Notice of Intent To Review and Update the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, 47252-47255 [2020-16952]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 47252 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 4, 2020 / Notices has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant can then submit adjudicatory documents. Submissions must be in Portable Document Format (PDF). Additional guidance on PDF submissions is available on the NRC’s public website at https://www.nrc.gov/ site-help/electronic-sub-ref-mat.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the document is submitted through the NRC’s E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the EFiling system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC’s Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the document on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before adjudicatory documents are filed so that they can obtain access to the documents via the E-Filing system. A person filing electronically using the NRC’s adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC’s Electronic Filing Help Desk through the ‘‘Contact Us’’ link located on the NRC’s public website at https:// www.nrc.gov/site-help/esubmittals.html, by email to MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a tollfree call at 1–866–672–7640. The NRC Electronic Filing Help Desk is available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays. Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing stating why there is good cause for not filing electronically and requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Aug 03, 2020 Jkt 250001 Participants filing adjudicatory documents in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists. Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC’s electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at https:// adams.nrc.gov/ehd, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission or the presiding officer. If you do not have an NRC-issued digital ID certificate as described above, click ‘‘cancel’’ when the link requests certificates and you will be automatically directed to the NRC’s electronic hearing dockets where you will be able to access any publicly available documents in a particular hearing docket. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as social security numbers, home addresses, or personal phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. For example, in some instances, individuals provide home addresses in order to demonstrate proximity to a facility or site. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission. The Commission will issue a notice or order granting or denying a hearing request or intervention petition, designating the issues for any hearing that will be held and designating the Presiding Officer. A notice granting a hearing will be published in the Federal Register and served on the parties to the hearing. If a person other than Dr. Melinda Krahenbuhl requests a hearing, that person shall set forth with particularity the manner in which his or her interest is adversely affected by this CO and shall address the criteria set forth in 10 CFR 2.309(d) and (f). If a hearing request is granted to a person whose interest is adversely affected, the Commission will issue an order designating the time and place of any hearings. If a hearing is held, the PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 issue to be considered at such hearing shall be whether this CO should be sustained. In the absence of any request for hearing, or written approval of an extension of time in which to request a hearing, the provisions specified in Section V above shall be final 30 days from the date of this CO without further order or proceedings. If an extension of time for requesting a hearing has been approved, the provisions specified in Section V shall be final when the extension expires if a hearing request has not been received. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. George A. Wilson, Director, Office of Enforcement. Dated this 27th day of July 2020. [FR Doc. 2020–16907 Filed 8–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2020–0175] Notice of Intent To Review and Update the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Public scoping meetings and request for comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) intends to gather information through the public scoping process to support the review to determine whether to update NUREG– 1437, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants—Final Report’’ (LR GEIS). The NRC is seeking public input on the proposed action and has scheduled public scoping meetings. DATES: Submit comments by November 2, 2020. 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. The NRC will hold four public webinars on August 19, 2020 and August 27, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT and 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0175. Address questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\04AUN1.SGM 04AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 4, 2020 / Notices in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Email comments to: LicenseRenewal-GEIS@nrc.gov. • Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN–7– A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff. 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: Jennifer A. Davis, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone: 301–415–3835; email: Jennifer.Davis@ nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020– 0175 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0175. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://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 reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced herein (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. All revisions of NUREG–1437, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants’’ can be found in ADAMS under the following accession numbers: NUREG–1437, Vol. 1 and 2, dated May 1996 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML040690705 and ML040690738, respectively); NUREG–1437, Addendum 1, dated August 1999 (ADAMS Accession No. ML040690720); and NUREG–1437, Vol. 1, 2, and 3, Rev. 1, dated June 2013 (ADAMS Package Accession No. ML13107A023). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Aug 03, 2020 Jkt 250001 B. Submitting Comments Please include Docket ID NRC–2020– 0175 in the subject line of your comment submission in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https:// www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. II. Discussion In 1986, the NRC initiated a program to develop license renewal regulations and associated regulatory guidance in anticipation of receiving applications for the renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended authorizes the NRC to issue commercial nuclear power plant operating licenses for up to 40 years, and NRC’s regulations allow for the renewal of these operating licenses for up to an additional 20 years. There are no specific limitations in the Atomic Energy Act or the NRC’s regulations restricting the number of times a license may be renewed. The license renewal process includes reviewing the license renewal application, conducting safety and environmental reviews, and then, if all applicable safety standards are met, renewing the license. The review proceeds along two independent regulatory tracks: One considers safety issues and the other environmental issues. The reviews are directed by regulations designed to ensure safe operation and protection of the environment during the license renewal term. The NRC’s regulations for the safety review are set forth in part 54 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC’s environmental protection regulations implementing Section 102(2) of the PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47253 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are set forth in 10 CFR part 51, ‘‘Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions.’’ Renewal of a nuclear power plant operating license also requires the preparation of a safety evaluation report and an environmental impact statement (EIS) (10 CFR 51.20(b)(2)). The LR GEIS summarizes the findings of a systematic inquiry into the environmental impacts of continued operations and refurbishment activities associated with license renewal. Of the 78 environmental NEPA issues identified and analyzed by the NRC, 59 issues were determined to be generic (i.e., Category 1); 19 issues were determined to be nuclear power plantspecific (i.e., Category 2); and one issue, ‘‘Electromagnetic fields, chronic effects,’’ is uncategorized. Category 1 issues concern those potential environmental impacts resulting from license renewal that are common or generic to all nuclear power plants (or for some issues, to plants having a specific type of cooling system or other specified plant or site characteristic). Category 2 issues concern those potential environmental impacts resulting from license renewal that do not meet the criteria for a Category 1 issue and, as such, require a plantspecific analysis to determine the level of impact. The uncategorized issue would also be addressed by the NRC in each plant-specific supplemental EIS. Impact levels (small, moderate, or large) have been determined for most NEPA issues (e.g., land use, air, water) evaluated in the LR GEIS. A small impact means that the environmental effects are not detectable or are so minor that they would neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any important attribute of the resource. A moderate impact means that the environmental effects are sufficient to alter noticeably, but not destabilize, important attributes of the resource. A large impact means that the environmental effects would be clearly noticeable and would be sufficient to destabilize important attributes of the resource. The LR GEIS has been effective in focusing the NRC’s resources on important license renewal environmental impact issues and has increased the efficiency of the environmental review process. Currently, 94 nuclear units at 59 plant sites have received renewed operating licenses; 4 units at 2 plant sites have received subsequent (second) renewed operating licenses. During the review of the LR GEIS, the NRC will re-evaluate potential E:\FR\FM\04AUN1.SGM 04AUN1 47254 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 4, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES environmental impacts and apply lessons learned and knowledge gained during previous license renewal environmental reviews. In addition, public comments received during previous license renewal environmental reviews will be re-examined to validate existing environmental NEPA issues and identify new ones. Upon completion of the review, the NRC will consider the need to modify, add to, consolidate, or delete any of the 78 environmental NEPA issues currently evaluated in the LR GEIS. In the introductory remarks to appendix B to subpart A of part 51, ‘‘Environmental Effects of Renewing the Operating License of a Nuclear Power Plant,’’ the Commission stated that, on a 10-year cycle, it intends to review the material in Table B–1 and update it, if necessary. The previous revision cycle was completed with the issuance of a final rule and LR GEIS, Revision 1, on June 20, 2013 (78 FR 37281). Should the NRC proceed with an update to the LR GEIS, and a final rule to codify the update, the NRC’s goal is to complete this effort by the end of 2023. III. Request for Comments This notice informs the public of the NRC’s intention to review and update the LR GEIS and provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the review and propose areas for update. This step is the initial opportunity for the public to participate in the review by means of the environmental scoping process, as defined in 10 CFR 51.29, ‘‘Scoping-environmental impact statement and supplement to environmental impact statement.’’ At the conclusion of the scoping period, the NRC will consider the results of its review and public comments to determine whether to proceed with the update. The NRC will also publish a concise summary (scoping summary report) of its determinations and conclusions reached. Environmental reviews will continue under the current NRC NEPA regulatory framework throughout the course of this effort. If the NRC determines that an update is not necessary, notice of this decision will be published in the Federal Register. For each license renewal review, impacts requiring nuclear power plantspecific analysis must be analyzed by the applicant in its environmental report and by the NRC in a supplemental EIS. The NRC prepares a supplement to the LR GEIS during each license renewal review that evaluates the environmental impacts specific to that nuclear power plant. Supplemental EISs may be useful during the scoping VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:14 Aug 03, 2020 Jkt 250001 process, helping public participants understand the environmental review process and the NEPA issues associated with license renewal. Supplements to the LR GEIS can be viewed on the NRC’s website at https://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1437/. The NRC will first conduct scoping, document its determinations in a concise scoping summary report, and will then prepare a draft updated LR GEIS for public comment. Participation in the scoping process by members of the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal government agencies is encouraged. The scoping process will be used to accomplish the following: a. Determine whether to update the LR GEIS; b. Define the proposed action; c. Determine the scope of the update and identify significant issues to be analyzed in depth; d. Identify and eliminate from detailed study issues that are peripheral or are not significant; or were covered by a prior environmental review; e. Identify environmental assessments and other ElSs under development or consideration related to the scope of the LR GEIS update; f. Identify any review and consultation requirements related to the proposed action; and g. Describe how the LR GEIS revision will be prepared. The NRC invites the following persons to participate in scoping: a. Any Federal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved or that is authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards; b. Affected State and local government agencies, including those authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards; c. Any affected Indian Tribe; and d. Any person who requests or has requested an opportunity to participate in the scoping process. IV. Specific Request for Comments In accordance with regulations (appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51), the NRC has completed a preliminary review of the LR GEIS and identified the following NEPA and related issues for possible revision and update. Per the regulations, the NRC invites the public to comment on the results of the preliminary review and requests proposals for other areas of the LR GEIS that should be updated. • Greenhouse gas emissions (new NEPA issue)—The Council on Environmental Quality recently proposed guidance titled ‘‘Draft PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions’’ (84 FR 30097; June 26, 2019) to address how NEPA analyses should address greenhouse gas emissions. The NRC should evaluate this new NEPA issue in the LR GEIS and determine the issue category and level of impact. • Groundwater quality degradation (plants with cooling ponds in salt marshes) (revise existing NEPA issue)— The NEPA issue ‘‘Groundwater quality degradation (plants with cooling ponds in salt marshes)’’ affects two nuclear plants. This NEPA issue should be consolidated with ‘‘Groundwater quality degradation resulting from water withdrawals’’ and expanded to consider the environmental effects of saltwater intrusion/encroachment on adjacent surface water quality. The NRC should clarify the impacts of these NEPA issues in the LR GEIS. • Threatened, endangered, and protected species and essential fish habitat (revise existing NEPA issue)— This NEPA Issue should be divided into separate interagency consultation requirements based on the Federal statutes that afford the species or habitats special status or protections. Some of these requirements do not apply to all nuclear plants (e.g., ‘‘Essential Fish Habitat’’). The issue headings should be changed to ‘‘Federally Protected Species and Habitats’’ to clarify that these issues do not include Federal protection categories that do not require interagency consultation or non-Federal protection categories, such as Statelisted species. The meaning of ‘‘protected’’ should be clarified. A new finding should be added for the protection of marine resources to address requirements for interagency consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. The NRC should clarify the impacts of these NEPA issues in the LR GEIS. • Subsequent (second) license renewal (update LR GEIS to address this issue)—The findings in the LR GEIS apply to subsequent (second) license renewal environmental reviews. The NRC should include this clarification in the LR GEIS. • Updated guidance on evaluating radiological doses to aquatic and terrestrial biota (update LR GEIS to address this issue)—In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy updated its standard for evaluating the potential effects of radionuclides on biota titled, ‘‘DOE–STD–1153–2019, A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota.’’ E:\FR\FM\04AUN1.SGM 04AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 150 / Tuesday, August 4, 2020 / Notices The NRC should include conforming changes based on this new guidance in the LR GEIS. • Incorporate NEI 17–04 guidance and revised BEIR VII report (update LR GEIS to address this new information)— Incorporate Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) guidance NEI 17–04, Revision 1, ‘‘Model SLR New and Significant Assessment Approach for SAMA,’’ on identifying and considering new and significant information with respect to a prior severe accident mitigation alternatives (SAMA) analysis and new information from revised Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) published BEIR–VII, entitled ‘‘Health Risks from Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing Radiation’’ (National Research Council Committee). Also, the LR GEIS should address nuclear power plants that did not use NEI 05–01, Revision A, ‘‘Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMA) Analysis, Guidance Document.’’ The NRC should include this information in the LR GEIS. • New and significant information (update LR GEIS to address this issue)— Explain meaning and purpose of new and significant in LR GEIS for clarity and consistency. The NRC should include this information in the LR GEIS. • Include the environmental impacts of new large light water (LLW) reactors holding an operating license, construction permit, or combined jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Meeting license after June 30, 1995 (e.g., Vogtle 3 & 4) (update LR GEIS to address this issue)—Vogtle LLW Units 3 and 4 are nearing completion and the licensee could consider applying for license renewal at some future date. The NRC should include license renewal environmental reviews for LLW reactor facilities permitted for construction after June 30, 1995 in the LR GEIS. • Advanced and/or small modular reactors (SMRs) (update LR GEIS to address this issue)—An advanced reactor and SMR licensee could consider applying for license renewal. The NRC should include license renewal environmental reviews for advanced reactors and SMR facilities in the LR GEIS. • Consideration of the environmental impacts of license renewal beyond the 20-year license renewal term (update LR GEIS to address this issue)—The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, allows the NRC to grant nuclear power plant operating licenses for up to 40 years. NRC regulations allow for the renewal of operating reactor licenses for an additional 20 years beyond the current licensing period. The staff is in the early stages of evaluating whether to extend the operating reactor license renewal period from 20 years to a maximum of 40 years. Should the impacts analysis in the LR GEIS consider the environmental impacts of license renewal beyond the Date Public Webinar ....... 8/19/2020 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT) ......... Public Webinar ....... 8/27/2020 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) ......... Public Webinar ....... 8/27/2020 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT) ......... For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Robert B. Elliott, Chief, Environmental Review License Renewal Branch, Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2020–16952 Filed 8–3–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P PO 00000 NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–331; NRC–2020–0176] NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC; Duane Arnold Energy Center 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 February 25, 2020, as supplemented SUMMARY: Dated: July 30, 2020. Jkt 250001 In accordance with 10 CFR 51.26(b), the scoping process may include a public scoping meeting to help identify significant issues related to a proposed action and to determine the scope of issues to be addressed. Since this is a generic environmental review activity, the NRC will hold four public webinars for the LR GEIS update. Each webinar will be held online and will offer a telephone line for members of the public to submit comments. A court reporter will transcribe (record) all comments received during the webinar. To be considered, comments must be provided either at the transcribed public meeting or in writing, as discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The dates and times for the public webinars follow: Webinar Information: https://usnrc.webex.com. Event Number: 199 475 8415. Event Password: LRGEIS. Telephone Bridge Line: 1– 888–989–9766. Participant Passcode: 9050307. Webinar Information: https://usnrc.webex.com. Event Number: 199 208 1309. Event Password: LRGEIS. Telephone Bridge Line: 1– 800–369–2104. Participant Passcode: 1290865. Webinar Information: https://usnrc.webex.com. Event Number: 199 592 7925. Event Password: LRGEIS30. Telephone Bridge Line: 1–888–995–9725. Participant Passcode: 3382561. Webinar Information: https://usnrc.webex.com. Event Number: 199 389 0782. Event Password: LRGEIS30. Telephone Bridge Line: 1–888–787–0206. Participant Passcode: 8529023. 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) ......... 18:14 Aug 03, 2020 V. Public Scoping Webinars Location 8/19/2020 VerDate Sep<11>2014 current regulatory limit of 20 years (e.g., up to a maximum of 40 years)? The NRC is reviewing the Council on Environmental Quality’s final rule, ‘‘Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act’’ (85 FR 43304; July 16, 2020) to determine what effect they may have on the LR GEIS update—should the NRC ultimately decide, based on its review and public comment, to update the LR GEIS. Time Public Webinar ....... Persons interested in attending this webinar should monitor the NRC’s Public Meeting Schedule web page at https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg for additional information, agendas for the meetings, and access information for the webinar. Participants should register in advance of the meeting by visiting the website (https://usnrc.webex.com) and using the event number provided above. A confirmation email will be generated providing additional details and a link to the webinar. 47255 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\04AUN1.SGM 04AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 150 (Tuesday, August 4, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47252-47255]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16952]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2020-0175]


