Andrew J. Spano, County of Westchester, NY; Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking, 34700-34702 [05-11800]

Download as PDF 34700 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules to allow substantial kidney damage and certain reproductive toxicity. The petitioner states that a urine study performed (see http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve& db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract& list_uids=12943033) calculates an average initial lung burden of 0.34 milligrams elemental uranium for those with isotopic signatures consistent with exposure to depleted uranium in what he believes were symptomatic exposure victims. The petitioner believes that this study is flawed, as it assumes a uranium compound biological half-time of 3.85 years in the lungs. The petitioner states that the primary mode of uranium toxicity involves much greater solubility. The petitioner believes that monomeric uranium trioxide will turn out to be absorbed more rapidly in the mammalian lung than uranyl nitrate, because of its monomolecular gas nature, and not merely about as rapidly as the studies of granular uranium trioxide by P.E. Morrow, et al., indicate (‘‘Inhalation Studies of Uranium Trioxide,’’ Health Physics, vol. 23 (1972), pp. 273–280). The petitioner states that even Class D may not be appropriate for monomolecular uranium trioxide gas. The petitioner believes the correct way to determine these values, to account for the reproductive toxicity, is probably to measure resulting mutations of mammalian peripheral lymphocytes, such as was done in this study of Gulf War veterans (http:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/ query.fcgi?cmd= Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt= Abstract&list_uids=11765683). The Petitioner’s Request The petitioner requests that the NRC revise its regulations in 10 CFR part 20 that specify limits for ingestion and inhalation occupational values, effluent concentrations, and releases to sewers, for all heavy metal radionuclides with nonradiological chemical toxicity hazards exceeding that of their radiological hazards so that those limits properly reflect the hazards associated with reproductive toxicity, danger to organs, and all other known nonradiological aspects of heavy metal toxicity. The petitioner states that many of these limits consider the radiological hazard of certain chemically toxic radionuclides with slight radiological dangers (e.g., Uranium-238), without regard to their greater nonradiological hazard. The petitioner notes that this petition does not request increasing the permissible quantities given by any of those limits specified. The petitioner VerDate jul<14>2003 15:28 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 also states that, for example, the soluble forms of Uranium-238 compounds, which are more toxic if inhaled than the insoluble compounds, are allowed in greater quantities than their insoluble compounds. Other examples may include, but are not necessarily limited to, Uranium-232, Plutonium-239, and other long half-life isotopes of the heavy metal elements. The petitioner also requests that the classification for uranium trioxide within Class W, given in the Class column of the table for Uranium-230 in Appendix B to 10 CFR part 20, be amended to Class D in light of P.E. Morrow, et al., ‘‘Inhalation Studies of Uranium Trioxide’’ (Health Physics, vol. 23 (1972), pp. 273–280), which states: ‘‘inhalation studies with uranium trioxide (UO3) indicated that the material was more similar to soluble uranyl salts than to the so-called insoluble oxides * * * UO3 is rapidly removed from the lungs, with most following a 4.7 day biological half time.’’ The petitioner also requests that monomeric (monomolecular) uranium trioxide gas, as produced by the oxidation of U3O8 at temperatures above 1000 Celsius, be assigned its own unique solubility class if necessary, at such time in the future that its solubility characteristics become known (R.J. Ackermann, R.J. Thorn, C. Alexander, and M. Tetenbaum, in ‘‘Free Energies of Formation of Gaseous Uranium, Molybdenum, and Tungsten Trioxides,’’ Journal of Physical Chemistry, vol. 64 (1960) pp. 350–355: ‘‘gaseous monomeric uranium trioxide is the principal species produced by the reaction of U3O8 with oxygen’’ at 1200 Kelvin and above). Conclusion The petitioner requests that 10 CFR part 20 be revised in accordance with the proposed revisions as set forth above. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2005. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 05–11799 Filed 6–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 54 [Docket No. PRM–54–02] Andrew J. Spano, County of Westchester, NY; Receipt of Petition for Rulemaking Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for public comment a notice of receipt of a petition for rulemaking, dated May 10, 2005, which was filed with the Commission by Andrew J. Spano, County Executive, Westchester County, New York. The petition was docketed by the NRC on May 13, 2005, and has been assigned Docket No. PRM–54–02. The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to provide that a renewed license will be issued only if the plant operator demonstrates that the plant meets all criteria and requirements that would be applicable if the plant was being proposed de novo for initial construction. DATES: Submit comments by August 29, 2005. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. Please include PRM–54–02 in the subject line of your comments. Comments on petitions submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made available for public inspection. Because your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including any information in your submission that you do not want to be publicly disclosed. Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff. E-mail comments to: SECY@nrc.gov. If you do not receive a reply e-mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us directly at (301) 415–1966. You may also submit comments via the NRC’s rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Address questions about our rulemaking Web site to Carol Gallagher (301) 415– 5905; e-mail cag@nrc.gov. Comments can also be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov. E:\FR\FM\15JNP1.SGM 15JNP1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. (Telephone (301) 415–1966). Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at (301) 415–1101. Publicly available documents related to this petition may be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee. Selected documents, including comments, may be viewed and downloaded electronically via the NRC rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC’s Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. From this site, the public can gain entry into the NRC’s Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the PDR Reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737 or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, Telephone: 301–415–7163 or Toll Free: 800–368–5642. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Petitioner The petitioner is the County Executive of Westchester County, New York. Westchester County is a political subdivision, and municipality, of the State of New York, and is located immediately north of New York City. It is 450 square miles in size. It has a southern border with New York City (Bronx County) and a northern border with Putnam County. It is flanked on the west side by the Hudson River and on the east side by Long Island Sound and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The total population of Westchester County, as measured in the 2000 Census, is 923,459. The 2000 population is over 100,000 more than it was as measured in the 1960 Census. Westchester County is the host county for the Nuclear Generation Stations at VerDate jul<14>2003 15:28 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 the Indian Point Energy Facility (Indian Point or IP), located in the Village of Buchanan, Town of Cortlandt. The petitioner states that because of the presence of the Indian Point facility, Westchester County has long had an interest and concern with the environmental, emergency, and public safety issues with respect to Indian Point. Background There are two nuclear power plants at Indian Point: IP2 and IP3. These are currently operated by single purpose entities controlled by the Entergy Corporation (Entergy). IP2 & IP3’s operating licenses are scheduled to expire in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The petitioner believes that in accordance with industry trends, Entergy could apply for license extensions for up to an additional twenty years, provided certain operating, environmental, and safety conditions are met. The petitioner states that he is concerned with the criteria that will be used by the Commission in deciding whether to grant license extensions. The petitioner is concerned that the scope of the Commission’s current regulations is too limited and that, as a result, the safety of the residents and communities near Indian Point will be in question during any extended operating period. The petitioner states that many factors have changed (see below) since the construction of IP2 and IP3. The petitioner believes that these changes have a significant impact on the safety of the community, yet they are not considered under the current license renewal regulations. The petitioner states that building a nuclear power plant in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s represented a mutual commitment between the utility owner and the local community for a specific and limited period of time. The atmosphere during those early days (prior to 1979), according to the petitioner, was generally positive, in which local host communities would receive significant property taxes, the public would be assured of reliable lowcost power, and utility owners had a long period of time to recover their investments. He asserts that the Indian Point facilities were located in Westchester County, after New York City sites were rejected and that the local communities perceived the benefits of siting the facilities in Westchester County to be having direct access to reliable low-cost power and positive local economic impacts. The projects created massive numbers of employment opportunities and were PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 34701 initially seen as safe technical ventures. The petitioner also asserts that both the local community and the utility had long term commitments to the facility, with the public having little recourse to question safety and operational issues after plant construction started and the utility having the right to the use of the plant for the full term of the license, often 40 years. The petitioner states that after living with nuclear power plants for the past three decades, several events have changed that landscape—Three Mile Island-2, the Browns Ferry fire, utility bankruptcies, the Chernobyl accident, delays at Yucca Mountain, Davis-Besse reactor head problems, and the events of September 11, 2001. As a result, he states that plant orders have ceased and the public has become justifiably concerned about nuclear power plant safety. The petitioner states that these concerns are particularly sensitive at Indian Point, because of its proximity to major population centers, periodic leaks of radioactive material, difficult (if not impossible) evacuation issues, and its proximity to the World Trade Center. The Proposed Amendment The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to provide that a renewed license will be issued only if the plant operator demonstrates that the plant meets all criteria and requirements that would be applicable if the plant was being proposed de novo for initial construction. The petitioner also requests that § 54.29 be amended to provide that a renewed license may be issued by the Commission if the Commission finds that, upon a de novo review, the plant would be entitled to an initial operating license in accordance with all criteria applicable to initial operating licenses, as set out in the Commission’s regulations, including 10 CFR parts 2, 19, 20, 21, 26, 30, 40, 50, 51, 54, 55, 71, 100 and the appendices to these regulations. The petitioner requests that corresponding amendments be made to §§ 54.4, 54.19, 54.21, and 54.23, and that § 54.30 be rescinded. The petitioner states that the criteria to be examined as part of a renewal application should include such factors as demographics, siting, emergency evacuation, site security, etc. This analysis should be performed in a manner that focuses the NRC’s attention on the critical plant-specific factors and conditions that have the greatest potential to affect public safety. Problems with the Current Process The petitioner believes that the process and criteria currently established in Part 54 is seriously E:\FR\FM\15JNP1.SGM 15JNP1 34702 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Proposed Rules flawed. He states that the process for license renewal appears to be based on the theory that if the plant was originally licensed at the site, it is satisfactory to renew the license, barring any significant issues having to do with passive systems, structures, and components (SSCs). The petitioner states that the regulations should be broadened and sufficiently