[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 120 (Friday, June 21, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37592-37594]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14910]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-285; NRC-2013-0130]


Omaha Public Power District, Fort Calhoun Station, Unit 1; 
Exemption

1.0 Background

    Omaha Public Power District (OPPD, the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License, which authorizes operation of Fort Calhoun 
Station (FCS), Unit 1. 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) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of one pressurized-water reactor located in 
Washington County, Nebraska.

2.0 Request/Action

    Section 26.205(d)(3) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR), requires licensees to ensure that individuals who perform 
duties identified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) to comply with 
the requirements for maximum average work hours in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7). 
However, 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) provides that during the first 60 days of 
a unit outage, licensees need not meet the requirements of 10 CFR 
26.205(d)(7) for individuals specified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through 
(a)(4), while those individuals are working on outage activities. The 
less restrictive requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) are 
permitted to be applied during the first 60 days of a unit outage 
following a period of normal plant operation in which the workload and 
overtime levels are controlled by 10 CFR 26.205(d)(3). The regulations 
in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) also require licensees to ensure that the 
individuals specified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(3) have at least 
3 days off in each successive (i.e., non-rolling) 15-day period and 
that the individuals specified in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(4) have at least 1 day 
off in any 7-day period.
    Regulatory Guide (RG) 5.73, ``Fatigue Management for Nuclear Power 
Plant Personnel,'' March 2009 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML083450028), endorses Nuclear 
Energy Institute (NEI) 06-11, Revision 1, ``Managing Personnel Fatigue 
at Nuclear Power Reactor Sites,'' October 2008 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML083110161), with clarifications, additions and exceptions. Position 
10 of RG 5.73 ``C. Regulatory Position'' provides an acceptable 
alternate method to the method stated in the NEI 06-11, Section 8.3, 
for transitioning individuals who are working an outage at one site 
onto an outage at another site.
    By letter dated October 10, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12284A344), 
the licensee requested a one-time exemption in accordance with 10 CFR 
26.9 from the specific requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7). Currently, 
10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) permit the use of less restrictive 
working hour limitations during the first 60 days of a unit outage, in 
lieu of the requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7). The proposed exemption 
would allow the use of the less restrictive working hour limitations 
described in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) to support activities 
required for plant startup from the current extended outage, for a 
period not to exceed 60 days. The exemption would apply to the 
operations, chemistry, radiation protection, security, fire brigade, 
and maintenance personnel as defined in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through 
(a)(5). The licensee is requesting this one-time exemption to 
facilitate the licensee in its efforts to complete work activities

[[Page 37593]]

supporting the restart of FCS from the current extended refueling 
outage, which began in April 2011.

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 26.9, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 26 when the exemptions are authorized 
by law, and will not endanger life or property or the common defense 
and security, and are otherwise in the public interest.
    FCS, Unit 1 commenced a refueling outage on April 9, 2011, and 
declared an Unusual Event on June 6, 2011. The first 60 days of the 
outage during which the less restrictive work-hour limitations of 10 
CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) were in effect, ended in June 2011. 
However, due to the declaration of the flooding emergency, work-hour 
limitations were suspended until the Unusual Event was exited on August 
29, 2011. The proposed exemption would allow the use of the less 
restrictive working-hour limitations described in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) 
and (d)(5) to support activities required for plant startup from the 
current extended outage, for a period not to exceed 60 days. The 
proposed exemption would apply to the personnel performing the duties 
defined in 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5).
    In August 2012, FCS transitioned from compliance with 10 CFR 
26.205(d)(3) (minimum days off) to compliance with the maximum average 
work hour requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7). By letter dated April 
11, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13102A047), the licensee provided 
Standing Order (SO) SO-G-52, which set forth requirements and 
expectations for controlling the work hours of FCS plant staff in 
accordance with 10 CFR Part 26, Subpart I, ``Managing Fatigue.'' The 
requirements of this standing order are intended to provide reasonable 
assurance that worker fatigue will be avoided, that individuals will be 
able to safely perform their duties, and that personnel are not 
assigned to duties while in a fatigued condition that could 
significantly reduce their mental alertness or their decision-making 
ability. Work group timekeepers for on-line and plant outage periods 
are to maintain schedules and time reports. Duration of scheduled work 
and break periods, start times, rotating schedules, training, and 
vacation are considered when establishing work schedules.
    Notwithstanding the exemption for this specific requirement, the 
licensee will continue to be in compliance with all other requirements 
as described in 10 CFR part 26.

