Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, 55863-55869 [2020-19937]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices us via email at NISPPAC@nara.gov with any questions. Maureen MacDonald, Designated Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–20016 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515–01–P NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Sunshine Act Meeting 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 29, 2020. PLACE: Virtual. STATUS: The one item may be viewed by the public through webcast only. MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: 64871 Highway Accident Report: Stretch Limousine Run-Off-Road Crash Near Schoharie, New York, October 6, 2018 CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Candi Bing at (202) 590–8384 or by email at bingc@ntsb.gov. Media Information Contact: Eric Weiss by email at eric.weiss@ntsb.gov or at (202) 314–6100. This meeting will take place virtually. The public may view it through a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘Webcast of Events’’ on the NTSB home page at www.ntsb.gov. There may be changes to this event due to the evolving situation concerning the novel coronavirus (COVID–19). Schedule updates, including weatherrelated cancellations, are also available at www.ntsb.gov. The National Transportation Safety Board is holding this meeting under the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b). TIME AND DATE: Dated: Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Candi R. Bing, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–20057 Filed 9–8–20; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–456; 50–457; NRC–2020– 0208] khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 issuance of an amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–72 and NPF–77 that were issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, (licensee) for operation of the Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2. The proposed amendment is contained in the licensee’s letter dated July 15, 2020, as supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020, and would change technical specifications (TS) surveillance requirement (SR) 3.7.9.2 to allow an ultimate heat sink (UHS) temperature of less than or equal to 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) until September 30, 2020. The proposed amendment would also permanently extend the completion time for the Required Action of both Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, to be placed in Mode 3 within 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. DATES: The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact referenced in this document is available on September 10, 2020. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2020–0208 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 https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2020–0208. 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 individuals 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 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 (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209 or 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. For the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the ‘‘Availability of Documents’’ section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Briana Grange, Office of Material Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301–415– 1042; email: Briana.Grange@nrc.gov; or Joel Wiebe, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301–415–6606; email: Joel.Wiebe@nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55863 Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The NRC is considering issuance of amendments to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–72 and NPF–77 that were issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon), for operation of the Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2 (Braidwood), located in Will County Illinois. Exelon submitted its license amendment request in accordance with section 50.90 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulation (10 CFR), by letter dated July 15, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20197A434) as supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20227A375). If approved, the license amendments would revise TS surveillance requirement (SR) in TS 3.7.9.2 to allow a temporary increase in the allowable ultimate heat sink (UHS) average temperature of less than or equal to (≤) 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) (39.3 degrees Celsius (°C)) through September 30, 2020. The amendments would also permanently extend the completion time for TS 3.7.9 Required Action A.1, which requires Exelon to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3), from 6 hours to 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. The completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby for all other reasons would remain 6 hours. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC performed an environmental assessment (EA). Based on the results of the EA assessment that follows, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed amendments, and is issuing a finding of no significant impact (FONSI). II. Environmental Assessment Plant Site and Environs Braidwood is located in Will County, Illinois approximately 50 miles (mi; 80 kilometers [km]) southwest of the Chicago Metropolitan Area and 20 mi (32 km) south-southwest of Joliet. The Kankakee River is approximately 5 mi (8 km) east of the eastern site boundary. An onsite 2,540-acre (ac; 1,030-hectare [ha]) cooling pond provides condenser cooling. Cooling water is withdrawn from the pond through the lake screen house, which is located at the north end of the pond. Heated water returns to the cooling pond through a discharge canal west of the lake screen house intake that is separated from the intake by a dike. The pond typically holds 22,300 acre- E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 55864 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices feet (27.5 million cubic meters) of water at any given time. The cooling pond includes both ‘‘essential’’ and ‘‘nonessential’’ areas. The essential cooling pond is the portion of the cooling pond that serves as the UHS for emergency core cooling, and it consists of a 99-ac (40-ha) excavated area of the pond directly in front of the lake screen house. The essential cooling pond’s principal functions are to dissipate residual heat after reactor shutdown and to dissipate heat after an accident. It is capable of supplying Braidwood’s cooling system with water for 30 days of station operation without additional makeup water. For clarity, use of the term ‘‘UHS’’ in this EA refers to the 99ac (40-ha) essential cooling pond, and use of the term ‘‘cooling pond’’ or ‘‘pond’’ describes the entire 2,540-ac (1,030-ha) area, which includes both the essential and non-essential areas. The cooling pond is part of the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area, which encompasses the majority of the non-UHS area of the cooling pond as well as Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)-owned lands adjacent to the Braidwood site to the south and southwest of the cooling pond. Exelon and the IDNR have jointly managed the cooling pond as part of the MazoniaBraidwood State Fish and Wildlife Area since 1991 pursuant to a long-term lease agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the public has access to the pond for fishing, waterfowl hunting, fossil collecting, and other recreational activities. The cooling pond is a wastewater treatment works as defined by Section 301.415 of Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 301.415). Under this definition, the cooling pond is not considered waters of the State under Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 301.440) or waters of the United States under the Federal Clean Water Act (40 CFR 230.3(s)), and so the cooling pond is not subject to State water quality standards. The cooling pond can be characterized as a managed ecosystem where IDNR fish stocking and other human activities primarily influence the species composition and population dynamics. Since the beginning of the lease agreement between Exelon and IDNR, the IDNR has stocked the cooling pond with a variety of game fish, including largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (M. dolomieu), blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), crappie (Pomoxis spp.), walleye (Sander vitreum), and tiger muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 lucius). IDNR performs annual surveys to determine which fish to stock based on fishermen preferences, fish abundance, different species’ tolerance to warm waters, predator and prey dynamics, and other factors. Because of the high water temperatures experienced in the summer months, introductions of warm-water species, such as largemouth bass and blue catfish, have been more successful than introductions of cool-water species, such as walleye and tiger muskellunge. Since annual surveys began in 1980, IDNR has collected 47 species in the cooling pond. In recent years, bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense), and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) have been among the most abundant species in the cooling pond. Gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), one of the most frequently affected species during periods of elevated pond temperatures, have decreased in abundance dramatically in recent years, while bluegills, which can tolerate high temperatures with relatively high survival rates, have noticeably increased in relative abundance. IDNR-stocked warm water game species, such as largemouth bass and blue catfish, continue to persist in small numbers, while cooler water stocked species, such as walleye and tiger muskellunge, no longer appear in IDNR survey collections. No federally listed species or designated critical habitats protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) occur within or near the cooling pond. The Kankakee River serves as the source of makeup water for the cooling pond. The river also receives continuous blowdown from the cooling pond. Water is withdrawn from a small river screen house located on the Kankakee River, and liquid effluents from Braidwood are discharged into the cooling pond blowdown line, which subsequently discharges into the Kankakee River. The plant site and environs are described in greater detail in Chapter 3 of the NRC’s November 2015, Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Final Report (NUREG–1437, Supplement 55; ADAMS Accession No. ML15314A814) (herein referred to as the ‘‘Braidwood FSEIS’’ [Final Supplemental Environment Impact Statement]). Figure 3–5 on page 3–7 of the Braidwood FSEIS depicts the Braidwood plant layout, and Figure 3– 4 on page 3–6 depicts the cooling pond, including the portion of the pond that constitutes the essential cooling pond PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (or UHS) and the blowdown line to the Kankakee River. Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action would revise the Braidwood TS to allow a temporary increase in the allowable average temperature of water withdrawn from the UHS and supplied to the plant for cooling from ≤102 °F (38.9 °C) to ≤102.8 °F (39.3 °C) until September 30, 2020. Specifically, the proposed action would revise TS S R 3.7.9.2, which currently states, ‘‘Verify average water temperature of UHS is ≤102 °F,’’ to add the statement, ‘‘Verify average water temperature of the UHS is ≤102.8 °F until September 30, 2020. After September 30, 2020, verify average water temperature of UHS is ≤ 102 °F’’ The amendments would also permanently extend the completion time for TS 3.7.9 Required Action A.1, which requires Exelon to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3), from 6 hours to 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. The completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby for all other reasons would remain 6 hours. To implement this revision, TS 3.7.9 Required Action A.1 would be divided into two conditions: Condition A and Condition B. Under the current TS, if the average UHS temperature as measured at the discharge of the operating essential service water system pumps is greater than 102 °F (38.9 °C), TS 3.7.9 Required Actions A.1 and A.2 would be entered concurrently and would require the licensee to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) within 6 hours and cold shutdown (Mode 5) within 36 hours. The proposed action would allow Braidwood to continue to operate during times when the UHS indicated average water temperature exceeds 102 °F (38.9 °C) but is less than or equal to 102.8 °F (39.3 °C) until September 30, 2020. The current TS’s UHS average water temperature limit of 102 °F (38.9 °C) would remain applicable to all other time periods beyond September 30, 2020. The proposed action would also allow for 12 hours to complete hot standby (Mode 3) when temperatures exceed the SR (i.e., if the UHS indicated temperature is greater than 102.8 °F (39.3 °C) through September 30, 2020, or greater than 102 °F (38.9 °C) during any other time period). The proposed action would not affect the 6-hour completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby for any reasons other than exceeding the average water temperature condition. The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee’s application dated E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices July 15, 2020 as supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Need for the Proposed Action The licensee has requested the proposed amendments in connection with recent meteorological and atmospheric conditions that have resulted in the TS UHS temperature being challenged. These conditions include elevated air temperatures, high humidity, and low wind speed. Specifically, from July 4, 2020, through July 9, 2020, northern Illinois experienced high air temperatures and drought conditions, which caused sustained elevated UHS temperatures. The proposed action would provide the licensee with operational flexibility until September 30, 2020, during which continued high UHS temperatures are likely so that the plant shutdown criteria specified in the TS are not triggered. The proposed action would also provide the licensee with a longer time to place the plant in hot standby when the allowable average water temperature is exceeded. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action With regard to radiological impacts, the proposed action would not result in any changes in the types of radioactive effluents that may be released from the plant offsite. No significant increase in the amount of any radioactive effluent released offsite or significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure is expected from the proposed action. Separate from this EA, the NRC staff is evaluating the licensee’s safety analyses of the potential radiological consequences of an accident that may result from the proposed action. The results of the NRC staff’s safety analysis will be documented in a safety evaluation (SE). If the NRC staff concludes in the SE that all pertinent regulatory requirements related to radiological effluents are met by the proposed UHS temperature limit increase, then the proposed action would result in no significant radiological impact to the environment. The NRC staff’s SE will be issued with the license amendments, if approved by the NRC. If the NRC staff concludes that all pertinent regulatory requirements are not met by the proposed UHS temperature limit increase, the requested amendment would not be issued. With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, temporarily raising the maximum allowable UHS temperature from ≤102 °F (38.9 °C) to ≤102.8 °F (39.3 °C) could cause increased cooling pond water VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 temperatures until September 30, 2020. Because the proposed action would not affect Braidwood’s licensed thermal power level, the temperature rise across the condensers as cooling water travels through the cooling system would remain constant. Thus, if water in the UHS were to rise to 102.8 °F (39.3 °C), heated water returning to the cooling pond through the discharge canal, which lies west of the river screen house, would also experience a corresponding 0.8 °F (0.4 °C) increase. That additional heat load would dissipate across some thermal gradient as discharged water travels down the discharge canal and through the 99-ac (40-ha) UHS. Fish kills are likely to occur when cooling pond temperatures rise above 95 °F (35 °C), the temperature at which most fish in the cooling pond are thermally stressed. For example, Section 3.7.4 of the Braidwood FSEIS describes six fish kill events for the period of 2001 through 2015. The fish kill events, which occurred in July 2001, August 2001, June 2005, August 2007, June 2009, and July 2012, primarily affected threadfin shad and gizzard shad, although bass, catfish, carp, and other game fish were also affected. Reported peak temperatures in the cooling pond during these events ranged from 98.4 °F (36.9 °C) to over 100 °F (37.8 °C), and each event resulted in the death of between 700 to as many as 10,000 fish. During the July 2012 event, cooling pond temperatures exceeded 100 °F (37.8 °C), which resulted in the death of approximately 3,000 gizzard shad and 100 bass, catfish, and carp (ADAMS Accession No. ML14339A044). This event coincided with the NRC’s granting of Enforcement Discretion to allow Braidwood to continue to operate above the TS limit of ≤100 °F (37.8 °C). The IDNR attributed this event, as well as four of the other fish kill events, to high cooling pond temperatures resulting from Braidwood operation. Appendix B, Section 4.1 of the Braidwood renewed facility operating licenses (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML053040362 and ML053040366), requires Exelon to report to the NRC the occurrence of unusual or important environmental events, including fish kills, causally related to plant operation. Since the issuance of the Braidwood FSEIS in November 2015, Exelon has not reported any additional fish kill events to the NRC. Although not causally related to plant operation, fish kills have occurred since this time, the most recent of which occurred in August 2018 and July 2020. In Section 4.7.1.3 of the Braidwood FSEIS, the NRC staff concluded that PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55865 thermal impacts associated with continued operation of Braidwood during the license renewal term would result in SMALL to MODERATE impacts to aquatic resources in the cooling pond. MODERATE impacts would primarily be experienced by gizzard shad and other non-stocked and low-heat tolerant species. As part of its conclusion, the NRC staff also noted that because the cooling pond is a highly managed system, any cascading effects that result from the loss of gizzard shad (such as reduction in prey for stocked species, which in turn could affect those stocked species’ populations) could be mitigated through IDNR’s annual stocking and continual management of the pond. At that time, the UHS TS limit was ≤100 °F (37.8 °C). In 2016, the NRC granted license amendments that increased the allowable UHS average water temperature TS limit from ≤100 °F (38.9 °C) to ≤102.0 °F (39.3 °C) (ADAMS Accession No. ML16133A438). In the EA associated with these amendments (ADAMS Accession No. ML16181A007), the NRC staff concluded that increasing the TS limit to ≤102.0 °F (38.9 °C) would have no significant environmental impacts, and the NRC issued a FONSI with the EA. Regarding the proposed action, the proposed increase in the allowable UHS average water temperature limit by 0.8 °F (0.4 °C) would not increase the likelihood of a fish kill event attributable to high cooling pond temperatures because the current TS limit for the UHS of 102.0 °F (38.9 °C) already allows cooling pond temperatures above those at which most fish species are thermally stressed (95 °F (35 °C)). In effect, if the UHS temperature rises to the current TS limit, fish within or near the discharge canal, within the flow path between the discharge canal and UHS, or within the UHS itself would have already experienced thermal stress and possibly died. Thus, an incremental increase in the allowable UHS water temperature by 0.8 °F (0.4 °C) and the corresponding temperature increases within and near the discharge canal and within the flow path between the discharge canal and UHS would not significantly affect the number of fish kill events experienced in the cooling pond. Additionally, the proposed action would only increase the allowable UHS average water temperature until September 30, 2020. Thus, any impacts to the aquatic community of the cooling pond, if experienced, would be temporary in nature, and fish populations would likely recover relatively quickly. E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 55866 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices While the proposed action would not affect the likelihood of a fish kill event occurring during periods when the average UHS water temperature approaches the TS limit, the proposed action could increase the number of fish killed per high temperature event. For fish with thermal tolerances at or near 95 °F (35 °C), there would likely be no significant difference in the number of affected fish per high temperature event because, as already stated, these fish would have already experienced thermal stress and possibly died and the additional temperature increase would not measurably affect the mortality rate of these individuals. For fish with thermal tolerances above 95 °F (35 °C), such as bluegill, increased mortality is possible, as described below. The available scientific literature provides conflicting information as to whether incremental temperature increases would cause a subsequent increase in mortality rates of bluegill or other high-temperature-tolerant fish when temperatures exceed 100 °F (37.8 °C). For instance, in laboratory studies, Banner and Van Arman (1973) demonstrated 85 percent survival of juvenile bluegill after 24 hours of exposure to 98.6 °F (37.0 °C) water for stock acclimated to 91.2 °F (32.9 °C). At 100.0 °F (37.8 °C), survival decreased to 25 percent, and at 100.4 °F (38.0 °C) and 102.0 °F (38.9 °C), no individuals survived. Even at one hour of exposure to 102.0 °F (38.9 °C) water, average survival was relatively low at between 40 to 67.5 percent per replicate. However, in another laboratory study, Cairns (1956 in Banner and Van Arman 1973) demonstrated that if juvenile bluegill were acclimated to higher temperatures at a 3.6 °F (2.0 °C) increase per day, individuals could tolerate water temperatures up to 102.6 °F (39.2 °C) with 80 percent survival after 24 hours of exposure. Although these studies provide inconsistent thermal tolerance limits, information from past fish kill events indicates that Cairns’ results better describe the cooling pond’s bluegill population because Exelon has not reported bluegill as one of the species that has been affected by past high temperature events. Thus, bluegills are likely acclimating to temperature rises at a rate that allows those individuals to remain in high temperature areas until temperatures decrease or that allows individuals time to seek refuge in cooler areas of the pond. Alternately, if Banner and Van Arman’s results were more predictive, 75 percent or more of bluegill individuals in high temperature areas of the cooling pond could be expected to die at temperatures VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 approaching or exceeding 100 °F (37.8 °C) for 24 hours, and shorter exposure time would