comprehensive to cover all of the facets (including consideration of a worst-case scenario) that were considered for initial construction. Alternatively, he states that the license renewal process should examine all issues related to the plant and its original license, and then concentrate on any issues that are new to that plant or have changed since the original license was issued or that deviate from the original licensing basis. The petitioner states that many key factors that affect nuclear plant licensing evolve over time; population grows, local/state Federal regulations evolve, public awareness increases, technology improves, and plant economic values change. As a result, roads and infrastructure required for a successful evacuation may not improve along with population density, inspection methods may not be adopted or may be used inappropriately, and regulations may alter the plant design after commercial operation. The petitioner believes that all of these factors should be examined and weighed in the formal 10 CFR part 54 relicensing process. The petitioner states that prior to the concept of life extension for nuclear power plants, it was generally assumed that plants would exist as operating facilities for the rest of their design life, and then would enter a decommissioning phase. In fact, the collection of decommissioning funds from ratepayers initiated in the 1970s was based on a 40-year life. Key Renewal Issues The petitioner states that it is time for the NRC to review, at the end of the 40 years of life, several questions that he asserts relate to key renewal issues about nuclear power plants on a plantspecific basis. These questions include the following: • Could a new plant, designed and built to current standards, be licensed on the same site today? For example, given the population growth in Westchester County, it is uncertain if Indian Point would be licensed today. The population in the areas near Indian Point has outpaced the capacity of the road infrastructure to support it, making effective evacuation in an emergency unlikely. VerDate jul<14>2003 17:05 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 • Have the local societal and infrastructure factors that influenced the original plant licensing changed in a manner that would make the plant less apt to be licensed today? For example, three of four counties surrounding Indian Point have not submitted certified letters in support of the emergency evacuation plan. That would not be a consideration under the current licensing process. However, the inability of local governments to support the safety of the evacuation plan should, at the very least, give serious pause before the licenses of the plants are renewed. • Can the plant be modified to assure public health and safety in a post-9/11 era? For example, Indian Point cannot be made sufficiently safe according to James Lee Witt, former head of FEMA. • Have local/State regulations changed that would affect the plant’s continued operation? For example, Indian Point must convert from oncethrough cooling to a closed-cycle design using cooling towers. • The original design basis of older nuclear power plants did not include extended onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). At Indian Point for example, the current SNF storage plan includes one or more Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations onsite, which increases the overall risk to the local community. Conclusion The petitioner believes that these key renewal issues should be considered in the license renewal process, along with safety, security, and certainly the condition of both passive and active SSCs. The petitioner believes that the current NRC license renewal analyses ignore these issues. The petitioner also believes that it is timely for the NRC to broaden the scope of license renewal investigations to assess the viability of the plants requesting license extension on a broad scale, one at least as broad as the original license hearings, and one that is site specific and site sensitive to an appropriate degree. Accordingly, the petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations concerning issuance of a renewed license. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2005. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Annette Vietti-Cook, Secretary of the Commission. [FR Doc. 05–11800 Filed 6–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 25 [Docket No. NM309; Notice No. 25–05–06– SC] Proposed Special Conditions: Boeing Model 737–200/200C/300/400/500/600/ 700/700C/800/900 Series Airplanes; Flammability Reduction Means (Fuel Tank Inerting) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of proposed special conditions. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes special conditions for the Boeing Model 737– 200/200C/300/400/500/600/700/700C/ 800/900 series airplanes. These airplanes, as modified by Boeing Commercial Airplanes, include a new flammability reduction means that uses a nitrogen generation system to reduce the oxygen content in the center wing fuel tank so that exposure to a combustible mixture of fuel and air is substantially minimized. This system is intended to reduce the average flammability exposure of the fleet of airplanes with the system installed to a level equivalent to 3 percent of the airplane operating time. The applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for the design and installation of this system. These proposed special conditions contain the additional safety standards the Administrator considers necessary to ensure an acceptable level of safety for the installation of the system and to define performance objectives the system must achieve to be considered an acceptable means for minimizing development of flammable vapors in the fuel tank installation. DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 15, 2005. ADDRESSES: Comments on this proposal may be mailed in duplicate to: Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Attn: Rules Docket (ANM–113), Docket No. NM309, 1601 Lind Avenue SW., Renton, Washington, 98055–4056; or delivered in duplicate to the Transport Airplane Directorate at the above address. Comments must be marked: Docket No. NM309. Comments may be inspected in the Rules Docket weekdays, except Federal holidays, between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mike Dostert, Propulsion and Mechanical Systems Branch, FAA, E:\FR\FM\15JNP1.SGM 15JNP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 114 (Wednesday, June 15, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34700-34702]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11800]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 54

