United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NOED-02-4-003 - Diablo Canyon 2 (Pacific Gas and Electric Company)

August 23, 2002

Gregory M. Rueger, Senior Vice
President, Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
P.O. Box 3
Avila Beach, California 93424

SUBJECT:   NOTICE OF ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION FOR PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY REGARDING DIABLO CANYON POWER PLANT, UNIT 2, NOED NO. 02- 4-003

By letter dated August 21, 2002, you requested that the NRC exercise discretion not to enforce compliance with the actions required in Technical Specification 3.7.7, Action A. That letter documented information previously discussed with the NRC in a telephone conversation on August 21, 2002, at 3:20 p.m. (CDT). You stated that as of August 22, 2002, at 3:32 a.m. (PDT) the plant would not be in compliance with Technical Specification 3.7.7, which would require that the plant be in Mode 3 within 6 hours and Mode 5 in 36 hours. You requested that a Notice of Enforcement Discretion (NOED) be issued pursuant to the NRC's policy regarding exercise of discretion for an operating facility, set out in Section VII.c, of the "General Statement of Policy and Procedures for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, and be effective for the period 3:32 a.m. (PDT) August 22, 2002, through 3:32 a.m. (PDT) August 25, 2002.

Participants in the August 21, 2002, telephone conversation included Ellis Merschoff, Regional Administrator, Region IV, and members of his staff; William H. Ruland, Director, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project Management; Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR), and members of the NRR staff; David H. Oatley, Vice President, Operations, Diablo Canyon Power Plant, and members of his staff. A copy of the preliminary draft of your request letter which was used during the telephone conference is enclosed.

According to your staff, on August 19, 2002, at 3:32 a.m. (PDT) the Diablo Canyon Power Plant Unit 2 component cooling water Pump 2-3 was declared inoperable during investigations of the cause for a component cooling water pump feeder ground alarm. Investigations identified that the alarm resulted from a ground in one phase of the component cooling water Pump 2-3 motor feeder cable. The schedule for replacement of the motor feeder cable and postmaintenance testing indicated approximately 144 hours for completion of this task. This schedule would exceed the Technical Specification 72 hour completion time by 72 hours.

The safety basis submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company includes compensatory measures and an evaluation of the potential impact on public health and safety and the environment. The safety basis submitted indicates that the proposed enforcement discretion does not involve a net increase in radiological risk and will not be a potential detriment to public health and safety. Your compensatory measures included: (1) no other planned maintenance or testing will be performed that would render the component cooling water system in Unit 2 or associated support systems inoperable; (2) all Unit 2 engineered safety features equipment, except for residual heat removal Pump 2-2 and safety injection Pump 2-2, will be maintained operable; (3) operators will be assigned by position to restore equipment if a safety injection signal occurs and the operable residual heat removal and safety injection pump do not start; (4) the power level of Units 1 and 2 will not be voluntarily reduced in order to maximize the stability of the offsite grid; (5) elective maintenance and testing on risk-significant equipment will not be performed; (6) testing that has a potential for tripping the units will not be performed; and (7) the Unit 1 planned curtailment for the weekend of August 24-25, 2002, will be deferred. Additionally, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has contacted the independent system operator and confirmed the stability of the power grid and there are no unusual factors which need to be considered. Also the abnormal procedure for loss of component cooling water will be reviewed with the affected operating crews.

NRC staff evaluated your request and agreed that maintaining the plant stable at power for an additional 72 hours was preferable to the potential for a plant transient that could occur during a plant shutdown. The NRC agreed that your compensatory measures, risk analysis, and basis considerations were appropriate to demonstrate that the additional 72 hours will not involve a net increase in radiological risk and will not be a potential detriment to public health and safety.

On the basis of the staff's evaluation of your request, including the compensatory measures described above, the staff has concluded that an NOED is warranted because we are clearly satisfied that this action involves minimal or no safety impact and has no adverse radiological impact on public health and safety. Additionally, we determined that the request satisfied the NRC's policy for enforcement discretion as specified in Section B.2.1.1.a of NRC Inspection Manual Chapter 9900. Therefore, it is our intention to exercise discretion not to enforce compliance with Technical Specification 3.7.7, Action A, for the inoperable component cooling water Pump 2-3 for the period not to exceed from August 22, 2002, at 3:32 a.m. (PDT) until August 25, 2002, at 3:32 a.m. (PDT). This letter documents our telephone conversation of August 21, 2002, at 4:10 p.m. (CDT) when we orally issued this notice of enforcement discretion.

However, as stated in the Enforcement Policy, action will normally be taken, to the extent that violations were involved, for the root cause that led to the noncompliance for which this NOED was necessary.

Sincerely,

/RA/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Dockets: 50-323
Licenses: DPR-82

Enclosure: As stated

cc w/enclosure:

David H. Oatley, Vice President
Diablo Canyon Operations and Plant Manager
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
P.O. Box 56
Avila Beach, California 93424

Lawrence F. Womack, Vice President, Power
Generation & Nuclear Services
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
P.O. Box 56
Avila Beach, California 93424

Dr. Richard Ferguson
Energy Chair
Sierra Club California
1100 llth Street, Suite 311
Sacramento, California 95814

Nancy Culver
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
P.O. Box 164
Pismo Beach, California 93448

Chairman
San Luis Obispo County Board of
Supervisors
Room 370
County Government Center
San Luis Obispo, California 93408



Truman Burns\Mr. Robert Kinosian
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness, Rm. 4102
San Francisco, California 94102

Robert R. Wellington, Esq.
Legal Counsel
Diablo Canyon Independent Safety Committee
857 Cass Street, Suite D
Monterey, California 93940

Ed Bailey, Radiation Control Program Director
Radiologic Health Branch
State Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 942732 (MS 178)
Sacramento, California 94234-7320

Christopher J. Warner, Esq.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
P.O. Box 7442
San Francisco, California 94120

City Editor
The Tribune
3825 South Higuera Street
P.O. Box 112
San Luis Obispo, California 93406-0112

James D. Boyd, Commissioner
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street (MS 34)
Sacramento, California 95814

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