Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to the License Termination Plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station, 63203-63211 [E7-21924]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Balwant K. Singal, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E7–21926 Filed 11–7–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No.: 050–00312] Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to the License Termination Plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. AGENCY: Notice of Availability and Finding of No Significant Impact. ACTION: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) related to the license termination plan (LTP) for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station, dated April 12, 2006. The EA was developed as part of the NRC decision-making process on whether or not to approve the LTP that will result in subsequent release of the site from NRC licensing for unrestricted use of the site (as defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 20.1402, ‘‘Radiological Criteria for Unrestricted Use’’). The scope of the EA is the determination of the adequacy of the radiation release criteria and the final status survey as presented in the LTP. The EA specifically examines potential impacts on land use, water resources, and human health from structures and/or residual materials that will be present at the site at the time the site is released and the license is terminated. The EA also identifies compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. John Hickman, Project Manager, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Mail Stop T– 8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. Telephone: (301) 415–3017; email: jbh@nrc.gov. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 I. Environmental Assessment 1.0 Introduction The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the request submitted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD or the licensee) for approval of the license termination plan (LTP) for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station (Rancho Seco). Consistent with the decommissioning rule that appeared in the Federal Register on July 29, 1996 (61 FR 39278), the NRC has prepared this environmental assessment (EA) to determine the environmental effects from approval of the LTP and subsequent release of the site for unrestricted use (as defined in Title 10, section 20.1402, ‘‘Radiological Criteria for Unrestricted Use,’’ of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 20.1402)). As discussed in section 1.3, ‘‘Scope,’’ of this document, the primary scope of this EA is the determination of the adequacy of the radiation release criteria and the final status survey (FSS) presented in the LTP. 1.1 Background Rancho Seco has a deactivated pressurized-water nuclear reactor and is located on a 2480-acre SMUD site in Sacramento County at 14440 Twin Cities Road, Herald, California. Rancho Seco was constructed between 1968 and 1974. In August 1974, the NRC licensed the reactor to operate commercially at 2772 megawatts thermal. After passage of a nonbinding referendum by the voters of Sacramento County in 1989, SMUD decided to permanently shut down Rancho Seco. In August 1989, SMUD notified the NRC that the plant was permanently shut down and informed the NRC of its intent to seek amendments to the Rancho Seco operating license and decommission the facility (NRC, 1989a). In May 1991, before the promulgation of the current requirements for decommissioning and license termination under 10 CFR 50.82, ‘‘Termination of License,’’ (published July 1996, 61 FR 39278), SMUD submitted a proposed Rancho Seco decommissioning plan (SMUD, 1991). In March 1995, the NRC issued an order that approved the plan and authorized decommissioning of the site (NRC, 1995). In February 1997, SMUD began active decommissioning of the site. In March 1997, SMUD submitted its postshutdown decommissioning activities report (PSDAR) (SMUD, 1997) pursuant to 10 CFR 50.82 requirements, superseding the original decommissioning plan. In August 2002, SMUD completed the transfer of all spent nuclear fuel to its independent PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63203 spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) licensed under 10 CFR Part 72, ‘‘Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and Reactor-Related Greater Than Class C Waste’’ (SMUD, 2006a). In April 2006, SMUD submitted its LTP (SMUD, 2006a). The NRC sent SMUD two requests for additional information (RAI) on the LTP, with corresponding SMUD responses in November 2006 (SMUD, 2006d) and April 2007 (SMUD, 2007). In 2006, SMUD also submitted a revision to its historical site assessment (SMUD, 2006b) and a ground water monitoring report (SMUD, 2006c). SMUD is proposing to decontaminate the Rancho Seco site to meet 10 CFR 20.1402 requirements for unrestricted use. Photographs provided in SMUD’s April 2007 response to NRC’s RAI (SMUD, 2007) identify the permanent buildings and structures, as well as paved areas and 11 concrete pads of removed structures, that SMUD currently plans to leave in place at the site after license termination. These include the: diesel buildings, backup control center, nuclear services electrical building, auxiliary building, reactor containment building, spent fuel building, turbine building, switchyard control building, machine shop, ‘‘B’’ warehouse, personal access portal building, interim onsite storage building (IOSB), receiving warehouse, and an unfinished technical support building. SMUD is also proposing that the NRC release the site from licensing for unrestricted use in two phases, with the 10 CFR Part 50 license terminated after completion of the second phase. Table 3–1 of the LTP identifies that, for the first phase, SMUD plans to complete the major decommissioning activities in early 2008. The first-phase release includes most of the site, except for the IOSB. The IOSB will remain on the 10 CFR Part 50 license, and SMUD plans to continue to store only low-level radioactive waste from the Rancho Seco site in the building until it finds a suitable waste disposal option (SMUD, 2006a). Further, IOSB operations will continue to include the maintenance program, the radiation protection plan for implementing the radiological controls program, the radiological environmental monitoring program, an emergency plan, and the SMUD radioactive waste procedure ‘‘IOSB Building Operations’’ (SMUD, 2007). After the first phase of site release, the remaining IOSB 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site footprint will be approximately 1.1 acres with a proposed new fence line around the licensed area. The IOSB is in E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 63204 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices the vicinity of the 10 CFR Part 72 licensed ISFSI fence boundary. SMUD estimates the combined maximum dose to a worker between the ISFSI and IOSB fence lines, including the dose from material within the first-phase released area between the fence lines, to be 0.15 millisievert per year (mSv/yr) (15 millirems per year (mrem/yr)), which is below the 0.25 mSv/yr (25 mrem/yr) limit for license termination in 10 CFR 20.1402 (SMUD, 2007). The NRC has completed several previous EAs during the period of Rancho Seco site decommissioning. Two EAs were related to license amendments addressing record keeping, and another EA was for an exemption and license amendment. The NRC completed a fourth EA in March 2005 for an amendment to the 10 CFR Part 72 ISFSI license, allowing ISFSI storage of greater-than-Class-C waste (defined in 10 CFR Part 72) that was generated and stored at the 10 CFR Part 50 licensed Rancho Seco site (NRC, 2005). The NRC staff reviewed these previous EAs as part of the development of this EA. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES 1.2 Need for the Proposed Action As specified in 10 CFR 50.82, licensees of nuclear facilities may apply to the NRC to decommission a facility and terminate their license. These requirements outline a process to follow for eventual termination of the license, including the requirement that the NRC will approve the licensee’s LTP provided that it meets the criteria in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(10). SMUD submitted the required LTP (SMUD, 2006a) before requesting license termination, as specified in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(9). As part of the LTP review process the NRC determines: (1) Whether the procedures and activities planned for completing decommissioning (adequacy of radiation release criteria and the FSS) appear sufficient as described in the LTP; and (2) assuming these procedures and activities are implemented according to plan, whether the plan would demonstrate that the site is suitable for unrestricted use. Further, NRC determines whether additional planning, investigation, and/or other activities are necessary to support the decision on site release for unrestricted use and license termination. This EA describes the potential environmental effects (both radiological and nonradiological) from the decision to approve the SMUD LTP and to release the site from the NRC license for unrestricted use (pursuant to 10 CFR 20.1402) followed by termination of the license. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 1.3 Scope A significant rule change in 1996 (61 FR 39278) allows a licensee to perform major decommissioning activities after submitting a PSDAR. The 1996 rule change prohibits decommissioning activities that could result in significant environmental impacts which have not been previously reviewed. The licensee is also required to include a discussion of the reasons for concluding that the planned decommissioning activities are bound by previously issued environmental impact statements in the PSDAR. For the LTP, the scope of the NRC approval is identified in the final rule as follows: The Commission must consider: (1) The licensee’s plan for assuring that adequate funds will be available for final site release, (2) radiation release criteria for license termination, and (3) the adequacy of the final survey required to verify that these release criteria have been met. The NRC details its review of these three areas in the safety evaluation report (SER). The licensee’s radiation release criteria and the adequacy of the site FSS are considered during the development of the EA. However, the EA does not discuss funding available for decommissioning activities conducted until site release, since funding does not result in environmental impacts. In fulfilling its obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NRC evaluates the environmental impacts associated with approval of the LTP and subsequent termination of the license, as discussed above. The EA considers both radiological and non-radiological impacts. These impact evaluations will typically involve an assessment of the remaining buildings/structures and residual material present at the site at the time the site is released and the license is terminated. In the case of this EA, release of the site for unrestricted use and termination of the license will be completed in two phases (discussed in section 1.1, ‘‘Background,’’ of this document). 1.3.1 Issues Evaluated in Detail Consistent with NEPA regulations and guidance to focus on environmental issues of concern, this EA examines resource areas that were selected because of their potential to be affected by license termination: Land use; water resources; and human health. Specifically, the EA considers potential impacts on these resources from structures and/or residual materials that will remain after the site is released for unrestricted use. PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1.3.2 Issues Eliminated From Detailed Evaluation For reasons cited in section 1.3 of this document, impacts to air quality, historical and cultural resources, ecological resources (including endangered and threatened species), socioeconomic factors, transportation, noise, visual and scenic quality, waste management, and accident analysis are not reasonably expected to be impacted by approval of license termination activities (i.e., adequacy of radiation release criteria and the FSS) and site release for unrestricted use. As discussed in section 1.3 of this document, financial assurance for decommissioning at the site is not related to the environment and will not be discussed in this EA. Decommissioning activities are not evaluated in this EA. The NRC previously assessed decommissioning impacts in the generic environmental impact statement for decommissioning (NRC, 1988; NRC, 2002). As described in section 1.3 of this document, the PSDAR addresses environmental impacts from decommissioning activities. SMUD submitted its PSDAR in March 1997 (SMUD, 1997), along with a discussion of the environmental impacts from its decommissioning activities. 2.0 Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action 2.1 The Proposed Action The proposed action is the NRC approval of the LTP for the Rancho Seco plant. Before approving the LTP, the NRC staff reviewed the LTP to ensure that the proposed license termination activities (i.e., adequacy of radiation release criteria and the FSS) ensure that: (1) Public health and safety will be protected; and (2) no significant impact on the quality of the human environment will result from the unrestricted release of the Rancho Seco site from NRC licensing. The LTP would also become part of the NRC license in a separate license amendment (Amendment Number 133), thereby including the LTP in the NRC inspection and enforcement programs at the Rancho Seco site. This license amendment would specify, among other things, that the licensee must seek NRC approval in order to make certain changes to the LTP. As described in section 1.1 of this document, SMUD plans to complete decommissioning of Rancho Seco for unrestricted use (detailed in 10 CFR 20.1402 and section 3.4, ‘‘Human Health,’’ of this document). SMUD plans to request license termination in two E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices phases. During the first phase, the majority of the site is planned to be released from the 10 CFR Part 50 license. The remainder of the licensed site will continue to include the current IOSB for Class B and C radioactive waste (defined in 10 CFR Part 61, ‘‘Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste’’), with the overall 10 CFR Part 50 licensed area considerably reduced in size. SMUD estimates that decommissioning of the IOSB and the remaining 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site will be completed by 2028 (LTP Section 3.3.6.2), when the remaining area will be reviewed by NRC for unrestricted release from the license and the license terminated (SMUD, 2006a). In order to meet the NRC unrestricted release criteria, the licensee will divide areas of the site into survey units and sample/survey them in accordance with the LTP to verify that the derived concentration guideline levels (DCGLs) will be met and, consequently, demonstrate compliance with the NRC release criteria. Sections 3.1.1, ‘‘Radiological Contamination’’; 3.4, ‘‘Human Health’’; and 4.3, ‘‘Human Health Impacts,’’ of this document discuss the DCGLs. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES 2.2 No-Action Alternative The NRC staff considered the noaction alternative relative to the SMUD request for approval of the LTP. Under the no-action alternative, the NRC would not approve the LTP and would neither apply the unrestricted use criteria nor terminate the Rancho Seco license. This alternative conflicts with the NRC 10 CFR 50.82 license termination requirements, which state that the Commission shall approve an LTP, by license amendment, if the LTP demonstrates that the remainder of the decommissioning activities, among other provisions, will not have a significant effect on the quality of the environment. Additionally, pursuant to this regulation, the NRC shall terminate the license after (1) the remaining dismantlement has been performed in accordance with the approved LTP, and (2) both the final radiation survey and associated documentation demonstrate compliance with decommissioning in 10 CFR Part 20, ‘‘Standards for Protection Against Radiation,’’ Subpart E, ‘‘Radiological Criteria for License Termination.’’ Therefore, the no-action alternative is eliminated from further consideration in this EA. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 3.0 Affected Environment 3.1 Site Description As described in the LTP (SMUD, 2006a) (e.g., sections 1.3.2, 6.2.1, and 8.5), Rancho Seco is located in the southeast part of Sacramento County, California, approximately 40 kilometers (km) (25 miles) southeast of Sacramento and 42 km (26 miles) north-northeast of Stockton. The populations of Sacramento and Stockton are approximately 445,000 and 490,000, respectively. The nearest population center of greater than 25,000 residents is Lodi, approximately 27 km (17 miles) south-southwest of the site, with approximately 57,000 people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The Rancho Seco site is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the coast range along the Pacific Ocean to the west. The site is an area of flat to lightly rolling terrain at an elevation of approximately 60 meters (200 feet) above mean sea level. To the east of the site, the land becomes more rolling, rising to an elevation of 180 meters (600 feet) at a distance of about 11 km (seven miles), and increasing in elevation toward the Sierra Nevada foothills (SMUD, 2006a). The climate at Rancho Seco is described in the LTP as typical of the Great Central Valley of California. The rainy season occurs between October and May. More than two-thirds of the annual rainfall generally occurs from December through March. Incidents of severe weather, such as tornados and hurricanes, are infrequent (SMUD details its analysis in LTP Section 8.5) (SMUD, 2006a). The soil consists of hard to very hard silts and silty clays with dense to very dense sands and gravel. There is no evidence of faulting beneath the site. The nearest fault system is approximately 16 km (ten miles) east of the site and has been inactive for more than 135 million years (SMUD, 2006a). 3.1.1 Radiological Contamination Several areas within the industrial area have been identified as radiologically impacted (i.e., an NRC term defined in 10 CFR 50.2, ‘‘Definitions,’’ to indicate the potential for residual radioactivity in excess of natural background radiation levels) by the operation of the facility. These areas include the retention basin, tank farm, barrel farm, areas adjacent to the regenerative holdup tank area, storm drains, oily water separator, cooling tower basins, and turbine building drains and sumps. Several areas outside PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63205 of the industrial area, identified as the non-industrial area, have historically had radionuclide concentrations detected above background levels (i.e., impacted, per 10 CFR part 50 terminology). These areas include the discharge canal sediment, discharge canal soil, depression area soil, and the storm drain outfall. In total, the 10 CFR part 50 defined radiologically impacted area is approximately 165 acres, outlined in LTP Figure 2–2 (SMUD, 2006a). In general, the extent of radiological contamination at a site is determined through a process of site characterization that includes radiological surveys with detectors and measuring instruments as well as historical site assessment. Surveys determine the nature and extent of radioactive material contamination in buildings, plant systems and components, site grounds, and both surface and ground water. The process of characterizing the site is described in further detail in both LTP (Chapter 2) (SMUD, 2006a) and the NRC SER (‘‘Site Characterization’’ section) (NRC, 2007). SMUD identified 26 site-specific radionuclides (Table 6–1 of the LTP) that are potentially present in soils, ground water, and structures. These radionuclides include fission and activation products that are typical for pressurized-water reactor plants and were identified using information in several NRC NUREG documents (listed in LTP section 6.3.1) and the ORIGEN computer code (using irradiated fuel assembly data). During this process, SMUD identified other radionuclides as potentially present at the site and eliminated them from further consideration. SMUD eliminated the radionuclides because, if present, they contribute less than 0.1 percent of the total activity at the site and the potential radiation dose contribution by the sum of these radionuclides is less than one percent of the total calculated radiation dose (detailed in LTP section 6.3.2). Specifically, SMUD is using the 26 radionuclides to determine acceptable residual radioactivity levels and radiation dose levels at the site after release for unrestricted use. These radionucludes also are included in the NRC dose modeling to determine acceptance of the LTP. For example, all 26 radionuclides are assigned DCGLs for surfaces on buildings. Additionally, based on analysis of the highest level of soil contamination identified at the site before decommissioning (spent fuel cooler pad soil), the licensee developed DCGLs for the soil based on carbon-14, cobalt-60, nickel-63, strontium-90, cesium-134, and cesium-137. Further, E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 63206 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices the 26 radionuclides form the basis for identifying specific radionuclides of interest for various other site media components (e.g., volumetric contamination and piping) at the site and for the development of the corresponding DCGLs (discussed in LTP Chapter 6). Table 5–4D of the LTP shows all the structures that, before decommissioning, had radioactivity levels above the DCGL (SMUD, 2006d). Radiological sampling outside of the industrial area is detailed in the LTP. Specifically, during plant operation, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory evaluated the environmental impact of the authorized radioactive liquid effluent releases from Rancho Seco for the NRC in 1986 (NRC, 1986). This report and subsequent radiological sampling are discussed in LTP Chapter 2 and in a SMUD response to an NRC RAI (SMUD, 2006d). rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES 3.1.2 Hazardous and Chemical Contamination Decommissioning activities at the site are subject to Federal regulations, permits, licenses, notifications, approvals, and acknowledgments, including those for hazardous waste generation/disposition, handling and removal of asbestos, handling and removal of lead paint, and removal of underground storage tanks. For example, specific U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations (Title 40, ‘‘Protection of the Environment,’’ of the CFR) adhered to during decommissioning and operation of the site address the following requirements: 40 CFR part 61 (asbestos handling and removal); 40 CFR parts 122 through 125 (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System); 40 CFR part 141 (safe drinking water); 40 CFR part 190 (radiation protection for nuclear power operations); 40 CFR parts 260 through 272 (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act); 40 CFR part 280 (underground storage tanks); 40 CFR part 761 (polychlorinated biphenyls); and 40 CFR parts 129 through 132 (Clean Water Act) (SMUD, 2007). 