Yankee Atomic Electric Company, Yankee Nuclear Power Station, 45984-45987 [2013-18252]

Download as PDF pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 45984 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 146 / Tuesday, July 30, 2013 / Notices information regarding this document. You may access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2013–0033. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–287–3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sabrina Atack, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–287–9075; email Sabrina.Atack@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In response to the Commission’s direction in the staff requirements memorandum (SRM) for SECY–10–0031 (ADAMS Accession No. ML102170054), the NRC staff revised Section 2.3.2. of the NRC Enforcement Policy to disposition Severity Level IV violations for fuel cycle facilities as non-cited violations if the NRC determines that the licensee’s CAP is effective, the licensee enters the violation in its CAP, and other criteria are met, as delineated in Section 2.3.2 of the NRC Enforcement Policy. As part of its response to the SRM, the NRC staff also developed draft NUREG–2154, ‘‘Acceptability of Corrective Action Programs for Fuel Cycle Facilities’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML13036A029). The intent of the draft NUREG was to provide guidance to NRC staff on how to determine, based on a licensee’s CAP licensing submittal, that a CAP is VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:32 Jul 29, 2013 Jkt 229001 acceptable. The NRC staff issued draft NUREG–2154 for public comment on February 20, 2013 (78 FR 11903). By letter dated April 22, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13133A219), the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) provided comments on draft NUREG– 2154. In the letter and its attachment, NEI suggested that the NRC consider converting the draft NUREG to a RG since RGs are typically the primary source of information for licensees and applicants filing for a license or requesting a licensing action. Further, during an April 11, 2013, public meeting held in Atlanta, GA (ADAMS Accession No. ML13113A251), members of industry identified that the burden of implementing a CAP could be eased if applicants and licensees were able to commit to a set of CAP requirements rather than undertake the process of submitting a written CAP for NRC review and approval. The comment resolution table that describes the NRC staff’s resolution of the comments and recommendations related to draft NUREG–2154 is available for public review in ADAMS under Accession No. ML13158A143. Based on the review of public comment submissions and feedback at public meetings, the NRC has decided to withdraw draft NUREG–2154 and to identify the elements of an acceptable fuel cycle facility CAP in a draft RG. The NRC staff has determined that a RG can effectively describe measures for establishing a CAP that is adequate to support the application of the provisions of Section 2.3.2 of the NRC Enforcement Policy (ADAMS Accession No. ML12340A295) by fuel cycle facilities. This approach will minimize the burden to licensees who wish to implement a CAP by streamlining the licensing actions associated with incorporating CAP commitments into the license. Licensees will be able to submit a simple license amendment request committing to comply with the RG and implementing documents established thereto rather than submitting a detailed CAP description for NRC review and approval. The draft RG, DG–3044, ‘‘Corrective Action Programs for Fuel Cycle Facilities,’’ will be issued for public comment in a forthcoming Federal Register Notice. Proposed Action By this action, the NRC is withdrawing draft NUREG–2154. The guidance contained in the draft NUREG will be reissued in the form of a draft regulatory guide (DG–3044, ‘‘Corrective Action Programs for Fuel Cycle Facilities’’). PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of July 2013. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Michael X. Franovich, Chief, Programmatic Oversight and Regional Support Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2013–18251 Filed 7–29–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos.: 50–029 and 72–31; NRC– 2013–0165] Yankee Atomic Electric Company, Yankee Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final rule amending certain emergency planning (EP) requirements in the regulations that govern domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities (November 23, 2011; 76 FR 72560) (EP Final Rule). The EP Final Rule was effective on December 23, 2011, with various implementation dates for each of the rule changes. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Goshen, Project Manager, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–287–9250, email: john.goshen@nrc.gov. SUMMARY: 1.0 Introduction The Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC) is the holder of Possession-Only License DPR–3 for the Yankee Nuclear Power Station (YNPS) facility. The license, issued pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), allows YAEC to possess and store spent nuclear fuel at the permanently shutdown and decommissioned facility under the provision of 10 CFR part 72, Subpart K, ‘‘General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites.’’ In a letter dated February 27, 1992, (Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS) Legacy Accession No. 9203020228), the YAEC informed the NRC that the YNPS had permanently ceased power operations, removed fuel from the reactor to the fuel pool and began to develop detailed plans to decommission the facility. By NRC E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 146 / Tuesday, July 30, 2013 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES letter of August 5, 1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9208110135), License DPR–3 was modified to a Possession-Only License. After ceasing operations at the reactor, the YAEC began transferring spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool to the YNPS Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) for long term dry storage. The YNPS ISFSI is a vertical dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel. On June 19, 2012, the YAEC submitted a letter, ‘‘Request for Exemption to Revised Emergency Planning Regulations’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML121810053), requesting exemption from specific EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47 and Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 for the YNPS ISFSI. The YAEC states that this exemption request and its impact on the corresponding emergency plan: (1) Is authorized by law, (2) will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety; and (3) is consistent with the common defense and security in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12. The YAEC states that its intent in submitting this exemption request is to maintain the regulatory structure in place prior to the issuance of the EP Final Rule and, therefore, does not propose any changes to the Emergency Plan or implementing procedures other than simple regulatory reference changes that can be implemented under 10 CFR 50.54(q). 