Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Palisades Nuclear Plant, 67730-67734 [2021-25948]

Download as PDF 67730 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 226 / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Notices persons through ADAMS, as indicated in the SER. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents, by appointment, at the NRC’s PDR, Room P1 B35, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. To make an appointment to visit the PDR, please send an email to PDR.Resource@nrc.gov or call 1–800–397–4209 or 301–415– 4737, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy M. Snyder, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, telephone: 301–415–6822, email: Amy.Snyder@ nrc.gov. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Humboldt Bay Power Plant, Unit 3 (HBPP, Unit 3 or the facility), was a 65Megawatt electric Boiling Water Reactor, which was last operated in 1976, and was permanently defueled in 1984. The HBPP, Unit 3 is located about four miles true southwest of the city of Eureka, Humboldt County, California, and consists of approximately 113 acres of land. PG&E, the licensee, is operating Humboldt Bay Generating Station, a new dual fueled (natural gas and diesel) power plant, on the Humboldt Bay site adjacent to the south side of the facility. The Humboldt Bay Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) is located on site approximately 600 feet northwest of the Humboldt Bay Generating Station. On May 4, 2016, in response to PG&E’s application dated May 3, 2013, as supplemented on February 14, March 31, April 2, and August 13, of 2014, and March 16, 2015, the Commission issued license Amendment No. 45. Among other things, this license amendment approved HBPP, Unit 3’s License Termination Plan (LTP), incorporated it into HBPP, Unit 3’s license, specified limits to the changes the licensee could make without prior NRC approval. Since the issuance of Amendment No. 45 and the approval of the HBPP, Unit 3 LTP, the NRC staff has reviewed Final Status Survey Reports (FSSRs) of several survey units associated with HBPP, Unit 3. During its review, the NRC staff noted that the licensee had not accounted for either all its Radionuclides of Concern (ROCs) or its insignificant radionuclides in a manner consistent with the LTP. When asked about these issues, the licensee responded with additional VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Nov 26, 2021 Jkt 256001 data. By letter dated February 8, 2021, as supplemented on April 29, and May 20, 2021, PG&E also submitted a request to amend License No. DPR–7 for HBPP, Unit 3 to change how it assesses insignificant/hard-to-detect (HTD) ROCs. The NRC approved the amended LTP by a license amendment, dated June 24, 2021, as corrected on July 8, 2021. The licensee conducted decommissioning activities at HBPP, Unit 3 in accordance with the approved LTP from May 2016 to July 2021. In accordance with the approved LTP, the licensee conducted Final Status Surveys (FSSs) to demonstrate that site, excluding the ISFSI, meet the criteria for unrestricted release as presented in Section 20.1402 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). Details of the FSS results were submitted to the NRC FSSRs. These reports are listed in Table 2 of the SER. PG&E submitted a request for termination of the HBPP, Unit 3 Facility Operating License, No. DPF–7, on October 21, 2021. The application states that PG&E has completed the remaining radiological decommissioning and FSSs of the HBPP, Unit 3 site in accordance with the NRC approved LTP, and that the FSSs demonstrate that the site (entire site, excluding the ISFSI), meet the criteria for decommissioning and release of the site for unrestricted use in accordance with 10 CFR part 20, subpart E. The NRC conducted performancebased in-process inspections of the licensee’s FSS program, identified in Table 1 of the SER, during the decommissioning process. The purpose of the inspections was to verify that the FSSs were being conducted in accordance with the commitments made by the licensee in the LTP, and to evaluate the quality of the FSSs by reviewing the FSS procedures, methodology, equipment, surveyor training and qualifications, document quality control, and survey data supporting the FSSRs. In addition, the NRC conducted numerous independent confirmatory surveys to verify the FSS results obtained and reported by the licensee. Confirmatory surveys consisted of surface scans for beta and gamma radiation, direct measurements for total beta activity, and collection of smear samples for determining removable radioactivity levels. The NRC staff reviewed the FSS report and concludes that: (i) The remaining dismantlement has been performed in accordance with the approved LTP; (ii) the FSSs and associated documentation, including an assessment of dose contributions PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 associated with parts released for use before approval of the LTP, demonstrate that the entire site, excluding the ISFSI, have met the criteria for decommissioning in 10 CFR part 20, subpart E; and (iii) PG&E has met the 10 CFR part 30, 40, and 70 requirements for forwarding specific records to NRC prior to license termination. Therefore, NRC is terminating HBPP, Unit 3 Facility Operating License No. DPR–7. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dated: November 22, 2021. Ashley B. Roberts, Acting Division Director, Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2021–25887 Filed 11–26–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–255; NRC–2021–0142] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Palisades Nuclear Plant Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a partial exemption in response to a June 15, 2021, request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee). The issuance of the exemption would grant Entergy a partial exemption from regulations that require the retention of records for certain systems, structures, and components associated with the Palisades Nuclear Plant (PNP) until the termination of the PNP operating license. DATES: The exemption was issued on November 23, 2021 ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2021–0142 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–2021–0142. Address questions about Dockets IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann; telephone: 301–415–0624; email: Stacy.Schumann@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 226 / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Notices 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, 301– 415–4737, or by email to PDR.Resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott P. Wall, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–2855; email: Scott.Wall@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached. Dated: November 23, 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Scott P. Wall, Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Docket No. 50–255 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Palisades Nuclear Plant Exemption I. Background The Palisades Nuclear Plant (PNP) is a pressurized-water reactor located in Van Buren County, Michigan. Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee) holds Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–20 for PNP. The license provides that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect. By letter dated January 4, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17004A062), as supplemented by letters dated September 28, 2017, and October 19, 2017 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML17271A233 and ML17292A032), the licensee submitted notification to the NRC indicating that it would permanently shut down the PNP no later than May 31, 2022. Once Entergy certifies that it has permanently defueled the PNP reactor vessel and placed the fuel in the spent fuel pool (SFP), pursuant to Section 50.82(a)(2) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the PNP renewed facility operating license will no longer authorize operation of the reactor or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel. However, the licensee VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Nov 26, 2021 Jkt 256001 will still be authorized to possess, and store irradiated nuclear fuel. Irradiated fuel is currently being stored onsite in the SFP and in independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) dry casks. The irradiated fuel