[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 7 (Friday, January 10, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 1901-1903]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00253]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-219; NRC-2013-0288]


Exelon Generation Company, LLC; License Exemption Request for 
Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to an October 14, 2013, request from Exelon 
Generation Company (the licensee) for a one-time exemption from the 
requirement to participate in the biennial Emergency Preparedness (EP) 
exercise. The licensee requested to delay conduct of the exercise from 
October 8, 2013, to March 18, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0288 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0288. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER

[[Page 1902]]

INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
     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.
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John G. Lamb, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing; telephone: 
301-415-3100, email: John.Lamb@nrc.gov; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington DC 20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following sections include the text of 
the exemption in its entirety as issued to Exelon Generation Company, 
LLC.

I. Background

    The Exelon Generation Company, LLC (the licensee) is the holder of 
Facility Operating License No. DPR-16, which authorizes operation of 
the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (OCNGS). The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the NRC now or hereafter in effect. 
The facility consists of a boiling-water reactor located in Ocean 
County, New Jersey.

II. Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 50, 
Appendix E, Sections IV.F.2.b and IV.F.2.c requires that ``[o]ffsite 
plans for each site shall be exercised biennially with full 
participation by each offsite authority having a role under the 
radiological response plan.'' By letter dated October 14, 2013, and 
supplemented on December 19, 2013 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML13288A177 and 
ML13357A662, respectively), the licensee requested a one-time exemption 
from this requirement that would allow the licensee to delay conduct of 
a biennial emergency preparedness (EP) exercise from October 8, 2013, 
to March 18, 2014. The licensee's request states that the Federal 
government shutdown various government agencies on October 1, 2013, due 
to a lapse in funding appropriations. The Federal government shutdown 
affected the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) and the 
NRC's capabilities to participate in the OCNGS EP exercise scheduled on 
October 8, 2013. By letter dated October 3, 2013, FEMA notified the New 
Jersey Deputy Superintendent Homeland Security, State Police Division 
Headquarters, that FEMA would not be able to evaluate the OCNGS full 
participation EP exercise, scheduled for October 8, 2013, because all 
FEMA travel was cancelled except for life-saving activities.
    Based on discussions with FEMA and the New Jersey Office of 
Emergency Management (NJOEM) representatives, the licensee does not 
consider it feasible to schedule and perform a full participation 
biennial exercise prior to the end of calendar year (CY) 2013.
    By letter dated October 9, 2013, NJOEM notified the licensee that 
re-scheduling the OCNGS EP exercise to March 18, 2014, was acceptable. 
By letter dated October 10, 2013, FEMA sought concurrence from the New 
Jersey Deputy Superintendent Homeland Security, State Police Division 
Headquarters, for the new proposed OCNGS full participation EP 
exercise, scheduled for March 18, 2014. It further provided that it was 
acceptable for the exercise to be conducted in early 2014.
    By letter dated October 14, 2013, the licensee requested a one-time 
exemption from these requirements to allow a delay for the conduct of 
the biennial EP exercise from October 8, 2013, to March 18, 2014. The 
licensee's request states that due to the lapse in government funding 
appropriations, FEMA and NRC resources were unable to participate in 
the OCNGS EP exercise scheduled for October 8, 2013.

III. Discussion

    By letter dated December 19, 2013, the licensee stated that the 
proposed exemption is not a reduction in effectiveness of the OCNGS EP 
plan. Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, 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) when special circumstances are present.

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow the Federal government response 
organizations to accommodate the Federal government shutdown impacts on 
their resources by postponing the OCNGS EP exercise from the previously 
scheduled date of October 8, 2013, until March 18, 2014.
    As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions 
from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E. The NRC staff has 
determined that granting of the licensee's proposed exemption will 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.

No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    By letter dated December 19, 2013, the licensee stated that the 
proposed exemption is not a reduction in effectiveness of the OCNGS EP 
plan, and the NRC staff agrees.
    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Sections 
IV.F.2.b and IV.F.2.c is to ensure that licensees test and maintain 
interfaces among themselves and affected State and local authorities 
during the intervals between biennial EP exercises by conducting EP 
activities and interactions. In order to accommodate the scheduling of 
full participation exercises, the NRC has allowed licensees to schedule 
the exercises at any time during the calendar biennium. Conducting the 
OCNGS full-participation EP exercise by March 18, 2014, rather than CY 
2013, places the exercise outside of the required biennium. Since the 
last biennial EP exercise on September 27, 2011 (onsite and partial 
offsite demonstration), and June 12, 2012 (offsite demonstration), the 
licensee has conducted training evolutions supported by NJOEM and local 
emergency planning zone authorities. Although these drills and training 
sessions did not exercise all of the proposed rescheduled offsite 
functions, they do support the licensee's assertion that they have a 
continuing level of engagement with the State and local authorities to 
maintain interfaces. During the interim year, the NJOEM and the New 
Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Nuclear 
Engineering also successfully exercised the State Radiological 
Emergency Response Plan and Annex A for Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear 
Generating Stations on May 22, 2012.
    Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by 
allowing the

[[Page 1903]]

licensee to postpone the biennial exercise from CY 2013 until CY 2014; 
thus, the probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Also, 
based on the above, the consequences of postulated accidents are not 
increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk to public health and 
safety.

