NorthStar Group Services, Inc. on Behalf of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, 50966-50969 [2018-21914]

Download as PDF 50966 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 10, 2018 / Notices Nuclear Fuel.’’ The public comment period closed on September 24, 2018. The NRC has decided to reopen the public comment period on this document until November 9, 2018, to allow more time for members of the public to submit their comments. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Dated at Rockville, Maryland, on October 4, 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Aida E. Rivera-Varona, Acting Deputy Director, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–21974 Filed 10–9–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2018–0001] Sunshine Act Meetings Weeks of October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, November 5, 2018. PLACE: Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and Closed. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: TIME AND DATE: Week of October 8, 2018 Thursday, October 11, 2018 9:00 a.m. Strategic Programmatic Overview of the Decommissioning and Low-Level Waste and Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Business Lines (Public), (Contact: Matthew Meyer: 301–415–6198). This meeting will be webcast live at the web address—http://www.nrc.gov/. Week of October 15, 2018—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 15, 2018. Week of October 22, 2018—Tentative Week of October 29, 2018—Tentative amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 There are no meetings scheduled for the week of October 29, 2018. Week of November 5, 2018—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of November 5, 2018. Week of November 12, 2018—Tentative There are no meetings scheduled for the week of November 12, 2018. 21:20 Oct 09, 2018 Jkt 247001 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of October 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Glenn Ellmers, Policy Coordinator, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2018–22066 Filed 10–5–18; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–271; NRC–2018–0226] Thursday, October 25, 2018 9:00 a.m. Briefing on Digital Instrumentation and Control (Public), (Contact: Jason Paige: 301– 415–1474). This meeting will be webcast live at the web address—http://www.nrc.gov/. VerDate Sep<11>2014 For more information or to verify the status of meetings, contact Denise McGovern at 301–415–0681 or via email at Denise.McGovern@nrc.gov. The schedule for Commission meetings is subject to change on short notice. The NRC Commission Meeting Schedule can be found on the internet at: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/ public-meetings/schedule.html. The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in these public meetings, or need this meeting notice or the transcript or other information from the public meetings in another format (e.g., braille, large print), please notify Kimberly Meyer-Chambers, NRC Disability Program Manager, at 301– 287–0739, by videophone at 240–428– 3217, or by email at Kimberly.MeyerChambers@nrc.gov. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis. Members of the public may request to receive this information electronically. If you would like to be added to the distribution, please contact the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20555 (301– 415–1969), or you may email Patricia.Jimenez@nrc.gov or Wendy.Moore@nrc.gov. NorthStar Group Services, Inc. on Behalf of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC; Vermont 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) is considering issuance of an exemption in response to a May 25, 2018, request from NorthStar Group Services, Inc. (NorthStar), on behalf of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC (ENVY, to be known as NorthStar Vermont Yankee, LLC or SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 NorthStar VY). The exemption would allow NorthStar VY to use up to $20 million in funds from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY) nuclear decommissioning trust fund (NDT), on a revolving basis, for irradiated fuel management activities should the request for the direct and indirect transfer of the VY Facility License No. DPR–28 to NorthStar VY be approved by the NRC. The staff is issuing a final Environmental Assessment (EA) and final Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) associated with the proposed exemption. The EA and FONSI referenced in this document is available on [October 10, 2018]. DATES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0226 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–2018–0226. Address questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@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 obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, 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. For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in the ‘‘Availability of Documents’’ section. • 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: Jack D. Parrott, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 6634; email: Jack.Parrott@nrc.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 10, 2018 / Notices I. Introduction The NRC is considering issuance of an exemption from section 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) for Facility Operating License No. DPR–28, currently issued to ENVY and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENOI), for VY, located in Windham County, Vermont. The exemption was requested by NorthStar, by letter dated May 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18150A315) pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12. By letter dated January 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), ENOI informed the NRC that it had permanently ceased power operations at VY and that the VY reactor vessel had been permanently defueled. By letter dated February 9, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17045A140), ENOI, on behalf of itself and ENVY, and NorthStar Nuclear Decommissioning Company, LLC (NorthStar NDC) requested that the NRC consent to the proposed direct and indirect transfer of control of VY Facility License No. DPR– 28, and the Vermont Yankee Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) general license. The proposed license transfer would involve the indirect transfer of control of ENVY’s licenses to NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings, LLC, and its parent companies, NorthStar, LVI Parent Corp. and NorthStar Group Holdings, LLC. The exemption would allow NorthStar VY to use up to $20 million of funds on a revolving basis such that at any one time, up to $20 million of the nuclear decommissioning trust fund (NDT) could be used for irradiated fuel management. This exemption would only apply following NRC approval of the license transfer application and closing of the underlying transaction. Consistent with 10 CFR 51.21 the NRC has prepared this final EA to document its environmental review for the exemption request. Based on the results of the EA, which is provided in Section II below, and in accordance with 10 CFR 51.31(a), the NRC has determined it is not necessary to prepare an environmental impact statement and is therefore issuing this final FONSI. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 II. Environmental Assessment Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action would exempt NorthStar VY from the requirements set forth in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) restricting the use of decommissioning trust funds. Specifically, the proposed action would allow NorthStar VY to use up to $20 million from the VY NDT, on VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:20 Oct 09, 2018 Jkt 247001 a revolving basis, for irradiated fuel management activities, not associated with radiological decommissioning. The proposed action is in accordance with the application dated May 25, 2018. Need for the Proposed Action NorthStar stated an exemption is needed should the license transfer request be approved in order for NorthStar VY to access up to $20 million of the NDT, in excess of those funds needed for radiological decommissioning, on a revolving basis, to fund irradiated fuel management activities, which are not associated with radiological decommissioning. As required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A), decommissioning trust funds may be used by a licensee if the withdrawals are for expenses for legitimate decommissioning activities consistent with the definition of decommissioning in 10 CFR 50.2. This definition addresses radiological decommissioning and does not include activities associated with irradiated fuel management. Therefore, NorthStar VY needs an exemption from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) to allow the use of funds from the NDT for irradiated fuel management activities. NorthStar states that its cash flow analysis in Enclosure 1 of the application dated May 25, 2018, demonstrates that the NDT contains adequate funds to cover the estimated costs of radiological decommissioning and the additional funds for $20 million in irradiated fuel management activities that are covered by the exemption request. The adequacy of funds in the NDT to cover the costs of activities associated with radiological decommissioning and the additional funds for $20 million in irradiated fuel management activities through license termination is supported by NorthStar’s revised Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report dated April 6, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17096A394). The applicant states that application of the 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) requirement restricting use of the trust fund is not necessary to ensure that adequate funds will be available for the radiological decommissioning of VY. Therefore, the applicant states that an exemption is needed to avoid unnecessary and undue costs to cover irradiated fuel management expenses from other sources. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action The proposed action involves an exemption from the requirements related to use of the NDT that are of a PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50967 financial nature and allow NorthStar VY to pay for irradiated fuel management activities with up to $20 million of the NDT on a revolving basis. This exemption does not authorize any additional regulatory or land-disturbing activities, but does allow NorthStar VY to finance irradiated fuel management activities, which support decommissioning. In granting the exemptions, the NRC completed an evaluation and concluded that there was reasonable assurance that adequate funds are available in the NDT to complete all activities associated with decommissioning. There is no decrease in safety associated with the use of the NDT to fund activities associated with irradiated fuel management. The proposed licensee will be required to maintain a comprehensive, regulation-based decommissioning funding oversight program to provide reasonable assurance that sufficient funding will be available for radiological decommissioning should the license transfer be approved. 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, 10 CFR 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 NDT balance, and estimated costs to complete radiological decommissioning. If the remaining balance, plus expected earnings, together with any other financial assurance method does not cover the estimated costs to complete the decommissioning, 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(vi) specifies that additional financial assurance must be provided to cover the cost of completion. 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. ML18156A181), 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 E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 50968 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 10, 2018 / Notices 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. License condition 3.J.a.(iii) would still be in effect upon license transfer and NorthStar VY would remain 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, NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors (GEIS) (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML023470304, ML023470323, ML023500187, ML023500211, and ML023500223). NorthStar’s revised Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report (ADAMS Accession No. ML17096A394) discusses that impacts from planned decommissioning activities at VY are less than and bounded by the impacts considered in the GEIS and NUREG– 1496, NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML042310492, ML042320379, and ML042330385). Based on its review, the NRC agrees with NorthStar’s conclusion that VY decommissioning activities were bounded by previous analyses. The exemption does not authorize NorthStar VY to perform new landdisturbing activities that could affect land use, soils and geology, water resources, ecological resources, or historic and cultural resources. The exemption does not authorize NorthStar VY 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 exemption only changes the source of funds allowed for managing irradiated fuel activities. The exemption will not increase the probability or consequences of accidents. As a result of the exemption, there are no changes in the types or amounts of effluents that are, or may be, released offsite. NorthStar VY 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. Finally, NorthStar VY is required to maintain adequate funding for the radiological decommissioning of VY and to provide information regarding this funding to the NRC. Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there will be no potential incremental environmental impacts as a result of granting the exemption. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff could have denied NorthStar VY’s exemption request. Denial of the exemption request would have resulted in NorthStar VY using funds from the trust only for radiological decommissioning and not also for irradiated fuel management activities as described in the exemption request. The environmental impacts of this alternative would be substantively the same as the environmental impacts for granting the exemption request because there are no potential incremental environmental impacts as a result of granting the exemption request. Alternative Use of Resources Since the environmental impacts of the alternative would be substantively the same as the environmental impacts for granting the exemption request there would be no difference in the use of resources for the alternative. Agencies or Persons Consulted On October 3, 2018, the NRC notified the State of Vermont of this EA and FONSI. The NRC staff has determined that the exemption 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. III. Finding of No Significant Impact NorthStar proposed an exemption from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) to allow the proposed VY licensee (NorthStar VY) to use $20 million from the NDT for irradiated fuel management activities on a revolving basis. The proposed action would not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment because it involves an exemption from requirements that are of a financial nature and that do not have an impact on the environment. The exemption only changes the source of funds allowed for managing irradiated fuel activities. The exemption does not authorize NorthStar VY 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. As a result of the exemption, there are no changes in the types or amounts of effluents that are, or may be, released offsite. In addition, NorthStar VY must continue to comply with all appropriate NRC regulations related to occupational and public radiation exposure, and thus, the exemption will not result in an increase to occupational or public doses. Consistent with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC conducted the environmental assessment for the proposed action, which concluded that there are no environmental impacts as a result of the exemption. This FONSI incorporates by reference the EA included in Section II of this document. Therefore, the NRC concludes that the exemption does 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 proposed action. The related environmental documents are NorthStar’s application dated May 25, 2018; NUREG–0586, Supplement 1, NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors (GEIS); NorthStar’s revised Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report; and NUREG–1496, NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRCLicensed Nuclear Facilities. The finding and other related environmental documents are available for public inspection as indicated above. IV. Availability of Documents Date Title ADAMS accession no. 5/25/2018 ........ Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station—Request for Exemption from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) ...................... ML18150A315 VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:20 Oct 09, 2018 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 10, 2018 / Notices Date Title ADAMS accession no. 1/12/2015 ........ Vermont Yankee, Certifications of Permanent Cessation of Power Operations and Permanent Removal of Fuel from the Reactor Vessel. Vermont Yankee—Application for Order Consenting to Direct and Indirect Transfers of Control of Licenses and Approving Conforming License Amendment and Notification of Amendment to Decommissioning Trust Agreement. ISFSI Only Tech Spec Amendment Package ........................................................................................................ Master Decommissioning Trust Agreement for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station .................................... NUREG–0586, Supplement 1, Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities Regarding the Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Reactors. ML15013A426 2/9/2017 .......... 8/15/2018 ........ 7/31/2002 ........ 11/30/2002 ...... 4/6/2017 .......... 7/31/1997 ........ Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station—Notification of Revised Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (Revised PSDAR). NUREG–1496, Vols. 1–3, Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of October 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kimberly A. Conway, Acting Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–21914 Filed 10–9–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2018–0161] Information Collection: Submission for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Renewal of existing information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: The NRC invites public comment on the renewal of OMB approval for an existing collection of information. The information collection is entitled, ‘‘10 CFR part 150 Exemptions and Continued Regulatory Authority in Agreement States and in Offshore Waters Under Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.’’ DATES: Submit comments by December 10, 2018. 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 on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0161. Address SUMMARY: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 50969 VerDate Sep<11>2014 21:20 Oct 09, 2018 Jkt 247001 ML17045A140 ML18156A181 ML15111A086 ML023470304 ML023470323 ML023500187 ML023500211 ML023500223 ML17096A394 ML042310492 ML042320379 ML042330385 questions about docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Mail comments to: David Cullison, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Mail Stop: T–2 F43, 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: David Cullison, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 2084; email: Infocollects.Resource@ nrc.gov. adams.html. To begin the search, 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 supporting statement is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18177A397. • 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. • NRC’s Clearance Officer: A copy of the collection of information and related instructions may be obtained without charge by contacting NRC’s Clearance Officer, David Cullison, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 2084; email: Infocollects.Resource@ nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Please include Docket ID NRC–2018– 0161 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 in comment submissions that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http:// www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS, and 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 I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018– 0161 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 website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0161. • 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/ PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 B. Submitting Comments E:\FR\FM\10OCN1.SGM 10OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 196 (Wednesday, October 10, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50966-50969]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-21914]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-271; NRC-2018-0226]


