Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Exemption, 33858-33859 [E8-13321]

Download as PDF 33858 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 115 / Friday, June 13, 2008 / Notices rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC’s Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. The documents related to this action are listed below, along with their ADAMS accession numbers: 1. Shannon L. Gleason, Ph.D., Bayer HealthCare, letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region III, dated October 23, 2006 (ML062970437); 2. Certificate of Disposition of Materials, dated November 31, 2007, signed by Shannon L. Gleason, Ph.D. (ML073050274); 3. Bayer HealthCare, LLC, Report No. 2007006/G4349, ‘‘Final Status Report for Selected Laboratories in Building 18’’ (ML081400331); 4. Bayer HealthCare, LLC, Report No. 2007006/G–4351, ‘‘Historical Site Assessment for the Elkhart, Indiana Facility’’ (ML081400331); 5. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, Subpart E, ‘‘Radiological Criteria for License Termination’’; 6. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51, ‘‘Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions’’; 7. NUREG–1496, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRCLicensed Nuclear Facilities’’; 8. NUREG–1757 Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance. 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, 301– 415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC’s PDR, O 1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee. Dated at Lisle, Illinois, this 5th day of June 2008. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Christine A. Lipa, Chief, Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region III. [FR Doc. E8–13327 Filed 6–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Jun 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–293] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Exemption 1.0 Background Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee) is the holder of Facility Operating License No. DPR–35, which authorizes operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Pilgrim). The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of a boiling-water reactor located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. 2.0 Request/Action Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 50, § 50.75(f)(3), requires that ‘‘Each power reactor licensee shall at or about 5 years prior to the projected end of operations submit a preliminary decommissioning cost estimate which includes an up-todate assessment of the major factors that could affect the cost to decommission.’’ Section 50.75(f)(5) requires a licensee at the same time to include, if necessary, plans to adjust funding levels to demonstrate a reasonable level of financial assurance, that funds will be available when needed for decommissioning. The current operating licensee expires on June 8, 2012. In summary, by letter dated February 28, 2008, Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) accession number ML081000176, Entergy requested an exemption to the schedule requirement of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3) to allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim site-specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating license. The exemption request applies to the timing of the submission of the preliminary cost estimate and did not request an exemption from any of the information requirements of the regulation. 3.0 Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 when (1) the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and (2) when special circumstances are present. One of these special circumstances, described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), is that the application of the regulation is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. As documented in the Decommissioning Considerations for 1991 Rules and Regulations, the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3) is to provide a preliminary decommissioning plan, a cost estimate for implementing the plan, and any changes in funding necessary to ensure that there will be sufficient funds for decommissioning. The NRC staff reviewed the licensee’s evaluation in support of the subject exemption request. Entergy submitted the decommissioning funding status report for Pilgrim on March 26, 2008. The NRC staff calculated Pilgrim’s required minimum funding assurance based on the formula under 10 CFR 50.75. The trust fund balances to the midpoint of decommissioning (December 2015), as effectively allowed under NRC regulations, was also calculated by applying a 2 percent real rate of return. Based on the formula amount, the Pilgrim decommissioning trust fund has an excess of $125 million as of December 31, 2007, and will have an excess of more than $200 million by the time of expiration of the license. Entergy submitted a license renewal application (LRA) for Pilgrim on January 25, 2006, which was approximately 6.5 years prior to the expiration date of the operating license for Pilgrim Station. In connection with the LRA, the final supplemental environmental impact statement was issued on July 27, 2007, and the safety evaluation report for the LRA was issued on June 28, 2007. Subsequently, the safety evaluation report was issued as NUREG–1891 on November 30, 2007. Although the licensee stated that the review of the LRA and milestones achieved constitute ‘‘a clear indication’’ that the LRA will be granted, the NRC does not agree. Entergy’s exemption request essentially relies on the fact that its LRA is pending before the NRC, certain milestones have been met, and that Entergy anticipates the NRC will render a final decision on the LRA on or about August 1, 2008. Entergy cites selected language from the statement of considerations for the proposed rule for license renewal, as well as language from the statement of considerations for the final license renewal rule, to support its exemption request. Entergy argues that the level of review, thus far, on the E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 115 / Friday, June 13, 2008 / Notices LRA and the achievement of certain milestones ‘‘represent a clear indication that the Pilgrim LRA would be ultimately approved.’’ Therefore, the Commission should waive the requirement for a preliminary cost estimate, according to Entergy. Entergy further argues that ‘‘approximately four years prior to the expiration date of the current operating license * * * is within interpretation of the regulation’’ requiring a preliminary cost estimate at or about 5 years prior to the projected end of operations. The NRC does not agree that the review, thus far, of the LRA and milestones achieved constitute ‘‘a clear indication’’ that the LRA will be granted. Moreover, the NRC does not agree that submitting a preliminary cost estimate less than 4 years prior to license expiration is within interpretation of the requirements of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3).1 Therefore, based on the arguments presented by Entergy, an exemption is not warranted. However, the NRC has considered the current funding levels of Pilgrim’s decommissioning trust and the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3). Moreover, the NRC staff is not aware of any information indicating that the preliminary decommissioning cost estimate for Pilgrim is likely to be higher than the current minimum formula amount to such a degree that a problematic underfunding situation will exist that would require a full 5-year period to rectify. Authorized by Law rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES This exemption would allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim site-specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating license. As stated in Section 3.0 above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50. The NRC staff has determined that granting of the licensee’s proposed exemption will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission’s regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law. 1 If Entergy believes that submitting a preliminary cost estimate less than 4 years prior to the date of license expiration is ‘‘within interpretation of the regulation,’’ then it is not clear why Entergy has filed this exemption request. The NRC staff notes that Entergy has not claimed that the ‘‘projected end of operations’’ unexpectedly moved to an earlier date as a result in change of circumstance (for example, early permanent shutdown), thus resulting in a period of time spent to submit a preliminary cost estimate well short of the 5 years. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:18 Jun 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 No Undue Risk To Public Health And Safety The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3), is to ensure that all power reactor licensees maintain minimum decommissioning funding assurance that a facility will be able to decontaminate to NRC standards before a license is terminated. The exemption request applies to the timing of the submission of the preliminary cost estimate and did not request an exemption from any of the information requirements of the regulation. Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by allowing Entergy to submit the Pilgrim sitespecific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating license. Similarly, the probability of postulated accidents is not increased. Therefore, there is no undue risk (since risk is probability multiplied by consequences) to public health and safety. Consistent With Common Defense And Security The proposed exemption would allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim sitespecific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating license. This change to the plant requirements for the preliminary decommissioning cost estimate submittal has no relation to security issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by this exemption. Special Circumstances One of the special circumstances, described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), is that the application of the regulation is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3), is to ensure that all power reactor licensees maintain minimum decommissioning funding assurance that a facility will be able to decontaminate to NRC standards before a license is terminated. The NRC staff finds that the preliminary decommissioning cost estimate for Pilgrim is not likely to be higher than the current minimum formula amount to such a degree that a problematic underfunding situation will exist that would require a full 5-year period to rectify. Based upon consideration of the information in the licensee’s submittal, the NRC staff concludes that this exemption meets the underlying purpose of the rule. PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33859 4.0 Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a), the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common defense and security. In addition, a special circumstance is present such that the application of the regulation in these particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Entergy a schedule exemption from the requirement of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3) to submit the Pilgrim site-specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment (73 FR32607). This exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2008. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Timothy McGinty, Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. E8–13321 Filed 6–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [EA–08–033] In the Matter of; Certain Panoramic and Underwater Irradiators Authorized To Possess Greater Than 370 Terabecquerels 10,000 Curies Byproduct Material in the Form of Sealed Sources Order Imposing Compensatory Measures (Effective Immediately) I The Licensees identified in Attachment 1 to this Order hold licenses issued in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and 10 CFR Part 36 or comparable Agreement State regulations by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) or an Agreement State authorizing possession of greater than 370 terabecquerels (10,000 curies) of byproduct material in the form of sealed sources either in panoramic irradiators that have dry or wet storage of the sealed sources or in underwater irradiators in which both the source and the product being irradiated are under E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 115 (Friday, June 13, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33858-33859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-13321]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-293]


Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station 
Exemption

1.0 Background

    Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee) is the 
holder of Facility Operating License No. DPR-35, which authorizes 
operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (Pilgrim). The license 
provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all 
rules, regulations, and orders of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC or the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    The facility consists of a boiling-water reactor located in 
Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

2.0 Request/Action

    Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Part 50, 
Sec.  50.75(f)(3), requires that ``Each power reactor licensee shall at 
or about 5 years prior to the projected end of operations submit a 
preliminary decommissioning cost estimate which includes an up-to-date 
assessment of the major factors that could affect the cost to 
decommission.'' Section 50.75(f)(5) requires a licensee at the same 
time to include, if necessary, plans to adjust funding levels to 
demonstrate a reasonable level of financial assurance, that funds will 
be available when needed for decommissioning. The current operating 
licensee expires on June 8, 2012.
    In summary, by letter dated February 28, 2008, Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS) accession number ML081000176, 
Entergy requested an exemption to the schedule requirement of 10 CFR 
50.75(f)(3) to allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim site-specific 
preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years 
from the date of the expiration of the operating license. The exemption 
request applies to the timing of the submission of the preliminary cost 
estimate and did not request an exemption from any of the information 
requirements of the regulation.

3.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 when (1) the exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) when special circumstances are present. One of these special 
circumstances, described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), is that the 
application of the regulation is not necessary to achieve the 
underlying purpose of the rule.
    As documented in the Decommissioning Considerations for 1991 Rules 
and Regulations, the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3) is to 
provide a preliminary decommissioning plan, a cost estimate for 
implementing the plan, and any changes in funding necessary to ensure 
that there will be sufficient funds for decommissioning.
    The NRC staff reviewed the licensee's evaluation in support of the 
subject exemption request. Entergy submitted the decommissioning 
funding status report for Pilgrim on March 26, 2008. The NRC staff 
calculated Pilgrim's required minimum funding assurance based on the 
formula under 10 CFR 50.75. The trust fund balances to the midpoint of 
decommissioning (December 2015), as effectively allowed under NRC 
regulations, was also calculated by applying a 2 percent real rate of 
return. Based on the formula amount, the Pilgrim decommissioning trust 
fund has an excess of $125 million as of December 31, 2007, and will 
have an excess of more than $200 million by the time of expiration of 
the license.
    Entergy submitted a license renewal application (LRA) for Pilgrim 
on January 25, 2006, which was approximately 6.5 years prior to the 
expiration date of the operating license for Pilgrim Station. In 
connection with the LRA, the final supplemental environmental impact 
statement was issued on July 27, 2007, and the safety evaluation report 
for the LRA was issued on June 28, 2007. Subsequently, the safety 
evaluation report was issued as NUREG-1891 on November 30, 2007. 
Although the licensee stated that the review of the LRA and milestones 
achieved constitute ``a clear indication'' that the LRA will be 
granted, the NRC does not agree.
    Entergy's exemption request essentially relies on the fact that its 
LRA is pending before the NRC, certain milestones have been met, and 
that Entergy anticipates the NRC will render a final decision on the 
LRA on or about August 1, 2008. Entergy cites selected language from 
the statement of considerations for the proposed rule for license 
renewal, as well as language from the statement of considerations for 
the final license renewal rule, to support its exemption request. 
Entergy argues that the level of review, thus far, on the

[[Page 33859]]