will be stored in the ISFSI until it is shipped off-site. When the reactor is defueled, the reactor, the reactor coolant system, and the secondary system will no longer be in operation and will have no function related to the safe storage and management of irradiated fuel. II. Request/Action By letter dated June 15, 2021 (ADAMS Accession No. ML21167A108), Entergy submitted a partial exemption request for NRC approval from the record retention requirements of: (1) 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII, ‘‘Quality Assurance Records,’’ which requires certain records (e.g., results of inspections, tests, and materials analyses) be maintained consistent with applicable regulatory requirements; (2) 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which requires that records of changes in the facility must be maintained until termination of a license issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 50; and (3) 10 CFR 50.71(c), which requires certain records to be retained for the period specified by the appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification (TS), or retained until termination of the license if not otherwise specified. The licensee requested the partial exemptions because it wants to eliminate: (1) Records associated with structures, systems, and components (SSCs) and activities that were applicable to the nuclear unit, which are no longer required by the 10 CFR part 50 licensing basis because the SSCs and activities have been removed from the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) or TSs by appropriate change mechanisms; and (2) records associated with the storage of spent nuclear fuel in the SFP once all fuel has been removed from the SFP and the PNP license no longer allows storage of fuel in the SFP. The licensee cites record retention partial exemptions granted to Zion Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (ADAMS Accession No. ML111260277), Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML15344A243), San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15355A055), Kewaunee Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML17069A394), Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML18122A306), Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML19087A152), and Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67731 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20236J852) as examples of the NRC granting similar requests. Records associated with residual radiological activity and with programmatic controls necessary to support decommissioning, such as records associated with security and quality assurance, are not affected by the partial exemption request; these will be retained as decommissioning records, as required by 10 CFR part 50, until the termination of the PNP license. In addition, the licensee did not request an exemption associated with any other recordkeeping requirements for the storage of spent fuel at its ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license requirements of 10 CFR part 72. Lastly, no exemption was requested from the decommissioning records retention requirements of 10 CFR 50.75 or from any other requirements of 10 CFR part 50 applicable to decommissioning and dismantlement. III. Discussion Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when the exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security. However, the Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special circumstances, described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), are present. The licensee plans to leave in place PNP reactor facility SSCs that are not required for safe storage of SFP and SSCs that are no longer operable or maintained. These retired SSCs will remain in place until dismantlement. Following permanent removal of fuel from the SFP, those SSCs required to support safe storage of spent fuel in the SFP will also be abandoned. In its June 15, 2021, partial exemption request, the licensee stated that the basis for eliminating records associated with reactor facility SSCs and activities is that these SSCs have been or will be removed from service per regulatory change processes, dismantled or demolished, and released from any function regulated by the NRC. The licensee recognizes that some records related to the nuclear unit will continue to be under NRC regulation primarily due to residual radioactivity. The radiological and other necessary programmatic controls (such as controls for security, quality assurance, etc.) for the facility and the implementation of controls for the defueled condition and the decommissioning activities are and E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 67732 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 226 / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Notices will continue to be appropriately addressed through the license and current plant documents such as the UFSAR and TSs. Except for future changes made through the applicable change processes defined in the regulations (e.g., 10 CFR 50.48(f), 10 CFR 50.59, 10 CFR 50.90, 10 CFR 50.54(a), 10 CFR 50.54(p), 10 CFR 50.54(q), etc.), these programmatic elements and their associated records are unaffected by the requested partial exemption. Records necessary for SFP SSCs and activities will continue to be retained until the SFP is no longer needed for safe storage of irradiated fuel. Analogous to other plant records, once the SFP is permanently emptied of fuel, there will be no need for retaining SFP related records. Entergy’s general justification for eliminating records associated with PNP SSCs that have been or will be dismantled, demolished, or otherwise removed from service under the NRC license is that these SSCs will not in the future serve any PNP functions regulated by the NRC. The decommissioning plans for PNP are described in the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report dated December 23, 2019 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20358A075) and are contingent on the approval of the pending license transfer (ADAMS Accession No. ML21011A067). The proposed decommissioning process involves evaluating SSCs with respect to the current facility safety analysis; progressively removing them from the licensing basis where necessary through appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., without prior NRC approval under 10 CFR 50.59 or via a license amendment under 10 CFR 50.90, as applicable); revising the defueled safety analysis report and/or UFSAR as necessary; and then proceeding with an orderly dismantlement. Entergy intends to retain the records required by its license as the facility’s decommissioning transitions. However, equipment abandonment will obviate the regulatory and business needs for maintenance of most records. As the SSCs are removed from the licensing basis, Entergy asserts that the need for their records is, on a practical basis, eliminated. Therefore, Entergy is requesting partial exemptions from the associated records retention requirements for SSCs and historical activities that are no longer relevant. Entergy is not requesting to be exempt from any recordkeeping requirements for storage of spent fuel at an ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license requirements of 10 CFR part 72. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Nov 26, 2021 Jkt 256001 A. Authorized by Law As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions from 10 CFR part 50 requirements if it makes certain findings, including a finding that special circumstances are present. As described here and in the sections below, the NRC has made the requisite findings. In addition, granting the licensee’s proposed partial exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, other laws, or the Commission’s regulations. Therefore, the granting of the partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) is authorized by law. B. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety As SSCs are prepared for safe storage operation activities and eventual decommissioning and dismantlement, they will be removed from NRC licensing basis documents through appropriate change mechanisms, such as without prior NRC approval through the 10 CFR 50.59 screening process or through a license amendment request approved by the NRC. These change processes involve either a licensee determination or an NRC determination that the affected SSCs no longer serve any safety purpose regulated by the NRC. Therefore, the removal of the SSCs would not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. In turn, elimination of records associated with these removed SSCs would not adversely affect public health and safety. The granting of a partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the records described is administrative in nature and will have no impact on any remaining decommissioning activities or on radiological effluents. The granting of the partial exemption request will only advance the schedule for disposition of the specified records. Because these records contain information about SSCs associated with reactor operation and contain no information needed to maintain the facility in a safe condition when the facility is permanently defueled and the SSCs are dismantled, the elimination of these records on an advanced timetable will have no reasonable possibility of presenting any undue risk to public health and safety. PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 C. Consistent With the Common Defense and Security The elimination of the recordkeeping requirements does not involve information or activities that could potentially impact the common defense and security of the United States. Upon dismantlement of the affected SSCs, the records would have no functional purpose relative to maintaining the safe operation of the SSCs, maintaining conditions that would affect the ongoing health and safety of workers or the public, or informing decisions related to nuclear security. Rather, the partial exemptions requested are administrative in nature in that they would only advance the current schedule for disposition of the specified records. Therefore, the partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the types of records described is consistent with the common defense and security. D. Special Circumstances Paragraph 50.12(a)(2) of 10 CFR states, in part: The Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special circumstances are present. Special circumstances are present whenever— . . . (ii) Application of the regulation in the particular circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule; or (iii) Compliance would result in undue hardship or other costs that are significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was adopted . . . . Criterion XVII of Appendix B to 10 CFR part 50, states, in part: ‘‘Sufficient records shall be maintained to furnish evidence of activities affecting quality.’’ Paragraph 50.59(d)(3) states, in part: ‘‘The records of changes in the facility must be maintained until the termination of an operating license issued under this part . . . .’’ Paragraph 50.71(c) of 10 CFR states, in part: Records that are required by the regulations in this part or part 52 of this chapter, by license condition, or by technical specifications must be retained for the period specified by the appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification. If a retention period is not otherwise specified, these records must be retained until the Commission terminates the facility license . . . . In the Statement of Considerations for the final rulemaking, ‘‘Retention Periods E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 226 / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Notices for Records’’ (53 FR 19240; May 27, 1988), in response to public comments received during the rulemaking process, the NRC stated that records must be retained ‘‘for NRC to ensure compliance with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for the NRC to accomplish its mission to protect the public health and safety.’’ The Commission also explained that requiring licensees to maintain adequate records assists the NRC ‘‘in judging compliance and noncompliance, to act on possible noncompliance, and to examine facts as necessary following any incident.’’ These regulations apply to licensees in decommissioning. During the decommissioning process, safety-related SSCs are retired or disabled and subsequently removed from NRC licensing basis documents by appropriate means. Appropriate removal of an SSC from the licensing basis requires either a licensee or NRC determination that the SSC no longer has the potential to cause an accident, event, or other problem which would adversely impact public health and safety. The records identified for removal in this partial exemption request are associated with SSCs that had been important to safety during power operation or operation of the SFP, but are no longer capable of causing an event, incident, or condition that would adversely impact public health and safety, as evidenced by their appropriate removal from the licensing basis documents. Therefore, because the SSCs no longer have the potential to cause an event, incident, or condition that would adversely impact public health and safety, the records associated with these SSCs would not reasonably be necessary to assist the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident. Therefore, their retention would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule. In addition, once removed from the licensing basis documents (e.g., UFSAR or TS), SSCs are no longer governed by the NRC’s regulations, and therefore, are not subject to compliance with the safety and health requirements that apply to the nuclear environment. As such, retention of records associated with SSCs that are or will no longer be part of the facility serves no safety or regulatory purpose, nor does it serve the underlying purpose of the rule of maintaining compliance with the safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for the NRC to accomplish its mission. Accordingly, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Nov 26, 2021 Jkt 256001 special circumstances are present which the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), to grant the requested partial exemption. Records which continue to serve the underlying purpose of the rule—that is, to maintain compliance and to protect public health and safety in support of the NRC’s mission—will continue to be retained pursuant to the regulations in 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 72. Retained records that are not subject to the proposed partial exemption include those associated with programmatic controls, such as those pertaining to residual radioactivity, security, and quality assurance, as well as records associated with the ISFSI and spent fuel assemblies. The special circumstance of an unintended, significant undue burden also justifies the consideration of this exemption. The retention of records required by 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) provides assurance that records associated with SSCs will be captured, indexed, and stored in an environmentally suitable and retrievable condition. Given the volume of records associated with the SSCs, compliance with the records retention rule results in a considerable cost to the licensee. Retention of the volume of records associated with the SSCs during the operational phase is appropriate to serve the underlying purpose of determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident, as discussed. However, the cost effect of retaining operational phase records beyond the operations phase until the termination of the license was not fully considered or understood when the records retention rule was put in place. For example, existing records storage facilities are eliminated as decommissioning progresses. Retaining the capability to store or maintain records associated with SSCs and activities that no longer serve a safety or regulatory purpose could therefore result in an unnecessary financial and administrative burden. As such, compliance with the rule would result in an undue cost in excess of that contemplated when the rule was adopted. Accordingly, special circumstances are present which the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), to grant the partial exemption request. E. Environmental Considerations In 10 CFR 51.22, the Commission determined that certain NRC actions are eligible for categorical exclusion from PO 00000 Frm 00060 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67733 the requirement to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement because each action category does not individually or cumulative have a significant effect on the human environment. Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and (c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 10 CFR meets the eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion provided that: (1) There is no significant hazards consideration; (2) there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite; (3) there is no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure; (4) there is no significant construction impact; (5) there is no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents; and (6) the requirements from which an exemption is sought involve, as stated in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(A), recordkeeping requirements. Under 10 CFR 50.92(c), there is no significant hazards consideration if the action does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated, or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. The grant of the partial exemptions requested is administrative in nature in that it would remove requirements to retain and maintain certain records until license termination. The grant of partial exemptions has no effect on SSCs and no effect on the capability of any plant SSC to perform its design function. The partial exemptions would not increase the likelihood of the malfunction of any plant SSC. The probability of occurrence of previously evaluated accidents is not increased, since most previously analyzed accidents will no longer be able to occur and the probability and consequences of the remaining fuel handling accident are unaffected by the partial exemption request. Therefore, the partial exemptions do not involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated. The grant of partial exemptions does not involve a physical alteration of the plant. No new or different type of equipment will be installed and there are no physical modifications to existing equipment associated with the partial exemption request. Similarly, the partial exemptions do not authorize any E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 67734 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 226 / Monday, November 29, 2021 / Notices physicals changes in any SSCs involved in the mitigation of any accidents. Thus, no new initiators or precursors of a new or different kind of accident are created. Furthermore, the partial exemptions do not create the possibility of a new accident as a result of new failure modes associated with any equipment or personnel failures. No changes are being made to parameters within which the plant is normally operated, or in the setpoints which initiate protective or mitigative actions, and no new failure modes are being introduced. Therefore, the partial exemptions do not create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated. The grant of the partial exemptions would not authorize alteration of the design basis or any safety limits for the plant. The exemptions would not impact station operation or any plant SSC that is relied upon for accident mitigation. Therefore, the partial exemptions do not involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. For these reasons, the NRC has determined that approval of the partial exemptions requested involves no significant hazards consideration because granting a partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) at the decommissioning PNP does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated, (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated, or (3) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety. Likewise, there is no significant change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be released offsite, and no significant increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure because the exemptions grant relief from recordkeeping requirements for retired SSCs and activities that are no longer needed after the permanent defueling of the reactor or the after placement of irradiated nuclear fuel in dry storage. The exempted regulations are not associated with construction, so there is no significant construction impact. The exempted regulations do not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation involved in an accident) or accident mitigation; therefore, there is no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences from, radiological accidents. Allowing partial exemptions from the record retention requirements for which the exemption is sought involves recordkeeping requirements. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:55 Nov 26, 2021 Jkt 256001 Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)– (vi)(A), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be prepared in connection with the approval of the partial exemption requests. IV. Conclusions The NRC has determined that the granting of a partial exemption from the recordkeeping (i.e., record retention and maintenance) requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which will allow the licensee to discontinue records that are no longer required to support the licensed activities after permanent cessation of operations or after placement of irradiated fuel in dry storage, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. The destruction of the identified records will not impact remaining decommissioning activities; plant operations, configuration, and/or radiological effluents; operational and/ or installed SSCs that are quality-related or important to safety; or nuclear security. The NRC staff determined that the destruction of the identified records is administrative in nature and does not involve information or activities that could potentially impact the common defense and security of the United States. The purpose for the recordkeeping regulations is to assist the NRC in carrying out its mission to protect the public health and safety by ensuring that the licensing and design basis of the facility is understood, documented, preserved and retrievable in such a way that will aid the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an incident. Since the PNP SSCs that were safetyrelated or important to safety have been or will be removed from the licensing basis and removed from the plant, the NRC staff finds that the records identified in the exemption request will no longer be required to achieve the underlying purpose of the records retention rule. Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the partial exemptions are authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Entergy a partial exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR PO 00000 Frm 00061 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 50.59(d)(3) for PNP only to the extent necessary to allow the licensee to advance the schedule to remove records associated with SSCs that have been or will be removed from NRC licensing basis documents by appropriate change mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 or via NRC-approved license amendment request, as applicable). The exemptions are effective upon submittal of the licensee’s certification of permanent fuel removal, under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1). Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of November 2021. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. /RA/ Bo M. Pham, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing. [FR Doc. 2021–25948 Filed 11–26–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52–025 and 52–026; NRC– 2008–0252] Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Vogtle Electric Generating Plant Units 3 and 4 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) is issuing an exemption from the Commission’s regulations in response to a November 1, 2021, request from Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (SNC), as applicable to Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (VEGP) Units 3 and 4. Specifically, SNC requested a scheduler exemption from NRC regulations that require a holder of a combined license (COL) to implement certain physical protection and personnel access authorization requirements for a power reactor before fuel is allowed onsite (in the protected area). This exemption allows SNC to implement these requirements for each unit after the Commission finds that the acceptance criteria in the COL are met for the unit and prior to that unit’s initial fuel load into the reactor. DATES: The exemption was issued on November 23, 2021. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2008–0252 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: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29NON1.SGM 29NON1

