2012-08-06 – NRC – Jocassee Dam – NRR reply to Duke Energy Letter on Oconee Flooding

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Bartley, Jonathan
From:
Sent:
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Mr. Preston Gillespie
Site Vice President
Oconee Nuclear Station
Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC
7800 Rochester Highway
Seneca, SC 29672
SUBJECT: OCONEE NUCLEAR STATION, UNITS 1, 2, AND 3- RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS REGARDING MODIFICATIONS TO ADDRESS EXTERNAL
FLOODING CONCERNS (TAC NOS. ME7970, ME7971, AND ME7972)
Dear Mr. Gillespie:
By letter dated June 22, 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a
confirmatory action letter (CAL) to Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke, the licensee), associated
with the mitigation of external flooding hazards at the Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1, 2, and 3
(ONS) site, resulting from a postulated failure of the Jocassee Dam. By letter dated May 15, 2012,
the NRC transmitted a request for additional information (RAI) on your responses to the CAL.
By letter dated June 14, 2012, you provided the requested information to the NRC. You also
included two questions with your response. The NRC staff has reviewed your RAI responses in
Attachment 1 to your June 14, 2012, submittal, including the supporting information in Attachment
2 to the submittal. These RAls requested you to provide (1) the codes and standards to be used
in the design of the new flood walls and (2) the seismic design criteria contained in these codes
and standards. The RAI responses included information regarding the codes and standards to
be used in the design and construction of the following structures related to the ONS external
flooding mitigation strategy: the mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall, cast-in-place concrete
T-wall, jet grout, sheet pile wall and flood wall gates. These RAI responses also include a detailed
description of the seismic design criteria to be applied to each of the aforementioned structures. It
is noted in your RAI responses that for structures and supports within the jurisdiction of the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the design and construction of these structures
and supports will be performed in accordance with FERC-accepted codes and standards. The
NRC staff notes that the Jocassee and Keowee Dams, the failure of which have been used in
developing the ONS external flooding mitigation strategy, are licensed and regulated by FERC.
The NRC staff has previously recognized the jurisdictional boundaries of FERC and the Army
Corp of Engineers (ACE) in the area of dam safety. Notably, the NRC staff’s resolution of License
Renewal Issue No. 98-0100, “Crediting FERC-Required Inspection and Maintenance Programs
for Dam Aging Management,” concluded that the use of FERC and ACE programs for aging
management of dams under the jurisdiction of these bodies provided an acceptable means to
satisfy the requirements of the license renewal rule. While License Renewal Issue No. 98-0100
~CIAL USE ONLY SECUIUTY-ptELATEO INFORMATION
OFFICIAL USE ONLY™ SECURITY-RELATED INf-ORM.AilON_
P. Gillespie – 2 –
only explicitly addresses dam inspection issues, the resolution of this issue conveyed the NRC
staff’s position that the expertise in dam safety, including construction, maintenance, inspection
and regulation, lies with FERC and the ACE. As such, the NRC staff finds it acceptable that
structures or support for the structures within the jurisdiction of FERC and ACE will be designed
and constructed in accordance with FERG-accepted codes and standards, given that this is
consistent with previous NRC positions regarding dam safety. The NRC staff also notes that a
review of the codes and standards related to the structural design of the aforementioned
structures indicates that these codes and standards provide an adequate means to ensure that
these structures are designed to withstand loads resulting from both an Operating Basis
Earthquake (OBE) and Maximum Design Earthquake (MOE), as these are defined within the
FERG-accepted standards.
In your response you also asked the following two questions associated with the request for
information (RFI) the NRC issued under 1 O CFR 50.54(f) on March 12, 2012, regarding actions to
address the Fukushima event:
1. Will the January 28, 2011, Safety Evaluation (SE) satisfy the requirements of the 10 CFR
50.54(f) “Recommendation 2.1: Flooding”, as the Hazard Reevaluation Report for the site with no
further flooding evaluations required?
2. If the January 28, 2011, Safety Evaluation does not satisfy “Recommendation 2.1: Flooding” as
the Hazard Reevaluation Report for the site, will the June 22, 2010, Confirmatory Action Letter be
closed by the NRC to the March 12, 2012, NRC Request for Information 10 CFR 50.54(f)
Regarding Recommendation 2.1?
Our response is that theThe NRC’s January 28, 2011, SE on the bounding flood at the Oconee
site due to failure of the Jocassee Dam will not fully satisfy Recommendation 2.1 of the NRC’s RFI
dated March 12, 2012. Other analyses are also required under Recommendation 2.1. However,
if your review using the standards of the RFI indicate that the Jocassee Dam will not fail due to
overtopping or seismic failure, then the NRC will accept the January 28, 2011, SE as defining the
bounding flood at the Oconee site due to dam failure.
The NRC intends to maintain the CAL dated June 22, 2010, active until it can beis superseded by
regulatory action related to the Fukushima responses. The NRC staff Retes-understands that our
acceptance in this letter of the FERC standards initiates the timeline to have your flood walls
installed in 30 months plus the regulatory review period, which was committed to in your letter
dated October 17, 2011. However, with consideration for the additional task of submitting the
flooding hazard evaluation report required by the RFI letter by March 12, 2013, if you feel the need
to request additional time please submit your request and we will consider it.
-0FFICIAt USE ONLY SECORITV;RELATED INFORMATION –
OFFICIAL USE ONLY SECURll”Y-RELATED INFORM-A=AGN-..
P. Gillespie – 3 –
If you have any questions, please call John Boska at 301-415-2901 .
Docket Nos. 50-269, 50-270, and 50-287
Sincerely,
Michele G. Evans, Director
Division of Operating Reactor Licensing
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
-6FFICIAt-t:ISE ONLY SECURITY•RELATEB-IN~RMATIQN
-0Ff1CtAt.-tJSC-ONl:V-…-S-EGURl-l..V-REbA-“FEEHN-FeRMATIONP.
Gillespie – 3 –
If you have any questions, please call John Boska at 301-415-2901 .
Sincerely,
Michele G. Evans, Director
Division of Operating Reactor Licensing
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Docket Nos. 50-269, 50-270, and 50-287
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