likely result in the death of some reduced percentage of bluegill individuals. Under the proposed action, fish exposure to temperatures approaching the proposed UHS TS average water temperature limit of 102.8 °F (39.3 °C) and those exposed to the associated discharge, which would be 0.8 °F (0.4 °C) higher than under the current TS limit, for at least one hour would result in observable deaths. However, as stated previously, Exelon has not reported bluegill as one of the species that has been affected during past fish kills. Consequently, the NRC staff assumes that bluegill and other hightemperature-tolerant species in the cooling pond would experience effects similar to those observed in Cairn’s study. Based on Cairn’s results, the proposed action’s incremental and short-term increase of 0.8 °F (0.4 °C) could result in the death of some additional high-temperature-tolerant individuals, especially in cases where cooling pond temperatures rise dramatically over a short period of time (more than 3.6 °F (2.0 °C) in a 24-hour period). Nonetheless, the discharge canal, flow path between the discharge canal and the UHS, and the UHS itself is a small portion of the cooling pond. Thus, while the incremental increase would likely increase the area over which cooling pond temperatures would rise, the majority of the cooling pond would remain at tolerable temperatures, and fish would be able to seek refuge in those cooler areas. Therefore, only fish within or near the discharge canal, within the flow path between the discharge canal and UHS, or within the UHS itself at the time of elevated temperatures would likely be affected, and fish would experience such effects to lessening degrees over the thermal gradient that extends from the discharge canal. This would result in no significant difference in the number of fish killed per high temperature event resulting from the proposed action when compared to current operations for those species with thermal tolerances at or near 95 °F (35 °C) and an insignificant increase in the number of individuals affected for species with thermal tolerances above 95 °F (35 °C), such as bluegill. Additionally, the cooling pond is a managed ecosystem in which fish stocking, fishing pressure, and predator-prey relationships constitute the primary population pressures. Fish populations affected by fish kills generally recover quickly, and thus, fish PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 kills do not appear to significantly influence the fish community structure. This is demonstrated by the fact that the species that are most often affected by high temperature events (threadfin shad and gizzard shad) are also among the most abundant species in the cooling pond. Managed species would continue to be assessed and stocked by the IDNR on an annual basis in accordance with the lease agreement between Exelon and IDNR. Continued stocking would mitigate any minor effects resulting from the proposed action. The proposed action also would permanently extend the completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) from 6 hours to 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to average water temperature. This change would still require Exelon to transition the plant to hot standby if the average water temperature limit is exceeded, but it would give Exelon more time to complete this action. This would not have any measurable or noticeable impact on the aquatic community. Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action would not result in significant impacts to aquatic resources in the cooling pond. Some terrestrial species, such as birds or other wildlife, rely on fish or other aquatic resources from the cooling pond as a source of food. The NRC staff does not expect any significant impacts to birds or other wildlife because, if a fish kill occurs, the number of dead fish would be a small proportion of the total population of fish in the cooling pond. Furthermore, during fish kills, birds and other wildlife could consume many of the floating, dead fish. Additionally, and as described previously, the NRC staff does not expect that the proposed action would result in a significant difference in the number or intensity of fish kill events or otherwise result in significant impacts on aquatic resources in the cooling pond. With respect to water resources and ecological resources along and within the Kankakee River, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) imposes regulatory controls on Braidwood’s thermal effluent through Title 35, Environmental Protection, Section 302, ’Water Quality Standards,’’ of the Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 302) and through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Section 302 of the Illinois Administrative Code stipulates that ‘‘[t]he maximum temperature rise shall not exceed 2.8 °C (5 °F) above natural receiving water body E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices temperatures,’’ (35 IAC 302.211(d)) and that ‘‘[w]ater temperature at representative locations in the main river shall at no time exceed 33.7 °C (93 °F) from April through November and 17.7 °C (63 °F) in other months’’ (35 IAC 302.211(e)). Additional stipulations pertaining to the mixing zone further protect water resources and biota from thermal effluents. The Braidwood NPDES permit contains special conditions that mirror these temperature requirements and that stipulate more detailed temperature requirements at the edge of the mixing zone. Under the proposed action, Braidwood thermal effluent would continue to be limited by the Illinois Administrative Code and the Braidwood NPDES permit to ensure that Braidwood operations do not create adverse effects on water resources or ecological resources along or within the Kankakee River. Occasionally, Exelon has applied for a provisional variance to allow higher-than-permitted temperatures at the edge of the discharge mixing zone. For instance, Exelon applied for and the IEPA granted one provisional variance in 2012 during a period of extremely warm weather and little to no precipitation. Exelon reported no fish kills or other events to the IEPA or the NRC that would indicate adverse environmental effects resulting from the provisional variance. The details of this provisional variance are described in Section 4.7.1.3 of the Braidwood FSEIS. Under the proposed action, Exelon would remain subject to the regulatory controls described above. The NRC staff finds it reasonable to assume that Exelon’s continued compliance with, and the State’s continued enforcement of, the Illinois Administrative Code and the Braidwood NPDES permit would ensure that Kankakee River water and ecological resources are protected. Further, the proposed action would not alter the types or amount of effluents being discharged to the river as blowdown. Therefore, the NRC staff does not expect any significant impacts to water resources or ecological resources within and along the Kankakee River as a result of temporarily increasing the allowable UHS average water temperature TS limit or permanently extending the completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. With respect to federally listed species, the NRC staff consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to section 7 of the ESA during its license renewal environmental review for Braidwood. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 During that consultation, the NRC staff found that the sheepnose (Plethobasus cyphyus) and snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) mussels had the potential to occur in the areas that would be directly or indirectly affected by license renewal (i.e., the action area). In September 2015, Exelon transmitted the results of a mussel survey to the NRC and FWS (ADAMS Accession No. ML15274A093). The survey documented the absence of federally listed mussels near the Braidwood discharge site in the Kankakee River. Based on this survey and other information described in the Braidwood FSEIS, the NRC concluded that the license renewal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the sheepnose mussel, and the NRC determined that license renewal would have no effect on the snuffbox mussel. The FWS concurred with the NRC’s ‘‘not likely to adversely affect’’ determination in a letter dated October 20, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15299A013). The results of the consultation are further summarized in the Record of Decision for Braidwood license renewal (ADAMS Accession No. ML15322A317). As previously described, impacts of the proposed action would be confined to the cooling pond and would not affect water resources or ecological resources along and within the Kankakee River. The NRC’s previous ESA section 7 consultation confirmed that no federally listed aquatic species occur within or near the cooling pond. The NRC has not identified any information indicating the presence of federally listed species in the area since that consultation concluded, and the FWS has not listed any new aquatic species that may occur in the area since that time. The proposed action would not result in any disturbance or other impacts to terrestrial habitats, and thus, no federally listed terrestrial species would be affected. Accordingly, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action would have no effect on federally listed species or designated critical habitat. Consultation with the FWS for the proposed action is not necessary because Federal agencies are not required to consult with the FWS if the agency determines that an action will have no effect on listed species or critical habitat (ADAMS Accession No. ML16120A505). The NRC staff has identified no foreseeable land use, visual resource, noise, or waste management impacts given that the proposed action would not result in any physical changes to Braidwood facilities or equipment or changes any land uses on or off site. The NRC staff has identified no air quality PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55867 impacts given that the proposed action would not result in air emissions beyond what would be experienced during current operations. Additionally, there would be no socioeconomic, environmental justice, or historic and cultural resource impacts associated with the proposed action since no physical changes would occur beyond the site boundaries and any impacts would be limited to the cooling pond. Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action would have no significant environmental impacts. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered the denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ‘‘no-action’’ alternative). Denial of the proposed action would result in no changes to the current TS. Thus, under the proposed action, the licensee would continue to be required to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) if average UHS water temperatures exceed 102 °F (38.9 °C) for the temporary period of July 15, 2020, through September 30, 2020. The TS would continue to specify a 6-hour timeframe for placing Braidwood in hot standby. The noaction alternative would result in no change in current environmental conditions or impacts at Braidwood. Alternative Use of Resources There are no unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources under the proposed action. Agencies and Persons Consulted No additional agencies or persons were consulted regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. However, in accordance with 10 CFR 50.91(b), the licensee provided copies of its application to the State of Illinois. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.91(b), the State of Illinois will have the opportunity to provide comments before issuance of the amendments. III. Finding of No Significant Impact The NRC is considering issuing amendments for Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. NPF–72 and NPF–77, issued to Exelon for operation of Braidwood that would revise the TS for the plant to temporarily increase the allowable average temperature of the UHS and permanently extend the completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. On the basis of the EA included in Section II above and incorporated by E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 55868 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices reference in this finding, the NRC concludes that the proposed action would not have significant effects on the quality of the human environment. The NRC’s evaluation considered information provided in the licensee’s application as well as the NRC’s independent review of other relevant environmental documents. Section IV below lists the environmental documents related to the proposed action and includes information on the availability of these documents. Based on its finding, the NRC has decided not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action. This FONSI and other related environmental documents are accessible online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Document documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC’s PDR reference staff by telephone at 1–800–397–4209 or 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. IV. Availability of Documents The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as indicated. ADAMS Accession No. License Amendment Request Exelon Generation Company, LLC .................................................................. License Amendment to Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, Technical Specification 3.7.9, ‘‘Ultimate Heat Sink.’’ Dated July 15, 2020. Exelon Generation Company, LLC .................................................................. Supplement to License Amendment to Braidwood Station, Unit 1 and 2, Technical Specification 3.7.9, ‘‘Ultimate Heat Sink.’’ Dated August 14, 2020. Other Referenced Documents Cairns J. 1956. Effects of heat on fish. Industrial Wastes, 1 :180–183 .......... Banner A, Van Arman JA. 1973. Thermal effects on eggs, larvae and juveniles of bluegill sunfish. Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA–R3–73–041 ............................................................................ Ecological Specialists, Inc. ............................................................................... Final Report: Five Year Post-Construction Monitoring of the Unionid Community Near the Braidwood Station Kankakee River Discharge. Dated September 29, 2015. Exelon Generation Company, LLC .................................................................. Byron and Braidwood Stations, Units 1 and 2, License Renewal Application, Braidwood Station Applicant’s Environmental Report, Responses to Requests for Additional Information, Environmental RAIs AQ–11 to AQ–15. Dated April 30, 2014. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .......................................................................... Endangered Species Consultations: Frequently Asked Questions. Dated July 15, 2013. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .......................................................................... Concurrence Letter Concluding Informal Consultation with the NRC for Braidwood License Renewal. Dated October 20, 2015. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Braidwood Station, Units 1 and Final Report (NUREG– 1437, Supplement 55). Dated November 30, 2015. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Docket No. STN 50–456; Braidwood Station, Unit 1 Renewed Facility Operating License. Issued on January 27, 2016. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Docket No. STN 50–457; Braidwood Station, Unit 2 Renewed Facility Operating License. Issued on January 27, 2016. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Record of Decision; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Docket Nos. 50– 456 and 560–457; License Renewal Application for Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2. Dated January 27, 2016. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to Ultimate Heat Sink Modification. Dated July 18, 2016. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission .............................................................. Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2—Issuance of Amendments Re: Ultimate Heat Sink Temperature Increase. Dated July 26, 2016. 1 These ML20197A434. ML20227A375. n/a 1. n/a 1. ML15274A093 (Package). ML14339A044. ML16120A505. ML15299A013. ML15314A814. ML053040362. ML053040366. ML15322A317. ML16181A007. ML16133A438. references are subject to copyright laws and are, therefore, not reproduced in ADAMS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM 10SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 176 / Thursday, September 10, 2020 / Notices Dated: September 3, 2020. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joel S. Wiebe, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III–2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2020–19937 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P POSTAL REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. MC2020–241 and CP2020–271; MC2020–242 and CP2020–272] New Postal Products Postal Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Commission is noticing a recent Postal Service filing for the Commission’s consideration concerning negotiated service agreements. This notice informs the public of the filing, invites public comment, and takes other administrative steps. DATES: Comments are due: September 15, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit comments electronically via the Commission’s Filing Online system at http:// www.prc.gov. Those who cannot submit comments electronically should contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section by telephone for advice on filing alternatives. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David A. Trissell, General Counsel, at 202–789–6820. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Docketed Proceeding(s) khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES I. Introduction The Commission gives notice that the Postal Service filed request(s) for the Commission to consider matters related to negotiated service agreement(s). The request(s) may propose the addition or removal of a negotiated service agreement from the market dominant or the competitive product list, or the modification of an existing product currently appearing on the market dominant or the competitive product list. Section II identifies the docket number(s) associated with each Postal Service request, the title of each Postal Service request, the request’s acceptance date, and the authority cited by the Postal Service for each request. For each request, the Commission appoints an officer of the Commission to represent VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:38 Sep 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 the interests of the general public in the proceeding, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 505 (Public Representative). Section II also establishes comment deadline(s) pertaining to each request. The public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s) can be accessed via the Commission’s website (http:// www.prc.gov). Non-public portions of the Postal Service’s request(s), if any, can be accessed through compliance with the requirements of 39 CFR 3011.301.1 The Commission invites comments on whether the Postal Service’s request(s) in the captioned docket(s) are consistent with the policies of title 39. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern market dominant product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3622, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3030, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. For request(s) that the Postal Service states concern competitive product(s), applicable statutory and regulatory requirements include 39 U.S.C. 3632, 39 U.S.C. 3633, 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR part 3035, and 39 CFR part 3040, subpart B. Comment deadline(s) for each request appear in section II. II. Docketed Proceeding(s) 1. Docket No(s).: MC2020–241 and CP2020–271; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 166 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 3, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3040.130 through 3040.135, and 39 CFR 3035.105; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: September 15, 2020. 2. Docket No(s).: MC2020–242 and CP2020–272; Filing Title: USPS Request to Add Priority Mail & First-Class Package Service Contract 167 to Competitive Product List and Notice of Filing Materials Under Seal; Filing Acceptance Date: September 3, 2020; Filing Authority: 39 U.S.C. 3642, 39 CFR 3040.130 through 3040.135, and 39 CFR 3035.105; Public Representative: Kenneth R. Moeller; Comments Due: September 15, 2020. This Notice will be published in the Federal Register. Erica A. Barker, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–19997 Filed 9–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710–FW–P 1 See Docket No. RM2018–3, Order Adopting Final Rules Relating to Non-Public Information, June 27, 2018, Attachment A at 19–22 (Order No. 4679). PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55869 SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34–89768; File No. SR–CBOE– 2020–060] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Cboe Exchange, Inc.; Order Granting Accelerated Approval of a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Permanently Adopt the Related Futures Cross Order Type September 4, 2020. I. Introduction On July 1, 2020, Cboe Exchange, Inc. (the ‘‘Exchange’’ or ‘‘Cboe Options’’) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’) 1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to permanently adopt the Related Futures Cross (‘‘RFC’’) order type. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on July 21, 2020.3 On August 13, 2020, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.4 The Commission received one comment on the proposed rule change.5 This order approves the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 1, on an accelerated basis. II. Summary of the Proposal, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 From March 16 to June 12, 2020, the Exchange closed its trading floor in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Exchange operated in an all-electronic configuration. Because the trading floor was closed during this time, floor brokers could not execute crosses of option combos (i.e., synthetic futures) on the trading floor on behalf of market participants who were exchanging futures contracts in either VIX or SPX for related options positions in order to swap related exposures,6 and 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 89325 (July 15, 2020), 85 FR 44125. 4 Amendment No. 1 is publicly available on the Commission’s website at: https://www.sec.gov/ comments/sr-cboe-2020-060/srcboe20200607640381-222308.pdf. 5 See Letter from Joyana Pilquist, CFA, dated August 24, 2020. The Commission believes this comment, which relates to FLEX options, is outside the scope of this proposed rule change as CBOE is not proposing to change the substantive terms of FLEX options transactions. Accordingly, the Commission does not believe this comment can be appropriately addressed through this proposal. 6 In the Notice, the Exchange provides the following example of such a transaction: If a market participant has positions in VIX options but would 2 17 E:\FR\FM\10SEN1.SGM Continued 10SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 176 (Thursday, September 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55863-55869]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-19937]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-456; 50-457; NRC-2020-0208]


Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2

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 amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. 
NPF-72 and NPF-77 that were issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, 
(licensee) for operation of the Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2. The 
proposed amendment is contained in the licensee's letter dated July 15, 
2020, as supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020, and would change 
technical specifications (TS) surveillance requirement (SR) 3.7.9.2 to 
allow an ultimate heat sink (UHS) temperature of less than or equal to 
102.8 degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) until September 30, 2020. The 
proposed amendment would also permanently extend the completion time 
for the Required Action of both Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2, to be 
placed in Mode 3 within 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to the 
average water temperature.

DATES: The environmental assessment and finding of no significant 
impact referenced in this document is available on September 10, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0208 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 https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0208. Address 
questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individuals 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 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 (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, 
or by email to [email protected]. For the convenience of the reader, 
the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the 
``Availability of Documents'' section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Briana Grange, Office of Material 
Safety and Safeguards, telephone: 301-415-1042; email: 
[email protected]; or Joel Wiebe, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation, telephone: 301-415-6606; email: [email protected]. Both 
are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of amendments to Renewed Facility 
Operating License Nos. NPF-72 and NPF-77 that were issued to Exelon 
Generation Company, LLC (Exelon), for operation of the Braidwood 
Station, Units 1 and 2 (Braidwood), located in Will County Illinois. 
Exelon submitted its license amendment request in accordance with 
section 50.90 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulation (10 CFR), 
by letter dated July 15, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20197A434) as 
supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML20227A375). If approved, the license amendments would revise TS 
surveillance requirement (SR) in TS 3.7.9.2 to allow a temporary 
increase in the allowable ultimate heat sink (UHS) average temperature 
of less than or equal to (<=) 102.8 degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) (39.3 
degrees Celsius ([deg]C)) through September 30, 2020. The amendments 
would also permanently extend the completion time for TS 3.7.9 Required 
Action A.1, which requires Exelon to place Braidwood in hot standby 
(Mode 3), from 6 hours to 12 hours when the UHS is inoperable due to 
the average water temperature. The completion time for placing 
Braidwood in hot standby for all other reasons would remain 6 hours.
    Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC performed an 
environmental assessment (EA). Based on the results of the EA 
assessment that follows, the NRC has determined not to prepare an 
environmental impact statement for the proposed amendments, and is 
issuing a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

II. Environmental Assessment

Plant Site and Environs

    Braidwood is located in Will County, Illinois approximately 50 
miles (mi; 80 kilometers [km]) southwest of the Chicago Metropolitan 
Area and 20 mi (32 km) south-southwest of Joliet. The Kankakee River is 
approximately 5 mi (8 km) east of the eastern site boundary. An onsite 
2,540-acre (ac; 1,030-hectare [ha]) cooling pond provides condenser 
cooling. Cooling water is withdrawn from the pond through the lake 
screen house, which is located at the north end of the pond. Heated 
water returns to the cooling pond through a discharge canal west of the 
lake screen house intake that is separated from the intake by a dike. 
The pond typically holds 22,300 acre-

[[Page 55864]]

feet (27.5 million cubic meters) of water at any given time. The 
cooling pond includes both ``essential'' and ``non-essential'' areas. 
The essential cooling pond is the portion of the cooling pond that 
serves as the UHS for emergency core cooling, and it consists of a 99-
ac (40-ha) excavated area of the pond directly in front of the lake 
screen house. The essential cooling pond's principal functions are to 
dissipate residual heat after reactor shutdown and to dissipate heat 
after an accident. It is capable of supplying Braidwood's cooling 
system with water for 30 days of station operation without additional 
makeup water. For clarity, use of the term ``UHS'' in this EA refers to 
the 99-ac (40-ha) essential cooling pond, and use of the term ``cooling 
pond'' or ``pond'' describes the entire 2,540-ac (1,030-ha) area, which 
includes both the essential and non-essential areas.
    The cooling pond is part of the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and 
Wildlife Area, which encompasses the majority of the non-UHS area of 
the cooling pond as well as Illinois Department of Natural Resources 
(IDNR)-owned lands adjacent to the Braidwood site to the south and 
southwest of the cooling pond. Exelon and the IDNR have jointly managed 
the cooling pond as part of the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish and 
Wildlife Area since 1991 pursuant to a long-term lease agreement. Under 
the terms of the agreement, the public has access to the pond for 
fishing, waterfowl hunting, fossil collecting, and other recreational 
activities.
    The cooling pond is a wastewater treatment works as defined by 
Section 301.415 of Title 35 of the Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 
301.415). Under this definition, the cooling pond is not considered 
waters of the State under Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 301.440) 
or waters of the United States under the Federal Clean Water Act (40 
CFR 230.3(s)), and so the cooling pond is not subject to State water 
quality standards. The cooling pond can be characterized as a managed 
ecosystem where IDNR fish stocking and other human activities primarily 
influence the species composition and population dynamics.
    Since the beginning of the lease agreement between Exelon and IDNR, 
the IDNR has stocked the cooling pond with a variety of game fish, 
including largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (M. 
dolomieu), blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), striped bass (Morone 
saxatilis), crappie (Pomoxis spp.), walleye (Sander vitreum), and tiger 
muskellunge (Esox masquinongy x lucius). IDNR performs annual surveys 
to determine which fish to stock based on fishermen preferences, fish 
abundance, different species' tolerance to warm waters, predator and 
prey dynamics, and other factors. Because of the high water 
temperatures experienced in the summer months, introductions of warm-
water species, such as largemouth bass and blue catfish, have been more 
successful than introductions of cool-water species, such as walleye 
and tiger muskellunge. Since annual surveys began in 1980, IDNR has 
collected 47 species in the cooling pond. In recent years, bluegill 
(Lepomis macrochirus), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), threadfin 
shad (Dorosoma petenense), and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) have been 
among the most abundant species in the cooling pond. Gizzard shad 
(Dorosoma cepedianum), one of the most frequently affected species 
during periods of elevated pond temperatures, have decreased in 
abundance dramatically in recent years, while bluegills, which can 
tolerate high temperatures with relatively high survival rates, have 
noticeably increased in relative abundance. IDNR-stocked warm water 
game species, such as largemouth bass and blue catfish, continue to 
persist in small numbers, while cooler water stocked species, such as 
walleye and tiger muskellunge, no longer appear in IDNR survey 
collections. No federally listed species or designated critical 
habitats protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) occur within 
or near the cooling pond.
    The Kankakee River serves as the source of makeup water for the 
cooling pond. The river also receives continuous blowdown from the 
cooling pond. Water is withdrawn from a small river screen house 
located on the Kankakee River, and liquid effluents from Braidwood are 
discharged into the cooling pond blowdown line, which subsequently 
discharges into the Kankakee River.
    The plant site and environs are described in greater detail in 
Chapter 3 of the NRC's November 2015, Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Braidwood 
Station, Units 1 and 2, Final Report (NUREG-1437, Supplement 55; ADAMS 
Accession No. ML15314A814) (herein referred to as the ``Braidwood 
FSEIS'' [Final Supplemental Environment Impact Statement]). Figure 3-5 
on page 3-7 of the Braidwood FSEIS depicts the Braidwood plant layout, 
and Figure 3-4 on page 3-6 depicts the cooling pond, including the 
portion of the pond that constitutes the essential cooling pond (or 
UHS) and the blowdown line to the Kankakee River.

Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would revise the Braidwood TS to allow a 
temporary increase in the allowable average temperature of water 
withdrawn from the UHS and supplied to the plant for cooling from <=102 
[deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) to <=102.8 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C) until September 
30, 2020. Specifically, the proposed action would revise TS S R 
3.7.9.2, which currently states, ``Verify average water temperature of 
UHS is <=102 [deg]F,'' to add the statement, ``Verify average water 
temperature of the UHS is <=102.8 [deg]F until September 30, 2020. 
After September 30, 2020, verify average water temperature of UHS is <= 
102 [deg]F'' The amendments would also permanently extend the 
completion time for TS 3.7.9 Required Action A.1, which requires Exelon 
to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3), from 6 hours to 12 hours 
when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature. The 
completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby for all other 
reasons would remain 6 hours. To implement this revision, TS 3.7.9 
Required Action A.1 would be divided into two conditions: Condition A 
and Condition B.
    Under the current TS, if the average UHS temperature as measured at 
the discharge of the operating essential service water system pumps is 
greater than 102 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C), TS 3.7.9 Required Actions A.1 
and A.2 would be entered concurrently and would require the licensee to 
place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) within 6 hours and cold 
shutdown (Mode 5) within 36 hours. The proposed action would allow 
Braidwood to continue to operate during times when the UHS indicated 
average water temperature exceeds 102 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) but is less 
than or equal to 102.8 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C) until September 30, 2020. 
The current TS's UHS average water temperature limit of 102 [deg]F 
(38.9 [deg]C) would remain applicable to all other time periods beyond 
September 30, 2020. The proposed action would also allow for 12 hours 
to complete hot standby (Mode 3) when temperatures exceed the SR (i.e., 
if the UHS indicated temperature is greater than 102.8 [deg]F (39.3 
[deg]C) through September 30, 2020, or greater than 102 [deg]F (38.9 
[deg]C) during any other time period). The proposed action would not 
affect the 6-hour completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby 
for any reasons other than exceeding the average water temperature 
condition.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated

[[Page 55865]]

July 15, 2020 as supplemented by letter dated August 14, 2020.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The licensee has requested the proposed amendments in connection 
with recent meteorological and atmospheric conditions that have 
resulted in the TS UHS temperature being challenged. These conditions 
include elevated air temperatures, high humidity, and low wind speed. 
Specifically, from July 4, 2020, through July 9, 2020, northern 
Illinois experienced high air temperatures and drought conditions, 
which caused sustained elevated UHS temperatures.
    The proposed action would provide the licensee with operational 
flexibility until September 30, 2020, during which continued high UHS 
temperatures are likely so that the plant shutdown criteria specified 
in the TS are not triggered. The proposed action would also provide the 
licensee with a longer time to place the plant in hot standby when the 
allowable average water temperature is exceeded.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    With regard to radiological impacts, the proposed action would not 
result in any changes in the types of radioactive effluents that may be 
released from the plant offsite. No significant increase in the amount 
of any radioactive effluent released offsite or significant increase in 
occupational or public radiation exposure is expected from the proposed 
action. Separate from this EA, the NRC staff is evaluating the 
licensee's safety analyses of the potential radiological consequences 
of an accident that may result from the proposed action. The results of 
the NRC staff's safety analysis will be documented in a safety 
evaluation (SE). If the NRC staff concludes in the SE that all 
pertinent regulatory requirements related to radiological effluents are 
met by the proposed UHS temperature limit increase, then the proposed 
action would result in no significant radiological impact to the 
environment. The NRC staff's SE will be issued with the license 
amendments, if approved by the NRC. If the NRC staff concludes that all 
pertinent regulatory requirements are not met by the proposed UHS 
temperature limit increase, the requested amendment would not be 
issued.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, temporarily 
raising the maximum allowable UHS temperature from <=102 [deg]F (38.9 
[deg]C) to <=102.8 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C) could cause increased cooling 
pond water temperatures until September 30, 2020. Because the proposed 
action would not affect Braidwood's licensed thermal power level, the 
temperature rise across the condensers as cooling water travels through 
the cooling system would remain constant. Thus, if water in the UHS 
were to rise to 102.8 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C), heated water returning to 
the cooling pond through the discharge canal, which lies west of the 
river screen house, would also experience a corresponding 0.8 [deg]F 
(0.4 [deg]C) increase. That additional heat load would dissipate across 
some thermal gradient as discharged water travels down the discharge 
canal and through the 99-ac (40-ha) UHS.
    Fish kills are likely to occur when cooling pond temperatures rise 
above 95 [deg]F (35 [deg]C), the temperature at which most fish in the 
cooling pond are thermally stressed. For example, Section 3.7.4 of the 
Braidwood FSEIS describes six fish kill events for the period of 2001 
through 2015. The fish kill events, which occurred in July 2001, August 
2001, June 2005, August 2007, June 2009, and July 2012, primarily 
affected threadfin shad and gizzard shad, although bass, catfish, carp, 
and other game fish were also affected. Reported peak temperatures in 
the cooling pond during these events ranged from 98.4 [deg]F (36.9 
[deg]C) to over 100 [deg]F (37.8 [deg]C), and each event resulted in 
the death of between 700 to as many as 10,000 fish. During the July 
2012 event, cooling pond temperatures exceeded 100 [deg]F (37.8 
[deg]C), which resulted in the death of approximately 3,000 gizzard 
shad and 100 bass, catfish, and carp (ADAMS Accession No. ML14339A044). 
This event coincided with the NRC's granting of Enforcement Discretion 
to allow Braidwood to continue to operate above the TS limit of <=100 
[deg]F (37.8 [deg]C). The IDNR attributed this event, as well as four 
of the other fish kill events, to high cooling pond temperatures 
resulting from Braidwood operation. Appendix B, Section 4.1 of the 
Braidwood renewed facility operating licenses (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML053040362 and ML053040366), requires Exelon to report to the NRC the 
occurrence of unusual or important environmental events, including fish 
kills, causally related to plant operation. Since the issuance of the 
Braidwood FSEIS in November 2015, Exelon has not reported any 
additional fish kill events to the NRC. Although not causally related 
to plant operation, fish kills have occurred since this time, the most 
recent of which occurred in August 2018 and July 2020.
    In Section 4.7.1.3 of the Braidwood FSEIS, the NRC staff concluded 
that thermal impacts associated with continued operation of Braidwood 
during the license renewal term would result in SMALL to MODERATE 
impacts to aquatic resources in the cooling pond. MODERATE impacts 
would primarily be experienced by gizzard shad and other non-stocked 
and low-heat tolerant species. As part of its conclusion, the NRC staff 
also noted that because the cooling pond is a highly managed system, 
any cascading effects that result from the loss of gizzard shad (such 
as reduction in prey for stocked species, which in turn could affect 
those stocked species' populations) could be mitigated through IDNR's 
annual stocking and continual management of the pond. At that time, the 
UHS TS limit was <=100 [deg]F (37.8 [deg]C).
    In 2016, the NRC granted license amendments that increased the 
allowable UHS average water temperature TS limit from <=100 [deg]F 
(38.9 [deg]C) to <=102.0 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C) (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16133A438). In the EA associated with these amendments (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML16181A007), the NRC staff concluded that increasing the 
TS limit to <=102.0 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) would have no significant 
environmental impacts, and the NRC issued a FONSI with the EA.
    Regarding the proposed action, the proposed increase in the 
allowable UHS average water temperature limit by 0.8 [deg]F (0.4 
[deg]C) would not increase the likelihood of a fish kill event 
attributable to high cooling pond temperatures because the current TS 
limit for the UHS of 102.0 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) already allows cooling 
pond temperatures above those at which most fish species are thermally 
stressed (95 [deg]F (35 [deg]C)). In effect, if the UHS temperature 
rises to the current TS limit, fish within or near the discharge canal, 
within the flow path between the discharge canal and UHS, or within the 
UHS itself would have already experienced thermal stress and possibly 
died. Thus, an incremental increase in the allowable UHS water 
temperature by 0.8 [deg]F (0.4 [deg]C) and the corresponding 
temperature increases within and near the discharge canal and within 
the flow path between the discharge canal and UHS would not 
significantly affect the number of fish kill events experienced in the 
cooling pond. Additionally, the proposed action would only increase the 
allowable UHS average water temperature until September 30, 2020. Thus, 
any impacts to the aquatic community of the cooling pond, if 
experienced, would be temporary in nature, and fish populations would 
likely recover relatively quickly.

