Arizona Public Service Company; Palo Verde Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation, 22911-22913 [2019-10420]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 97 / Monday, May 20, 2019 / Notices not to include copyrighted materials in their submission. For further details with respect to this action, see the application for license amendment dated March 29, 2019. Attorney for SNC: Mr. M. Stanford Blanton, Balch & Bingham LLP, 1710 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203–2015. NRC Branch Chief: Jennifer L. DixonHerrity. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of May 2019. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Brian Hughes, Acting Chief, Licensing Branch 2, Division of Licensing, Siting, and Environmental Analysis, Office of New Reactors. [FR Doc. 2019–10355 Filed 5–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 72–44; NRC–2018–0253] Arizona Public Service Company; Palo Verde Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for its review and approval of the decommissioning funding plans submitted by Arizona Public Service Company (APS) on December 14, 2012, and March 31, 2015, for the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at Palo Verde in Wintersburg, Arizona. DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0253 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–2018–0253. 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 listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 May 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 • 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Longmire, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–7465, email: Pamela.Longmire@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The NRC is considering the approval of the decommissioning funding plans (DFPs) for the Palo Verde ISFSI. APS submitted an initial DFP and an updated DFP for NRC review and approval by letters dated December 14, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12354A129), and March 31, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15093A052), respectively. The NRC staff has prepared a final EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML19120A195) in support of its review of APS’s DFPs, in accordance with the NRC regulations in part 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ‘‘Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,’’ which implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Based on the EA, the NRC staff has determined that approval of the DFPs for the Palo Verde ISFSI will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and accordingly, the staff has concluded that a FONSI is appropriate. The NRC staff further finds that preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not warranted. II. Environmental Assessment Background The Palo Verde ISFSI is located in Wintersburg, Arizona. APS is authorized by the NRC, under License PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 22911 No. SFGL–17 to store spent nuclear fuel at the Palo Verde ISFSI. The NRC requires its licensees to plan for the eventual decommissioning of their licensed facilities prior to license termination. On June 17, 2011, the NRC published a final rule in the Federal Register amending its decommissioning planning regulations (76 FR 35512). The final rule amended the NRC regulation, 10 CFR 72.30, which concerns financial assurance and decommissioning for ISFSIs. This regulation now requires each holder of, or applicant for, a license under 10 CFR part 72 to submit, for NRC review and approval, a DFP. The purpose of the DFP is to demonstrate the licensee’s financial assurance, i.e., that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI. The NRC staff is reviewing the DFPs submitted by APS on December 14, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Specifically, the NRC must determine whether APS’s DFPs contain the information required by 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c) and whether APS has provided reasonable assurance that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI. Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action is the NRC’s review and approval of APS’s DFPs submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c). To approve the DFPs, the NRC evaluates whether the decommissioning cost estimate (DCE) adequately estimates the cost to conduct the required ISFSI decommissioning activities prior to license termination, including identification of the volume of onsite subsurface material containing residual radioactivity that will require remediation to meet the license termination criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 CFR 20.1403. The NRC also evaluates whether the aggregate dollar amount of APS financial instruments provides adequate financial assurance to cover the DCE and that the financial instruments meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(e). Finally, the NRC evaluates whether the effects of the following events have been considered in APS’s submittal: (1) Spills of radioactive material producing additional residual radioactivity in onsite subsurface material; (2) facility modifications; (3) changes in authorized possession limits; and (4) actual remediation costs that exceed the previous cost estimate, consistent with 10 CFR 72.30(c). The proposed action does not require any changes to the ISFSI’s licensed routine operations, maintenance activities, or monitoring programs, nor does it require any new construction or land-disturbing activities. The scope of the proposed action concerns only the E:\FR\FM\20MYN1.SGM 20MYN1 22912 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 97 / Monday, May 20, 2019 / Notices NRC’s