Notice of Intent To Review and Update the Generic Environmental 
Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Public scoping meetings and request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) intends to gather 
information through the public scoping process to support the review to 
determine whether to update NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants--Final Report'' (LR 
GEIS). The NRC is seeking public input on the proposed action and has 
scheduled public scoping meetings.

DATES: Submit comments by November 2, 2020. 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. The NRC will hold four public webinars on 
August 19, 2020 and August 27, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT and 
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0175. Address 
questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individual listed

[[Page 47253]]

in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
     Email comments to: [email protected].
     Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop: 
TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, ATTN: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff.
    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: Jennifer A. Davis, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-3835; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0175 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
obtain publicly-available information related to this document by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0175.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://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 reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by 
email to [email protected]. The ADAMS accession number for each 
document referenced herein (if that document is available in ADAMS) is 
provided the first time that a document is referenced. All revisions of 
NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License 
Renewal of Nuclear Plants'' can be found in ADAMS under the following 
accession numbers: NUREG-1437, Vol. 1 and 2, dated May 1996 (ADAMS 
Accession Nos. ML040690705 and ML040690738, respectively); NUREG-1437, 
Addendum 1, dated August 1999 (ADAMS Accession No. ML040690720); and 
NUREG-1437, Vol. 1, 2, and 3, Rev. 1, dated June 2013 (ADAMS Package 
Accession No. ML13107A023).

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2020-0175 in the subject line of your 
comment submission in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your 
comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at 
https://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions 
into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

    In 1986, the NRC initiated a program to develop license renewal 
regulations and associated regulatory guidance in anticipation of 
receiving applications for the renewal of nuclear power plant operating 
licenses. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended authorizes the NRC 
to issue commercial nuclear power plant operating licenses for up to 40 
years, and NRC's regulations allow for the renewal of these operating 
licenses for up to an additional 20 years. There are no specific 
limitations in the Atomic Energy Act or the NRC's regulations 
restricting the number of times a license may be renewed. The license 
renewal process includes reviewing the license renewal application, 
conducting safety and environmental reviews, and then, if all 
applicable safety standards are met, renewing the license. The review 
proceeds along two independent regulatory tracks: One considers safety 
issues and the other environmental issues. The reviews are directed by 
regulations designed to ensure safe operation and protection of the 
environment during the license renewal term. The NRC's regulations for 
the safety review are set forth in part 54 of title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC's environmental protection 
regulations implementing Section 102(2) of the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) are set forth in 10 CFR part 51, ``Environmental 
Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory 
Functions.'' Renewal of a nuclear power plant operating license also 
requires the preparation of a safety evaluation report and an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) (10 CFR 51.20(b)(2)).
    The LR GEIS summarizes the findings of a systematic inquiry into 
the environmental impacts of continued operations and refurbishment 
activities associated with license renewal. Of the 78 environmental 
NEPA issues identified and analyzed by the NRC, 59 issues were 
determined to be generic (i.e., Category 1); 19 issues were determined 
to be nuclear power plant-specific (i.e., Category 2); and one issue, 
``Electromagnetic fields, chronic effects,'' is uncategorized. Category 
1 issues concern those potential environmental impacts resulting from 
license renewal that are common or generic to all nuclear power plants 
(or for some issues, to plants having a specific type of cooling system 
or other specified plant or site characteristic). Category 2 issues 
concern those potential environmental impacts resulting from license 
renewal that do not meet the criteria for a Category 1 issue and, as 
such, require a plant-specific analysis to determine the level of 
impact. The uncategorized issue would also be addressed by the NRC in 
each plant-specific supplemental EIS.
    Impact levels (small, moderate, or large) have been determined for 
most NEPA issues (e.g., land use, air, water) evaluated in the LR GEIS. 
A small impact means that the environmental effects are not detectable 
or are so minor that they would neither destabilize nor noticeably 
alter any important attribute of the resource. A moderate impact means 
that the environmental effects are sufficient to alter noticeably, but 
not destabilize, important attributes of the resource. A large impact 
means that the environmental effects would be clearly noticeable and 
would be sufficient to destabilize important attributes of the 
resource.
    The LR GEIS has been effective in focusing the NRC's resources on 
important license renewal environmental impact issues and has increased 
the efficiency of the environmental review process. Currently, 94 
nuclear units at 59 plant sites have received renewed operating 
licenses; 4 units at 2 plant sites have received subsequent (second) 
renewed operating licenses.
    During the review of the LR GEIS, the NRC will re-evaluate 
potential

