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 > [Federal Register: December 15, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 240)]
 > [Notices]
 > [Page 70073-70076]
 > >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
 > [DOCID:fr15de99-100]
 > -----------------------------------------------------------------------
 > [Docket No. 50-410]
 > Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation; Nine Mile Point Nuclear
 > Station, Unit No. 2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No
 > Significant Impact
 >     The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is
 > considering the issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License
 > No. NPF-69 issued to Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (the licensee),
 > for operation of the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, Unit 2 (NMP2),
 > located in Oswego County, New York.
 > Environmental Assessment
 > Identification of the Proposed Action
 >     The proposed amendment will revise the existing, or current,
 > Technical Specifications (CTS) for NMP2 in their entirety based on the
 > guidance provided in NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, ``Standard Technical
 > Specifications for General Electric Plants, BWR/4 and BWR/6,'' Revision
 > 1, dated April 1995, and in the Commission's ``Final Policy Statement
 > on Technical Specifications Improvements for Nuclear Power Reactors,''
 > published on July 22, 1993 (58 FR 39132). The proposed amendment is in
 > accordance with the licensee's amendment request dated October 16,
 > 1998, as supplemented by letters dated December 30, 1998; and May 10,
 > June 15, July 30, August 11, 16, 19, 27, and September 10, 1999.
 > The Need for the Proposed Action
 >     It has been recognized that nuclear safety in all nuclear power
 > plants would benefit from an improvement and standardization of plant
 > Technical Specifications (TS). The ``NRC Interim Policy Statement on
 > Technical Specification Improvements for Nuclear Power Plants,'' (52 FR
 > 3788) contained proposed criteria for defining the scope of TS. Later,
 > the Commission's ``Final Policy Statement on Technical Specifications
 > Improvements for Nuclear Power Reactors,'' published on July 22, 1993
 > (58 FR 39132), incorporated lessons learned since publication of the
 > interim policy statement and formed the basis for revisions to 10 CFR
 > 50.36, ``Technical Specifications.'' The ``Final Rule'' (60 FR 36953)
 > codified criteria for determining the content of TS. To facilitate the
 > development of standard TS for nuclear power reactors, each power
 > reactor vendor owners' group (OG) and the NRC staff developed standard
 > TS. For NMP2, the Improved Standard Technical Specifications (ISTS) are
 > in NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, Revision 1. These documents formed part
 > of the basis for the NMP2 Improved Technical Specifications (ITS)
 > conversion. The NRC Committee to Review Generic Requirements (CRGR)
 > reviewed the ISTS, made note of its safety merits, and indicated its
 > support of the conversion by operating plants to the ISTS.
 > Description of the Proposed Change
 >     The proposed changes to the CTS are based on NUREG-1433 and NUREG-
 > 1434, Revision 1, and on guidance provided by the Commission in its
 > Final Policy Statement. The objective of the changes is to completely
 > rewrite, reformat, and streamline the CTS (i.e., to convert the CTS to
 > the ITS). Emphasis is placed on human factors principles to improve
 > clarity and understanding of the TS. The Bases section of the ITS has
 > been significantly expanded to clarify and better explain the purpose
 > and foundation of each specification. In addition to NUREG-1433 and
 > NUREG-1434, Revision 1, portions of the CTS were also used as the basis
 > for the development of the NMP2 ITS. Plant-specific issues (e.g.,
 > unique design features, requirements, and operating practices) were
 > discussed with the licensee, and generic matters were discussed with
 > General Electric and other OGs.
 > [[Page 70074]]
 >     The proposed changes from the CTS can be grouped into the following
 > four categories: relocated requirements, administrative changes, less
 > restrictive changes involving deletion of requirements, and more
 > restrictive changes. These categories are as follows:
 >     1. Relocated requirements (i.e., the licensee's LG or R changes)
 > are items which are in the CTS but do not meet the criteria set forth
 > in 10 CFR 50.36. This regulation establishes a specific set of
 > objective criteria for determining which regulatory requirements and
 > operating restrictions should be included in the TS. Relocation of
 > requirements to documents with an established control program,
 > controlled by the regulations or the TS, allows the TS to be reserved
 > only for those conditions or limitations upon reactor operation which
 > are necessary to obviate the possibility of an abnormal situation or
 > event giving rise to an immediate threat to public health and safety,
 > thereby focusing the scope of the TS. In general, the proposed
 > relocation of items from the CTS to the Updated Safety Analysis Report
 > (USAR), appropriate plant-specific programs, plant procedures, or ITS
 > Bases follows the guidance of NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, Revision 1.
