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          1                      UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

          2                    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

          3                       OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY

          4                                 ***

          5                 BRIEFING ON OCONEE LICENSE RENEWAL 

          6                                 ***

          7                           PUBLIC MEETING

          8

          9                             Nuclear Regulatory Commission

         10                             One White Flint North

         11                             Commissioner's Conference Room

         12                             11555 Rockville Pike

         13                             Rockville, Maryland  

         14                             Tuesday, May 2, 2000

         15

         15

         16              The Commission met in open session, pursuant to

         17    notice, at 9:35 a.m., the Honorable RICHARD A. MESERVE,

         18    Chairman of the Commission, presiding.

         19    COMMISSIONERS PRESENT:

         20              RICHARD A. MESERVE, Chairman of the Commission

         21              GRETA J. DICUS,  Member of the Commission

         22              NILS J. DIAZ, Member of the Commission

         23              EDWARD McGAFFIGAN, JR., Member of the Commission

         24              JEFFREY S. MERRIFIELD, Member of the Commission

         25

                                                                       2

          1    STAFF AND PRESENTERS SEATED AT THE COMMISSION TABLE:

          2              FRANK MIRAGLIA, Deputy EDO

          3              KAREN D. CYR, General Counsel

          4              ANNETTE L. VIETTI-COOK, Assistant Secretary

          5              SAMUEL COLLINS, Director, NRR

          6              JOSEPH SEBROSKY, Safety Project Manager, NRR

          7              CHRISTOPHER GRIMES, Chief, License Renewal &

          8                Standardization Branch, NRR

          9              JIM WILSON, Environmental Project Manager, NRR

         10              VICTOR McCREE, Deputy Director, Division of

         11                Reactor Projects, Region II

         12

         13

         14

         15

         16

         17

         18

         19

         20

         21

         22

         23

         24

         25

                                                                       3

          1                        P R O C E E D I N G S

          2                                                     [9:35 a.m.]

          3              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Good morning.  On behalf of the

          4    Commission I am very pleased to welcome you to this briefing

          5    by the NRC Staff. 

          6              The Staff today will discuss the review process

          7    and provide its recommendations related to Duke Power

          8    Company's application to renew the licensees for the Oconee

          9    Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2 and 3.  This is an application

         10    for a license extension for an additional 20 years for units

         11    that otherwise would have their licenses terminated in 2013

         12    and 2014.

         13              As I am sure everyone in the audience knows,

         14    Oconee is the second plant to go through the license renewal

         15    process and the first Babcock & Wilcox plant to do so.

         16              Duke Power filed its application in July 1998 and

         17    the Staff completed its review and published its Safety

         18    Evaluation Report in March of this year, concluding, as in

         19    the case of Calvert Cliffs that the Staff had the capability

         20    to meet the demanding target schedule for the process of

         21    performing a comprehensive review of the technical issues. 

         22    I would like to compliment the Staff on its ability to abide

         23    and even exceed the scheduled time that it had allocated for

         24    the performance of this review.

         25              If there are no comments by my colleagues, why

                                                                       4

          1    don't we proceed.

          2              MR. MIRAGLIA:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman,

          3    Commissioners.

          4              As you indicate, Mr. Chairman, this is a meeting

          5    to inform you of the results of our review of the Oconee

          6    License Renewal Application. 

          7              This again was a team effort with the Office of

          8    NRR, Research and Region.  We are here to request the

          9    Commission authorize the Director of NRR to renew the

         10    operating licenses for the Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1,

         11    2 and 3.

         12              With me at the table today is the Director of NRR,

         13    Sam Collins, to my immediate right.  To his right is Joe

         14    Sebrosky, the Safety Project Manager for the Oconee review,

         15    and to Joe's right is Jim Wilson, the Environmental Project

         16    Manager.  To my immediate left is Chris Grimes, who has led

         17    both of these efforts to date.  He is the Branch Chief of

         18    the License Renewal Branch.  To Chris's left is Victor

         19    McCree, from Region II, the Deputy Director, Reactor

         20    Projects.

         21              With that I will turn the review and briefing over

         22    to Sam Collins.

         23              MR. COLLINS:  Good morning.  Before I proceed in

         24    Slide 3 I would like to acknowledge the Staff efforts and

         25    those of the contributing offices, including the Office of

                                                                       5

          1    Research, which we depend on heavily as part of the team to

          2    provide technical support to NRR, and also OGC, which

          3    provides counsel, and of course the Region, which implements

          4    the program including the inspection program. 

          5              We will cover that during the course of the

          6    presentation.

          7              Slide 3 indicates the performance goals.  The

          8    Office of NRR uses these in our operating plan, of course. 

          9    What you see in front of you are the four outcome measures

         10    that we focus on.  Our expectations are to meet these four

         11    outcome measures as defined by the performance goals and

         12    including defining success for each of those and adhering to

         13    the schedule, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman.

         14              Under Maintaining Safety we ensure that we are

         15    focused on ensuring that the aging effects are adequately

         16    managed in the course of the review by the Staff themselves.

         17              Public confidence is met to a large measure by

         18    increased public participation including those of the

         19    stakeholders, the licensees and the industry groups.

         20              Specifically in the course of the Oconee review,

         21    the Staff presented information in what we believe is a more

         22    understandable manner, and we made public participation more

         23    accessible.  We added a new summary to the Oconee SER that

         24    is written in accordance with the plain English principles. 

         25    We held monthly public meetings with Duke, the licensee,

                                                                       6

          1    bimonthly public meetings with the industry to improve the

          2    renewal process itself.  We held public meetings near the

          3    Oconee site and after hours to allow for full participation

          4    by the public, particular in the Environmental Impact

          5    Assessment Review.

          6              We utilized a facilitator to elicit public

          7    participation and we addressed public concerns in what we

          8    believe is a more timely manner.

          9              We reduced unnecessary regulatory burden by

         10    process improvements including working with the industry to

         11    establish a standard format for licensing renewal

         12    activities. As a result of lessons learned from the Oconee

         13    review we provided additional guidance on these for

         14    follow-on plants.

         15              The Staff has also begun using experience gained

         16    through Oconee to review and update the Standard Review Plan

         17    in the Generic Aging Lessons Learned Report, and that is

         18    referred to as the GALL report.

         19              In the efficiency and effectiveness area, again we

         20    focused on schedule and we met all of our milestones.

         21              Slide 4 talks about program monitoring and

         22    oversight.  As you know, the first two plants themselves are

         23    receiving an enhanced level of oversight, not only by the

         24    Staff but by the Commission.  Participation includes the

         25    Executive Council oversight.  The EC contributed to the

                                                                       7

          1    Oconee reviews by focusing the effort primarily in three

          2    areas -- first, periodically reviewing the progress, that's

          3    monitoring schedule and Staff activities; second,

          4    facilitating cross-office cooperation in those areas that

          5    require interdependency in the license renewal team; and

          6    thirdly, the EC identified longer term issues which could

          7    affect desired outcome of Oconee review and the NRC's

          8    ability to effectively and efficiently implement the program

          9    for the future.

