[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 151 (Wednesday, August 6, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45846-45849]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18631]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-305 and 72-64; NRC-2014-0185]


Exemptions; Issuance: Dominion Energy Kewaunee, Inc.

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

[[Page 45847]]


ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to a June 4, 2013, request from Dominion Energy 
Kewaunee, Inc. (DEK, the licensee), from certain regulatory 
requirements. The exemption would remove the requirement that a 
licensed senior operator approve the emergency suspension of security 
measures for Kewaunee Power Station (KPS) during certain emergency 
conditions or during severe weather.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0185 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain 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-2014-0185. 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 INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection 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: William Huffman, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2046, email: William.Huffman@nrc.gov.

I. Background

    Dominion Energy Kewaunee, Inc. (DEK) is the holder of Renewed 
Facility License No. DPR-43. 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 permanently shutdown and defueled 
pressurized water reactor and a general licensed independent spent fuel 
storage installation located in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin.
    By letter dated February 25, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML13058A065), DEK submitted to the NRC the certification in accordance 
with Section 50.82(a)(1)(i) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) indicating it would permanently cease power 
operations at KPS on May 7, 2013. On May 7, 2013, DEK permanently 
ceased power operation at KPS. By letter dated May 14, 2013 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML13135A209), DEK submitted to the NRC the certification 
per 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1)(ii) that the reactor vessel at KPS was 
permanently defueled.

II. Request/Action

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions,'' the licensee has, 
by letter dated June 4, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13161A168), 
requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), 
which otherwise require in part that a licensed senior operator 
approves the suspension of security measures during certain emergency 
conditions or during severe weather. Portions of the letter dated June 
4, 2013, contain sensitive unclassified non-safeguards information 
(security-related) and, accordingly, have been withheld from public 
disclosure. The regulations in 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 
73.55(p)(1)(ii), respectively, specify that the suspension of security 
measures must be approved by, as a minimum, a licensed senior operator, 
or a licensed senior operator with input from the security supervisor 
or manager.
    The exemption request relates solely to the licensing requirements 
specified in the regulations for the staff directing suspension of 
security measures in accordance with 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 
73.55(p)(1)(ii). Section 73.55(p)(1)(i) of 10 CFR requires that 
``suspension of security measures must be approved as a minimum by a 
licensed senior operator before taking this action''; 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(ii) requires that ``suspension of security measures must be 
approved, as a minimum, by a licensed senior operator, with input from 
the security supervisor or manager, before taking this action.''
    This exemption would remove the requirement for a licensed senior 
operator to provide the approval. Instead, the licensee intends the 
suspension of security measures to be authorized by a certified fuel 
handler (CFH), as defined in 10 CFR 50.2.

III. Discussion

    Historically, the Commission's security rules have long recognized 
the potential to suspend security or safeguards measures. In 1986, in 
its Final Rule, ``Miscellaneous Amendments Concerning the Physical 
Protection of Nuclear Power Plants,'' 51 FR 27,817 (Aug. 4, 1986), the 
Commission promulgated 10 CFR 73.55(a), stating in part:

    In accordance with Sec.  50.54(x) and (y) of Part 50, the 
licensee may suspend any safeguards measures pursuant to Sec.  73.55 
in an emergency when this action is immediately needed to protect 
the public health and safety and no action consistent with license 
conditions and technical specification that can provide adequate or 
equivalent protection is immediately apparent. This suspension must 
be approved as a minimum by a licensed senior operator prior to 
taking the action.

