[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 43 (Wednesday, March 5, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12362-12363]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-04837]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

10 CFR Part 72

[NRC-2012-0052]
RIN 3150-AJ12


List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: HI-STORM 100 Cask 
System; Amendment No. 9

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the 
effective date of March 11, 2014, for the direct final rule that was 
published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2013, and corrected on 
December 26, 2013. This direct final rule amended the NRC's spent fuel 
storage regulations by revising the Holtec International HI-STORM 100 
Cask System listing within the ``List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage 
Casks'' to include Amendment No. 9 to Certificate of Compliance (CoC) 
No. 1014.

DATES: The effective date of March 11, 2014, is confirmed for this 
direct final rule published on December 6, 2013, and corrected on 
December 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0052 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this direct final rule. 
You may access publicly-available information related to this direct 
final rule by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0052. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact 
the individual 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: Naiem Tanious, Office of Federal and 
State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-
6103, email: Naiem.Tanious@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Discussion

    On December 6, 2013 (78 FR 73379), the NRC published a direct final 
rule amending its regulations at Sec.  72.214 of Title 10 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) by revising the Holtec International 
HI-STORM 100 Cask System listing within the ``List of Approved Spent 
Fuel Storage Casks'' to include Amendment No. 9 to CoC No. 1014. 
Amendment No. 9 broadens the subgrade requirements for the HI-STORM 
100U part of the HI-STORM 100 Cask System and updates the thermal model 
and methodology for the HI-TRAC transfer cask from a two-dimensional 
thermal-hydraulic model to a more accurate three-dimensional model. The 
amendment also makes editorial corrections.
    On December 26, 2013 (78 FR 78165), the NRC published a document 
that

[[Page 12363]]

corrected several ADAMS accession numbers referenced in the December 6, 
2013, direct final rule and delayed the effective date of the rule from 
February 19, 2014, to March 11, 2014. The NRC also published on 
December 26, 2013 (78 FR 78285), a document that corrected several 
ADAMS accession numbers referenced in the December 6, 2013, companion 
proposed rule and extended the public comment period from January 6, 
2014, to January 27, 2014.

II. Public Comments on the Companion Proposed Rule

    In the corrected direct final rule, the NRC stated that if no 
significant adverse comments were received, the direct final rule would 
become effective on March 11, 2014.
    The NRC received one comment on this amendment, which stated that, 
``[f]uels with a burn-up above 45 GWd/tU cause previously unforeseen 
safety problems and would break existing NRC safety rules . . . unless 
changes are made to the way fuel elements are packaged.'' The comment 
raised general concerns with high burn-up spent fuel indicating that 
issues associated with high burn-up fuel have been ``ignored and 
remedial action defunded'' and that ``. . . the NRC has insufficient 
data to support a licensing position on high burn-up cask storage.'' 
The public comment is available in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML14028A518.
    The NRC staff reviewed this comment and concluded that this comment 
is not a significant adverse comment as defined in NUREG-BR-0053, 
Revision 6, ``United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regulations 
Handbook'' (hereinafter ``Regulations Handbook'') (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML052720461), as it is beyond the scope of this rulemaking. Instead, 
this comment raises a generic concern regarding the safety of high 
burn-up fuel and its storage in spent fuel storage casks, and is not 
specific to any issue or concern with the amendment to the cask 
certificate that is the subject of this rulemaking. The ability of the 
HI-STORM 100 Cask System to store high burn-up fuel for 20 years was 
authorized in a prior amendment, Amendment No. 1. The final rule 
approving that amendment was published in the Federal Register on July 
15, 2002 (67 FR 46369). This current amendment, Amendment No. 9, does 
not change that prior authorization, nor does this comment raise any 
other issue specific to the amendment in question.
    Moreover, even if the comment were determined to be in scope, it is 
not a ``significant'' comment as defined in the Regulations Handbook in 
that the comment does not present any new or significant information 
that warrants a substantive response in this notice and comment 
process. The general information cited by the commenter is not 
substantive enough to aid the NRC in understanding any impact upon the 
NRC's safety review, the technical specifications, or the NRC's 
conclusions of this particular amendment.
    Furthermore, the commenter's references to presentations regarding 
the storage of high burn-up fuel involve ongoing efforts to study high 
burn-up fuel for periods well beyond 20 years. However, Amendment No. 
1, the prior amendment that authorized the storage of high burn-up fuel 
in the HI-STORM 100 Cask System, only authorized storage for 20 years 
and not beyond. The current amendment in question, Amendment No. 9, is 
also limited in term for a period of 20 years. The staff is considering 
this issue in our review of storage license and certificate renewal 
applications. The NRC is actively working with the U.S. Department of 
Energy (DOE), DOE scientific laboratories, and the industry, to perform 
additional testing and evaluation of the integrity of high burn-up fuel 
when stored for periods well beyond 20 years. The NRC expects that 
research, including cask demonstrations, cladding failure consequence 
analyses, vibration testing, and fuel rod bend tests, will provide more 
cladding material properties data regarding the storage of high burn-up 
fuel for extended periods. The NRC expects to garner information in 
this area over the next 5 years, and will use this information to 
assess the ongoing storage of high burn-up fuel for extended periods 
well beyond 20 years.
    The NRC staff has concluded that there would be no significant 
environmental impacts as confirmed in Section VII, ``Finding of No 
Significant Environmental Impact: Availability,'' of the direct final 
rule. This comment does not challenge that finding because, as the 
Environmental Assessment explained, this amendment to the rule will not 
result in any significant change in the types or significant revisions 
in the amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the 
individual or cumulative radiation exposure, and no significant 
increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological 
accidents. This amendment continues to ensure that the Commission's 
regulations regarding dose rates, found in 10 CFR part 20, are 
maintained.
    A challenge to those dose rates, or the method by which the 
Commission establishes those dose rates, would be most appropriately 
addressed as a petition for rulemaking pursuant to 10 CFR 2.802. 
Therefore, this rule will become effective as scheduled.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Cindy Bladey,
Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of 
Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2014-04837 Filed 3-4-14; 8:45 am]
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