Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, 13015-13018 [2017-04542]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 44 / Wednesday, March 8, 2017 / Notices TI&E Committee, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358–4710, or g.m.green@nasa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The meeting will be open to the public up to the capacity of the room. This meeting is also available telephonically and by WebEx. You must use a touchtone phone to participate in this meeting. Any interested person may call the USA toll-free conference number 1–844–467–6272, and then the numeric passcode: 102421 followed by the # sign. To join via WebEx, the link is https://nasa.webex.com/, the meeting number is 990 061 454, and the password is ‘‘Technology17!’’ (case sensitive). 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To expedite admittance, attendees that are U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents (green card holders) are requested to VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Mar 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 provide full name and citizenship status 3 working days in advance. Information should be sent to Ms. Anyah Dembling via email at anyah.dembling@nasa.gov. It is imperative that the meeting be held on these dates to the scheduling priorities of the key participants. Patricia D. Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [FR Doc. 2017–04464 Filed 3–7–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES Proposed Collection; Comment Request National Endowment for the Humanities. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is soliciting public comments on the proposed information collection described below. The proposed information collection will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Comments on this information collection must be submitted on or before May 8, 2017. ADDRESSES: Submit electronic comments to Mr. Joel Schwartz, Chief Guidelines Officer at jschwartz@ neh.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NEH will submit the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, 44 U.S.C. 35). This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies. NEH is particularly interested in comments which help the agency to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of electronic submissions of responses. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13015 This Notice also lists the following information: Type of Review: New Collection. Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities. Title of Proposal: General Clearance Authority to Develop Evaluation Instruments for the National Endowment for the Humanities. OMB Number: N/A. Affected Public: NEH grantees. Total Respondents: 1160. Frequency of Collection: On occasion. Total Responses: 1160. Average Time per Response: 30 minutes. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 580 hours. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of the information collection request. These comments will also become a matter of public record. Dated: March 1, 2017. Margaret F. Plympton, Deputy Chairman. [FR Doc. 2017–04469 Filed 3–7–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7536–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–271; NRC–2015–0157] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Draft environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) regarding the issuance of two exemptions in response to a January 6, 2015 request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee), representing itself and the other owners of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY). The exemptions allow the licensee to use funds from the VY decommissioning funds trust (the Trust) for irradiated fuel management activities without prior notice to the NRC. DATES: Submit comments by April 7, 2017. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 13016 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 44 / Wednesday, March 8, 2017 / Notices comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http:// www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2015–0157. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN–12–H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack D. Parrott, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–6634; email: Jack.Parrott@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: II. Introduction On June 23, 2015 (80 FR 35992), the NRC issued exemptions from §§ 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 50.75(h)(2) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to Entergy, for VY’s Facility Operating License No. DPR–28. The VY facility is located in Windham County, Vermont. The licensee requested the exemptions by letter dated January 6, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A171). The exemptions allow the licensee to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management activities without prior notice to the NRC, in the same manner that funds from the Trust are used under § 50.82(a)(8) for decommissioning activities. At the time of issuance, the NRC’s approval of the exemptions referenced the categorical exclusion criteria under § 51.22(c)(25). However, on November 4, 2015, the State of Vermont, the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation, and Green Mountain Power Corporation (together, Petitioners) filed a petition (ADAMS Accession No. ML16137A554) with the Commission that, in part, challenged that the NRC staff had not conducted a NEPA-compliant analysis in conjunction with the exemption request. The Commission directed, in their October 27, 2016 decision on the petition (ADAMS Accession No. ML16301A083) that the staff conduct an EA to examine the environmental impacts, if any, associated with the exemptions. Therefore, consistent with A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2015– 0157 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2015–0157. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ 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 (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. • 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. B. Submitting Comments Please include Docket ID NRC–2015– 0157 in the subject line of your VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Mar 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Commission direction and with § 51.21, the NRC has prepared this draft EA to document its environmental review for the exemption requests. Based on the results of the EA, the NRC has determined it is not necessary to prepare an environmental impact statement and is therefore issuing this draft FONSI. III. Draft Environmental Assessment Description of the Action The exemption request by Entergy on January 6, 2015, and granted by the NRC on June 23, 2015, exempts Entergy from the requirements set forth in §§ 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 10 CFR 50.75(h)(2). Specifically, the exemptions allow Entergy to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management activities, not associated with radiological decontamination, and exempt Entergy from meeting the requirement for prior notification to the NRC for these disbursements. Need for the Action By letter dated January 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), Entergy informed the NRC that it had