Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 6244-6247 [2018-02930]

Download as PDF 6244 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES • NRC’s Public Document Room: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s Public Document Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. Regulatory guides are not copyrighted, and NRC approval is not required to reproduce them. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Daniel Frumkin, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulations, telephone: 301– 415–2280, email: Daniel.Frumkin@ nrc.gov; or Stanley Gardocki, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, telephone: 301–415–1067, email: Stanley.Gardocki@nrc.gov. Both are staff members of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Discussion The NRC is issuing a revision to an existing guide in the NRC ‘‘Regulatory Guide’’ series. Regulatory guides were developed to describe and make available to the public information methods that are acceptable to the NRC staff for implementing specific parts of the agency’s regulations, techniques that the staff uses in evaluating specific problems or postulated accidents, and data that the staff needs in its review of applications for permits and licenses. The NRC is issuing Revision 3 of RG 1.189 directly as a final RG, because the changes between Revision 2 and Revision 3 are administrative and nonsubstantive. Revision 3 of RG 1.189 also updated the guide to the current program guidance for RGs. The NRC added language to Section 1, ‘‘Fire Protection Program,’’ to clarify the primary objectives of fire protection plans. Since the issuance of Revision 2 of RG 1.189 in 2009, the NRC issued a Regulatory Issuance Summary to inform licensees that Inspection Manual Part 9900, Technical Guidance (TG 9900), ‘‘Operability Determinations & Functionality Assessments for Resolution of Degraded and Nonconforming Conditions Adverse to Quality and Safety,’’ was reissued as Inspection Manual Chapter (IMC) 0326, ‘‘Operability Determinations and Functionality Assessments for Conditions to Quality or Safety,’’ dated January 31, 2014. Revision 3 of RG 1.189 now includes a reference to IMC 0326 (see Section 1.5, ‘‘Compensatory Measures’’). Revision 3 of RG 1.189 also corrects typographic errors that previously appeared in Section 1.7.7, ‘‘Nonconforming Items,’’ Section 1.7.4, VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:12 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 ‘‘Inspection,’’ Section 2.1.1, ‘‘Transient Fire Hazards,’’ Section 3.2.1, ‘‘Fire Protection Water Supply,’’ and Section 3.2.3, ‘‘Fire Mains.’’ Previously, these errors occurred during publishing of the final regulatory guide, when several paragraphs were incorrectly indented, resulting in incorrect sub-bullet numbering. These changes are intended to improve clarity and do not substantially alter the staff’s regulatory guidance. II. Backfitting and Issue Finality Issuance of this final RG does not constitute backfitting as defined in section 50.109 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), (the Backfit Rule), and is not otherwise inconsistent with the issue finality provisions in 10 CFR part 52. The changes in Revision 3 of RG 1.189 are limited to editorial changes to improve clarity and correct errors. These changes do not fall within the kinds of agency actions that constitute backfitting or are subject to limitations in the issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52. Accordingly, the NRC did not address the Backfit Rule or issue finality provisions of 10 CFR part 52. III. Congressional Review Act Revision 3 of Regulatory Guide 1.189 is not a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801–808). IV. Submitting Suggestions for Improvement of Regulatory Guides Revision 3 of RG 1.189 is being issued without public comment. However, a member of the public may, at any time, submit suggestions to the NRC for improvement of existing RGs or for the development of new RGs to address new issues. Suggestions can be submitted on the NRC’s public website at http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doccollections/reg-guides/contactus.html. Suggestions will be considered in future updates and enhancements to the ‘‘Regulatory Guide’’ series. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 7th day of February 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Thomas H. Boyce, Chief, Regulatory Guidance and Generic Issues Branch, Division of Engineering, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. [FR Doc. 2018–02870 Filed 2–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 72–1014, 72–59, and 50–271; NRC–2018–0020] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a request submitted by Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENO) on May 16, 2017, and supplemented on September 7, 2017 and December 7, 2017, for its general license to operate an independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VYNPS). This exemption would permit the VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 megawatt days per metric ton of uranium (MWD/MTU) in HI–STORM 100 multi-purpose canister (MPC)-68M using Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1014, Amendment No. 10. DATES: February 13, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0020 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 Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0020. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Broges@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 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 No. for each SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Notices 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: YenJu Chen, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555; telephone: 301–415–1018; email: yen-ju.chen@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES I. Background The VYNPS began operation in 1972. The reactor was permanently shut down on December 29, 2014. The VYNPS has stored spent boiling-water reactor (BWR) fuel assemblies at its ISFSI in thirteen (13) HI–STORM 100 casks under CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 2. The remaining spent fuel assemblies were removed from the reactor and transferred to the spent fuel pool. ENO, which owns the facility, submitted the VYNPS Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) (ADAMS Accession No. ML14357A110) to the NRC on December 19, 2014, and supplemented with a schedule change in a letter dated on April 12, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17104A050). In the PSDAR, as supplemented, ENO stated its intention to move all of the spent nuclear fuel assemblies into dry cask storage in late 2018, and put the plant into SAFSTOR 1 until it is ready to fully decommission the facility. Consistent with subpart K of part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), a general license is issued for the storage of spent fuel in an ISFSI at power reactor sites to persons authorized to possess or operate nuclear power reactors under 10 CFR part 50. ENO is currently authorized to store spent fuel at the VYNPS ISFSI under the 10 CFR part 72 general license provisions. ENO plans to use Holtec HI– STORM 100 storage casks, as approved by the NRC under CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10, at the VYNPS for dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in MPC–68M canisters. II. Request/Action By application dated May 16, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17142A354), 1 A method of decommissioning in which a nuclear facility is placed and maintained in a condition that allows the facility to be safely stored and subsequently decontaminated (deferred decontamination) to levels that permit release for unrestricted use. VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:12 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 as supplemented on September 7, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17255A236) and December 7, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17346A685), ENO submitted a request for an exemption from those provisions of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(3), 72.212(b)(5)(i), 72.212(b)(11), and 72.214 that require compliance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16172A294), for the VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in Holtec HI– STORM 100 MPC–68M canister. III. Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements of the regulations of 10 CFR part 72 as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public interest. The NRC staff prepared a safety evaluation report (SER) (ADAMS Accession No. ML17298A135) to document the evaluation of the proposed actions (i.e., using a new regionalized loading pattern, loading fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establishing a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/ MTU in MPC–68M), to assure continued protection of public health and safety, common defense and security, and the environment. As summarized below, the NRC’s safety review concludes that the requested exemption does not affect the ability of the cask system to meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72. A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law This exemption would permit the VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC–68M using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10. Section 72.7 allows the Commission to grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 72 if the exemption is authorized by law and will not endanger life or property nor the common defense and security. Issuance of this exemption is consistent with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not otherwise inconsistent with NRC’s regulations or other applicable laws. Therefore, issuance of the exemption is authorized by law. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6245 B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety and Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security Approval of this exemption request will allow VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC– 68M using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10. As discussed in the SER and summarized in the following sections, the NRC staff has found that ENO’s proposed action is acceptable and will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security. Review of the Requested Exemption ENO requested this exemption to maintain its decommissioning schedule through its optimized loading campaigns. The exemption will allow VYNPS to use a more optimized regionalized loading pattern for MPC– 68M, so that VYNPS could store hotter fuel from its final operating cycle, as well as store damaged fuel or fuel debris in a DFC, with cooler fuel in the same cask. The exemption will also allow VYNPS to load fuel that has been cooled for at least 2 years into the MPC–68M. In addition, the exemption will allow VYNPS to establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/ MTU in MPC–68M rather than using an equation to calculate the maximum burnup. The NRC staff reviewed the requested exemption and determined that it does not change the fundamental design, components, or safety features of the storage system. The NRC staff evaluated the applicable potential safety impacts of granting the exemption to assess the potential for any danger to life or property or the common defense and security. Specifically, the NRC staff reviewed the applicant’s structural, thermal, shielding, radiation protection, and material evaluations for the proposed exemption. Structural Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request to ensure that the cask system will maintain confinement, subcriticality, radiation shielding, and retrievability or recovery of the fuel, as applicable, under all credible loads for normal and off-normal conditions accidents, and natural phenomenon events. Since the maximum projected MPC–68M heat load for fuels to be loaded at VYNPS will be 24.5 kW, well below the maximum heat load limit of 36.9 kW for MPC–68M approved in CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10, the proposed exemption is bounded by E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 6246 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Notices NRC’s previous evaluation and would not alter the structural integrity of the dry storage system. Thermal Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request to ensure that the cask and fuel material temperatures of the dry storage system will remain within the allowable values or criteria for normal, off-normal, and accident conditions. The staff verified that the calculated fuel cladding temperatures and other cask component temperatures are below the allowable design temperature limits for normal, offnormal, and accident conditions of storage at VYNPS ISFSI. The staff also confirmed that the heat removal capability of the MPC–68M, using the new regionalized loading pattern and actual total aggregated cask heat load of 36.9 kW, loaded with all undamaged fuel assemblies or loaded with damaged fuel and/or fuel debris at VYNPS ISFSI remains acceptable and continues to meet the requirements of 10 CFR 72.122(h)(1) and 72.236(f). Shielding Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request to ensure that the design of the HI–STORM 100 cask system continues to provide adequate protection against direct radiation to the onsite operating workers and members of the public, and that the ISFSI continues to satisfy the regulatory requirements during normal operating, off-normal, and design-basis accident conditions. The staff determined the new regionalized loading pattern is bounded by the design basis loading pattern previously approved by the NRC and will allow the MPC–68M to maintain the dose rates below the applicable regulatory limits in 10 CFR 72.104 and 72.106. In addition, the staff found that the use of the maximum average burnup limit of 65,000 MWD/ MTU is acceptable as it provides sufficient conservatism in comparison with the actual site-specific maximum. Radiation Protection Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request to determine whether the design features and operations meet the regulatory requirements. The staff evaluated the source terms and the calculated dose rates for normal, off-normal, and accident conditions, and found that the dose rates and annual dose are in compliance with the dose limits specified in 10 CFR 72.104 and 72.106. Material Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request to ensure adequate material performance of components important to safety of the spent fuel storage system under normal, off- VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:12 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 normal, and accident conditions. The staff found that the material properties of structures, systems, and components important to safety will be maintained during normal, off-normal, and accident conditions so that the spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored for the minimum required years and maintenance can be conducted as required. Review of Common Defense and Security: The NRC staff also considered potential impacts of granting the exemption on the common defense and security. The requested exemption for the VYNPS ISFSI does not relate to security or the common defense, and therefore, granting the exemption would not result in any potential impacts to common defense and security. Based on its review, the NRC staff has determined that under the requested exemption, the storage system will continue to meet the safety requirements of 10 CFR part 72 and the offsite dose limits of 10 CFR part 20 and, therefore, will not endanger life or property. The NRC staff also found that the exemption would not endanger common defense and security. D. Otherwise in the Public Interest