[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 106 (Tuesday, June 3, 2003)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33209-33211]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-13868]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants and To Conduct Scoping 
Process

    In 1996 and 1999, the Commission amended its environmental 
protection regulations in 10 CFR part 51, ``Environmental Protection 
Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,'' 
to improve the efficiency of the environmental review process for 
applicants seeking to renew a nuclear power plant operating license for 
up to an additional 20 years. The final rules were published in the 
Federal Register on December 18, 1996 (61 FR 66546), and September 3, 
1999 (64 FR 48507). The amendments are based on the analyses reported 
in NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for 
License Renewal of Nuclear Plants'' (May 1996) and its Addendum 1 
(August 1999).
    The GEIS, prepared by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
staff and its contractors, summarizes the findings of a systematic 
inquiry into the environmental impacts of refurbishment activities 
associated with license renewal and the environmental impacts of 
continued operation during the renewal period (up to 20 years for each 
licensing action). The significance of environmental impacts were 
analyzed for each of nearly 100 issues. Thereafter, the NRC categorized 
which of these analyses could be applied to all plants and whether 
additional mitigation measures would be warranted for each 
environmental issue. Of the 92 issues analyzed, 69 issues were resolved 
generically, 21 require a further site-specific analysis that 
applicants are required to address, and 2 require a site-specific 
assessment by the NRC. As part of its application to renew its 
operating license, an applicant submits a supplemental Environmental 
Report

[[Page 33210]]

and the NRC staff develops a site-specific supplement to the GEIS and 
includes a recommendation for each license renewal application. The 
environmental protection regulations for any NRC licensing action is 
contained in 10 CFR Part 51 and may be viewed on the Internet at http:/
/www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part051/index.html. The 
license renewal process also includes a safety review and inspections 
prior to issuance of a renewed license.
    In the introductory remarks to Appendix B to Subpart A of Part 51, 
``Environmental Effects of Renewing the Operating License of a Nuclear 
Power Plant,'' the Commission stated that, on a 10-year cycle, it 
intends to review the material in Table B-1 and update it, if 
necessary. The first 10-year cycle will end in 2006; the goal of the 
NRC staff is to complete this GEIS Update Project by the end of 2006.
    The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the NRC is 
planning to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS), in this 
case it is an update to the GEIS, and to provide the public an 
opportunity to participate in the environmental scoping process, as 
defined in 10 CFR 51.29. This step is the initial opportunity for 
stakeholder participation in the GEIS update and it occurs before the 
NRC has determined results or recommendations for the update. The 
environmental review process for license renewal will continue under 
the current regulatory framework throughout the course of this effort. 
If, as a result of this scoping process, it is determined that an 
update is not necessary, then that result will be published in the 
Federal Register as well.
    The GEIS and Addendum 1 to the GEIS were prepared pursuant to 10 
CFR part 51 and are available for public inspection at the NRC Public 
Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville 
Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, or from the Publicly Available 
Records component of NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/
adams.html, which provides access through the NRC's Public Electronic 
Reading Room (PERR) link. 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 at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-
415-4737, or by e-mail to PDR@NRC.GOV. The GEIS, its Addendum 1, and 
its Supplements may also be viewed on the Internet at http://
www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1437/. As 
indicated, the NRC prepares site-specific supplements to the GEIS for 
each license renewal application assessing the environmental impacts 
specific to that power plant location; these reports may be useful to 
scoping participants to understand the environmental review process and 
the environmental issues associated with the review for license 
renewal. The Supplements to the GEIS can also be viewed on the Internet 
in the context for each project and are listed by project at: http://
www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/licensing/renewal/applications.html. The 
update of the GEIS is a generic activity and, therefore, is not the 
appropriate forum to consider site-specific issues or concerns.
    This notice is being published in accordance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the NRC's regulations found in 10 
CFR part 51. As a convenience, the NRC will also issue other 
communications (for example, press releases and newspaper ads) to 
notify the public, but this notice is the formal means to inform 
interested parties of their opportunity to participate in the scoping 
process.
    In keeping with the framework outlined under NEPA, the NRC will 
first conduct this scoping process for the update to the GEIS and, 
thereafter, plans to prepare a draft addendum to the GEIS for public 
comment outlining the results of the NRC review. Participation in the 
scoping process by members of the public and local, State, Tribal, and 
Federal government agencies is encouraged. The scoping process for the 
addendum to the GEIS will be used to accomplish the following:
    a. Determine whether the purpose and need for the update (the 
proposed action) is clear.
    b. Determine the scope of the addendum to the GEIS and identify 
whether there are any significant issues that should be analyzed in 
depth.
    c. Identify and eliminate from detailed study those issues that are 
peripheral or that are not significant or which have been covered by 
prior environmental review.
    d. Identify any environmental assessments and other EISs that are 
being or will be prepared that are related to, but are not part of the 
scope of the addendum to the GEIS being considered.
    e. Identify other environmental review and consultation 
requirements related to the proposed action.
    f. Indicate the relationship between the timing of the preparation 
of the environmental analyses and the Commission's tentative planning 
and decision-making schedule.
    g. Identify any cooperating agencies and, as appropriate, allocate 
assignments for preparation and schedules for completing the addendum 
to the GEIS to the NRC and any cooperating agencies.
    h. Describe how the addendum to the GEIS will be prepared including 
any contractor assistance to be used.
    The NRC invites the following entities to participate in the 
scoping process:
    a. Any Federal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special 
expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved, or that is 
authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards.
    b. Any affected State and local government agencies, including 
those authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental 
standards.
    c. Any affected Indian tribe.
    d. Any person who requests or has requested an opportunity to 
participate in the scoping process.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 51.26, the scoping process for an EIS may 
include a public scoping meeting to help identify significant issues 
related to a proposed activity and to determine the scope of issues to 
be addressed in an EIS. The NRC has determined that it is appropriate 
to conduct public meetings on the GEIS update early in the project to 
foster public participation. Since this is a generic environmental 
review activity, the NRC has elected to hold a public meeting in each 
of the four (4) NRC regions for the GEIS Update Project. The scoping 
meetings will be held at the following locations: July 8, 2003, 
DoubleTree-Atlanta Perimeter, 6120 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 
30328; July 10, 2003, Hilton-Oak Lawn, 9333 South Cicero Avenue, Oak 
Lawn, IL 60453; July 15, 2003, Hilton-Anaheim, 777 Convention Way, 
Anaheim, CA 92802; and July 17, 2003, Executive Conference Center at 
Bayside (adjacent to the DoubleTree-Bayside), 200 Mount Vernon Street, 
Boston, MA 02125. Each formal meeting will convene promptly at 7 p.m. 
with an NRC overview of the role of the GEIS in the license renewal 
process, the experience gained in its use, and criteria that may be 
used to consider changes. Each meeting is planned to last for three 
hours, as necessary, or until all members of the public have had an 
opportunity to present their views; therefore, the formal meeting may 
end prior to 10 p.m. Each meeting will be transcribed and will include 
(1) the overview by the NRC staff of the NEPA environmental review 
process, the proposed scope of the addendum to the