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[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 226 (Monday, November 29, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67730-67734]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-25948]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-255; NRC-2021-0142]


Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Palisades Nuclear Plant

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Exemption; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a 
partial exemption in response to a June 15, 2021, request from Entergy 
Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy, the licensee). The issuance of the 
exemption would grant Entergy a partial exemption from regulations that 
require the retention of records for certain systems, structures, and 
components associated with the Palisades Nuclear Plant (PNP) until the 
termination of the PNP operating license.

DATES: The exemption was issued on November 23, 2021

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2021-0142 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-2021-0142. Address 
questions about Dockets IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann; 
telephone: 301-415-0624; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly

[[Page 67731]]

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, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS 
accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in 
ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this 
document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Scott P. Wall, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-2855; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The text of the exemption is attached.

    Dated: November 23, 2021.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Scott P. Wall,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 50-255

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc.; Palisades Nuclear Plant Exemption

I. Background

    The Palisades Nuclear Plant (PNP) is a pressurized-water reactor 
located in Van Buren County, Michigan. Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. 
(Entergy, the licensee) holds Renewed Facility Operating License No. 
DPR-20 for PNP. The license provides that the facility is subject to 
all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) now or hereafter in effect.
    By letter dated January 4, 2017 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17004A062), 
as supplemented by letters dated September 28, 2017, and October 19, 
2017 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML17271A233 and ML17292A032), the licensee 
submitted notification to the NRC indicating that it would permanently 
shut down the PNP no later than May 31, 2022. Once Entergy certifies 
that it has permanently defueled the PNP reactor vessel and placed the 
fuel in the spent fuel pool (SFP), pursuant to Section 50.82(a)(2) of 
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the PNP renewed 
facility operating license will no longer authorize operation of the 
reactor or emplacement or retention of fuel in the reactor vessel. 
However, the licensee will still be authorized to possess, and store 
irradiated nuclear fuel. Irradiated fuel is currently being stored 
onsite in the SFP and in independent spent fuel storage installation 
(ISFSI) dry casks. The irradiated fuel will be stored in the ISFSI 
until it is shipped off-site. When the reactor is defueled, the 
reactor, the reactor coolant system, and the secondary system will no 
longer be in operation and will have no function related to the safe 
storage and management of irradiated fuel.

II. Request/Action

    By letter dated June 15, 2021 (ADAMS Accession No. ML21167A108), 
Entergy submitted a partial exemption request for NRC approval from the 
record retention requirements of: (1) 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, 
Criterion XVII, ``Quality Assurance Records,'' which requires certain 
records (e.g., results of inspections, tests, and materials analyses) 
be maintained consistent with applicable regulatory requirements; (2) 
10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which requires that records of changes in the 
facility must be maintained until termination of a license issued 
pursuant to 10 CFR part 50; and (3) 10 CFR 50.71(c), which requires 
certain records to be retained for the period specified by the 
appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification 
(TS), or retained until termination of the license if not otherwise 
specified.
    The licensee requested the partial exemptions because it wants to 
eliminate: (1) Records associated with structures, systems, and 
components (SSCs) and activities that were applicable to the nuclear 
unit, which are no longer required by the 10 CFR part 50 licensing 
basis because the SSCs and activities have been removed from the 
Updated Final Safety Analysis Report (UFSAR) or TSs by appropriate 
change mechanisms; and (2) records associated with the storage of spent 
nuclear fuel in the SFP once all fuel has been removed from the SFP and 
the PNP license no longer allows storage of fuel in the SFP. The 
licensee cites record retention partial exemptions granted to Zion 
Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (ADAMS Accession No. ML111260277), 
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. ML15344A243), 
San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, Units 1, 2, and 3 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML15355A055), Kewaunee Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML17069A394), Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML18122A306), Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML19087A152), and Indian Point Nuclear Generating Unit Nos. 2 and 3 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML20236J852) as examples of the NRC granting 
similar requests.
    Records associated with residual radiological activity and with 
programmatic controls necessary to support decommissioning, such as 
records associated with security and quality assurance, are not 
affected by the partial exemption request; these will be retained as 
decommissioning records, as required by 10 CFR part 50, until the 
termination of the PNP license. In addition, the licensee did not 
request an exemption associated with any other recordkeeping 
requirements for the storage of spent fuel at its ISFSI under 10 CFR 
part 50 or the general license requirements of 10 CFR part 72. Lastly, 
no exemption was requested from the decommissioning records retention 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.75 or from any other requirements of 10 CFR 
part 50 applicable to decommissioning and dismantlement.

III. Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when the exemptions are authorized 
by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or safety, and 
are consistent with the common defense and security. However, the 
Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless special 
circumstances, described in 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2), are present.
    The licensee plans to leave in place PNP reactor facility SSCs that 
are not required for safe storage of SFP and SSCs that are no longer 
operable or maintained. These retired SSCs will remain in place until 
dismantlement. Following permanent removal of fuel from the SFP, those 
SSCs required to support safe storage of spent fuel in the SFP will 
also be abandoned. In its June 15, 2021, partial exemption request, the 
licensee stated that the basis for eliminating records associated with 
reactor facility SSCs and activities is that these SSCs have been or 
will be removed from service per regulatory change processes, 
dismantled or demolished, and released from any function regulated by 
the NRC.
    The licensee recognizes that some records related to the nuclear 
unit will continue to be under NRC regulation primarily due to residual 
radioactivity. The radiological and other necessary programmatic 
controls (such as controls for security, quality assurance, etc.) for 
the facility and the implementation of controls for the defueled 
condition and the decommissioning activities are and

[[Page 67732]]

will continue to be appropriately addressed through the license and 
current plant documents such as the UFSAR and TSs. Except for future 
changes made through the applicable change processes defined in the 
regulations (e.g., 10 CFR 50.48(f), 10 CFR 50.59, 10 CFR 50.90, 10 CFR 
50.54(a), 10 CFR 50.54(p), 10 CFR 50.54(q), etc.), these programmatic 
elements and their associated records are unaffected by the requested 
partial exemption.
    Records necessary for SFP SSCs and activities will continue to be 
retained until the SFP is no longer needed for safe storage of 
irradiated fuel. Analogous to other plant records, once the SFP is 
permanently emptied of fuel, there will be no need for retaining SFP 
related records.
    Entergy's general justification for eliminating records associated 
with PNP SSCs that have been or will be dismantled, demolished, or 
otherwise removed from service under the NRC license is that these SSCs 
will not in the future serve any PNP functions regulated by the NRC. 
The decommissioning plans for PNP are described in the Post-Shutdown 
Decommissioning Activities Report dated December 23, 2019 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML20358A075) and are contingent on the approval of the 
pending license transfer (ADAMS Accession No. ML21011A067). The 
proposed decommissioning process involves evaluating SSCs with respect 
to the current facility safety analysis; progressively removing them 
from the licensing basis where necessary through appropriate change 
mechanisms (e.g., without prior NRC approval under 10 CFR 50.59 or via 
a license amendment under 10 CFR 50.90, as applicable); revising the 
defueled safety analysis report and/or UFSAR as necessary; and then 
proceeding with an orderly dismantlement.
    Entergy intends to retain the records required by its license as 
the facility's decommissioning transitions. However, equipment 
abandonment will obviate the regulatory and business needs for 
maintenance of most records. As the SSCs are removed from the licensing 
basis, Entergy asserts that the need for their records is, on a 
practical basis, eliminated. Therefore, Entergy is requesting partial 
exemptions from the associated records retention requirements for SSCs 
and historical activities that are no longer relevant. Entergy is not 
requesting to be exempt from any recordkeeping requirements for storage 
of spent fuel at an ISFSI under 10 CFR part 50 or the general license 
requirements of 10 CFR part 72.

A. Authorized by Law

    As stated above, 10 CFR 50.12 allows the NRC to grant exemptions 
from 10 CFR part 50 requirements if it makes certain findings, 
including a finding that special circumstances are present. As 
described here and in the sections below, the NRC has made the 
requisite findings. In addition, granting the licensee's proposed 
partial exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy 
Act of 1954, as amended, other laws, or the Commission's regulations. 
Therefore, the granting of the partial exemption from the recordkeeping 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion 
XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) is authorized by law.

B. No Undue Risk to Public Health and Safety

    As SSCs are prepared for safe storage operation activities and 
eventual decommissioning and dismantlement, they will be removed from 
NRC licensing basis documents through appropriate change mechanisms, 
such as without prior NRC approval through the 10 CFR 50.59 screening 
process or through a license amendment request approved by the NRC. 
These change processes involve either a licensee determination or an 
NRC determination that the affected SSCs no longer serve any safety 
purpose regulated by the NRC. Therefore, the removal of the SSCs would 
not present an undue risk to the public health and safety. In turn, 
elimination of records associated with these removed SSCs would not 
adversely affect public health and safety.
    The granting of a partial exemption from the recordkeeping 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion 
XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the records described is 
administrative in nature and will have no impact on any remaining 
decommissioning activities or on radiological effluents. The granting 
of the partial exemption request will only advance the schedule for 
disposition of the specified records. Because these records contain 
information about SSCs associated with reactor operation and contain no 
information needed to maintain the facility in a safe condition when 
the facility is permanently defueled and the SSCs are dismantled, the 
elimination of these records on an advanced timetable will have no 
reasonable possibility of presenting any undue risk to public health 
and safety.

C. Consistent With the Common Defense and Security

    The elimination of the recordkeeping requirements does not involve 
information or activities that could potentially impact the common 
defense and security of the United States. Upon dismantlement of the 
affected SSCs, the records would have no functional purpose relative to 
maintaining the safe operation of the SSCs, maintaining conditions that 
would affect the ongoing health and safety of workers or the public, or 
informing decisions related to nuclear security.
    Rather, the partial exemptions requested are administrative in 
nature in that they would only advance the current schedule for 
disposition of the specified records. Therefore, the partial exemption 
from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for the types of 
records described is consistent with the common defense and security.

