[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 122 (Friday, June 25, 2004)]
[Pages 35690-35691]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-14428]



[Docket Nos. 50-247 and 50-286; License Nos. DPR-26 and DPR-64]

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; 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 Petition 
dated September 8, 2003, filed by the Union of Concerned Scientists and

[[Page 35691]]

Riverkeeper, Inc., hereinafter referred to as the ``Petitioners.'' The 
Petition was supplemented on September 22 and October 29, 2003. The 
Petition concerns the operation of the Indian Point Nuclear Generating 
Unit Nos. 2 and 3 (IP2 and 3).
    The Petition requested that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC): (1) take immediate enforcement action against Entergy Nuclear 
Operations, Inc. (Entergy), the licensee for IP2 and 3, by issuing an 
Order requiring Entergy to immediately shut down IP2 and 3 and maintain 
the reactors shutdown until the containment sumps are modified to 
resolve Generic Safety Issue 191 (GSI-191), and (2) as an alternative, 
should the NRC deny the request to require IP2 and 3 to shut down 
immediately, issue an Order to prevent plant restart following each 
plant's next refueling outage until such time that the containment 
sumps are modified to resolve GSI-191. If this alternative is chosen, 
the Petitioners further requested a requirement to be included within 
the Order for Entergy to (a) maintain all equipment needed for 
monitoring leakage of reactor coolant pressure boundary components 
within containment fully functional and immediately shut down the 
affected reactor upon any functional impairment to leakage monitoring 
equipment, and (b) refrain from any activity under 10 CFR 50.59, 10 CFR 
50.90, Section VII.C of the NRC's Enforcement Policy, or Generic Letter 
91-18, Revision 1, that increases or could increase the probability of 
a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA).
    As the basis for this request, the Petitioners stated that there is 
a lack of reasonable assurance that the IP2 and 3 containment sumps 
will be able to perform their function during a LOCA. The Petitioners, 
conclusions regarding the containment sumps were based on their 
analysis of publicly available reports that were prepared for the NRC 
by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The NRC has stated that 
the potential for sump clogging in pressurized-water reactors is an 
issue that is currently being evaluated by the NRC through the NRC's 
Generic Issue Program. In particular, the NRC-sponsored studies that 
formulate the basis for your requested enforcement actions were 
performed in support of the NRC staff's review of GSI-191.
    On September 24, 2003, the Petitioners met with the staff's 
Petition Review Board (PRB) to discuss the Petition and provide 
additional details in support of this request.
    The NRC sent a copy of the Proposed Director's Decision to the 
Petitioners and to the licensee for comment on February 19, 2004. The 
Petitioners responded with comments on March 30, 2004, and the licensee 
had no comments. The Petitioners' comments and the NRC staff's response 
to them are included with the Director's Decision.
    The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has 
determined that the request to order the licensee to suspend operations 
of IP2 and 3 be denied. The reasons for this decision, along with the 
reasons for decisions regarding the remaining Petitioners' requests, 
are explained in the Director's Decision pursuant to 10 CFR 2.206 (DD 
04-02), the complete text of which is available in the Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) for inspection at the 
Commission's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 
Public File Area O-1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland, and from the NRC Web site (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html) on the World Wide Web, under the ``Public Involvement'' icon.
    As stated in its letter to the Petitioners on October 22, 2003, the 
NRC staff told the Petitioners that the request that the NRC issue an 
Order to immediately shut down IP2 and 3 was denied. Consistent with 
the generic issue process, the NRC is currently developing guidance to 
be used by individual plants to evaluate the potential for sump 
clogging. Although many plants have taken steps to further ensure 
adequate sump recirculation in the event of a LOCA, an NRC-approved 
methodology for evaluating each plant's sump performance is intended to 
(1) ensure that each plant evaluates the potential for debris-clogging 
in a consistent manner based on state-of-the-art, staff-approved 
methods and plant-specific information; and (2) provide the NRC with 
the technical basis for ensuring that any proposed solution adequately 
addresses the issue. The data reviewed by the staff to date, including 
the Petition and the Parametric Study, does not support the actions 
requested by the Petitioners. If, at any time during the resolution of 
the generic issue, the NRC should determine that unsafe conditions 
exist at Indian Point or any other plant, immediate actions will be 
taken to ensure the continued health and safety of the public.
    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 18th day of June, 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Brian W. Sheron,
Acting Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-14428 Filed 6-24-04; 8:45 am]