduling requirements of those required by this regulation.
    (B) Reporting requirements; or (G) Scheduling requirements
    Staff Analysis: The exemption request involves requirements in both 
of these categories (reporting requirements and scheduling 
requirements) because it involves submitting an updated FSAR by PPL 
Bell Bend, LLC and also relates to the schedule for submitting FSAR 
updates to the NRC.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the NRC has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, 
the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to 
the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense 
and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the 
NRC hereby grants PPL Bell Bend, LLC a one-time exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) pertaining to the BBNPP COL 
application to allow submittal of the next FSAR update, no later than 
April 15, 2013.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22, the NRC has determined that the exemption 
request meets the applicable categorical exclusion criteria set forth 
in 10 CFR

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51.22(c)(25), and the granting of this exemption will not have a 
significant impact on the human environment.
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of January 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John Segala,
Chief, Licensing Branch1, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of 
New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2013-01148 Filed 1-18-13; 8:45 am]
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