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Multiple Addressees .. - 5 To May 29, 1984

The fire protection engineers believe that the definition of

###########" must also explicitly require the ernative structure, system or component to be undamaged

by the fire suppression agent.

When Part 50 was promulgated, the Commission was concerned †: fire suppoilot-IGEuII:IHEidoloshutdoon - h TOPOS Go-Toi on CIOe at concern. The Commission should as e staff to explain Why appears to believe that the Potential disabling effects of fire suppression agents are no longer a significant safety concern. .

d. Automatic Detection and suppression

An integral component of an overall fire protection plan is the use of automatic detection and suppression systems, e.g., fire and smoke alarms and automatic f pri: ): ... ers or gas

systems: 32 be effective...—these systems usual-Fust—coxer the entire fire TEFea. The interpretation wo: ' ' :rmit

l s to wise are EFSFT- d on an evaluation subject only to subsequent AVC. The fire protection staff is concerned that this * = -

suffers from the same problems of delay and in: : sistencies as the variance procedure for deviations from -...requirement for uniformly rated fire boundaries. The Commission should ask the staff to explair, why the special exemption procedure for fire protection ro:irements should not be applied to requests for less than f. 2 coverage automatic detection and suppression syster

e. Alternative or Dedicated Shutdow’. Appendix R requires an alternative or dedicated shutdown capability if existing shutdown equipment cannot be separated or otherwise protected from damage by one fire to

satisfy requirements for redundancy. An alternative or dedicated shutdown capability has been generally understood

to mean a separate system. The new isie:Eisletics. of Appendix R would Permit licensees to locate alternative—or

e 5WTequipment in the same fire area containIII; the Iroquo redunon-HEI-IETE-of-hew

- -- ######, is provic or determining the acceptabiTity of an ETEEFTA

e tive or dedicated shutdown system, so placed. Members of the

fire protection staff noted that ############# release licensees from Previous commitments to Provide_a Physica IIYTSEFEFEted Talternatives_or_dedicated TEhutdown


Multiple Addressees .. - - 6 ~ May 29, ises _capability. At the very least, these members of the fire

protection staff would require a detailed fire hazards analysis showing that a single fire would not disable both trains of redundant equipment and the alternative or dedicated shutdown capability.

An alternative or dedicated shutdown capability can be expensive. However, some licensees have installed them and others have committed to them because they were apparently required. By now permitting those licensees who have delayed their compliance with this requirement to avoid it, the Commission will be sending a signal that defiance pays. It was just to avoid this penalization of licensees who complied with regulations that the Commission sought to avoid in setting the compliance schedules in 10 C.F.R. 50.48. Accordingly, the Commission should ask the staff to explain its change of position as a matter of safety and policy.

f. Minor Issues
l. Seismic Events

The reactor coolant pump (RCP) lube oil system contains up to 235 gallons of lubricating oil per pump. Appendix R requires a seismically qualified oil collection system. An exemption can be granted for a collection system which is not seismically qualified if the lube oil system itself is designed to with stand a safe shutdown earthquake (SSE). Under those circumstances, the exemption analysis needs to consider only random leaks from the joints and need not assume that random leaks will occur simultaneously with an earthquake. In my view, the proposed exemption analysis is incomplete because it does require consideration of an accumulation of randomly leaked lube oil which could be discharged from, a seismically unqualified leak collection system by a subsequent earthquake. Staff should be requested to explain why this possible scenario has not been included in the analysis.

2. Intervening Combustibles

An alternative to using a fire barrier to protect redundant equipment from "damage by a single fire is to locate the equipment so as to be physically separated by a large space with no intervening combustibles. Staff would now interpret "no" intervening combustibles to be "no significant quantities "of intervening combustibles. Such an interpretation

Multiple Addressees. - 7 To May 29, 1984

reduces the effectiveness of physical separation and may render it a less effective alternative to a fire barrier. Staff should be asked to explain how this interpretation is consistent with the use of physical separation as a substitute for a fire barrier.

