Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Indian Michigan Power Company (the licensee) is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-74, which authorizes operation of the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant, Unit 2 (CNP-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, or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
The facility consists of a pressurized-water reactor located in Berrien County in Michigan.
Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 50.12, "Specific exemptions," the licensee has, by letter dated September 29, 2011 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML11286A198), requested an exemption from 10 CFR 50.46, "Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors," and Appendix K to 10 CFR 50, "ECCS Evaluation Models." The regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 contain acceptance criteria for the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) for reactors fueled with zircaloy or ZIRLO
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. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), special circumstances include, among other things, when application of the specific regulation in the particular circumstance would not serve, or is not necessary to achieve, the underlying purpose of the rule.
This exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO
The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 is to establish acceptance criteria for adequate ECCS performance. As previously documented in the NRC staff's review of topical reports submitted by Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC (Westinghouse), and subject to compliance with the specific conditions of approval established therein, the NRC staff finds that the applicability of these ECCS acceptance criteria to Optimized ZIRLO
In addition, the provisions of 10 CFR 50.46 require the licensee to periodically evaluate the performance of the emergency core cooling system (ECCS), using currently approved LOCA models and methods, to ensure that the fuel rods will continue to satisfy 10 CFR 50.46 acceptance criteria. Granting the exemption to allow the licensee to use Optimized ZIRLO
Paragraph I.A.5 of Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 states that the rates of energy release, hydrogen concentration, and cladding oxidation from the metal-water reaction shall be calculated using the Baker-Just equation. Since the Baker-Just equation presumes the use of zircaloy clad fuel, strict application of this provision of the rule would not permit use of the equation for Optimized ZIRLO
The proposed exemption would allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO
Special circumstances, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), are present whenever application of the regulation in the particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR part 50 is to establish acceptance criteria for ECCS performance. The wording of the regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K is not directly applicable to Optimized ZIRLO
Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, 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 the licensee an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 50.46 and Appendix K to 10 CFR Part 50, to allow the use of Optimized ZIRLO
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 and has published an environmental assessment for this exemption on August 23, 2012 (77 FR 51071).
This exemption is effective upon issuance.