[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56749-56750]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22321]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2013-0210]


Site Characteristics and Site Parameters for Nuclear Power Plants

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan-draft section revision; request for 
comment.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeks public 
comment on the proposed revisions to five sections in NUREG-0800, 
``Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for 
Nuclear Power Plants: LWR Edition.'' The five sections which would be 
revised are located in Chapter 2, ``Site Characteristics and Site 
Parameters'' of the Standard Review Plan (SRP), Section 2.5.1, 
``Geologic Characterization Information,'' (currently titled as ``Basic 
Geologic and Seismic Information''); Section 2.5.2, ``Vibratory Ground 
Motion''; Section 2.5.3, ``Surface Deformation'' (currently titled as 
``Surface Faulting''); Section 2.5.4, ``Stability of Subsurface 
Materials and Foundations''; and Section 2.5.5, ``Stability of 
Slopes.''

DATES: Submit comments by October 15, 2013. Comments received after 
this date will be considered, if it is practical to do so, but the 
Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received 
on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods 
(unless this document describes a different method for submitting 
comments on a specific subject):
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0210. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3442; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: 3WFN-06-44M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jonathan DeGange, Office of New 
Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, telephone: 301-415-6992, email: mailto:Jonathan.DeGange@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0210 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
access publicly-available information related to this document by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0210.
     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 ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this document (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The ADAMS Accession numbers for the redline documents 
comparing the current revisions and the proposed revisions of 
individual sections are available in ADAMS: Section 2.5.1, Proposed 
Revision 5 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12300A231), Current Revision 4 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML070730464), Redline (ADAMS Accession No. ML12302A009); 
Section 2.5.2, Proposed Revision 5 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12301A010), 
Current Revision 4 (ADAMS Accession No. ML070730593), Redline (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12302A010); Section 2.5.3, Proposed Revision 5 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12302A003), Current Revision 4 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML070730597), Redline (ADAMS Accession No. ML12302A012); Section 2.5.4, 
Proposed Revision 5 (ML12302A004), Current Revision 4 (ML100610449), 
Redline (ML12302A011); and Section 2.5.5, Proposed Revision 5 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12302A005), Current Revision 4 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML100610529), Redline (ADAMS Accession No. ML12302A013).
     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, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0210 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in you 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit

[[Page 56750]]

comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Further Information

    The Office of New Reactors and Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 
proposes to revise Sections 2.5.1 through 2.5.5 in Chapter 2 of NUREG-
0800, ``Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports 
for Nuclear Power Plants: LWR Edition.
    The proposed changes to the SRP sections reflect the current staff 
review methods and practices based on lessons learned from NRC reviews 
of design certification and combined license applications completed 
since the last revision of this chapter. Changes include: (1) 
incorporating several guidance documents including Interim Staff 
Guidance DC/ISG 017, ``Interim Staff Guidance on Ensuring Hazard-
Consistent Seismic Input for Site Response and Soil Structure 
Interaction Analyses,'' NUREG-2115 and NUREG-2117; (2) adding 
information concerning the Geologic Mapping License Condition; (3) 
adding specification for backfill Inspections, Tests, Analyses, and 
Acceptance Criteria for backfill to be placed under safety related 
structures; (4) adding references to, or clarified the acceptance 
criteria with respect to Appendix S of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) parts 50 and 52, 10 CFR 100.23(d)(2), 100.23(c), 
52.17, C 52.79 and GDC 2; and (5) clarifying and strengthening the 
review interface between various SRP Sections.
    The NRC requests public comments on the proposed revisions to the 
five SRP sections in Chapter 2. After the NRC considers any public 
comments, it will make a determination regarding the issuance of the 
five proposed SRP Sections in final form.

Backfitting and Issue Finality

    The five draft SRP sections, if finalized, would provide guidance 
to the staff with respect to site characteristics and parameters when 
reviewing future applications for construction permits and operating 
licenses under 10 CFR part 50, and future applications for early site 
permits, standard design approvals, standard design certifications, and 
combined licenses under 10 CFR part 52 with respect to those same 
subject matters. The NRC staff does not intend to impose the positions 
in the draft SRP sections, if finalized, on the two existing OL 
applications, the current applications for design certification rules, 
the current applications for early site permits, the two current 
holders of combined licenses, or the current applications for combined 
licenses.
    Issuance of these draft SRP sections, if finalized, would not 
constitute backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109, or otherwise be 
inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The 
staff's position is based upon the following considerations.
    1. The draft SRP positions, if finalized, do not constitute 
backfitting, inasmuch as the SRP is internal guidance to NRC staff.
    The SRP provides interim guidance to the staff on how to review an 
application for NRC regulatory approval in the form of licensing. 
Changes in internal staff guidance are not matters for which applicants 
or licensees are protected under 10 CFR 50.109 or issue finality 
provisions in 10 CFR part 52.
    2. Backfitting and issue finality--with certain exceptions 
discussed below--do not protect current or future applicants.
    Applicants and potential applicants are not, with certain 
exceptions, protected by either the Backfit Rule or any issue finality 
provisions under 10 CFR part 52. This is because neither the Backfit 
Rule nor the issue finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52--with 
certain exclusions discussed below--were intended to apply to every NRC 
action which substantially changes the expectations of current and 
future applicants.
    The exceptions to the general principle are applicable whenever an 
applicant references a 10 CFR part 52 license (e.g., an early site 
permit) and/or NRC regulatory approval (e.g., a design certification 
rule) with specified issue finality provisions. The staff does not, at 
this time, intend to impose the positions represented in the draft SRP 
section (if finalized) in a manner that is inconsistent with any issue 
finality provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a 
position in the draft SRP section (if finalized) in a manner which does 
not provide issue finality as described in the applicable issue 
finality provision, then the staff must address the criteria for 
avoiding issue finality as described in the applicable issue finality 
provision.
    3. The staff has no intention to impose the draft SRP positions on 
existing nuclear power plant licenses or regulatory approvals either 
now or in the future (absent a voluntary request for change from the 
licensee, holder of a regulatory approval, or a design certification 
applicant)
    The staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions 
described in the draft SRP section to existing (already issued) 
licenses (e.g., operating licenses and combined licenses) and 
regulatory approvals--in this case, design certifications. Hence, the 
draft SRP--even if considered guidance which is within the purview of 
the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52--need not be evaluated 
as if it were a backfit or as being inconsistent with issue finality 
provisions. If, in the future, the staff seeks to impose a position in 
the draft SRP (if finalized) on holders of already issued licenses in a 
manner which does not provide issue finality as described in the 
applicable issue finality provision, then the staff must make the 
showing as set forth in the Backfit Rule, or address the criteria for 
avoiding issue finality as described applicable issue finality 
provision, as applicable.
    The NRC staff is issuing this notice to solicit public comments on 
the proposed SRP Sections in Chapter 2. After the NRC staff considers 
any public comments, it will make a determination regarding the 
proposed SRP Sections in Chapter 2.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of September 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2013-22321 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]
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