review and approval of APS’s DFPs. The scope of the proposed action does not include, and will not result in, the review and approval of any decontamination or decommissioning activity or license termination for the ISFSI or any other part of Palo Verde. Need for the Proposed Action The proposed action provides a means for the NRC to confirm that APS will have sufficient funding to cover the costs of decommissioning the ISFSI, including the reduction of the residual radioactivity at the ISFSI to the level specified by the applicable NRC license termination regulations concerning release of the property (10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 CFR 20.1403). khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action The NRC’s approval of the DFPs will not change the scope or nature of the operation of the ISFSI and will not authorize any changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities. The NRC’s approval of the DFPs will not result in any changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Moreover, the approval of the DFPs will not authorize any construction activity or facility modification. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that the approval of APS’s DFPs is a procedural and administrative action that will not result in any significant impact to the environment. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (54 U.S.C. 30618) (NHPA), requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. In accordance with the NHPA implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 800, ‘‘Protection of Historic Properties,’’ the NRC’s approval of APS’s DFPs constitutes a Federal undertaking. The NRC, however, has determined that the approval of the DFPs is a type of undertaking that does not have the potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such historic properties were present, because the NRC’s approval of APS’s DFPs will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Therefore, in accordance with 36 CFR 800.3(a)(1), no consultation is required under Section 106 of the NHPA. Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (ESA), prior to taking a proposed action, a Federal agency must determine whether (i) endangered and threatened species or their critical habitats are known to be in the vicinity of the proposed action and if so, whether (ii) the proposed Federal action may affect listed species or critical habitats. The NRC has determined that the proposed action will have no effect on any listed species or their critical habitats because the NRC’s approval of APS’s DFPs will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Alternative to the Proposed Action In addition to the proposed action, the NRC evaluated the no-action alternative. The no-action alternative is to deny APS’s DFPs. A denial of a DFP that meets the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(b) or 72.30(c) does not support the regulatory intent of the 2011 rulemaking. As noted in the EA for the 2011 rulemaking (ADAMS Accession No. ML090500648), not promulgating the 2011 final rule would have increased the likelihood of additional legacy sites. Thus, denying APS’s DFPs, which the NRC has found to meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c), will undermine the licensee’s decommissioning planning. On this basis, the NRC has concluded that the no-action alternative is not a viable alternative. Agencies and Persons Consulted The NRC staff consulted with other agencies and parties regarding the environmental impacts of the proposed action. The NRC provided a draft of its EA to the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (State) by letter dated October 20, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17142A054), and gave the State 30 days to respond. The State did not respond. The NRC also consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service by letter dated October 20, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16299A075). However, the NRC staff has determined that consultation under ESA Section 7 is not required because the proposed action is administrative/procedural in nature and will not affect listed species or critical habitat (ADAMS Accession No. ML17135A062). III. Finding of No Significant Impact The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action, the review and approval of APS’s initial and updated DFPs, submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c), will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Moreover, the approval of the DFPs will not authorize any construction activity, facility modification, or any other landdisturbing activity. The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action is a procedural and administrative action and as such, that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, the NRC staff has determined not to prepare an EIS for the proposed action but will issue this FONSI. IV. Availability of Documents The following documents, related to this notice, can be found using any of the methods provided in the following table. Instructions for accessing ADAMS were provided under the ADDRESSES section of this document. ADAMS Accession No. Date Document December 14, 2012 ............ March 31, 2015 ................... February 1, 2009 ................ May 15, 2017 ...................... October 20, 2016 ................ October 20, 2016 ................ Submission of APS decommissioning funding plan .......................................................................... Submission of APS triennial decommissioning funding plan ............................................................ Environmental Assessment for Final Rule—Decommissioning Planning ......................................... Note to File re Sct 7 Consultations for ISFSI DFPs ......................................................................... Consultation Letter: ML16299A050–RLSO ....................................................................................... Letter to S. Jacobsen re: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Preliminary Determination of No Effects Regarding Palo Verde Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Decommissioning Funding Plan. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 May 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\20MYN1.SGM 20MYN1 ML12354A129 ML15093A052 ML090500648 ML17135A062 ML17142A054 ML16299A075 22913 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 97 / Monday, May 20, 2019 / Notices Date Document ADAMS Accession No. April 26, 2019 ...................... NRC staff’s Final EA for the approval of the decommissioning funding plan ................................... ML19120A195 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of May 2019. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. John McKirgan, Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2019–10420 Filed 5–17–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 72–27; NRC–2018–0257] Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Humboldt Bay Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for its review and approval of the decommissioning funding plans submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) on December 17, 2012, and December 17, 2015, for the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at Humboldt Bay in Eureka, California. DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on May 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0257 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–2018–0257. 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 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 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 May 17, 2019 Jkt 247001 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Longmire, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–7465, email: Pamela.Longmire@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The NRC is considering the approval of the decommissioning funding plans (DFPs) for the Humboldt Bay ISFSI. PG&E submitted an initial DFP and an updated DFP for NRC review and approval by letters dated December 17, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12353A316), and December 17, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15351A510), respectively. The NRC staff has prepared a final EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML19120A216) in support of its review of PG&E’s DFPs, in accordance with the NRC regulations in part 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ‘‘Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,’’ which implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Based on the EA, the NRC staff has determined that approval of the DFPs for the Humboldt Bay ISFSI will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and accordingly, the staff has concluded that a FONSI is appropriate. The NRC staff further finds that preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not warranted. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 II. Environmental Assessment Background The Humboldt Bay ISFSI is located in Eureka, California. PG&E is authorized by the NRC, under License No. SNM– 2514 to store spent nuclear fuel at the Humboldt Bay ISFSI. The NRC requires its licensees to plan for the eventual decommissioning of their licensed facilities prior to license termination. On June 17, 2011, the NRC published a final rule in the Federal Register amending its decommissioning planning regulations (76 FR 35512). The final rule amended the NRC regulation, 10 CFR 72.30, which concerns financial assurance and decommissioning for ISFSIs. This regulation now requires each holder of, or applicant for, a license under 10 CFR part 72 to submit, for NRC review and approval, a DFP. The purpose of the DFP is to demonstrate the licensee’s financial assurance, i.e., that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI. The NRC staff is reviewing the DFPs submitted by PG&E on December 17, 2012, and December 17, 2015. Specifically, the NRC must determine whether PG&E’s DFPs contain the information required by 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c) and whether PG&E has provided reasonable assurance that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI. Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action is the NRC’s review and approval of PG&E’s DFPs submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c). To approve the DFPs, the NRC evaluates whether the decommissioning cost estimate (DCE) adequately estimates the cost to conduct the required ISFSI decommissioning activities prior to license termination, including identification of the volume of onsite subsurface material containing residual radioactivity that will require remediation to meet the license termination criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 CFR 20.1403. The NRC also evaluates whether the aggregate dollar amount of PG&E financial instruments provides adequate financial assurance to cover the DCE and that the financial instruments meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(e). Finally, the NRC evaluates whether the effects of the following events have been considered in PG&E’s submittal: (1) Spills of radioactive E:\FR\FM\20MYN1.SGM 20MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 22911-22913]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-10420]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 72-44; NRC-2018-0253]


