[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 16, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3458-3470]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00781]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-302; NRC-2013-0005]


Florida Power Corporation, Crystal River Unit 3, Draft 
Environmental Assessment Related to the Proposed License Amendment To 
Increase the Maximum Reactor Power Level

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Draft environmental assessment and finding of no significant 
impact; opportunity to comment.

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DATES: Comments must be filed by February 15, 2013. Any potential party 
as defined in section 2.4 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified 
Non-Safeguards Information and/or Safeguards Information is necessary 
to respond to this notice must request document access by January 28, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publically available, 
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2013-
0005. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0005. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
     Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
    For additional direction on accessing information and submitting 
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Siva P. Lingam, Project Manager, 
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-1564; email: 
Siva.Lingam@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0005 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may 
access information related to this document by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0005.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number 
for each

[[Page 3459]]

document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in 
ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The 
application for amendment, dated June 15, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML112070659), contains proprietary information in Attachment 5 of the 
amendment and accordingly, those portions are being withheld from 
public disclosure. A redacted version of the application for amendment 
is available electronically as Attachment 7 of the amendment under 
ADAMS Accession No. ML11207A444.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0005 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an amendment for Facility Operating License No. DPR-72, 
issued to Florida Power Corporation., (FPC, the licensee) for operation 
of the Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Power Plant (CR-3), for a license 
amendment to increase the maximum thermal power level from 2,609 
megawatts thermal (MWt) to 3,014 MWt. In accordance with section 51.21 
of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the NRC has 
prepared this Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) documenting its 
finding. The NRC concluded that the proposed actions will have no 
significant environmental impact.
    The proposed power increase is 15.52 percent over the current 
licensed thermal power. In 2002, the licensee received approval from 
the NRC to increase its power by 0.9 percent, and another approval in 
2007, to increase its power by 1.6 percent to the current power level 
of 2,609 MWt.
    The NRC staff did not identify any significant environmental 
impacts associated with the proposed action based on its evaluation of 
the information provided in the licensee's application and other 
available information. For further information with respect to the 
proposed action, see the licensee's application dated June 15, 2011 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML112070659). The draft EA and draft FONSI are 
being published in the Federal Register with a 30-day public comment 
period ending February 15, 2013.

III. Draft Environmental Assessment

Plant Site and Environs

    The CR-3 site is located in Citrus County, Florida on 4,738 acres 
(ac) (1,917 hectares (ha)), approximately 80 miles (mi) (129 kilometers 
[km]) north of Tampa, Florida. The plant is part of the larger Crystal 
River Energy Complex (CREC), which includes the single nuclear unit and 
four fossil-fueled units, Crystal River 1, 2, 4, and 5 (CR-1, CR-2, CR-
4, and CR-5). CR-3 is adjacent to Crystal Bay, a shallow embankment of 
the Gulf of Mexico, and is midway between the mouths of two rivers: the 
Withlacoochee River, about 4.5 mi (7.2 km) to the north, and the 
Crystal River, about 2.5 mi (4 km) to the south. The Tampa-St. 
Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area is approximately 60 mi (96.5 
km) south of Citrus County. CR-3 includes a pressurized light-water 
reactor (PWR) supplied by Babcock & Wilcox with a net electrical power 
output of 903 megawatts electric (MWe). FPC owns and operates CR-3. In 
this EA, the applicant is referred to as FPC or the licensee.
    Crystal Bay, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is the source for 
cooling water for the main condensers at CR-3 and the other units at 
the CREC. CR-3 has a once-through heat dissipation system that 
circulates water through CR-3 in one of two modes of operation: open 
cycle (once-through cooling with no cooling towers in operation) and 
helper cycle (once-through cooling with mechanical draft cooling towers 
in operation). The CR-3 cooling water system consists of the intake 
canal, intake structures and pumps, circulating water intake piping, 
condensers, circulating water discharge piping, outfall structure, 
discharge canal, and cooling towers. CR-1 and CR-2 share the intake 
canal, discharge canal, and cooling towers with CR-3. CR-4 and CR-5 
also share the discharge canal, which is lined with four permanent 
helper cooling towers. These helper cooling towers are operated during 
warmer months to allow CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 to meet their combined 
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge limit 
of 96.5 degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) (35.8 degrees Celsius ([deg]C)) 
(Permit No. FL0000159). The licensee also regulates discharge 
temperatures by reducing power at CR-1 and CR-2, if necessary. To avoid 
having to rely on this rate-reduction method, in 2006, the licensee 
installed 67 State-approved additional temporary modular cooling towers 
for use as needed.
    The intake canal, which extends into the Gulf of Mexico, is 14 mi 
(22.5 km) long. Current velocities at the mouth of the intake canal 
range from 0.6 to 2.6 feet per second (ft/s) (0.2 to 0.8 meters per 
second [m/s]). CR-3 withdraws cooling water from the Gulf of Mexico 
through its cooling water intake structure, located near the eastern 
end of the intake canal. Water from the Gulf is drawn into the intake 
canal and to the four intake pumps that circulate the non-contact 
cooling water through the plant. Water passes through eight external 
trash racks made of 3.6-in (9.2-cm) spaced vertical bars and seven 
0.38-in (1-cm) mesh size traveling screens where it is pumped to a 
circulating-water system and an auxiliary cooling water system. The CR-
3 system has a design intake volume of 680,000 gpm [gallons per minute] 
(42,840 L/s), with a combined condenser flow limit for all three units 
(CR-1, CR-2 and CR-3) of 1,897.9 million gallons per day (gpd) (4.9 
million liters per minute [L/min]) from May 1 to October 31, and 
1,120,000 gpd (2,912 L/min) from November 1 to April 30.
    The heated water from the cooling water systems flows to a 
discharge canal shared with CR-1 and CR-2, and then back to Crystal 
Bay. The discharge canal extends west about 1.6 mi (2.6 km) to the 
point of discharge in Crystal Bay, and extends an additional 1.2 mi 
(1.9 km) beyond the discharge point. This discharge canal is the source 
of cooling system makeup water for CR-4 and CR-5. When CR-1, CR-2, and 
CR-3 are operating at maximum pumping capacity, the velocity in the 
discharge canal is about 2.4 ft/s (0.7 m/s) at low tide.

[[Page 3460]]

