[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 83 (Thursday, April 29, 2004)]
[Pages 23540-23541]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-9692]



[Docket No. 50-346; License No. NPF-03]

FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; Notice of Issuance of 
Director's Decision Under 10 CFR 2.206

    Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, has issued a Director's Decision with regard to a letter 
dated August 25, 2003, filed by Greenpeace pursuant to section 2.206 of 
title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) on behalf of the 
Nuclear Information & Resource Service and the Union of Concerned 
Scientists (collectively, the Petitioners). The Petitioners requested 
that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) take enforcement actions 
against FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FirstEnergy), the 
licensee for Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio, and 
also requested that NRC suspend the Davis-Besse license and prohibit 
plant restart until certain

[[Page 23541]]

conditions have been met. As basis for the request to have the NRC take 
enforcement actions against the licensee, the Petitioners stated that 
FirstEnergy has failed to complete commitments related to the NRC's 
50.54(f) design basis letter (issued on October 9, 1996), and referred 
to numerous design basis violations dating back to plant licensing 
(corresponding to Requests 1 and 2 in the Petitioners' August 25 
letter). The Petitioners also requested that the NRC suspend the Davis-
Besse license and prohibit plant restart until all design basis 
deficiencies identified in response to the NRC's 50.54(f) design basis 
letter are adequately addressed, the plant probabilistic risk 
assessment (PRA) is updated to reflect design flaws, and no systems are 
in a ``degraded but operable'' condition (corresponding to Requests 3, 
4, and 5 in the Petitioners' August 25 letter).
    In a letter dated October 7, 2003, the NRC informed the Petitioners 
that the issues in the Petition were accepted for review under 10 CFR 
2.206 and had been referred to the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation 
for appropriate action. A copy of the acknowledgment letter is publicly 
available in the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS) under Accession No. ML032690314. A copy of the Petition 
is publicly available in ADAMS under the Accession No. ML032400435.
    The Petitioners' representatives met with NRC staff on September 
17, 2003, to provide additional details in support of this request. 
This meeting was transcribed and the transcript is publicly available 
on the NRC Web site as a supplement to the Petition (http://www.nrc.gov/ reactors/operating/ops-experience/vessel-head-degradation/
    The licensee responded to the Petition on October 20, 2003 
(ML033421458). This response was considered by the staff in its 
evaluation of the Petition.
    In a letter dated November 26, 2003 (ML033010172), the NRC provided 
to the Petitioners its evaluation of their ``immediate action'' 
requests. The staff considered the Petitioners'' requests to suspend 
the Davis-Besse license and prohibit plant restart until certain 
conditions have been met to be equivalent to ``immediate action'' 
requests because the Davis-Besse licensee might complete all necessary 
restart activities, and the NRC staff might complete all necessary 
oversight activities, before the staff could finalize the Director's 
Decision on this Petition. Requests 3, 4, and 5 in the Petitioners' 
August 25 letter were considered immediate action requests, and the 
staff's November 26 evaluation is repeated in Section II.D of the 
Director's Decision for completeness.
    The NRC sent a copy of the proposed Director's Decision to the 
Petitioners and to the licensee for comment on February 5, 2004 
(ML040280003). Neither the Petitioners nor the licensee provided 
comments on the proposed Director's Decision.
    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has 
determined that the Petitioners' first request for enforcement based 
solely on failure of the licensee to complete commitments represents a 
misinterpretation of the agency's enforcement policies regarding 
commitments and therefore is denied. The Director of the Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation has also determined that the Petitioners' 
second request for enforcement based on numerous design basis 
violations is in effect being granted by the actions already taken by 
the staff. The reasons for these decisions are explained in Director's 
Decision DD-04-01, the complete text of which is available in ADAMS, or 
is available for inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room 
(PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first 
floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records are accessible 
from the ADAMS Public Electronic Reading Room on the NRC Web site, 
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have 
access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents 
located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR reference staff at 1-800-
397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    A copy of the Director's Decision will be filed with the Secretary 
of the Commission for the Commission's review in accordance with 10 CFR 
2.206 of the Commission's regulations. As provided for by this 
regulation, the Director's Decision will constitute the final action of 
the Commission 25 days after the date of the decision, unless the 
Commission, on its own motion, institutes a review of the Director's 
Decision in that time.

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of April, 2004.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
J.E. Dyer,
Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-9692 Filed 4-28-04; 8:45 am]