[Docket No. PRM-54-02]


Andrew J. Spano, County of Westchester, NY; Receipt of Petition 
for Rulemaking

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for 
public comment a notice of receipt of a petition for rulemaking, dated 
May 10, 2005, which was filed with the Commission by Andrew J. Spano, 
County Executive, Westchester County, New York. The petition was 
docketed by the NRC on May 13, 2005, and has been assigned Docket No. 
PRM-54-02. The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations 
to provide that a renewed license will be issued only if the plant 
operator demonstrates that the plant meets all criteria and 
requirements that would be applicable if the plant was being proposed 
de novo for initial construction.

DATES: Submit comments by August 29, 2005. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission 
is able to assure consideration only for comments received on or before 
this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. 
Please include PRM-54-02 in the subject line of your comments. Comments 
on petitions submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made 
available for public inspection. Because your comments will not be 
edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC 
cautions you against including any information in your submission that 
you do not want to be publicly disclosed.
    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
    E-mail comments to: SECY@nrc.gov. If you do not receive a reply e-
mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us 
directly at (301) 415-1966. You may also submit comments via the NRC's 
rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Address questions 
about our rulemaking Web site to Carol Gallagher (301) 415-5905; e-mail 
cag@nrc.gov. Comments can also be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 34701]]

    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays. (Telephone 
(301) 415-1966).
    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 
(301) 415-1101.
    Publicly available documents related to this petition may be viewed 
electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR), Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The PDR reproduction contractor 
will copy documents for a fee. Selected documents, including comments, 
may be viewed and downloaded electronically via the NRC rulemaking Web 
site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.
    Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after 
November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic 
Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this 
site, the public can gain entry into the NRC's Agencywide Document 
Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image 
files of NRC's public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or 
if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, 
contact the PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by 
e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rules and 
Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of 
Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, Telephone: 301-415-7163 or Toll Free: 800-368-5642.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Petitioner