[[Page 55866]]

    While the proposed action would not affect the likelihood of a fish 
kill event occurring during periods when the average UHS water 
temperature approaches the TS limit, the proposed action could increase 
the number of fish killed per high temperature event. For fish with 
thermal tolerances at or near 95 [deg]F (35 [deg]C), there would likely 
be no significant difference in the number of affected fish per high 
temperature event because, as already stated, these fish would have 
already experienced thermal stress and possibly died and the additional 
temperature increase would not measurably affect the mortality rate of 
these individuals. For fish with thermal tolerances above 95 [deg]F (35 
[deg]C), such as bluegill, increased mortality is possible, as 
described below.
    The available scientific literature provides conflicting 
information as to whether incremental temperature increases would cause 
a subsequent increase in mortality rates of bluegill or other high-
temperature-tolerant fish when temperatures exceed 100 [deg]F (37.8 
[deg]C). For instance, in laboratory studies, Banner and Van Arman 
(1973) demonstrated 85 percent survival of juvenile bluegill after 24 
hours of exposure to 98.6 [deg]F (37.0 [deg]C) water for stock 
acclimated to 91.2 [deg]F (32.9 [deg]C). At 100.0 [deg]F (37.8 [deg]C), 
survival decreased to 25 percent, and at 100.4 [deg]F (38.0 [deg]C) and 
102.0 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C), no individuals survived. Even at one hour 
of exposure to 102.0 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) water, average survival was 
relatively low at between 40 to 67.5 percent per replicate. However, in 
another laboratory study, Cairns (1956 in Banner and Van Arman 1973) 
demonstrated that if juvenile bluegill were acclimated to higher 
temperatures at a 3.6 [deg]F (2.0 [deg]C) increase per day, individuals 
could tolerate water temperatures up to 102.6 [deg]F (39.2 [deg]C) with 
80 percent survival after 24 hours of exposure.
    Although these studies provide inconsistent thermal tolerance 
limits, information from past fish kill events indicates that Cairns' 
results better describe the cooling pond's bluegill population because 
Exelon has not reported bluegill as one of the species that has been 
affected by past high temperature events. Thus, bluegills are likely 
acclimating to temperature rises at a rate that allows those 
individuals to remain in high temperature areas until temperatures 
decrease or that allows individuals time to seek refuge in cooler areas 
of the pond. Alternately, if Banner and Van Arman's results were more 
predictive, 75 percent or more of bluegill individuals in high 
temperature areas of the cooling pond could be expected to die at 
temperatures approaching or exceeding 100 [deg]F (37.8 [deg]C) for 24 
hours, and shorter exposure time would likely result in the death of 
some reduced percentage of bluegill individuals.
    Under the proposed action, fish exposure to temperatures 
approaching the proposed UHS TS average water temperature limit of 
102.8 [deg]F (39.3 [deg]C) and those exposed to the associated 
discharge, which would be 0.8 [deg]F (0.4 [deg]C) higher than under the 
current TS limit, for at least one hour would result in observable 
deaths. However, as stated previously, Exelon has not reported bluegill 
as one of the species that has been affected during past fish kills. 
Consequently, the NRC staff assumes that bluegill and other high-
temperature-tolerant species in the cooling pond would experience 
effects similar to those observed in Cairn's study. Based on Cairn's 
results, the proposed action's incremental and short-term increase of 
0.8 [deg]F (0.4 [deg]C) could result in the death of some additional 
high-temperature-tolerant individuals, especially in cases where 
cooling pond temperatures rise dramatically over a short period of time 
(more than 3.6 [deg]F (2.0 [deg]C) in a 24-hour period).
    Nonetheless, the discharge canal, flow path between the discharge 
canal and the UHS, and the UHS itself is a small portion of the cooling 
pond. Thus, while the incremental increase would likely increase the 
area over which cooling pond temperatures would rise, the majority of 
the cooling pond would remain at tolerable temperatures, and fish would 
be able to seek refuge in those cooler areas. Therefore, only fish 
within or near the discharge canal, within the flow path between the 
discharge canal and UHS, or within the UHS itself at the time of 
elevated temperatures would likely be affected, and fish would 
experience such effects to lessening degrees over the thermal gradient 
that extends from the discharge canal. This would result in no 
significant difference in the number of fish killed per high 
temperature event resulting from the proposed action when compared to 
current operations for those species with thermal tolerances at or near 
95 [deg]F (35 [deg]C) and an insignificant increase in the number of 
individuals affected for species with thermal tolerances above 95 
[deg]F (35 [deg]C), such as bluegill. Additionally, the cooling pond is 
a managed ecosystem in which fish stocking, fishing pressure, and 
predator-prey relationships constitute the primary population 
pressures.
    Fish populations affected by fish kills generally recover quickly, 
and thus, fish kills do not appear to significantly influence the fish 
community structure. This is demonstrated by the fact that the species 
that are most often affected by high temperature events (threadfin shad 
and gizzard shad) are also among the most abundant species in the 
cooling pond. Managed species would continue to be assessed and stocked 
by the IDNR on an annual basis in accordance with the lease agreement 
between Exelon and IDNR. Continued stocking would mitigate any minor 
effects resulting from the proposed action.
    The proposed action also would permanently extend the completion 
time for placing Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) from 6 hours to 12 
hours when the UHS is inoperable due to average water temperature. This 
change would still require Exelon to transition the plant to hot 
standby if the average water temperature limit is exceeded, but it 
would give Exelon more time to complete this action. This would not 
have any measurable or noticeable impact on the aquatic community.
    Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC staff concludes that the 
proposed action would not result in significant impacts to aquatic 
resources in the cooling pond.
    Some terrestrial species, such as birds or other wildlife, rely on 
fish or other aquatic resources from the cooling pond as a source of 
food. The NRC staff does not expect any significant impacts to birds or 
other wildlife because, if a fish kill occurs, the number of dead fish 
would be a small proportion of the total population of fish in the 
cooling pond. Furthermore, during fish kills, birds and other wildlife 
could consume many of the floating, dead fish. Additionally, and as 
described previously, the NRC staff does not expect that the proposed 
action would result in a significant difference in the number or 
intensity of fish kill events or otherwise result in significant 
impacts on aquatic resources in the cooling pond.
    With respect to water resources and ecological resources along and 
within the Kankakee River, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency 
(IEPA) imposes regulatory controls on Braidwood's thermal effluent 
through Title 35, Environmental Protection, Section 302, 'Water Quality 
Standards,'' of the Illinois Administrative Code (35 IAC 302) and 
through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 
permitting process pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Section 302 of the 
Illinois Administrative Code stipulates that ``[t]he maximum 
temperature rise shall not exceed 2.8 [deg]C (5 [deg]F) above natural 
receiving water body

[[Page 55867]]