D. Special Circumstances

    Paragraph 50.12(a)(2) of 10 CFR states, in part:
    The Commission will not consider granting an exemption unless 
special circumstances are present. Special circumstances are present 
whenever-- . . . (ii) Application of the regulation in the particular 
circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is 
not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule; or (iii) 
Compliance would result in undue hardship or other costs that are 
significantly in excess of those contemplated when the regulation was 
adopted . . . .

    Criterion XVII of Appendix B to 10 CFR part 50, states, in part: 
``Sufficient records shall be maintained to furnish evidence of 
activities affecting quality.''
    Paragraph 50.59(d)(3) states, in part: ``The records of changes in 
the facility must be maintained until the termination of an operating 
license issued under this part . . . .''
    Paragraph 50.71(c) of 10 CFR states, in part:
    Records that are required by the regulations in this part or part 
52 of this chapter, by license condition, or by technical 
specifications must be retained for the period specified by the 
appropriate regulation, license condition, or technical specification. 
If a retention period is not otherwise specified, these records must be 
retained until the Commission terminates the facility license . . . .

    In the Statement of Considerations for the final rulemaking, 
``Retention Periods

[[Page 67733]]

for Records'' (53 FR 19240; May 27, 1988), in response to public 
comments received during the rulemaking process, the NRC stated that 
records must be retained ``for NRC to ensure compliance with the safety 
and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for the NRC to 
accomplish its mission to protect the public health and safety.'' The 
Commission also explained that requiring licensees to maintain adequate 
records assists the NRC ``in judging compliance and noncompliance, to 
act on possible noncompliance, and to examine facts as necessary 
following any incident.''
    These regulations apply to licensees in decommissioning. During the 
decommissioning process, safety-related SSCs are retired or disabled 
and subsequently removed from NRC licensing basis documents by 
appropriate means. Appropriate removal of an SSC from the licensing 
basis requires either a licensee or NRC determination that the SSC no 
longer has the potential to cause an accident, event, or other problem 
which would adversely impact public health and safety.
    The records identified for removal in this partial exemption 
request are associated with SSCs that had been important to safety 
during power operation or operation of the SFP, but are no longer 
capable of causing an event, incident, or condition that would 
adversely impact public health and safety, as evidenced by their 
appropriate removal from the licensing basis documents. Therefore, 
because the SSCs no longer have the potential to cause an event, 
incident, or condition that would adversely impact public health and 
safety, the records associated with these SSCs would not reasonably be 
necessary to assist the NRC in determining compliance and 
noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, and examining 
facts following an incident. Therefore, their retention would not serve 
the underlying purpose of the rule.
    In addition, once removed from the licensing basis documents (e.g., 
UFSAR or TS), SSCs are no longer governed by the NRC's regulations, and 
therefore, are not subject to compliance with the safety and health 
requirements that apply to the nuclear environment. As such, retention 
of records associated with SSCs that are or will no longer be part of 
the facility serves no safety or regulatory purpose, nor does it serve 
the underlying purpose of the rule of maintaining compliance with the 
safety and health aspects of the nuclear environment and for the NRC to 
accomplish its mission. Accordingly, special circumstances are present 
which the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12(a)(2)(ii), to 
grant the requested partial exemption.
    Records which continue to serve the underlying purpose of the 
rule--that is, to maintain compliance and to protect public health and 
safety in support of the NRC's mission--will continue to be retained 
pursuant to the regulations in 10 CFR part 50 and 10 CFR part 72. 
Retained records that are not subject to the proposed partial exemption 
include those associated with programmatic controls, such as those 
pertaining to residual radioactivity, security, and quality assurance, 
as well as records associated with the ISFSI and spent fuel assemblies.
    The special circumstance of an unintended, significant undue burden 
also justifies the consideration of this exemption. The retention of 
records required by 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, 
Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) provides assurance that records 
associated with SSCs will be captured, indexed, and stored in an 
environmentally suitable and retrievable condition. Given the volume of 
records associated with the SSCs, compliance with the records retention 
rule results in a considerable cost to the licensee. Retention of the 
volume of records associated with the SSCs during the operational phase 
is appropriate to serve the underlying purpose of determining 
compliance and noncompliance, taking action on possible noncompliance, 
and examining facts following an incident, as discussed.
    However, the cost effect of retaining operational phase records 
beyond the operations phase until the termination of the license was 
not fully considered or understood when the records retention rule was 
put in place. For example, existing records storage facilities are 
eliminated as decommissioning progresses. Retaining the capability to 
store or maintain records associated with SSCs and activities that no 
longer serve a safety or regulatory purpose could therefore result in 
an unnecessary financial and administrative burden. As such, compliance 
with the rule would result in an undue cost in excess of that 
contemplated when the rule was adopted. Accordingly, special 
circumstances are present which the NRC may consider, pursuant to 10 
CFR 50.12(a)(2)(iii), to grant the partial exemption request.