    The petitioner is the County Executive of Westchester County, New 
York. Westchester County is a political subdivision, and municipality, 
of the State of New York, and is located immediately north of New York 
City. It is 450 square miles in size. It has a southern border with New 
York City (Bronx County) and a northern border with Putnam County. It 
is flanked on the west side by the Hudson River and on the east side by 
Long Island Sound and Fairfield County, Connecticut. The total 
population of Westchester County, as measured in the 2000 Census, is 
923,459. The 2000 population is over 100,000 more than it was as 
measured in the 1960 Census.
    Westchester County is the host county for the Nuclear Generation 
Stations at the Indian Point Energy Facility (Indian Point or IP), 
located in the Village of Buchanan, Town of Cortlandt. The petitioner 
states that because of the presence of the Indian Point facility, 
Westchester County has long had an interest and concern with the 
environmental, emergency, and public safety issues with respect to 
Indian Point.

Background

    There are two nuclear power plants at Indian Point: IP2 and IP3. 
These are currently operated by single purpose entities controlled by 
the Entergy Corporation (Entergy). IP2 & IP3's operating licenses are 
scheduled to expire in 2013 and 2015, respectively. The petitioner 
believes that in accordance with industry trends, Entergy could apply 
for license extensions for up to an additional twenty years, provided 
certain operating, environmental, and safety conditions are met.
    The petitioner states that he is concerned with the criteria that 
will be used by the Commission in deciding whether to grant license 
extensions. The petitioner is concerned that the scope of the 
Commission's current regulations is too limited and that, as a result, 
the safety of the residents and communities near Indian Point will be 
in question during any extended operating period. The petitioner states 
that many factors have changed (see below) since the construction of 
IP2 and IP3. The petitioner believes that these changes have a 
significant impact on the safety of the community, yet they are not 
considered under the current license renewal regulations.
    The petitioner states that building a nuclear power plant in the 
United States in the 1960s and 1970s represented a mutual commitment 
between the utility owner and the local community for a specific and 
limited period of time. The atmosphere during those early days (prior 
to 1979), according to the petitioner, was generally positive, in which 
local host communities would receive significant property taxes, the 
public would be assured of reliable low-cost power, and utility owners 
had a long period of time to recover their investments. He asserts that 
the Indian Point facilities were located in Westchester County, after 
New York City sites were rejected and that the local communities 
perceived the benefits of siting the facilities in Westchester County 
to be having direct access to reliable low-cost power and positive 
local economic impacts. The projects created massive numbers of 
employment opportunities and were initially seen as safe technical 
ventures. The petitioner also asserts that both the local community and 
the utility had long term commitments to the facility, with the public 
having little recourse to question safety and operational issues after 
plant construction started and the utility having the right to the use 
of the plant for the full term of the license, often 40 years.
    The petitioner states that after living with nuclear power plants 
for the past three decades, several events have changed that 
landscape--Three Mile Island-2, the Browns Ferry fire, utility 
bankruptcies, the Chernobyl accident, delays at Yucca Mountain, Davis-
Besse reactor head problems, and the events of September 11, 2001. As a 
result, he states that plant orders have ceased and the public has 
become justifiably concerned about nuclear power plant safety. The 
petitioner states that these concerns are particularly sensitive at 
Indian Point, because of its proximity to major population centers, 
periodic leaks of radioactive material, difficult (if not impossible) 
evacuation issues, and its proximity to the World Trade Center.

The Proposed Amendment

    The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to 
provide that a renewed license will be issued only if the plant 
operator demonstrates that the plant meets all criteria and 
requirements that would be applicable if the plant was being proposed 
de novo for initial construction. The petitioner also requests that 
Sec.  54.29 be amended to provide that a renewed license may be issued 
by the Commission if the Commission finds that, upon a de novo review, 
the plant would be entitled to an initial operating license in 
accordance with all criteria applicable to initial operating licenses, 
as set out in the Commission's regulations, including 10 CFR parts 2, 
19, 20, 21, 26, 30, 40, 50, 51, 54, 55, 71, 100 and the appendices to 
these regulations. The petitioner requests that corresponding 
amendments be made to Sec. Sec.  54.4, 54.19, 54.21, and 54.23, and 
that Sec.  54.30 be rescinded. The petitioner states that the criteria 
to be examined as part of a renewal application should include such 
factors as demographics, siting, emergency evacuation, site security, 
etc. This analysis should be performed in a manner that focuses the 
NRC's attention on the critical plant-specific factors and conditions 
that have the greatest potential to affect public safety.