2.0 Discussion On July 2, 1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9207070401), the YAEC requested an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR 50.54(q) that required emergency plans to meet all of the standards of 10 CFR 50.47(b) and all of the requirements of Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50 so that the licensee would have to meet only certain EP standards and requirements. Additionally, the YAEC requested approval of a proposed YNPS Defueled Emergency Plan (DEP) that proposed to meet those limited standards and requirements. The NRC approved the requested exemption and the DEP on October 30, 1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9211050354). The Safety Evaluation Report (SER) established EP requirements for the YAEC as documented in the DEP. The NRC staff concluded that the licensee’s emergency plan was acceptable in view of the greatly reduced offsite radiological consequences associated with the defueled condition of the reactor with spent nuclear fuel in storage in the spent fuel pool. The staff found that the postulated dose to the general public VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:32 Jul 29, 2013 Jkt 229001 from any reasonably conceivable accident would not exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Protective Action Guides (PAGs), and for the bounding accident, the length of time available to respond to a loss of spent fuel cooling or reduction in water level gave confidence that offsite measures for the public could be taken without preparation. The YAEC revised the DEP to incorporate plans for responding to emergencies that may arise during transfer of spent nuclear fuel and greater than Class C (GTCC) waste into dry storage at the YNPS ISFSI and submitted these revisions to the NRC through Revision 10 to the YAEC DEP on April 10, 2002, (ADAMS Accession No. ML021070683 1). According to YAEC, it had placed all spent nuclear fuel into dry storage at YNP ISFSI as of May, 2003, (ADAMS Accession No. ML031750537). On March 8, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML050740396 1), YAEC revised the YAEC DEP under 10 CFR 50.54(q) to reflect that all spent nuclear fuel had been transferred into the ISFSI, the Spent Fuel Pit was drained, no significant radiological source term remained on site, and no emergency action levels could be met or exceeded outside of the ISFSI. Therefore, the licensee eliminated all portions of the DEP not related to the ISFSI and transitioned the emergency plan to an ISFSI emergency plan. The ISFSI emergency plan reflects the emergency preparedness and response requirements applicable to the YAEC in light of the exemption granted in 1992. The basis for those exemptions has not changed since the exemptions were granted in 1992; therefore the YAEC continues to be exempt from the EP requirements for which the NRC previously granted exemptions. The current YAEC Emergency Plan for the ISFSI provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency at the YR ISFSI for the same reasons that the NRC found that the DEP met the applicable EP requirements in 1992. Since the NRC issued the approval and SER for the original YR DEP, the YAEC has not requested nor received substantive exemptions from emergency planning requirements. Revision 17 of the YNPS Emergency Plan, dated October 31, 2012, (ADAMS Accession No. ML12321A053 1) reflects the current conditions, where only the 1 Document contains sensitive security related information and is not publically available. PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45985 ISFSI and its related support systems, structures, and components remain. With the EP Final Rule, several requirements in 10 CFR Part 50 were modified or added, including changes in sections 50.47, and 50.54, and Appendix E. Specific implementation dates were provided for each EP rule change. The EP Final Rule codified certain voluntary protective measures contained in NRC Bulletin 2005–02, ‘‘Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for Security-Based Events,’’ and generically applicable requirements similar to those previously imposed by NRC Order EA–02–026, ‘‘Order for Interim Safeguards and Security Compensatory Measures,’’ dated February 25, 2002. In addition, the EP Final Rule amended other licensee emergency plan requirements to: (1) Enhance the ability of licensees in preparing for and in taking certain protective actions in the event of a radiological emergency; (2) address, in part, security issues identified after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001; (3) clarify regulations to effect consistent emergency plan implementation among licensees; and (4) modify certain EP requirements to be more effective and efficient. However, the EP Final Rule was only an enhancement to the NRC’s regulations and was not necessary for adequate protection. On page 76 FR 72563 of the Federal Register notice for the EP Final Rule, the Commission ‘‘determined that the existing regulatory structure ensures adequate protection of public health and safety and common defense and security.’’ 3.0 Regulatory Evaluation In the Final Rule for Storage of Spent Fuel in NRC-Approved Storage Casks at Power Reactor Sites (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990), the NRC amended its regulations to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license on the site of any nuclear power reactor. In its Statement of Considerations (SOC) for the Final Rule (55 FR 29185), the Commission responded to comments related to emergency preparedness for spent fuel dry storage, stating, ‘‘The new 10 CFR 72.32(c) . . . states that, ‘For an ISFSI that is located on the site of a nuclear power reactor licensed for operation by the Commission, the emergency plan required by 10 CFR 50.47 shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of this Section.’ One condition of the general license is that the reactor licensee must review the reactor emergency plan and modify it as necessary to cover dry cask storage and related activities. If the emergency plan E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 45986 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 146 / Tuesday, July 30, 2013 / Notices pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES is in compliance with 10 CFR 50.47, then it is in compliance with the Commission’s regulations with respect to dry cask storage.’’ In the SOC for the Final Rule for EP requirements for ISFSIs and Monitored Retrievable Storage Installation (MRS) (60 FR 32430; June 22, 1995), the Commission stated, in part, that ‘‘current reactor emergency plans cover all at-or near reactor ISFSI’s. An ISFSI that is to be licensed for a stand-alone operation will need an emergency plan established in accordance with the requirements in this rulemaking’’ (60 FR 32431). The Commission responded to comments (60 FR 32435) concerning offsite emergency planning for ISFSIs or an MRS and concluded that ‘‘the offsite consequences of potential accidents at an ISFSI or a MRS would not warrant establishing Emergency Planning Zones.’’ As part of the review for YAEC’s current exemption request, the staff also used the EP regulations in 10 CFR 72.32 and Spent Fuel Project Office Interim Staff Guidance (ISG)—16, ‘‘Emergency Planning,’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML003724570) as references to ensure consistency between specific-licensed and general-licensed ISFSIs. 4.0 Technical Evaluation 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. The staff reviewed this request to determine whether the specific exemptions should be granted, and the staff evaluation (SE) is provided in its letter to YAEC, dated May 7, 2013, (ADAMS Accession No. ML13121A560). After evaluating the exemption requests, the staff determined that the YAEC should be granted the exemptions detailed in the SE. The NRC has found that the YAEC meets the criteria for an exemption in 10 CFR 50.12. The NRC has determined that granting the 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. As noted in Section 2.0, ‘‘Discussion,’’ above, the YAEC’s compliance with the EP requirements that were in effect before the effective date of the EP Final Rule demonstrated reasonable assurance of adequate protection of public health VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:32 Jul 29, 2013 Jkt 229001 and safety and common defense and security. In its SE., the NRC staff explains that the YAEC’s implementation of its Emergency Plan, with the exemptions, will continue to provide this reasonable assurance of adequate protection. Thus, granting the exemptions will not present an undue risk to public health or safety and is not inconsistent with the common defense and security. For the Commission to grant an exemption, special circumstances must exist. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), special circumstances are present when ‘‘[a]pplication of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.’’ These special circumstances exist here. The NRC has determined that the YAEC’s compliance with the regulations that the staff describes in its SE is not necessary for the licensee to demonstrate that, under its emergency plan, there is reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency. Consequently, special circumstances are present because requiring the YAEC to comply with the regulations that the staff describes in its SE is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the EP regulations. 5.0 Evironmental Assessment (EA) Identification of Proposed Action: By letter dated July 19, 2012, the YAEC submitted a request in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12 for exemption from specific EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47 and Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50 for the YNPS ISFSI. Specifically, the exemption would eliminate unnecessary requirements associated with offsite consequences, protective actions, hostile action and emergency facilities due to the current status of the YNPS ISFSI. Need for the Proposed Action: In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82, the 10 CFR Part 50 licensed area for the YNPS ISFSI has been reduced to a small area surrounding the ISFSI. In this condition, the YNPS ISFSI poses a significantly reduced risk to public health and safety from design basis accidents or credible beyond design basis accidents since these cannot result in radioactive releases which exceed EPA PAGs at the site boundary. Because of this reduced risk, compliance with all the requirements in 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50 Appendix E is not appropriate. The requested exemption from portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50 Appendix E is needed to PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 continue implementation of the YNPS Emergency Plan that is appropriate for a stand-alone ISFSI and is commensurate with the reduced risk posed by the facility. The requested exemption will allow spent fuel storage to continue without imposing burdensome and costly new requirements that provide no increased safety benefit. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: The NRC has determined that, given the continued implementation of the YNPS Emergency Plan, with the exemptions noted in its SE, no credible events would result in doses to the public beyond the owner controlled area boundary that would exceed the EPA PAGs. Additionally, the staff has concluded that the YNPS Emergency Plan, with the exemptions described in its SE, provides for an acceptable level of emergency preparedness at the YNPS facility in its shutdown and defueled conditon, and also provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency at the YNPS facility. Based on these findings, the NRC concludes that there are no radiological environmental impacts due to granting the approval of the exemption. The proposed action will not increase the probability or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types or quantities of effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. The proposed action does not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant nonradiological impacts associated with the proposed action. Based on the assessment above, the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Alternative to the Proposed Action: Since there is no significant environmental impact associated with the proposed action, any alternatives with equal or greater environmental impact are not evaluated. The alternative to the proposed action would be to deny approval of the exemption. This alternative would have the same environmental impact. Finding of No Significant Impact The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR Part 51. Based upon the EA, the NRC finds that the proposed E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 146 / Tuesday, July 30, 2013 / Notices action of granting an exemption will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed exemption. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 6.0 Conclusion The NRC concludes that the licensee’s request for an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b) and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section IV as specified in this SE are acceptable in view of the greatly reduced offsite radiological consequences associated with the ISFSI. The YNPS Emergency Plan has been reviewed against the acceptance criteria included in 10 CFR 50.47, Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50, 10 CFR 72.32 and Interim Staff Guidance—16. The review considered the ISFSI and the low likelihood of any credible accident resulting in radiological releases requiring offsite protective measures. These evaluations were supported by the previously documented licensee and staff accident analyses. The staff concludes that: The YNPS Emergency Plan provides: (1) An adequate basis for an acceptable state of emergency preparedness; and (2) the Emergency Plan, in conjunction with arrangements made with offsite response agencies, provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency at the YNPS facility. The NRC has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the exemptions described in the SE are authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest, and special circumstances are present. 7.0 Further Information Documents related to this action, including the application for renewal and supporting documentation, are available electronically at the NRC’s Electronic Reading Room at http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC’s ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737 or by email to pdr.resource@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, VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:32 Jul 29, 2013 Jkt 229001 MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 17th day of July 2013. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Michele M. Sampson, Chief, Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2013–18252 Filed 7–29–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52–025 and 52–026; NRC– 2008–0252] Vogtle Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4; Southern Nuclear Operating Company; Change to the Primary Sampling System Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption and combined license amendment: issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is granting an exemption to allow a departure from the certification information of Tier 1 of the generic design control document (DCD) and is issuing License Amendment No. 10 to Combined Licenses (COL), NPF– 91 and NPF–92. The COLs were issued to Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., and Georgia Power Company, Oglethorpe Power Corporation, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, and the City of Dalton, Georgia (the licensee); for construction and operation of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP), Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia. The amendment requests to modify the Primary Sampling System (PSS) design, including changes to Tier 1 information located in Tables 2.2.1–2, 2.3.13–1, and 2.3.13–3, Figures 2.2.1–1 ‘‘Containment System’’ and 2.3.13–1 ‘‘Primary Sampling System,’’ and Subsection 2.3.13, ‘‘Primary Sampling System’’ of the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR). The granting of the exemption allows the changes to Tier 1 information asked for in the amendment. Because the acceptability of the exemption was determined in part by the acceptability of the amendment, the exemption and amendment are being issued concurrently. SUMMARY: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2008–0252 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45987 You may access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses and is publicly available, using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2008–0252. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–492–3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The request for the amendment and exemption were submitted by letter dated December 7, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12346A396). The licensee supplemented this request on January 25, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13028A267), and March 29, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13091A056). • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anthony Minarik, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–6185; email: Anthony.Minarik@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The NRC is granting an exemption from Paragraph B of Section III, ‘‘Scope and Contents,’’ of Appendix D, ‘‘Design Certification Rule for the AP1000,’’ to part 52 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) and issuing License Amendment No. 10 to COLs, NPF–91 and NPF–92, to the licensee. The exemption is required by Paragraph A.4 of Section VIII, ‘‘Processes for Changes and Departures,’’ Appendix D to 10 CFR part 52 to allow the licensee to depart from Tier 1 information. With the requested amendment, the licensee E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 146 (Tuesday, July 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45984-45987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18252]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos.: 50-029 and 72-31; NRC-2013-0165]