temperatures,'' (35 IAC 302.211(d)) and that ``[w]ater temperature at 
representative locations in the main river shall at no time exceed 33.7 
[deg]C (93 [deg]F) from April through November and 17.7 [deg]C (63 
[deg]F) in other months'' (35 IAC 302.211(e)). Additional stipulations 
pertaining to the mixing zone further protect water resources and biota 
from thermal effluents. The Braidwood NPDES permit contains special 
conditions that mirror these temperature requirements and that 
stipulate more detailed temperature requirements at the edge of the 
mixing zone. Under the proposed action, Braidwood thermal effluent 
would continue to be limited by the Illinois Administrative Code and 
the Braidwood NPDES permit to ensure that Braidwood operations do not 
create adverse effects on water resources or ecological resources along 
or within the Kankakee River. Occasionally, Exelon has applied for a 
provisional variance to allow higher-than-permitted temperatures at the 
edge of the discharge mixing zone. For instance, Exelon applied for and 
the IEPA granted one provisional variance in 2012 during a period of 
extremely warm weather and little to no precipitation. Exelon reported 
no fish kills or other events to the IEPA or the NRC that would 
indicate adverse environmental effects resulting from the provisional 
variance. The details of this provisional variance are described in 
Section 4.7.1.3 of the Braidwood FSEIS.
    Under the proposed action, Exelon would remain subject to the 
regulatory controls described above. The NRC staff finds it reasonable 
to assume that Exelon's continued compliance with, and the State's 
continued enforcement of, the Illinois Administrative Code and the 
Braidwood NPDES permit would ensure that Kankakee River water and 
ecological resources are protected. Further, the proposed action would 
not alter the types or amount of effluents being discharged to the 
river as blowdown. Therefore, the NRC staff does not expect any 
significant impacts to water resources or ecological resources within 
and along the Kankakee River as a result of temporarily increasing the 
allowable UHS average water temperature TS limit or permanently 
extending the completion time for placing Braidwood in hot standby when 
the UHS is inoperable due to the average water temperature.
    With respect to federally listed species, the NRC staff consulted 
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) pursuant to section 7 of 
the ESA during its license renewal environmental review for Braidwood. 
During that consultation, the NRC staff found that the sheepnose 
(Plethobasus cyphyus) and snuffbox (Epioblasma triquetra) mussels had 
the potential to occur in the areas that would be directly or 
indirectly affected by license renewal (i.e., the action area). In 
September 2015, Exelon transmitted the results of a mussel survey to 
the NRC and FWS (ADAMS Accession No. ML15274A093). The survey 
documented the absence of federally listed mussels near the Braidwood 
discharge site in the Kankakee River. Based on this survey and other 
information described in the Braidwood FSEIS, the NRC concluded that 
the license renewal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect 
the sheepnose mussel, and the NRC determined that license renewal would 
have no effect on the snuffbox mussel. The FWS concurred with the NRC's 
``not likely to adversely affect'' determination in a letter dated 
October 20, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15299A013). The results of the 
consultation are further summarized in the Record of Decision for 
Braidwood license renewal (ADAMS Accession No. ML15322A317).
    As previously described, impacts of the proposed action would be 
confined to the cooling pond and would not affect water resources or 
ecological resources along and within the Kankakee River. The NRC's 
previous ESA section 7 consultation confirmed that no federally listed 
aquatic species occur within or near the cooling pond. The NRC has not 
identified any information indicating the presence of federally listed 
species in the area since that consultation concluded, and the FWS has 
not listed any new aquatic species that may occur in the area since 
that time. The proposed action would not result in any disturbance or 
other impacts to terrestrial habitats, and thus, no federally listed 
terrestrial species would be affected. Accordingly, the NRC staff 
concludes that the proposed action would have no effect on federally 
listed species or designated critical habitat. Consultation with the 
FWS for the proposed action is not necessary because Federal agencies 
are not required to consult with the FWS if the agency determines that 
an action will have no effect on listed species or critical habitat 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML16120A505).
    The NRC staff has identified no foreseeable land use, visual 
resource, noise, or waste management impacts given that the proposed 
action would not result in any physical changes to Braidwood facilities 
or equipment or changes any land uses on or off site. The NRC staff has 
identified no air quality impacts given that the proposed action would 
not result in air emissions beyond what would be experienced during 
current operations. Additionally, there would be no socioeconomic, 
environmental justice, or historic and cultural resource impacts 
associated with the proposed action since no physical changes would 
occur beyond the site boundaries and any impacts would be limited to 
the cooling pond.
    Based on the foregoing analysis, the NRC staff concludes that the 
proposed action would have no significant environmental impacts.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered 
the denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' 
alternative). Denial of the proposed action would result in no changes 
to the current TS. Thus, under the proposed action, the licensee would 
continue to be required to place Braidwood in hot standby (Mode 3) if 
average UHS water temperatures exceed 102 [deg]F (38.9 [deg]C) for the 
temporary period of July 15, 2020, through September 30, 2020. The TS 
would continue to specify a 6-hour timeframe for placing Braidwood in 
hot standby. The no-action alternative would result in no change in 
current environmental conditions or impacts at Braidwood.

Alternative Use of Resources

    There are no unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of 
available resources under the proposed action.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    No additional agencies or persons were consulted regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. However, in accordance 
with 10 CFR 50.91(b), the licensee provided copies of its application 
to the State of Illinois. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.91(b), the State 
of Illinois will have the opportunity to provide comments before 
issuance of the amendments.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC is considering issuing amendments for Renewed Facility 
Operating License Nos. NPF-72 and NPF-77, issued to Exelon for 
operation of Braidwood that would revise the TS for the plant to 
temporarily increase the allowable average temperature of the UHS and 
permanently extend the completion time for placing Braidwood in hot 
standby when the UHS is inoperable due to the average water 
temperature.
    On the basis of the EA included in Section II above and 
incorporated by

[[Page 55868]]

reference in this finding, the NRC concludes that the proposed action 
would not have significant effects on the quality of the human 
environment. The NRC's evaluation considered information provided in 
the licensee's application as well as the NRC's independent review of 
other relevant environmental documents. Section IV below lists the 
environmental documents related to the proposed action and includes 
information on the availability of these documents. Based on its 
finding, the NRC has decided not to prepare an environmental impact 
statement for the proposed action.
    This FONSI and other related environmental documents are accessible 
online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who 
encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should 
contact the NRC's PDR reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or 
301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected].

IV. Availability of Documents

    The documents identified in the following table are available to 
interested persons through one or more of the following methods, as 
indicated.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Document                                            ADAMS Accession No.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
License Amendment Request
    Exelon Generation Company, LLC....................                                              ML20197A434.
    License Amendment to Braidwood Station, Units 1
     and 2, Technical Specification 3.7.9, ``Ultimate
     Heat Sink.''
    Dated July 15, 2020.
    Exelon Generation Company, LLC....................                                              ML20227A375.
    Supplement to License Amendment to Braidwood
     Station, Unit 1 and 2, Technical Specification
     3.7.9, ``Ultimate Heat Sink.''
    Dated August 14, 2020.
Other Referenced Documents
    Cairns J. 1956. Effects of heat on fish.                                                              n/a 1.
     Industrial Wastes, 1 :180-183....................
    Banner A, Van Arman JA. 1973. Thermal effects on                                                      n/a 1.
     eggs, larvae and juveniles of bluegill sunfish.
     Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection
     Agency. EPA-R3-73-041............................
    Ecological Specialists, Inc.......................                                    ML15274A093 (Package).
    Final Report: Five Year Post-Construction
     Monitoring of the Unionid Community Near the
     Braidwood Station Kankakee River Discharge.
    Dated September 29, 2015.
    Exelon Generation Company, LLC....................                                              ML14339A044.
    Byron and Braidwood Stations, Units 1 and 2,
     License Renewal Application, Braidwood Station
     Applicant's Environmental Report, Responses to
     Requests for Additional Information,
     Environmental RAIs AQ-11 to AQ-15.
    Dated April 30, 2014.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service....................                                              ML16120A505.
    Endangered Species Consultations: Frequently Asked
     Questions.
    Dated July 15, 2013.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service....................                                              ML15299A013.
    Concurrence Letter Concluding Informal
     Consultation with the NRC for Braidwood License
     Renewal.
    Dated October 20, 2015.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML15314A814.
    Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License
     Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Braidwood
     Station, Units 1 and Final Report (NUREG-1437,
     Supplement 55).
    Dated November 30, 2015.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML053040362.
    Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Docket No. STN 50-
     456; Braidwood Station, Unit 1 Renewed Facility
     Operating License.
    Issued on January 27, 2016.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML053040366.
    Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Docket No. STN 50-
     457; Braidwood Station, Unit 2 Renewed Facility
     Operating License.
    Issued on January 27, 2016.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML15322A317.
    Record of Decision; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
     Commission; Docket Nos. 50-456 and 560-457;
     License Renewal Application for Braidwood
     Station, Units 1 and 2.
    Dated January 27, 2016.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML16181A007.
    Environmental Assessment and Finding of No
     Significant Impact Related to Ultimate Heat Sink
     Modification.
    Dated July 18, 2016.
    U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission................                                              ML16133A438.
    Braidwood Station, Units 1 and 2--Issuance of
     Amendments Re: Ultimate Heat Sink Temperature
     Increase.
    Dated July 26, 2016.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 These references are subject to copyright laws and are, therefore, not reproduced in ADAMS.



[[Page 55869]]

    Dated: September 3, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Joel S. Wiebe,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III-2, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2020-19937 Filed 9-9-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P