Background Information on the Proposed Action

    By application dated June 15, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML112070659), the licensee requested an amendment for an extended power 
uprate (EPU) for CR-3 to increase the licensed thermal power level from 
2,609 MWt to 3,014 MWt for CR-3, which represents an increase of 15.52 
percent above the current licensed thermal power. This change requires 
NRC approval prior to the licensee operating at that higher power 
level. The proposed action is considered an EPU by the NRC because it 
exceeds the typical 7-percent power increase that can be accommodated 
with only minor plant changes. An EPU typically involves extensive 
modifications to the nuclear steam supply system contained within the 
plant buildings.
    The planned physical modifications to the plant needed in order to 
implement the proposed EPU would take place inside of existing 
buildings and previously-disturbed areas on the CR-3 site. The 
modifications were scheduled to be implemented over the course of two 
refueling outages, the first of which was completed in 2009, with the 
second phase scheduled for 2013. The 2009 outage produced a small 
increase in electrical output with no change in rated thermal power. 
The 2013 outage would increase the reactor thermal power and increase 
the electrical output to 168 MWe, however, the concrete containment at 
CR-3 delaminated in October 2009 during activities to create an opening 
in the containment for steam generator replacement. After replacing 
steam generators during 2009 outage, the licensee encountered 
additional containment delaminations during containment repair 
activities. The licensee is still in the process of determining further 
actions, and the plant is still in an outage. As a result, NRC 
suspended the review of the license renewal application temporarily 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML11112A122) until the licensee provides a 
concrete plan to repair the containment to original condition or 
better.
    Approximately 760 people are currently employed at CR-3 on a full-
time basis. For the recently completed 2009 outage, this workforce was 
augmented by an additional 1,000 EPU and steam generator replacement 
workers on average, with a peak of 1,800 workers. For the scheduled 
2013 EPU-upgrade outage, the licensee estimates an average of 1,350 
EPU-related construction workers on site. The increase of workers would 
be comparable to the number of workers required for a routine outage 
(typically 1,300 workers) and the peak construction workforce would be 
smaller than the FPC-reported peak workforce for the 2009 outage, which 
involved the replacement of major components, including the steam 
generators.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    As stated in the licensee's application, the proposed action is to 
provide the licensee with the flexibility to increase the potential 
electrical output of CR-3. The proposed EPU will increase the output 
for CR-3 by about 405 MWt, from about 2,609 MWt to about 3,014 MWt.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    As part of the original licensing process for CR-3, the U.S. Atomic 
Energy Commission published a Final Environmental Statement (FES) in 
1973 (ADAMS Accession No. ML091520178). The FES contains an evaluation 
of the potential environmental impacts associated with the operation of 
CR-3 over its licensed lifetime. In May 2011, the NRC published a draft 
supplemental environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for CR-3 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML11139A153). The 2011 draft SEIS evaluated the 
environmental impacts of operating CR-3 for an additional 20 years 
beyond its then-current operating license, extending the operation life 
until 2036. The NRC determined that the overall environmental impacts 
of license renewal were small. This NRC evaluation is presented in 
NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License 
Renewal of Nuclear Plants, Supplement 44, Regarding Crystal River Unit 
3 Nuclear Generating Plant (Draft Report for Comment)'' (draft SEIS-
44). The NRC used information from FPC's license amendment request for 
the EPU, consultation with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), 
the FES, and SEIS-44 to prepare the EA for the proposed EPU.
    The licensee's application states that it would implement the 
proposed EPU without extensive changes to buildings or to other plant 
areas outside of buildings. Plant modifications required to implement 
the EPU would occur in two phases. Phase One was completed during a 
steam generator replacement refueling outage in the fall of 2009. Plant 
modifications made during this first phase were intended to make the 
secondary side of the plant more efficient. Phase Two, which is 
scheduled for the spring of 2013, would include the necessary hardware 
changes to accommodate the higher operating temperatures of the EPU. 
Plant modifications to accommodate a power increase include CR-3 
switching to a more highly enriched uranium fuel, an operational change 
in reactor thermal-hydraulic parameters, and upgrade of the Balance of 
Plant capacity by component replacement or modifications. With the 
exception of the high-pressure turbine rotor replacement, the required 
plant modifications would be generally small in scope. Other plant 
modifications include replacing selected feedwater heaters; providing 
additional cooling for some plant systems; upgrading various electrical 
equipment/components to accommodate higher currents; accommodating 
greater steam and condensate flow rates; and upgrading instrumentation 
to include minor items such as replacing parts, changing set points, 
and modifying software.
    Increasing the plant's rated thermal power to 168 MWe would also 
increase the amount of steam generated and the temperature of the 
circulating water. In order for the licensee to comply with the plant's 
NPDES thermal limits, two mitigation options are currently being 
considered: a newly constructed helper cooling tower, or seasonal load 
reduction. If the first option were selected, a new mechanical-draft 
cooling tower would be installed on a previously disturbed site, 
currently occupied by the CREC percolation clarifier pond and south of 
the existing helper cooling towers. The cooling tower would operate as 
a once-through cooling tower and, if selected, the licensee would need 
to apply to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) 
for a modification of their current NPDES permit. FDEP would determine 
the actual operating procedures, discharge locations, and timeframes of 
the new cooling tower option during this permit modification process. 
Under the second option of seasonal load reduction management, the 
licensee would manage the discharge canal water through the operation 
of the existing cooling towers. This strategy has been used at CREC 
(particularly for CR-1 and CR-2, the fossil fuel units) in the past 
when the existing cooling towers have been insufficient in meeting 
NPDES discharge limits due to climatic factors. Under EPU conditions, 
the licensee anticipates that using this option would require the 
existing helper cooling towers to operate more frequently and over a 
longer seasonal period. The potential environmental impacts of both

[[Page 3461]]

of these cooling options are evaluated and discussed in this 
assessment.
    The sections below describe the potential nonradiological and 
radiological impacts to the environment that could result from the 
proposed EPU.

Nonradiological Impacts

Land Use and Aesthetic Impacts
    Potential land use and aesthetic impacts from the proposed EPU 
include impacts from proposed plant modifications at CR-3. While the 
licensee proposes some plant modifications, all plant changes related 
to the proposed EPU would occur within existing structures, or within 
previously disturbed areas on the CREC site. In the 1960s, the 
developed area of the CREC site underwent clearing, filling, and 
grading during this original construction, including being covered with 
a three to five foot layer of fill. Consequently, there are no 
undisturbed land areas within the developed CREC site. During the 2009 
steam generator replacement outage, a 1 ac (0.4 ha), previously 
disturbed area was converted into a permanent operational material and 
equipment lay-down area. An additional 3.5 ac (1.4 ha) was converted to 
overflow parking, and will likely be used as overflow parking again for 
the 2013 outage.
    If the licensee decides to construct a helper-cooling tower, the 
new mechanical draft-cooling tower would be located on a small 
previously disturbed parcel of land near the CREC percolation clarifier 
pond. The construction and operation of the proposed 73.5 ft (22.4 m), 
289 ft (88.1 m) diameter cooling tower would affect approximately 5 ac 
(2 ha), some of which would be temporarily used as a construction lay-
down area.
    If the load reduction management option were chosen, no land use 
changes would occur.
    Other than the activities described above, no new construction 
would occur outside of the developed area of the CREC site, and no 
expansion of existing buildings, roads, parking lots, or storage areas 
are required to support the proposed EPU. Existing parking lots, road 
access, equipment lay-down areas, offices, workshops, warehouses, and 
restrooms would be used during plant modifications. In addition, there 
are no planned modifications to transmission lines. Because land use 
conditions would not change, and because any land disturbance has and 
would occur within previously disturbed areas, there would be no 
significant land use or aesthetic impacts from EPU-related plant 
modifications at CR-3.
Air Quality Impacts
    CR-3 is located within the West Florida Intrastate Air Quality 
Control Region (AQCR). All of Florida, including the West Florida 
Interstate AQCR, are designated as being in attainment or 
unclassifiable for all criteria pollutants in the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations at 40 CFR 81.310. Orange County, 
Duval County, the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough and Pinellas 
Counties, and Southeast Florida including Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach 
Counties continue to be classified by the FDEP as attainment/
maintenance areas for ozone and Tampa is a maintenance area for lead. 
The closest non-attainment area to CR-3 is 275 mi (442.5 km) north in 
Bibb County, Georgia. The entire State remains unclassifiable for 
particulate matter, 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10), 
based on the EPA not yet considering this pollutant for attainment 
determinations. Unclassifiable areas are usually treated as attainment 
areas. The nearest designated mandatory Class 1 Federal area, the 
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, is 13 mi (20.9 km) south of 
CR-3.
    The CREC qualifies as a major source under the FDEP Title V permit 
program by virtue of the operation of the coal-fired units on 
contiguous parcels all under the control of FPC and, therefore, is 
required to obtain a Title V permit (Permit No. 0170004-004-AV). 
Although none of the permit stipulations pertain directly to the 
operation of CR-3, the existence of that permit nevertheless has an 
indirect impact on the operation, monitoring, and recordkeeping 
requirements for stationary sources of criteria pollutants affiliated 
with CR-3. Specifically, drift from an auxiliary cooling tower shared 
between CR-3 and two coal-fired units is addressed in the permit, and 
three diesel-fueled emergency power generators affiliated exclusively 
with the nuclear reactor are identified as unregulated stationary 
sources. NRC expects no changes to the emissions from these sources as 
a result of the EPU.
    During EPU implementation, some minor and short duration air 
quality impacts would occur from other non-regulated sources. Vehicles 
of the additional outage workers needed for EPU implementation would 
generate the majority of air emissions during the proposed EPU-related 
modifications. However, this source will be short term and temporary. 
If the new helper cooling tower option were selected, the effects of 
additional workers and associated vehicles during the 18-month 
construction period would be similarly short term and temporary. In 
addition, the majority of the EPU activities would be performed inside 
existing buildings and would not cause additional atmospheric 
emissions.
    If the new helper cooling tower option were selected, a new cooling 
tower onsite would result in added particulate matter (PM) emissions. 
FDEP regulations limit PM emissions to 25 tons per year, and 
PM10 emissions to 15 tons per year. Potential PM and 
PM10 emissions from the new cooling tower were evaluated by 
the licensee in 2007 and the cooling tower design was subsequently 
modified to meet PM emission thresholds by reducing the flow rate 
through the tower. The predicted emissions from the modified design are 
91.2 tons PM per year and 5.5 tons PM10 per year. PM 
emissions from the cooling tower would be confined to the CREC 
property, with minimal visibility impacts.
    Therefore, the NRC staff expects no significant impacts to regional 
air quality from the proposed EPU beyond those air impacts evaluated 
for draft SEIS-44, including potential minor and temporary impacts from 
worker activity and impacts from a possible new cooling tower.