3.2 Land Use The 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site is an approximately 87-acre, fence-enclosed industrial area containing the nuclear facility as well as an emergency backup data center and a SMUD backup control center that are used to support SMUD functions if disruptions occur with the headquarters facility. Additional structures within the industrial area are identified in the LTP (SMUD, 2006a) and the SMUD 2007 RAI response (SMUD, 2007), with key structures highlighted in the listing provided in VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 section 4.1, ‘‘Land Use Impacts.’’ This site is located within an overall approximate 2480-acre area that is owned by SMUD (owner-controlled area). Land use within the ownercontrolled area also includes: a solar power (photovoltaic) electrical generating station (50 acres); the 10 CFR part 72 licensed ISFSI (discussed in section 1.1 of this document; ten acres); Rancho Seco Lake and recreation area (560 acres, southeast of the industrial area); a gas-fired power plant (30 acres); a receiving warehouse; portions of a paved access road; and a residence (approximately 1.6 km (one mile) from the industrial area fence) (SMUD, 2006a; SMUD, 2007). A map of the Rancho Seco site is provided in LTP Figure 8– 1, and the industrial area is detailed in LTP Figure 2–1. Aerial photographs of the industrial area before and after decommissioning are provided in the SMUD April 2007 RAI response letter (SMUD, 2007). The land surrounding the Rancho Seco site, within a 24-kilometer (15mile) radius, is identified by Sacramento County as remaining predominantly (70 percent) agricultural and grazing (beef cattle) for the future. Portions of the non-impacted area and impacted area (per 10 CFR part 50; discussed in Section 3.1.1 of this document) (e.g., the south storm drain outfall area and the liquid effluent pathway area) that are located within the owner-controlled area are open range lands that local ranchers lease for cattle grazing. At present, three largescale commercial dairies operate in the vicinity, with the closest dairy located approximately 13 km (eight miles) northwest of the site. Further, domestic use dairy cows are present at a ranch (2480 acres) located approximately onemile east of the site. Future buildup around the site is likely be limited. A new housing development is located approximately eight km (five miles) northwest of the site (two to five-acre plots). SMUD also identifies that there may be a future buildup of new residences to the west of the site (one to ten-acre plots) (SMUD, 2006a). Rancho Seco Lake and park activities include picnicking, camping, boating, fishing, and swimming. A 75-acre wildlife compound and a seven-mile nature trail are also within the park. Other recreation areas in the relative vicinity of the site and their approximate distance from the site include a portion of Lake Camanche, 16 km (ten miles) southeast; three golf courses, 16 km (ten miles) east and approximately the same distance at locations to the southwest and north; and Lake Amador, 21 km (13 miles) PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 east. Activities at the two lakes include boating, fishing, and camping. Additional reservoirs and lakes exist within 24 km (15 miles) of the site, including municipal reservoirs used for recreation (SMUD, 2006a; SMUD, 2007). An overview diagram of the industrial area roads, rail, and pavement is provided in LTP Figure 2–33. LTP Figure 8–1 identifies transportation routes to and from the industrial area. State Route 104 is located just north of the site, connecting with State Routes 99 and 88 (to the west and east of the site, respectively) and the main access road to the industrial site and recreation area. Rail access is a spur that connects to the Union Pacific rail line (parallel to State Route 104). 3.3 Water Resources Examination of water resources is divided into surface water and ground water. The sections that follow provide a summary of the characteristics of surface water and ground water resources at, and near, the Rancho Seco site. 3.3.1 Surface Water Surface water in the vicinity of the site includes Clay Creek; unnamed tributaries to Clay Creek; Rancho Seco Reservoir, which was formed by damming Clay Creek in the southeast portion of the owner-controlled area with construction of the Rancho Seco plant; and an area of vernal pools and seasonal marshes. All these features are south or southeast of the industrial area. Clay Creek eventually discharges beyond the site boundaries into Hadselville Creek. Runoff from the industrial area drains into an unnamed tributary of Clay Creek. Further, releases from the industrial area average 22,710 liters (6,000 gallons) per minute and discharge in the liquid effluent pathway downstream from the site retention basins into this creek. Most of these releases to the creek are conveyed to the site from the Folsom South Canal. Other sources of flow in this unnamed creek are releases from the Rancho Seco Reservoir and runoff in its catchment west of the dam and up gradient from the industrial area. Since the investigation for the development of Rancho Seco in the 1960s, flooding has not occurred within the site boundaries from storm runoff. In addition, the industrial area is not within the 100-year flood plain. However, vernal pools and seasonal marshes develop west of the industrial area and in shallow surface depressions during and after the December to March rainy season (URS Corporation, 2006a). E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices 3.3.2 Ground Water Ground water at the Rancho Seco site is located within the Cosumnes Subbasin of the San Joaquin Valley Ground Water Basin (URS Corporation, 2006a). This subbasin has extensive unconsolidated and semiconsolidated sedimentary deposits, approximately 608 meters (2000 feet) thick, where most of this material below the water table is likely water-bearing deposits. The uppermost water-bearing unit (the saturated zone or unconfined water table) at this site is within the Mehrten Formation about 50 meters (165 feet) below ground surface (bgs). Additional water-bearing units are likely to exist in the deeper, older sedimentary deposits until the metamorphic bedrock is reached at about 608 meters (2000 feet) bgs. However, the actual thickness of the sedimentary rocks and their waterbearing status has not been verified because boreholes and wells on site do not extend below the Mehrten Formation (URS Corporation, 2006b). The uppermost water-bearing unit within the Mehrten Formation holds the ground water that would most likely contain radionuclides from Rancho Seco operations if any are present. SMUD indicates that leaks, spills, and/or releases occurred during Rancho Seco operations and involved several areas including: spent fuel building; spent fuel cooler pad outside the spent fuel building; tank farm; retention basins; barrel farm; storm drains; turbine building drains and sumps; oily water separator; and regenerant holdup tank areas. The potential for radionuclide movement to the saturated ground water zone was significantly greater for leaks associated with the spent fuel building and spent fuel cooler pad than with the other structures and areas mentioned above. Further, remediation of soil at the spent fuel building and spent fuel cooler pad is complete. As a result of information collected during this process, SMUD reported that radionuclides from Rancho Seco operations were not observed at depths as far as 7.6 meters (25 feet) below grade for the spent fuel building (SMUD, 2006a). The uppermost water-bearing unit yield is lower beneath the site than at other locations in the subbasin. The predominant lithologies of the waterbearing unit at the site are siltstones and claystones, and the hydraulic conductivity of these lithologies range from 1 × 107 to 1 × 104 centimeters per second (4 × 106 to 4 × 103 inches per second). In 2005, SMUD installed four groups of monitoring wells (three wells per VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 group) within and downgradient of the industrial area. These wells were all screened-in water-bearing units of the Mehrten Formation from about 50 to 103 meters (160 to 340 feet) bgs. Because one monitoring well was dewatered, SMUD installed a replacement monitoring well with a deeper screened interval in February 2006. SMUD performed four quarterly sampling events on these 12 monitoring wells and on three existing water supply wells during Summer and Fall 2005 and Winter and Spring 2006. The ground water samples from these wells was analyzed for potential radionuclides that may have resulted from operations at Rancho Seco. However, these radionuclide concentrations were not observed to be higher than typical background levels. Further, using these quarterly sampling events, SMUD developed potentiometric ground water surfaces and ground water flow directions for the industrial area and nearby areas (up gradient and down gradient). These ground water surfaces and regional ground water surfaces are delineated in figures within the reports developed for SMUD by the URS Corporation (URS Corporation, 2006a; URS Corporation, 2006b) and demonstrate that ground water is flowing toward the southwest. There is extremely slow movement of the ground water and, consequently, the potential radionuclides from operations that may be in the ground water. The movement of potential radionuclides at the site in a downward direction to reach the saturated zone is estimated by SMUD to take 80 years (based on a vertical hydraulic conductivity of 2.0 × 104 centimeters per second (7.8 × 103 inches per second)). SMUD also estimates that the time for the ground water beneath the industrial area to travel to the current site boundary, a distance of 942 meters (3100 feet), is approximately 1500 years (based on a horizontal hydraulic conductivity of 2.0 × 104 centimeters per second (7.8 × 103 inches per second)) (URS Corporation, 2006a). 3.4 Human Health Potential human health hazards associated with the Rancho Seco site range from potential exposure to very low levels of radioactivity in soils to elevated levels of radioactivity within the remaining facility and support structures and systems (e.g., remaining tunnels, lines, and sumps). The intent of the final decommissioning activity at Rancho Seco is to reduce radiological contamination at the site to meet the NRC requirements for unrestricted PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63207 release. After decommissioning activities are complete, license termination activities will verify the adequacy of the licensee’s actions to meet the radiological release criteria (i.e., DCGLs) and the FSS. Unrestricted use of the site is appropriate if it meets the criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402 which specifies: A site will be considered acceptable for unrestricted use if the residual radioactivity that is distinguishable from background radiation results in a TEDE to an average member of the critical group that does not exceed 25 mrem (0.25 mSv) per year, including that from groundwater sources of drinking water, and that the residual radioactivity has been reduced to levels that are as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA). The licensee (in this case, SMUD) committed to developing DCGLs commensurate with release criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402. The licensee will then demonstrate through the FSS that residual radioactivity concentrations at the site are equal to or below the DCGLs. The DCGLs in use at the Rancho Seco site were calculated using the RESRAD (Versions 6.22 and 6.3) and RESRAD– BUILD (Versions 3.22 and 3.3) computer codes for generating DCGLs. These mathematical models translate residual radioactivity into potential radiation doses to the public, based on selected land-use scenarios, exposure pathways, and identified critical groups. The purpose of calculating the dose to the critical group is to bound the individual dose to other possible exposure groups. The critical group is a relatively small group of individuals who, because of their habits, actions, and characteristics, could receive among the highest potential radiation doses to people at some time in the future. Because the calculation uses the hypothetical critical group as the dose receptor, it is unlikely that any individual would actually receive radiation doses in excess of that calculated for the average member of the critical group. Industrial workers are the critical group used for assessing potential doses at the Rancho Seco site (SMUD, 2006a). 4.0 Environmental Impacts 4.1 Land Use Impacts Termination of the Rancho Seco license is not reasonably expected to result in any adverse impacts to the onsite and adjacent land use. Specifically, the agricultural, grazing, residential, and recreational land uses in adjacent areas are expected to continue. Existing Federal and State requirements would continue (LTP section 8.7), except for NRC licensing requirements. Additionally, local E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 63208 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES government permits and approvals would continue, including the agreement with the County of Sacramento regarding the administration, operation, and maintenance of recreational facilities at Rancho Seco Lake. Clean-up of hazardous materials at the site is expected to occur as a result of decommissioning. At present, SMUD has removed the underground storage tanks for diesel fuel and cleaned the remaining lines, and it does not plan to add future tanks to the site. SMUD will remove the hazardous material warehouse and its contents, except for the concrete pad (SMUD, 2007). Any hazardous materials remaining at the site or generated at the site after it is released from licensing would continue to be subject to the same regulatory requirements presently in place since Rancho Seco would be maintained as an industrial site. SMUD Asset Protection would maintain access to the site as an industrial area. The public would not have free access to the site as SMUD would maintain security of the industrial area to comply with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other agencies regulating electrical distribution systems. Most of the site’s infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, and parking lots) would not change after the site is released from licensing. The switch yard, switch yard control building, and transmission lines would remain in operation. Additional structures and buildings that would remain after license termination include the following: backup control center; training and records building; diesel buildings; nuclear service electrical building; auxiliary building; reactor containment building; spent fuel building; turbine building; machine shop; ‘‘B’’ warehouse; personal access portal building; IOSB receiving warehouse; and an unfinished technical support building (SMUD, 2007). 4.2 Water Resources Termination of the license for the Rancho Seco site, using the proposed plan, would not be expected to result in potentially significant and adverse impacts to either surface water or ground water. In addition to Federal and State of California requirements, specific State and local agency permits and approvals would continue to apply to water at the site, including the California Water Resources Board diversion permit; Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board waste discharge agreement; Federal Water Pollution Control Act water VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 quality certification; and Army Corps of Engineers permits addressing the dredging, discharge, and deposit of materials into tributaries of navigable waters. 4.2.1 Surface Water After decommissioning and license termination, there will be a slight decrease in the number of impervious areas on site where fill materials will replace a small area of decommissioned buildings and impervious materials. Storm water drainage that currently exists at the site through sheet flow runoff and point discharges will also decrease by a small amount because infiltration from precipitation will increase in these fill areas. SMUD recently renewed its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and plans to maintain the same discharge volumes that it has generated since the reactor shutdown. Both the existing water supply system and the sewage system would remain in place (URS Corporation, 2006a). 4.2.2 Ground Water The radiological results of the ground water monitoring program, where ground water samples were collected and analyzed every three months (described in section 3.3.2, ‘‘Ground Water,’’ of this document) demonstrate that radionuclides from operations, including tritium (a radionuclide that is easily transported in water), have not contaminated the uppermost waterbearing unit at this site (URS Corporation, 2006a). 