Consistent With Common Defense and Security

    The proposed exemption would allow rescheduling of the OCNGS 
biennial EP exercise from the previously scheduled date of October 8, 
2013, until March 18, 2014. This change to the EP exercise schedule has 
no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and 
security is not impacted by this exemption.

Special Circumstances

    In order to grant exemptions in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12, 
special circumstances must be present. Special circumstances per 10 CFR 
50.12 that apply to this exemption request are 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii) 
and (v). Special circumstances, per 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), are present 
when: ``[a]pplication 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.'' Sections IV.F.2.b and 
IV.F.2.c of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E require licensees to exercise 
onsite and offsite plans biennially with full or partial participation 
by each offsite authority having a role under the plan. The underlying 
purposes of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Sections IV.F.2.b and IV.F.2.c 
are to require licensees to exercise onsite and offsite plans with 
offsite authority participation to test and maintain interfaces among 
affected State and local authorities and the licensee. The previous 
biennial EP exercise was successfully conducted on September 27, 2011, 
and June 12, 2012. Since this last demonstration, the licensee has 
conducted 10 onsite training drills/exercises/demonstrations and eight 
drills/exercises/demonstrations that have involved interface with State 
and local authorities in 2012 and 2013. The NRC staff considers these 
measures adequate to test and maintain interfaces with affected State 
and local authorities during this period, satisfying the underlying 
purpose of the rule.
    Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(v), special circumstances are present 
whenever 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. The 10 onsite training drills/
exercises/demonstrations and eight drills/exercises/demonstrations 
involving interface with State and local authorities in 2012 and 2013 
demonstrate the licensee's good faith effort to comply with the 
regulations. The requested exemption to postpone the conduct of the 
biennial EP exercise to March 18, 2014, grants only temporary relief 
from the applicable regulation. Therefore, since the underlying purpose 
of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Sections IV.F.2.b and IV.F.2.c are 
achieved, the licensee has made a good faith effort to comply with the 
regulations, and the exemption would grant only temporary relief from 
the applicable regulation, the special circumstances required by 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii and v) exist for the granting of an exemption.

IV. Environmental Considerations

    The proposed exemption to postpone the OCNGS EP exercise from 
October 8, 2013, to March 18, 2014, does not increase the probability 
of an accident because EP exercises are not initiators of any design-
basis event. Additionally, the proposed exemption does not involve any 
physical changes to plant systems, structures, or components (SSCs), or 
the manner in which these SSCs are maintained or controlled. Therefore, 
the proposed exemption does not involve a significant increase in the 
probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.
    The proposed exemption does not alter the physical design, safety 
limits, or safety analysis assumptions associated with the operation of 
OCNGS. Accordingly, the proposed exemption does not introduce any new 
accident initiators, nor does it reduce or adversely affect the 
capabilities of any plant structure or system in the performance of 
their safety function. Therefore, the proposed exemption does not 
create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any 
previously evaluated.
    The proposed exemption does not impact the assumptions of any 
design-basis accident, and does not alter assumptions relative to the 
mitigation of an accident or transient event. Also, the proposed 
exemption does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of 
safety.
    The NRC staff has determined that the three standards of 10 CFR 
50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC proposes to determine that 
the exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration.
    The NRC staff determined that the proposed exemption changes the EP 
exercise from October 8, 2013, to March 18, 2014, 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; that there is no significant construction impact; and there 
is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from a 
radiological accident.
    The NRC staff has further determined that the requirements from 
which the exemption is sought involve the factors associated with 10 
CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G)--scheduling requirements. Specifically, the 
proposed exemption changes the EP exercise from October 8, 2013, to 
March 18, 2014.
    Therefore, the criteria specified in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(G) is 
satisfied, and accordingly, the exemption meets the eligibility 
criteria for 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 with the issuance of the 
exemption.

V. Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission 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 Commission, hereby grants Exelon Generation Company, LLC 
an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, 
Sections IV.F.2.b and IV.F.2.c to conduct the OCNGS biennial EP 
exercise required for 2013, permitting that EP exercise to be conducted 
in coordination with NRC and OCNGS schedules on March 18, 2014.
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 30th day of December 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele G. Evans,
Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2014-00253 Filed 1-9-14; 8:45 am]
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