Yankee Atomic Electric Company, Yankee Nuclear Power Station

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 
issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a final 
rule amending certain emergency planning (EP) requirements in the 
regulations that govern domestic licensing of production and 
utilization facilities (November 23, 2011; 76 FR 72560) (EP Final 
Rule). The EP Final Rule was effective on December 23, 2011, with 
various implementation dates for each of the rule changes.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Goshen, Project Manager, Office 
of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-287-9250, email: 
john.goshen@nrc.gov.

1.0 Introduction

    The Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC) is the holder of 
Possession-Only License DPR-3 for the Yankee Nuclear Power Station 
(YNPS) facility. The license, issued pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act 
of 1954, as amended, and part 50 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), allows YAEC to possess and store spent nuclear 
fuel at the permanently shutdown and decommissioned facility under the 
provision of 10 CFR part 72, Subpart K, ``General License for Storage 
of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites.'' In a letter dated February 27, 
1992, (Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS) Legacy 
Accession No. 9203020228), the YAEC informed the NRC that the YNPS had 
permanently ceased power operations, removed fuel from the reactor to 
the fuel pool and began to develop detailed plans to decommission the 
facility. By NRC

[[Page 45985]]

letter of August 5, 1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9208110135), 
License DPR-3 was modified to a Possession-Only License.
    After ceasing operations at the reactor, the YAEC began 
transferring spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool to the YNPS 
Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) for long term dry 
storage. The YNPS ISFSI is a vertical dry cask storage facility for 
spent nuclear fuel.
    On June 19, 2012, the YAEC submitted a letter, ``Request for 
Exemption to Revised Emergency Planning Regulations'' (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML121810053), requesting exemption from specific EP requirements of 
10 CFR 50.47 and Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 for the YNPS ISFSI.
    The YAEC states that this exemption request and its impact on the 
corresponding emergency plan: (1) Is authorized by law, (2) will not 
present an undue risk to the public health and safety; and (3) is 
consistent with the common defense and security in accordance with 10 
CFR 50.12. The YAEC states that its intent in submitting this exemption 
request is to maintain the regulatory structure in place prior to the 
issuance of the EP Final Rule and, therefore, does not propose any 
changes to the Emergency Plan or implementing procedures other than 
simple regulatory reference changes that can be implemented under 10 
CFR 50.54(q).

