Final Safety Evaluation Report Related to the Combined Licenses for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4: Chapters 10 through 19 (NUREG-2124, Volume 2)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Published: August 2011
Date Published: September 2012

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

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This final safety evaluation report1 (FSER) documents the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff's technical review of the combined license (COL) application submitted by Southern Nuclear Operating Company (SNC or the applicant), for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4. The SER also documents the NRC staff's technical review of the limited work authorization (LWA) activities for which SNC has requested approval.

By letter dated March 28, 2008, SNC, acting on behalf of itself and the proposed owners (Georgia Power Company (GPC), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (an electric membership corporation), Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia, an incorporated municipality in the State of Georgia acting by and through its Board of Water, Light and Sinking Fund Commissioners), submitted its application to the NRC for COLs for two AP1000 advanced passive pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) pursuant to the requirements of Sections 103 and 185(b) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 52, "Licenses, certifications and approvals for nuclear power plants"; and the associated material licenses under 10 CFR Part 30, "Rules of general applicability to domestic licensing of byproduct material"; 10 CFR Part 40, "Domestic licensing of source material"; and 10 CFR Part 70, "Domestic licensing of special nuclear material." These reactors are identified as VEGP Units 3 and 4, and will be located on the existing VEGP site in Burke County, Georgia.

In October 2009, SNC supplemented its COL application to include a request for an LWA. The LWA, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.10(d), would authorize installation of reinforcing steel, sumps, drain lines, and other embedded items along with placement of concrete for the nuclear island foundation base slab.

The initial application incorporated by reference 10 CFR Part 52, Appendix D, "Design Certification Rule for the AP1000 Design," and the Westinghouse Electric Corporation's (Westinghouse's) application for amendment of the AP1000 design, as described in Revision 16 of the Design Control Document (DCD) (submitted May 26, 2007), as well as Westinghouse Technical Report (TR)-134, APP-GW-GLR-134, "AP1000 DCD Impacts to Support COLA Standardization," Revision 4 (which was submitted on March 18, 2008). The initial application also referenced the VEGP Early Site Permit (ESP) Application, Revision 4, dated March 28, 2008. Subsequent to the initial application, in its submittal dated December 11, 2009, SNC incorporated by reference the VEGP ESP Application, Revision 5, dated December 23, 2008, as approved by the NRC in the VEGP ESP and LWA (ESP-004), dated August 26, 2009. In a letter dated August 6, 2010, SNC incorporated by reference the three amendments issued (on May 21, 2010; June 25, 2010; and July 9, 2010) to the ESP. In a letter dated June 24, 2011(submittal number 8), SNC incorporated by reference AP1000 DCD, Revision 19. The results of the NRC staff's evaluation of the AP1000 DCD are documented in NUREG-1793, "Final Safety Evaluation Report Related to Certification of the AP1000 Standard Design," and its supplements. The results of the NRC staff's evaluation related to the VEGP ESP are documented in NUREG-1923, "Safety Evaluation Report for Early Site Permit (ESP) at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) ESP Site."

This FSER presents the results of the staff's review of information submitted in conjunction with the COL application, except those matters resolved as part of the referenced ESP or design certification rule. In Appendix A to this FSER, the staff has identified certain license conditions and inspections, tests, analyses and acceptance criteria (ITAAC) that the staff recommends the Commission impose, should COLs be issued to the applicant. Appendix A includes the applicable permit conditions and ITAAC from the ESP. Therefore, Appendix A includes COL and ESP conditions, recognizing that should COLs be issued to the applicant, the ESP will be subsumed into the COLs. In addition to the ITAAC in Appendix A, the ITAAC found in the AP1000 DCD, Revision 19 Tier 1 material will also be incorporated into the COLs should COLs be issued to the applicant.

On the basis of the staff's review2 of the application, as documented in this FSER, the staff recommends that the Commission find the following with respect to the safety aspects of the COL application: 1) the applicable standards and requirements of the Atomic Energy Act and Commission regulations have been met, 2) Required notifications to other agencies or bodies have been duly made, 3) there is reasonable assurance that the facility will be constructed and will operate in conformity with the license, the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, and the Commission's regulations, 4) the applicant is technically and financially qualified to engage in the activities authorized, and 5) issuance of the license will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public.

1 This FSER documents the NRC staff's position on all safety issues associated with the combined license application. The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) independently reviewed those aspects of the application that concern safety, as well as the advanced safety evaluation report without open items (an earlier version of this document), and provided the results of its review to the Commission in a report dated January 24, 2011. This report is included as Appendix F to this SER.

2 An environmental review was also performed of the COL application and its evaluation and conclusions are documented in NUREG-1947, "Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses (COLs) for Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4."

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