[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 28 (Wednesday, February 11, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6701-6703]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-2934]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 72-27]


Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Notice of Docketing, Notice of 
Proposed Action, and Notice of Opportunity for a Hearing for a 
Materials License for the Humboldt Bay Independent Spent Fuel Storage 
Installation

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) is 
considering an application dated December 15, 2003, for a materials 
license under the provisions of 10 CFR part 72, from Pacific Gas and 
Electric Company (the applicant or PG&E) to possess spent fuel and 
other radioactive materials associated with spent fuel in an 
independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) located on the site 
of the Humboldt Bay Power Plant (HBPP).

[[Page 6702]]

If granted, the license will authorize the applicant to store spent 
fuel from HBPP in a dry storage cask system at the ISFSI which the 
applicant proposes to construct and operate on the site of HBPP. This 
application was docketed under 10 CFR part 72; the ISFSI Docket No. is 
72-27. The HBPP ISFSI will be located in Humboldt County, California. 
If granted, the license will authorize the applicant to store spent 
fuel for a term of twenty (20) years.
    Prior to issuance of the requested license, the NRC will have made 
the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the 
Act), and by the NRC's rules and regulations. The issuance of the 
materials license will not be approved until the NRC has reviewed the 
application and has concluded that issuance of the license will not be 
inimical to the common defense and security and will not constitute an 
unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. The NRC will 
complete an environmental evaluation, in accordance with 10 CFR part 
51, to determine if the preparation of an environmental impact 
statement is warranted or if an environmental assessment and finding of 
no significant impact are appropriate. This action will be the subject 
of a subsequent notice in the Federal Register.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.105, within thirty (30) days from the date of 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register, the applicant may 
file a request for a hearing; and any person whose interest may be 
affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in 
the proceeding must file a written request for a hearing and a petition 
for leave to intervene with respect to the subject materials license in 
accordance with the provisions of 10 CFR 2.714. If a request for 
hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, 
the Commission or an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board designated by 
the Commission or by the Chairman of the Atomic Safety and Licensing 
Board Panel will rule on the request and/or petition, and the Secretary 
or the designated Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will issue a notice 
of hearing or an appropriate order. In the event that no request for 
hearing or petition for leave to intervene is filed by the above date, 
the NRC may, upon satisfactory completion of all required evaluations, 
issue the materials license without further prior notice.
    As required by 10 CFR 2.714, a petition for leave to intervene 
shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in 
the proceeding and how that interest may be affected by the results of 
the proceeding. The petition should specifically explain the reasons 
why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the 
following factors: (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. The petition 
should also identify the specific aspect(s) of the subject matter of 
the proceeding as to which the petitioner wishes to intervene. Any 
person who has filed a petition for leave to intervene or who has been 
admitted as a party may amend a petition, without requesting leave of 
the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, up to fifteen (15) days prior to 
the holding of the first pre-hearing conference scheduled in the 
proceeding, but such an amended petition must satisfy the specificity 
requirements described above.
    Not later than fifteen (15) days prior to the first pre-hearing 
conference scheduled in the proceeding, a petitioner shall file a 
supplement to the petition to intervene which must include a list of 
contentions which are sought to be litigated in the matter. 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 a brief explanation of the bases for the contention and 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. The petitioner must also provide 
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. Petitioner must provide 
sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the 
applicant on a material issue of law or fact. Contentions shall be 
limited to matters within the scope of the action under consideration. 
The contention must be one which, if proven, would entitle the 
petitioner to relief. A petitioner who fails to file such a supplement 
which satisfies these requirements with respect to at least one 
contention will not be permitted to participate as a party.
    Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, 
subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, 
and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the 
hearing.
    A request for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be 
filed with the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555, Attention: Rulemaking and 
Adjudication Staff or may be delivered to the Commission's Public 
Document Room, One White Flint North Building, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, MD, by the above date. Where petitions are filed during the 
last ten (10) days of the notice period, it is requested that the 
petitioner promptly so inform the NRC by a toll-free telephone call 
(800-368-5642 Extension 415-8500) to E. William Brach, Director, Spent 
Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, 
with the following message: petitioner's name and telephone number; 
date petition was mailed; plant name; and publication date and page 
number of this Federal Register notice. A copy of the petition should 
also be sent to the Assistant General Counsel for Materials Litigation 
and Enforcement, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555, and to Lawrence F. Womack, Vice President, Nuclear Services, 
Humboldt Bay Power Plant, P.O. Box 56, Avila Beach, California 93424.
    Non-timely filings of petitions for leave to intervene, amended 
petitions, supplemental petitions, and/or requests for hearing will not 
be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the Presiding 
Officer, or the presiding Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the 
petition and/or request should be granted based upon a balancing of the 
factors specified in 10 CFR 2.714(a)(1)(i)-(v) and 2.714(d).
    The Commission hereby provides notice that this is a proceeding on 
an application for a license falling within the scope of section 134 of 
the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), 42 U.S.C. 10154. Under 
section 134 of the NWPA, the Commission, at the request of any party to 
the proceeding, must use hybrid hearing procedures with respect to 
``any matter which the Commission determines to be in controversy among 
the parties.''
    The hybrid procedures in section 134 provide for oral argument on 
matters in controversy, preceded by discovery under the Commission's 
rules and the designation, following argument, of only those factual 
issues that involve a genuine and substantial dispute, together with 
any remaining questions of law, to be resolved in an adjudicatory 
hearing. Actual adjudicatory hearings are to be held on only those 
issues found to meet the criteria of section 134 and set for hearing 
after oral argument.

[[Page 6703]]

    The Commission's rules implementing section 134 of the NWPA are 
found in 10 CFR part 2, subpart K, ``Hybrid Hearing Procedures for 
Expansion of Spent Fuel Storage Capacity at Civilian Nuclear Power 
Reactors' (published at 50 FR 41662 dated October 15, 1985). Under 
those rules, any party to the proceeding may invoke the hybrid hearing 
procedures by filing with the presiding officer a written request for 
oral argument under 10 CFR 2.1109. To be timely, the request must be 
filed within ten (10) days of an order granting a request for hearing 
or petition to intervene. The presiding officer must grant a timely 
request for oral argument. The presiding officer may grant an untimely 
request for oral argument only upon a showing of good cause by the 
requesting party for the failure to file on time and after providing 
the other parties an opportunity to respond to the untimely request. If 
the presiding officer grants a request for oral argument, any hearing 
held on the application must be conducted in accordance with the hybrid 
hearing procedures. In essence, those procedures limit the time 
available for discovery and require that an oral argument be held to 
determine whether any contentions must be resolved in an adjudicatory 
hearing. If no party to the proceeding requests an oral argument, or if 
all untimely requests for oral argument are denied, then the proceeding 
shall be conducted in accordance with 10 CFR part 2, subpart G.
    For further details with respect to this application, see the 
application dated December 15, 2003, which is available for public 
inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), One White 
Flint North Building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD or from the 
publicly available records component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). 
ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/
reading-rm/adams.html (the Public Electronic Reading Room). 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, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to 
pdr@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of February, 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Stephen C. O'Connor, Sr.
Project Manager, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 04-2934 Filed 2-10-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P