Water Use Impacts

Groundwater
    Groundwater at the CREC is drawn from the Floridian aquifer system, 
which is a thick, vertically continuous sequence of Tertiary-age 
carbonate rocks (limestone and dolomite) with high relative 
permeability and regional extent. Although the CREC currently maintains 
14 onsite production wells completed in the Upper Floridian aquifer, 
CR-3 draws its water only from the south treatment plant, which is 
supplied by three wells. Groundwater is used at CR-3 for boilers and 
steam generators, ash processes, fire protection, and drinking water. 
CR-3 currently uses approximately 0.73 million gallons per day (gpd) 
(2.8 million liters (L) per day) of freshwater per day, which is well 
below the 2 million gpd (7.6 liters per day) authorized by the 
Southwest Florida Water Management District water use permit (Permit 
No. 20004695.004). This amount represents approximately three percent 
of the total groundwater consumed in Citrus County. The facility's 
individual wastewater facility permit administrated by the FDEP 
regulates the percolation ponds onsite

[[Page 3462]]

and specifies the site's groundwater monitoring requirements.
    Under the EPU, the licensee does not expect to significantly change 
the amount of freshwater use or supply source. With an expected 
increase of 1,350 workers supporting 2013 EPU construction activities, 
NRC expects potable water use to increase during the outage and return 
back to the regular operating levels after EPU implementation. It is 
unlikely this potential increase in temporary groundwater use during 
the EPU construction activities would have any effect on other local 
and regional groundwater users. This was demonstrated during the 2009 
outage, which had a larger increase of onsite workers (a peak of 1,800) 
and caused no public water supply shortages. Based on the 2009 outage, 
the NRC staff expects no significant impact on groundwater resources 
during proposed EPU construction activities or following EPU 
implementation.
Surface Water
    FDEP regulates the Florida Surface Water Quality Standards through 
a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which 
also establishes the maximum area subject to temperature increase 
(mixing zone), maximum discharge temperatures, and chemical monitoring 
requirements. CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 are currently operating under NPDES 
Permit No. FL0000159. CR-4 and CR-5 operate under a separate NPDES 
permit. The intake structure for the CR-3 main condenser uses four 
circulating water pumps, which provide a total flow capacity of 680,000 
gpm (42,840 L/s). Two of the pumps are rated at 167,000 gpm (10,521 L/
s) and two are rated at 179,000 gpm (11,277 L/s). Service pumps 
withdraw an additional 10,000 to 20,000 gpm (630 to 1,260 L/s), 
depending on system demand. The NPDES permit limits the combined flow 
for CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 to 1,898 million gpd (4.9 million liters per 
minute [L/min]) from May 1 to October 31, and 1,613 million gpd (4.2 
million L/min) from November 1 to April 30.
    Cooling water for all CREC units is discharged back to the Gulf 
through a common discharge canal, located north of CR-1, CR-2, and CR-
3. The site discharge canal extends about 1.6 mi (2.6 km) west into the 
Gulf to the point of discharge in Crystal Bay, and then another 1.2 mi 
(1.9 km) beyond the discharge point. The helper cooling towers withdraw 
water from the discharge canal when needed to comply with the NDPES 
thermal discharge limit of 96.5 [deg]F (35.8 [deg]C).
    The NPDES permit stipulates that prior to the use of any biocide or 
chemical additive used in the cooling system or any other portion of 
the treatment system, a permit revision from the FDEP is required. As 
regulated by the current CR-3 NPDES permit, the plant periodically adds 
chlorine in regulated quantities to control biofouling organisms. 
Because FDEP regulates discharges and requires chemical monitoring, NRC 
expects that the authorized discharges will not exceed the NPDES permit 
maximum total residual oxidant (chlorine) concentration at the unit 
outfall of 0.01 milligrams per unit (mg/L) after EPU implementation.
    To accommodate the increase in thermal output as a result of the 
EPU, the licensee has defined two cooling options: A new helper cooling 
tower, or load reduction management. The helper cooling tower option 
would utilize a mechanical draft cooling tower designed to operate in a 
once-through mode, discharging either to the intake or discharge canal, 
as is necessary. If this option is selected by the licensee, some of 
the current modular cooling towers could be discontinued. The new 
cooling tower would not require the use of any chemicals or biocides to 
control biofouling organisms and would not significantly increase total 
dissolved solids concentrations in the cooling water discharge. The 
actual operational procedures of the new cooling tower would be defined 
during the NPDES permit modification process, which would be required 
and administered by FDEP. If the load reduction management option were 
selected, the temporary modular towers, as well as CREC's permanent 
cooling towers, would continue to operate. Discharge canal temperatures 
would be moderated by reducing power at either CR-1 or CR-2 in order to 
comply with the site's NPDES permit. This second option would also 
likely extend the length of time per season that the current cooling 
towers are used.
    As part of the proposed EPU, the licensee consulted with the 
Florida Department of Community Affairs for a review of coastal zone 
consistency. Currently, FDEP has the authority to review all Federal 
licenses for coastal zone consistency with Section 307 of the Coastal 
Zone Management Act. For CR-3, CR-4, and CR-5, the coastal zone 
consistency certification is documented by the FDEP in Section XXV, 
``Coastal Zone Consistency,'' of the licensee's Conditions of 
Certification, updated most recently on August 1, 2012.