NorthStar Group Services, Inc. on Behalf of Entergy Nuclear 
Vermont Yankee, LLC; Vermont 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) is considering 
issuance of an exemption in response to a May 25, 2018, request from 
NorthStar Group Services, Inc. (NorthStar), on behalf of Entergy 
Nuclear Vermont Yankee, LLC (ENVY, to be known as NorthStar Vermont 
Yankee, LLC or NorthStar VY). The exemption would allow NorthStar VY to 
use up to $20 million in funds from the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
Station (VY) nuclear decommissioning trust fund (NDT), on a revolving 
basis, for irradiated fuel management activities should the request for 
the direct and indirect transfer of the VY Facility License No. DPR-28 
to NorthStar VY be approved by the NRC. The staff is issuing a final 
Environmental Assessment (EA) and final Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI) associated with the proposed exemption.

DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document is available on 
[October 10, 2018].

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0226 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-2018-0226. Address 
questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. 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 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 ``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]. For the convenience of the reader, 
instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are 
provided in the ``Availability of Documents'' section.
     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: Jack D. Parrott, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6634; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

[[Page 50967]]

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an exemption from section 
50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR) for Facility Operating License No. DPR-28, currently issued to 
ENVY and Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENOI), for VY, located in 
Windham County, Vermont. The exemption was requested by NorthStar, by 
letter dated May 25, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18150A315) pursuant to 
10 CFR 50.12.
    By letter dated January 12, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), 
ENOI informed the NRC that it had permanently ceased power operations 
at VY and that the VY reactor vessel had been permanently defueled. By 
letter dated February 9, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17045A140), ENOI, 
on behalf of itself and ENVY, and NorthStar Nuclear Decommissioning 
Company, LLC (NorthStar NDC) requested that the NRC consent to the 
proposed direct and indirect transfer of control of VY Facility License 
No. DPR-28, and the Vermont Yankee Independent Spent Fuel Storage 
Installation (ISFSI) general license. The proposed license transfer 
would involve the indirect transfer of control of ENVY's licenses to 
NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings, LLC, and its parent companies, 
NorthStar, LVI Parent Corp. and NorthStar Group Holdings, LLC.
    The exemption would allow NorthStar VY to use up to $20 million of 
funds on a revolving basis such that at any one time, up to $20 million 
of the nuclear decommissioning trust fund (NDT) could be used for 
irradiated fuel management. This exemption would only apply following 
NRC approval of the license transfer application and closing of the 
underlying transaction.
    Consistent with 10 CFR 51.21 the NRC has prepared this final EA to 
document its environmental review for the exemption request. Based on 
the results of the EA, which is provided in Section II below, and in 
accordance with 10 CFR 51.31(a), the NRC has determined it is not 
necessary to prepare an environmental impact statement and is therefore 
issuing this final FONSI.

II. Environmental Assessment

Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt NorthStar VY from the requirements 
set forth in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) restricting the use of 
decommissioning trust funds. Specifically, the proposed action would 
allow NorthStar VY to use up to $20 million from the VY NDT, on a 
revolving basis, for irradiated fuel management activities, not 
associated with radiological decommissioning. The proposed action is in 
accordance with the application dated May 25, 2018.