 > Once these items have been relocated to other licensee-controlled
 > documents, the licensee may revise them under the provisions of 10 CFR
 > 50.59 or other NRC-approved control mechanisms, which provide
 > appropriate procedural means to control changes by the licensee.
 >     2. Administrative changes (i.e., the licensee's A changes) involve
 > the reformatting and rewording of requirements, consistent with the
 > style of the ISTS in NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, Revision 1, to make the
 > TS more readily understandable to plant operators and other users.
 > These changes are purely editorial in nature, or involve the movement
 > or reformatting of requirements without affecting the technical
 > content. Application of a standardized format and style will also help
 > ensure consistency is achieved among specifications in the TS. These
 > changes involve reformatting and rewording; no technical changes
 > (either actual or interpretational) to the TS will be made with respect
 > to these changes.
 >     3. Less restrictive changes and the deletion of requirements
 > involve portions of the CTS (i.e., the licensee's LS and TR changes)
 > which (1) provide information that is descriptive in nature regarding
 > the equipment, systems, actions, or surveillances, (2) provide little
 > or no safety benefit, and (3) place an unnecessary burden on the
 > licensee. This information is proposed to be deleted from the CTS and,
 > in some instances, moved to the proposed Bases, USAR, or procedures.
 > The removal of descriptive information to the Bases of the TS, USAR, or
 > procedures is permissible because these documents will be controlled
 > through a process that utilizes 10 CFR 50.59 and other NRC-approved
 > control mechanisms. The relaxations of requirements were the result of
 > generic NRC actions or other analyses. They will be justified on a
 > case-by-case basis for NMP2 and described in the safety evaluation to
 > be issued with the license amendment.
 >     4. More restrictive requirements (i.e., the licensee's M changes)
 > are proposed to be implemented in some areas to impose more stringent
 > requirements than are in the CTS. In some cases, these more restrictive
 > requirements are being imposed to be consistent with the ISTS. Such
 > changes have been made after ensuring the previously evaluated safety
 > analysis for NMP2 was not affected. Also, other more restrictive
 > technical changes have been made to achieve consistency, correct
 > discrepancies, and remove ambiguities from the TS. Examples of more
 > restrictive requirements include: placing a limiting condition for
 > operation (LCO) on plant equipment which is not required by the CTS to
 > be operable; more restrictive requirements to restore inoperable
 > equipment; and more restrictive surveillance requirements.
 >     There are other proposed changes to the CTS that may be included in
 > the proposed amendment to convert the CTS to the ITS. These are beyond-
 > scope changes (changes that are not consistent with the CTS and/or
 > NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, Revision 1) in that they are changes to both
 > the CTS and the ISTS. For the NMP2, these are the following:
 >     1. ITS 3.1.8, changing the Scram Discharge Volume Vent and Drain
 > Valve ACTIONS to allow continued operation with one valve in a line
 > inoperable by isolating the penetration within 7 days (ACTION A) and to
 > allow continued operation with two valves in a line inoperable by
 > isolating the penetration within 8 hours (ACTION B). The ISTS requires
 > the valves(s) to be restored to Operable status within 7 days.
 >     2. ITS, ITS, ITS 3.5.1, and ITS 3.5.2, adding a
 > Note to the Reactor Protection System (RPS) (Functions 3 and 4) and
 > Isolation (Main Steam Line Isolation Valve (MSIV) Functions)
 > Instrumentation Specifications exempting the sensors from response time
 > testing and a Note to the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS)--
 > Operating and--Shutdown Specifications exempting the instrumentation
 > from response time testing.
 >     3. ITS, allowing the feedwater pump to be removed from
 > service in lieu of shutting down the unit to <25 percent Rated Thermal
 > Power (RTP) when the feedwater and main turbine high water level
 > channels are inoperable and untripped.
 >     4. ITS, ITS, ITS, ITS and ITS
 > 3.4.7, adding a Note to allow 6 hours to do Surveillance testing of the
 > Post Accident Monitoring, Remote Shutdown System, RPS logic bus
 > Electrical Power Monitoring Assemblies (EPAs), RPS scram solenoid bus
 > EPAs and Leak Detection System, instrumentation channels prior to
 > entering ACTIONS.
 >     5. ITS, adding an allowance to only remove the associated
 > Anticipated Transient Without Scram (ATWS)-recirculation pump trip
 > (RPT) breaker (fast speed or slow speed, as applicable) from service,
 > in lieu of removing the entire pump from service.