Aquatic Resource Impacts

    The potential impacts to aquatic resources from the proposed action 
could include impingement of aquatic life on barrier nets, trash racks, 
and traveling screens; entrainment of aquatic life through the cooling 
water intake structures and into the cooling water systems; and effects 
from the discharge of chemicals and heated water.
    Because the proposed EPU will not result in an increase in the 
amount or velocity of water being withdrawn from or discharged to the 
Gulf of Mexico, NRC expects no increase in aquatic impacts from 
impingement and entrainment beyond the current impact levels. 
Currently, all organisms impinged on the trash racks and traveling 
screens would be killed, as would most, if not all, entrained 
organisms. If the licensee selects the cooling tower option, a portion 
of the discharge would be routed to the site intake canal in late fall 
and winter, which would reduce the amount of withdrawal from the Gulf 
of Mexico. Reducing the amount of water withdrawal could reduce 
entrainment effects during cooler months. Under either cooling option, 
the licensee would continue its mitigation and monitoring program, 
developed in conjunction with NMFS, for the capture release and 
protection of sea turtles that enter the intake canal.
    Regardless of which cooling option (helper cooling tower or load 
reduction management) is chosen, FPC will comply with its NPDES 
discharge limit of 96.5 [deg]F (35.8 [deg]C). If the cooling tower 
option is selected, the mechanical draft cooling tower would be 
constructed to accommodate the increase in thermal loads, as well as 
allowing the licensee to retire a portion of its 67 temporary modular 
towers. If the load reduction management option were selected, the 
temporary towers as well as CREC's permanent cooling towers would 
continue to operate. Discharge canal temperatures would be moderated by 
reducing power at either CR-1 or CR-2 in order to comply with the 
site's NPDES permit. This second option would extend the length of time 
per season that the current cooling towers are used, as necessary. 
Because NRC expects the surface water, temperature not to exceed 96.5 
[deg]F (35.8 [deg]C), as a result of the proposed EPU, the NRC staff 
concludes that there are no significant impacts to aquatic biota from 
the proposed EPU.

Essential Fish Habitat Consultation

    The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act

[[Page 3463]]

(MSA) identifies the importance of habitat protection to healthy 
fisheries. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) is defined as those waters and 
substrata necessary for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to 
maturity (Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 USC 1801 et seq.). Designating EFH 
is an essential component in the development of Fishery Management 
Plans to minimize habitat loss or degradation of fishery stocks and to 
take actions to mitigate such damage. The consultation requirements of 
Section 305(b) of the MSA provide that Federal agencies consult with 
the Secretary of Commerce on all actions or proposed actions 
authorized, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely 
affect EFH. On June 1, 2011, an EFH assessment for the proposed 
operating license renewal was sent to the NMFS under separate cover to 
initiate an EFH consultation (ADAMS Accession No. ML11140A100). The EFH 
assessment for license renewal also discussed the proposed EPU and the 
potential new cooling tower option. The submitted EFH assessment found 
that continued operation of CR-3 would have no adverse effects to EFH 
for two of the species of concern (Seriola dumerili and Epinephelus 
adscensionis) and minimal adverse effects for the remaining 17 species. 
The EFH assessment for license renewal discussed the proposed EPU 
conditions, stating that the effects of impingement, entrainment, and 
the thermal plume would not be increased by the EPU due to the fact 
that flow rates will not be increased from current operating levels, 
and any increase in thermal output will be mitigated, potentially by an 
additional cooling tower. Therefore, the EFH issued for license renewal 
is also valid for NRC's requirements under Section 7 of the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) for the proposed EPU.
    NMFS responded to NRC's EFH assessment on July 25, 2011 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML11216A130). In their letter, NMFS stated that the 
agency currently had insufficient staffing resources to review the 
draft SEIS, and that it should be noted that NMFS position is neither 
supportive of, nor in opposition to, the proposed relicensing 
activities. This letter fulfilled the NRC's requirements under Section 
7 of the ESA with notification to NMFS.
    The following table identifies the species that the NRC considered 
in its EFH assessment.

                               Table 1--Species of Fish Analyzed in EFH Assessment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Fishery management plan                Scientific name                         Common name
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red Drum.............................  Sciaenops ocellatus..........  red drum.
Reef Fish............................  Mycteroperca bonaci..........  black grouper.
                                       Lutjanus jocu................  dog snapper.
                                       Diplectrum bivittatum........  dwarf sand perch.
                                       Mycteroperca microlepis......  gag grouper.
                                       Lutjanus griseus.............  gray snapper.
                                       Seriola dumerili.............  greater amberjack.
                                       Lachnolaimus maximus.........  hogfish.
                                       Lutjanus synagris............  lane snapper.
                                       Epinephelus striatus.........  Nassau grouper.
                                       Epinephelus morio............  red grouper.
                                       Epinephelus adscensionis.....  rock hind.
                                       Lutjanus apodus..............  schoolmaster.
                                       Rhomboplites aurorubens......  vermilion snapper.
                                       Ocyurus chrysurus............  yellowtail snapper.
Coastal Migratory Pelagics...........  Scomberomorus maculatus......  Spanish mackerel.
Shrimp...............................  Farfantepenaeus duorarum.....  pink shrimp.
                                       Litopenaeus setiferus........  white shrimp.
Stone Crabs..........................  Menippe mercenaria...........  Florida stone crab.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Terrestrial Resources Impacts

    CR-3 uses approximately 27 ac (11 ha) of previously disturbed land 
within the 1,062 ac (430 ha) developed portion of the 4,738 ac (1,917 
ha) CREC. The remainder of the CREC site has been left undeveloped, 
providing a buffer zone containing 3,676 ac (1,488 ha) of primarily 
hardwood hammock forest and pineland, salt marshes, small tidal creeks, 
and freshwater swamps, protected against encroachment from any other 
coastal development. As previously discussed, there remain no 
undisturbed areas and no native solids or vegetation communities within 
the developed CREC site. Within the disturbed facility areas, small 
strips of vegetation occur on roadsides, and open lawn areas are 
dominated by grasses. After September 11, 2001, a 0.9 ac (0.4 ha), 
which was previously mixed-hardwood wetland, was altered for security 
reasons. All trees in this area were cut to accommodate construction of 
new security facilities. This area was later converted into a permanent 
lay-down area during the 2009 steam generator replacement outage. An 
additional 3.5 ac (1.4 ha) grass area was converted to overflow 
parking, and will likely be used as overflow parking again for the 2013 
outage.
    If the helper cooling tower option is chosen, the new mechanical 
draft cooling tower would be constructed on a small parcel of land 
which was formally salt marsh, but was filled in 1970 by the site's 
previous owners. This area, approximately 3,600 ft (1,097 m) west of 
CR-3 was also the site of the former CR-3 meteorological towers (which 
is now relocated) and is currently occupied by the CREC percolation 
clarifier pond. The proposed 73.5 ft (22.4 m) cooling tower would have 
a diameter of 289 ft (88.1 m) and would require approximately 18 months 
to build. The previously disturbed areas affected by construction of 
the new tower would total approximately 5 ac (2 ha), some of which 
would be converted to an additional construction lay-down area.
    Because the new cooling tower option would only impact previously 
disturbed areas onsite, impacts that could potentially affect 
terrestrial resources would include disturbance or loss of habitat, 
construction and EPU-related noise and lighting, and sediment transport 
or erosion during the 2013 outage and the 18-month construction period 
for the new cooling tower. Noise and lighting would not adversely 
affect terrestrial species beyond effects experienced during previous 
outages because EPU-related construction modification activities would 
take place

[[Page 3464]]

during outage periods, which are typically periods of heightened 
activity. Noise and lighting impacts from the possible construction of 
a new cooling tower would only affect terrestrial species temporarily 
during the construction period. If the load reduction management option 
is selected, there would be no construction-related impacts to 
terrestrial species beyond those related to the 2013 outage. Also, 
during the 2009 outage, prior to the grading or grubbing conducted for 
the lay-down areas, the licensee performed a survey of the areas in 
accordance with the licensee's conditions of site certification under 
FDEP and followed best management practices to ensure that any 
ecological resources were protected. No changes to transmission lines 
or right of way (ROW) maintenance practices are required for the EPU. 
Thus, NRC expects no significant impacts on terrestrial resources 
associated with the proposed EPU.