2.0 Discussion

    On July 2, 1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9207070401), the YAEC 
requested an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR 50.54(q) that 
required emergency plans to meet all of the standards of 10 CFR 
50.47(b) and all of the requirements of Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50 so 
that the licensee would have to meet only certain EP standards and 
requirements. Additionally, the YAEC requested approval of a proposed 
YNPS Defueled Emergency Plan (DEP) that proposed to meet those limited 
standards and requirements.
    The NRC approved the requested exemption and the DEP on October 30, 
1992, (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9211050354). The Safety Evaluation 
Report (SER) established EP requirements for the YAEC as documented in 
the DEP. The NRC staff concluded that the licensee's emergency plan was 
acceptable in view of the greatly reduced offsite radiological 
consequences associated with the defueled condition of the reactor with 
spent nuclear fuel in storage in the spent fuel pool. The staff found 
that the postulated dose to the general public from any reasonably 
conceivable accident would not exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA) Protective Action Guides (PAGs), and for the bounding 
accident, the length of time available to respond to a loss of spent 
fuel cooling or reduction in water level gave confidence that offsite 
measures for the public could be taken without preparation.
    The YAEC revised the DEP to incorporate plans for responding to 
emergencies that may arise during transfer of spent nuclear fuel and 
greater than Class C (GTCC) waste into dry storage at the YNPS ISFSI 
and submitted these revisions to the NRC through Revision 10 to the 
YAEC DEP on April 10, 2002, (ADAMS Accession No. ML021070683 \1\). 
According to YAEC, it had placed all spent nuclear fuel into dry 
storage at YNP ISFSI as of May, 2003, (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML031750537).
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    \1\ Document contains sensitive security related information and 
is not publically available.
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    On March 8, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML050740396 \1\), YAEC 
revised the YAEC DEP under 10 CFR 50.54(q) to reflect that all spent 
nuclear fuel had been transferred into the ISFSI, the Spent Fuel Pit 
was drained, no significant radiological source term remained on site, 
and no emergency action levels could be met or exceeded outside of the 
ISFSI. Therefore, the licensee eliminated all portions of the DEP not 
related to the ISFSI and transitioned the emergency plan to an ISFSI 
emergency plan. The ISFSI emergency plan reflects the emergency 
preparedness and response requirements applicable to the YAEC in light 
of the exemption granted in 1992. The basis for those exemptions has 
not changed since the exemptions were granted in 1992; therefore the 
YAEC continues to be exempt from the EP requirements for which the NRC 
previously granted exemptions. The current YAEC Emergency Plan for the 
ISFSI provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures 
can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency at the 
YR ISFSI for the same reasons that the NRC found that the DEP met the 
applicable EP requirements in 1992. Since the NRC issued the approval 
and SER for the original YR DEP, the YAEC has not requested nor 
received substantive exemptions from emergency planning requirements.
    Revision 17 of the YNPS Emergency Plan, dated October 31, 2012, 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML12321A053 \1\) reflects the current conditions, 
where only the ISFSI and its related support systems, structures, and 
components remain.
    With the EP Final Rule, several requirements in 10 CFR Part 50 were 
modified or added, including changes in sections 50.47, and 50.54, and 
Appendix E. Specific implementation dates were provided for each EP 
rule change. The EP Final Rule codified certain voluntary protective 
measures contained in NRC Bulletin 2005-02, ``Emergency Preparedness 
and Response Actions for Security-Based Events,'' and generically 
applicable requirements similar to those previously imposed by NRC 
Order EA-02-026, ``Order for Interim Safeguards and Security 
Compensatory Measures,'' dated February 25, 2002.
    In addition, the EP Final Rule amended other licensee emergency 
plan requirements to: (1) Enhance the ability of licensees in preparing 
for and in taking certain protective actions in the event of a 
radiological emergency; (2) address, in part, security issues 
identified after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001; (3) 
clarify regulations to effect consistent emergency plan implementation 
among licensees; and (4) modify certain EP requirements to be more 
effective and efficient. However, the EP Final Rule was only an 
enhancement to the NRC's regulations and was not necessary for adequate 
protection. On page 76 FR 72563 of the Federal Register notice for the 
EP Final Rule, the Commission ``determined that the existing regulatory 
structure ensures adequate protection of public health and safety and 
common defense and security.''