4.3 Human Health Impacts Compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted release would ensure that the residual radioactivity left at the site would not cause the TEDE to an average member of the critical group (industrial workers) to exceed 0.25 mSv/yr (25 mrem/yr). The licensee must also reduce residual radioactivity to ALARA levels (defined in 10 CFR Part 20). SMUD is proposing DCGLs as acceptable levels of residual radioactivity that can be left at the site and comply with the unrestricted use criteria specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. LTP Chapter 6 (SMUD, 2006a) documents the manner in which SMUD derived the DCGLs for the Rancho Seco site. As part of its decision on whether to approve the LTP, the NRC conducted an evaluation of the adequacy of the DCGLs to protect members of the public after the proposed site releases. In derivations of the surface soil DCGLs, an industrial worker represents PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the average member of the critical group. The calculations assumed the worker is exposed to contaminated soil by exposure pathways, including: (1) Direct exposure; (2) inhalation of airborne radionuclides; (3) ingestion of contaminated soil; (4) drinking water from a contaminated well; and, (5) exposure to buried piping. For subsurface soil DCGLs, SMUD would apply the surface soil DCGLs to subsurface soil contamination. As detailed in LTP Section 6.6.2, subsurface contamination has been observed in discrete pockets. Further analysis (using peak of the mean dose results) demonstrates a decrease in dose with increasing depth of the discrete pockets of contamination beneath the soil. The LTP states that using the surface soil DCGL values is more conservative than developing higher DCGL values for discrete pockets of subsurface soil contamination. As stated in LTP Section 6.6.2.6.3, the subsurface soil DCGL values would be nonconservative if the subsurface soil contamination is excavated later and spread on the surface, becoming surface soil contamination. Table 6–5 of the LTP lists DCGLs that would be used for residual radioactivity in soil. Buried piping DCGLs are based on the assumption that the buried piping disintegrates instantaneously on license termination, allowing better evaluation of exposure to the piping contents. As such, the disintegrated media is subsurface soil and the media volume is assumed to be equal to the piping volume. The calculations assumed soil contamination to be uniformly mixed within the volume. Therefore, SMUD would apply soil DCGLs to buried piping. The industrial worker is considered to represent the average member of the critical group for deriving the building surface DCGLs. The building occupancy scenario is used to evaluate potential exposure to fixed and removable surface radioactivity within structures that will be left on the site after license termination. The worker is assumed to be exposed to penetrating radiation from surface sources, inhalation of resuspended surface contamination, and inadvertent ingestion of surface contamination. Table 6–9 of the LTP lists the DCGL values used for residual radioactivity that remains on existing building surfaces. In addition, SMUD determined that volumetric DCGL values were needed, since some structures may be potentially contaminated from neutron activation. Volumetric contamination may also exist as a result of the migration of surface contamination into materials of E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices construction. Table 6–10 of the LTP lists the proposed DCGL values for activated and volumetrically contaminated bulk material. In deriving the DCGLs for embedded piping, SMUD assumed a scenario in which an industrial worker is exposed to residual radioactivity from a location within the concrete-encased piping (i.e., embedded) as well as from contaminated surfaces of the building. SMUD considers the potential dose from embedded piping to be additive along with the potential dose to the worker from residual radioactivity from building surfaces. LTP Section 6.6.7 states that the licensee will reduce surface DCGLs by the dose contribution from embedded piping to ensure compliance with the dose criterion. However, to preclude the additional dose contribution from embedded piping, SMUD has committed to grout any piping that has residual contamination above the NRC screening levels. For the containment building, most of the interior concrete will be removed, leaving only the carbon steel liner plate. Therefore, SMUD determined that the industrial worker scenario used to derive the structural surface DCGLs is an unrealistic scenario for application to the interior surface of the containment building. SMUD developed two sets of DCGLs for the containment building to determine the most limiting scenario in this case: (1) An industrial worker building inspection scenario; and, (2) a building renovation/demolition scenario. SMUD determined that the building renovation/demolition scenario was more limiting than the industrial worker building inspection scenario. In LTP Section 6.6.5.4, SMUD states that it would impose a more conservative approach through application of structural surface DCGLs, derived in LTP Section 6.6.3, to the reasonably accessible surfaces of the containment building. SMUD would apply the renovation/demolition DCGLs listed in Table 6–12 of the LTP to the containment building dome surfaces. SMUD considered worker safety during remediation and FSS activities in selecting the application of the containment building DCGLs. Two additional exposure scenarios that SMUD analyzed were (1) a resident farmer scenario (in place of the industrial use scenario) and (2) grazing cattle adjacent to the industrial area. The calculated total dose for a resident farmer scenario within the currently licensed site (industrial area) exceeds the unrestricted use limit of 0.25 mSv/ yr (25 mrem/yr) for approximately 30 VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 years following the first phase of release and license termination. LTP Section 6.8.2.4 describes this information and the reason it is unlikely that the current impacted area for the NRC-licensed industrial site would transfer from industrial use to the public during the next 30 years. Hence, the resident farmer is not a reasonably foreseeable scenario and would not be considered for compliance with 10 CFR Part 20 criteria (NRC, 2006a). Further, the grazing cattle scenario (LTP Section 6.8.3) analyzes the dose impact of maintaining an industrial worker scenario within the industrial area while allowing cattle grazing in the areas outside of the industrial area and consumption of meat from the cattle by an offsite member of the public. The calculation identified a maximum potential dose (peak of the mean) of approximately 0.05 mSv/yr (5.13 mrem/ yr). As discussed in Section 1.1 of this document, the Rancho Seco site would be released from NRC licensing for unrestricted use in two phases. The approach identified in the LTP, using DCGLs to establish cleanup levels that meet the Subpart E criteria and demonstrating compliance with the DCGLs using a FSS, would be applied during both phases. The NRC staff evaluated the appropriateness of the postulated exposure scenarios and the methodology used for deriving the DCGLs. The staff has concluded that any potential radiation exposures from residual radioactivity that would be present after license termination has not been underestimated by SMUD and that such exposure levels are protective of the general public. The SMUD plan would use a series of surveys and the FSS to demonstrate compliance with the radiological release criteria consistent with the MultiAgency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (NRC, 2000). As identified in previous sections of this document, planning for the FSS involves an iterative process that requires appropriate site characterization (on the basis of the potential residual radionuclide concentration levels relative to the DCGLs) and formal planning. SMUD has committed to an integrated design that would address the selection of appropriate survey and laboratory instrumentation and procedures, including a statistically-based measurement and sampling plan for collecting and evaluating the data needed for the FSS. The staff has determined that the sampling strategy and survey data evaluation methodology PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63209 presented in the LTP are adequate. Provided that the DCGLs are demonstrated through FSS, there would be no anticipated adverse impacts to human health from approval of license termination, as described in the final rule ‘‘Radiological Criteria for License Termination’’ (62 FR 39058). 4.4 Cumulative Impacts The NRC approval of the SMUD Rancho Seco LTP (the proposed action), when combined with known effects on notable resources at the site, is not anticipated to result in any cumulative impacts. Rather, decommissioning and remediation of the Rancho Seco site, resulting in the release of the site for future unrestricted use, would reduce the opportunity for potential negative cumulative impacts. 5.0 Agencies and Persons Consulted and Sources Used The NRC staff prepared this EA with consultation from the State of California Office of Historic Preservation. The NRC began the consultation by letter dated October 30, 2006 (NRC, 2006b). The State Historic Preservation Officer responded in a letter dated February 15, 2007 (Donaldson, 2007), with clarifying questions, information requests, and considerations. The NRC responded with the requested information and clarification by letter dated March 12, 2007 (NRC, 2007a). Based on a review of this letter, the Historic Preservation Officer’s representative suggested that the NRC further evaluate whether or not its action on the LTP is an undertaking (as defined in 36 CFR Part 800, ‘‘Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties’’). The NRC conducted the evaluation and provided the determination that the action is not an undertaking to the State Historic Preservation Officer in a letter dated March 16, 2007 (NRC, 2007b). The representative agreed to mutually conclude the consultation. Therefore, the NRC has complied with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act on this matter. The NRC staff has determined, based on the scope of this action, that the proposed action will not affect listed species or critical habitat. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. The staff provided a draft of this EA to the State of California Radiological Health Branch (the Branch) for review by letter dated April 25, 2007 (NRC, 2007c), including a request for comments within 30 days. The request was also forwarded electronically to a Branch contact person. During the week E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 63210 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices of June, 11, 2007, the NRC staff followed-up with the Branch to determine if the Branch had any plans to comment. The Branch representative indicated that he may not be forwarding any comments. Subsequently, the Branch representative replied electronically on July 3, 2007, and stated that the Branch did not have any comments (CA RHB, 2007). 6.0 Conclusion The NRC has prepared this EA to evaluate the environmental impact of issuing a license amendment to Facility Operating License No. 50–321, that would approve the SMUD LTP. On the basis of this EA, the NRC staff concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts and the license amendment does not warrant the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Accordingly, the NRC staff recommends a finding of no significant impact determination for this action. 7.0 List of Preparers A. Gray, Systems Performance Analyst, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, dose assessment and human health evaluation. N. Haggerty, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, environmental issues and endangered and threatened species evaluation. J. Peckenpaugh, Hydrologist, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, surface water and ground water evaluation. J. Webb, Health Physicist, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, FSS and radiation contamination evaluation. S. Woods, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, environmental issues. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES 8.0 List of Acronyms and Abbreviations ADAMS Agencywide Documents Access and Management System ALARA as low as is reasonably achievable bgs below ground surface CFR Code of Federal Regulations DCGL derived concentration guideline limit EA environmental assessment FR Federal Register FSS final status survey IOSB interim onsite storage building ISFSI independent spent fuel storage installation km kilometer LTP license termination plan mrem millirem mSv millisievert NEPA National Environmental Policy Act NRC U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 PSDAR postshutdown decommissioning activities report RAI request for additional information SER safety evaluation report SMUD Sacramento Municipal Utility District TEDE total effective dose equivalent yr year 9.0 References 10 CFR Part 20. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ‘‘Energy,’’ Part 20, ‘‘Standards for Protection Against Radiation.’’ 10 CFR Part 50. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ‘‘Energy,’’ Part 50, ‘‘Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities.’’ 10 CFR Part 61. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ‘‘Energy,’’ Part 61, ‘‘Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste.’’ 10 CFR Part 72. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ‘‘Energy,’’ Part 72, ‘‘Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, HighLevel Radioactive Waste, and ReactorRelated Greater Than Class C Waste.’’ 36 CFR Part 800. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, ‘‘Parks, Forests, and Public Property,’’ Part 800, ‘‘Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties.’’ 61 FR 39278. ‘‘Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors.’’ Federal Register. July 29, 1996. 62 FR 39058. ‘‘Radiological Criteria for License Termination. Final Rule.’’ Federal Register. July 21, 1997. CA RHB, 2007. ‘‘E-Mail from Steve Hsu, California Department of Public Health, Radiological Health Branch (RHB), to John Hickman, NRC, stating that the RHB had no comments on the EA for the LTP.’’ July 3, 2007. ADAMS Accession No. ML072000415. Donaldson, 2007. ‘‘Re: Section 106 Consultation for Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station License Termination Plan, Sacramento County, CA.’’ February 15, 2007. Letter (NRC061102A) to J. Davis, NRC, from M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer of the State of California, Office of Historic Preservation. Sacramento, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML070610480. NRC, 1986. ‘‘Evaluation of Radioactive Liquid Effluent Releases from the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant.’’ March 1986. NUREG/CR–4286. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC. NRC, 1988. ‘‘Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities.’’ August 1988. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC. NRC, 1989a. ‘‘Summary of August 29, 1989 Public Meeting to Discuss the Status of the Rancho Seco Closure.’’ September 12, 1989. Memorandum from S. A. Reynolds, NRC/DRP, to Distribution. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. LL8909210135. NRC, 1995. ‘‘Order Approving the Decommissioning Plan and Authorizing Decommissioning of Rancho Seco PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Nuclear Generating Station and Approval of the Decommissioning Funding Plan (TAC No. M80518).’’ March 20, 1994. Letter to J.R. Shetler, SMUD, from R.F. Dudley, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. LL9503240358. NRC, 2000. ‘‘Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSSIM).’’ August 2000. NUREG– 1575, Rev. 1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC. NRC, 2002. ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities. Supplement Dealing with Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors.’’ November 2002. NUREG– 0586, Suppl. 1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC. NRC, 2005. ‘‘U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Docket No. 72–11 Sacramento Municipal Utility District Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Regarding an Amendment.’’ March 24, 2005. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML050830420. NRC, 2006a. ‘‘Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance: Characterization, Survey, and Determination of Radiological Criteria, Volume 2.’’ September 2006. NUREG– 1757, Rev. 1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC. NRC, 2006b. ‘‘Request for Comments Regarding Cultural and Historic Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station License Termination Plan (TAC No. L52668).’’ October 30, 2006. Letter to M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of California, from J. Davis, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML062860613. NRC, 2007a. ‘‘Response to Requested Information Regarding Cultural and Historic Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station License Termination Plan (TAC No. L52668).’’ March 12, 2007. Letter to M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of California, from G. Suber, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML070680169. NRC, 2007b. ‘‘Follow-Up to Letter and Phone Discussion Regarding Cultural and Historic Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station License Termination Plan.’’ March 16, 2007. Letter to M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of California, from G. Suber, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML070750080. NRC, 2007c. ‘‘Draft Environmental Assessment Related to the License Termination Plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station.’’ April 25, 2007. Letter to Ed Bailey, Radiation Program Director, Radiological Health Board, State Department of Health Services, from J. Hickman, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML071100166. SMUD, 1991. ‘‘Proposed Decommissioning Plan.’’ May 20, 1991. Letter to S. Weiss, E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 216 / Thursday, November 8, 2007 / Notices NRC, from D. Keuter, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. LL9106030039. SMUD, 1997. ‘‘Rancho Seco Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report.’’ March 20, 1997. Letter (MPC&D) to NRC Document Control Desk from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. LL9704210009. SMUD, 2006a. ‘‘Rancho Seco License Amendment Request and License Termination Plan, Revision 0.’’ April 12, 2006. Letter (MPC&D 06–035) to NRC Document Control Desk from M. Bua, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML061430211. SMUD, 2006b. ‘‘Rancho Seco Historical Site Assessment, Revision 1.’’ August 3, 2006. Letter (NQA 06–028) to NRC Document Control Desk from R. Jones, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML062220351. SMUD, 2006c. ‘‘Rancho Seco Groundwater Monitoring Report.’’ September 6, 2006. Letter (NQA 06–035) to NRC Document Control Desk from R. Jones, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML062980500. SMUD, 2006d. ‘‘Response to NRC Request for Additional Information.’’ November 21, 2006. Letter (MPC&D 06–115) to NRC Document Control Desk from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML063330062. SMUD, 2007. ‘‘Response to NRC Request for Additional Information.’’ April 2, 2007. Letter (MPC&D 07–028) to NRC Document Control Desk from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML071000434. U.S. Census Bureau, 2006. ‘‘2005 American Community Survey.’’ URS Corporation, 2006a. ‘‘Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station Groundwater Monitoring Report. Revision 0.’’ Prepared for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. ADAMS Accession No. ML062980500. URS Corporation, 2006b. ‘‘Hydrogeological Characterization of the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Revision 1.’’ Prepared for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. ADAMS Accession No. ML060810160. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES II. Finding of No Significant Impact On the basis of this EA, the NRC has concluded that approval of the license termination plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station will not result in significant environmental impacts, and that the license termination does not warrant the preparation of an environmental impact statement. Accordingly, it has been determined that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:54 Nov 07, 2007 Jkt 214001 III. Further Information Documents related to this action are available electronically at the NRC’s Electronic Reading Room at http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm.html. From this site, you can access the NRC’s Agency Wide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for the documents related to this notice are identified in the reference section of the EA. If you do not have access to ADAMS, or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1–800–397–4209 or 301–415–4737, or by electronic mailing at pdr@nrc.gov. These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC’s PDR at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of November, 2007. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Keith I. McConnell, Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. E7–21924 Filed 11–7–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE [Docket No. WTO/DS–363] WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding China—Measures Affecting Trading Rights and Distribution Services for Certain Publications and Audiovisual Entertainment Products Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice that the United States has requested, in accordance with the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO Agreement), that the WTO Dispute Settlement Body establish a dispute settlement panel to review the U.S. claims concerning: (1) Certain measures that restrict trading rights with respect to imported films for theatrical release, audiovisual home entertainment PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 63211 products (e.g., video cassettes and DVDs), sound recordings, and publications (e.g., books, magazines, newspapers, and electronic publications); (2) certain measures that restrict market access for, or discriminate against, foreign suppliers of distribution services for publications, foreign suppliers of audiovisual services (including distribution services) for audiovisual home entertainment products, and foreign suppliers of sound recording distribution services; (3) certain measures that provide less favorable distribution opportunities for imported films for theatrical release than for like domestic films; and (4) certain measures that provide less favorable opportunities for foreign suppliers of sound recording distribution services and for the distribution of imported sound recordings than are provided to like service suppliers and like products. The panel request may be found at http:// www.wto.org contained in a document designated as WT/DS363/5. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute. DATES: Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the consultations, comments should be submitted on or before December 21, 2007 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR. ADDRESSES: Comments should be submitted (i) electronically, to FR0708@ustr.eop.gov, with ‘‘China Trading Rights and Distribution Services (DS363)’’ in the subject line, or (ii) by fax, to Sandy McKinzy at (202) 395–3640, with a confirmation copy sent electronically to the electronic mail address above, in accordance with the requirements for submission set out below. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Probir Mehta, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, 600 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC, (202) 395–3150. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 127(b) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) (19 U.S.C. 3537(b)(1)), USTR is providing notice that the United States has requested the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to establish a dispute settlement panel pursuant to the WTO Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU). Such panel, which would hold its meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, would be expected to issue a report on its findings and recommendations within approximately nine months after it is established. E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 216 (Thursday, November 8, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63203-63211]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21924]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No.: 050-00312]


Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Assessment and 
Finding of No Significant Impact Related to the License Termination 
Plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station

AGENCY: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Availability and Finding of No Significant Impact.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) related to 
the license termination plan (LTP) for the Rancho Seco Nuclear 
Generating Station, dated April 12, 2006. The EA was developed as part 
of the NRC decision-making process on whether or not to approve the LTP 
that will result in subsequent release of the site from NRC licensing 
for unrestricted use of the site (as defined in Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 20.1402, ``Radiological Criteria for 
Unrestricted Use''). The scope of the EA is the determination of the 
adequacy of the radiation release criteria and the final status survey 
as presented in the LTP. The EA specifically examines potential impacts 
on land use, water resources, and human health from structures and/or 
residual materials that will be present at the site at the time the 
site is released and the license is terminated. The EA also identifies 
compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Hickman, Project Manager, 
Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing Directorate, Division of 
Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Telephone: 
(301) 415-3017; e-mail: jbh@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Environmental Assessment

1.0 Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the 
request submitted by Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD or the 
licensee) for approval of the license termination plan (LTP) for the 
Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station (Rancho Seco). Consistent with 
the decommissioning rule that appeared in the Federal Register on July 
29, 1996 (61 FR 39278), the NRC has prepared this environmental 
assessment (EA) to determine the environmental effects from approval of 
the LTP and subsequent release of the site for unrestricted use (as 
defined in Title 10, section 20.1402, ``Radiological Criteria for 
Unrestricted Use,'' of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 
20.1402)). As discussed in section 1.3, ``Scope,'' of this document, 
the primary scope of this EA is the determination of the adequacy of 
the radiation release criteria and the final status survey (FSS) 
presented in the LTP.