Threatened and Endangered Species Impacts

    Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA), Federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Marine Fisheries Service (as 
appropriate), must ensure that actions the agency authorizes, funds, or 
carries out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any 
listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of 
critical habitat.
    A number of species in Citrus County are listed as threatened or 
endangered under the ESA, and other species are designated as meriting 
special protection or consideration. These include birds, fish, aquatic 
and terrestrial mammals, flowering plants, insects, and reptiles that 
could occur on or near CR-3 facility areas and possibly along the 
electrical transmission line ROWs. The most common occurrences of 
threatened or endangered species observed within the CREC boundary are 
five species of sea turtles: loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), 
Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley turtles 
(Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), and 
leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). FPC has a mitigation and 
monitoring program, developed in conjunction with NMFS, in place for 
the capture-release and protection of sea turtles that enter the intake 
canal. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a 
subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), also has 
been documented at CREC. Designated critical habitat for the Florida 
manatee is located in the Crystal River and its headwaters, adjacent to 
the southern boundary of the CREC. The NRC assessed potential impacts 
on the Florida manatee from operation of CR-3 in the draft SEIS-44. 
Three additional federally protected animals have been observed within 
the CREC site boundary, including American alligators (Alligator 
mississippiensis), wood storks (Mycteria americana), and bald eagles 
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus). No other critical habitat areas for 
endangered, threatened, or candidate species are located at the CREC 
site or along the transmission line ROWs.
    The following table identifies the species found on or near the 
CREC site or the transmission line ROWs that the NRC assessed in draft 
SEIS-44.

       Table 2--Federally Listed Species Assessed in Draft SEIS-44
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           ESA  status
        Scientific name                Common name            \(a)\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Birds:
    Aphelocoma coerulescens....  Florida scrub-jay.....  T
    Charadrius melodus.........  piping plover.........  T
    Grus americana.............  whooping crane........  E/XN
    Haliaeetus leucocephalus...  bald eagle............  T
    Mycteria americana.........  wood stork............  E
Fish:
    Acipenser oxyrinchus         gulf sturgeon.........  T
     desotoi.
    Pristis pectinata..........  smalltooth sawfish....  E
Marine Mammals:
    Trichechus manatus           Florida manatee.......  E/CH
     latirostris.
Reptiles:
    Drymarchon corais couperi..  eastern indigo snake..  T
Sea Turtles:
    Caretta caretta............  loggerhead turtle.....  T
    Chelonia mydas.............  green turtle..........  E
    Dermochelys coriacea.......  leatherback turtle....  E
    Eretmochelys imbricata.....  hawksbill turtle......  E
    Lepidochelys kempii........  Kemp's ridley turtle..  E
Crocodilians:
    Alligator mississippiensis.  American alligator....  T/SA
Plants:
    Bonamia grandiflora........  Florida bonamia.......  T
    Campanula robinsiae........  Brooksville bellflower  E
    Chrysopsis floridana.......  Florida golden aster..  E
    Dicerandra cornutissima....  longspurred mint......  E
    Eriogonum longifolium var.   scrub buckwheat.......  T
     gnaphalifo-lium.
    Justicia cooleyi...........  Cooley's water willow.  E
    Nolina brittoniana.........  Britton's beargrass...  E
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\(a)\ E = endangered; T = threatened; T/SA = threatened due to
  similarity of appearance; EXPN, XN = experimental, nonessential; CH =
  critical habitat.
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


[[Page 3465]]

    NRC has consulted with NMFS since 1982 regarding sea turtle kills, 
captures, or incidental takes. A 2002 NMFS biological opinion concluded 
that operation of the CREC is not likely to jeopardize the continued 
existence of the five sea turtle species (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML022460361). The 2002 NMFS biological opinion provides for limited 
incidental takes of threatened or endangered sea turtles. 
Correspondence between the licensee, FWS, and NMFS in connection with 
the 2011 license renewal environmental review indicated that effects to 
endangered, threatened, or candidate species, including a variety of 
sea turtles and manatees, would not significantly change, as a result 
of issuing a license renewal for CR-3.
    Because any increase in thermal output, as a result of the proposed 
EPU will be mitigated either by a new cooling tower option or load 
reduction management, the EPU will not increase thermal exposure to 
aquatic biota at the site. NRC expects the licensee capture-release and 
monitoring program for sea turtles and NRC interactions with NMFS 
regarding incidental takes to continue under the terms and conditions 
of the 2002 biological opinion. Therefore, NRC expects the proposed EPU 
would not change the effects of plant operation on threatened and 
endangered aquatic species.
    Planned construction-related activities associated with the 
proposed EPU primarily involve changes to existing structures, systems, 
and components internal to existing buildings and would not involve 
earth disturbance, with the exception of the construction of the new 
helper cooling tower, if selected. Traffic and worker activity in the 
developed parts of the plant site during the 2013-outage modifications 
would be somewhat greater than a normal refueling outage. During the 
18-month construction period of the new helper-cooling tower, impacts 
that could potentially affect terrestrial resources would include 
disturbance or loss of habitat, construction and EPU-related noise and 
lighting, and sediment transport or erosion. As described in the 
``Terrestrial Resource Impacts'' section, any potential impacts from 
cooling tower construction would only affect terrestrial species 
temporarily during the construction period. Any ground disturbing 
activities would require the licensee to conduct a survey and follow 
best management practices to ensure that any ecological resources were 
protected. No changes to transmission lines or ROW maintenance 
practices are required for the EPU.
    The NRC concluded in draft SEIS-44 that the continued operation of 
CR-3 was not likely to adversely affect terrestrial wildlife. In 
general, the effects of changes to the terrestrial wildlife habitat on 
the CR-3 site from the proposed EPU should not exceed those potential 
effects on terrestrial wildlife evaluated in draft SEIS-44, including 
potential minor and temporary impacts from EPU-related worker activity 
and any impacts from the construction of a new mechanical draft-cooling 
tower. Implementing the EPU would not change water withdrawal or 
discharge rates or effluent temperatures outside of those in the 
present NPDES permit. Due to the lack of such changes, the NRC staff 
concludes that the incremental effect of the EPU would have no 
additional effect on endangered aquatic species beyond those already 
addressed in the 1998 biological assessment and NMFS 2002 biological 
opinion (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12009A034 and ML022460361, 
respectively).

Historic and Archaeological Resources Impacts

    A 1973 archaeological survey (conducted on the recommendation of 
the Florida Division of Historical Resources) identified 20 
archaeological sites within the CREC property boundaries, consisting of 
18 prehistoric sites, one prehistoric site with historic components, 
and one of unspecified affiliation. Records at the Florida Master Site 
File in the Florida Division of Historical Resources confirm that these 
are the only recorded archaeological sites within CREC. These sites 
have not been evaluated for listing on the National Register for 
Historic Places (NRHP) and they remain potentially eligible until a 
formal evaluation is conducted. In addition, there are 63 recorded 
archaeological sites along the transmission line ROWs. Most of these 
archaeological sites have been determined ineligible for listing on 
NRHP, but nine have not been formally evaluated.
    As previously discussed, all plant modifications related to the 
proposed EPU would occur within existing structures, or within 
previously disturbed areas on the CREC site. The developed area of the 
CREC site underwent clearing, filling, and grading during power plant 
construction, including being covered with a three to five foot layer 
of fill. Consequently, no areas remain undisturbed within the developed 
portions of the CREC site. Any potential ground disturbances would 
occur within this area. The licensee also has corporate procedures for 
the protection of archaeological resources, including consultation with 
the Florida State Historic Preservation Office, in place that apply to 
any ground disturbing activities within the CREC and along transmission 
lines. The 2009 EPU and steam generator replacement-outage did not 
adversely impact any archaeological sites on historic properties in the 
vicinity of CR-3, because all of the outage activity took place away 
from known archaeological sites within the previously disturbed 
developed portions of the plant site. Because no ground disturbance or 
EPU-related construction activities would occur outside of previously 
disturbed areas, there would be no significant impact from the proposed 
EPU-related modifications on historic and archaeological resources at 
the CREC site.