         10              EC reinforced the fundamental responsibility and

         11    the accountability of the NRR line management process.

         12              In addition to EC oversight, the License Renewal

         13    Steering Committee guidance and coordination was important. 

         14    Bimonthly public management meetings were conducted with

         15    pre-established agendas to review status and ensure that

         16    public cooperation was facilitated.

         17              Monthly public management meetings were held with

         18    Duke to identify potential issues impacting continued

         19    progress and to collectively reach solution paths to ensure

         20    progress was maintained.

         21              With that broad overview I would at this time like

         22    to move to Slide 5 and turn the details of the meeting over

         23    to Chris Grimes.

         24              MR. GRIMES:  Thank you, Sam.

         25              Slide 5 summarizes the two key principles of

                                                                       8

          1    license renewal that guided us during the course of the

          2    evaluation of the Oconee review. 

          3              As Frank mentioned, Joe Sebrosky, who is the

          4    Safety Project Manager for the Oconee review, is going to

          5    describe some of the unique details of the Oconee review. 

          6    Jim Wilson is going to describe some of the unique details

          7    of the environmental review and Victor McCree is going to

          8    describe the inspection activities that were conducted as it

          9    related to the renewal review for Oconee.

         10              The same purpose applies for the Oconee as that

         11    for the Calvert Cliffs review that we described to you in

         12    the Commission briefing on March 3rd.  The objective of Part

         13    54 is to determine whether the detrimental effects of aging

         14    will be adequately managed for the period of extended

         15    operation, and that is the thrust and focus of the safety

         16    evaluation that we performed.

         17              The license renewal review is intended to identify

         18    any additional actions that will be needed in order to

         19    maintain the functionality of systems, structures and

         20    components during the period of extended operation.  The

         21    review was conducted to ensure that the plant-specific

         22    licensing basis will be maintained during the renewal

         23    period.

         24              The Staff presentations are going to focus on some

         25    of the unique aspects, but very broadly I would say that the

                                                                       9

          1    lessons that we learned during the Oconee review were

          2    essentially the same as those that we had learned during the

          3    Calvert Cliffs review and they have been reflected in the

          4    standard form and content that we sent to the Nuclear Energy

          5    Institute and that we promoted as part of our process

          6    improvement.

          7              These reviews were conducted contemporaneously so

          8    as lessons were learned on Calvert Cliffs and Oconee they

          9    had a synergistic effect in terms of assisting our ability

         10    to improve the quality of our work and at the same time to

         11    exceed the milestones.

         12              I will turn to Slide 6 now.  Slide 6 highlights

         13    some of the significant aspects of the renewal review

         14    process.  The Oconee plan was set up with the same 585-day

         15    review schedule as we set up for Calvert Cliffs and they

         16    were separated by approximately three months.  The review

         17    guidance and the experience from Calvert Cliffs were used to

         18    ensure that the evaluation scope was disciplined and focused

         19    to the desired outcome -- that is, the adequacy of aging

         20    management and the identification of time limited aging

         21    analysis or time limited design analysis.

         22              The Oconee renewal review also had the benefit of

         23    other regulatory process improvements -- a single round of

         24    questions before identifying issues requiring resolution;

         25    weekly internal staff meetings to discuss the progress of

                                                                      10

          1    the review; monthly public management meetings to ensure

          2    that issues were communicated and actions were assigned to

          3    ensure that the milestones could be met; and accountability

          4    to ensure that responsible parties for actions met their

          5    responsibilities.

          6              Similarities and differences existed in Oconee

          7    largely because of difference in the -- excuse me. 

          8    Differences in the review arose largely from the plant

          9    design and the vintage but mostly we found that the same

         10    process lessons were learned in terms of being able to

         11    maintain a focus on aging management programs and that

         12    experience has fed back into our efforts to identify

         13    adequate aging management programs in the generic aging

         14    lessons learned and the Standard Review Plan improvements

         15    that we are going to continue with this summer.

         16              With that, I will turn the presentation over to

         17    Joe Sebrosky.

         18              MR. SEBROSKY:  May I have Slide 7, please.

         19              Good morning.  My name is Joe Sebrosky and I am

         20    the NRC Project Manager for the Safety Review of the Oconee

         21    license renewal application.

         22              Slide 7 highlights 11 of the more significant

         23    milestones for the safety review that occurred over a

         24    21-month period including related inspection activities that

         25    will be discussed later by Victor McCree.

                                                                      11

          1              The detailed safety review of Duke's renewal

          2    application began upon receiving their application on July

          3    6, 1998 and concluded with the issuance of NUREG-1723,

          4    documenting the Staff's review and conclusion that the

          5    effects of aging for the systems, structures and components

          6    within the scope of license renewal would be managed during

          7    the renewal period.

          8              Over this 21-month period the Staff held 37 public

          9    meetings with Duke and the ACRS to ensure continual progress

         10    on the review and to resolve safety issues.  There were two

         11    safety meetings at the site and the Staff supported an ACRS

         12    subcommittee meeting near the site on February 24th, 2000.

         13              These meetings were in addition to the public

         14    meetings related to the inspection and environmental

         15    efforts.  The safety review benefitted from team work. 

         16    Research staff assisted with the resolution of technical

         17    issues and assisted with the inspections.

         18              Technical specialists in Headquarters worked

         19    closely with the renewal and regional staff to ensure that

         20    issues were clearly identified and resolved on a sound

         21    technical basis.  Next slide, please.

         22              Slide 8 presents three of the significant areas of

         23    the Oconee Safety Evaluation Report.  Chapter 2 of the

         24    Safety Evaluation Report describes the results of the

         25    Staff's scoping and screening review of Duke's license

                                                                      12

          1    renewal application.  

          2              Scoping is the method for determining what

          3    structures and components are within the scope of license

          4    renewal.  Screening is the method for determining which of

          5    those structures and components require an aging management

          6    review.

          7              The Calvert Cliffs methodology had been reviewed

          8    and approved by the Staff prior to the submittal of the

          9    application.  Oconee was not.

         10              During the review the Staff was concerned whether

         11    Duke's methodology had identified all systems, structures

         12    and components within the scope of license renewal.  Duke

         13    performed further evaluations to address the Staff's concern

         14    and did not identify any additional structures or components

         15    that would require an aging management review.  Therefore,

         16    the Staff concluded that the structures and components

         17    within the scope of Part 54 had been appropriately

         18    identified.  Next slide, please.

         19              Slide 9 highlights the two areas of the Safety

         20    Evaluation Report where the majority of the Staff's efforts

         21    were expended.

         22              First is aging management, which is covered in

         23    Chapter 3.  In this chapter the Staff evaluated Duke's

         24    identification of the applicable aging effects and proposed

         25    aging management programs to ensure the intended functions

                                                                      13

          1    for the relevant equipment would be maintained through the

          2    period of extended operation.

          3              The next significant area was the evaluation of

          4    the time-limited aging analysis discussed in Chapter 4.  In

          5    this chapter the Staff evaluated Duke's methods to determine

          6    how analyses with time-limited assumptions have been or

          7    would be managed for the period of extended operation.