 >     6. ITS, ITS, ITS and ITS, changing
 > the Allowable Values for (a) the Low-Pressure Cooling Injection (LPCI)
 > and High-Pressure Core Spray (HPCS) minimum flow valves
 > instrumentation; (b) the HPCS suppression pool water level swap over
 > instrumentation; (c) the Loss of Voltage and Degraded Voltage
 > Functions, including time delays; (d) the Undervoltage, Overvoltage,
 > and Underfrequency Functions for the RPS Logic Bus EPAs; and (e) the
 > Undervoltage, Overvoltage, and Underfrequency Functions for the RPS
 > Scram Solonoid Bus EPAs.
 >     7. ITS, deleting the MODE 1 and 2 requirements for certain
 > Shutdown Cooling Isolation Functions (residual heat removal (RHR)
 > Equipment Area temperature, Reactor Building Pipe Chase Temperature,
 > Reactor Building Temperature, and Reactor Vessel Water Level--Low,
 > Level 3.)
 >     8. ITS and ITS, deleting the Group 4 valves from
 > isolation instrumentation requirements.
 >     9. ITS, changing the requirement to only requiring 2
 > channels of degraded voltage and loss of voltage in lieu of three
 > channels.
 >     10. ITS SR requiring verification every 12 hours that
 > operation is in the ``Unrestricted Zone'' of ITS Figure 3.4.1-1.
 >     11. ITS 3.4.1, changing from 2 hours to 8 hours, the frequency for
 > determining the Average Power Range Monitors (APRM) and Low Power Range
 > Monitors (LPRM) baseline noise level the first time the unit is in the
 > Restricted Zone.
 > [[Page 70075]]
 >     12. ITS 3.4.5, changing the frequency for monitoring the floor
 > drain leakage rate from 8 hours to 12 hours, and changing the airborne
 > radioactivity monitoring Surveillance to be every 8 hours.
 >     13. ITS 3.5.1, changing the current number of Automatic Depression
 > System (ADS) valves required to operate from seven to six.
 >     14. ITS 3.5.1, modifying the current requirement of manually
 > opening the ADS valves to only require the ADS actuators to be cycled.
 >     15. ITS, changing the current requirement that each excess
 > flow check valve (EFCV) must ``check flow'' to requiring each EFCV to
 > actuate to its isolation position on an actual or simulated instrument
 > line break signal.
 >     16. ITS, changing the evolution to suspend the purging and
 > venting LCO ACTIONS to within 1 hour, when Standby Gas Treatment (SGT)
 > subsystem(s) are inoperable.
 >     17. ITS, ITS and ITS, deleting the current
 > requirements to verify position of ``automatic'' valves in the RHR
 > Drywell Spray, RHR Suppression Cooling, and RHR Suppression Pool Spray
 > Systems.
 >     18. ITS and ITS, deleting the current requirement
 > that drywell spray and suppression pool spray flows be through the heat
 > exchanger.
 >     19. ITS 3.7.2 and ITS 3.7.3, allowing a 7-day restoration time when
 > both Control Room Envelope Filtration (CREF) subsystems are inoperable
 > and a 30-day restoration time when both control room envelope
 > alternating current (AC) subsystems are inoperable, provided the
 > remaining components of the CREF System or Control Room Envelope AC
 > System maintains the CREF System or Control Room Envelope AC System
 > safety function, as applicable.
 >     20. ITS 3.8.1, ITS 3.8.2, and ITS 3.8.3, changing AC Sources--
 > Operating, AC Sources--Shutdown and Diesel Fuel Oil, Lube Oil, and
 > Starting Air Specifications to include: (a) more restrictive upper and
 > lower voltage limits for various diesel generator (DG) Surveillances;
 > (b) increasing the killowatt (kW) value for the single largest load
 > surveillance requirement (SR) for the Division 3 DG; (c) relaxing the
 > load range values for the 24-hour DG run to be consistent with
 > Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.9 Revision 3 (ISTS Bases says 100 percent for
 > 22 hours and 110 percent for 2 hours is consistent with RG 1.9
 > Reference 3, which is not accurate); (d) increasing the DG start time
 > in the event of a Loss of Voltage signal from 13 seconds to 13.12
 > seconds; (e) adding a Note which exempts Surveillances pertaining to a
 > DG starting on a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) signal and a LOCA/loss
 > of offsite power (LOOP) signal while in Modes 4 and 5 and during
 > handling of irradiated fuel in the Secondary Containment when the ECCS
 > subsystems are not required to be Operable; and (f) increasing the fuel
 > oil storage tank limits for the Division 1 and 2 DGs as well as the 6-
 > day limits for all three DGs.