Socioeconomic Impacts

    Potential socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU include 
increased demand for short-term housing, public services, and increased 
traffic in the region due to the temporary increase in the size of the 
workforce at CR-3 required to implement the EPU. The proposed EPU also 
could generate increased tax revenues for the State and surrounding 
counties due to increased power generation.
    Approximately 760 full-time employees work at CR-3. For the 
recently completed 2009 outage, this workforce was augmented by an 
additional peak of 1,800 workers. For the upcoming 2013 outage, the 
licensee estimates a peak of 1,350 EPU-related workers, which is only 
slightly higher than a typical outage peak of 1,300 workers. Once EPU-
related plant modifications have been completed, the size of the 
refueling outage workforce at CR-3 would return to normal levels and 
would remain similar to pre-EPU levels, with no significant increases 
during future refueling outages. The size of the regular plant 
operations workforce would be unaffected by the proposed EPU.
    Based on the 2009 outage, NRC expects most of the EPU plant 
modification workers to relocate temporarily to the Tampa-St. 
Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area during the upcoming 2013 
outage, resulting in short-term increased demands for public services 
and housing. Because plant modification work would be temporary, most 
workers would stay in available rental homes, apartments, mobile homes, 
and camper-trailers.
    There were no housing or public services shortages during the 2009 
outage, which employed a significantly

[[Page 3466]]

larger number of workers than is expected during the upcoming 2013 
outage. Therefore, the increase in plant employment during the 2013 
outage would have little or no noticeable effect on the availability of 
housing in the region.
    The additional number of refueling outage workers and truck 
material and equipment deliveries needed to support EPU-related plant 
modifications could cause short-term level of service impacts 
(restricted traffic flow and higher incident rates) on secondary roads 
in the immediate vicinity of CR-3. The licensee expects increased 
traffic volumes during the upcoming 2013 refueling outage. However, 
based on a 2007-traffic study commissioned by the licensee, and the 
results of the 2009 refueling outage (which the study showed had a 
greater potential for impact to transportation in the region than the 
2013 outage), only small traffic delays are anticipated during the 2013 
outage. For the 2009 outage, the licensee successfully established a 
temporary offsite parking area, using shuttle buses to transport 
workers on and off the site to mitigate congestion at the intersection 
of US-19/US-98 and West Power Line Road. Because fewer workers will be 
required for the 2013 outage, offsite parking may not be used, however, 
the licensee recognizes that a similar approach to the 2009 outage 
could be utilized, if necessary.
    CR-3 currently pays annual real estate property taxes to Citrus 
County, the Board of County Commissioners, the Citrus County School 
District, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Citrus 
County Hospital Board, the Homosassa Special Water District, mosquito 
control, and the county's municipalities to fund their respective 
operating budgets. The annual amount of future property taxes CR-3 
would pay could take into account the increased value of CR-3, as a 
result of the EPU and increased power generation.
    Due to the short duration of EPU-related plant modification 
activities, there would be little or no noticeable effect on tax 
revenues generated by additional temporary workers residing in Citrus 
County. In addition, there would be little or no noticeable increased 
demand for housing and public services or level-of-service traffic 
impacts beyond what is experienced during normal refueling outages at 
CR-3. Therefore, there would be no significant socioeconomic impacts 
from EPU-related plant modifications and power plant operations under 
EPU conditions in the vicinity of CR-3.

Environmental Justice Impact Analysis

    The environmental justice impact analysis evaluates the potential 
for disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental 
effects on minority and low-income populations that could result from 
activities associated with the proposed EPU at CR-3. Such effects may 
include human health, biological, cultural, economic, or social 
impacts. Minority and low-income populations are subsets of the general 
public residing in the vicinity of CR-3, and all are exposed to the 
same health and environmental effects generated from activities at CR-
3.
    NRC considered the demographic composition of the area within a 50 
mi (80.5 km) radius of CR-3 to determine the location of minority and 
low-income populations using the U.S. Census Bureau data for 2010 and 
whether they may be affected by the proposed EPU.
    According to 2010 census data, an estimated 1,039,919 people live 
within a 50 mi (80.5 km) radius of CR-3. Minority populations within 50 
mi (80.5 km) comprise 20 percent (approximately 207,470 persons). The 
largest minority group was Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 
(approximately 92,015 persons or 9 percent), followed by Black or 
African American (approximately 80,979 persons or 8 percent). The 2010 
census block groups containing minority populations were concentrated 
primarily east of CR-3. Minority populations within Citrus County 
comprise 10.6 percent of the total population, with the largest 
minority groups being Hispanic or Latino (of any race) with 4.7 
percent, followed by Black or African American with 3 percent.
    According to the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 
data, 17.3 percent of the total population and 12.3 percent of families 
residing in Citrus County were considered low-income, living below the 
2010 federal poverty threshold. The 2010 federal poverty threshold was 
$11,139 for an individual and of $22,314 for a family of four. 
According to the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year census 
estimates, the median household income for Florida was $53,093, while 
12.0 percent of families and 16.5 percent of the state population were 
determined to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. Citrus 
County had a lower median household income average ($43,791) and 
slightly higher percentages of families and individuals living below 
the poverty threshold, respectively.
    Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations would 
mostly consist of environmental and socioeconomic effects (e.g., noise, 
dust, traffic, employment, and housing impacts). Radiation doses from 
plant operations after implementation of the EPU are expected to 
continue to remain well below regulatory limits.
    Noise and dust impacts would be temporary and limited to onsite 
activities. Minority and low-income populations residing along site 
access roads could experience increased commuter vehicle traffic during 
shift changes. Increased demand for inexpensive rental housing during 
the EPU-related plant modifications could disproportionately affect 
low-income populations; however, due to the short duration of the EPU-
related work and the availability of housing, impacts to minority and 
low-income populations would be of short duration and limited. 
According to the 2010 census information, there were approximately 
14,722 vacant housing units in Citrus County.
    Based on this information and the analysis of human health and 
environmental impacts presented in this EA, the proposed EPU would not 
have disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental 
effects on minority and low-income populations residing in the vicinity 
of CR-3.

Nonradiological Cumulative Impacts

    The NRC considered potential cumulative impacts on the environment 
resulting from the incremental impact of the proposed EPU when added to 
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions in the 
vicinity of CR-3. For the purposes of this analysis, past actions are 
related to the construction and licensing of CR-3, present actions are 
related to current operations, and future actions are those that are 
reasonably foreseeable through the end of station operations, including 
operations after implementation of the EPU.
    The NRC concluded that there would be no significant cumulative 
impacts to air quality, groundwater, threatened and endangered species, 
or historical and archaeological resources near CR-3 because the 
contributory effect of ongoing actions within the region are regulated 
and monitored through a permitting process (e.g., NPDES and 401/404 
permits under the Clean Water Act) under State or Federal authority. In 
these cases, impacts are managed as long as these actions comply with 
their respective permits and conditions of certification.

[[Page 3467]]

    Surface water and aquatic resources were examined for potential 
cumulative impacts. For both resource areas, the geographic boundary 
for potential cumulative impacts is the area of the post-EPU thermal 
mixing zone. If the proposed EPU is approved and is implemented, CR-3's 
mixing zone will not change from pre-uprate conditions during full flow 
and capacity because any increase in thermal discharge temperature will 
be mitigated either by a new cooling tower option or by load reduction 
management. The NRC anticipates that CR-3 will continue to operate 
post-EPU in full compliance with the requirements of the FDEP NPDES 
permit. FDEP would evaluate the licensee's compliance with the NPDES 
permit and take action, as required, to ensure compliance.
    Cumulative socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU and 
continued operation of CR-3 would occur during the spring 2013 
refueling outage. The increased demand for temporary housing, public 
services, and increased traffic from the EPU-related outage workforce 
would have a temporary cumulative additive effect on socioeconomic 
conditions in local communities. However, these cumulative effects 
would be similar to those experienced during normal refueling outages 
at CR-3 caused by current operations.