          8              Time-limited aging analysis includes pressure

          9    temperature limits for the reactor coolant system, various

         10    fatigue analyses, and environmental qualification which

         11    establishes a qualified life for each electrical component.

         12              The Staff determined that the time-limited aging

         13    analysis would be adequately managed during the renewal

         14    term.  Next slide, please.

         15              Slide 10 highlights the unique aspects of the

         16    Oconee review.  The Staff reviewed aging management programs

         17    related to unique features of the Oconee plant, such as the

         18    Kewee Hydroelectric Station, and the standby shutdown

         19    facility.

         20              The Kewee Hydroelectric Station is the onsite

         21    emergency power source for Oconee.  The standby shutdown

         22    facility is designed as a standby system for use under

         23    certain emergency conditions. 

         24              It provides additional defense-in-depth protection

         25    by serving as a backup to existing safety systems.  The

                                                                      14

          1    standby shutdown facility is designed to achieve and

          2    maintain hot shutdown conditions following an Appendix R

          3    fire, sabotage, turbine building flood, station blackout or

          4    tornado or missile event.

          5              The Kewee Hydroelectric Station and standby

          6    shutdown facility presented challenges in determining what

          7    structures and components are subject to an aging management

          8    review for these facilities.  However, there were no unique

          9    aging effects identified for these facilities.

         10              The review of the application required resolution

         11    of issues associated with the electrical cabling aging

         12    management program and plant-specific resolutions to Babcock

         13    and Wilcox owners groups license renewal topical reports on

         14    the pressurizer, reactor coolant system piping, reactor

         15    vessel, and reactor vessel internals.

         16              An inspection found evidence of aging of insulated

         17    cables which was not identified as an aging effect in the

         18    application.

         19              As a result of the inspection and interaction with

         20    headquarters Staff, Duke provided an insulated cable and

         21    connections aging management program for cables and

         22    connections within the scope of license renewal that are

         23    installed in adverse localized environments in the reactor

         24    buildings, auxiliary buildings, turbine building, standby

         25    shutdown facility, the Kewee Hydroelectric Station, and

                                                                      15

          1    inaccessible cabling which could be subject to aging effects

          2    from heat, radiation, or moisture.

          3              The program does not include insulated cables and

          4    connections that are in the Environmental Qualification

          5    Program.

          6              The Staff encourages the use of topical reports,

          7    however, the generic review and plant-specific resolutions

          8    of issues were performed in parallel in some cases.

          9              In addition, the reactor vessel internals

         10    inspection program involves an approach that allows

         11    activities to continue that will develop and qualify the

         12    inspection methods and acceptance criteria later.

         13              Next slide, please.  Slide 11 lists some

         14    significant observations and accomplishments from the

         15    Staff's safety review.  The Staff confirmed that many

         16    existing programs provided adequate aging management.

         17              Some programs required augmentation, and new

         18    programs were created.  For example, Duke will augment the

         19    Oconee Station thermal fatigue management program to provide

         20    a plant-specific resolution for Generic Safety Issue 190, or

         21    adopt the NRC's generic resolution.

         22              Duke also developed a new aging management program

         23    for non-environmentally-qualified insulated cables and

         24    connections.

         25              Additional inspections were proposed by Duke.  In

                                                                      16

          1    some cases, these inspections were one-time inspections, and

          2    in other cases, the additional inspections were periodic.

          3              One-time inspections were aimed at verify aging

          4    effects are not occurring.  Any aging effects identified

          5    will require engineering evaluation and could result in

          6    further programmatic action.

          7              Examples of one-time inspections include Kewee air

          8    and gas system inspection, and the reactor coolant pump

          9    motor oil collection tank inspection.

         10              Periodic additional inspections have been

         11    developed for the reactor vessel internals, and the Alloy

         12    600 Aging Management Program.

         13              The last bullet in this slide pertains to the

         14    updated final safety analysis report supplement.  The UFSAR

         15    supplement contains a summary description of the programs

         16    and activities for managing the effects of aging, and the

         17    evaluation of time-limited aging analysis for the period of

         18    extended operations.

         19              The Staff reviewed the UFSAR supplement and found

         20    that it meets the requirements of the license renewal rule. 

         21    The proposed renewed license conditions require that Duke

         22    include the UFSAR supplement in the update to the UFSAR

         23    scheduled for July of 2001, and control changes to the

         24    program described in the supplement under 50.59 until then.

         25              The Oconee proposed renewed licenses also contain

                                                                      17

          1    a license condition stating that future inspection

          2    activities will be completed before the period of extended

          3    operation, similar to the Calvert Cliffs licensing

          4    condition.

          5              Slide 12, please.  In conclusion, all of the aging

          6    management issue and identification of time-limited aging

          7    analysis have been resolved as documented in NUREG 1723, and

          8    on the basis of its evaluation of the Oconee license renewal

          9    application, the Staff concludes that the standards for

         10    issuance of a renewed license as specified in 10 CFR 5429,

         11    have been met, which are summarized on this slide.

         12              Specifically:

         13              One, actions have been identified and have been or

         14    will be taken with respect to managing the effects of aging

         15    during the period of extended operation on the functionality

         16    of structures and components that have been identified to

         17    require an aging management review under 10 CFR 54.21

         18    (a)(1), and;

         19              Two, actions have been identified and have been or

         20    will be taken with respect to time-limited aging analyses

         21    that have been identified to require review under 10 CFR

         22    54.21(c).

         23              Therefore, the Staff finds that there is

         24    reasonable assurance that the activities authorized by a

         25    renewed license will continue to be conducted in accordance

                                                                      18

          1    with the licensing basis for the Oconee Nuclear Station,

          2    Units I, II, and III, as revised by the renewal

          3    commitments.

          4              That ends my portion of the presentation.  I'd

          5    like to turn it over to Jim Wilson for the Environmental

          6    Review.

          7              MR. WILSON:  I'm Jim Wilson, and I'm the Project

          8    Manager responsible for the environmental portion of the

          9    Staff's review of the Oconee license renewal application.

         10              The NRC Staff has the responsibility to implement

         11    the requirements of NEPA for the nuclear power plants under

         12    its purview.  Under NEPA, and Environmental Impact

         13    Statement, or EIS, is required for major federal actions

         14    significantly affecting the human environment.

         15              Renewal of a nuclear power plant license is

         16    considered such a major federal action.  In 1996, the Staff

         17    promulgated revisions to 10 CFR Part 51 to implement the

         18    requirements of NEPA as it applies to license renewal.

         19              The rule reflects the findings of the Generic

         20    Environmental Impact Statement, or GEIS, and established a

         21    framework for addressing environmental issues.

         22              These issue were separated into two categories: 

         23    Those that were generically resolved, Category I issues; and

         24    those that required a site-specific evaluation, Category II

         25    issues.

                                                                      19

          1              In addition, two issues, environmental justice and

          2    chronic effects of electromagnetic fields, were not

          3    categorized, but were specifically examined.

          4              The rule requires that the NRC issue a

          5    site-specific supplement to the GEIS for each application. 

          6              During the review, the Staff considers whether

          7    there is new and significant information on any issue.

