[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 11 (Friday, January 16, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2636-2637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-682]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 52-009]


System Energy Resources, Inc; Notice of Hearing and Opportunity 
To Petition for Leave To Intervene Early Site Permit for the Grand Gulf 
ESP Site

    Pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), 
and the regulations in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 
Part 50, Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities, 
Part 52, Early Site Permits, Standard Design Certifications, and 
Combined Licenses for Nuclear Power Plants, and Part 2, Rules of 
Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings and Issuance of Orders, 
notice is hereby given that a hearing will be held, at a time and place 
to be set in the future by the United States Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC, the Commission) or designated Atomic Safety and 
Licensing Board (Board). The hearing will consider the application 
dated October 16, 2003, filed by System Energy Resources, Inc. (SERI), 
a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, pursuant to Subpart A of 10 CFR 
Part 52 for an early site permit (ESP). The application requests 
approval of a site for which it has 90 percentage ownership in 
Claiborne County, Mississippi, approximately 25 miles south of 
Vicksburg, Mississippi, 6 miles northwest of Port Gibson, Mississippi, 
and 37 miles north-northeast of Natchez, Mississippi, as a location for 
one or more new nuclear reactors that would, if authorized for 
construction and operation in a separate licensing proceeding under 
Subpart C of 10 CFR Part 52 or under 10 CFR Part 50, have a capacity of 
no more than 8600 Megawatts (thermal) additional for the site. SERI has 
the exclusive rights to develop the Grand Gulf site property outside 
the existing power plant and support facilities. South Mississippi 
Electric Power Association maintains a 10 percentage ownership interest 
in the property associated with the existing Grand Gulf Nuclear Station 
power plant and support facilities. The docket number established for 
this application is 52-009.
    The hearing will be conducted by a Board which will be designated 
by the Chairman of the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel or by 
the Commission. Notice as to the membership of the Board will be 
published in the Federal Register at a later date.
    The NRC staff will complete a detailed technical review of the 
application and will document its findings in a safety evaluation 
report (SER) and an environmental impact statement (EIS). In addition, 
the Commission will refer a copy of the application to the Advisory 
Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) in accordance with 10 CFR 52.23, 
and the ACRS will report on those portions of the application that 
concern safety. Upon receipt of the ACRS report and completion of the 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff's SER and EIS, the Director, 
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, NRC, will propose findings on the 
following issues:

Issues Pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as Amended

    (1) Whether the issuance of an ESP will be inimical to the common 
defense and security or to the health and safety of the public (Safety 
Issue 1); and, (2) whether, taking into consideration the site criteria 
contained in 10 CFR Part 100, a reactor, or reactors, having 
characteristics that fall within the parameters for the site, can be 
constructed and operated without undue risk to the health and safety of 
the public (Safety Issue 2).

Issue Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, 
as Amended

    Whether, in accordance with the requirements of Subpart A of 10 CFR 
Part 51, the ESP should be issued as proposed.
    The Board will conduct the hearing in accordance with Subpart G of 
10 CFR Part 2. If the hearing is contested as defined by 10 CFR 2.4, 
the presiding officer will consider Safety Issues 1 and 2 and the issue 
pursuant to NEPA set forth above.
    If the hearing is not a contested proceeding as defined by 10 CFR 
2.4, the presiding officer will determine: whether the application and 
the record of the proceeding contain sufficient information, and the 
review of the application by the Commission's staff has been adequate 
to support a negative finding on Safety Issue 1 above, and an 
affirmative finding on Safety Issue 2 above, as proposed to be made by 
the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; and whether the 
review conducted by the Commission pursuant to NEPA has been adequate.
    Regardless of whether the proceeding is contested or uncontested, 
the presiding officer will: (1) Determine whether the requirements of 
Section 102(2) (A), (C), and (E) of NEPA and Subpart A of 10 CFR Part 
51 have been complied with in the proceeding; (2) independently 
consider the final balance among the conflicting factors contained in 
the record of the proceeding with a view to determining the appropriate 
action to be taken; and (3) determine, after considering reasonable 
alternatives, whether the ESP should be issued, denied, or 
appropriately conditioned to protect environmental values.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.714, any person whose interest may be 
affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party 
shall file a written petition for leave to intervene. Petitions must 
set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the 
proceeding, how that interest may be affected by the results of the 
proceeding, including the reasons why the petitioner should be 
permitted to intervene with particular reference to the factors set 
forth in 10 CFR 2.714(d)(1), and the specific aspect or aspects of the 
subject matter of the proceeding as to which the petitioner wishes to 
intervene.
    The Commission, the presiding officer, or the Atomic Safety and 
Licensing Board designated to rule on petitions to intervene shall, in 
ruling on petitions to intervene, consider the following factors, among 
other things: (1) The nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to 
be made a party to the proceeding, (2) the nature and extent of the 
petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding, 
and (3) the possible effect of any order that may be entered in the 
proceeding on the petitioner's interest.
    All such petitions must be filed no later than 30 days from the 
date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Nontimely 
filings will not be entertained absent a determination by the 
Commission, the presiding officer, or the Atomic Safety and Licensing 
Board designated to rule on the petition, that the petition should be 
granted based upon a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 
2.714(a)(1)(i)-(v).
    The Board will convene a special prehearing conference of the 
parties to the proceeding and persons who have filed petitions for 
leave to intervene, or their counsel, to be held at such times as may 
be appropriate, at a place to be set by the Board for the purpose of 
dealing with the matters specified in 10 CFR 2.751a. Notice of this 
special prehearing conference will be published in the Federal 
Register. The Board will