Nonradiological Impacts Summary

    As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any 
significant nonradiological impacts. Table 3 summarizes the 
nonradiological environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at CR-3.

        Table 3--Summary of Nonradiological Environmental Impacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Land Use..........................  No significant impacts on land use
                                     conditions and aesthetic resources
                                     in the vicinity of CR-3.
Air Quality.......................  No significant impacts to air
                                     quality from temporary air quality
                                     impacts from vehicle emissions
                                     related to EPU construction
                                     workforce.
Water Use.........................  No significant changes to impacts
                                     caused by current operations. No
                                     significant impacts on groundwater
                                     or surface water resources.
Aquatic Resources.................  No significant changes to impacts
                                     caused by current operation due to
                                     impingement, entrainment, and
                                     thermal discharges.
Terrestrial Resources.............  No significant impacts to
                                     terrestrial resources.
Threatened and Endangered Species.  No significant changes to impacts
                                     caused by current operations.
Historic and Archaeological         No significant impacts to historic
 Resources.                          and archaeological resources onsite
                                     or in the vicinity of CR-3.
Socioeconomics....................  No significant socioeconomic impacts
                                     from EPU-related temporary increase
                                     in workforce.
Environmental Justice.............  No disproportionately high or
                                     adverse human health and
                                     environmental effects on minority
                                     and low-income populations in the
                                     vicinity of CR-3.
Cumulative Impacts................  No significant changes to impacts
                                     caused by current operations.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Radiological Impacts

Radioactive Gaseous and Liquid Effluents and Solid Waste
    CR-3 uses waste treatment systems to collect, process, recycle, and 
dispose of gaseous, liquid, and solid wastes that contain radioactive 
material in a safe and controlled manner within NRC and EPA radiation 
safety standards. The licensee's evaluation of plant operation under 
proposed EPU conditions predict that no physical changes would be 
needed to the radioactive gaseous, liquid, or solid waste systems.
Radioactive Gaseous Effluents
    The gaseous waste management systems include the radioactive 
gaseous system, which manages radioactive gases generated during the 
nuclear fission process. Radioactive gaseous wastes are principally 
activation gases and fission product radioactive noble gases resulting 
from process operations, including continuous cleanup of the reactor 
coolant system, gases used for tank cover gas, and gases collected 
during venting. The licensee's evaluation determined that 
implementation of the proposed EPU would not significantly increase the 
inventory of carrier gases normally processed in the gaseous waste 
management system, because plant system functions are not changing, and 
the volume inputs remain the same. The licensee's analysis also showed 
that the proposed EPU would result in an increase (a bounding maximum 
of 15.5 percent for all noble gases, particulates, radioiodines, and 
tritium) in the equilibrium radioactivity in the reactor coolant, which 
in turn increases the radioactivity in the waste disposal systems and 
radioactive gases released from the plant.
    The licensee's evaluation concluded that the proposed EPU would not 
change the radioactive gaseous waste system's design function and 
reliability to safely control and process the waste. The existing 
equipment and plant procedures that control radioactive releases to the 
environment will continue to be used to maintain radioactive gaseous 
releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302 and the as low as is 
reasonably achievable (ALARA) dose objectives in 10 CFR Part 50, 
Appendix I.
Radioactive Liquid Effluents
    The liquid waste management system collects, processes, and 
prepares radioactive liquid waste for disposal. Radioactive liquid 
wastes include liquids from various equipment drains, floor drains, the 
chemical and volume control system, steam generator blowdown, chemistry 
laboratory drains, laundry drains, decontamination area drains, and 
liquids used to transfer solid radioactive waste. The licensee's 
evaluation shows that the proposed EPU implementation would not 
significantly increase the inventory of liquid normally processed by 
the liquid waste management system. This is because the system 
functions are not changing and the volume inputs remain the same. The 
proposed EPU would result in an increase in the equilibrium 
radioactivity in the reactor coolant (15.5 percent), which in turn 
would impact the concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the waste 
disposal systems.
    Because the composition of the radioactive material in the waste 
and the volume of radioactive material processed through the system are 
not expected to significantly change, the current design and operation 
of the radioactive liquid waste system will accommodate the effects of 
the proposed EPU. The existing equipment and plant procedures that 
control radioactive releases to the environment will continue to be 
used to maintain

[[Page 3468]]

radioactive liquid releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302 
and ALARA dose objectives in 10 CFR part 50, Appendix I.
Radioactive Solid Wastes
    Radioactive solid wastes include solids recovered from the reactor 
coolant systems, solids that come into contact with the radioactive 
liquids or gases, and solids used in the reactor coolant system 
operation. The licensee evaluated the potential effects of the proposed 
EPU on the solid waste management system. The largest volume of 
radioactive solid waste is low-level radioactive waste, sources include 
resins and charcoal, sludges and spent filters from water processing, 
and dry active waste (DAW) that result from routine plant operation, 
refueling outages, and routine maintenance. DAW includes paper, 
plastic, wood, rubber, glass, floor sweepings, cloth, metal, and other 
types of waste generated during routine maintenance and outages.
    The licensee states that the proposed EPU would not have a 
significant effect on the generation of radioactive solid waste volume 
from the primary reactor coolant and secondary side systems because 
system functions are not changing, and the volume inputs remain 
consistent with historical generation rates. The waste can be handled 
by the solid waste management system without modification. The 
equipment is designed and operated to process the waste into a form 
that minimizes potential harm to the workers and the environment. Waste 
processing areas are monitored for radiation, and safety features are 
in place to ensure worker doses are maintained within regulatory 
limits. The proposed EPU would not generate a new type of waste or 
create a new waste stream. Therefore, the impact from the proposed EPU 
on radioactive solid waste would not be significant.
Occupational Radiation Dose at the EPU Power Level
    FPC stated that the in-plant radiation sources are expected to 
increase approximately linearly with the proposed increase in core 
power level of 15.5 percent. For the radiological impact analyses, the 
licensee assumed an increase to the licensed thermal power level from 
2,609 MWt to 3,014 MWt or 15.5 percent. To protect the workers, the 
licensee's radiation protection program monitors radiation levels 
throughout the plant to establish appropriate work controls, training, 
temporary shielding, and protective equipment requirements so that 
worker doses will remain within the dose limits of 10 CFR Part 20 and 
ALARA.
    In addition to the work controls implemented by the radiation 
protection program, permanent and temporary shielding is used 
throughout CR-3 to protect plant personnel against radiation from the 
reactor and auxiliary systems. The licensee determined that the current 
shielding design, which uses conservative analytical techniques to 
establish the shielding requirements, is adequate to offset the 
increased radiation levels that are expected to occur from the proposed 
EPU. The proposed EPU is not expected to significantly affect radiation 
levels within the plant and, therefore, there would not be a 
significant radiological impact to the workers.
Offsite Doses at the EPU Power Level
    The primary sources of offsite dose to members of the public from 
CR-3 is radioactive gaseous and liquid effluents. The licensee provided 
a comparison of historic offsite dose levels at CR-3 with the projected 
post-EPU dose levels (bounded by a factor of two) and the Appendix I 
ALARA guidelines, as shown below in Table 4. The doubled post-EPU does 
levels remain less than one percent of the Appendix I ALARA guidelines.

