[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 15 (Wednesday, January 23, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4879-4881]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01326]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 52-038; NRC-2008-0581]


Nine Mile Point 3 Nuclear Project, LLC and UniStar Nuclear 
Operating Services, LLC Combined License Application for Nine Mile 
Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant Exemption

1.0 Background

    Nine Mile Point 3 Nuclear Project, LLC, and UniStar Nuclear 
Operating Services, LLC (UniStar), submitted a Combined License (COL) 
Application for a single unit of AREVA NP's U.S. EPR to the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 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 Nine Mile Point 3 Nuclear 
Power Plant (NMP3NPP), and located adjacent to the current Nine Mile 
Point Nuclear Station, Unit 1 and Unit 2, in Oswego County, New York. 
The NMP3NPP COL application incorporates by reference AREVA NP's 
application for a Standard Design Certification for the U.S. EPR. 
Additionally, the NMP3NPP 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 docketed the NMP3NPP COL 
application on December 12, 2008. On March 31, 2009, UNE submitted 
Revision 1 to the COL application, including updates to the Final 
Safety Analysis Report (FSAR). On December 1, 2009, UniStar Nuclear 
Energy (UNE), acting on behalf of the COL applicant's Nine Mile Point 3 
Nuclear Project, LLC, and UniStar Nuclear Operating Services, LLC, 
requested that the NRC temporarily suspend the NMP3NPP COL application 
review, including any supporting reviews by external agencies, until 
further notice. Based on this request, the NRC discontinued all review 
activities associated with the NMP3NPP COL application. By letter to 
the NRC dated December 9, 2010, UNE requested a one-time exemption from 
the 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) requirements to submit the scheduled 2010 
and 2011 COL application FSAR updates, and proposed for approval of a 
new submittal deadline of December 31, 2012, for the next FSAR update. 
The NRC granted the exemption as described in Federal Register Notice 
(FRN) 76 FR 32994 (June 7, 2011). The NRC is currently performing a 
detailed review of the CCNPP3 RCOL application, as well as AREVA NP's 
application for design certification of the U.S. EPR.

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), which is a part of the application.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii), the next annual update of the 
NMP3NPP COL application FSAR would be due in December 2012. By letter 
to the NRC dated November 27, 2012, UNE

[[Page 4880]]

requested a one-time exemption from the 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) 
requirements to submit the scheduled 2012 COL application FSAR update, 
and proposed for approval of a new submittal deadline of December 31, 
2013, for the next FSAR update.
    UNE's requested exemption is a one-time schedule change from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). The exemption would allow UNE 
to submit the next FSAR update by December 31, 2013. The current FSAR 
update schedule could not be changed, absent the exemption. UNE 
requested the exemption by letter dated November 27, 2012 (Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession Number 
ML12342A012). The NRC notes that the granting of the exemption applies 
prospectively, rather than retroactively, so this exemption applies to 
required actions from the date of exemption issuance and does not 
retroactively authorize a previous failure to take required action.

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)).
    The review of the NMP3NPP COL application FSAR has been suspended 
since December 1, 2009. Since the COL application incorporates by 
reference the application for a Standard Design Certification for the 
U.S. EPR, many changes in the U.S. EPR FSAR require an associated 
change to the COL application FSAR, and because the NRC review of the 
COL application is suspended, the updates to the COL application FSAR 
will not be reviewed by the NRC staff until the NMP3NPP COL application 
review is resumed. Thus, the optimum time to prepare a revision to the 
COL application FSAR is sometime prior to UNE requesting the NRC to 
resume its review. Preparing and submitting a COL application FSAR 
update when the review remains suspended and in the absence of any 
decision by UNE to request the NRC to resume the review would require 
UNE to spend significant time and effort, and would be of no value, 
particularly due to the fact that the U.S. EPR FSAR is still undergoing 
periodic revisions and updates. UNE commits to submit the next FSAR 
update by December 31, 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 NMP3NPP COL application FSAR would provide only 
temporary relief from the regulations of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). UNE 
has made good faith efforts to comply with 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) by 
submitting Revision 1 to the COL application on March 31, 2009, prior 
to requesting the review suspension. Revision 1 incorporated 
information provided in prior supplements and standardized language 
with the RCOL application.

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 UNE 
to submit the next NMP3NPP COL application FSAR update on or before 
December 31, 2013. As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to 
grant exemptions. The NRC staff has determined that granting UNE 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. 
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. In addition, since the review of the application has been 
suspended, any update to the application submitted by UNE will not be 
reviewed by the NRC at this time. 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 UNE to submit the next FSAR 
update on or before December 31, 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)).
    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. 
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 UNE 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 NMP3NPP 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 safety evaluation report. 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

[[Page 4881]]

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 UNE has made 
good faith efforts to comply with the regulation by submitting Revision 
1 to the COL application on March 31, 2009, prior to requesting the 
review suspension. Revision 1 incorporated information provided in 
prior supplements and standardized language with the RCOL application. 
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 quality of 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), and justified by the NRC staff as follows:
    (c) The following categories of actions are categorical exclusions:
    (25) Granting of an exemption from the requirements of any 
regulation of this chapter, provided that--
    (i) There is no significant hazards consideration;
    The criteria for determining whether there is no 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 has been suspended. 
Therefore, there is no significant hazards 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) There is no significant change in the types or significant 
increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite;

    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) There is no significant increase in individual or cumulative 
public or occupational radiation exposure;

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) There is no significant construction impact;

The proposed action involves only a schedule change which is 
administrative in nature; the application review is suspended until 
further notice, and there is no consideration of any construction at 
this time, and hence the proposed action does not involve any 
construction impact.
    (v) There is no significant increase in the potential for or 
consequences from radiological accidents; and

The proposed action involves only a schedule change which is 
administrative in nature, and does not impact the probability or 
consequences of accidents.
    (vi) The requirements from which an exemption is sought involve:
    (B) Reporting requirements;

The exemption request involves submitting an updated FSAR by UNE
    (G) Scheduling requirements;

The proposed exemption 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 UNE a one-time exemption from the requirements of 10 
CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) pertaining to the NMP3NPP COL application to allow 
submittal of the next FSAR update no later than December 31, 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 51.22(c)(25), and the granting of this exemption will not 
have a significant effect on the quality of 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 Branch 1, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of 
New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2013-01326 Filed 1-22-13; 8:45 am]
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