 >     21. ITS 3.8.4, changing the DC Sources--Operating Specification by:
 > (a) revising the battery load profile to be consistent with the load
 > profile specified in the USAR; and (b) adding an allowance to perform a
 > modified performance discharge test every cycle in lieu of a service
 > test.
 >     22. ITS 3.8.7, requiring that the inverters be capable of being
 > powered from an uninterruptible power supply (direct current (DC)
 > source). Currently, this is not required; this is a more restrictive
 > change.
 >     23. ITS, specifying an allowable value in the ITS for the
 > time delay setting of the RPS EPA--solenoid instrumentation.
 >     24. ITS, deleting a requirement in the ISTS for performing
 > a channel check on undervoltage relays; the status of relays are
 > continuously monitored.
 >     25. ITS, specifying allowances in allowable values for the
 > time delay settings of the RPS EPA logic instrumentation.
 >     26. ITS, adding additional verification of ATWS trip
 > function bypass and time delays.
 >     27. ITS, The STS allows a 2-hour delay from entering into
 > the associated Conditions and Required Actions for a channel placed in
 > an inoperable status solely for the performance of required
 > surveillances, provided the associated function maintains DG initiation
 > capability. This is changed in the ITS ``provided the Associated
 > Function maintains ``LOP'' [loss of power] initiation capability.''
 >     28. ITS, adding ``specific gravity'' to the acceptability
 > of new fuel oil before adding to the DG fuel tanks.
 >     29. ITS SR, adding a description of an additional
 > requirement in the Bases SR regarding when to perform the
 > surveillance (``within 30 minutes following heatup of the system to
 > normal operating temperature.'')
 >     30. ITS SR, modifying the Response Time Testing
 > requirement for Function 9, Turbine Control Valve Fast Closure, Trip
 > Oil Pressure--Low by stating that the response time is measured from
 > the start of the control valve fast closure, not when the sensor (oil
 > pressure sensor) exceeds its setpoint.
 >     31. ITS, specifying an ADS pressure setpoint of 150 psig,
 > implementing Topical Report NEDC-32291, and making other changes
 > associated with moving Group 4 isolation valves into the ECCS TS in the
 > ITS.
 >     32. ITS, Table, specifying an ADS pressure
 > setpoint for low-pressure core spray (LPCS) pump discharge pressure--
 > high to be 150 psig based on implementation of Topical Report NEDC-
 > 32291.
 >     33. ITS, deleting operational details in CTS Table 3.3.6-2
 > (Control Rod Block Instrumentation Set Points) not required to be TS,
 > and providing allowable values based on NEDO-2411 which is not
 > referenced in the ISTS.
 >     34. ITS, deleting the reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC)
 > drywell pressure high isolation functions, providing new RCIC/RHR Steam
 > Flow Timer and SGT Exhaust Radiation High isolation functional
 > allowable values, and deleting the main steam line (MSL) radiation high
 > isolation function.
 >     35. ITS, changing the requirement to verify that the air
 > lock door seal leakage rate is within limit from ``once per 7 days'' to
 > ``once in 30 days.''
 >     36. ITS, adding a note to allow a separate condition entry
 > for each suppression chamber-to-drywell vacuum breaker.
 >     37. ITS, changing the ACTION statement into two ACTION
 > statements: ITS ACTION B addresses the closing of the open
 > vacuum breaker within 72 hours, while ITS ACTION C addresses
 > the verification/closing of the other vacuum breaker in the line within
 > 2 hours. However, both ITS Conditions B and C have been
 > modified such that the words ``One or more lines with'' have been
 > added.
 >     38. ITS 3.4.4, increasing the lift setpoint tolerance for the
 > safety/relief valves to 3 percent.
 >     39. ITS, deleting the MSL radiation monitor reactor trip
 > requirement and surveillance requirement based on the application of
 > NEDO-31400A.
 >     40. ITS 3.7.2, SR, deleting the staggered testing
 > requirement for the CREF subsystem.
 >     41. ITS, adding a note to ITS SR that defers
 > determination of the signal-to-noise ratio in Mode 5 if less than or
 > equal to four fuel assemblies are adjacent to the source range monitors
 > (SRM) and no fuel is in the quadrant.
 >     42. ITS, changing the STS Action to ``initiate action to
 > insert all
 > [[Page 70076]]
 > insertable control rods * * *'' to ``Initiate action to ``fully''
 > insert all insertable control rods * * *''
 >     43. ITS, ITS Table, changing footnote (a) from
 > the STS to include a citation of LCO 3.5.2 which amplifies the ECCS
 > equipment instrumentation requirements.