[[Page 47254]]

environmental impacts and apply lessons learned and knowledge gained 
during previous license renewal environmental reviews. In addition, 
public comments received during previous license renewal environmental 
reviews will be re-examined to validate existing environmental NEPA 
issues and identify new ones. Upon completion of the review, the NRC 
will consider the need to modify, add to, consolidate, or delete any of 
the 78 environmental NEPA issues currently evaluated in the LR GEIS.
    In the introductory remarks to appendix B to subpart A of part 51, 
``Environmental Effects of Renewing the Operating License of a Nuclear 
Power Plant,'' the Commission stated that, on a 10-year cycle, it 
intends to review the material in Table B-1 and update it, if 
necessary. The previous revision cycle was completed with the issuance 
of a final rule and LR GEIS, Revision 1, on June 20, 2013 (78 FR 
37281). Should the NRC proceed with an update to the LR GEIS, and a 
final rule to codify the update, the NRC's goal is to complete this 
effort by the end of 2023.

III. Request for Comments

    This notice informs the public of the NRC's intention to review and 
update the LR GEIS and provide the public with an opportunity to 
comment on the review and propose areas for update. This step is the 
initial opportunity for the public to participate in the review by 
means of the environmental scoping process, as defined in 10 CFR 51.29, 
``Scoping-environmental impact statement and supplement to 
environmental impact statement.'' At the conclusion of the scoping 
period, the NRC will consider the results of its review and public 
comments to determine whether to proceed with the update. The NRC will 
also publish a concise summary (scoping summary report) of its 
determinations and conclusions reached. Environmental reviews will 
continue under the current NRC NEPA regulatory framework throughout the 
course of this effort. If the NRC determines that an update is not 
necessary, notice of this decision will be published in the Federal 
Register.
    For each license renewal review, impacts requiring nuclear power 
plant-specific analysis must be analyzed by the applicant in its 
environmental report and by the NRC in a supplemental EIS. The NRC 
prepares a supplement to the LR GEIS during each license renewal review 
that evaluates the environmental impacts specific to that nuclear power 
plant. Supplemental EISs may be useful during the scoping process, 
helping public participants understand the environmental review process 
and the NEPA issues associated with license renewal. Supplements to the 
LR GEIS can be viewed on the NRC's website at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1437/.
    The NRC will first conduct scoping, document its determinations in 
a concise scoping summary report, and will then prepare a draft updated 
LR GEIS for public comment. Participation in the scoping process by 
members of the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal government 
agencies is encouraged. The scoping process will be used to accomplish 
the following:
    a. Determine whether to update the LR GEIS;
    b. Define the proposed action;
    c. Determine the scope of the update and identify significant 
issues to be analyzed in depth;
    d. Identify and eliminate from detailed study issues that are 
peripheral or are not significant; or were covered by a prior 
environmental review;
    e. Identify environmental assessments and other ElSs under 
development or consideration related to the scope of the LR GEIS 
update;
    f. Identify any review and consultation requirements related to the 
proposed action; and
    g. Describe how the LR GEIS revision will be prepared.
    The NRC invites the following persons to participate in scoping:
    a. Any Federal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special 
expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved or that is 
authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards;
    b. Affected State and local government agencies, including those 
authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards;
    c. Any affected Indian Tribe; and
    d. Any person who requests or has requested an opportunity to 
participate in the scoping process.