permanently ceased power operations at VY and that the VY reactor vessel had been permanently defueled. Entergy stated that it needed access to the funds in the Trust, in excess of those needed for radiological decontamination, to support irradiated fuel management activities not associated with radiological decontamination. As required by § 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A), decommissioning trust funds may be used by the licensee if the withdrawals are for legitimate decommissioning activity expenses, consistent with the definition of decommissioning in § 50.2. This definition addresses radiological decontamination and does not include activities associated with irradiated fuel management. Similarly, the requirements of § 50.75(h)(2) restrict the use of decommissioning trust fund disbursements (other than for ordinary and incidental expenses) to decommissioning expenses until final decommissioning has been completed. Therefore, Entergy needed exemptions from §§ 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 50.75(h)(2) to allow the use of funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management activities without prior notice of disbursement. Entergy stated that the Trust contains funds for decommissioning that are commingled with funds intended for irradiated fuel management activities not associated with radiological decontamination. The VY Annual Decommissioning Financial Status E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 44 / Wednesday, March 8, 2017 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Report (ADAMS Accession No. ML15092A141) submitted by Entergy on March 30, 2015, to the NRC supports the adequacy of funds in the Trust to cover the costs of activities associated with irradiated fuel management and radiological decontamination through license termination. The requirements of § 50.75(h)(2) further provide that, except for decommissioning withdrawals being made under § 50.82(a)(8), or for payments of ordinary administrative costs and other incidental expenses of the Trust, no disbursement may be made from the Trust until written notice of the intention to make a disbursement has been given to the NRC at least 30 working days in advance of the intended disbursement. Therefore, an exemption from § 50.75(h)(2) was needed to allow Entergy to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management activities without prior NRC notification. Environmental Impacts of the Action The exemptions from requirements related to use and notification of Trust funds are of a financial nature and allow Entergy to pay for irradiated fuel management activities with Trust funds. The exemptions do not authorize any additional regulatory or land-disturbing activities, but do allow Entergy to finance irradiated fuel management activities, which support decommissioning. In granting the exemptions, the NRC completed its safety evaluation and concluded that there was reasonable assurance that adequate funds are available in the Trust to complete all activities associated with decommissioning and irradiated fuel management activities. There is no decrease in safety associated with the use of the Trust to fund activities associated with irradiated fuel management. The licensee has a comprehensive, regulation-based decommissioning funding oversight program to provide reasonable assurance that sufficient funding will be available for radiological decommissioning. After submitting its site-specific Decommissioning Cost Estimate and until the licensee has completed its final radiation survey and demonstrated that residual radioactivity has been reduced to a level that permits termination of its license, § 50.82(a)(8)(v) requires a licensee to annually submit a financial assurance status report. The report must include, among other things, amounts spent on decommissioning, remaining Trust balance, and estimated costs to complete radiological decommissioning. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Mar 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 If the remaining balance, plus expected rate of return, plus any other financial surety mechanism does not cover the estimated costs to complete the decommissioning, the § 50.82(a)(8)(vi) specifies that additional financial assurance must be provided. These annual reports provide a means for the NRC to monitor the adequacy of available funding. Additionally, in accordance with the VY Renewed Facility Operating License (ADAMS Accession No. ML15117A551), Condition 3.J.a.(iii), the decommissioning trust agreement must provide that no disbursements or payments from the Trust, other than for ordinary administrative expenses, shall be made by the trustee until the trustee has first given thirty days prior written notice to the NRC. Article IV, Section 4.05 of the Master Decommissioning Trust Agreement (ADAMS Accession No. ML15111A086), by and between Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC, and The Bank of New York Mellon as Trustee, provides that no disbursements or payments shall be made by the Trustee, other than administrative expenses, in accordance with Section 4.02 of the Master Trust Agreement, until the Trustee has first given the NRC 30 days prior written notice of payment; provided, however, that no disbursement or payment from the Trust shall be made if the Trustee receives prior written notice of objection from the Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. The second exemption, which was also granted, exempted Entergy from § 50.75(h)(2). This exemption did not apply to VY at the time of the request because license condition 3.J.a(iii) was still in effect. Section 50.75(h)(2) would have applied if Entergy’s the September 2014 license amendment request to remove the license condition had been approved (ADAMS Accession No. ML14254A405). Entergy withdrew that license amendment request on September 22, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML15267A074 and ML15265A583, respectively), therefore the second exemption request has not been implemented. License condition 3.J.a(iii) is still in effect and VY remains subject to the disbursement notification condition in the license. The environmental impacts of decommissioning have been generically evaluated by the NRC and documented in NUREG–0586, Supplement 1 (Decommissioning Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS]). Entergy’s Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report (ADAMS Accession No. ML14357A110) stated that impacts from planned PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 13017 decommissioning activities at VY are less than and bounded by the impacts considered in the Decommissioning GEIS and NUREG–1496, Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRCLicensed Nuclear Facilities. The NRC agreed with Entergy’s conclusion that VY decommissioning activities were bounded by previous analyses (ADAMS Accession No. ML15343A210). The exemptions do not authorize Entergy to perform new land-disturbing activities that could affect land use, soils and geology, water resources, ecological resources, or historic and cultural resources. The exemptions do not authorize Entergy to conduct additional regulatory activities, outside those already licensed by the NRC, therefore there are no incremental effects to air quality, traffic and transportation, socioeconomics, environmental justice, or accidents. The exemptions will not increase the probability or consequences of accidents. As a result of the exemptions, there are no changes in the types or amounts of effluents that are, or may be, released offsite. Entergy must continue to comply with all appropriate NRC regulations related to occupational and public radiation exposure and thus the exemptions will not result in an increase to occupational or public doses. Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no potential environmental impacts as a result of the granted exemptions. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Action As an alternative to the action, the NRC staff could have denied Entergy’s exemption request. Denial of the exemption request would have resulted in Entergy operating the facility as licensed, thus the environmental impacts would be the same as those already considered by the previous environmental review in NUREG–1437, Supplement 30 regarding renewal of VY’s operating license. Agencies or Persons Consulted On December 15, 2016, the NRC notified the State of Vermont of the draft EA and FONSI. The NRC staff has determined that the exemptions would have no impact on historic and cultural resources or ecological resources and therefore no consultations are necessary under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, respectively. On November 4, 2015, the Petitioners filed a petition with the Commission E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1 13018 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 44 / Wednesday, March 8, 2017 / Notices that challenged the NRC staff’s approval of Entergy’s exemption requests. The Petitioners raised concerns about the use of Trust fund for costs associated with irradiated fuel management, citing that a potential shortfall in the Fund would result in radiological and environmental consequences as well as economic risk to the Vermont taxpayers. As discussed earlier, the NRC has determined that there is reasonable assurance that adequate funds are available in the Trust to complete all activities associated with decommissioning and irradiated fuel management activities. Further, the NRC has concluded in this EA that there are no environmental impacts as a result of the exemptions. IV. Finding of No Significant Impact Entergy proposed exemptions from §§ 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 50.75(h)(2) to allow the licensee to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management activities, without prior written notification to the NRC. The NRC granted the exemptions on June 23, 2015. Consistent with § 51.21, the NRC conducted the environmental assessment for the exemptions included in Section II of this document and incorporated by reference in this finding. On the basis of this environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that the exemptions did not, and will not, have significant effects on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has decided not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the action. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March, 2017. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Bruce Watson, Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2017–04542 Filed 3–7–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES [Docket Nos. 50–333 and 72–012; License No. DPR–59; NRC–2016–0195] In the Matter of Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., and Exelon Generation Company, LLC; James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Direct transfer of license; order. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Mar 07, 2017 Jkt 241001 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an order approving the transfer of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–59, and the transfer of the generally licensed FitzPatrick Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation from Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick, LLC and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. to Exelon Generation Company, LLC. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Diane L. Render, Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. The Order was issued on March 1, 2017, and is effective for one year. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SUMMARY: DATES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2016–0195 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2016–0195. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; 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 obtain publicly available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ 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 e-mail 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. ADDRESSES: Dr. Diane L. Render, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 3629; e-mail: Diane.Render@nrc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the Order is attached. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March 2017. PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Attachment—Order Approving Direct Transfer of License and Approving Conforming Amendment Attachment—Order Approving Direct Transfer of License and Approving Conforming Amendment NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–333 and 72–012; License No. DPR–59; NRC–2016–0195] In the Matter of Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick, LLC, Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., and Exelon Generation Company, LLC; James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant ORDER APPROVING DIRECT TRANSFER OF LICENSE AND APPROVING CONFORMING AMENDMENT I. Entergy Nuclear FitzPatrick, LLC (ENF) and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENO) (collectively, Entergy) are the owner and operator, respectively, of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant (FitzPatrick) and are the coholders of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–59 and the general license for the FitzPatrick Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). FitzPatrick is a General Electric boilingwater reactor located in Oswego County, New York. II. By application dated August 18, 2016, as supplemented by letter dated November 29, 2016, Entergy and Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) jointly requested, pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), section 50.80 (10 CFR 50.80), that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) consent to the direct transfer of the FitzPatrick renewed facility operating license and the FitzPatrick ISFSI general license from Entergy to Exelon. Future references to FitzPatrick include the general license for the FitzPatrick ISFSI. In response to the request by Entergy and Exelon for consent to the direct transfer of the FitzPatrick renewed facility operating license and the FitzPatrick ISFSI general license, the NRC published a notice entitled, ‘‘James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant; Consideration of Approval of Transfer of License and Conforming Amendment,’’ E:\FR\FM\08MRN1.SGM 08MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 44 (Wednesday, March 8, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13015-13018]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-04542]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-271; NRC-2015-0157]


Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
Station

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft environmental assessment and finding of no significant 
impact; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for 
public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no 
significant impact (FONSI) regarding the issuance of two exemptions in 
response to a January 6, 2015 request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, 
Inc. (Entergy or the licensee), representing itself and the other 
owners of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY). The exemptions 
allow the licensee to use funds from the VY decommissioning funds trust 
(the Trust) for irradiated fuel management activities without prior 
notice to the NRC.

DATES: Submit comments by April 7, 2017. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission 
is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this 
date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

[[Page 13016]]

     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0157. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack D. Parrott, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6634; email: Jack.Parrott@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0157 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly-available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0157.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/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 (if it is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this 
document.
     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.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2015-0157 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Introduction

    On June 23, 2015 (80 FR 35992), the NRC issued exemptions from 
Sec. Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 50.75(h)(2) of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) to Entergy, for VY's Facility Operating 
License No. DPR-28. The VY facility is located in Windham County, 
Vermont. The licensee requested the exemptions by letter dated January 
6, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A171). The exemptions allow the 
licensee to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel management 
activities without prior notice to the NRC, in the same manner that 
funds from the Trust are used under Sec.  50.82(a)(8) for 
decommissioning activities.
    At the time of issuance, the NRC's approval of the exemptions 
referenced the categorical exclusion criteria under Sec.  51.22(c)(25). 
However, on November 4, 2015, the State of Vermont, the Vermont Yankee 
Nuclear Power Corporation, and Green Mountain Power Corporation 
(together, Petitioners) filed a petition (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16137A554) with the Commission that, in part, challenged that the NRC 
staff had not conducted a NEPA-compliant analysis in conjunction with 
the exemption request. The Commission directed, in their October 27, 
2016 decision on the petition (ADAMS Accession No. ML16301A083) that 
the staff conduct an EA to examine the environmental impacts, if any, 
associated with the exemptions. Therefore, consistent with Commission 
direction and with Sec.  51.21, the NRC has prepared this draft EA to 
document its environmental review for the exemption requests. Based on 
the results of the EA, the NRC has determined it is not necessary to 
prepare an environmental impact statement and is therefore issuing this 
draft FONSI.

III. Draft Environmental Assessment

Description of the Action

    The exemption request by Entergy on January 6, 2015, and granted by 
the NRC on June 23, 2015, exempts Entergy from the requirements set 
forth in Sec. Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 10 CFR 50.75(h)(2). 
Specifically, the exemptions allow Entergy to use funds from the Trust 
for irradiated fuel management activities, not associated with 
radiological decontamination, and exempt Entergy from meeting the 
requirement for prior notification to the NRC for these disbursements.