In determining whether the exemption is in the public interest, the staff considered the no-action alternative of denying the exemption request. Denial of the exemption request would require ENO to load and store spent fuel in accordance with the current conditions of Amendment No. 10 of CoC No. 1014, which uses the regionalized loading pattern shown in CoC Appendix B, Figure 2.1–4; requires fuel to be cooled for at least 3 years; and use the equation in Appendix B, Section 2.4.3, to calculate maximum allowable fuel assembly average burnup based on fuel decay heat, enrichment, and cooling time. ENO’s proposed exemption would allow VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel that has been cooled for at least 2 years in MPC–68M, and use a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU. With this exemption, VYNPS stated that it would be able to use a more optimized loading pattern for MPC– 68M, so that VYNPS could store hotter fuel from its final operating cycle, as well as for storing damaged fuel or fuel debris in a DFC, with cooler fuel in the same cask. ENO also noted that by loading higher-burned, shorter-cooled assemblies into the inner regions of the cask and low-burned, longer-cooled assemblies on the periphery of the cask, the longer-cooled assemblies on the periphery of the cask acts as shielding PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and blocks the radiation from the shorter-cooled fuel assemblies stored in the inner region of the cask, and thus reduces dose rates to the onsite workers and at the site boundary. This exemption request will also allow VYNPS to maintain continuous loading campaign without interruption to wait for the fuel to meet the heat loading requirement. ENO noted that this could avoid potential higher personal exposure and human errors due to loss of experienced workers. ENO indicated that by using this exemption, VYNPS would be able to complete the transfer of irradiated fuel to the ISFSI within a shorter time period. It would permit the spent fuel pool related structures, systems, and components to be removed from service earlier, and allow for staffing reductions to a level commensurate with dry fuel storage only operations. The staff determined if the transfer of irradiated fuel to the ISFSI is completed in a shorter time, that there would be a savings to the Decommissioning Trust Fund. The staff also determined, based on Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC. Master Decommissioning Trust Agreement for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, Exhibit D (ADAMS Accession No. ML15111A086), that savings to the Decommission Trust Fund could financially benefit the electric consumers. The staff has reviewed the information provided by ENO and concluded that granting the requested exemption continues to provide adequate protection of public health and safety and is otherwise in the public interest. E. Environmental Considerations The NRC staff also considered whether there would be any significant environmental impacts associated with the exemption. For this proposed action, the NRC staff performed an environmental assessment pursuant to 10 CFR 51.30. The environmental assessment concluded that the proposed action would not significantly impact the quality of the human environment. The NRC staff concluded that the proposed action would not result in any changes in the types or amounts of any radiological or non-radiological effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure because of the proposed action. The Environmental Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact was published on January 23, 2018 (83 FR 3192). E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 30 / Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / Notices IV. Conclusion Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, this exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants ENO an exemption from those provisions of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(3), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(5)(i), 10 CFR 72.214, and the portion of 10 CFR 72.212(b)(11) that require compliance with terms, conditions, and specifications of the CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10, for the VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC–68M using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10. The exemption is effective upon issuance. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of February 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Meraj Rahimi, Acting Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–02930 Filed 2–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR WASTE TECHNICAL REVIEW BOARD sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Board Meeting March 27, 2018—The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will meet in Washington, DC to discuss performance confirmation monitoring and retrievability of emplaced highlevel radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Pursuant to its authority under section 5051 of Public Law 100–203, Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act (NWPAA) of 1987, the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, to review information related to operational and performance confirmation monitoring of a geologic