          8              Slide 14, please.  The Staff followed the review

          9    process necessary to meet the requirements of NEPA, and the

         10    environmental review requirements of 10 CFR Part 51.

         11              During the review process, the Staff visited the

         12    site and provided members of the public with two public

         13    comment opportunities; the first at the beginning of a

         14    review period of 60 days, which was the scoping period; and

         15    the second public opportunity for comment was after the

         16    draft supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact

         17    Statement was issued.

         18              The Staff had public meetings, both during the

         19    scoping period and the comment period on the draft

         20    supplement to the GEIS, and to outline NRC's process for

         21    license renewal, and to help the public focus on the issues.

         22              The Staff issued its final plant-specific

         23    supplement to the GEIS for Oconee in December of 1999.  No

         24    significant new information was identified during the Oconee

         25    review that would change the Category I findings, the 69

                                                                      20

          1    generically-resolved issues identified in the GEIS.

          2              Consequently, the Staff adopted the conclusions in

          3    the GEIS into the plant-specific supplement for Oconee for

          4    those issues that were applicable to that action.

          5              Of the remaining 23 issues in the GEIS, 21 were

          6    classified as being in Category II, requiring plant-specific

          7    analysis.  Five of these were not applicable because they

          8    are related to plant design features or characteristics not

          9    found at Oconee.

         10              Four were not discussed because they relate to

         11    refurbishment, of which there will be none at Oconee.

         12              The two un-categorized issues, the Staff found

         13    that no minority or low income groups would experience

         14    disproportionately high and adverse impacts.  This is an

         15    environmental justice consideration.

         16              Second, since a consensus has not yet been reached

         17    by appropriate federal health agencies on the chronic

         18    effects of electromagnetic fields, the Staff relies on the

         19    initial findings in the GEIS that there is no evidence

         20    linking harmful effects with field exposures.

         21              Next slide, please.  This next slide highlights

         22    two of the unique issues in the Oconee environmental review: 

         23    For the first the Staff determined that the transmission

         24    line maintenance impact on endangered species should be

         25    considered for the 330 total miles that were constructed for

                                                                      21

          1    the purpose of connecting the plant to the grid.

          2              After consultation under Section 7 of the

          3    Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

          4    concurred with the Staff's conclusion that routine

          5    maintenance activities would not adversely affect threatened

          6    or endangered species living within the transmission line

          7    rights of way.

          8              The second issue came about as a result of a

          9    comment on the Oconee-specific draft supplement to the GEIS,

         10    and the Staff, as a result of that comment, evaluated yet

         11    another alternative action.  The Staff considered a

         12    combination of alternative energy sources, including

         13    conservation, and determined that the environmental impacts

         14    of a combination of alternatives is unlikely to be smaller

         15    than the small impacts associated with license renewal.

         16              Finally, the Staff did consider severe accident

         17    mitigation alternatives in this application.  After the

         18    Staff's independent review, no cost-beneficial SAMAs were

         19    identified that had not already been identified by Duke. 

         20              Slide 16.  Therefore, it's the Staff's conclusion,

         21    based on its review, that the environmental impacts of

         22    renewing Oconee's nuclear station licenses are acceptable

         23    for the purpose of license renewal. 

         24              MR. McCREE:  Slide 17, please.  Good morning, Mr.

         25    Chairman, Commissioners.

                                                                      22

          1              Region II performed three license renewal

          2    inspections at Oconee.  Carl Julian, a Senior Reactor

          3    Inspector in the Division of Reactor Safety led all three

          4    teams, and he is also here today, sitting behind me.

          5              I will note at this time that Carl participated in

          6    the two license renewal inspections at Calvert Cliffs which

          7    allowed us to use some of the lessons learned there.

          8              In addition, Staff from Region I and Headquarters

          9    participated in the Oconee inspections, which contributed to

         10    consistency and promoting of lessons of learned.

         11              The bullets on the first slide summarize the

         12    objectives of the first two inspections that were based on

         13    the inspection procedure for license renewal.

         14              The first inspection was a one-week inspection

         15    that took place in April, 1999.  The inspection focused on

         16    Duke's scoping and screening process that was used to

         17    identify the plant equipment that would be subject to an

         18    aging management review.

         19              Our inspection also included an evaluation of

         20    several systems, structures, and components that were

         21    excluded from the scope of license renewal.

         22              The second inspection, a two-week inspection in

         23    June and July, 1999, involved an inspection of Duke's aging

         24    management programs to verify that the programs had been

         25    implemented in accordance with the application and the

                                                                      23

          1    safety evaluation report.

          2              This involved a sample inspection of maintenance

          3    records, system walkdowns, and visual inspections to

          4    identify credible aging mechanisms, and to ensure that

          5    ongoing aging was identified in Duke's aging management

          6    program.

          7              The third and final inspection that occurred in

          8    early March of this year, was used primarily to follow up on

          9    open items from the first two inspections.

         10              Next slide, please.  The team selected the scoping

         11    and screening inspection sample set based on the risk

         12    significance of the equipment, and after a detailed Regional

         13    inspection plan was developed. 

         14              For example, the 4160 volt auxiliary power system,

         15    the emergency feedwater system, high pressure injection

         16    system, and the Kewee Hydroelectric Station subsystems were

         17    among those systems and structures chosen to evaluate the

         18    scoping process.

         19              In addition, the team selected a group of plant

         20    systems and structures that Duke did not include within the

         21    scope of license renewal.  For example, the spent fuel pool

         22    cooling system, the decay heat removal system, and the

         23    electric supply were selected, using insights from the

         24    Oconee probabilistic risk assessment.

         25              The team found that scoping and screening was

                                                                      24

          1    conducted as described in the application, and that

          2    documentation supporting Duke's application was in an

          3    auditable and retrievable form.

          4              However, it was also the team's view that the

          5    function of spent fuel cooling and the postulated plant

          6    events of loss of decay heat removal and pipe rupture should

          7    have been addressed in mechanical scoping.

          8              This issue was related to the broader concern

          9    regarding the scoping methodology that was resolved by

         10    Duke's additional evaluation, as Joe Sebrosky discussed

         11    earlier.

         12              The second inspection revealed that in most cases,

         13    Duke had properly implemented the aging management programs

         14    as approved by the Staff in its Safety Evaluation Report.

         15              The team determined that the existing aging

         16    management programs credited by Duke in its application were

         17    adequate for the applications examined.  For those aging

         18    management programs that Duke planned to develop before the

         19    license term is completed in 2013, the team noted that there

         20    was no aging management program or tracking mechanism in

         21    place to ensure that the programs were developed and

         22    implemented.

         23              Since then, however, Duke has developed an

         24    internal document to track license renewal program

         25    commitments, and plans to include these in the update of the

                                                                      25

          1    updated final Safety Analysis Report.

          2              As part of the second inspection, the team

          3    reviewed documentation that Duke had developed that

          4    indicated that the aging effects for certain electrical

          5    components did not require an aging management program.

          6              However, based on the team's review of correction

          7    action documents, maintenance records and system walkdowns

          8    of the auxiliary building, turbine building, and Unit I

          9    reactor building, the team concluded that the potential

         10    aging effects of heat, moisture, and radiation were

         11    applicable at Oconee.

