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Update-Part II here: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/us-nrc-safety-abuses-alert-comment-deadline-april-30-at-11-59-eastern-time-request-hearing-by-1-june/

This is actually a laundry list of changes for many nuclear reactors. A public hearing can be requested until the 1st of June: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2015-0073-0001 South Carolina, Texas, Davis Besse, Grand Gulf and more are at the link. It certainly violates their so-called clear writing rule, as most of the NRC documents do. Anyone living east of the Rockies could be impacted by a nuclear reactor accident anywhere in the US, especially property-owners. One need only look at the serious, long-lasting impacts of Chernobyl upon the UK and Scandinavia.

Grand Gulf, below, is but one example and, on a quick look through, appears to include an uprate, and change in evaluation method of neutron impacts on the beltline of the reactor pressure vessel. Uprates further stress the old nuclear reactor pressure vessel. The beltline is most in danger. Sudden failure of the reactor pressure vessel would lead to a catastrophic nuclear disaster. See also https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/dangerous-maximum-extended-load-line-limit-plus-for-largest-us-nuclear-reactor-urgent-comment-demand-hearing-now/

This is a serious topic and warrants more than a quick sneak through by the NRC toward the bottom of a page of a document found toward the bottom of the comment deadline page.

Grand Gulf is located in one of the poorest counties in America. It is also a predominantly rural black county. It is the largest US Boiling Water Reactor and has already had uprates.

One change proposed is in “Reactor Core SLs [Safety Limits].” Why are the safety limits being changed?

They ask “Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?” and reply “no“. HOW ABOUT NO INCREASE IN ACCIDENT? WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE?

WHEN A BLACK MAN WAS FOUND HUNG RECENTLY IN PORT GIBSON MISSISSIPPI, NEAR THIS NUCLEAR REACTOR, IT MADE INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

YET, THIS WAS HIDDEN AT THE BOTTOM OF A SNEAK THROUGH NRC PAGE.

Glancing through, it appears a potential radioactive lynching of county, state and perhaps country. We will have to return to it in detail later in the day as it was just found. Thus, anything said is based on a quick read-through.

Another typical NRC nonsensical kicker: “Therefore, the proposed change does not create of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.” BUT ALL OF THE KNOWN NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS ARE BAD ENOUGH. NEVER MIND IF IT IS NEW AND DIFFERENT!

Another one: “The proposed change adopts a single flux methodology. While Chapter 15, Accident Analysis, of the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants) assumes the pressure vessel does not fail, the flux methodology is not an initiator to any accident previously evaluated. Accordingly, the proposed change to the adoption of the flux methodology has no effect on the probability of any accident previously evaluated. Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.” Huh? How about the probability of an accident not previously evaluated? And, how can they assume that the pressure vessel will not fail? An expert, Digby MacDonald, has recently warned that all nuclear reactors need to be tested due to risk of brittle failure. The risk is NOT simply thermal shock The reactor pressure vessel can fail in daily use due to neutron and hydrogen damage over time. Nuclear owner-operators have almost no liability under Price Andersen is why they don’t care if there is an accident.

From a more lengthy associated doc. Here the seriousness is made more clear:
4.0 REGULATORY SAFETY ANALYSIS

NRC RG 1.190 describes the application and qualification of a methodology acceptable to the NRC staff for determining the best-estimate neutron fluence experienced by materials in the beltline region of light water reactor (LWR) pressure vessels, as well as for determining the overall uncertainty associated with those best-estimate values. This request for license amendment provides the GGNS-specific actions to resolve the nonconforming condition. GGNS has determined that the proposed changes do not require any exemptions or relief from regulatory requirements, and do not affect conformance with any draft General Design Criteria differently than described in the GGNS UFSAR, as described below.

4.1 Applicable Regulatory Requirements/Criteria

Regulatory requirement 10 CFR Part 50, “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities” Appendix G, “Fracture Toughness Requirements,” and 10 CFR 50.61, “Fracture
Toughness Requirements for Protection Against Pressurized Thermal Shock Events”, are regulations that ensure the structural integrity of the reactor pressure vessel for light-water-cooled power reactors.
Chapter 15, Accident Analysis, of the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants) assumes the pressure vessel does not fail. The proposed single fluence method from 0 EFPY through the end of extended operations is in full compliance with RG 1.190 and its referenced regulations and ensures the fluence inputs to the analysis are correct.

In conclusion, based on the considerations discussed above, (1) there is reasonable assurance that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by operation in the proposed manner, (2) such activities will be conducted in compliance with the Commission’s regulations, and (3) the issuance of the amendment will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public“. http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1432/ML14325A752.pdf

From the sneak through NRC laundry list:
Biweekly notice.
Summary
Pursuant to Section 189a. (2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this regular biweekly notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person. This biweekly notice includes all notices of amendments issued, or proposed to be issued from March 5, 2015 to March 18, 2015. The last biweekly notice was published on March 17, 2015.
Comments must be filed by April 30, 2015. A request for a hearing must be filed by June 1, 2015.

“ENTERGY OPERATIONS, INC., SYSTEM ENERGY RESOURCES, INC., SOUTH MISSISSIPPI ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION, AND ENTERGY MISSISSIPPI, INC., DOCKET NO. 50-416, GRAND GULF NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 (GGNS), CLAIBORNE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
Date of amendment request: November 21, 2014. A publicly-available version is in ADAMS under Accession No. ML14325A520.