1.1 Background

    Rancho Seco has a deactivated pressurized-water nuclear reactor and 
is located on a 2480-acre SMUD site in Sacramento County at 14440 Twin 
Cities Road, Herald, California. Rancho Seco was constructed between 
1968 and 1974. In August 1974, the NRC licensed the reactor to operate 
commercially at 2772 megawatts thermal. After passage of a nonbinding 
referendum by the voters of Sacramento County in 1989, SMUD decided to 
permanently shut down Rancho Seco. In August 1989, SMUD notified the 
NRC that the plant was permanently shut down and informed the NRC of 
its intent to seek amendments to the Rancho Seco operating license and 
decommission the facility (NRC, 1989a). In May 1991, before the 
promulgation of the current requirements for decommissioning and 
license termination under 10 CFR 50.82, ``Termination of License,'' 
(published July 1996, 61 FR 39278), SMUD submitted a proposed Rancho 
Seco decommissioning plan (SMUD, 1991). In March 1995, the NRC issued 
an order that approved the plan and authorized decommissioning of the 
site (NRC, 1995). In February 1997, SMUD began active decommissioning 
of the site. In March 1997, SMUD submitted its postshutdown 
decommissioning activities report (PSDAR) (SMUD, 1997) pursuant to 10 
CFR 50.82 requirements, superseding the original decommissioning plan. 
In August 2002, SMUD completed the transfer of all spent nuclear fuel 
to its independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) licensed 
under 10 CFR Part 72, ``Licensing Requirements for the Independent 
Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and 
Reactor-Related Greater Than Class C Waste'' (SMUD, 2006a).
    In April 2006, SMUD submitted its LTP (SMUD, 2006a). The NRC sent 
SMUD two requests for additional information (RAI) on the LTP, with 
corresponding SMUD responses in November 2006 (SMUD, 2006d) and April 
2007 (SMUD, 2007). In 2006, SMUD also submitted a revision to its 
historical site assessment (SMUD, 2006b) and a ground water monitoring 
report (SMUD, 2006c). SMUD is proposing to decontaminate the Rancho 
Seco site to meet 10 CFR 20.1402 requirements for unrestricted use. 
Photographs provided in SMUD's April 2007 response to NRC's RAI (SMUD, 
2007) identify the permanent buildings and structures, as well as paved 
areas and 11 concrete pads of removed structures, that SMUD currently 
plans to leave in place at the site after license termination. These 
include the: diesel buildings, backup control center, nuclear services 
electrical building, auxiliary building, reactor containment building, 
spent fuel building, turbine building, switchyard control building, 
machine shop, ``B'' warehouse, personal access portal building, interim 
onsite storage building (IOSB), receiving warehouse, and an unfinished 
technical support building.
    SMUD is also proposing that the NRC release the site from licensing 
for unrestricted use in two phases, with the 10 CFR Part 50 license 
terminated after completion of the second phase. Table 3-1 of the LTP 
identifies that, for the first phase, SMUD plans to complete the major 
decommissioning activities in early 2008. The first-phase release 
includes most of the site, except for the IOSB. The IOSB will remain on 
the 10 CFR Part 50 license, and SMUD plans to continue to store only 
low-level radioactive waste from the Rancho Seco site in the building 
until it finds a suitable waste disposal option (SMUD, 2006a). Further, 
IOSB operations will continue to include the maintenance program, the 
radiation protection plan for implementing the radiological controls 
program, the radiological environmental monitoring program, an 
emergency plan, and the SMUD radioactive waste procedure ``IOSB 
Building Operations'' (SMUD, 2007). After the first phase of site 
release, the remaining IOSB 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site footprint will 
be approximately 1.1 acres with a proposed new fence line around the 
licensed area. The IOSB is in

[[Page 63204]]

the vicinity of the 10 CFR Part 72 licensed ISFSI fence boundary. SMUD 
estimates the combined maximum dose to a worker between the ISFSI and 
IOSB fence lines, including the dose from material within the first-
phase released area between the fence lines, to be 0.15 millisievert 
per year (mSv/yr) (15 millirems per year (mrem/yr)), which is below the 
0.25 mSv/yr (25 mrem/yr) limit for license termination in 10 CFR 
20.1402 (SMUD, 2007).
    The NRC has completed several previous EAs during the period of 
Rancho Seco site decommissioning. Two EAs were related to license 
amendments addressing record keeping, and another EA was for an 
exemption and license amendment. The NRC completed a fourth EA in March 
2005 for an amendment to the 10 CFR Part 72 ISFSI license, allowing 
ISFSI storage of greater-than-Class-C waste (defined in 10 CFR Part 72) 
that was generated and stored at the 10 CFR Part 50 licensed Rancho 
Seco site (NRC, 2005). The NRC staff reviewed these previous EAs as 
part of the development of this EA.

1.2 Need for the Proposed Action

    As specified in 10 CFR 50.82, licensees of nuclear facilities may 
apply to the NRC to decommission a facility and terminate their 
license. These requirements outline a process to follow for eventual 
termination of the license, including the requirement that the NRC will 
approve the licensee's LTP provided that it meets the criteria in 10 
CFR 50.82(a)(10). SMUD submitted the required LTP (SMUD, 2006a) before 
requesting license termination, as specified in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(9).
    As part of the LTP review process the NRC determines: (1) Whether 
the procedures and activities planned for completing decommissioning 
(adequacy of radiation release criteria and the FSS) appear sufficient 
as described in the LTP; and (2) assuming these procedures and 
activities are implemented according to plan, whether the plan would 
demonstrate that the site is suitable for unrestricted use. Further, 
NRC determines whether additional planning, investigation, and/or other 
activities are necessary to support the decision on site release for 
unrestricted use and license termination. This EA describes the 
potential environmental effects (both radiological and nonradiological) 
from the decision to approve the SMUD LTP and to release the site from 
the NRC license for unrestricted use (pursuant to 10 CFR 20.1402) 
followed by termination of the license.

1.3 Scope

    A significant rule change in 1996 (61 FR 39278) allows a licensee 
to perform major decommissioning activities after submitting a PSDAR. 
The 1996 rule change prohibits decommissioning activities that could 
result in significant environmental impacts which have not been 
previously reviewed. The licensee is also required to include a 
discussion of the reasons for concluding that the planned 
decommissioning activities are bound by previously issued environmental 
impact statements in the PSDAR. For the LTP, the scope of the NRC 
approval is identified in the final rule as follows:

    The Commission must consider: (1) The licensee's plan for 
assuring that adequate funds will be available for final site 
release, (2) radiation release criteria for license termination, and 
(3) the adequacy of the final survey required to verify that these 
release criteria have been met.

    The NRC details its review of these three areas in the safety 
evaluation report (SER). The licensee's radiation release criteria and 
the adequacy of the site FSS are considered during the development of 
the EA. However, the EA does not discuss funding available for 
decommissioning activities conducted until site release, since funding 
does not result in environmental impacts.
    In fulfilling its obligations under the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA), the NRC evaluates the environmental impacts 
associated with approval of the LTP and subsequent termination of the 
license, as discussed above. The EA considers both radiological and 
non-radiological impacts. These impact evaluations will typically 
involve an assessment of the remaining buildings/structures and 
residual material present at the site at the time the site is released 
and the license is terminated. In the case of this EA, release of the 
site for unrestricted use and termination of the license will be 
completed in two phases (discussed in section 1.1, ``Background,'' of 
this document).
1.3.1 Issues Evaluated in Detail
    Consistent with NEPA regulations and guidance to focus on 
environmental issues of concern, this EA examines resource areas that 
were selected because of their potential to be affected by license 
termination: Land use; water resources; and human health. Specifically, 
the EA considers potential impacts on these resources from structures 
and/or residual materials that will remain after the site is released 
for unrestricted use.
1.3.2 Issues Eliminated From Detailed Evaluation
    For reasons cited in section 1.3 of this document, impacts to air 
quality, historical and cultural resources, ecological resources 
(including endangered and threatened species), socioeconomic factors, 
transportation, noise, visual and scenic quality, waste management, and 
accident analysis are not reasonably expected to be impacted by 
approval of license termination activities (i.e., adequacy of radiation 
release criteria and the FSS) and site release for unrestricted use. As 
discussed in section 1.3 of this document, financial assurance for 
decommissioning at the site is not related to the environment and will 
not be discussed in this EA.
    Decommissioning activities are not evaluated in this EA. The NRC 
previously assessed decommissioning impacts in the generic 
environmental impact statement for decommissioning (NRC, 1988; NRC, 
2002). As described in section 1.3 of this document, the PSDAR 
addresses environmental impacts from decommissioning activities. SMUD 
submitted its PSDAR in March 1997 (SMUD, 1997), along with a discussion 
of the environmental impacts from its decommissioning activities.

2.0 Alternatives, Including the Proposed Action

2.1 The Proposed Action

    The proposed action is the NRC approval of the LTP for the Rancho 
Seco plant. Before approving the LTP, the NRC staff reviewed the LTP to 
ensure that the proposed license termination activities (i.e., adequacy 
of radiation release criteria and the FSS) ensure that: (1) Public 
health and safety will be protected; and (2) no significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment will result from the unrestricted 
release of the Rancho Seco site from NRC licensing. The LTP would also 
become part of the NRC license in a separate license amendment 
(Amendment Number 133), thereby including the LTP in the NRC inspection 
and enforcement programs at the Rancho Seco site. This license 
amendment would specify, among other things, that the licensee must 
seek NRC approval in order to make certain changes to the LTP.
    As described in section 1.1 of this document, SMUD plans to 
complete decommissioning of Rancho Seco for unrestricted use (detailed 
in 10 CFR 20.1402 and section 3.4, ``Human Health,'' of this document). 
SMUD plans to request license termination in two

[[Page 63205]]

phases. During the first phase, the majority of the site is planned to 
be released from the 10 CFR Part 50 license. The remainder of the 
licensed site will continue to include the current IOSB for Class B and 
C radioactive waste (defined in 10 CFR Part 61, ``Licensing 
Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste''), with the 
overall 10 CFR Part 50 licensed area considerably reduced in size. SMUD 
estimates that decommissioning of the IOSB and the remaining 10 CFR 
Part 50 licensed site will be completed by 2028 (LTP Section 3.3.6.2), 
when the remaining area will be reviewed by NRC for unrestricted 
release from the license and the license terminated (SMUD, 2006a).
    In order to meet the NRC unrestricted release criteria, the 
licensee will divide areas of the site into survey units and sample/
survey them in accordance with the LTP to verify that the derived 
concentration guideline levels (DCGLs) will be met and, consequently, 
demonstrate compliance with the NRC release criteria. Sections 3.1.1, 
``Radiological Contamination''; 3.4, ``Human Health''; and 4.3, ``Human 
Health Impacts,'' of this document discuss the DCGLs.

2.2 No-Action Alternative

    The NRC staff considered the no-action alternative relative to the 
SMUD request for approval of the LTP. Under the no-action alternative, 
the NRC would not approve the LTP and would neither apply the 
unrestricted use criteria nor terminate the Rancho Seco license. This 
alternative conflicts with the NRC 10 CFR 50.82 license termination 
requirements, which state that the Commission shall approve an LTP, by 
license amendment, if the LTP demonstrates that the remainder of the 
decommissioning activities, among other provisions, will not have a 
significant effect on the quality of the environment. Additionally, 
pursuant to this regulation, the NRC shall terminate the license after 
(1) the remaining dismantlement has been performed in accordance with 
the approved LTP, and (2) both the final radiation survey and 
associated documentation demonstrate compliance with decommissioning in 
10 CFR Part 20, ``Standards for Protection Against Radiation,'' Subpart 
E, ``Radiological Criteria for License Termination.'' Therefore, the 
no-action alternative is eliminated from further consideration in this 
EA.