IV. Specific Request for Comments

    In accordance with regulations (appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR 
part 51), the NRC has completed a preliminary review of the LR GEIS and 
identified the following NEPA and related issues for possible revision 
and update. Per the regulations, the NRC invites the public to comment 
on the results of the preliminary review and requests proposals for 
other areas of the LR GEIS that should be updated.
     Greenhouse gas emissions (new NEPA issue)--The Council on 
Environmental Quality recently proposed guidance titled ``Draft 
National Environmental Policy Act Guidance on Consideration of 
Greenhouse Gas Emissions'' (84 FR 30097; June 26, 2019) to address how 
NEPA analyses should address greenhouse gas emissions. The NRC should 
evaluate this new NEPA issue in the LR GEIS and determine the issue 
category and level of impact.
     Groundwater quality degradation (plants with cooling ponds 
in salt marshes) (revise existing NEPA issue)--The NEPA issue 
``Groundwater quality degradation (plants with cooling ponds in salt 
marshes)'' affects two nuclear plants. This NEPA issue should be 
consolidated with ``Groundwater quality degradation resulting from 
water withdrawals'' and expanded to consider the environmental effects 
of saltwater intrusion/encroachment on adjacent surface water quality. 
The NRC should clarify the impacts of these NEPA issues in the LR GEIS.
     Threatened, endangered, and protected species and 
essential fish habitat (revise existing NEPA issue)--This NEPA Issue 
should be divided into separate interagency consultation requirements 
based on the Federal statutes that afford the species or habitats 
special status or protections. Some of these requirements do not apply 
to all nuclear plants (e.g., ``Essential Fish Habitat''). The issue 
headings should be changed to ``Federally Protected Species and 
Habitats'' to clarify that these issues do not include Federal 
protection categories that do not require interagency consultation or 
non-Federal protection categories, such as State-listed species. The 
meaning of ``protected'' should be clarified. A new finding should be 
added for the protection of marine resources to address requirements 
for interagency consultation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration under the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. The NRC 
should clarify the impacts of these NEPA issues in the LR GEIS.
     Subsequent (second) license renewal (update LR GEIS to 
address this issue)--The findings in the LR GEIS apply to subsequent 
(second) license renewal environmental reviews. The NRC should include 
this clarification in the LR GEIS.
     Updated guidance on evaluating radiological doses to 
aquatic and terrestrial biota (update LR GEIS to address this issue)--
In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy updated its standard 
for evaluating the potential effects of radionuclides on biota titled, 
``DOE-STD-1153-2019, A Graded Approach for Evaluating Radiation Doses 
to Aquatic and Terrestrial Biota.''

[[Page 47255]]

