Safety Evaluation Report Related to the License Renewal of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, Units 1, 2, and 3 (NUREG-1843, Initial Report)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: January 2006
Date Published: April 2006

Prepared by:
Y. Diaz-Sanabria and R. Subbaratnam

Division of License Renewal
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This safety evaluation report (SER) documents the technical review of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (BFN), Units 1, 2, and 3, license renewal application (LRA) by the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (the staff). By letter dated December 31, 2003, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA or the applicant) submitted the LRA for BFN in accordance with Title 10, Part 54, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 54). TVA is requesting renewal of the operating licenses for BFN Units 1, 2, and 3, (Facility Operating License Numbers DPR-33, DPR-52, and DPR-68, respectively) for a period of 20 years beyond the current expiration dates of midnight December 20, 2013, for Unit 1; midnight June 28, 2014, for Unit 2; and midnight July 2, 2016, for Unit 3.

The BFN units are located on the north shore of Wheeler Reservoir in Limestone County, Alabama, at Tennessee River Mile 294. The site is approximately 30 miles west of Huntsville, Alabama; it is also 10 miles northwest of Decatur, Alabama and 10 miles southwest of Athens, Alabama. The NRC issued the construction permits for Units 1 and 2 on May 10, 1967; for Unit 3 on July 31, 1968. The NRC issued the operating licenses for Unit 1 on December 20, 1973; for Unit 2 on June 28, 1974; and for Unit 3 on July 2, 1976. All of the units consist of a Mark I boiling water reactor (BWR) with a nuclear steam supply system supplied by General Electric Corporation. The balance of each of the plants was originally designed and constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Unit 1 licensed power output is 3293 megawatt thermal (MWt), with a gross electrical output of approximately 1100 megawatt electric (MWe). Units 2 and 3 licensed power output is 3458 MWt, with a gross electrical output of approximately 1155 MWe. The units operated from the original licensing until 1985 when they were voluntarily shut down by the applicant to address management and technical issues. The applicant then implemented a comprehensive nuclear performance plan to correct the deficiencies that led to the shutdown. This plan included changes in management, programs, processes and procedures, as well as extensive equipment refurbishment, replacement, and modifications. Unit 2 was subsequently restarted in 1991, and Unit 3 followed in 1995. In the early 1990s, the applicant decided to defer restart of Unit 1. Unit 1 is currently in a shutdown status.

This SER presents the status of the staff's review of information submitted to the NRC through December 31, 2005, the cutoff date for consideration in the SER. The staff identified open items and confirmatory items that had to be resolved before the staff could make a final determination on the application. SER Sections 1.5 and 1.6 summarize these items and their resolutions. Section 6 provides the staff’s final conclusion on the review of the BFN LRA.

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