3.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    In the Final Rule for Storage of Spent Fuel in NRC-Approved Storage 
Casks at Power Reactor Sites (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990), the NRC 
amended its regulations to provide for the storage of spent nuclear 
fuel under a general license on the site of any nuclear power reactor. 
In its Statement of Considerations (SOC) for the Final Rule (55 FR 
29185), the Commission responded to comments related to emergency 
preparedness for spent fuel dry storage, stating, ``The new 10 CFR 
72.32(c) . . . states that, `For an ISFSI that is located on the site 
of a nuclear power reactor licensed for operation by the Commission, 
the emergency plan required by 10 CFR 50.47 shall be deemed to satisfy 
the requirements of this Section.' One condition of the general license 
is that the reactor licensee must review the reactor emergency plan and 
modify it as necessary to cover dry cask storage and related 
activities. If the emergency plan

[[Page 45986]]

is in compliance with 10 CFR 50.47, then it is in compliance with the 
Commission's regulations with respect to dry cask storage.''
    In the SOC for the Final Rule for EP requirements for ISFSIs and 
Monitored Retrievable Storage Installation (MRS) (60 FR 32430; June 22, 
1995), the Commission stated, in part, that ``current reactor emergency 
plans cover all at-or near reactor ISFSI's. An ISFSI that is to be 
licensed for a stand-alone operation will need an emergency plan 
established in accordance with the requirements in this rulemaking'' 
(60 FR 32431). The Commission responded to comments (60 FR 32435) 
concerning offsite emergency planning for ISFSIs or an MRS and 
concluded that ``the offsite consequences of potential accidents at an 
ISFSI or a MRS would not warrant establishing Emergency Planning 
Zones.''
    As part of the review for YAEC's current exemption request, the 
staff also used the EP regulations in 10 CFR 72.32 and Spent Fuel 
Project Office Interim Staff Guidance (ISG)--16, ``Emergency 
Planning,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003724570) as references to ensure 
consistency between specific-licensed and general-licensed ISFSIs.

4.0 Technical Evaluation

    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. The staff reviewed this 
request to determine whether the specific exemptions should be granted, 
and the staff evaluation (SE) is provided in its letter to YAEC, dated 
May 7, 2013, (ADAMS Accession No. ML13121A560). After evaluating the 
exemption requests, the staff determined that the YAEC should be 
granted the exemptions detailed in the SE.
    The NRC has found that the YAEC meets the criteria for an exemption 
in 10 CFR 50.12. The NRC has determined that granting the 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.
    As noted in Section 2.0, ``Discussion,'' above, the YAEC's 
compliance with the EP requirements that were in effect before the 
effective date of the EP Final Rule demonstrated reasonable assurance 
of adequate protection of public health and safety and common defense 
and security. In its SE., the NRC staff explains that the YAEC's 
implementation of its Emergency Plan, with the exemptions, will 
continue to provide this reasonable assurance of adequate protection. 
Thus, granting the exemptions will not present an undue risk to public 
health or safety and is not inconsistent with the common defense and 
security.
    For the Commission to grant an exemption, special circumstances 
must exist. Under 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), special circumstances are 
present when ``[a]pplication of the regulation in the particular 
circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is 
not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.'' These 
special circumstances exist here. The NRC has determined that the 
YAEC's compliance with the regulations that the staff describes in its 
SE is not necessary for the licensee to demonstrate that, under its 
emergency plan, there is reasonable assurance that adequate protective 
measures can and will be taken in the event of a radiological 
emergency. Consequently, special circumstances are present because 
requiring the YAEC to comply with the regulations that the staff 
describes in its SE is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose 
of the EP regulations.