Need for the Proposed Action

    NorthStar stated an exemption is needed should the license transfer 
request be approved in order for NorthStar VY to access up to $20 
million of the NDT, in excess of those funds needed for radiological 
decommissioning, on a revolving basis, to fund irradiated fuel 
management activities, which are not associated with radiological 
decommissioning.
    As required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A), decommissioning trust 
funds may be used by a licensee if the withdrawals are for expenses for 
legitimate decommissioning activities consistent with the definition of 
decommissioning in 10 CFR 50.2. This definition addresses radiological 
decommissioning and does not include activities associated with 
irradiated fuel management. Therefore, NorthStar VY needs an exemption 
from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) to allow the use of funds from the NDT 
for irradiated fuel management activities.
    NorthStar states that its cash flow analysis in Enclosure 1 of the 
application dated May 25, 2018, demonstrates that the NDT contains 
adequate funds to cover the estimated costs of radiological 
decommissioning and the additional funds for $20 million in irradiated 
fuel management activities that are covered by the exemption request. 
The adequacy of funds in the NDT to cover the costs of activities 
associated with radiological decommissioning and the additional funds 
for $20 million in irradiated fuel management activities through 
license termination is supported by NorthStar's revised Post-Shutdown 
Decommissioning Activity Report dated April 6, 2017 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML17096A394). The applicant states that application of the 10 CFR 
50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) requirement restricting use of the trust fund is not 
necessary to ensure that adequate funds will be available for the 
radiological decommissioning of VY. Therefore, the applicant states 
that an exemption is needed to avoid unnecessary and undue costs to 
cover irradiated fuel management expenses from other sources.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action involves an exemption from the requirements 
related to use of the NDT that are of a financial nature and allow 
NorthStar VY to pay for irradiated fuel management activities with up 
to $20 million of the NDT on a revolving basis. This exemption does not 
authorize any additional regulatory or land-disturbing activities, but 
does allow NorthStar VY to finance irradiated fuel management 
activities, which support decommissioning.
    In granting the exemptions, the NRC completed an evaluation and 
concluded that there was reasonable assurance that adequate funds are 
available in the NDT to complete all activities associated with 
decommissioning. There is no decrease in safety associated with the use 
of the NDT to fund activities associated with irradiated fuel 
management.
    The proposed licensee will be required to maintain a comprehensive, 
regulation-based decommissioning funding oversight program to provide 
reasonable assurance that sufficient funding will be available for 
radiological decommissioning should the license transfer be approved. 
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, 10 CFR 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 NDT balance, and estimated costs to complete 
radiological decommissioning. If the remaining balance, plus expected 
earnings, together with any other financial assurance method does not 
cover the estimated costs to complete the decommissioning, 10 CFR 
50.82(a)(8)(vi) specifies that additional financial assurance must be 
provided to cover the cost of completion. 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. ML18156A181), 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

[[Page 50968]]

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. License condition 3.J.a.(iii) 
would still be in effect upon license transfer and NorthStar VY would 
remain 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, NRC's 
Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear 
Power Reactors (GEIS) (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML023470304, ML023470323, 
ML023500187, ML023500211, and ML023500223). NorthStar's revised Post-
Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Report (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17096A394) discusses that impacts from planned decommissioning 
activities at VY are less than and bounded by the impacts considered in 
the GEIS and NUREG-1496, NRC's Generic Environmental Impact Statement 
in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License 
Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML042310492, ML042320379, and ML042330385). Based on its review, the 
NRC agrees with NorthStar's conclusion that VY decommissioning 
activities were bounded by previous analyses.
    The exemption does not authorize NorthStar VY to perform new land-
disturbing activities that could affect land use, soils and geology, 
water resources, ecological resources, or historic and cultural 
resources. The exemption does not authorize NorthStar VY 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 exemption only changes the source of funds allowed for 
managing irradiated fuel activities. The exemption will not increase 
the probability or consequences of accidents. As a result of the 
exemption, there are no changes in the types or amounts of effluents 
that are, or may be, released offsite. NorthStar VY 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. Finally, NorthStar VY is 
required to maintain adequate funding for the radiological 
decommissioning of VY and to provide information regarding this funding 
to the NRC. Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there will be no 
potential incremental environmental impacts as a result of granting the 
exemption.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff could have 
denied NorthStar VY's exemption request. Denial of the exemption 
request would have resulted in NorthStar VY using funds from the trust 
only for radiological decommissioning and not also for irradiated fuel 
management activities as described in the exemption request. The 
environmental impacts of this alternative would be substantively the 
same as the environmental impacts for granting the exemption request 
because there are no potential incremental environmental impacts as a 
result of granting the exemption request.

