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Resolution of Generic Safety Issues: Issue 182: General Electric Extended Power Uprate (Rev. 1) ( NUREG-0933, Main Report with Supplements 1–35 )


Historical Background

A generic BWR power uprate program was created to provide a consistent means for individual licensees to recover additional generating capacity beyond their existing licensed limit. In 1990, GE submitted licensing topical reports to initiate this program by proposing to increase the rated thermal power levels of the BWR/4, BWR/5, and BWR/6 product lines by approximately 5%. Since 1990, the NRC reviewed and approved at least 9 power uprate requests in the generic BWR power uprate program. As a follow-on to this program, GE submitted a Licensing Topical Report, NEDC-32424, "Generic Guidelines for General Electric Boiling Water Reactor Extended Power Uprate," (ELTR1) in February 1995 which outlined the methodology for implementation of an extended power uprate program of up to 120% of the original licensed thermal power. This issue was identified in an NRR memorandum1601 to RES in February 1996.

The issue did not affect public safety but could have an economic impact on the operation of plants with GE reactors. Therefore, it was classified as a Regulatory Impact issue.1731


An action plan was developed by NRR and described the strategy for completing both the generic and plant-specific reviews for extended power uprate submittals for BWRs. The staff believed that individual plant submittals for uprates would likely contain requests for an optimum power level specific to each plant and would be some value less than the full 120%. Specific actions included in the generic action plan were: (1) review ELTR1 and issue a staff position paper; (2) review ELTR2 and issue an SER; (3) review the lead plant application and issue an SER; and (4) develop a standard review procedure based on ELTR1, ELTR2, and the lead plant review.

The staff developed a position paper in February 1996 following its review of the ELTR1. The final SERs for both the ELTR2 and the lead plant (Monticello) were issued in September 1998. The standard review procedure for power uprates was later included in the Maine Yankee Lessons Learned Issues. After meeting all objectives of the action plan, the issue was closed out1737 by NRR.


1601. Memorandum for C. Serpan from A. Chaffee, "Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) Input Into Research NUREG-0933 (WITS Item 9400213)," February 13, 1996. [9602260124]
1731.Memorandum for W. Russell from D. Morrison, "Prioritization of the NRR Action Plans Submitted to RES on February 13, 1996," June 24, 1996. [9606260260]
1737.Memorandum for NRR Division Directors from D. Matthews, "Director"s Quarterly Status Report," January 26, 1999. [9902040247]