[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 87 (Monday, May 6, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26401-26404]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10680]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-213 and 72-39; NRC-2013-0080]


Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company, Haddam Neck Plant, 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Regarding 
an Exemption Request

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 
issuance.

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ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0080 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document, which the NRC 
possesses and is publicly available, using any of the following 
methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0080. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section 
of this document.
     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 document referenced in this document (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced.
     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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Goshen, Project Manager, Division 
of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555. Telephone: 301-492-3325; fax number: 301-492-3342; email: 
John.Goshen@nrc.gov.

1.0 Background

    On November 23, 2011, the NRC issued a final rule amending certain 
emergency planning (EP) requirements in the regulations that govern 
domestic licensing of production and utilization facilities (76 FR 
72560; November 23, 2011) (EP Final Rule). The EP Final Rule went into 
effect on December 23, 2011, with various implementation dates for the 
rule changes.
    On June 20, 2012, Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company (CYAPCO) 
submitted a letter, ``Request for Exemption to Revised Emergency 
Planning Regulations'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML12181A114), requesting 
exemption from specific EP requirements of Section 50.47 of Title 10 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) and Appendix E to 10 CFR Part 
50 for the Haddam Neck Plant (HNP) Independent Spent Fuel Storage 
Installation (ISFSI). CYAPCO stated that the exemption request and its 
impact on the corresponding emergency plan: (1) Is authorized by law; 
(2) will not present an undue risk to the public health and safety; and 
(3) is consistent with the common defense and security in accordance 
with Section 50.12 of 10 CFR. CYAPCO states that its intent in 
submitting this exemption request is to maintain the regulatory 
structure in place prior to the issuance of the EP Final Rule and, 
therefore, does not propose any changes to its emergency plan or 
implementing procedures other than simple regulatory reference changes 
that can be implemented under 10 CFR 50.54(q).
    CYAPCO is holder of Facility Operating License DPR-61 for the HNP 
located in Middlesex County,

[[Page 26402]]

Connecticut, that allows only the storage of spent nuclear fuel. The 
license, issued pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, 
and Part 50 of 10 CFR, allows CYAPCO to possess and store spent nuclear 
fuel at the permanently shut down and decommissioned facility under the 
provision of Part 72, Subpart K of 10 CFR, ``General License for 
Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites.'' In a letter dated 
December 5, 1996 (ADAMS Legacy No. 9612110214), CYAPCO informed the NRC 
that the HNP facility had permanently ceased power operations and fuel 
had been removed from the reactor and placed in the spent fuel pool.
    After ceasing operations at the reactor, CYAPCO transferred spent 
nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool to the HNP ISFSI for long term 
dry storage, and this was completed in 2005. Final decommissioning of 
the reactor site was completed in 2007 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML073250040). The HNP ISFSI is a vertical dry cask storage facility for 
spent nuclear fuel. The ISFSI is located on approximately five acres of 
land that was not released for unrestricted use after completion of 
decommissioning of the reactor.

