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§ 50.59 Changes, tests and experiments.

(a) Definitions for the purposes of this section:

(1) Change means a modification or addition to, or removal from, the facility or procedures that affects a design function, method of performing or controlling the function, or an evaluation that demonstrates that intended functions will be accomplished.

(2) Departure from a method of evaluation described in the FSAR (as updated) used in establishing the design bases or in the safety analyses means:

(i) Changing any of the elements of the method described in the FSAR (as updated) unless the results of the analysis are conservative or essentially the same; or

(ii) Changing from a method described in the FSAR to another method unless that method has been approved by NRC for the intended application.

(3) Facility as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means:

(i) The structures, systems, and components (SSC) that are described in the final safety analysis report (FSAR) (as updated),

(ii) The design and performance requirements for such SSCs described in the FSAR (as updated), and

(iii) The evaluations or methods of evaluation included in the FSAR (as updated) for such SSCs which demonstrate that their intended function(s) will be accomplished.

(4) Final Safety Analysis Report (as updated) means the Final Safety Analysis Report (or Final Hazards Summary Report) submitted in accordance with Sec. 50.34, as amended and supplemented, and as updated per the requirements of Sec. 50.71(e) or Sec. 50.71(f), as applicable.

(5) Procedures as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means those procedures that contain information described in the FSAR (as updated) such as how structures, systems, and components are operated and controlled (including assumed operator actions and response times).

(6) Tests or experiments not described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) means any activity where any structure, system, or component is utilized or controlled in a manner which is either:

(i) Outside the reference bounds of the design bases as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) or

(ii) Inconsistent with the analyses or descriptions in the final safety analysis report (as updated).

(b) This section applies to each holder of an operating license issued under this part or a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, including the holder of a license authorizing operation of a nuclear power reactor that has submitted the certification of permanent cessation of operations required under § 50.82(a)(1) or § 50.110 or a reactor licensee whose license has been amended to allow possession of nuclear fuel but not operation of the facility.

(c)(1) A licensee may make changes in the facility as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated), make changes in the procedures as described in the final safety analysis report (as updated), and conduct tests or experiments not described in the final safety analysis report (as updated) without obtaining a license amendment pursuant to Sec. 50.90 only if:

(i) A change to the technical specifications incorporated in the license is not required, and

(ii) The change, test, or experiment does not meet any of the criteria in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) A licensee shall obtain a license amendment pursuant to Sec. 50.90 prior to implementing a proposed change, test, or experiment if the change, test, or experiment would:

(i) Result in more than a minimal increase in the frequency of occurrence of an accident previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(ii) Result in more than a minimal increase in the likelihood of occurrence of a malfunction of a structure, system, or component (SSC) important to safety previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(iii) Result in more than a minimal increase in the consequences of an accident previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(iv) Result in more than a minimal increase in the consequences of a malfunction of an SSC important to safety previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(v) Create a possibility for an accident of a different type than any previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(vi) Create a possibility for a malfunction of an SSC important to safety with a different result than any previously evaluated in the final safety analysis report (as updated);

(vii) Result in a design basis limit for a fission product barrier as described in the FSAR (as updated) being exceeded or altered; or

(viii) Result in a departure from a method of evaluation described in the FSAR (as updated) used in establishing the design bases or in the safety analyses.

(3) In implementing this paragraph, the FSAR (as updated) is considered to include FSAR changes resulting from evaluations performed pursuant to this section and analyses performed pursuant to Sec. 50.90 since submittal of the last update of the final safety analysis report pursuant to Sec. 50.71 of this part.

(4) The provisions in this section do not apply to changes to the facility or procedures when the applicable regulations establish more specific criteria for accomplishing such changes.

(d)(1) The licensee shall maintain records of changes in the facility, of changes in procedures, and of tests and experiments made pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section. These records must include a written evaluation which provides the bases for the determination that the change, test, or experiment does not require a license amendment pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) The licensee shall submit, as specified in § 50.4 or § 52.3 of this chapter, as applicable, a report containing a brief description of any changes, tests, and experiments, including a summary of the evaluation of each. A report must be submitted at intervals not to exceed 24 months. For combined licenses, the report must be submitted at intervals not to exceed 6 months during the period from the date of application for a combined license to the date the Commission makes its findings under 10 CFR 52.103(g).

(3) The records of changes in the facility must be maintained until the termination of an operating license issued under this part, a combined license issued under part 52 of this chapter, or the termination of a license issued under 10 CFR part 54, whichever is later. Records of changes in procedures and records of tests and experiments must be maintained for a period of 5 years.

[64 FR 53613, Oct. 4, 1999, as amended at 66 FR 64738, Dec. 14, 2001; 72 FR 49500, Aug. 28, 2007]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014