         12              In response, Duke developed an insulated cable

         13    aging management program for electrical cables and

         14    connectors that includes required inspections, parameters to

         15    be monitored, and the requirement for corrective actions.

         16              As I mentioned, the third inspections focused on

         17    open items identified during the screening and aging

         18    management inspections.

         19              The inspection was also used to examine any plant

         20    equipment or programs added to the scope of license renewal

         21    since the original application.

         22              The team included as a result of this final

         23    inspection that all open issues had been resolved.

         24              Next slide, please.  Overall, the Region

         25    concluded, in a memo dated March 16th of this year, from

                                                                      26

          1    Luis Reyes, that the scoping and screening process was

          2    implemented in conformance with Duke's license renewal

          3    application, that applicable aging mechanisms were

          4    identified, that required documentation was auditable, and

          5    that Duke's aging management programs provide reasonable

          6    assurances for renewing the licenses for the Oconee units. 

          7              Next slide, please.  In conclusion, Mr. Chairman

          8    and Commissioners, the conclusions of the safety review and

          9    evaluation of the environmental impacts and inspection

         10    verifications support renewal for the licenses for Oconee

         11    Nuclear Stations, Units I, II, and III. 

         12              The Staff requests that the Commission authorize

         13    the Director of NRR to renew the licenses DPR-38, DPR-47,

         14    and DPR-55, with the expiration dates of February 6, 2033;

         15    October 6, 2033; and July 19th, 2034, respectively.

         16              This completes the Staff's presentation, and we'll

         17    take questions.  Thank you.

         18              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Thank you for a very helpful

         19    presentation.  Let me turn to my colleagues to see if they

         20    have some questions.

         21              First, Commissioner Merrifield.

         22              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

         23    First, I'd like to turn back to the Slide Number 15.

         24              You've got two issues here that you're referring

         25    to as unique aspects, the first one being the transmission

                                                                      27

          1    line impacts; and the second being the combined generation

          2    alternatives.

          3              Now, when you use the word, unique, it would lead

          4    one to the conclusion that this is something that is not

          5    very often and we aren't likely to see very much in the

          6    future.

          7              Obviously there are a lot of other plants out

          8    there with very extensive transmission lines, and there may

          9    be other individuals who comment on future license renewals

         10    who may want to have us look at a combination of generation

         11    alternatives.

         12              So what about these is unique to Oconee, and how

         13    are we going to deal with these issues as it relates to

         14    future license renewal applications?

         15              MR. GRIMES:  Commissioner, I'll take the first

         16    stab at that.  And to clarify that, when we explained

         17    uniquenesses, they were unique from the standpoint of the

         18    experience that we had on Calvert Cliffs, and they aren't

         19    provided for in our general review guidance.

         20              And I'll ask Jim Wilson to explain the extent to

         21    which we think the transmission quarters may be unique

         22    amongst all plants.  But I think that we will learn a lesson

         23    from the comment regarding the alternative sources that we

         24    can reflect on.  But it wasn't one that we had anticipated,

         25    so in that sense, it was unique.

                                                                      28

          1              Jim, would you like to comment on the transmission

          2    quarters?

          3              MR. WILSON:  Up until sometime last Spring, the

          4    industry had been taking the position that because

          5    transmission lines will remain energized even if the

          6    licenses are not renewed, that the impacts of transmission

          7    line maintenance activity should not be considered during

          8    the scope of the environmental review for license renewal.

          9              After consulting with OGC, the Staff has taken the

         10    position that because the rule specifies the scope to be

         11    considered for transmission line impacts for electromagnetic

         12    fields acute effects, that is, those transmission lines that

         13    were constructed for the purpose of connecting the plant to

         14    the grid when the plant was initially licensed as specified

         15    in the rule, the same scope should be applied to other

         16    impacts involving transmission lines, in this case, the

         17    potential effects on endangered species due to maintenance

         18    activities.

         19              At Calvert Cliffs, the connection took place at

         20    the switch yard, because the grid was essentially in place

         21    when the plant was built.  For Oconee, however, the plant

         22    was built at the same time as approximately 330 miles of

         23    transmission lines that comprise the grid, once Oconee was

         24    installed, in place, and operating.

         25              And that was part of the initial licensing basis. 

                                                                      29

          1    The Staff's position now is that the impacts considered for

          2    transmission lines should consider all those lines that were

          3    originally constructed for the purpose of connecting the

          4    plant to the grid, and we'll be using that position for

          5    future reviews.

          6              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  So it's different.  It's

          7    not really unique; it's different.

          8              MR. WILSON:  It's in contrast to the way we did it

          9    at Calvert Cliffs, and the way the industry --

         10              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  But this is more typical

         11    of what we're going to see in the future, is what you're

         12    saying?

         13              MR. WILSON:  I think we're going to be using that

         14    position in the future. 

         15              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Okay, what about

         16    combined generation alternatives; is that going to be

         17    typical?

         18              MR. WILSON:  That was unique because that was the

         19    first time we had seen it.  We had -- in the past, the Staff

         20    has only considered alternatives that were direct

         21    replacements for large baseload units such as the nuclear

         22    plants.  And as a result of a comment at a public meeting,

         23    they said why don't you consider a combination of

         24    alternatives, and the Staff thought that was a reasonable

         25    comment, and, indeed, we considered a mix of alternatives.

                                                                      30

          1              And we will likely use that as an alternative in

          2    future renewal applications.  It's one of our lessons

          3    learned.

          4              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  You may want to avoid

          5    the use of the word, unique, if it's something we intend to

          6    use, typically, in the future.

          7              MR. MIRAGLIA:  I don't think we'll be using it in

          8    the broad sense, Commissioner.  I think we were trying to

          9    present in terms of the uniqueness of this review in

         10    contrast to the Calvert Cliffs, in that more limited sense

         11    that we were using the term, unique, not to say that we

         12    wouldn't see similar things in future reviews.

         13              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  On the paper, I'd like

         14    to turn to page 8.  We have -- hold on a second.  Under (g),

         15    the licensee's USFAR Supplement submitted pursuant to 10 CFR

         16    54.21(d) was revised on March 27th, 2000, and describes

         17    certain future inspection activities to be completed before

         18    the end of the extended operation.  The licensee shall

         19    complete these activities no later than February 6, 2013. 

         20              We have obviously different dates for which these

         21    licenses are being extended to, and so I'm wondering why we

         22    fixed upon this particular date. 

         23              MR. GRIMES:  There are two reasons for that:  The

         24    first is as a matter of convenience.  Duke felt that having

         25    one milestone to meet would be more convenient in managing

                                                                      31

          1    their three units.

          2              The other aspect is that there are shared features

          3    amongst the units that would make it very difficult to

          4    manage the completion of three successive dates.  And so

          5    after discussing it with Duke, we framed the licenses with a

          6    single milestone to meet.

          7              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  All right, Sam, I've got

          8    a series of questions.  There are actually nine of them and

          9    they all require a yes or no answer.  If you don't feel

         10    comfortable giving a yes or no answer, you can say you

         11    don't.  But this is not difficult.