2.0 Discussion

    On May 30, 1997 (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9809030182), CYAPCO 
requested an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR 50.54(q) that 
required emergency plans to meet all of the standards of 10 CFR 
50.47(b) and all of the requirements of Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 so 
that the licensee would have to meet only certain EP standards and 
requirements. Additionally, CYAPCO requested approval of a proposed HNP 
Defueled Emergency Plan (DEP) that proposed to meet those limited 
standards and requirements.
    The NRC approved the requested exemption and the DEP on August 28, 
1998 (ADAMS Accession No. ML051020346). The Safety Evaluation Report 
(SER) established EP requirements for HNP as documented in the DEP. The 
NRC staff (staff) concluded that the licensee's emergency plan was 
acceptable in view of the greatly reduced offsite radiological 
consequences associated with the decommissioning plant status. The 
staff found that the postulated dose to the general public from any 
reasonably conceivable accident would not exceed the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) Protective Action Guides (PAGs), and for the 
bounding accident, the length of time available to respond to a loss of 
spent fuel cooling or reduction in water level in the spent fuel pool 
gave confidence that offsite measures for the public could be taken 
without preparation.
    According to CYAPCO, it had placed all spent nuclear fuel and 
Greater-Than-Class-C waste into dry storage at an ISFSI on the HNP site 
as of March 30, 2005. CYAPCO revised the DEP to reflect these transfers 
and the ongoing dismantling and decommissioning activities at the HNP 
site and submitted these revisions to the NRC through Revision 7 to the 
CYAPCO HNP Emergency Plan on April 5, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML051020346).
    In a letter dated September 18, 2006 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML062690475), CYAPCO submitted Revision 8 to the HNP Emergency Plan, an 
emergency plan change request to the HNP Emergency Plan to revise the 
exercise frequency from annual to every other year. The NRC approved 
this request in an exemption letter, dated March 16, 2007 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML062980120 \1\). This was the only exemption from EP 
requirements that was requested and approved since the approval and SER 
for the HNP DEP. The basis for the existing exemptions has not changed 
since the exemptions were previously granted; therefore CYAPCO 
continues to be exempt from the EP requirements for which the NRC 
previously granted exemptions.
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    \1\ Document contains sensitive security related information and 
is not publically available.
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    Revision 10 of the CYAPCO HNP Emergency Plan, dated November 29, 
2011 (ADAMS Accession No. ML11348A113 \1\) reflects the current 
conditions, where only the ISFSI and its related support systems, 
structures, and components remain.
    With the EP Final Rule, several requirements in 10 CFR Part 50 were 
modified or added, including changes in Section 50.47, Section 50.54, 
and Appendix E. Specific implementation dates were provided for each EP 
rule change. The EP Final Rule codified certain voluntary protective 
measures contained in NRC Bulletin 2005-02, ``Emergency Preparedness 
and Response Actions for Security-Based Events,'' and generically 
applicable requirements similar to those previously imposed by NRC 
Order EA-02-026, ``Order for Interim Safeguards and Security 
Compensatory Measures,'' dated February 25, 2002.
    In addition, the EP Final Rule amended other licensee emergency 
plan requirements to: (1) Enhance the ability of licensees in preparing 
for and in taking certain protective actions in the event of a 
radiological emergency; (2) address, in part, security issues 
identified after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001; (3) 
clarify regulations to effect consistent emergency plan implementation 
among licensees; and (4) modify certain EP requirements to be more 
effective and efficient. However, the EP Final Rule was only an 
enhancement to the NRC's regulations and was not necessary for adequate 
protection. On page 72563 of the Federal Register notice for the EP 
Final Rule, the Commission ``determined that the existing regulatory 
structure ensures adequate protection of public health and safety and 
common defense and security.''

3.0 Regulatory Evaluation

    In the Final Rule for Storage of Spent Fuel in NRC-Approved Storage 
Casks at Power Reactor Sites (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990), the NRC 
amended its regulations to provide for the storage of spent nuclear 
fuel under a general license on the site of any nuclear power reactor. 
In its Statement of Considerations (SOC) for the Final Rule (55 FR 
29185), the Commission responded to comments related to emergency 
preparedness for spent fuel dry storage, stating, ``The new 10 CFR 
72.32(c) * * * states that, `For an ISFSI that is located on the site 
of a nuclear power reactor licensed for operation by the Commission, 
the emergency plan required by 10 CFR 50.47 shall be deemed to satisfy 
the requirements of this section.' One condition of the general license 
is that the reactor licensee must review the reactor emergency plan and 
modify it as necessary to cover dry cask storage and related 
activities. If the emergency plan is in compliance with 10 CFR 50.47, 
then it is in compliance with the Commission's regulations with respect 
to dry cask storage.''
    In the SOC for the Final Rule for EP requirements for ISFSIs and 
Monitored Retrievable Storage Installation (MRS) (60 FR 32430; June 22, 
1995), the Commission stated, in part, that ``current reactor emergency 
plans cover all at-or near reactor ISFSI's. An ISFSI that is to be 
licensed for a stand-alone operation will need an emergency plan 
established in accordance with the requirements in this rulemaking'' 
(60 FR 32431). The Commission responded to comments (60 FR 32435) 
concerning offsite emergency planning for ISFSIs or an MRS and 
concluded that ``the offsite consequences of potential accidents at an 
ISFSI or a MRS would not warrant establishing Emergency Planning 
Zones.''
    As part of the review for CYAPCO's current exemption request, the 
staff also used the EP regulations in 10 CFR 72.32