    Later, in Proposed Rule, ``Decommissioning of Nuclear Power 
Plants,'' 60 FR 37,374, (July 20, 1995), the Commission made a number 
of proposed rule changes to address decommissioning. Among the changes 
were new regulations that affected Sec.  50.54(x) and (y) by allowing a 
non-licensed operator called a ``Certified Fuel Handler,'' in addition 
to a licensed senior operator, to authorize protective steps. 
Specifically, when proposing the rule addressing the role of the CFH 
during emergencies, the Commission stated:

    The Commission is proposing to amend 10 CFR 50.54(y) to permit a 
certified fuel handler at nuclear power reactors that have 
permanently ceased operations and permanently removed fuel from the 
reactor vessel, subject to the requirements of Sec.  50.82(a) and 
consistent with the proposed definition of ``Certified Fuel 
Handler'' specified in Sec.  50.2, to make these evaluations and 
judgments. A nuclear power reactor that has permanently ceased 
operations and no longer has fuel in the reactor vessel does not 
require a licensed individual to monitor core conditions. A 
certified fuel handler at a permanently shutdown and defueled 
nuclear power reactor undergoing decommissioning is an individual 
who has the requisite knowledge and experience to evaluate plant 
conditions and make these judgments.

    In the final rule, 61 FR 39,278 (July 29, 1996), the Commission 
added the following definition to 10 CFR 50.2: ``Certified fuel handler 
means, for a nuclear power reactor facility, a non-licensed operator 
who has qualified in accordance with a fuel handler training program 
approved by the Commission.'' However, the Decommissioning Rule did not 
propose or make parallel

[[Page 45848]]

changes to 10 CFR 73.55(a), and did not discuss the role of a non-
licensed certified fuel handler.
    In the Final Rule, ``Power Reactor Security Requirements,'' 74 FR 
13,926 (March 27, 2009), the NRC relocated and split the security 
suspension requirements from 10 CFR 73.55(a) to 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) 
and (p)(1)(ii). CFHs were not discussed in the rulemaking, so the 
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p) to use a licensed senior operator 
remains, even for a site that otherwise no longer has an operating 
reactor.
    However, pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission may, upon 
application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant 
exemptions from the requirements of this 10 CFR Part 73 as it 
determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property 
or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public 
interest.

A. Authorized by Law

    The exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(ii) 
would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve 
the suspension of security measures, under certain emergency conditions 
or severe weather. The licensee intends to align these regulations with 
10 CFR 50.54(y) by using the authority of a non-licensed CFH in place 
of a licensed senior operator to approve the suspension of security 
measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather.
    Per 10 CFR 73.5, the Commission's regulations allow the Commission 
to grant exemptions from the regulations in 10 CFR Part 73 as the 
Commission determines are authorized by law. 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 
other laws. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.

B. Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and 
Security

    Removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve 
suspension of security measures during emergencies or severe weather 
will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security 
for the reasons described below.
    First, 10 CFR 73.55(p)(2) continues to require that ``[s]uspended 
security measures must be reinstated as soon as conditions permit.''
    Second, the suspension for non-weather emergency conditions under 
10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) will continue to be invoked only ``when this 
action is immediately needed to protect the public health and safety 
and no action consistent with license conditions and technical 
specifications that can provide adequate or equivalent protection is 
immediately apparent.'' Thus, the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(i) will still be to protect public health and safety even 
after the exemption is granted.
    Third, the suspension for severe weather under 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be used only when ``the suspension of 
affected security measures is immediately needed to protect the 
personal health and safety of security force personnel and no other 
immediately apparent action consistent with the license conditions and 
technical specifications can provide adequate or equivalent 
protection.'' The requirement to receive input from the security 
supervisor or manager will remain. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(ii) will continue to be to protect the health and safety of 
the security force.
    Additionally, by letter dated May 12, 2014, the NRC staff approved 
DEK's CFH training and retraining program for the KPS facility. The NRC 
staff found that, among other things, the program addresses the safe 
conduct of decommissioning activities, safe handling and storage of 
spent fuel, and the appropriate response to plant emergencies. Because 
the CFH is sufficiently trained and qualified under an NRC-approved 
program, the NRC staff considers a CFH to have sufficient knowledge of 
operational and safety concerns such that there will be no adverse 
effects or undue risk to the public health and safety as a result of 
the suspension of security measures during the emergencies or severe 
weather.
    In addition, the exemption does not reduce the overall 
effectiveness of the physical security plan and has no adverse impact 
on DEK's ability to physically secure the site or protect special 
nuclear material at KPS, and thus would not have an effect on the 
common defense and security. The NRC staff has concluded that the 
exemption would not reduce security measures currently in place to 
protect against radiological sabotage. Therefore, removing the 
requirement for a licensed senior operator to approve the suspension of 
security measures in an emergency or during severe weather so that 
suspension of security measures can be authorized by CFH does not 
adversely affect public health and safety issues or the assurance of 
the common defense and security.