LRA and the achievement of certain milestones ``represent a clear 
indication that the Pilgrim LRA would be ultimately approved.'' 
Therefore, the Commission should waive the requirement for a 
preliminary cost estimate, according to Entergy. Entergy further argues 
that ``approximately four years prior to the expiration date of the 
current operating license * * * is within interpretation of the 
regulation'' requiring a preliminary cost estimate at or about 5 years 
prior to the projected end of operations.
    The NRC does not agree that the review, thus far, of the LRA and 
milestones achieved constitute ``a clear indication'' that the LRA will 
be granted. Moreover, the NRC does not agree that submitting a 
preliminary cost estimate less than 4 years prior to license expiration 
is within interpretation of the requirements of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3).\1\ 
Therefore, based on the arguments presented by Entergy, an exemption is 
not warranted.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ If Entergy believes that submitting a preliminary cost 
estimate less than 4 years prior to the date of license expiration 
is ``within interpretation of the regulation,'' then it is not clear 
why Entergy has filed this exemption request. The NRC staff notes 
that Entergy has not claimed that the ``projected end of 
operations'' unexpectedly moved to an earlier date as a result in 
change of circumstance (for example, early permanent shutdown), thus 
resulting in a period of time spent to submit a preliminary cost 
estimate well short of the 5 years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    However, the NRC has considered the current funding levels of 
Pilgrim's decommissioning trust and the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 
50.75(f)(3). Moreover, the NRC staff is not aware of any information 
indicating that the preliminary decommissioning cost estimate for 
Pilgrim is likely to be higher than the current minimum formula amount 
to such a degree that a problematic underfunding situation will exist 
that would require a full 5-year period to rectify.

Authorized by Law

    This exemption would allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim site-
specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less 
than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating license. 
As stated in Section 3.0 above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant 
exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50. The NRC staff has 
determined that granting of the licensee's proposed exemption will not 
result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or 
the Commission's regulations. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by 
law.

No Undue Risk To Public Health And Safety

    The underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3), is to ensure that all 
power reactor licensees maintain minimum decommissioning funding 
assurance that a facility will be able to decontaminate to NRC 
standards before a license is terminated. The exemption request applies 
to the timing of the submission of the preliminary cost estimate and 
did not request an exemption from any of the information requirements 
of the regulation.
    Based on the above, no new accident precursors are created by 
allowing Entergy to submit the Pilgrim site-specific preliminary cost 
estimate by August 1, 2008, which is less than 4 years from the date of 
the expiration of the operating license. Similarly, the probability of 
postulated accidents is not increased. Therefore, there is no undue 
risk (since risk is probability multiplied by consequences) to public 
health and safety.

Consistent With Common Defense And Security

    The proposed exemption would allow Entergy to submit the Pilgrim 
site-specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008, which is 
less than 4 years from the date of the expiration of the operating 
license. This change to the plant requirements for the preliminary 
decommissioning cost estimate submittal has no relation to security 
issues. Therefore, the common defense and security is not impacted by 
this exemption.

Special Circumstances

    One of the special circumstances, described in 10 CFR 
50.12(a)(2)(ii), is that the application of the regulation is not 
necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The underlying 
purpose of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3), is to ensure that all power reactor 
licensees maintain minimum decommissioning funding assurance that a 
facility will be able to decontaminate to NRC standards before a 
license is terminated. The NRC staff finds that the preliminary 
decommissioning cost estimate for Pilgrim is not likely to be higher 
than the current minimum formula amount to such a degree that a 
problematic underfunding situation will exist that would require a full 
5-year period to rectify.
    Based upon consideration of the information in the licensee's 
submittal, the NRC staff concludes that this exemption meets the 
underlying purpose of the rule.

4.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12(a), the exemption is authorized by law, will not present an undue 
risk to the public health and safety, and is consistent with the common 
defense and security. In addition, a special circumstance is present 
such that the application of the regulation in these particular 
circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the 
rule. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Entergy a schedule 
exemption from the requirement of 10 CFR 50.75(f)(3) to submit the 
Pilgrim site-specific preliminary cost estimate by August 1, 2008.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, the Commission has determined that the 
granting of this exemption will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment (73 FR32607).
    This exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2008.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Timothy McGinty,
Acting Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of 
Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E8-13321 Filed 6-12-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P