[[Page 26403]]

and Spent Fuel Project Office Interim Staff Guidance--16, ``Emergency 
Planning,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003724570) as references to ensure 
consistency between specific-licensed and general-licensed IFSIs.

4.0 Discussion

    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the Commission may, upon application by 
any interested person or upon its own initiative, grant exemptions from 
the requirements of 10 CFR part 50 when: (1) The exemptions are 
authorized by law, will not present an undue risk to public health or 
safety, and are consistent with the common defense and security; and 
(2) when special circumstances are present. The staff reviewed this 
request to determine whether the specific exemptions should be granted, 
and the safety evaluation (SE) is provided in its letter to CYAPCO, 
dated March 19, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13064A374). After 
evaluating the exemption requests, the staff determined CYAPCO should 
be granted the exemptions detailed in the SE.
    The NRC has found that CYAPCO meets the criteria for an exemption 
in Sec.  50.12. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and the 
Commission's regulations permit the Commission to grant exemptions from 
the regulations in 10 CFR part 50. Granting exemptions is consistent 
with the authority provided to the Commission in the Atomic Energy Act 
of 1954, as amended. Therefore, the exemption is authorized by law.
    As noted in Section 2.0, ``Discussion,'' above, CYAPCO's compliance 
with the EP requirements in effect before the effective date of the EP 
Final Rule demonstrated reasonable assurance of adequate protection of 
the public health and safety and common defense and security. In its 
SE, the NRC staff explains that CYAPCO's implementation of its HNP DEP, 
with the exemptions, will continue to provide this reasonable assurance 
of adequate protection. Thus, granting the requested exemptions will 
not present an undue risk to public health or safety and is not 
inconsistent with the common defense and security.
    For the Commission to grant an exemption, special circumstances 
must exist. Under Sec.  50.12(a)(2)(ii), special circumstances are 
present when ``[a]pplication of the regulation in the particular 
circumstances would not serve the underlying purpose of the rule or is 
not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule.'' These 
special circumstances exist here. The NRC has determined that CYAPCO's 
compliance with the regulations that the staff describes in its SE is 
not necessary for the licensee to demonstrate that, under its emergency 
plan, there is reasonable assurance that adequate protective measures 
can and will be taken in the event of a radiological emergency. 
Consequently, special circumstances are present because requiring 
CYAPCO to comply with the regulations that the staff describes in its 
SE is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the EP 
regulations.

5.0 Environmental Assessment (EA)

Identification of Proposed Action

    By letter dated July 20, 2012, CYAPCO (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12181A114) submitted an exemption request in accordance with 10 CFR 
50.12 from specific EP requirements of 10 CFR 50.47 and Appendix E to 
10 CFR part 50 for the HNP. Specifically, the exemption would eliminate 
unnecessary requirements associated with offsite consequences, 
protective actions, hostile action and emergency facilities due to the 
current status of the HNP.