3. Oil Cans

oil in closed cans is not considered as an intervening combustible. But a fire in the vicinity of an oil filled can could heat that oil causing it to vaporize, burst the containing can ar.d then ignite. Staff should be asked to explain why oil in closed cans need not be considered to be an intervening combustible.

Mr. ASSELSTINE. Right. Dated May 29, 1984. It talks about the six major areas where there were fundamental changes really being proposed to the current interpretation of the regulation, interpretation that had been formally reviewed and approved within the Agency management. I think that memorandum really spells out the kind of fundamental changes that were being talked about here in such essential elements of fire protection as fire boundaries, fire areas, fire damage, really some of the key elements in the rule and its interpretation. Mr. DEFAZIO. Yes. In fact, I have that memorandum and I certainly share—he talks here about the Browns Ferry fire lessons, and he goes on, saying: Therefore, to now interpret appendix R so as to not incorporate a fundamental lesson learned at Browns Ferry would appear to directly contradict the Commission's intent in promulgating appendix R. That is in response to just one of the changes that was made, and it certainly will be tragic if we find that we didn't learn a lesson at Browns Ferry; or, as often happens in America, we get a few years away from something and we don't retain our sense of history. He certainly seems to have taken strong exception and he certainly is an individual, intimately familiar, having had to defend these regulations with these changes. So I would say, Mr. Chairman, it is certainly the opinion of Mr. Trubatch and some others that it was not just sort of a discussion in Mr. Stello's office that resulted in a renewed understanding and going forward either with the exception process or perhaps a new rulemaking, but actually a significant modification of rules that had been found to withstand a legal test that happened at this point. Mr. ZECH. May I, Mr. DeFazio, in order to complete the record on this issue, request that a memorandum dated October 24, 1985, NRC Memorandum, subject, Staff Interpretations of appendix R, also be included in the record? Mr. GEJDENson. Without objection. [EDITOR's NoTE.—Memo for Palladino, Roberts, Asselstine, Bernthal, and Zech from Martin Malsch on staff interpretations of Appendix R-October 24, 1985.]

: washington, o crosos 85 DCI 2
f - Ll 24 -
§ P3:24

October 24, 1985

MEMORANDUM FOR: Nunzio J. Palladino, Chairman
Thomas M. Roberts
James K. Asselstine
Frederick M. Bernthal
Lando W. Zech, Jr. \!.

FROM: Martin G. Malsch \\
Deputy General Counsel


On May 29, 1984, Sheldon Trubatch, then of the Office of the General Counsel, sent the Commissioners' technical assistants a memorandum (hereinafter the "May 1984 Memorandum," or, the "Memorandum") in which he presented his personal view that eight of the staff's then proposed interpretations of 10 C.F.R. Part 50, Appendix R might constitute significant changes in the rules and therefore require notice and comment rulemaking. May 1984 Memorandum at 1. Of the eight, five were among the more or less formal "Interpretations" the staff was then proposing and were considered by Mr. Trubatch to substantially modify some sections of Appendix R. Id. The other three of the eight interpretations were made by the staff in the course of answering licensees' questions, and were considered by Mr. Trubatch to raise minor issues.

On June 8, 1984, in a Memorandum from Samuel Chilk to William Dircks, the Commission requested that the staff comment on the May 1984 Memorandum. SECY-85-306 and Enclosure 8 thereto, submitted by the staff to the Commission on September 17, 1985, contain the staff's comments on five of the eight interpretations discussed by Mr. Trubatch, the five he had argued constituted significant changes in the rules. OELD prepared the staff's comments on three of the five, concluding that only those three raised legal issues. see SECY-85-306, Enclosure 8 at 1.

*The Nuclear Utility Fire Protection Group (NUFPG) also

[Footnote Continued]

Steven Crockett, OGC

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