Table 4-- Historic and Projected Post-EPU Offsite Doses Compared to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I ALARA GUIDELINES.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Projected post-
                                   Historic CR-3       EPU offsite     Appendix I  ALARA
                                   offsite doses        doses (x2          guidelines              Units
                                   (200 to 2008)         scaling)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Liquid
    Total Body.................          9.39x10-5          1.88x10-4                  3  mrem/yr.
    Maximum Organ..............          3.65x10-3          7.30x10-3                 10  mrem/yr.
Gaseous
    Gamma Air Dose.............          2.69x10-3          5.38x10-3                 10  mrad/yr.
    Beta Air Dose..............          1.95x10-2          3.90x10-2                 20  mrad/yr.
    Total Body.................          5.61x10-3          1.10x10-2                 15  mrem/yr.
    Maximum Organ..............          1.68x10-2          3.36x10-2                 15  mrem/yr.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As previously discussed, operation at the EPU power level will not 
change the ability of the radioactive gaseous and liquid waste 
management systems to perform their intended functions. Also, there 
would be no change to the radiation monitoring system and procedures 
used to control the release of radioactive effluents in accordance with 
NRC radiation protection standards in 10 CFR Part 20 and 10 CFR Part 
50, Appendix I.
    Based on the above, the offsite radiation dose to members of the 
public would continue to be within NRC and EPA regulatory limits and, 
therefore, would not be significant.
Spent Nuclear Fuel
    Spent fuel from CR-3 is currently stored in the plant's spent fuel 
pool, however, the licensee has initiated the construction of an 
independent spent fuel storage installation to provide additional dry 
storage of spent nuclear fuel at the CR-3 site. CR-3 is licensed to use 
uranium-dioxide fuel that has a maximum enrichment of 5 percent by 
weight uranium-235. The average fuel assembly discharge burnup for the 
proposed EPU is expected to be limited to 50,000 megawatt days per 
metric ton uranium (MWd/MTU) with no fuel pins exceeding the maximum 
fuel rod burnup limit of 60,000 MWd/MTU. The licensee's fuel reload 
design goals will maintain the CR-3 fuel cycles within the limits 
bounded by the impacts analyzed in 10 CFR Part 51, Table S-3--Uranium 
Fuel Cycle Environmental Data and Table S-4--Environmental Impact of 
Transportation of Fuel and Waste to and From One Light-Water-Cooled 
Nuclear Power Reactor, as supplemented by NUREG-1437, Volume 1, 
Addendum 1, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License 
Renewal of Nuclear Plants, Main Report, Section 6.3--Transportation 
Table 9.1, Summary of findings on NEPA [National Environmental Policy 
Act] issues for

[[Page 3469]]

license renewal of nuclear power plants'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12111A162). Therefore, there would be no significant impacts 
resulting from spent nuclear fuel.
Postulated Design-Basis Accident Doses
    Postulated design-basis accidents are evaluated by both the 
licensee and NRC to ensure that CR-3 can withstand normal and abnormal 
transients and a broad spectrum of postulated accidents without undue 
hazard to the health and safety of the public.
    The licensee performed analyses according to the Alternative 
Radiological Source Term methodology, updated with input and 
assumptions consistent with the proposed EPU. For each design-basis 
accident, radiological consequence analyses were performed using the 
guidance in NRC Regulatory Guide 1.183, ``Alternative Radiological 
Source Terms for Evaluating Design Basis Accidents at Nuclear Power 
Reactors'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003716792). Accident-specific total 
effective dose equivalent was determined at the exclusion area 
boundary, at the low-population zone, and in the control room. The 
analyses also include the evaluation of the waste gas decay tank 
rupture event. The licensee concluded that the calculated doses meet 
the acceptance criteria specified in 10 CFR 50.67 and 10 CFR Part 50, 
Appendix A, General Design Criterion 19.
    NRC is evaluating the licensee's EPU applications to independently 
determine whether they are acceptable to approve. The results of the 
NRC evaluation and conclusion will be documented in a Safety Evaluation 
Report that will be publicly available. If NRC approves the EPU, then 
the proposed EPU will not have a significant impact with respect to the 
radiological consequences of design-basis accidents.
Radiological Cumulative Impacts
    The radiological dose limits for protection of the public and 
workers have been developed by the NRC and EPA to address the 
cumulative impact of acute and long-term exposure to radiation and 
radioactive material. These dose limits are codified in 10 CFR part 20 
and 40 CFR part 190.
    The cumulative radiation doses to the public and workers are 
required to be within the regulations cited above. The public dose 
limit of 25 millirem (0.25 millisieverts) in 40 CFR Part 190 applies to 
all reactors that may be on a site, the storage of low level 
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and includes any other nearby 
nuclear power reactor facilities. No other nuclear power reactor or 
uranium fuel cycle facility is located near CR-3. The offsite dose 
analysis data demonstrate that the dose to members of the public from 
radioactive effluents is well within the limits of 10 CFR Part 20 and 
40 CFR Part 190. The projected post-EPU doses remain well within 
regulatory limits. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that there would 
not be a significant cumulative radiological impact to members of the 
public from increased radioactive effluents from CR-3 at the proposed 
EPU power level.
    As previously discussed, the licensee has a radiation protection 
program that maintains worker doses within the dose limits in 10 CFR 
Part 20 during all phases of CR-3 operations. The NRC expects continued 
compliance with regulatory dose limits during operation at the proposed 
EPU power level. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that operation of 
CR-3 at the proposed EPU levels would not result in a significant 
impact to worker cumulative radiological dose.
Radiological Impacts Summary
    As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any 
significant radiological impacts. Table 5 summarizes the radiological 
environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at CR-3.

         Table 5--Summary of Radiological Environmental Impacts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Radioactive Gaseous Effluents.....  Amount of additional radioactive
                                     gaseous effluents generated would
                                     be handled by the existing system.
Radioactive Liquid Effluents......  Amount of additional radioactive
                                     liquid effluents generated would be
                                     handled by the existing system.
Radioactive Solid Waste...........  Amount of additional radioactive
                                     solid waste generated would be
                                     handled by the existing system.
Occupational Radiation Doses......  Occupational doses would continue to
                                     be maintained within NRC limits.
Offsite Radiation Doses...........  Radiation doses to members of the
                                     public would remain below NRC and
                                     EPA radiation protection standards.
Spent Nuclear Fuel................  The spent fuel characteristics will
                                     remain within the bounding criteria
                                     used in the impact analysis in 10
                                     CFR Part 51, Table S-3 and Table S-
                                     4.
Postulated Design-Basis Accident    Calculated doses for postulated
 Doses.                              design-basis accidents would remain
                                     within NRC limits.
Cumulative Radiological...........  Radiation doses to the public and
                                     plant workers would remain below
                                     NRC and EPA radiation protection
                                     standards.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC considered denial 
of the proposed EPU (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). Denial of 
the application would result in no change in the current environmental 
impacts. However, if the EPU was not approved for CR-3, other agencies 
and electric power organizations may be required to pursue other means, 
such as fossil fuel or alternative fuel power generation, in order to 
provide electric generation capacity to offset future demand. 
Construction and operation of such a fossil-fueled or alternative-
fueled facility could result in impacts in air quality, land use, and 
waste management greater than those identified for the proposed EPU at 
CR-3. Furthermore, the proposed EPU does not involve environmental 
impacts that are significantly different from those originally 
indentified in the Crystal River Unit 3 FES and draft SEIS-44.

Alternative Use of Resources

    This action does not involve the use of any different resources 
than those previously considered in the FES or draft SEIS-44.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on November 6, 2012, the NRC 
consulted with the State of Florida official regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 
comments.

IV. Draft Finding of No Significant Impact

    Based on the details provided in the EA, the NRC concludes that 
granting the proposed EPU license amendment is not

[[Page 3470]]

expected to cause impacts significantly greater than current 
operations. Therefore, the proposed action of implementing the EPU for 
CR-3 will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment because no significant permanent changes are involved, and 
the temporary impacts are within previously disturbed areas at the site 
and the capacity of the plant systems. Accordingly, the NRC has 
determined it is not necessary to prepare an environmental impact 
statement for the proposed action.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of January, 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Jessie F. Quichocho,
Acting Chief, Plant Licensing Branch II-2, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2013-00781 Filed 1-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P