[[Page 2637]]

convene a prehearing conference of the parties, or their counsel, to be 
held subsequent to any special prehearing conference, after discovery 
has been completed, or within such other time as may be appropriate, at 
a time and place to be set by the Board for the purpose of dealing with 
the matters specified in 10 CFR 2.752.
    Not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the holding of the 
special prehearing conference pursuant to Sec.  2.751a, or if no 
special prehearing conference is held, fifteen (15) days prior to the 
holding of the first prehearing conference, the petitioner shall file a 
supplement to his or her petition to intervene that must include a list 
of the contentions which petitioner seeks to have litigated in the 
hearing. A petitioner who fails to file a supplement that satisfies the 
requirements of 10 CFR 2.714(b)(2) with respect to at least one 
contention will not be permitted to participate as a party. Additional 
time for filing the supplement may be granted based upon a balancing of 
the factors in 10 CFR 2.714(a)(1).
    Each contention must consist of a specific statement of the issue 
of law or fact to be raised or controverted. In addition, the 
petitioner shall provide the following information with respect to each 
contention: (1) A brief explanation of the bases of the contention, (2) 
a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinion which 
support the contention and on which the petitioner intends to rely in 
proving the contention at the hearing, together with references to 
those specific sources and documents of which the petitioner is aware 
and on which the petitioner intends to rely to establish those facts or 
expert opinion, and (3) sufficient information (which may include 
information pursuant to 10 CFR 2.714(b)(2)(i) and (ii)) to show that a 
genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or 
fact. This showing must include references to the specific portions of 
the application (including the applicant's environmental report and 
safety report) that the petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons 
for each dispute, or, if the petitioner believes that the application 
fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, 
the identification of each failure and the supporting reasons for the 
petitioner's belief. On issues arising under NEPA, the petitioner shall 
file contentions based on the applicant's environmental report. The 
petitioner can amend those contentions or file new contentions if there 
are data or conclusions in the NRC draft or final EIS, or any 
supplements relating thereto, that differ significantly from the data 
or conclusions in the applicant's document.
    The Commission, the presiding officer, or the Atomic Safety and 
Licensing Board designated to rule on petitions to intervene shall, in 
ruling on the admissibility of a contention, refuse to admit a 
contention if: (1) The contention and supporting material fail to 
satisfy the requirements of 10 CFR 2.714(b)(2); or (2) the contention, 
if proven, would be of no consequence in the proceeding because it 
would not entitle petitioner to relief.
    A person permitted to intervene becomes a party to the proceeding, 
subject to any limitations imposed pursuant to 10 CFR 2.714(f). Unless 
otherwise expressly provided in the order allowing intervention, the 
granting of a petition for leave to intervene does not change or 
enlarge the issues specified in the notice of hearing.
    Petitions for leave to intervene may be filed by delivery to the 
NRC Public Document Room at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville 
Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852-2738, or by mail addressed to the 
Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001; Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudication Staff. Because of the 
continuing disruptions in delivery of mail to United States Government 
offices, it is also requested that petitions for leave to intervene be 
transmitted to the Secretary of the Commission either by facsimile 
transmission to 301-415-1101 or by e-mail to hearindocket@nrc.gov. A 
copy of the petition should also be sent to the Assistant General 
Counsel for Reactor Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, Joseph L. Blount, Entergy Nuclear, 1340 
Echelon Parkway, Jackson, Mississippi, 39213, and to Mark J. 
Wetterhahn, Esquire, Winston & Strawn LLP, 1400 L Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20005-3502. All petitions must be accompanied by proof 
of service upon all parties to the proceeding or their attorneys of 
record.
    A person who is not a party may, in the discretion of the presiding 
officer, be permitted to make a limited appearance by making an oral or 
written statement of his position on the issues at any session of the 
hearing or any prehearing conference within such limits and on such 
conditions as may be fixed by the presiding officer, but may not 
otherwise participate in the proceeding.
    A copy of the SERI ESP application is available for public 
inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), located at 
One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records are accessible 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. The accession number for the application is 
ML032960315. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS, or who encounter 
problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should contact 
the NRC Public Document Room staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, 301-
415-4737 or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    The application is also available to local residents at the 
Harriette Person Memorial Library in Port Gibson, Mississippi, and is 
available on the NRC Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-
licensing/license-reviews/esp.html.

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

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 04-682 Filed 1-15-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P