3.0 Affected Environment

3.1 Site Description

    As described in the LTP (SMUD, 2006a) (e.g., sections 1.3.2, 6.2.1, 
and 8.5), Rancho Seco is located in the southeast part of Sacramento 
County, California, approximately 40 kilometers (km) (25 miles) 
southeast of Sacramento and 42 km (26 miles) north-northeast of 
Stockton. The populations of Sacramento and Stockton are approximately 
445,000 and 490,000, respectively. The nearest population center of 
greater than 25,000 residents is Lodi, approximately 27 km (17 miles) 
south-southwest of the site, with approximately 57,000 people (U.S. 
Census Bureau, 2006).
    The Rancho Seco site is located in the foothills of the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains, with the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the 
coast range along the Pacific Ocean to the west. The site is an area of 
flat to lightly rolling terrain at an elevation of approximately 60 
meters (200 feet) above mean sea level. To the east of the site, the 
land becomes more rolling, rising to an elevation of 180 meters (600 
feet) at a distance of about 11 km (seven miles), and increasing in 
elevation toward the Sierra Nevada foothills (SMUD, 2006a).
    The climate at Rancho Seco is described in the LTP as typical of 
the Great Central Valley of California. The rainy season occurs between 
October and May. More than two-thirds of the annual rainfall generally 
occurs from December through March. Incidents of severe weather, such 
as tornados and hurricanes, are infrequent (SMUD details its analysis 
in LTP Section 8.5) (SMUD, 2006a).
    The soil consists of hard to very hard silts and silty clays with 
dense to very dense sands and gravel. There is no evidence of faulting 
beneath the site. The nearest fault system is approximately 16 km (ten 
miles) east of the site and has been inactive for more than 135 million 
years (SMUD, 2006a).
3.1.1 Radiological Contamination
    Several areas within the industrial area have been identified as 
radiologically impacted (i.e., an NRC term defined in 10 CFR 50.2, 
``Definitions,'' to indicate the potential for residual radioactivity 
in excess of natural background radiation levels) by the operation of 
the facility. These areas include the retention basin, tank farm, 
barrel farm, areas adjacent to the regenerative holdup tank area, storm 
drains, oily water separator, cooling tower basins, and turbine 
building drains and sumps. Several areas outside of the industrial 
area, identified as the non-industrial area, have historically had 
radionuclide concentrations detected above background levels (i.e., 
impacted, per 10 CFR part 50 terminology). These areas include the 
discharge canal sediment, discharge canal soil, depression area soil, 
and the storm drain outfall. In total, the 10 CFR part 50 defined 
radiologically impacted area is approximately 165 acres, outlined in 
LTP Figure 2-2 (SMUD, 2006a).
    In general, the extent of radiological contamination at a site is 
determined through a process of site characterization that includes 
radiological surveys with detectors and measuring instruments as well 
as historical site assessment. Surveys determine the nature and extent 
of radioactive material contamination in buildings, plant systems and 
components, site grounds, and both surface and ground water. The 
process of characterizing the site is described in further detail in 
both LTP (Chapter 2) (SMUD, 2006a) and the NRC SER (``Site 
Characterization'' section) (NRC, 2007).
    SMUD identified 26 site-specific radionuclides (Table 6-1 of the 
LTP) that are potentially present in soils, ground water, and 
structures. These radionuclides include fission and activation products 
that are typical for pressurized-water reactor plants and were 
identified using information in several NRC NUREG documents (listed in 
LTP section 6.3.1) and the ORIGEN computer code (using irradiated fuel 
assembly data). During this process, SMUD identified other 
radionuclides as potentially present at the site and eliminated them 
from further consideration. SMUD eliminated the radionuclides because, 
if present, they contribute less than 0.1 percent of the total activity 
at the site and the potential radiation dose contribution by the sum of 
these radionuclides is less than one percent of the total calculated 
radiation dose (detailed in LTP section 6.3.2).
    Specifically, SMUD is using the 26 radionuclides to determine 
acceptable residual radioactivity levels and radiation dose levels at 
the site after release for unrestricted use. These radionucludes also 
are included in the NRC dose modeling to determine acceptance of the 
LTP. For example, all 26 radionuclides are assigned DCGLs for surfaces 
on buildings. Additionally, based on analysis of the highest level of 
soil contamination identified at the site before decommissioning (spent 
fuel cooler pad soil), the licensee developed DCGLs for the soil based 
on carbon-14, cobalt-60, nickel-63, strontium-90, cesium-134, and 
cesium-137. Further,

[[Page 63206]]

the 26 radionuclides form the basis for identifying specific 
radionuclides of interest for various other site media components 
(e.g., volumetric contamination and piping) at the site and for the 
development of the corresponding DCGLs (discussed in LTP Chapter 6).
    Table 5-4D of the LTP shows all the structures that, before 
decommissioning, had radioactivity levels above the DCGL (SMUD, 2006d). 
Radiological sampling outside of the industrial area is detailed in the 
LTP. Specifically, during plant operation, the Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory evaluated the environmental impact of the authorized 
radioactive liquid effluent releases from Rancho Seco for the NRC in 
1986 (NRC, 1986). This report and subsequent radiological sampling are 
discussed in LTP Chapter 2 and in a SMUD response to an NRC RAI (SMUD, 
2006d).
3.1.2 Hazardous and Chemical Contamination
    Decommissioning activities at the site are subject to Federal 
regulations, permits, licenses, notifications, approvals, and 
acknowledgments, including those for hazardous waste generation/
disposition, handling and removal of asbestos, handling and removal of 
lead paint, and removal of underground storage tanks. For example, 
specific U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations (Title 40, 
``Protection of the Environment,'' of the CFR) adhered to during 
decommissioning and operation of the site address the following 
requirements: 40 CFR part 61 (asbestos handling and removal); 40 CFR 
parts 122 through 125 (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System); 40 CFR part 141 (safe drinking water); 40 CFR part 190 
(radiation protection for nuclear power operations); 40 CFR parts 260 
through 272 (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act); 40 CFR part 280 
(underground storage tanks); 40 CFR part 761 (polychlorinated 
biphenyls); and 40 CFR parts 129 through 132 (Clean Water Act) (SMUD, 
2007).

3.2 Land Use

    The 10 CFR Part 50 licensed site is an approximately 87-acre, 
fence-enclosed industrial area containing the nuclear facility as well 
as an emergency backup data center and a SMUD backup control center 
that are used to support SMUD functions if disruptions occur with the 
headquarters facility. Additional structures within the industrial area 
are identified in the LTP (SMUD, 2006a) and the SMUD 2007 RAI response 
(SMUD, 2007), with key structures highlighted in the listing provided 
in section 4.1, ``Land Use Impacts.'' This site is located within an 
overall approximate 2480-acre area that is owned by SMUD (owner-
controlled area). Land use within the owner-controlled area also 
includes: a solar power (photovoltaic) electrical generating station 
(50 acres); the 10 CFR part 72 licensed ISFSI (discussed in section 1.1 
of this document; ten acres); Rancho Seco Lake and recreation area (560 
acres, southeast of the industrial area); a gas-fired power plant (30 
acres); a receiving warehouse; portions of a paved access road; and a 
residence (approximately 1.6 km (one mile) from the industrial area 
fence) (SMUD, 2006a; SMUD, 2007). A map of the Rancho Seco site is 
provided in LTP Figure 8-1, and the industrial area is detailed in LTP 
Figure 2-1. Aerial photographs of the industrial area before and after 
decommissioning are provided in the SMUD April 2007 RAI response letter 
(SMUD, 2007).
    The land surrounding the Rancho Seco site, within a 24-kilometer 
(15-mile) radius, is identified by Sacramento County as remaining 
predominantly (70 percent) agricultural and grazing (beef cattle) for 
the future. Portions of the non-impacted area and impacted area (per 10 
CFR part 50; discussed in Section 3.1.1 of this document) (e.g., the 
south storm drain outfall area and the liquid effluent pathway area) 
that are located within the owner-controlled area are open range lands 
that local ranchers lease for cattle grazing. At present, three large-
scale commercial dairies operate in the vicinity, with the closest 
dairy located approximately 13 km (eight miles) northwest of the site. 
Further, domestic use dairy cows are present at a ranch (2480 acres) 
located approximately one-mile east of the site. Future buildup around 
the site is likely be limited. A new housing development is located 
approximately eight km (five miles) northwest of the site (two to five-
acre plots). SMUD also identifies that there may be a future buildup of 
new residences to the west of the site (one to ten-acre plots) (SMUD, 
2006a).
    Rancho Seco Lake and park activities include picnicking, camping, 
boating, fishing, and swimming. A 75-acre wildlife compound and a 
seven-mile nature trail are also within the park. Other recreation 
areas in the relative vicinity of the site and their approximate 
distance from the site include a portion of Lake Camanche, 16 km (ten 
miles) southeast; three golf courses, 16 km (ten miles) east and 
approximately the same distance at locations to the southwest and 
north; and Lake Amador, 21 km (13 miles) east. Activities at the two 
lakes include boating, fishing, and camping. Additional reservoirs and 
lakes exist within 24 km (15 miles) of the site, including municipal 
reservoirs used for recreation (SMUD, 2006a; SMUD, 2007).
    An overview diagram of the industrial area roads, rail, and 
pavement is provided in LTP Figure 2-33. LTP Figure 8-1 identifies 
transportation routes to and from the industrial area. State Route 104 
is located just north of the site, connecting with State Routes 99 and 
88 (to the west and east of the site, respectively) and the main access 
road to the industrial site and recreation area. Rail access is a spur 
that connects to the Union Pacific rail line (parallel to State Route 
104).

3.3 Water Resources

    Examination of water resources is divided into surface water and 
ground water. The sections that follow provide a summary of the 
characteristics of surface water and ground water resources at, and 
near, the Rancho Seco site.
3.3.1 Surface Water
    Surface water in the vicinity of the site includes Clay Creek; 
unnamed tributaries to Clay Creek; Rancho Seco Reservoir, which was 
formed by damming Clay Creek in the southeast portion of the owner-
controlled area with construction of the Rancho Seco plant; and an area 
of vernal pools and seasonal marshes. All these features are south or 
southeast of the industrial area. Clay Creek eventually discharges 
beyond the site boundaries into Hadselville Creek.
    Runoff from the industrial area drains into an unnamed tributary of 
Clay Creek. Further, releases from the industrial area average 22,710 
liters (6,000 gallons) per minute and discharge in the liquid effluent 
pathway downstream from the site retention basins into this creek. Most 
of these releases to the creek are conveyed to the site from the Folsom 
South Canal. Other sources of flow in this unnamed creek are releases 
from the Rancho Seco Reservoir and runoff in its catchment west of the 
dam and up gradient from the industrial area.
    Since the investigation for the development of Rancho Seco in the 
1960s, flooding has not occurred within the site boundaries from storm 
runoff. In addition, the industrial area is not within the 100-year 
flood plain. However, vernal pools and seasonal marshes develop west of 
the industrial area and in shallow surface depressions during and after 
the December to March rainy season (URS Corporation, 2006a).