repository and retrievability of emplaced high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The Board meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites DC Convention Center, 900 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. A block of rooms has been reserved for meeting attendees at a rate of $253.00 per night. Reservations may be made by phone (1–202–739–2001, refer to NWTRB meeting). Reservations VerDate Sep<11>2014 23:12 Feb 12, 2018 Jkt 244001 must be made by March 5, 2018, to ensure receiving the meeting rate for available rooms. The meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, and is scheduled to adjourn at 5:00 p.m. Representatives from several countries will discuss national policies and approaches to monitoring and retrievability. Technical specialists will discuss sensors and technologies for monitoring subsurface seepage, in-drift environmental conditions, and corrosion of waste packages for HLW and SNF emplaced in a geologic repository. A detailed meeting agenda will be available on the Board’s website at www.nwtrb.gov approximately one week before the meeting. The meeting will be open to the public, and opportunities for public comment will be provided before the lunch break and at the end of the day. Those wanting to speak are encouraged to sign the ‘‘Public Comment Register’’ at the check-in table. Depending on the number of people who sign up to speak, it may be necessary to set a time limit on individual remarks. However, written comments of any length may be submitted, and all comments received in writing will be included in the record of the meeting, which will be posted on the Board’s website after the meeting. The meeting will be webcast, and the link to the webcast will be available on the Board’s website (www.nwtrb.gov) a few days before the meeting. The meeting presentations and an archived version of the webcast will be available on the Board’s website following the meeting. The transcript of the meeting will be available on the Board’s website no later than May 25, 2018. The Board was established in the NWPPA of 1987 as an independent federal agency in the Executive Branch to evaluate the technical and scientific validity of DOE activities related to the management and disposal of SNF and HLW and to provide objective expert advice to Congress and the Secretary of Energy on these issues. Board members are experts in their fields and are appointed to the Board by the President from a list of candidates submitted by the National Academy of Sciences. The Board reports its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. All Board reports, correspondence, congressional testimony, and meeting transcripts and related materials are posted on the Board’s website. For information on the meeting agenda, contact Daniel Metlay: metlay@ nwtrb.gov or Karyn Severson: severson@ nwtrb.gov. For information on lodging and logistics, or to request copies of the PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6247 meeting agenda or transcript, contact Davonya Barnes: barnes@nwtrb.gov. All three can be reached by mail at 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1300, Arlington, VA 22201–3367; by telephone at 703–235–4473; or by fax at 703–235–4495. Dated: February 6, 2018. Nigel Mote, Executive Director, U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. [FR Doc. 2018–02883 Filed 2–12–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–AM–P PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION Privacy Act of 1974; Systems of Records Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. ACTION: Notice of modified systems of records; notice of a rescinded system of records; notice of a new system of records. AGENCY: Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) proposes the following changes to its system of records notices to: Amend a general routine use, rescind a duplicative system of records, establish a new system of records for collection of data from the agency website, add or amend routine uses in ten systems of records, make clarifying changes to all nineteen systems of records notices, and republish all existing systems of records notices. The PBGC determined that the proposed changes were necessary after conducting the biennial review of its systems of records notices. DATES: Comments are due by March 15, 2018. The revised and additional systems of records described herein will become effective 30 days after the date of publication, without further notice, unless comments results in a contrary determination and a notice is published to that effect. ADDRESSES: You may submit written comments to PBGC by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the website instructions for submitting comments. • Email: reg.comments@pbgc.gov. • Mail or Hand Delivery: Communications Outreach and Legislative Affairs Department, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, 1200 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. With appropriate redactions of personally identifiable information, SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13FEN1.SGM 13FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6244-6247]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-02930]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 72-1014, 72-59, and 50-271; NRC-2018-0020]


Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
Station; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
exemption in response to a request submitted by Entergy Nuclear 
Operations, Inc. (ENO) on May 16, 2017, and supplemented on September 
7, 2017 and December 7, 2017, for its general license to operate an 
independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at the Vermont 
Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VYNPS). This exemption would permit the 
VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for 
at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit 
at 65,000 megawatt days per metric ton of uranium (MWD/MTU) in HI-STORM 
100 multi-purpose canister (MPC)-68M using Certificate of Compliance 
(CoC) No. 1014, Amendment No. 10.

DATES: February 13, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0020 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 Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0020. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
9127; email: [email protected]. 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 email to [email protected]. The 
ADAMS Accession No. for each

[[Page 6245]]

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: Yen-Ju Chen, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555; telephone: 301-415-1018; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The VYNPS began operation in 1972. The reactor was permanently shut 
down on December 29, 2014. The VYNPS has stored spent boiling-water 
reactor (BWR) fuel assemblies at its ISFSI in thirteen (13) HI-STORM 
100 casks under CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 2. The remaining spent fuel 
assemblies were removed from the reactor and transferred to the spent 
fuel pool. ENO, which owns the facility, submitted the VYNPS Post-
Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML14357A110) to the NRC on December 19, 2014, and supplemented with a 
schedule change in a letter dated on April 12, 2017 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML17104A050). In the PSDAR, as supplemented, ENO stated its 
intention to move all of the spent nuclear fuel assemblies into dry 
cask storage in late 2018, and put the plant into SAFSTOR \1\ until it 
is ready to fully decommission the facility.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A method of decommissioning in which a nuclear facility is 
placed and maintained in a condition that allows the facility to be 
safely stored and subsequently decontaminated (deferred 
decontamination) to levels that permit release for unrestricted use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with subpart K of part 72 of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR), a general license is issued for the 
storage of spent fuel in an ISFSI at power reactor sites to persons 
authorized to possess or operate nuclear power reactors under 10 CFR 
part 50. ENO is currently authorized to store spent fuel at the VYNPS 
ISFSI under the 10 CFR part 72 general license provisions. ENO plans to 
use Holtec HI-STORM 100 storage casks, as approved by the NRC under CoC 
No. 1014, Amendment No. 10, at the VYNPS for dry storage of spent 
nuclear fuel in MPC-68M canisters.

II. Request/Action

    By application dated May 16, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17142A354), as supplemented on September 7, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17255A236) and December 7, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17346A685), 
ENO submitted a request for an exemption from those provisions of 10 
CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(3), 72.212(b)(5)(i), 72.212(b)(11), and 
72.214 that require compliance with the terms, conditions, and 
specifications of CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16172A294), for the VYNPS to use a new regionalized loading pattern, 
load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum 
average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in Holtec HI-STORM 100 MPC-68M 
canister.

III. Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant such exemptions 
from the requirements of the regulations of 10 CFR part 72 as it 
determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or property 
or the common defense and security, and are otherwise in the public 
interest.
    The NRC staff prepared a safety evaluation report (SER) (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML17298A135) to document the evaluation of the proposed 
actions (i.e., using a new regionalized loading pattern, loading fuel 
cooled for at least 2 years, and establishing a per-cell maximum 
average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC-68M), to assure continued 
protection of public health and safety, common defense and security, 
and the environment. As summarized below, the NRC's safety review 
concludes that the requested exemption does not affect the ability of 
the cask system to meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72.

A. The Exemption Is Authorized by Law

    This exemption would permit the VYNPS to use a new regionalized 
loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, and establish a 
per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC-68M 
using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10.
    Section 72.7 allows the Commission to grant exemptions from the 
requirements of 10 CFR part 72 if the exemption is authorized by law 
and will not endanger life or property nor the common defense and 
security. Issuance of this exemption is consistent with the Atomic 
Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and not otherwise inconsistent with 
NRC's regulations or other applicable laws. Therefore, issuance of the 
exemption is authorized by law.

B. The Exemption Presents No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety and 
Will Not Endanger Life or Property or the Common Defense and Security

    Approval of this exemption request will allow VYNPS to use a new 
regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at least 2 years, 
and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU 
in MPC-68M using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10. As discussed in the 
SER and summarized in the following sections, the NRC staff has found 
that ENO's proposed action is acceptable and will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security.
Review of the Requested Exemption
    ENO requested this exemption to maintain its decommissioning 
schedule through its optimized loading campaigns. The exemption will 
allow VYNPS to use a more optimized regionalized loading pattern for 
MPC-68M, so that VYNPS could store hotter fuel from its final operating 
cycle, as well as store damaged fuel or fuel debris in a DFC, with 
cooler fuel in the same cask. The exemption will also allow VYNPS to 
load fuel that has been cooled for at least 2 years into the MPC-68M. 
In addition, the exemption will allow VYNPS to establish a per-cell 
maximum average burnup limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC-68M rather than 
using an equation to calculate the maximum burnup.
    The NRC staff reviewed the requested exemption and determined that 
it does not change the fundamental design, components, or safety 
features of the storage system. The NRC staff evaluated the applicable 
potential safety impacts of granting the exemption to assess the 
potential for any danger to life or property or the common defense and 
security. Specifically, the NRC staff reviewed the applicant's 
structural, thermal, shielding, radiation protection, and material 
evaluations for the proposed exemption.
    Structural Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff 
evaluated the exemption request to ensure that the cask system will 
maintain confinement, subcriticality, radiation shielding, and 
retrievability or recovery of the fuel, as applicable, under all 
credible loads for normal and off-normal conditions accidents, and 
natural phenomenon events. Since the maximum projected MPC-68M heat 
load for fuels to be loaded at VYNPS will be 24.5 kW, well below the 
maximum heat load limit of 36.9 kW for MPC-68M approved in CoC No. 
1014, Amendment No. 10, the proposed exemption is bounded by