Arizona Public Service Company; Palo Verde Independent Spent Fuel 
Storage Installation

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact 
(FONSI) for its review and approval of the decommissioning funding 
plans submitted by Arizona Public Service Company (APS) on December 14, 
2012, and March 31, 2015, for the independent spent fuel storage 
installation (ISFSI) at Palo Verde in Wintersburg, Arizona.

DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on 
May 20, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0253 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-2018-0253. Address 
questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
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 ``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: Pamela Longmire, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7465, email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering the approval of the decommissioning funding 
plans (DFPs) for the Palo Verde ISFSI. APS submitted an initial DFP and 
an updated DFP for NRC review and approval by letters dated December 
14, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12354A129), and March 31, 2015 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML15093A052), respectively. The NRC staff has prepared a 
final EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML19120A195) in support of its review of 
APS's DFPs, in accordance with the NRC regulations in part 51 of title 
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Environmental 
Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory 
Functions,'' which implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Based on the EA, the NRC 
staff has determined that approval of the DFPs for the Palo Verde ISFSI 
will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and 
accordingly, the staff has concluded that a FONSI is appropriate. The 
NRC staff further finds that preparation of an environmental impact 
statement (EIS) is not warranted.

II. Environmental Assessment

Background

    The Palo Verde ISFSI is located in Wintersburg, Arizona. APS is 
authorized by the NRC, under License No. SFGL-17 to store spent nuclear 
fuel at the Palo Verde ISFSI.
    The NRC requires its licensees to plan for the eventual 
decommissioning of their licensed facilities prior to license 
termination. On June 17, 2011, the NRC published a final rule in the 
Federal Register amending its decommissioning planning regulations (76 
FR 35512). The final rule amended the NRC regulation, 10 CFR 72.30, 
which concerns financial assurance and decommissioning for ISFSIs. This 
regulation now requires each holder of, or applicant for, a license 
under 10 CFR part 72 to submit, for NRC review and approval, a DFP. The 
purpose of the DFP is to demonstrate the licensee's financial 
assurance, i.e., that funds will be available to decommission the 
ISFSI. The NRC staff is reviewing the DFPs submitted by APS on December 
14, 2012, and March 31, 2015. Specifically, the NRC must determine 
whether APS's DFPs contain the information required by 10 CFR 72.30(b) 
and 72.30(c) and whether APS has provided reasonable assurance that 
funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI.

Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is the NRC's review and approval of APS's DFPs 
submitted in accordance with 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c). To approve 
the DFPs, the NRC evaluates whether the decommissioning cost estimate 
(DCE) adequately estimates the cost to conduct the required ISFSI 
decommissioning activities prior to license termination, including 
identification of the volume of onsite subsurface material containing 
residual radioactivity that will require remediation to meet the 
license termination criteria in 10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 CFR 20.1403. The 
NRC also evaluates whether the aggregate dollar amount of APS financial 
instruments provides adequate financial assurance to cover the DCE and 
that the financial instruments meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(e). 
Finally, the NRC evaluates whether the effects of the following events 
have been considered in APS's submittal: (1) Spills of radioactive 
material producing additional residual radioactivity in onsite 
subsurface material; (2) facility modifications; (3) changes in 
authorized possession limits; and (4) actual remediation costs that 
exceed the previous cost estimate, consistent with 10 CFR 72.30(c).
    The proposed action does not require any changes to the ISFSI's 
licensed routine operations, maintenance activities, or monitoring 
programs, nor does it require any new construction or land-disturbing 
activities. The scope of the proposed action concerns only the

[[Page 22912]]

NRC's review and approval of APS's DFPs. The scope of the proposed 
action does not include, and will not result in, the review and 
approval of any decontamination or decommissioning activity or license 
termination for the ISFSI or any other part of Palo Verde.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action provides a means for the NRC to confirm that 
APS will have sufficient funding to cover the costs of decommissioning 
the ISFSI, including the reduction of the residual radioactivity at the 
ISFSI to the level specified by the applicable NRC license termination 
regulations concerning release of the property (10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 
CFR 20.1403).