E. Environmental Considerations

    In 10 CFR 51.22, the Commission determined that certain NRC actions 
are eligible for categorical exclusion from the requirement to prepare 
an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement 
because each action category does not individually or cumulative have a 
significant effect on the human environment. Pursuant to 10 CFR 
51.22(b) and (c)(25), the granting of an exemption from the 
requirements of any regulation in Chapter I of 10 CFR meets the 
eligibility criteria for categorical exclusion provided that: (1) There 
is no significant hazards consideration; (2) there is no significant 
change in the types or significant increase in the amounts of any 
effluents that may be released offsite; (3) there is no significant 
increase in individual or cumulative public or occupational radiation 
exposure; (4) there is no significant construction impact; (5) there is 
no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from 
radiological accidents; and (6) the requirements from which an 
exemption is sought involve, as stated in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(A), 
recordkeeping requirements. Under 10 CFR 50.92(c), there is no 
significant hazards consideration if the action does not (1) involve a 
significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident 
previously evaluated, (2) create the possibility of a new or different 
kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated, or (3) involve 
a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
    The grant of the partial exemptions requested is administrative in 
nature in that it would remove requirements to retain and maintain 
certain records until license termination. The grant of partial 
exemptions has no effect on SSCs and no effect on the capability of any 
plant SSC to perform its design function. The partial exemptions would 
not increase the likelihood of the malfunction of any plant SSC. The 
probability of occurrence of previously evaluated accidents is not 
increased, since most previously analyzed accidents will no longer be 
able to occur and the probability and consequences of the remaining 
fuel handling accident are unaffected by the partial exemption request. 
Therefore, the partial exemptions do not involve a significant increase 
in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated.
    The grant of partial exemptions does not involve a physical 
alteration of the plant. No new or different type of equipment will be 
installed and there are no physical modifications to existing equipment 
associated with the partial exemption request. Similarly, the partial 
exemptions do not authorize any

[[Page 67734]]

physicals changes in any SSCs involved in the mitigation of any 
accidents. Thus, no new initiators or precursors of a new or different 
kind of accident are created. Furthermore, the partial exemptions do 
not create the possibility of a new accident as a result of new failure 
modes associated with any equipment or personnel failures. No changes 
are being made to parameters within which the plant is normally 
operated, or in the setpoints which initiate protective or mitigative 
actions, and no new failure modes are being introduced. Therefore, the 
partial exemptions do not create the possibility of a new or different 
kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated.
    The grant of the partial exemptions would not authorize alteration 
of the design basis or any safety limits for the plant. The exemptions 
would not impact station operation or any plant SSC that is relied upon 
for accident mitigation. Therefore, the partial exemptions do not 
involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety.
    For these reasons, the NRC has determined that approval of the 
partial exemptions requested involves no significant hazards 
consideration because granting a partial exemption from the 
recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix 
B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) at the decommissioning PNP 
does not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or 
consequences of an accident previously evaluated, (2) create the 
possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident 
previously evaluated, or (3) involve a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety. Likewise, there is no significant change in the types 
or significant increase in the amounts of any effluents that may be 
released offsite, and no significant increase in individual or 
cumulative public or occupational radiation exposure because the 
exemptions grant relief from recordkeeping requirements for retired 
SSCs and activities that are no longer needed after the permanent 
defueling of the reactor or the after placement of irradiated nuclear 
fuel in dry storage.
    The exempted regulations are not associated with construction, so 
there is no significant construction impact. The exempted regulations 
do not concern the source term (i.e., potential amount of radiation 
involved in an accident) or accident mitigation; therefore, there is no 
significant increase in the potential for, or consequences from, 
radiological accidents. Allowing partial exemptions from the record 
retention requirements for which the exemption is sought involves 
recordkeeping requirements.
    Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(i)-
(vi)(A), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment 
need be prepared in connection with the approval of the partial 
exemption requests.

IV. Conclusions

    The NRC has determined that the granting of a partial exemption 
from the recordkeeping (i.e., record retention and maintenance) 
requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion 
XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), which will allow the licensee to 
discontinue records that are no longer required to support the licensed 
activities after permanent cessation of operations or after placement 
of irradiated fuel in dry storage, will not present an undue risk to 
the public health and safety. The destruction of the identified records 
will not impact remaining decommissioning activities; plant operations, 
configuration, and/or radiological effluents; operational and/or 
installed SSCs that are quality-related or important to safety; or 
nuclear security. The NRC staff determined that the destruction of the 
identified records is administrative in nature and does not involve 
information or activities that could potentially impact the common 
defense and security of the United States.
    The purpose for the recordkeeping regulations is to assist the NRC 
in carrying out its mission to protect the public health and safety by 
ensuring that the licensing and design basis of the facility is 
understood, documented, preserved and retrievable in such a way that 
will aid the NRC in determining compliance and noncompliance, taking 
action on possible noncompliance, and examining facts following an 
incident. Since the PNP SSCs that were safety-related or important to 
safety have been or will be removed from the licensing basis and 
removed from the plant, the NRC staff finds that the records identified 
in the exemption request will no longer be required to achieve the 
underlying purpose of the records retention rule.
    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
50.12, the partial exemptions are authorized by law, will not present 
an undue risk to the public health and safety, and are consistent with 
the common defense and security. Also, special circumstances are 
present. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants Entergy a partial 
exemption from the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR 50.71(c); 10 
CFR part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVII; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) for PNP 
only to the extent necessary to allow the licensee to advance the 
schedule to remove records associated with SSCs that have been or will 
be removed from NRC licensing basis documents by appropriate change 
mechanisms (e.g., 10 CFR 50.59 or via NRC-approved license amendment 
request, as applicable).
    The exemptions are effective upon submittal of the licensee's 
certification of permanent fuel removal, under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(1).

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of November 2021.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

/RA/
Bo M. Pham,
    Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing.

[FR Doc. 2021-25948 Filed 11-26-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P