The NRC should include conforming changes based on this new guidance in 
the LR GEIS.
     Incorporate NEI 17-04 guidance and revised BEIR VII report 
(update LR GEIS to address this new information)--Incorporate Nuclear 
Energy Institute (NEI) guidance NEI 17-04, Revision 1, ``Model SLR New 
and Significant Assessment Approach for SAMA,'' on identifying and 
considering new and significant information with respect to a prior 
severe accident mitigation alternatives (SAMA) analysis and new 
information from revised Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation 
(BEIR) published BEIR-VII, entitled ``Health Risks from Exposure to Low 
Levels of Ionizing Radiation'' (National Research Council Committee). 
Also, the LR GEIS should address nuclear power plants that did not use 
NEI 05-01, Revision A, ``Severe Accident Mitigation Alternatives (SAMA) 
Analysis, Guidance Document.'' The NRC should include this information 
in the LR GEIS.
     New and significant information (update LR GEIS to address 
this issue)--Explain meaning and purpose of new and significant in LR 
GEIS for clarity and consistency. The NRC should include this 
information in the LR GEIS.
     Include the environmental impacts of new large light water 
(LLW) reactors holding an operating license, construction permit, or 
combined license after June 30, 1995 (e.g., Vogtle 3 & 4) (update LR 
GEIS to address this issue)--Vogtle LLW Units 3 and 4 are nearing 
completion and the licensee could consider applying for license renewal 
at some future date. The NRC should include license renewal 
environmental reviews for LLW reactor facilities permitted for 
construction after June 30, 1995 in the LR GEIS.
     Advanced and/or small modular reactors (SMRs) (update LR 
GEIS to address this issue)--An advanced reactor and SMR licensee could 
consider applying for license renewal. The NRC should include license 
renewal environmental reviews for advanced reactors and SMR facilities 
in the LR GEIS.
     Consideration of the environmental impacts of license 
renewal beyond the 20-year license renewal term (update LR GEIS to 
address this issue)--The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, allows 
the NRC to grant nuclear power plant operating licenses for up to 40 
years. NRC regulations allow for the renewal of operating reactor 
licenses for an additional 20 years beyond the current licensing 
period. The staff is in the early stages of evaluating whether to 
extend the operating reactor license renewal period from 20 years to a 
maximum of 40 years. Should the impacts analysis in the LR GEIS 
consider the environmental impacts of license renewal beyond the 
current regulatory limit of 20 years (e.g., up to a maximum of 40 
years)?
    The NRC is reviewing the Council on Environmental Quality's final 
rule, ``Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural 
Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act'' (85 FR 43304; 
July 16, 2020) to determine what effect they may have on the LR GEIS 
update--should the NRC ultimately decide, based on its review and 
public comment, to update the LR GEIS.

V. Public Scoping Webinars

    In accordance with 10 CFR 51.26(b), the scoping process may include 
a public scoping meeting to help identify significant issues related to 
a proposed action and to determine the scope of issues to be addressed. 
Since this is a generic environmental review activity, the NRC will 
hold four public webinars for the LR GEIS update.
    Each webinar will be held online and will offer a telephone line 
for members of the public to submit comments. A court reporter will 
transcribe (record) all comments received during the webinar. To be 
considered, comments must be provided either at the transcribed public 
meeting or in writing, as discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. The dates and times for the public webinars follow:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Meeting                Date                           Time                             Location
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Public Webinar............       8/19/2020  1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT)................  Webinar Information:
                                                                                           https://usnrc.webex.com.
                                                                                           Event Number: 199 475
                                                                                           8415. Event Password:
                                                                                           LRGEIS. Telephone
                                                                                           Bridge Line: 1-888-
                                                                                           989-9766. Participant
                                                                                           Passcode: 9050307.
Public Webinar............       8/19/2020  6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT)................  Webinar Information:
                                                                                           https://usnrc.webex.com.
                                                                                           Event Number: 199 208
                                                                                           1309. Event Password:
                                                                                           LRGEIS. Telephone
                                                                                           Bridge Line: 1-800-
                                                                                           369-2104. Participant
                                                                                           Passcode: 1290865.
Public Webinar............       8/27/2020  1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT)................  Webinar Information:
                                                                                           https://usnrc.webex.com.
                                                                                           Event Number: 199 592
                                                                                           7925. Event Password:
                                                                                           LRGEIS30. Telephone
                                                                                           Bridge Line: 1-888-
                                                                                           995-9725. Participant
                                                                                           Passcode: 3382561.
Public Webinar............       8/27/2020  6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT)................  Webinar Information:
                                                                                           https://usnrc.webex.com.
                                                                                           Event Number: 199 389
                                                                                           0782. Event Password:
                                                                                           LRGEIS30. Telephone
                                                                                           Bridge Line: 1-888-
                                                                                           787-0206. Participant
                                                                                           Passcode: 8529023.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Persons interested in attending this webinar should monitor the 
NRC's Public Meeting Schedule web page at https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg 
for additional information, agendas for the meetings, and access 
information for the webinar. Participants should register in advance of 
the meeting by visiting the website (https://usnrc.webex.com) and using 
the event number provided above. A confirmation email will be generated 
providing additional details and a link to the webinar.

    Dated: July 30, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Robert B. Elliott,
Chief, Environmental Review License Renewal Branch, Division of 
Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial Support, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2020-16952 Filed 8-3-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P