Need for the Action

    By letter dated January 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), 
Entergy informed the NRC that it had permanently ceased power 
operations at VY and that the VY reactor vessel had been permanently 
defueled.
    Entergy stated that it needed access to the funds in the Trust, in 
excess of those needed for radiological decontamination, to support 
irradiated fuel management activities not associated with radiological 
decontamination. As required by Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(i)(A), 
decommissioning trust funds may be used by the licensee if the 
withdrawals are for legitimate decommissioning activity expenses, 
consistent with the definition of decommissioning in Sec.  50.2. This 
definition addresses radiological decontamination and does not include 
activities associated with irradiated fuel management. Similarly, the 
requirements of Sec.  50.75(h)(2) restrict the use of decommissioning 
trust fund disbursements (other than for ordinary and incidental 
expenses) to decommissioning expenses until final decommissioning has 
been completed. Therefore, Entergy needed exemptions from Sec. Sec.  
50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 50.75(h)(2) to allow the use of funds from the 
Trust for irradiated fuel management activities without prior notice of 
disbursement.
    Entergy stated that the Trust contains funds for decommissioning 
that are commingled with funds intended for irradiated fuel management 
activities not associated with radiological decontamination. The VY 
Annual Decommissioning Financial Status

[[Page 13017]]

Report (ADAMS Accession No. ML15092A141) submitted by Entergy on March 
30, 2015, to the NRC supports the adequacy of funds in the Trust to 
cover the costs of activities associated with irradiated fuel 
management and radiological decontamination through license 
termination.
    The requirements of Sec.  50.75(h)(2) further provide that, except 
for decommissioning withdrawals being made under Sec.  50.82(a)(8), or 
for payments of ordinary administrative costs and other incidental 
expenses of the Trust, no disbursement may be made from the Trust until 
written notice of the intention to make a disbursement has been given 
to the NRC at least 30 working days in advance of the intended 
disbursement. Therefore, an exemption from Sec.  50.75(h)(2) was needed 
to allow Entergy to use funds from the Trust for irradiated fuel 
management activities without prior NRC notification.