         12              MR. COLLINS:  And they're all for me?

         13              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  They're all for you. 

         14              Number One: Do you think the licensee, Duke Power,

         15    would describe our relicensing process as a piece of cake? 

         16    Yes or no?

         17              MR. COLLINS:  No.

         18              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Okay, Number Two:  Was

         19    the Staff vigorous and thorough in its questioning of the

         20    licensee?

         21              MR. COLLINS:  Yes.

         22              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Yes.  Was the Staff able

         23    to ask questions of the licensee to resolve outstanding

         24    safety concerns?

         25              MR. COLLINS:  Yes.

                                                                      32

          1              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Did the Staff utilize a

          2    questioning attitude in this relicensing process?

          3              MR. COLLINS:  Yes.

          4              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Was the outcome of this

          5    relicensing effort predetermined?

          6              MR. COLLINS:  No.

          7              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Are you comfortable with

          8    the Staff recommendation to provide for a 20-year license

          9    extension?

         10              MR. COLLINS:  Yes.

         11              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Would you have been

         12    willing to provide a negative recommendation to the

         13    Commission if you were convinced that this plant could not

         14    be operated safely for an additional 20 years?

         15              MR. COLLINS:  Yes.

         16              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Should any licensee take

         17    from this review that the NRC is going to rubber-stamp

         18    future applications for license extension?

         19              MR. COLLINS:  No.

         20              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Has the Commission taken

         21    any action or given you any instruction that would prevent

         22    you from recommending in the future, that a license renewal

         23    application not be approved?

         24              MR. COLLINS:  No.

         25              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

                                                                      33

          1

          2              MR. MIRAGLIA:  I would like the record to show

          3    that I would concur with all those answers. 

          4              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Commissioner McGaffigan?

          5              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  There is one comment

          6    I'll make in terms of the slides.  I think that you probably

          7    should have an ACRS slide in the future.  It's a very

          8    important document, the letter from the ACRS, statutorily

          9    required, and I think you had one for Calvert Cliffs that

         10    just sort of summarized the ACRS letter. 

         11              But the ACRS is an important part of the process,

         12    and is an additional check.  If there were an ACRS member in

         13    front of us at the moment, he probably could have answered

         14    appropriately to most of those questions that are applicable

         15    to ACRS. 

         16              But turning to the ACRS letter -- and this gets

         17    more into the future -- they suggest in their letter that

         18    there are several issues that came up in the Oconee license

         19    renewal that are really generic.

         20              They mentioned the completeness of the methodology

         21    used to identify SSCs that are within the scope of Part 54;

         22    consideration of the effects of the reactor coolant

         23    environment on fatigue life.

         24              Are those issues that they identified in their

         25    March 13th letter being treated in the GAL report? 

                                                                      34

          1              MR. GRIMES:  Yes, either the GAL report or the

          2    Standard Review Plan.  The issue about expanding guidance in

          3    order to ensure the completeness of the methodology to

          4    capture all the systems, structures, and components that are

          5    relied upon by the licensing basis, is an experience that

          6    will reflect in the Standard Review Plan.  It does not

          7    really relate to the credit for existing programs that we're

          8    trying to accomplish under GAL.

          9              But we are continuing a dialogue with the

         10    assistance of the Office of Research to pursue this issue

         11    about what is the appropriate way to manage environmental

         12    effects on fatigue.

         13              And that is still an area that requires some

         14    further work, generically.  And the ACRS has been assisting

         15    us in those efforts as well, and providing feedback that

         16    will contribute to generic process improvements.

         17              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  They imply in here that

         18    some of these issues are taking significant resources

         19    between the Staff and the licensee to resolve during the

         20    process.

         21              I'm trying to find the -- you know, it's the issue

         22    of the completeness of the methodology for bounding the

         23    SSCs. 

         24              MR. GRIMES:  That gets to the benefits of being

         25    able to have a generic resolution to improve the efficiency

                                                                      35

          1    of future renewal efforts, and we fully support this

          2    experience and feedback.  To the extent that it can be

          3    resolved generically, we'll further streamline and improve

          4    the efficiency of renewal reviews.

          5              And the ACRS is -- we're arranging to continue to

          6    work with the ACRS, generically, to reflect on appropriate

          7    guidance that we could include in the Standard Review Plan,

          8    GAL, or recommend that NEI include it in their Guide 95-10.

          9              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  There is a bit of a

         10    pause here at the moment because ACRS -- not for you guys. 

         11    You've got two applications in front of you. 

         12              But for ACRS, there will be little for them to do

         13    in this area, specifically, for about a year or two,

         14    whenever you've got the schedule for the Arkansas Nuclear I,

         15    and Hatch items come before them.

         16              Are they involved in these generic issues?  Is

         17    that an important element of their work effort for the next

         18    year?

         19              MR. GRIMES:  Yes.  As a matter of fact, we've

         20    identified milestones for the ACRS, leading up to the

         21    presentation of GAL and an SRP for Commission approval in

         22    accordance with the plan that we've established to develop

         23    GAL, send it out for public comment.

         24              We're making arrangements to meet with the ACRS

         25    Subcommittee this summer in order to keep them engaged and

                                                                      36

          1    to maintain a dialogue with them to ensure that their views

          2    are reflected in GAL and the Standard Review Plan.

          3              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  Just a quick item on the

          4    UFSAR.  The UFSAR supplement being incorporated by July

          5    2001, and then the interim that they have to sort of treat

          6    it as if it's already in UFSAR; is that a matter of

          7    convenience? 

          8              You have a license condition that basically says

          9    they have to submit the supplement by July, 2001.  That's

         10    what Viewgraph 11 said, and that's what the documents say.

         11              But in the interim, it's almost as if the material

         12    they have already submitted is already in the FSAR.  So, why

         13    didn't we just -- they're going to get a new license

         14    whenever the approval is granted.

         15              Why isn't that FSAR -- why wasn't this all put

         16    together at one point?  Is it just a matter of convenience?

         17              MR. COLLINS:  It's mostly a matter of proces. 

         18    Although they proposed a UFSAR supplement with the

         19    application, and the have proposed changes to it to comport

         20    with our safety evaluation basis, there is still a lot more

         21    work that needs to be done before the programs that are

         22    described in the FSAR supplement can be fully implemented.

         23              And so there is administrative work on their end

         24    in order to take the supplement and roll it into the FSAR,

         25    and to make sure that they satisfy all of the provisions in

                                                                      37

          1    the FSAR.

          2              So it's a little bit more than a matter of

          3    convenience.  We realize that there would need to be a time

          4    provide where they could bring all the documentation

          5    together.

          6              And that's why we believe that Part 54 provided

          7    that the application would depend on a supplement that could

          8    then be integrated within a reasonable period of time.