 >     44. ITS 5.5.2.b, adding a note that the provisions of SR 3.0.2
 > apply to integrated leak tests at 24 months.
 >     45. ITS 3.8.8, incorporating changes to Condition A, B and C of the
 > STS applicable to ``one or more'' Divisions and to ``one or both.''
 >     46. ITS, incorporating wording changes that alter the
 > meaning of containment operability with respect to meeting surveillance
 > requirements which relates to whether the inoperability of the standby
 > gas treatment system constitutes a failure of the surveillance of the
 > secondary containment integrity test.
 > Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action
 >     The Commission has completed its evaluation of the proposed
 > conversion of the CTS to the ITS for NMP2, including the beyond-scope
 > issues discussed above. Changes which are administrative in nature have
 > been found to have no effect on the technical content of the TS. The
 > increased clarity and understanding these changes bring to the TS are
 > expected to improve the operators' control of NMP2 in normal and
 > accident conditions.
 >     Relocation of requirements from the CTS to other licensee-
 > controlled documents does not change the requirements themselves.
 > Future changes to these requirements may then be made by the licensee
 > under 10 CFR 50.59 and other NRC-approved control mechanisms which will
 > ensure continued maintenance of adequate requirements. All such
 > relocations have been found to be consistent with the guidelines of
 > NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434 and 10 CFR 50.36 does not require that the
 > requirements be included in the TS.
 >     Changes involving more restrictive requirements have been found to
 > enhance plant safety.
 >     Changes involving less restrictive requirements have also been
 > reviewed. When requirements have been shown to provide little or no
 > safety benefit, or to place an unnecessary burden on the licensee,
 > their removal from the TS was justified. In most cases, relaxations
 > previously granted to individual plants on a plant-specific basis were
 > the result of a generic action, or of agreements reached during
 > discussions with the OG, and found to be acceptable for the plant.
 > Generic relaxations contained in NUREG-1433 and NUREG-1434, Revision 1,
 > have been reviewed by the NRC staff and found to be acceptable.
 >     In summary, the proposed revisions to the TS were found to provide
 > control of plant operations such that reasonable assurance will be
 > provided that the health and safety of the public will be adequately
 > protected.
 >     The proposed amendment will not increase the probability or
 > consequences of accidents, will not change the quantity or types of any
 > effluent that may be released offsite, and will not significantly
 > increase the occupational or public radiological exposure. Also, these
 > changes do not increase the licensed power and allowable effluents for
 > the plant. The changes will not create any new or unreviewed
 > environmental impacts that were not considered in the Final
 > Environmental Statement (FES) related to the operation of NMP2, (NUREG-
 > 1085, dated May 1985). Therefore, there are no significant radiological
 > impacts associated with the proposed amendment.
 >     With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed
 > amendment involves features located entirely within the restricted area
 > for the plant defined in 10 CFR Part 20 and does not involve any
 > historical sites. They do not affect non-radiological plant effluents
 > and have no other environmental impact. They do not increase any
 > discharge limit for the plant. Therefore, there are no significant non-
 > radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed
 > amendment.
 >     Accordingly, the Commission concludes that there are no significant
 > environmental impacts associated with the proposed amendment.
 > Alternatives to the Proposed Action
 >     As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered
 > denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative).
 > Denial of the application would result in no change in current
 > environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action
 > and the alternative action are similar.
 > Alternative Use of Resources
 >     This action does not involve the use of any resources not
 > previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for NMP2,
 > dated May 1985.
 > Agencies and Persons Consulted
 >     In accordance with its stated policy, the staff consulted with the
 > New York State official, Jack Spath, of the New York Energy and
 > Research Authority on November 4, 1999, regarding the environmental
 > impact of the proposed amendment. The State official had no comments.
 > Finding of No Significant Impact
 >     On the basis of the environmental assessment, the Commission
 > concludes that the proposed amendment will not have a significant
 > adverse effect on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly,
 > the Commission has determined not to prepare an environmental impact
 > statement for the proposed action.
 >     For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the
 > licensee's application dated October 16, 1998, as supplemented by
 > letters dated December 30, 1998; and May 10, June 15, July 30, August
 > 11, 16, 19, 27, and September 10, 1999, which are available for public
 > inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, The Gelman
 > Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC. Publically available
 > records will be accessible electronically from the ADAMS Public Library
 > component on the NRC Web site, (the Electronic
 > Reading Room).
 >     Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of December 1999.
 >     For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
 > Alexander W. Dromerick,
 > Acting Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing
 > Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
 > [FR Doc. 99-32492 Filed 12-14-99; 8:45 am]
 > BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

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