Environmental Impacts of the Action

    The exemptions from requirements related to use and notification of 
Trust funds are of a financial nature and allow Entergy to pay for 
irradiated fuel management activities with Trust funds. The exemptions 
do not authorize any additional regulatory or land-disturbing 
activities, but do allow Entergy to finance irradiated fuel management 
activities, which support decommissioning.
    In granting the exemptions, the NRC completed its safety evaluation 
and concluded that there was reasonable assurance that adequate funds 
are available in the Trust to complete all activities associated with 
decommissioning and irradiated fuel management activities. There is no 
decrease in safety associated with the use of the Trust to fund 
activities associated with irradiated fuel management.
    The licensee has a comprehensive, regulation-based decommissioning 
funding oversight program to provide reasonable assurance that 
sufficient funding will be available for radiological decommissioning. 
After submitting its site-specific Decommissioning Cost Estimate and 
until the licensee has completed its final radiation survey and 
demonstrated that residual radioactivity has been reduced to a level 
that permits termination of its license, Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(v) requires 
a licensee to annually submit a financial assurance status report. The 
report must include, among other things, amounts spent on 
decommissioning, remaining Trust balance, and estimated costs to 
complete radiological decommissioning. If the remaining balance, plus 
expected rate of return, plus any other financial surety mechanism does 
not cover the estimated costs to complete the decommissioning, the 
Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(vi) specifies that additional financial assurance 
must be provided. These annual reports provide a means for the NRC to 
monitor the adequacy of available funding.
    Additionally, in accordance with the VY Renewed Facility Operating 
License (ADAMS Accession No. ML15117A551), Condition 3.J.a.(iii), the 
decommissioning trust agreement must provide that no disbursements or 
payments from the Trust, other than for ordinary administrative 
expenses, shall be made by the trustee until the trustee has first 
given thirty days prior written notice to the NRC. Article IV, Section 
4.05 of the Master Decommissioning Trust Agreement (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML15111A086), by and between Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC, and 
The Bank of New York Mellon as Trustee, provides that no disbursements 
or payments shall be made by the Trustee, other than administrative 
expenses, in accordance with Section 4.02 of the Master Trust 
Agreement, until the Trustee has first given the NRC 30 days prior 
written notice of payment; provided, however, that no disbursement or 
payment from the Trust shall be made if the Trustee receives prior 
written notice of objection from the Director of the Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
    The second exemption, which was also granted, exempted Entergy from 
Sec.  50.75(h)(2). This exemption did not apply to VY at the time of 
the request because license condition 3.J.a(iii) was still in effect. 
Section 50.75(h)(2) would have applied if Entergy's the September 2014 
license amendment request to remove the license condition had been 
approved (ADAMS Accession No. ML14254A405). Entergy withdrew that 
license amendment request on September 22, 2015 (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML15267A074 and ML15265A583, respectively), therefore the second 
exemption request has not been implemented. License condition 
3.J.a(iii) is still in effect and VY remains subject to the 
disbursement notification condition in the license.
    The environmental impacts of decommissioning have been generically 
evaluated by the NRC and documented in NUREG-0586, Supplement 1 
(Decommissioning Generic Environmental Impact Statement [GEIS]). 
Entergy's Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML14357A110) stated that impacts from planned 
decommissioning activities at VY are less than and bounded by the 
impacts considered in the Decommissioning GEIS and NUREG-1496, Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological 
Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities. 
The NRC agreed with Entergy's conclusion that VY decommissioning 
activities were bounded by previous analyses (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML15343A210).
    The exemptions do not authorize Entergy to perform new land-
disturbing activities that could affect land use, soils and geology, 
water resources, ecological resources, or historic and cultural 
resources. The exemptions do not authorize Entergy to conduct 
additional regulatory activities, outside those already licensed by the 
NRC, therefore there are no incremental effects to air quality, traffic 
and transportation, socioeconomics, environmental justice, or 
accidents. The exemptions will not increase the probability or 
consequences of accidents. As a result of the exemptions, there are no 
changes in the types or amounts of effluents that are, or may be, 
released offsite. Entergy must continue to comply with all appropriate 
NRC regulations related to occupational and public radiation exposure 
and thus the exemptions will not result in an increase to occupational 
or public doses. Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no 
potential environmental impacts as a result of the granted exemptions.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Action

    As an alternative to the action, the NRC staff could have denied 
Entergy's exemption request. Denial of the exemption request would have 
resulted in Entergy operating the facility as licensed, thus the 
environmental impacts would be the same as those already considered by 
the previous environmental review in NUREG-1437, Supplement 30 
regarding renewal of VY's operating license.

Agencies or Persons Consulted

    On December 15, 2016, the NRC notified the State of Vermont of the 
draft EA and FONSI. The NRC staff has determined that the exemptions 
would have no impact on historic and cultural resources or ecological 
resources and therefore no consultations are necessary under Section 7 
of the Endangered Species Act and Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act, respectively.
    On November 4, 2015, the Petitioners filed a petition with the 
Commission

[[Page 13018]]

that challenged the NRC staff's approval of Entergy's exemption 
requests. The Petitioners raised concerns about the use of Trust fund 
for costs associated with irradiated fuel management, citing that a 
potential shortfall in the Fund would result in radiological and 
environmental consequences as well as economic risk to the Vermont 
taxpayers. As discussed earlier, the NRC has determined that there is 
reasonable assurance that adequate funds are available in the Trust to 
complete all activities associated with decommissioning and irradiated 
fuel management activities. Further, the NRC has concluded in this EA 
that there are no environmental impacts as a result of the exemptions.

IV. Finding of No Significant Impact

    Entergy proposed exemptions from Sec. Sec.  50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 
50.75(h)(2) to allow the licensee to use funds from the Trust for 
irradiated fuel management activities, without prior written 
notification to the NRC. The NRC granted the exemptions on June 23, 
2015.
    Consistent with Sec.  51.21, the NRC conducted the environmental 
assessment for the exemptions included in Section II of this document 
and incorporated by reference in this finding. On the basis of this 
environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that the exemptions did 
not, and will not, have significant effects on the quality of the human 
environment. Accordingly, the NRC has decided not to prepare an 
environmental impact statement for the action.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of March, 2017.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Bruce Watson,
Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch, Division of Decommissioning, 
Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety 
and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2017-04542 Filed 3-7-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P