5.0 Evironmental Assessment (EA)

    Identification of Proposed Action: By letter dated July 19, 2012, 
the YAEC submitted a request in accordance with 10 CFR 50.12 for 
exemption from specific EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47 and Appendix E 
to 10 CFR Part 50 for the YNPS ISFSI. Specifically, the exemption would 
eliminate unnecessary requirements associated with offsite 
consequences, protective actions, hostile action and emergency 
facilities due to the current status of the YNPS ISFSI.
    Need for the Proposed Action: In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82, the 
10 CFR Part 50 licensed area for the YNPS ISFSI has been reduced to a 
small area surrounding the ISFSI. In this condition, the YNPS ISFSI 
poses a significantly reduced risk to public health and safety from 
design basis accidents or credible beyond design basis accidents since 
these cannot result in radioactive releases which exceed EPA PAGs at 
the site boundary. Because of this reduced risk, compliance with all 
the requirements in 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR Part 50 Appendix E is not 
appropriate. The requested exemption from portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 
10 CFR Part 50 Appendix E is needed to continue implementation of the 
YNPS Emergency Plan that is appropriate for a stand-alone ISFSI and is 
commensurate with the reduced risk posed by the facility. The requested 
exemption will allow spent fuel storage to continue without imposing 
burdensome and costly new requirements that provide no increased safety 
benefit.
    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: The NRC has 
determined that, given the continued implementation of the YNPS 
Emergency Plan, with the exemptions noted in its SE, no credible events 
would result in doses to the public beyond the owner controlled area 
boundary that would exceed the EPA PAGs. Additionally, the staff has 
concluded that the YNPS Emergency Plan, with the exemptions described 
in its SE, provides for an acceptable level of emergency preparedness 
at the YNPS facility in its shutdown and defueled conditon, and also 
provides reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures can and 
will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency at the YNPS 
facility. Based on these findings, the NRC concludes that there are no 
radiological environmental impacts due to granting the approval of the 
exemption. The proposed action will not increase the probability or 
consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types or 
quantities of effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action. The proposed action does not 
affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other environmental 
impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological impacts 
associated with the proposed action. Based on the assessment above, the 
proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of 
the human environment.
    Alternative to the Proposed Action: Since there is no significant 
environmental impact associated with the proposed action, any 
alternatives with equal or greater environmental impact are not 
evaluated. The alternative to the proposed action would be to deny 
approval of the exemption. This alternative would have the same 
environmental impact.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR Part 51. Based 
upon the EA, the NRC finds that the proposed

[[Page 45987]]

action of granting an exemption will not significantly impact the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
exemption.

6.0 Conclusion

    The NRC concludes that the licensee's request for an exemption from 
certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b) and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, 
Section IV as specified in this SE are acceptable in view of the 
greatly reduced offsite radiological consequences associated with the 
ISFSI.
    The YNPS Emergency Plan has been reviewed against the acceptance 
criteria included in 10 CFR 50.47, Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 50, 10 CFR 
72.32 and Interim Staff Guidance--16. The review considered the ISFSI 
and the low likelihood of any credible accident resulting in 
radiological releases requiring offsite protective measures. These 
evaluations were supported by the previously documented licensee and 
staff accident analyses. The staff concludes that: The YNPS Emergency 
Plan provides: (1) An adequate basis for an acceptable state of 
emergency preparedness; and (2) the Emergency Plan, in conjunction with 
arrangements made with offsite response agencies, provides reasonable 
assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in 
the event of a radiological emergency at the YNPS facility.
    The NRC has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the 
exemptions described in the SE are authorized by law, will not endanger 
life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise 
in the public interest, and special circumstances are present.

7.0 Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
renewal and supporting documentation, are available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's ADAMS, which 
provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. If you do not 
have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the 
documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) 
Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by email to 
pdr.resource@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 Rockville, Maryland, this 17th day of July 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele M. Sampson,
Chief, Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and 
Transportation, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2013-18252 Filed 7-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P