[[Page 63207]]

3.3.2 Ground Water
    Ground water at the Rancho Seco site is located within the Cosumnes 
Subbasin of the San Joaquin Valley Ground Water Basin (URS Corporation, 
2006a). This subbasin has extensive unconsolidated and semiconsolidated 
sedimentary deposits, approximately 608 meters (2000 feet) thick, where 
most of this material below the water table is likely water-bearing 
deposits. The uppermost water-bearing unit (the saturated zone or 
unconfined water table) at this site is within the Mehrten Formation 
about 50 meters (165 feet) below ground surface (bgs). Additional 
water-bearing units are likely to exist in the deeper, older 
sedimentary deposits until the metamorphic bedrock is reached at about 
608 meters (2000 feet) bgs. However, the actual thickness of the 
sedimentary rocks and their water-bearing status has not been verified 
because boreholes and wells on site do not extend below the Mehrten 
Formation (URS Corporation, 2006b).
    The uppermost water-bearing unit within the Mehrten Formation holds 
the ground water that would most likely contain radionuclides from 
Rancho Seco operations if any are present. SMUD indicates that leaks, 
spills, and/or releases occurred during Rancho Seco operations and 
involved several areas including: spent fuel building; spent fuel 
cooler pad outside the spent fuel building; tank farm; retention 
basins; barrel farm; storm drains; turbine building drains and sumps; 
oily water separator; and regenerant holdup tank areas. The potential 
for radionuclide movement to the saturated ground water zone was 
significantly greater for leaks associated with the spent fuel building 
and spent fuel cooler pad than with the other structures and areas 
mentioned above. Further, remediation of soil at the spent fuel 
building and spent fuel cooler pad is complete. As a result of 
information collected during this process, SMUD reported that 
radionuclides from Rancho Seco operations were not observed at depths 
as far as 7.6 meters (25 feet) below grade for the spent fuel building 
(SMUD, 2006a).
    The uppermost water-bearing unit yield is lower beneath the site 
than at other locations in the subbasin. The predominant lithologies of 
the water-bearing unit at the site are siltstones and claystones, and 
the hydraulic conductivity of these lithologies range from 1 x 10\7\ to 
1 x 10\4\ centimeters per second (4 x 10\6\ to 4 x 10\3\ inches per 
second).
    In 2005, SMUD installed four groups of monitoring wells (three 
wells per group) within and downgradient of the industrial area. These 
wells were all screened-in water-bearing units of the Mehrten Formation 
from about 50 to 103 meters (160 to 340 feet) bgs. Because one 
monitoring well was dewatered, SMUD installed a replacement monitoring 
well with a deeper screened interval in February 2006. SMUD performed 
four quarterly sampling events on these 12 monitoring wells and on 
three existing water supply wells during Summer and Fall 2005 and 
Winter and Spring 2006. The ground water samples from these wells was 
analyzed for potential radionuclides that may have resulted from 
operations at Rancho Seco. However, these radionuclide concentrations 
were not observed to be higher than typical background levels. Further, 
using these quarterly sampling events, SMUD developed potentiometric 
ground water surfaces and ground water flow directions for the 
industrial area and nearby areas (up gradient and down gradient). These 
ground water surfaces and regional ground water surfaces are delineated 
in figures within the reports developed for SMUD by the URS Corporation 
(URS Corporation, 2006a; URS Corporation, 2006b) and demonstrate that 
ground water is flowing toward the southwest.
    There is extremely slow movement of the ground water and, 
consequently, the potential radionuclides from operations that may be 
in the ground water. The movement of potential radionuclides at the 
site in a downward direction to reach the saturated zone is estimated 
by SMUD to take 80 years (based on a vertical hydraulic conductivity of 
2.0 x 10\4\ centimeters per second (7.8 x 10\3\ inches per second)). 
SMUD also estimates that the time for the ground water beneath the 
industrial area to travel to the current site boundary, a distance of 
942 meters (3100 feet), is approximately 1500 years (based on a 
horizontal hydraulic conductivity of 2.0 x 10\4\ centimeters per second 
(7.8 x 10\3\ inches per second)) (URS Corporation, 2006a).

3.4 Human Health

    Potential human health hazards associated with the Rancho Seco site 
range from potential exposure to very low levels of radioactivity in 
soils to elevated levels of radioactivity within the remaining facility 
and support structures and systems (e.g., remaining tunnels, lines, and 
sumps).
    The intent of the final decommissioning activity at Rancho Seco is 
to reduce radiological contamination at the site to meet the NRC 
requirements for unrestricted release. After decommissioning activities 
are complete, license termination activities will verify the adequacy 
of the licensee's actions to meet the radiological release criteria 
(i.e., DCGLs) and the FSS. Unrestricted use of the site is appropriate 
if it meets the criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402 which specifies:
    A site will be considered acceptable for unrestricted use if the 
residual radioactivity that is distinguishable from background 
radiation results in a TEDE to an average member of the critical 
group that does not exceed 25 mrem (0.25 mSv) per year, including 
that from groundwater sources of drinking water, and that the 
residual radioactivity has been reduced to levels that are as low as 
is reasonably achievable (ALARA).

    The licensee (in this case, SMUD) committed to developing DCGLs 
commensurate with release criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402. The licensee will 
then demonstrate through the FSS that residual radioactivity 
concentrations at the site are equal to or below the DCGLs.
    The DCGLs in use at the Rancho Seco site were calculated using the 
RESRAD (Versions 6.22 and 6.3) and RESRAD-BUILD (Versions 3.22 and 3.3) 
computer codes for generating DCGLs. These mathematical models 
translate residual radioactivity into potential radiation doses to the 
public, based on selected land-use scenarios, exposure pathways, and 
identified critical groups. The purpose of calculating the dose to the 
critical group is to bound the individual dose to other possible 
exposure groups. The critical group is a relatively small group of 
individuals who, because of their habits, actions, and characteristics, 
could receive among the highest potential radiation doses to people at 
some time in the future. Because the calculation uses the hypothetical 
critical group as the dose receptor, it is unlikely that any individual 
would actually receive radiation doses in excess of that calculated for 
the average member of the critical group. Industrial workers are the 
critical group used for assessing potential doses at the Rancho Seco 
site (SMUD, 2006a).

4.0 Environmental Impacts

4.1 Land Use Impacts

    Termination of the Rancho Seco license is not reasonably expected 
to result in any adverse impacts to the onsite and adjacent land use. 
Specifically, the agricultural, grazing, residential, and recreational 
land uses in adjacent areas are expected to continue. Existing Federal 
and State requirements would continue (LTP section 8.7), except for NRC 
licensing requirements. Additionally, local

[[Page 63208]]

government permits and approvals would continue, including the 
agreement with the County of Sacramento regarding the administration, 
operation, and maintenance of recreational facilities at Rancho Seco 
Lake.
    Clean-up of hazardous materials at the site is expected to occur as 
a result of decommissioning. At present, SMUD has removed the 
underground storage tanks for diesel fuel and cleaned the remaining 
lines, and it does not plan to add future tanks to the site. SMUD will 
remove the hazardous material warehouse and its contents, except for 
the concrete pad (SMUD, 2007). Any hazardous materials remaining at the 
site or generated at the site after it is released from licensing would 
continue to be subject to the same regulatory requirements presently in 
place since Rancho Seco would be maintained as an industrial site.
    SMUD Asset Protection would maintain access to the site as an 
industrial area. The public would not have free access to the site as 
SMUD would maintain security of the industrial area to comply with the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other agencies regulating 
electrical distribution systems.
    Most of the site's infrastructure (e.g., buildings, roads, and 
parking lots) would not change after the site is released from 
licensing. The switch yard, switch yard control building, and 
transmission lines would remain in operation. Additional structures and 
buildings that would remain after license termination include the 
following: backup control center; training and records building; diesel 
buildings; nuclear service electrical building; auxiliary building; 
reactor containment building; spent fuel building; turbine building; 
machine shop; ``B'' warehouse; personal access portal building; IOSB 
receiving warehouse; and an unfinished technical support building 
(SMUD, 2007).

4.2 Water Resources

    Termination of the license for the Rancho Seco site, using the 
proposed plan, would not be expected to result in potentially 
significant and adverse impacts to either surface water or ground 
water. In addition to Federal and State of California requirements, 
specific State and local agency permits and approvals would continue to 
apply to water at the site, including the California Water Resources 
Board diversion permit; Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control 
Board waste discharge agreement; Federal Water Pollution Control Act 
water quality certification; and Army Corps of Engineers permits 
addressing the dredging, discharge, and deposit of materials into 
tributaries of navigable waters.
4.2.1 Surface Water
    After decommissioning and license termination, there will be a 
slight decrease in the number of impervious areas on site where fill 
materials will replace a small area of decommissioned buildings and 
impervious materials. Storm water drainage that currently exists at the 
site through sheet flow runoff and point discharges will also decrease 
by a small amount because infiltration from precipitation will increase 
in these fill areas.
    SMUD recently renewed its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System permit and plans to maintain the same discharge volumes that it 
has generated since the reactor shutdown. Both the existing water 
supply system and the sewage system would remain in place (URS 
Corporation, 2006a).
4.2.2 Ground Water
    The radiological results of the ground water monitoring program, 
where ground water samples were collected and analyzed every three 
months (described in section 3.3.2, ``Ground Water,'' of this document) 
demonstrate that radionuclides from operations, including tritium (a 
radionuclide that is easily transported in water), have not 
contaminated the uppermost water-bearing unit at this site (URS 
Corporation, 2006a).

4.3 Human Health Impacts

    Compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted 
release would ensure that the residual radioactivity left at the site 
would not cause the TEDE to an average member of the critical group 
(industrial workers) to exceed 0.25 mSv/yr (25 mrem/yr). The licensee 
must also reduce residual radioactivity to ALARA levels (defined in 10 
CFR Part 20).
    SMUD is proposing DCGLs as acceptable levels of residual 
radioactivity that can be left at the site and comply with the 
unrestricted use criteria specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. LTP 
Chapter 6 (SMUD, 2006a) documents the manner in which SMUD derived the 
DCGLs for the Rancho Seco site. As part of its decision on whether to 
approve the LTP, the NRC conducted an evaluation of the adequacy of the 
DCGLs to protect members of the public after the proposed site 
releases.
    In derivations of the surface soil DCGLs, an industrial worker 
represents the average member of the critical group. The calculations 
assumed the worker is exposed to contaminated soil by exposure 
pathways, including: (1) Direct exposure; (2) inhalation of airborne 
radionuclides; (3) ingestion of contaminated soil; (4) drinking water 
from a contaminated well; and, (5) exposure to buried piping. For 
subsurface soil DCGLs, SMUD would apply the surface soil DCGLs to 
subsurface soil contamination. As detailed in LTP Section 6.6.2, 
subsurface contamination has been observed in discrete pockets. Further 
analysis (using peak of the mean dose results) demonstrates a decrease 
in dose with increasing depth of the discrete pockets of contamination 
beneath the soil. The LTP states that using the surface soil DCGL 
values is more conservative than developing higher DCGL values for 
discrete pockets of subsurface soil contamination. As stated in LTP 
Section 6.6.2.6.3, the subsurface soil DCGL values would be 
nonconservative if the subsurface soil contamination is excavated later 
and spread on the surface, becoming surface soil contamination. Table 
6-5 of the LTP lists DCGLs that would be used for residual 
radioactivity in soil.
    Buried piping DCGLs are based on the assumption that the buried 
piping disintegrates instantaneously on license termination, allowing 
better evaluation of exposure to the piping contents. As such, the 
disintegrated media is subsurface soil and the media volume is assumed 
to be equal to the piping volume. The calculations assumed soil 
contamination to be uniformly mixed within the volume. Therefore, SMUD 
would apply soil DCGLs to buried piping.
    The industrial worker is considered to represent the average member 
of the critical group for deriving the building surface DCGLs. The 
building occupancy scenario is used to evaluate potential exposure to 
fixed and removable surface radioactivity within structures that will 
be left on the site after license termination. The worker is assumed to 
be exposed to penetrating radiation from surface sources, inhalation of 
resuspended surface contamination, and inadvertent ingestion of surface 
contamination. Table 6-9 of the LTP lists the DCGL values used for 
residual radioactivity that remains on existing building surfaces. In 
addition, SMUD determined that volumetric DCGL values were needed, 
since some structures may be potentially contaminated from neutron 
activation. Volumetric contamination may also exist as a result of the 
migration of surface contamination into materials of

[[Page 63209]]