Problems with the Current Process

    The petitioner believes that the process and criteria currently 
established in Part 54 is seriously

[[Page 34702]]

flawed. He states that the process for license renewal appears to be 
based on the theory that if the plant was originally licensed at the 
site, it is satisfactory to renew the license, barring any significant 
issues having to do with passive systems, structures, and components 
(SSCs). The petitioner states that the regulations should be broadened 
and sufficiently comprehensive to cover all of the facets (including 
consideration of a worst-case scenario) that were considered for 
initial construction. Alternatively, he states that the license renewal 
process should examine all issues related to the plant and its original 
license, and then concentrate on any issues that are new to that plant 
or have changed since the original license was issued or that deviate 
from the original licensing basis.
    The petitioner states that many key factors that affect nuclear 
plant licensing evolve over time; population grows, local/state Federal 
regulations evolve, public awareness increases, technology improves, 
and plant economic values change. As a result, roads and infrastructure 
required for a successful evacuation may not improve along with 
population density, inspection methods may not be adopted or may be 
used inappropriately, and regulations may alter the plant design after 
commercial operation. The petitioner believes that all of these factors 
should be examined and weighed in the formal 10 CFR part 54 relicensing 
process.
    The petitioner states that prior to the concept of life extension 
for nuclear power plants, it was generally assumed that plants would 
exist as operating facilities for the rest of their design life, and 
then would enter a decommissioning phase. In fact, the collection of 
decommissioning funds from ratepayers initiated in the 1970s was based 
on a 40-year life.

Key Renewal Issues

    The petitioner states that it is time for the NRC to review, at the 
end of the 40 years of life, several questions that he asserts relate 
to key renewal issues about nuclear power plants on a plant-specific 
basis. These questions include the following:
     Could a new plant, designed and built to current 
standards, be licensed on the same site today? For example, given the 
population growth in Westchester County, it is uncertain if Indian 
Point would be licensed today. The population in the areas near Indian 
Point has outpaced the capacity of the road infrastructure to support 
it, making effective evacuation in an emergency unlikely.
     Have the local societal and infrastructure factors that 
influenced the original plant licensing changed in a manner that would 
make the plant less apt to be licensed today? For example, three of 
four counties surrounding Indian Point have not submitted certified 
letters in support of the emergency evacuation plan. That would not be 
a consideration under the current licensing process. However, the 
inability of local governments to support the safety of the evacuation 
plan should, at the very least, give serious pause before the licenses 
of the plants are renewed.
     Can the plant be modified to assure public health and 
safety in a post-9/11 era? For example, Indian Point cannot be made 
sufficiently safe according to James Lee Witt, former head of FEMA.
     Have local/State regulations changed that would affect the 
plant's continued operation? For example, Indian Point must convert 
from once-through cooling to a closed-cycle design using cooling 
towers.
     The original design basis of older nuclear power plants 
did not include extended onsite storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). At 
Indian Point for example, the current SNF storage plan includes one or 
more Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installations onsite, which 
increases the overall risk to the local community.

Conclusion

    The petitioner believes that these key renewal issues should be 
considered in the license renewal process, along with safety, security, 
and certainly the condition of both passive and active SSCs. The 
petitioner believes that the current NRC license renewal analyses 
ignore these issues.
    The petitioner also believes that it is timely for the NRC to 
broaden the scope of license renewal investigations to assess the 
viability of the plants requesting license extension on a broad scale, 
one at least as broad as the original license hearings, and one that is 
site specific and site sensitive to an appropriate degree. Accordingly, 
the petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations concerning 
issuance of a renewed license.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 05-11800 Filed 6-14-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P