          9              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  Okay, the final question

         10    is Mr. Collins.  You were quoted in Nuclear News Flashes

         11    last week, last Thursday as expressing some disappointment

         12    or transmitting some disappointment -- maybe I should keep

         13    on Mr. Grimes here -- from your staff as to the depth and

         14    scope of the license renewal submittals from Arkansas

         15    Nuclear I and Hatch.

         16              Could you tell us what's involved there?  Do they

         17    not -- you know, Hatch is a very new unit, the first BWR;

         18    Arkansas Nuclear I, presumably, could have learned a lot

         19    from Oconee since they're similar plants.

         20              What did you have in mind in that statement, and

         21    does it affect your schedule for those plants?

         22              MR. COLLINS:  There are two questions there.  One,

         23    it doesn't appear to affect the schedule at this time.

         24              The first question:  There was a general

         25    admonition that came up as a result of the NEI meeting of

                                                                      38

          1    last week.  Hatch and ANO are currently in the process, as

          2    you well know.  We're performing the review for Hatch first

          3    BWR.  We have a lot of contract support for ANO.

          4              We're further ahead on ANO than we are Hatch right

          5    now as far as review and RAIs are concerned.  The submittals

          6    for ANO, when you look at the amount of information, is less

          7    than what we have seen in the past.

          8              There are various reasons for that.  Some of it is

          9    to remove duplicative information; some of it is to take

         10    advantage of efficiencies and lessons learned in the

         11    process.

         12              The statement -- I think Chris's statement in that

         13    April 26th Nuclear Flash Notes is probably more accurate

         14    than mine was depicted to be.  It is a general caution that

         15    the scope and depth of the followon applications should be

         16    sensitive to the amount of information that the Staff needs

         17    to perform an appropriate review with minimum requests for

         18    additional information in that any attempt -- and it might

         19    be a good will attempt -- to take advantage of past reviews

         20    ahead of the finalization of the Standard Review Plan and

         21    the generic aging lessons learned, has some risk with it if

         22    it's not well coordinated with the Staff. 

         23              It's premature at this time to say that that is

         24    the case for either Hatch or ANO.

         25              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  One final question: When

                                                                      39

          1    does these three documents -- there are three critical

          2    documents here.  There's an NEI document; there's the SRP

          3    and there's the GAL report.  When does stability arrive for

          4    those three documents?  What is the schedule for when we

          5    have -- two of which are in your control, and one of which

          6    is not, the NEI.

          7              MR. GRIMES:  Well, to a certain extent, the NEI

          8    document is within our control to the extent that if we're

          9    not satisfied that NEI has been responsive to our needs,

         10    we'll take exception to that in a Regulatory Guide.

         11              But you're correct in pointing out that trying to

         12    maintain coordination between the three documents is

         13    presenting a challenge to us.  But we're working to have

         14    those documents ready for public comment in August, and then

         15    to brief you in November on the results of the public

         16    comment process, and then present documents for the

         17    Commission's approval in March of next year. 

         18              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  That is a good schedule. 

         19    I hope we can keep it, given all the other things you are

         20    working on.  It would be awful nice if by mid-2001 there was

         21    a great deal of stability, because I think there are a lot

         22    of applications coming in soon thereafter.  Thank you.

         23              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Commissioner Diaz.

         24              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  Yes, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         25              Turning to the issues of -- technical issues --

                                                                      40

          1    was there any very serious of more difficult than expected

          2    technical issues encountered during the scope of the review?

          3              MR. GRIMES:  I would say that they were

          4    comparable. As a matter of fact there were elements of the

          5    same technical issues at Oconee. 

          6              For example, the issues that we are pursuing

          7    generically on reactor vessel internals, the underlying

          8    aging effects that are associated with that; the issue on

          9    cable insulation aging effects and how those will be

         10    managed.  They were treated with some differences but they

         11    were slight differences.  I would say that all of the issues

         12    were comparable.

         13              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  No new issues?

         14              MR. GRIMES:  We found no new technical issues.

         15              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  No new technical issues -- and

         16    to satisfy Commissioner Merrifield, the atypical aspects

         17    identified under Item 10, do those present a different

         18    challenge to the Staff or was it treated within the same

         19    scope and you were able to handle them in the same manner

         20    that you now have developed?

         21              MR. GRIMES:  Well, at the risk of abusing "same"

         22    in the same way we abused "unique" I would say that they

         23    were sufficiently similar.

         24              [Laughter.]

         25              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  Aha.  That sounds excellent to

                                                                      41

          1    me.  Sounds excellent.  Very good.

          2              I do have one further question.  We area always

          3    looking for efficiencies.  Have there been an efficiency

          4    achieved between these two licenses right now regarding the

          5    FTEs that are being used for Calvert Cliffs and Oconee?

          6              MR. GRIMES:  We attempted to determine that, and I

          7    would say that there is a very small efficiency observed in

          8    the level of effort but unfortunately it is difficult to

          9    pull out because there was a lot of effort on Oconee in

         10    reviewing the topic reports. 

         11              We will see a benefit for that in the subsequent

         12    B&W; applications because we made that investment but the

         13    level of effort for Calvert Cliffs and Oconee was fairly

         14    comparable.  It was in the same range as the estimate that

         15    we provided in our planning assumptions and we are going to

         16    continue to monitor that.  As a matter of fact, the issue

         17    that we raised with respect to the content of the Arkansas

         18    and Hatch applications was a reflection of a disappointment

         19    that we were not seeing as large an improvement in

         20    efficiency as we had hoped from the new standard form and

         21    content.

         22              To be more specific to your question, the numbers

         23    are comparable and there's a very small improvement on

         24    Oconee.

         25              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  You are still expecting when

                                                                      42

          1    the GALL is finished and we get a couple more of these under

          2    our belt that both the licensees and us will be able to

          3    achieve efficiencies in the process?

          4              MR. GRIMES:  Yes.

          5              MR. COLLINS:  Our operating plan assumes 2002 and

          6    out that there are efficiencies in order to maintain

          7    schedule.  Our resources are predicated on achieving those

          8    efficiencies.

          9              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  Okay, thank you.

         10              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Commissioner Dicus.

         11              COMMISSIONER DICUS:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

         12              I have really just one rather general, probably

         13    generic, question.  It really has to do with the going

         14    forward for these future applications.  Obviously we have

         15    two in now and we know we are going to have move, and you

         16    have discussed the lessons learned.

         17              You mentioned it in general terms that specific

         18    lessons learned have been brought forward and I guess my

         19    question goes to we are going to have these lessons learned

         20    and I know you are aware of them.  You are incorporating

         21    them into what we do in the future, but how?

         22              I guess little more specifics on exactly how we

         23    are dealing with these and what other lessons, if we have

         24    more lessons learned, how are we going to use these as we

         25    get more and diverse applications in, because I don't want

                                                                      43

          1    to -- you know, the two applications we have in now you have

          2    indicated perhaps did not go into the depth that you thought

          3    perhaps they would simply because maybe they assumed

          4    efficiencies and effectiveness that was already available to

          5    us, and so I can see maybe down the road, so how are we

          6    going to deal with this?

          7              MR. GRIMES:  First, I would like to point out that

          8    although we were somewhat disappointed we saw a substantial

          9    improvement in Arkansas and Hatch as far as we have gone so

         10    far, but we have a procedure that essentially collects

         11    experience of different types and then focuses it.