[[Page 33211]]

GEIS, and the proposed schedule; and (2) the opportunity for interested 
government agencies, organizations, and individuals to submit comments 
or suggestions on the environmental issues or the proposed scope of the 
addendum to the GEIS. A participant may elect to submit a detailed 
written statement for the record and provide a brief oral summary. In 
addition to the formal meeting, the NRC staff will host informal 
discussions for members of the public one hour before the start of the 
session at each location; general information on the NRC and related 
NRC programs will be available for meeting participants as supplies 
permit. No formal comments on the proposed scope of the addendum to the 
GEIS will be accepted during the informal discussions. To be considered 
in the scoping process, comments must be provided either at the 
transcribed public meetings or in writing, as discussed below.
    Persons may register to attend or present oral comments at the 
meetings on the scope of the NEPA review by contacting Mr. Barry 
Zalcman, by telephone at 1-800-368-5642, extension 2419, or by e-mail 
to the NRC at LRGEISUpdate@NRC.GOV no later than June 30, 2003. Members 
of the public may also register to speak at the meeting within 15 
minutes of the start of each session. Individual oral comments may be 
limited by the time available, and at the discretion of the meeting 
facilitator, depending on the number of persons who register. Members 
of the public who have not registered may also have an opportunity to 
speak, if time permits. Public comments will be considered in the 
scoping process for the addendum to the GEIS. Mr. Zalcman will need to 
be contacted no later than June 30, 2003, if special equipment or 
accommodations are needed to attend or present information at the 
public meeting, so that the NRC staff can determine whether the request 
can be accommodated.
    Members of the public, whether or not they participate in the 
public meetings, may send written comments on the environmental scope 
of the GEIS Update Project to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, 
Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mailstop 
T-6 D 59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of this 
Federal Register notice. Comments may also be delivered to Room T-6 D 
59, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland, 
from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. during Federal workdays. To be considered 
in the scoping process, written comments should be postmarked by 
September 2, 2003. Electronic comments may be sent by e-mail to the NRC 
at LRGEISUpdate@nrc.gov. Electronic submissions should be sent no later 
than September 2, 2003, to be considered timely in the scoping process. 
Comments will be available electronically and accessible through the 
NRC's PERR link at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html.
    At the conclusion of the scoping process, the NRC will prepare a 
summary of the determinations and conclusions reached, including the 
significant issues identified, and will send a copy of the summary to 
participants in the scoping process. The summary will also be available 
for inspection at the NRC PDR or through the PERR link. If necessary, 
the staff will then prepare and issue for comment the draft addendum to 
the GEIS, which will be the subject of a separate Federal Register 
notice, to report the results of the NRC's review. At this time, the 
NRC plans to conduct separate public meetings, at similar locations as 
the public scoping meetings, on the draft addendum to the GEIS. Copies 
of the draft addendum to the GEIS will be available for public 
inspection at the above-mentioned address, and one copy per request 
will be provided free of charge. After receipt and consideration of the 
comments on the draft, the NRC will prepare a final addendum to the 
GEIS, which will also be available for public inspection. Should the 
review indicate that one or more environmental issues enumerated in 
Appendix B to Subpart A of Part 51, ``Environmental Effects of Renewing 
the Operating License of a Nuclear Power Plant,'' requires change, then 
the proposed and final rule amendments will accompany the draft and 
final addendum to the GEIS.
    Information about the proposed action, the addendum to the GEIS, 
and the scoping process may be obtained from Mr. Zalcman at the 
aforementioned telephone number or e-mail address.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of May 2003.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Pao-Tsin Kuo,
Program Director, License Renewal and Environmental Impacts Program, 
Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs, Office of Nuclear Reactor 
Regulation.
[FR Doc. 03-13868 Filed 6-2-03; 8:45 am]
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