[[Page 6246]]

NRC's previous evaluation and would not alter the structural integrity 
of the dry storage system.
    Thermal Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff evaluated 
the exemption request to ensure that the cask and fuel material 
temperatures of the dry storage system will remain within the allowable 
values or criteria for normal, off-normal, and accident conditions. The 
staff verified that the calculated fuel cladding temperatures and other 
cask component temperatures are below the allowable design temperature 
limits for normal, off-normal, and accident conditions of storage at 
VYNPS ISFSI. The staff also confirmed that the heat removal capability 
of the MPC-68M, using the new regionalized loading pattern and actual 
total aggregated cask heat load of 36.9 kW, loaded with all undamaged 
fuel assemblies or loaded with damaged fuel and/or fuel debris at VYNPS 
ISFSI remains acceptable and continues to meet the requirements of 10 
CFR 72.122(h)(1) and 72.236(f).
    Shielding Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff 
evaluated the exemption request to ensure that the design of the HI-
STORM 100 cask system continues to provide adequate protection against 
direct radiation to the onsite operating workers and members of the 
public, and that the ISFSI continues to satisfy the regulatory 
requirements during normal operating, off-normal, and design-basis 
accident conditions. The staff determined the new regionalized loading 
pattern is bounded by the design basis loading pattern previously 
approved by the NRC and will allow the MPC-68M to maintain the dose 
rates below the applicable regulatory limits in 10 CFR 72.104 and 
72.106. In addition, the staff found that the use of the maximum 
average burnup limit of 65,000 MWD/MTU is acceptable as it provides 
sufficient conservatism in comparison with the actual site-specific 
maximum.
    Radiation Protection Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC 
staff evaluated the exemption request to determine whether the design 
features and operations meet the regulatory requirements. The staff 
evaluated the source terms and the calculated dose rates for normal, 
off-normal, and accident conditions, and found that the dose rates and 
annual dose are in compliance with the dose limits specified in 10 CFR 
72.104 and 72.106.
    Material Review for the Requested Exemption: The NRC staff 
evaluated the exemption request to ensure adequate material performance 
of components important to safety of the spent fuel storage system 
under normal, off-normal, and accident conditions. The staff found that 
the material properties of structures, systems, and components 
important to safety will be maintained during normal, off-normal, and 
accident conditions so that the spent nuclear fuel can be safely stored 
for the minimum required years and maintenance can be conducted as 
required.
    Review of Common Defense and Security: The NRC staff also 
considered potential impacts of granting the exemption on the common 
defense and security. The requested exemption for the VYNPS ISFSI does 
not relate to security or the common defense, and therefore, granting 
the exemption would not result in any potential impacts to common 
defense and security.
    Based on its review, the NRC staff has determined that under the 
requested exemption, the storage system will continue to meet the 
safety requirements of 10 CFR part 72 and the offsite dose limits of 10 
CFR part 20 and, therefore, will not endanger life or property. The NRC 
staff also found that the exemption would not endanger common defense 
and security.

