[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 107 (Monday, June 4, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33005-33007]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13420]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos.: 50-213 and 72-39; NRC-2012-0123]


Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company; Haddam Neck Independent 
Spent Fuel Storage Installation, Staff Evaluation; Exemption

1.0 Background

    Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company (CYAPCO, the licensee) is 
the holder of Facility Operating License No. DPR-61 which authorizes 
possession of nuclear fuel under Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) part 50. The license provides, among other things, 
that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of 
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) now or 
hereafter in effect. Per 10 CFR part 72, Subpart K, a general license 
is issued for the storage of spent fuel in an Independent Spent Fuel 
Storage Installation (ISFSI) to persons authorized to possess or 
operate nuclear power reactors under 10 CFR part 50. Thus, CYAPCO also 
holds a 10 CFR part 72 general license which allows storage of spent 
fuel and greater than Class C waste at the Haddam Neck ISFSI in East 
Hampton, Connecticut.
    Under Facility Operating License No. DPR-61, CYAPCO operated a 
Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) until 1996 when operations ceased. 
Later, CYAPCO began transferring fuel from the reactor spent fuel pool 
into vertical dry casks at their ISFSI facility. These activities were 
completed in 2005, and final decommissioning of the reactor site was 
completed in 2007. The Haddam Neck ISFSI is a stand-alone ISFSI located 
on approximately five acres of land that was not released for 
unrestricted use after completion of decommissioning of the CY PWR.
    The Power Reactor Security Rule, which applies to all 10 CFR part 
50 licensees, was revised on March 27, 2009, with compliance required 
by March 31, 2010 (74 FR 13926). The NRC held a webinar on July 20, 
2010, to provide clarification on the applicability of the power 
reactor security regulations to 10 CFR part 50 licensees undergoing 
decommissioning or 10 CFR part 50 licensees that have only a general 
licensed ISFSI. On August 2, 2010, the NRC issued a letter to CYAPCO 
clarifying the applicability of the revised power reactor security 
regulations to a Part 50 licensee undergoing decommissioning or a Part 
50 licensee that has only a general licensed ISFSI. In the August 2, 
2010, letter, the NRC noted that there are currently no security or 
health and safety concerns at these facilities that may not be in 
compliance with the current 10 CFR 73.55 requirements because the 
Security Plans at these facilities meet the baseline requirements of 
the previous version of 10 CFR 73.55 and also meet the requirements of 
subsequent NRC security orders. The NRC requested a response be 
submitted within 120 days of receipt of the August 2, 2010, letter.
    By letter dated November 30, 2010 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML103570296), CYAPCO responded 
to the August 2, 2010, letter. In its response, CYAPCO requested 
exemptions from certain requirements in 10 CFR 73.55, ``Requirements 
for Physical Protection of Licensed

[[Page 33006]]

Activities in Nuclear Power Reactors Against Radiological Sabotage,'' 
which it considered either not applicable or caused an undue burden to 
a stand-alone ISFSI. CYAPCO also submitted a matrix which described how 
CYAPCO either complied with 10 CFR 73.55 and applicable orders or 
needed an exemption. CYAPCO further stated that its exemption request 
is intended to maintain its NRC-approved Physical Security Plan (PSP). 
In addition, CYAPCO noted that the statement of consideration for the 
Power Reactor Security Rule states that the Commission did not intend 
to make changes to the substantive requirements of 10 CFR 72.212 and 
that the Commission has initiated a separate rulemaking to revise the 
ISFSI security requirements (74 FR 13958).