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow the licensee to use the less restrictive 
working-hour limitations provided in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) for 
completion of the outage activities, for a period of 60 days, during 
the current extended outage. The approval of this exemption, as noted 
above, would allow the licensee the use of the less restrictive 
working-hour limitations described in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5) 
for an additional period not to exceed 60 days or until the reactor 
unit is connected to the electrical grid whichever occurs first, to 
support activities required for plant startup from the current extended 
outage.
    As stated above, 10 CFR 26.9 allows the NRC to grant exemptions 
from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 26. The NRC staff has determined 
that granting of the licensee's proposed exemption would not result in 
a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the 
Commission's regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by 
law.

Will Not Endanger Life or Property

    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) is to provide 
licensees flexibility in scheduling required days off when 
accommodating the more intense work schedules associated with a unit 
outage, while assuring that cumulative fatigue does not compromise the 
abilities of individuals to safely and competently perform their duties
    Since August 2012, FCS personnel have averaged considerably less 
than 54 hours per week. This provides assurance that covered workers 
are not already fatigued from working an outage schedule. This 
exemption would allow the licensee to implement the less restrictive 
work-hour requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) to allow flexibility in 
scheduling required days off while accommodating the more intensive 
work schedules that accompany completion of FCS extended outage. 
Therefore, cumulative fatigue does not compromise the abilities of 
affected individuals to safely and competently perform their duties.
    By letter dated March 16, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13101A004), 
the licensee stated that no waivers have been issued under 10 CFR 
26.207 by FCS operations, maintenance, chemistry, security, or 
radiation protection departments since the end of January 2012. The 
licensee specifically stated that since August 2012, FCS personnel have 
averaged considerably less than 54 hours per week.
    Furthermore, by letter dated May 24, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13148A057), the licensee committed that ``OPPD will ensure that no 
individual covered by 10 CFR 26.4(a)(1) through (a)(5) works more than 
50 hours per week averaged over the 2-week period prior to the 
effective date of the exemption.''
    No new accident precursors are created by invoking the less 
restrictive work-hour limitations on a date commensurate with the start 
of those activities supporting the completion of the extended outage at 
FCS, provided that the licensee has effectively managed fatigue for the 
affected individuals prior to this date. Thus, no new accident 
precursors are created by invoking the less restrictive work-hour 
limitations on a date commensurate with the start of activities 
supporting the restart of FCS. The licensee will effectively manage 
fatigue for the covered individuals prior to this date. Thus, the 
probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Also, based on 
the above, the consequences of postulated accidents are not increased. 
Therefore, granting this exemption will not endanger life or property.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow for the use of the less 
restrictive work-hour requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) in lieu of 10 
CFR 26.205(d)(7). This exemption would affect operations, radiation 
protection, chemistry, fire brigade, security, and maintenance 
personnel supporting the completion of the outage activities for FCS, 
which has been in an extended outage since April 9, 2011.
    The licensee will maintain the qualified personnel in the 
operations, radiation protection, chemistry, fire brigade, security, 
and maintenance departments on a schedule that complies with 10 CFR 
26.205(d)(7) requirements. The exemption would continue to serve the 
underlying purpose of 10 CFR Part 26, Subpart I, in that assurance 
would be provided such that cumulative fatigue of individuals to safely 
and competently perform their duties will not be compromised. 
Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this 
exemption.

