[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 8 (Tuesday, January 13, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2012-2013]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-680]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-275 and 50-323]


Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Unit 
Nos. 1 and 2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant 
Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption from title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, section 50.68 for Facility Operating 
License Nos. DPR-80 and DPR-82, issued to Pacific Gas and Electric 
Company (the licensee), for operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant 
(DCPP), Unit Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, located in San Luis Obispo 
County, California. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is 
issuing this environmental assessment and finding of no significant 
impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the licensee from the requirements 
of 10 CFR 50.68, ``Criticality Accident Requirements,'' for handling 
the 10 CFR part 72 licensed contents of the Holtec HI-STORM 100 Cask 
System.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated October 8, 2003, as supplemented on November 25, 
2003.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) sets forth the following requirement that must 
be met, in lieu of a monitoring system capable of detecting criticality 
events:

    Plant procedures shall prohibit the handling and storage at any 
one time of more fuel assemblies than have been determined to be 
safely subcritical under the most adverse moderation conditions 
feasible by unborated water.

    The licensee is unable to satisfy the above requirement for 
handling of the 10 CFR part 72 licensed contents of the Holtec HI-STORM 
100 Cask System. Section 50.12(a) allows licensees to apply for an 
exemption from the requirements of part 50 if the regulation is not 
necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule and other 
conditions are met. The licensee has stated that compliance with 10 CFR 
50.68(b)(1) is not necessary for handling the 10 CFR part 72 licensed 
contents of the cask system to achieve the underlying purpose of the 
rule.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes

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that the exemption described above would continue to satisfy the 
underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1). The details of the staff's 
safety evaluation will be provided with the letter to the licensee 
approving the exemption to the regulation.
    The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability 
or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types or 
amounts of effluents that may be released off site, and there is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action.
    With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect nonradiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant 
nonradiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
action.
    Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the application would result in no change in current 
environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action 
and the alternative action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resource than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2, dated May 1973.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On December 15, 2003, the staff consulted with the California State 
official, Mr. Steve Hsu of the Radiologic Health Branch of the 
California Department of Health Services, regarding the environmental 
impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
action.
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated October 8, 2003, as supplemented on November 
25, 2003. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the 
NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 
Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically 
from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) 
Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, 
http://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 PDR Reference staff by 
telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or (301) 415-4737, or by e-mail to 
pdr@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 7th day of January 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Stephen Dembek,
Chief, Section 2, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project 
Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-680 Filed 1-12-04; 8:45 am]
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