         12              We had a collection or an inventory of generic

         13    renewal issues and we sorted that out and abandoned that

         14    inventory in favor of directing specific experience to GALL

         15    where it applies to credit for existing programs and

         16    adequacy of aging management.

         17              Other lessons related to the review process we

         18    have directed to the SRP, and that experience that gets to

         19    the content of the application, standardization and

         20    consistency in order to minimize the extent to which future

         21    applications divert from a plan would go into NEI-9510 or

         22    would be exceptions in a Regulatory Guide.

         23              Finally, the most important key I think is we have

         24    been feeding experience back into our planning and budgeting

         25    process that identifies where we need to focus on

                                                                      44

          1    efficiencies in the level of effort resources, the planning

          2    assumptions, the 585-day schedule.  All of those things that

          3    are reflected from the strategic plan all the way down to

          4    the operating plan as the Commission, you know, reflects in

          5    its request to Congress, all of that is fed back into the

          6    planning and budgeting process.

          7              COMMISSIONER McGAFFIGAN:  Mr. Chairman, I would

          8    just -- it occurs to me on the 585-day schedule, just for

          9    the public, is the schedule for the Staff to complete its

         10    work from the date of receipt on the SER and the EIS.  We

         11    are not announcing a new goal for the overall process, which

         12    has an ACRS component, a Commission component and perhaps an

         13    adjudicatory component, but just to make sure that that is

         14    understood.

         15              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Thank you for that

         16    clarification.

         17              I just have two questions of a very specific

         18    nature.

         19              You indicate on Slide 10 that one of the unique

         20    aspects of this plan, and I think this is truly unique, is

         21    the Keowee Hydro-Electric Station.  My understanding is that

         22    they don't have emergency diesels at this facility and they

         23    rely on this dedicated station.

         24              Could you say a little bit more about the sorts of

         25    issues that you had to confront in dealing with that element

                                                                      45

          1    of the --

          2              MR. GRIMES:  Joe, would you like to describe some

          3    of what went on with Keowee?

          4              MR. SEBROSKY:  It presented a challenge more from

          5    the scoping and screening perspective, that when you look at

          6    that there's very few people in the agency that have

          7    expertise on how a dam operates, a hydro-electric station

          8    operates to produce power.

          9              With Keowee when we asked questions, Duke had

         10    referred us to previous documentation, previous docketed

         11    material, on how that worked.

         12              As an example they did a probabilistic risk

         13    assessment on Keowee that gave us --

         14              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  On dam failure or what?

         15              MR. SEBROSKY:  No, actually on failure of the

         16    hydro-electric station.  Dams are not unique.  There's dams,

         17    impoundment dams for ultimate heat sinks, but to use them to

         18    generate electricity as your emergency power supply, that is

         19    unique.  I don't know of another plant that does that.

         20              COMMISSIONER DIAZ:  Oh, no, there are several

         21    plants in the world that do that.

         22              MR. SEBROSKY:  I guess I was limiting it to the

         23    United States, to the 103 operating plants and I don't know

         24    of any other that uses a dam as an emergency power supply.

         25              But anyway, we went to that information, the

                                                                      46

          1    previously docketed material, and we asked some questions of

          2    Duke about the scoping and screening to make sure that we

          3    got all of the systems, structures and components.  Once

          4    that was identified, really the aging effects for different

          5    components in there aren't unique.

          6              You deal with concrete and water, for example, in

          7    the intake structure, so the aging effects -- and that is

          8    what I tried to say during that slide presentation -- the

          9    aging effects really didn't present a challenge.  It was

         10    more from the scoping and screening perspective.

         11              MR. MIRAGLIA:  There was a substantive review of

         12    the operation at Keowee in performing the emergency function

         13    and there was a probabilistic risk assessment that Joe

         14    talked about previously, and not part of the license renewal

         15    but part of the licensing review of Oconee, and that was the

         16    basis for the acceptability of the understanding of the

         17    operation of the Keowee Hydro-Electric Station.

         18              As Joe said, the renewal was looking at the aging

         19    management associated with those components and structures.

         20              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  My other question relates to

         21    the same slide.  In discussing the insulated cables in

         22    connection to the aging management program you emphasized

         23    that you excluded from that analysis the cables that were

         24    covered by the Environmental Qualification Program.

         25              I assume that is because you had determined that

                                                                      47

          1    that program by itself was sufficient to deal with any aging

          2    phenomena?

          3              MR. GRIMES:  Yes, that's correct.  Joe, do you

          4    want to add anything to that?

          5              MR. SEBROSKY:  The only thing that I would have to

          6    add is the Environmental Qualification Program for the

          7    cables is covered under a time-limited aging analysis which

          8    was reviewed separately and accepted by the Staff, so it is,

          9    as you said, we didn't have a problem with how they were

         10    addressing environmentally qualified cabling.  It was

         11    limited to non-environmentally qualified cable.

         12              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  And the moisture problem here

         13    is buried cables, or what was the --

         14              MR. SEBROSKY:  Moisture isn't limited to buried

         15    cables but there was experience at Davis-Besse and it was

         16    something that was brought up late in the Calvert review and

         17    we wanted to make sure that that was captured, and Duke

         18    provided a program for that.

         19              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Good.  That's all of my

         20    questions.

         21              Let me just say on behalf of the Commission that I

         22    want to thank you for both an excellent briefing and for

         23    your capacity to abide by the schedule for the performance

         24    of your work in this case.

         25              When we had our briefing in Calvert Cliffs' case I

                                                                      48

          1    said that I thought that there was going to be a challenge

          2    for the Staff in continuing to be able to meet the high

          3    standards that it set for itself in that case, and it

          4    appears to me that you have done that in this instance, and

          5    I want to, on behalf of the Commission, I want to express my

          6    appreciation to you.

          7              Let me turn to my colleagues and see if they have

          8    any comments to make in conclusion?

          9              COMMISSIONER MERRIFIELD:  I have a brief comment

         10    to make, Mr. Chairman.

         11              First, I would like to join in your compliments to

         12    the Staff.  They did a terrific job on this and it is

         13    certainly going to make our decision, I think my decision

         14    very easy.

         15              I want to thank Sam for answering my series of

         16    questions.  There was a point that I wanted to make with

         17    that and the point was that I think licensees in the future

         18    will be at their peril if they believe that this Commission

         19    and this Staff are going to rubber stamp future license

         20    applications.

         21              This is not a pro forma process and one which I

         22    think licensees will have to treat very seriously and should

         23    do the application, should prepare the applications that are

         24    adequate to do that.

         25              For my own part, I believe that if this Staff in

                                                                      49

          1    the future makes a well-reasoned argument that an individual

          2    licensee should not be relicensed for a 20-year extension, I

          3    am comfortable with that process and I would be willing to

          4    vote to accept that kind of a Staff recommendation.  I

          5    certainly want licensees to know that for my part.  Thank

          6    you.

          7              CHAIRMAN MESERVE:  Good.  With that, we stand

          8    adjourned.  Thank you.

          9              [Whereupon, at 10:29 a.m., the briefing was

         10    concluded.]

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