construction. Table 6-10 of the LTP lists the proposed DCGL values for 
activated and volumetrically contaminated bulk material.
    In deriving the DCGLs for embedded piping, SMUD assumed a scenario 
in which an industrial worker is exposed to residual radioactivity from 
a location within the concrete-encased piping (i.e., embedded) as well 
as from contaminated surfaces of the building. SMUD considers the 
potential dose from embedded piping to be additive along with the 
potential dose to the worker from residual radioactivity from building 
surfaces. LTP Section 6.6.7 states that the licensee will reduce 
surface DCGLs by the dose contribution from embedded piping to ensure 
compliance with the dose criterion. However, to preclude the additional 
dose contribution from embedded piping, SMUD has committed to grout any 
piping that has residual contamination above the NRC screening levels.
    For the containment building, most of the interior concrete will be 
removed, leaving only the carbon steel liner plate. Therefore, SMUD 
determined that the industrial worker scenario used to derive the 
structural surface DCGLs is an unrealistic scenario for application to 
the interior surface of the containment building. SMUD developed two 
sets of DCGLs for the containment building to determine the most 
limiting scenario in this case: (1) An industrial worker building 
inspection scenario; and, (2) a building renovation/demolition 
scenario.
    SMUD determined that the building renovation/demolition scenario 
was more limiting than the industrial worker building inspection 
scenario. In LTP Section 6.6.5.4, SMUD states that it would impose a 
more conservative approach through application of structural surface 
DCGLs, derived in LTP Section 6.6.3, to the reasonably accessible 
surfaces of the containment building. SMUD would apply the renovation/
demolition DCGLs listed in Table 6-12 of the LTP to the containment 
building dome surfaces. SMUD considered worker safety during 
remediation and FSS activities in selecting the application of the 
containment building DCGLs.
    Two additional exposure scenarios that SMUD analyzed were (1) a 
resident farmer scenario (in place of the industrial use scenario) and 
(2) grazing cattle adjacent to the industrial area. The calculated 
total dose for a resident farmer scenario within the currently licensed 
site (industrial area) exceeds the unrestricted use limit of 0.25 mSv/
yr (25 mrem/yr) for approximately 30 years following the first phase of 
release and license termination. LTP Section 6.8.2.4 describes this 
information and the reason it is unlikely that the current impacted 
area for the NRC-licensed industrial site would transfer from 
industrial use to the public during the next 30 years. Hence, the 
resident farmer is not a reasonably foreseeable scenario and would not 
be considered for compliance with 10 CFR Part 20 criteria (NRC, 2006a). 
Further, the grazing cattle scenario (LTP Section 6.8.3) analyzes the 
dose impact of maintaining an industrial worker scenario within the 
industrial area while allowing cattle grazing in the areas outside of 
the industrial area and consumption of meat from the cattle by an 
offsite member of the public. The calculation identified a maximum 
potential dose (peak of the mean) of approximately 0.05 mSv/yr (5.13 
mrem/yr).
    As discussed in Section 1.1 of this document, the Rancho Seco site 
would be released from NRC licensing for unrestricted use in two 
phases. The approach identified in the LTP, using DCGLs to establish 
cleanup levels that meet the Subpart E criteria and demonstrating 
compliance with the DCGLs using a FSS, would be applied during both 
phases.
    The NRC staff evaluated the appropriateness of the postulated 
exposure scenarios and the methodology used for deriving the DCGLs. The 
staff has concluded that any potential radiation exposures from 
residual radioactivity that would be present after license termination 
has not been underestimated by SMUD and that such exposure levels are 
protective of the general public.
    The SMUD plan would use a series of surveys and the FSS to 
demonstrate compliance with the radiological release criteria 
consistent with the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site 
Investigation Manual (NRC, 2000). As identified in previous sections of 
this document, planning for the FSS involves an iterative process that 
requires appropriate site characterization (on the basis of the 
potential residual radionuclide concentration levels relative to the 
DCGLs) and formal planning. SMUD has committed to an integrated design 
that would address the selection of appropriate survey and laboratory 
instrumentation and procedures, including a statistically-based 
measurement and sampling plan for collecting and evaluating the data 
needed for the FSS. The staff has determined that the sampling strategy 
and survey data evaluation methodology presented in the LTP are 
adequate. Provided that the DCGLs are demonstrated through FSS, there 
would be no anticipated adverse impacts to human health from approval 
of license termination, as described in the final rule ``Radiological 
Criteria for License Termination'' (62 FR 39058).

4.4 Cumulative Impacts

    The NRC approval of the SMUD Rancho Seco LTP (the proposed action), 
when combined with known effects on notable resources at the site, is 
not anticipated to result in any cumulative impacts. Rather, 
decommissioning and remediation of the Rancho Seco site, resulting in 
the release of the site for future unrestricted use, would reduce the 
opportunity for potential negative cumulative impacts.

5.0 Agencies and Persons Consulted and Sources Used

    The NRC staff prepared this EA with consultation from the State of 
California Office of Historic Preservation. The NRC began the 
consultation by letter dated October 30, 2006 (NRC, 2006b). The State 
Historic Preservation Officer responded in a letter dated February 15, 
2007 (Donaldson, 2007), with clarifying questions, information 
requests, and considerations. The NRC responded with the requested 
information and clarification by letter dated March 12, 2007 (NRC, 
2007a). Based on a review of this letter, the Historic Preservation 
Officer's representative suggested that the NRC further evaluate 
whether or not its action on the LTP is an undertaking (as defined in 
36 CFR Part 800, ``Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties''). 
The NRC conducted the evaluation and provided the determination that 
the action is not an undertaking to the State Historic Preservation 
Officer in a letter dated March 16, 2007 (NRC, 2007b). The 
representative agreed to mutually conclude the consultation. Therefore, 
the NRC has complied with Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act on this matter.
    The NRC staff has determined, based on the scope of this action, 
that the proposed action will not affect listed species or critical 
habitat. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 
of the Endangered Species Act.
    The staff provided a draft of this EA to the State of California 
Radiological Health Branch (the Branch) for review by letter dated 
April 25, 2007 (NRC, 2007c), including a request for comments within 30 
days. The request was also forwarded electronically to a Branch contact 
person. During the week

[[Page 63210]]

of June, 11, 2007, the NRC staff followed-up with the Branch to 
determine if the Branch had any plans to comment. The Branch 
representative indicated that he may not be forwarding any comments. 
Subsequently, the Branch representative replied electronically on July 
3, 2007, and stated that the Branch did not have any comments (CA RHB, 
2007).

6.0 Conclusion

    The NRC has prepared this EA to evaluate the environmental impact 
of issuing a license amendment to Facility Operating License No. 50-
321, that would approve the SMUD LTP. On the basis of this EA, the NRC 
staff concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts and 
the license amendment does not warrant the preparation of an 
environmental impact statement. Accordingly, the NRC staff recommends a 
finding of no significant impact determination for this action.

7.0 List of Preparers

A. Gray, Systems Performance Analyst, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, dose assessment and human health evaluation.
N. Haggerty, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, environmental issues and endangered and 
threatened species evaluation.
J. Peckenpaugh, Hydrologist, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, surface water and ground water evaluation.
J. Webb, Health Physicist, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, FSS and radiation contamination evaluation.
S. Woods, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, environmental issues.

8.0 List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

ADAMS Agencywide Documents Access and Management System
ALARA as low as is reasonably achievable
bgs below ground surface
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DCGL derived concentration guideline limit
EA environmental assessment
FR Federal Register
FSS final status survey
IOSB interim onsite storage building
ISFSI independent spent fuel storage installation
km kilometer
LTP license termination plan
mrem millirem
mSv millisievert
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act
NRC U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
PSDAR postshutdown decommissioning activities report
RAI request for additional information
SER safety evaluation report
SMUD Sacramento Municipal Utility District
TEDE total effective dose equivalent
yr year

9.0 References

10 CFR Part 20. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ``Energy,'' 
Part 20, ``Standards for Protection Against Radiation.''
10 CFR Part 50. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ``Energy,'' 
Part 50, ``Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization 
Facilities.''
10 CFR Part 61. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ``Energy,'' 
Part 61, ``Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive 
Waste.''
10 CFR Part 72. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, ``Energy,'' 
Part 72, ``Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of 
Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and Reactor-
Related Greater Than Class C Waste.''
36 CFR Part 800. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, ``Parks, 
Forests, and Public Property,'' Part 800, ``Protection of Historic 
and Cultural Properties.''
61 FR 39278. ``Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors.'' Federal 
Register. July 29, 1996.
62 FR 39058. ``Radiological Criteria for License Termination. Final 
Rule.'' Federal Register. July 21, 1997.
CA RHB, 2007. ``E-Mail from Steve Hsu, California Department of 
Public Health, Radiological Health Branch (RHB), to John Hickman, 
NRC, stating that the RHB had no comments on the EA for the LTP.'' 
July 3, 2007. ADAMS Accession No. ML072000415.
Donaldson, 2007. ``Re: Section 106 Consultation for Rancho Seco 
Nuclear Generating Station License Termination Plan, Sacramento 
County, CA.'' February 15, 2007. Letter (NRC061102A) to J. Davis, 
NRC, from M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer of the 
State of California, Office of Historic Preservation. Sacramento, 
CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML070610480.
NRC, 1986. ``Evaluation of Radioactive Liquid Effluent Releases from 
the Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant.'' March 1986. NUREG/CR-4286. 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC.
NRC, 1988. ``Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the 
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities.'' August 1988. U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC.
NRC, 1989a. ``Summary of August 29, 1989 Public Meeting to Discuss 
the Status of the Rancho Seco Closure.'' September 12, 1989. 
Memorandum from S. A. Reynolds, NRC/DRP, to Distribution. 
Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. LL8909210135.
NRC, 1995. ``Order Approving the Decommissioning Plan and 
Authorizing Decommissioning of Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating 
Station and Approval of the Decommissioning Funding Plan (TAC No. 
M80518).'' March 20, 1994. Letter to J.R. Shetler, SMUD, from R.F. 
Dudley, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. LL9503240358.
NRC, 2000. ``Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation 
Manual (MARSSIM).'' August 2000. NUREG-1575, Rev. 1. U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC.
NRC, 2002. ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the 
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities. Supplement Dealing with 
Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors.'' November 2002. NUREG-
0586, Suppl. 1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC.
NRC, 2005. ``U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Docket No. 72-11 
Sacramento Municipal Utility District Issuance of Environmental 
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Regarding an 
Amendment.'' March 24, 2005. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. 
ML050830420.
NRC, 2006a. ``Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance: 
Characterization, Survey, and Determination of Radiological 
Criteria, Volume 2.'' September 2006. NUREG-1757, Rev. 1. U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC.
NRC, 2006b. ``Request for Comments Regarding Cultural and Historic 
Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station License 
Termination Plan (TAC No. L52668).'' October 30, 2006. Letter to M. 
Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the State of 
California, from J. Davis, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. 
ML062860613.
NRC, 2007a. ``Response to Requested Information Regarding Cultural 
and Historic Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating 
Station License Termination Plan (TAC No. L52668).'' March 12, 2007. 
Letter to M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the 
State of California, from G. Suber, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS 
Accession No. ML070680169.
NRC, 2007b. ``Follow-Up to Letter and Phone Discussion Regarding 
Cultural and Historic Resources for the Rancho Seco Nuclear 
Generating Station License Termination Plan.'' March 16, 2007. 
Letter to M. Donaldson, State Historic Preservation Officer for the 
State of California, from G. Suber, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS 
Accession No. ML070750080.
NRC, 2007c. ``Draft Environmental Assessment Related to the License 
Termination Plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station.'' 
April 25, 2007. Letter to Ed Bailey, Radiation Program Director, 
Radiological Health Board, State Department of Health Services, from 
J. Hickman, NRC. Washington, DC. ADAMS Accession No. ML071100166.
SMUD, 1991. ``Proposed Decommissioning Plan.'' May 20, 1991. Letter 
to S. Weiss,

[[Page 63211]]

NRC, from D. Keuter, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, 
CA. ADAMS Accession No. LL9106030039.
SMUD, 1997. ``Rancho Seco Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities 
Report.'' March 20, 1997. Letter (MPC&D) to NRC Document Control 
Desk from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. 
Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. LL9704210009.
SMUD, 2006a. ``Rancho Seco License Amendment Request and License 
Termination Plan, Revision 0.'' April 12, 2006. Letter (MPC&D 06-
035) to NRC Document Control Desk from M. Bua, Rancho Seco Nuclear 
Generating Station. Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML061430211.
SMUD, 2006b. ``Rancho Seco Historical Site Assessment, Revision 1.'' 
August 3, 2006. Letter (NQA 06-028) to NRC Document Control Desk 
from R. Jones, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. 
ADAMS Accession No. ML062220351.
SMUD, 2006c. ``Rancho Seco Groundwater Monitoring Report.'' 
September 6, 2006. Letter (NQA 06-035) to NRC Document Control Desk 
from R. Jones, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. 
ADAMS Accession No. ML062980500.
SMUD, 2006d. ``Response to NRC Request for Additional Information.'' 
November 21, 2006. Letter (MPC&D 06-115) to NRC Document Control 
Desk from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. 
Herald, CA. ADAMS Accession No. ML063330062.
SMUD, 2007. ``Response to NRC Request for Additional Information.'' 
April 2, 2007. Letter (MPC&D 07-028) to NRC Document Control Desk 
from S. Redeker, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Herald, CA. 
ADAMS Accession No. ML071000434.
U.S. Census Bureau, 2006. ``2005 American Community Survey.''
URS Corporation, 2006a. ``Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station 
Groundwater Monitoring Report. Revision 0.'' Prepared for the 
Sacramento Municipal Utility District. ADAMS Accession No. 
ML062980500.
URS Corporation, 2006b. ``Hydrogeological Characterization of the 
Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station. Revision 1.'' Prepared for 
the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. ADAMS Accession No. 
ML060810160.

II. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of this EA, the NRC has concluded that approval of the 
license termination plan for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station 
will not result in significant environmental impacts, and that the 
license termination does not warrant the preparation of an 
environmental impact statement. Accordingly, it has been determined 
that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate.

III. Further Information

    Documents related to this action are available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-
rm.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's Agency Wide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image 
files of NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for the 
documents related to this notice are identified in the reference 
section of the EA. If you do not have access to ADAMS, or if there are 
problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC 
Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-
415-4737, or by electronic mailing at pdr@nrc.gov.
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR at One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction 
contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of November, 2007.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Keith I. McConnell,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
 [FR Doc. E7-21924 Filed 11-7-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P