Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
PPL Susquehanna, LLC (PPL, the licensee), is the holder of Facility Operating License Nos. NPF-14 and NPF-22 which authorize operation of the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (SSES-1 and 2). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
The facility consists of two boiling-water reactors located in Luzerne County in Pennsylvania.
Title 10 of the
To address provisions of amendments to the technical specification (TS) P-T limits in the submittal dated July 17, 2001, as supplemented July 26 and October 15, 2001, the licensee requested, pursuant to 10 CFR part 50, section 50.60(b), that the NRC staff exempt SSES-1 and 2, from application of specific requirements of 10 CFR part 50, section 50.60(a), and Appendix G, and substitute use of ASME Code Case N-640 as the basis for establishing the P-T limit curves. Code Case N-640 permits the use of an alternate reference fracture toughness (K
The licensee proposed to revise the P-T limits for SSES-1 and 2, using the K
Use of the K
In summary, the ASME Section XI, Appendix G, procedure was conservatively developed based on the level of knowledge existing in 1974 concerning RPV materials and the estimated effects of operation. Since 1974, the level of knowledge about these topics has been greatly expanded. The NRC staff concurs that this increased knowledge permits relaxation of the ASME Section XI, Appendix G requirements by applying the K
Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, when (1) the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) when special circumstances are present. Special circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following case:
* Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), the circumstance that application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.
The NRC staff accepts the licensee's determination that an exemption would be required to approve the use of Code Case N-640. The staff examined the licensee's rationale to support the exemption request and concurred that the use of the Code Case would meet the underlying intent of these regulations. Based upon a consideration of the conservatism that is explicitly incorporated into the methodologies of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix G; Appendix G of the Code; and Regulatory Guide 1.99, Revision 2, the staff concluded that application of Code Case N-640 as described would provide an adequate margin of safety against brittle failure of the RPV. Since strict compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 50.60(a) and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix G, is not necessary to serve the overall intent of the regulations, the NRC staff concludes that application of Code Case N-640 to the P-T limit curves meets the special circumstance provision of 10 CFR
Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a), the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants PPL Susquehanna, LLC, an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, section 50.60(a) and Appendix G, for generating the P-T limit curves for SSES-1 and 2.
Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment(67 FR 5322).
This exemption is effective upon issuance.