[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 83 (Wednesday, April 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24458-24459]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-09882]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2009-0515]


 Manual Operator Actions in Diversity and Defense-in-Depth 
Analyses

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Standard review plan section; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a 
final revision to the following section of NUREG-0800, ``Standard 
Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power 
Plants: LWR Edition,'' Appendix 18-A, ``Guidance for Crediting Manual 
Operator Actions in Diversity and Defense-in-Depth Analyses.''

DATES: The effective date of this Standard Review Plan (SRP) update is 
May 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2009-0515 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document, which the NRC 
possesses and is publicly available, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2009-0515. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER 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 notice (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The final revision for Appendix 18-A, ``Guidance for 
Crediting Manual Operator Actions in Diversity and Defense-in-Depth 
Analyses,'' is available under ADAMS Accession No. ML13115A156. The 
staff also prepared a redline version of SRP Appendix 18-A showing the 
differences between the proposed and final version of the document 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML13240A359).
     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.
     The NRC posts its issued staff guidance on the NRC's 
external Web page (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr0800/).

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  On November 27, 2009 (74 FR 62355), the NRC 
published for public comment the proposed appendix ``Guidance for 
Crediting Manual Operator Actions in Diversity and Defense-in-Depth 
(D3) Analyses'' in Chapter 18, ``Human Factors Engineering''. The staff 
received a total of 12 comments on the draft appendix from one industry 
stakeholder and the Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards. These 
comments can generally be characterized as: (1) Requesting 
clarification of the draft guidance, (2) requesting additional guidance 
to address uncertainty in the analysis of time available and time 
required for operator action, and (3) requesting that the guidance be 
amended to allow for the crediting of actions in procedures other than 
emergency operating procedures (EOPs) and in locations other than the 
main control room. The staff made changes to the draft SRP in response 
to the first two categories of comments but did not make changes in 
response to the third category of comment. A summary of the comments 
and the staff's disposition of the comments are available in a separate 
document, Response to Public Comments on Draft Standard Review Plan 
(SRP) Appendix 18-A, ``Guidance for Crediting Manual Operator Actions 
in Diversity and Defense-in-Depth (D3) Analyses'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13115A144).

Backfitting and Issue Finality

    Appendix 18-A of the SRP provides guidance to the staff for 
reviewing applications for a construction permit and an operating 
license under Part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) with respect to human factors engineering. The SRP also 
provides guidance for reviewing an application for a standard design 
approval, a standard design certification, a combined license, and a 
manufacturing license under 10 CFR part 52 with respect to those same 
subject matters.
    Issuance of these SRP section revisions does not constitute 
backfitting as defined in 10 CFR 50.109 (the Backfit Rule) nor is it 
inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The 
NRC's position is based upon the following considerations.
    1. The SRP positions would not constitute backfitting, in as much 
as the SRP is internal guidance to NRC staff.
    The SRP provides internal guidance to the NRC 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 
either nuclear power plant applicants or licensees are protected under 
either the Backfit Rule or the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 
52.
    2. The NRC staff has no intention to impose the SRP positions on 
existing licensees either now or in the future.
    The NRC staff does not intend to impose or apply the positions 
described in the SRP to existing licenses and regulatory approvals. 
Hence, the issuance of this SRP--even if considered guidance within the 
purview

[[Page 24459]]

of the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52--does not need to be 
evaluated as if it were a backfit or as being inconsistent with issue 
finality provisions. If, in the future, the NRC staff seeks to impose a 
position in the SRP on holders of already issued licenses in a manner 
that 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 in the applicable issue finality provision.
    3. Backfitting and issue finality do not--with limited exceptions 
not applicable here--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. Neither the Backfit Rule nor the issue 
finality provisions under 10 CFR part 52--with certain exclusions--were 
intended to apply to every NRC action that 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) or NRC regulatory 
approval (e.g., a design certification rule) with specified issue 
finality provisions. The NRC staff does not, at this time, intend to 
impose the positions represented in the SRP in a manner that is 
inconsistent with any issue finality provisions. If, in the future, the 
staff seeks to impose a position in the SRP section in a manner that 
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.

Congressional Review Act:

    This action is a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec.  801-808). However, the Office of Management and 
Budget has not found it to be a major rule as defined in the 
Congressional Review Act.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of April 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joseph Colaccino,
Chief, Policy Branch, Division of Advanced Reactors and Rulemaking, 
Office of New Reactors.
[FR Doc. 2014-09882 Filed 4-29-14; 8:45 am]
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