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC's approval of the DFPs will not change the scope or nature 
of the operation of the ISFSI and will not authorize any changes to 
licensed operations or maintenance activities. The NRC's approval of 
the DFPs will not result in any changes in the types, characteristics, 
or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released 
into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any 
solid waste. Moreover, the approval of the DFPs will not authorize any 
construction activity or facility modification. Therefore, the NRC 
staff concludes that the approval of APS's DFPs is a procedural and 
administrative action that will not result in any significant impact to 
the environment.
    Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as 
amended (54 U.S.C. 30618) (NHPA), requires Federal agencies to consider 
the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. In accordance 
with the NHPA implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 800, ``Protection 
of Historic Properties,'' the NRC's approval of APS's DFPs constitutes 
a Federal undertaking. The NRC, however, has determined that the 
approval of the DFPs is a type of undertaking that does not have the 
potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such 
historic properties were present, because the NRC's approval of APS's 
DFPs will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or 
maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or 
quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into 
the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid 
waste. Therefore, in accordance with 36 CFR 800.3(a)(1), no 
consultation is required under Section 106 of the NHPA.
    Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.) (ESA), prior to taking a proposed action, a Federal 
agency must determine whether (i) endangered and threatened species or 
their critical habitats are known to be in the vicinity of the proposed 
action and if so, whether (ii) the proposed Federal action may affect 
listed species or critical habitats. The NRC has determined that the 
proposed action will have no effect on any listed species or their 
critical habitats because the NRC's approval of APS's DFPs will not 
authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance 
activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of 
radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the 
environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid 
waste.

Alternative to the Proposed Action

    In addition to the proposed action, the NRC evaluated the no-action 
alternative. The no-action alternative is to deny APS's DFPs. A denial 
of a DFP that meets the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(b) or 72.30(c) does 
not support the regulatory intent of the 2011 rulemaking. As noted in 
the EA for the 2011 rulemaking (ADAMS Accession No. ML090500648), not 
promulgating the 2011 final rule would have increased the likelihood of 
additional legacy sites. Thus, denying APS's DFPs, which the NRC has 
found to meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c), will 
undermine the licensee's decommissioning planning. On this basis, the 
NRC has concluded that the no-action alternative is not a viable 
alternative.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC staff consulted with other agencies and parties regarding 
the environmental impacts of the proposed action. The NRC provided a 
draft of its EA to the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (State) by 
letter dated October 20, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17142A054), and 
gave the State 30 days to respond. The State did not respond. The NRC 
also consulted with the Fish and Wildlife Service by letter dated 
October 20, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16299A075). However, the NRC 
staff has determined that consultation under ESA Section 7 is not 
required because the proposed action is administrative/procedural in 
nature and will not affect listed species or critical habitat (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML17135A062).

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action, the review 
and approval of APS's initial and updated DFPs, submitted in accordance 
with 10 CFR 72.30(b) and 72.30(c), will not authorize or result in 
changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in 
the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-
radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or 
result in the creation of any solid waste. Moreover, the approval of 
the DFPs will not authorize any construction activity, facility 
modification, or any other land-disturbing activity. The NRC staff has 
concluded that the proposed action is a procedural and administrative 
action and as such, that the proposed action will not have a 
significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, 
the NRC staff has determined not to prepare an EIS for the proposed 
action but will issue this FONSI.

IV. Availability of Documents

    The following documents, related to this notice, can be found using 
any of the methods provided in the following table. Instructions for 
accessing ADAMS were provided under the ADDRESSES section of this 
document.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Date                                      Document                       ADAMS Accession No.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 14, 2012......................  Submission of APS decommissioning funding plan  ML12354A129
March 31, 2015.........................  Submission of APS triennial decommissioning     ML15093A052
                                          funding plan.
February 1, 2009.......................  Environmental Assessment for Final Rule--       ML090500648
                                          Decommissioning Planning.
May 15, 2017...........................  Note to File re Sct 7 Consultations for ISFSI   ML17135A062
                                          DFPs.
October 20, 2016.......................  Consultation Letter: ML16299A050-RLSO.........  ML17142A054
October 20, 2016.......................  Letter to S. Jacobsen re: U.S. Nuclear          ML16299A075
                                          Regulatory Commission Preliminary
                                          Determination of No Effects Regarding Palo
                                          Verde Independent Spent Fuel Storage
                                          Installation Decommissioning Funding Plan.

[[Page 22913]]

 
April 26, 2019.........................  NRC staff's Final EA for the approval of the    ML19120A195
                                          decommissioning funding plan.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of May 2019.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John McKirgan,
Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2019-10420 Filed 5-17-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P