Description of amendment request: The amendment would change the GGNS Technical Specification (TS) 2.1.1, “Reactor Core SLs [Safety Limits].” Specifically, the change would revise the Minimum Critical Power Ratio (MCPR) SL stated in TS 2.1.1.2 for two-loop operation from greater than or equal to (≥) 1.11 to ≥ 1.15. Additionally, the change would revise the MCPR SL stated in TS 2.1.1.2 for single-loop operation from ≥ 1.14 to ≥ 1.15.
Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:
1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
Response: No.
The Bases to TS 2.1.1.2 states that: “The MCPR SL ensures sufficient conservatism in the operating MCPR limit that, in the event of an AOO [Anticipated Operational Occurrence] from the limiting condition of operation, at least 99.9% of the fuel rods in the core would be expected to avoid boiling transition.

This condition is met in that the GGNS Cycle 20 (C20) MCPR SL evaluation was performed in accordance with Reference 4 [NEDE-24011-P-A, “General Electric Standard Application for Reactor Fuel (GESTAR-II”)]. The resulting values continue to ensure the conservatism described in the Bases to TS 2.1.1.2. The proposed changes also continue to ensure sufficient conservatism in the operating MCPR limit. The MCPR operating limits are presented and controlled in accordance with the GGNS Core Operating Limits Report (COLR).

The requested Technical Specification change does not involve any plant modifications or operational changes that could affect system reliability or performance or that could affect the probability of operator error. The requested change does not affect any postulated accident precursors, any accident mitigating systems, or introduce any new accident initiation mechanisms.

Therefore, the proposed change to increase the MCPR SL values does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.

2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
Response: No.
The proposed change does not involve any new modes of operation, any changes to setpoints, or any plant modifications. The proposed change to the MCPR SL accounts for requirements specified in the NRC Safety Evaluation limitations and conditions associated with NEDC-33173P [“Applicability of GE Methods to Expanded Operating Domains”] and NEDC-33006P [“Licensing Topical Report—General Electric Boiling Water Reactor Maximum Extended Load Line Limit Analysis Plus”]. Compliance with the criterion for incipient boiling transition continues to be ensured. The core operating limits will continue to be developed using NRC approved methods. The proposed [MCPR SL] does not result in the creation of any new precursors to an accident.

Therefore, the proposed change does not create of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.

3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?
Response: No.
The MCPR SLs have been evaluated in accordance with Global Nuclear Fuels NRC-approved cycle-specific safety limit methodology to ensure that during normal operation and during AOO’s, at least 99.9% of the fuel rods in the core are not expected to experience transition boiling. The proposed change to the [MCPR SL] accounts for requirements specified in the NRC Safety Evaluation limitations and conditions associated with NEDC-33173P and NEDC-33006P, which result in additional margin above that specified in the TS Bases.
Therefore, the proposed change to the MCPR SL does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.

The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee’s analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.
Attorney for licensee: Joseph A. Aluise, Associate General Counsel—Nuclear, Entergy Services, Inc., 639 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113.
NRC Branch Chief: Meena K. Khanna.

ENTERGY OPERATIONS, INC., SYSTEM ENERGY RESOURCES, INC., SOUTH MISSISSIPPI ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION, AND ENTERGY MISSISSIPPI, INC., DOCKET NO. 50-416, GRAND GULF NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 (GGNS), CLAIBORNE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
Date of amendment request: November 21, 2014, as supplemented by letter dated February 18, 2015. Publicly-available versions are in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML14325A752 and ML15049A536, respectively.
Description of amendment request: The proposed amendment would revise GGNS’s license basis to adopt a single fluence methodology.
Basis for proposed no significant hazards consideration determination: As required by 10 CFR 50.91(a), the licensee has provided its analysis of the issue of no significant hazards consideration, which is presented below:
1. Does the proposed change involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated?
Response: No.
The proposed change adopts a single flux methodology. While Chapter 15, Accident Analysis, of the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800, Standard Review Plan for the Review of Safety Analysis Reports for Nuclear Power Plants) assumes the pressure vessel does not fail, the flux methodology is not an initiator to any accident previously evaluated. Accordingly, the proposed change to the adoption of the flux methodology has no effect on the probability of any accident previously evaluated.
Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.
2. Does the proposed change create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated?
Response: No.
The proposed change adopts a flux methodology. The change does not involve a physical alteration of the plant (i.e., no new or different type of equipment will be installed) or a change in the methods governing normal plant operations. The change does not alter assumptions made in the safety analysis regarding fluence.
Therefore, the proposed change does not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.
3. Does the proposed change involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety?
Response: No.
The proposed change adopts a single fluence methodology. The proposed change does not alter the manner in which safety limits, limiting safety system settings or limiting conditions for operation are determined. The proposed change ensures that the methodology used for fluence is in compliance with RG 1.190 requirements.
Therefore, the proposed change does not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
The NRC staff has reviewed the licensee’s analysis and, based on this review, it appears that the three standards of 10 CFR 50.92(c) are satisfied. Therefore, the NRC staff proposes to determine that the amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration.
Attorney for licensee: Joseph A. Aluise, Associate General Counsel—Nuclear, Entergy Services, Inc., 639 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70113.
NRC Branch Chief: Meena K. Khanna.

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=NRC-2015-0073-0001