Consistent With the Public Interest

    The proposed exemption would allow the licensee to implement the 
less restrictive work-hour requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) in lieu 
of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7) to allow flexibility in scheduling required days 
off while accommodating the more intensive work schedules that 
accompany a unit

[[Page 37594]]

outage. By letter dated March 16, 2013, the licensee explained the 
events supporting the less restrictive limitations requiring 
flexibility in scheduling. During the completion of the extended 
outage, the workload for the affected personnel will undergo a 
temporary but significant increase due to the various activities 
surrounding the significant operational events involving a fire in 
safety related electrical switchgear, flooding, and transitioning to 
Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC) 0350, ``Oversight of Reactor Facilities 
in a Shutdown Condition due to Significant Performance and/or 
Operational Concerns,'' from being in an extended shutdown with 
significant performance problems. Because of these events, there has 
been an increase in workload prior to restart. OPPD also noted that a 
number of new issues have been discovered that must be tested and 
restored. During the extended shutdown, extensive work has been 
initiated to address deficiencies noted in containment building 
electrical penetrations, containment structural supports, and the 
impact of flooding hazards related to systems, structures, and 
components. These activities are in addition to the normal FCS startup 
activities involving operation and surveillance testing of primary 
systems and components. Ensuring a sufficient number of qualified 
personnel are available to support these activities is in the interest 
of overall public health and safety. Therefore, this exemption is 
consistent with the public interest.

4.0 Environmental Consideration

    The exemption would authorize a one-time exemption from the 
requirements of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7) to allow the use of the less 
restrictive hour limitations described in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and 
(d)(5). Using the standard set forth in 10 CFR 50.92 for amendments to 
operating licenses, the NRC staff determined that the subject exemption 
sought involves employment suitability requirements. The NRC has 
determined that this exemption involves no significant hazards 
considerations:
    (1) The proposed exemption is administrative in nature and is 
limited to changing the timeframe when less restrictive hours can be 
worked. This does not result in any changes to the design basis 
requirements for the structures, systems, and components (SSCs) at FCS 
that function to limit the release of non-radiological effluents during 
and following postulated accidents. Therefore, issuance of this 
exemption does not increase the probability or consequences of an 
accident previously evaluated.
    (2) The proposed exemption is administrative in nature and is 
limited to changing the timeframe when less restrictive hours can be 
worked. The proposed exemption does not make any changes to the 
facility or operating procedures and would not create any new accident 
initiators. The proposed exemption does not alter the design, function 
or operation of any plant equipment. Therefore, this exemption does not 
create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any 
accident previously evaluated.
    (3) The proposed exemption is administrative in nature and is 
limited to changing the timeframe when less restrictive hours can be 
worked. The proposed exemption does not alter the design, function or 
operation of any plant equipment. Therefore, this exemption does not 
involve a significant reduction in the margin of safety.
    Based on the above, the NRC concludes that the proposed exemption 
does not involve a significant hazards consideration under the 
standards set forth in 10 CFR 50.92, and accordingly, a finding of ``no 
significant hazards consideration'' is justified.
    The NRC staff has also determined that the exemption involves no 
significant increase in the amounts, and no significant change in the 
types, of any effluents that may be released offsite; that there is no 
significant increase in individual or cumulative occupational radiation 
exposure; and there is no significant increase in the potential for or 
consequences from a radiological accident. Furthermore, the requirement 
from which the licensee will be exempted involves scheduling 
requirements. Accordingly, the exemption meets the eligibility criteria 
for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25). Pursuant to 
10 CFR 51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental 
assessment is required to be prepared in connection with the issuance 
of the exemption.

5.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
26.9, ``Specific exemptions,'' an exemption from 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7) is 
authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest.
    Therefore, the Commission hereby grants OPPD a one-time, 60-day 
exemption from 10 CFR 26.205(d)(7) to allow the use of the work hour 
limitations described in 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) and (d)(5).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance. The licensee may 
implement the work hour provisions of 10 CFR 26.205(d)(4) for 60 days 
or until the completion of the current extended outage, whichever is 
shorter.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of June 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Michele G. Evans,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2013-14910 Filed 6-20-13; 8:45 am]
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