Final Safety Evaluation Report: Related to the Aircraft Impact Amendment to the U.S. Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) Design Certification (NUREG-1948)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2010
Date Published: June 2011

Prepared by:

Office of New Reactors
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This safety evaluation report (SER) documents the technical review of U.S. Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) Aircraft Impact Assessment (AIA) application by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff. The ABWR AIA application was submitted by the STP Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC), in accordance with the procedures of Subpart B to Part 52 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR).

The U.S. ABWR is a single-cycle, forced-circulation, boiling water reactor (BWR) with a rated power of 3926 megawatts thermal (MWt) and a design power of 4005 MWt. The staff issued the "Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER) Related to Certification of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor Design" (NUREG-1503), on July 13, 1994. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a final rule certifying the design on May 12, 1997.

On June 30, 2009, STPNOC submitted an application to amend the Design Certification Rule for the ABWR. On September 23, 2010, STPNOC submitted the final amendment application (ML102870017). The purpose of the amendment is to address the requirements of the NRC in 10 CFR 50.150, "Aircraft Impact Assessment." If the proposed amendment is approved, applicants for a combined license (COL) that reference the ABWR standard design may address the requirements of 10 CFR 50.150 by referencing the amended ABWR standard design.

Under 10 CFR 50.150, applicants for new nuclear power reactors are required to perform an assessment of the effects on the designed facility of the impact of a large, commercial aircraft. Using realistic analyses, applicants must identify and incorporate into the design those design features and functional capabilities to show, with the reduced use of operator action, that (1) the reactor core remains cooled or the containment remains intact and (2) spent fuel cooling or spent fuel pool integrity is maintained (referred to as the acceptance criteria). Applicants subject to this regulation are required to submit a description of the design features and functional capabilities identified as a result of the AIA and a description of how those features and capabilities show that the acceptance criteria in 10 CFR 50.150(a)(1) are met with reduced use of operator action.

The NRC determined that the impact of large, commercial aircraft is a beyond-design-basis event. Therefore, applicants may identify either safety-related or non-safety-related features or capabilities to satisfy the requirements for consideration of aircraft impact. The design features relied upon to satisfy the requirements for consideration of aircraft impact may be structures or features (1) whose sole purpose is to address these requirements, or (2) that have a dual purpose of addressing aircraft impact requirements as well as other NRC requirements.

The NRC’s review of the applicant’s proposed amendment has three objectives. The first objective is to confirm that the applicant has (1) adequately described design features and functional capabilities in accordance with the aircraft impact rule; and (2) conducted an assessment reasonably formulated to identify design features and functional capabilities to show, with reduced use of operator action, that the facility can withstand the effects of an aircraft impact. This evaluation is documented in Chapter 19 of this safety evaluation report (SER).

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