Alternative Use of Resources

    Since the environmental impacts of the alternative would be 
substantively the same as the environmental impacts for granting the 
exemption request there would be no difference in the use of resources 
for the alternative.

Agencies or Persons Consulted

    On October 3, 2018, the NRC notified the State of Vermont of this 
EA and FONSI. The NRC staff has determined that the exemption 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.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    NorthStar proposed an exemption from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) to 
allow the proposed VY licensee (NorthStar VY) to use $20 million from 
the NDT for irradiated fuel management activities on a revolving basis. 
The proposed action would not have a significant effect on the quality 
of the human environment because it involves an exemption from 
requirements that are of a financial nature and that do not have an 
impact on the environment. The exemption only changes the source of 
funds allowed for managing irradiated fuel activities. The exemption 
does not authorize NorthStar VY 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. As a result of the 
exemption, there are no changes in the types or amounts of effluents 
that are, or may be, released offsite. In addition, NorthStar VY must 
continue to comply with all appropriate NRC regulations related to 
occupational and public radiation exposure, and thus, the exemption 
will not result in an increase to occupational or public doses.
    Consistent with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC conducted the environmental 
assessment for the proposed action, which concluded that there are no 
environmental impacts as a result of the exemption. This FONSI 
incorporates by reference the EA included in Section II of this 
document. Therefore, the NRC concludes that the exemption does 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 proposed action.
    The related environmental documents are NorthStar's application 
dated May 25, 2018; NUREG-0586, Supplement 1, NRC's Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement on Decommissioning of Nuclear Power 
Reactors (GEIS); NorthStar's revised Post-Shutdown Decommissioning 
Activity Report; and NUREG-1496, NRC's Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License 
Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities. The finding and other 
related environmental documents are available for public inspection as 
indicated above.

IV. Availability of Documents

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Date                     Title             ADAMS accession no.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5/25/2018.............  Vermont Yankee Nuclear    ML18150A315
                         Power Station--Request
                         for Exemption from 10
                         CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A).

[[Page 50969]]

 
1/12/2015.............  Vermont Yankee,           ML15013A426
                         Certifications of
                         Permanent Cessation of
                         Power Operations and
                         Permanent Removal of
                         Fuel from the Reactor
                         Vessel.
2/9/2017..............  Vermont Yankee--          ML17045A140
                         Application for Order
                         Consenting to Direct
                         and Indirect Transfers
                         of Control of Licenses
                         and Approving
                         Conforming License
                         Amendment and
                         Notification of
                         Amendment to
                         Decommissioning Trust
                         Agreement.
8/15/2018.............  ISFSI Only Tech Spec      ML18156A181
                         Amendment Package.
7/31/2002.............  Master Decommissioning    ML15111A086
                         Trust Agreement for
                         Vermont Yankee Nuclear
                         Power Station.
11/30/2002............  NUREG-0586, Supplement    ML023470304
                         1, Generic               ML023470323
                         Environmental Impact     ML023500187
                         Statement on             ML023500211
                         Decommissioning of       ML023500223
                         Nuclear Facilities
                         Regarding the
                         Decommissioning of
                         Nuclear Power Reactors.
4/6/2017..............  Vermont Yankee Nuclear    ML17096A394
                         Power Station--
                         Notification of Revised
                         Post-Shutdown
                         Decommissioning
                         Activities Report
                         (Revised PSDAR).
7/31/1997.............  NUREG-1496, Vols. 1-3,    ML042310492
                         Generic Environmental    ML042320379
                         Impact Statement in      ML042330385
                         Support of Rulemaking
                         on Radiological
                         Criteria for License
                         Termination of NRC-
                         Licensed Nuclear
                         Facilities.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of October 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kimberly A. Conway,
Acting Chief, Reactor Decommissioning Branch Division of 
Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2018-21914 Filed 10-9-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7590-01-P