[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 56 (Monday, March 24, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16062-16064]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06354]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos.: 52-034 and 52-035; NRC-2008-0594]


Luminant Generation Company, LLC; Combined License Application 
for Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant, Units 3 and 4, Exemption

1.0 Background

    Luminant Generation Company, LLC. (Luminant) submitted to the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Combined License (COL) 
applications for two United States--Advanced Pressurized Water Reactors 
(US-APWR) in accordance with the requirements of Part 52 of Title 10 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Subpart C, ``Licenses, 
Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants.'' These 
reactors will be identified as Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant 
(CPNPP), Units 3 and 4, and are located at the existing Comanche Peak 
site in Somervell County, Texas. The NRC docketed the application on 
December 2, 2008, and is currently performing a review of the 
application. In addition, the NRC is currently performing a detailed 
review of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) application for 
the design certification of the US-APWR.

2.0 Request/Action

    The regulations specified in 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) require that 
an applicant for a COL under Subpart C of 10 CFR Part 52 shall, during 
the period from docketing of a COL application (COLA), 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 COLA.
    On November 7, 2013, (Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML13316A369) Luminant submitted a request 
to the NRC that all reviews associated with the COLA for CPNPP, Units 3 
and 4, be suspended for an indeterminate period beginning March 31, 
2014. Luminant then submitted COLA, FSAR, Revision 4, on November 26, 
2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13344B515). Pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(3)(iii), the next annual update (COLA, FSAR, Revision 5) would 
be due in November 2014. On January 14, 2014, Luminant requested an 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) for an 
indeterminate period until a change in COLA status is formally 
requested (ADAMS Accession No. ML14016A298).
    In summary, the requested exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 
50.71(e)(3)(iii) is for an indeterminate period. The exemption would 
allow Luminant to submit the subsequent FSAR update (Revision 5) one 
year after the COLA review suspension period is formally ended. The 
FSAR update schedule could not be changed, absent the exemption.
    Luminant's requested exemption is interpreted as a one-time 
schedule change from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). In 
its request, Luminant asked the NRC to grant the exemption

[[Page 16063]]

from 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii), until one year after the end of the 
suspension period. Because such a request is seen as open-ended, the 
NRC included an imposed November 30, 2015 deadline as part of its 
review of the exemption request. The exemption would allow Luminant to 
submit the next FSAR update at a later date, but still within a 
reasonable timeframe of NRC's reinstating its review of the application 
and in any event, by November 30, 2015. The current requirement to 
submit an FSAR update could not be changed, absent the exemption.

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)); (2) ``Compliance would result in undue hardship or 
other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when 
the regulation was adopted, or that are significantly in excess of 
those incurred by others similarly situated'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(iii)); or (3) ``The exemption would provide only temporary 
relief from the applicable regulation and the licensee has made good 
faith efforts to comply with the regulation'' (10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(v)).
    The purpose of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) is to ensure that the NRC 
has the most up to date information regarding the COL application, in 
order to perform an efficient and effective review. The rule targeted 
those applications that are being actively reviewed by the NRC. Because 
Luminant requested the NRC suspend its review of the CPNPP, Units 3 and 
4 COL application, compelling Luminant to submit its FSAR on an annual 
basis is not necessary as the FSAR will not be changed or updated until 
the review is restarted. Requiring the updates would result in undue 
hardship on Luminant, and the purpose of 50.71(e)(3)(iii) would still 
be achieved if the update is submitted after restarting the review and 
in any event by November 30, 2015.
    The requested exemption for filing CPNPP COLA FSAR updates would 
provide relief from the regulations of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) until 1 
year after the review suspension has formally been ended. Luminant has 
made good faith efforts to comply with 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) by 
maintaining a ``living'' COLA, in which Luminant continuously 
incorporates changes resulting from its responses to requests for 
additional information (RAIs), commitments, or other identified 
changes. Luminant has also submitted proposed changes to the COLA FSAR 
pages along with responses to NRC RAIs. Additionally, Luminant has 
periodically submitted Updated Tracking Reports, which provide changes 
to the COLA FSAR that reflect changes to the COLA FSAR.

Authorized by Law

    The exemption is a one-time exemption from the requirements of 10 
CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). The exemption would allow the applicant to submit 
the CPNPP, Units 3 and 4, COLA FSAR annual update currently scheduled 
for November 2014, on or before November 30, 2015 and to submit the 
subsequent FSAR annual update in November 2016. As stated above, 10 CFR 
50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions. The NRC staff has determined 
that granting Luminant a 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 COLA 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 above, no new accident precursors are created by the 
exemption; 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 authorized exemption would allow Luminant to submit the FSAR 
annual update (Revision 5) currently scheduled for November 2014, on or 
before November 30, 2015 and to submit the subsequent FSAR annual 
update in November 2016. 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)); (2) ``Compliance would result in undue hardship or 
other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when 
the regulation was adopted, or that are significantly in excess of 
those incurred by others similarly situated'' (10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(iii)); or (3) ``The exemption would provide only temporary 
relief from the applicable regulation and the licensee 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 COLA 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 
exemption is solely administrative in nature, in that it pertains to 
submittal of revisions to an application under 10 CFR Part 52, for 
which a license has not been granted. Because the requirement to 
annually update the FSAR was intended for active reviews and the CPNPP 
Units 3 and 4 COL application review will soon be suspended, the 
application of this regulation in this particular circumstance is 
unnecessary in order to achieve its underlying purpose. The requested 
exemption would permit Luminant to fully suspend work on the CCNPP COLA 
FSAR for more than 1 year. Due to the suspension of review work, this 
exemption will not affect the NRC staff's review, and therefore does 
not affect the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii). Because 
the application of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) in the particular 
circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of 
that rule; granting a one-time

[[Page 16064]]

exemption from 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) would provide relief during the 
suspension of review work. Since Luminant has made good faith efforts 
to comply with the regulation, 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 consideration 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 
Luminant and
    (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(a), a one-time exemption is authorized by law and 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 Luminant a 
one-time exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(e)(3)(iii) 
pertaining to the CPNPP, Units 3 and 4, COLA to allow the submittal of 
the FSAR update scheduled for November 2014, on or before November 30, 
2015 and to submit the subsequent FSAR annual update in November 2016.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22, the Commission 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 13th day of March 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Samuel Lee,
Chief, Licensing Branch 2, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of 
New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-06354 Filed 3-21-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P