D. Otherwise in the Public Interest

    In determining whether the exemption is in the public interest, the 
staff considered the no-action alternative of denying the exemption 
request. Denial of the exemption request would require ENO to load and 
store spent fuel in accordance with the current conditions of Amendment 
No. 10 of CoC No. 1014, which uses the regionalized loading pattern 
shown in CoC Appendix B, Figure 2.1-4; requires fuel to be cooled for 
at least 3 years; and use the equation in Appendix B, Section 2.4.3, to 
calculate maximum allowable fuel assembly average burnup based on fuel 
decay heat, enrichment, and cooling time.
    ENO's proposed exemption would allow VYNPS to use a new 
regionalized loading pattern, load fuel that has been cooled for at 
least 2 years in MPC-68M, and use a per-cell maximum average burnup 
limit at 65,000 MWD/MTU. With this exemption, VYNPS stated that it 
would be able to use a more optimized loading pattern for MPC-68M, so 
that VYNPS could store hotter fuel from its final operating cycle, as 
well as for storing damaged fuel or fuel debris in a DFC, with cooler 
fuel in the same cask.
    ENO also noted that by loading higher-burned, shorter-cooled 
assemblies into the inner regions of the cask and low-burned, longer-
cooled assemblies on the periphery of the cask, the longer-cooled 
assemblies on the periphery of the cask acts as shielding and blocks 
the radiation from the shorter-cooled fuel assemblies stored in the 
inner region of the cask, and thus reduces dose rates to the onsite 
workers and at the site boundary. This exemption request will also 
allow VYNPS to maintain continuous loading campaign without 
interruption to wait for the fuel to meet the heat loading requirement. 
ENO noted that this could avoid potential higher personal exposure and 
human errors due to loss of experienced workers.
    ENO indicated that by using this exemption, VYNPS would be able to 
complete the transfer of irradiated fuel to the ISFSI within a shorter 
time period. It would permit the spent fuel pool related structures, 
systems, and components to be removed from service earlier, and allow 
for staffing reductions to a level commensurate with dry fuel storage 
only operations. The staff determined if the transfer of irradiated 
fuel to the ISFSI is completed in a shorter time, that there would be a 
savings to the Decommissioning Trust Fund. The staff also determined, 
based on Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC. Master Decommissioning 
Trust Agreement for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, Exhibit D 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML15111A086), that savings to the Decommission 
Trust Fund could financially benefit the electric consumers.
    The staff has reviewed the information provided by ENO and 
concluded that granting the requested exemption continues to provide 
adequate protection of public health and safety and is otherwise in the 
public interest.

E. Environmental Considerations

    The NRC staff also considered whether there would be any 
significant environmental impacts associated with the exemption. For 
this proposed action, the NRC staff performed an environmental 
assessment pursuant to 10 CFR 51.30. The environmental assessment 
concluded that the proposed action would not significantly impact the 
quality of the human environment. The NRC staff concluded that the 
proposed action would not result in any changes in the types or amounts 
of any radiological or non-radiological effluents that may be released 
offsite, and there is no significant increase in occupational or public 
radiation exposure because of the proposed action. The Environmental 
Assessment and the Finding of No Significant Impact was published on 
January 23, 2018 (83 FR 3192).

[[Page 6247]]

IV. Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
72.7, this exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants ENO an 
exemption from those provisions of 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 10 CFR 
72.212(b)(3), 10 CFR 72.212(b)(5)(i), 10 CFR 72.214, and the portion of 
10 CFR 72.212(b)(11) that require compliance with terms, conditions, 
and specifications of the CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10, for the VYNPS 
to use a new regionalized loading pattern, load fuel cooled for at 
least 2 years, and establish a per-cell maximum average burnup limit at 
65,000 MWD/MTU in MPC-68M using CoC No. 1014, Amendment No. 10.
    The exemption is effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of February 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Meraj Rahimi,
Acting Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel 
Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2018-02930 Filed 2-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P