Need for the Proposed Action

    In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82, the 10 CFR part 50 licensed area 
for the HNP has been reduced to a small area surrounding the ISFSI. In 
this condition, the HNP poses a significantly reduced risk to public 
health and safety from design basis accidents or credible beyond design 
basis accidents since these cannot result in radioactive releases which 
exceed EPA PAGS at the site boundary. Because of this reduced risk, 
compliance with all the requirements in 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR part 
50, Appendix E is not appropriate. The requested exemption from 
portions of 10 CFR 50.47 and 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E is needed to 
continue implementation of the HNP ISFSI Emergency Plan that is 
appropriate for a stand-alone ISFSI and is commensurate with the 
reduced risk posed by the facility. The requested exemption will allow 
spent fuel to continue to be stored safely without imposing burdensome 
and costly new requirements that provide no increased safety benefit.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has determined that, given the continued implementation of 
the HNP DEP, with the exemptions noted in the SE, no credible events 
would result in doses to the public beyond the owner controlled area 
boundary that would exceed the EPA PAGs. Additionally, the staff has 
concluded that the HNP DEP, with the exemptions described in the SE, 
provides for an acceptable level of emergency preparedness at the HNP 
in its shutdown and defueled condition, and also provides reasonable 
assurance that adequate protective measures can and will be taken in 
the event of a radiological emergency at the HNP. Based on these 
findings, the NRC concludes that there are no radiological 
environmental impacts due to granting the approval of the exemption, 
the proposed action will not increase the probability or consequences 
of accidents, no changes are being made in the types or quantities of 
effluents that may be released offsite, and there is no significant 
increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there 
are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with 
the proposed action. The proposed action does not affect non-
radiological plant effluents and has no other environmental impact. 
Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological impacts associated 
with the proposed action. Based on the assessment above, the proposed 
action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment.

Alternative to the Proposed Action

    Since there is no significant environmental impact associated with 
the proposed action, any alternatives with equal or greater 
environmental impact are not evaluated. The alternative to the proposed 
action would be to deny approval of the exemption. This alternative 
would have the same environmental impact.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR part 51. Based 
upon the EA, the Commission finds that the proposed action of granting 
an exemption will not significantly impact the quality of the human 
environment. Accordingly, the Commission has determined not to prepare 
an environmental impact statement for the proposed exemption.

6.0 Conclusion

    The staff concluded that the licensee's request for an exemption 
from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.47(b) and 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix E, Section IV as specified in the SE is acceptable in view of 
the greatly reduced offsite radiological consequences associated with 
the ISFSI. The exemption request has been reviewed against the 
acceptance criteria included in 10 CFR

[[Page 26404]]

50.47, Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50, 10 CFR 72.32 and Interim Staff 
Guidance--16. The review considered the ISFSI and the low likelihood of 
any credible accident resulting in radiological releases requiring 
offsite protective measures. These evaluations were supported by the 
previously documented licensee and staff accident analyses. The staff 
concludes that: the HNP Emergency Plan provides: (1) An adequate basis 
for an acceptable state of emergency preparedness; and (2) the 
Emergency Plan, in conjunction with arrangements made with offsite 
response agencies, provides reasonable assurance that adequate 
protective measures can and will be taken in the event of a 
radiological emergency at the HNP facility.
    As discussed in Section 5.0, the Commission has determined that 
these exemptions will not significantly impact the quality of the human 
environment. Accordingly, the Commission has determined not to prepare 
an environmental impact statement for the proposed exemptions.
    The NRC has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, the 
exemptions described in the SE are authorized by law, will not endanger 
life or property or the common defense and security, and are otherwise 
in the public interest, and special circumstances are present. 
Therefore, the NRC hereby grants the exemptions listed in the SE, which 
are effective upon issuance.

7.0 Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
renewal and supporting documentation, are available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's ADAMS, which 
provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. If you do not 
have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the 
documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) 
Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by email to 
pdr.resource@nrc.gov. These documents may also be viewed electronically 
on the public computers located at the NRC's PDR, O 1 F21, One White 
Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR 
reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of April, 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mark D. Lombard,
Director, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2013-10680 Filed 5-3-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P