C. Is Otherwise in the Public Interest

    DEK's proposed exemption would remove the requirement that a 
licensed senior operator approve suspension of security measures in an 
emergency when ``immediately needed to protect the public health and 
safety'' or during severe weather when ``immediately needed to protect 
the personal health and safety of security force personnel.'' Without 
the exemption, the licensee cannot implement changes to its security 
plan to authorize a CFH to approve temporary suspension of security 
regulations during an emergency or severe weather comparable to the 
authority given to the CFH by the Commission when it promulgated 10 CFR 
50.54(y). Instead, the regulations would continue to require that a 
licensed senior operator be available to make decisions for a 
permanently shutdown plant, even though KPS no longer requires a 
licensed senior operator. It is unclear how the licensee would 
implement emergency or severe weather suspensions of security measures 
without a licensed senior operator. This exemption is in the public 
interest for two reasons. First, without the exemption, there is 
uncertainty about how the licensee will invoke temporary suspension of 
security matters that may be needed for protecting public health and 
safety or the safety of the security forces during emergencies and 
severe weather. Additionally, the consistent and efficient regulation 
of nuclear power plants serves the public interest by assuring 
consistency between the security regulations in 10 CFR Part 73 and the 
operating reactor regulations in 10 CFR Part 50, and the requirements 
concerning licensed operators in 10 CFR Part 55. Accordingly, the NRC 
staff concludes that exempting requirements to obtain approval from a 
licensed senior operator, who is not otherwise required for a 
permanently shutdown and defueled reactor, before taking steps to 
protect the public health and safety, or to protect the safety of the 
security force, is in the public interest.

D. Environmental Considerations

    NRC approval of the exemption to security requirements belongs to a 
category of actions that the Commission, by rule or regulation, has 
declared to be a categorical exclusion, after first finding that the 
category of actions does not individually or cumulatively have a 
significant effect on the human environment. Specifically the exemption 
is categorically excluded from further analysis under 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25).

[[Page 45849]]

    Under 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25), granting of an exemption from the 
requirements of any regulation of Chapter I to 10 CFR is a categorical 
exclusion provided that (i) there is no significant hazards 
consideration; (ii) there is no significant change in the types or 
significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; (iii) there is no significant increase in individual 
or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (iv) there is 
no significant construction impact; (v) there is no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents; and (vi) the requirements from which an exemption is sought 
involve: Safeguard plans, and materials control and accounting 
inventory scheduling requirements; or involve other requirements of an 
administrative, managerial, or organizational nature.
    The Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has determined that approval of the 
exemption request involves no significant hazards consideration because 
removing the requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve the 
security suspension at a defueled shutdown power plant does 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. The 
exempted security regulation is unrelated to any operational 
restriction. Accordingly, there is no significant change in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite; and no significant increase in individual or 
cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure. The exempted 
regulation is not associated with construction, so there is no 
significant construction impact. The exempted regulation does not 
concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation in an 
accident), nor mitigation. Thus, there is no significant increase in 
the potential for, or consequences of, a radiological accident. The 
requirement to have a licensed senior operator approve departure from 
security actions may be viewed as involving either safeguards, 
materials control, or managerial matters.
    Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 51.22(c)(25), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the approval of this exemption request.

IV. Conclusions

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, the exemption 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 DEK exemption 
from the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 10 CFR 
73.55(p)(1)(ii), which otherwise would require suspension of security 
measures during emergencies and severe weather, respectively, to be 
approved by a licensed senior operator. The exemption is effective upon 
issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 25th day of July 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
A. Louise Lund,
Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2014-18631 Filed 8-5-14; 8:45 am]
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