2.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific Exemptions,'' the Commission 
may, upon application by any interested person or upon its own 
initiative, grant such exemptions from the requirements in 10 CFR part 
73 as it determines are authorized by law and will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security and are otherwise in the 
public interest. The NRC evaluated the exemption requests submitted by 
CYAPCO in its November 30, 2010, letter. After evaluating the exemption 
requests, the staff determined CYAPCO should be granted exemptions from 
the following requirements: 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii) and 
73.55(g)(8)(iv). Section 73.55(e)(10)(ii) sets forth requirements for 
restricting access by waterborne vehicles and 73.55(g)(8)(iv) sets 
forth access authorization requirements. The remaining exemptions 
requested were determined either to be inapplicable to the facility or 
are being met by the licensee's current PSP; therefore, these 
exemptions were denied. Additional information regarding the NRC staff 
evaluation is documented in a Safety Evaluation Report that contains 
Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and is being withheld 
from public inspection in accordance with 10 CFR 2.390.
    In considering these exemption requests, the staff reviewed an NRC 
letter dated January 30, 2003, which issued CYAPCO Amendment No. 199 to 
Facility Operating License No. DPR-61, and the Haddam Neck ISFSI PSP 
(Revision 2). The staff also reviewed the revised Power Reactor 
Security Rule, 10 CFR 73.55, which became effective on May 26, 2009 (74 
FR 13926), to identify substantive changes affecting previously 
approved exemptions. In addition, the staff reviewed inspection reports 
prepared after conducting inspections of the licensee's facility, 
procedures, and PSP for compliance with all applicable regulations and 
NRC Orders. Based upon its review, the staff determined that current 
barriers and actions implemented under the Haddam Neck ISFSI PSP 
satisfy the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, and that granting the 
requested exemptions will not result in a violation of the Atomic 
Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), or the Commission's 
regulations. Therefore, the exemptions are authorized by law.
    The purpose of the regulations in 10 CFR 73.55 is to establish and 
maintain a physical protection system designed to protect against 
radiological sabotage. The purpose of 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii) is to 
restrict waterborne vehicle access and perform periodic surveillance of 
waterway approaches. However, there are no pathways which allow 
waterborne vehicles to gain direct access to the ISFSI. Furthermore, 
CYAPCO employs site specific barriers as part of its NRC-approved PSP 
which are appropriate for the reduced radiological risk associated with 
a stand-alone ISFSI. The purpose of the regulations in 10 CFR 
73.55(g)(8)(iv) is to ensure personnel trained as escorts be 
knowledgeable of where visitors would be working within the protected 
area and that visitors within the protected area will be escorted. The 
staff determined that the NRC approved measures currently employed by 
CYAPCO in its PSP are appropriate for the reduced radiological risk to 
the public from the ISFSI and are consistent with the general 
performance standards in 10 CFR 73.55(b). Therefore, the staff 
concludes that the exemptions do not pose an increased risk to public 
health and safety and are not inimical to the common defense and 
security. Given the above considerations, granting this exemption will 
not endanger life or property or the common defense and security.
    As discussed above, the purpose of 10 CFR 73.55 is to protect 
against radiological sabotage. The staff determined granting CYAPCO an 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii) and 
73.55(g)(8)(iv) would not decrease the level of security currently in 
place at the Haddam Neck ISFSI, and will not result in increased 
radiological risk to the public from operation of this general 
licensed, stand-alone ISFSI. Accordingly, the staff has determined 
that, pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, these exemptions are authorized by law 
and are otherwise in the public interest.
    Granting exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR 
73.55(e)(10)(ii) and 73.55(g)(8)(iv) involves safeguards plans. Section 
51.22(c)(25)(vi)(F) provides a categorical exclusion for exemptions 
involving safeguard plans provided that the criteria in 10 CFR 
51.22(c)(25)(i)-(v) are also satisfied. In its review of the exemption 
request, the NRC determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25): (i) 
Granting the exemptions neither involves a significant reduction in a 
margin of safety nor creates a new or different kind of accident from 
any accident previously evaluated, and thus no significant hazards 
considerations because there is no significant increase in either the 
probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; (ii) 
granting the exemptions would not produce a significant change in 
either the types or amounts of any effluents that may be released 
offsite because the requested exemptions neither change the effluents 
nor produce additional avenues of effluent release; (iii) granting the 
exemptions would not result in a significant increase in either 
occupational radiation exposure or public radiation exposure because 
the requested exemptions neither introduce new radiological hazards nor 
increase existing radiological hazards; (iv) granting the exemptions 
would not result in a significant construction impact because there are 
no construction activities associated with the requested exemptions; 
and (v) granting the exemptions would not result in a significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents because the exemptions neither reduce the level of security 
in place at the Haddam Neck ISFSI nor create new accident precursors. 
Accordingly, this exemption meets the criteria for a categorical 
exclusion in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(F).

3.0 Conclusion

    Accordingly, the Commission has determined that, pursuant to 10 CFR 
73.5, the exemption is authorized by law, will not endanger life or 
property or the common defense and security, and is otherwise in the 
public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby grants CYAPCO an 
exemption from the 10 CFR 73.55(e)(10)(ii) requirement to restrict 
waterborne vehicle access and perform periodic surveillance of waterway 
approaches as well as the 10 CFR 73.55(g)(8)(iv) requirement for escort 
personnel to be generally knowledgeable of visitor activities. In 
addition, CYAPCO shall continue to follow the NRC approved ISFSI PSP 
and applicable NRC orders. As discussed in

[[Page 33007]]

the preceding paragraph, the Commission has determined that this 
exemption meets the criteria for categorical exclusion set forth in 10 
CFR 51.22(c)(25)(vi)(F). Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(b), no 
environmental impact statement or environmental assessment need be 
prepared in connection with the granting of this exemption. These 
exemptions are effective upon issuance.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of May 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Douglas W. Weaver,
Deputy Director, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2012-13420 Filed 6-1-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P