[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 141 (Wednesday, July 23, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 42837-42839]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17218]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket Nos. 50-361 and 50-362; NRC-2014-0170]


Southern California Edison; San Onofre Nuclear Generating 
Station, Units 2 and 3

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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ACTION: Finding of no significant impact; final issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of exemptions in response to a February 13, 2014, request from 
Southern California Edison Company (the licensee), representing itself 
and the other owners of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 
(SONGS) Units 2 and 3. One exemption would permit the licensee to use 
funds from the SONGS, Units 2 and 3 decommissioning trusts (the Trusts) 
for irradiated fuel management and site restoration costs. Another 
exemption would allow the licensee to use withdrawals from the Trusts 
without prior notification to the NRC. The NRC staff is issuing a final 
Environmental Assessment (EA) and final finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI) associated with the proposed exemptions.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0170 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0170. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; 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 obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS public Documents collection 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 notice (if 
that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a 
document is referenced. The request for exemption, dated February 13, 
2014, is available electronically in ADAMS under Accession No. 
ML14051A632. The supplement dated March 12, 2014, is available in ADAMS 
under Accession No. ML14078A028.
     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: Margaret Chernoff, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-2240; email: Margaret.Chernoff@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of exemptions from Title 10 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, Section 82(a)(8)(i)(A) 
and 10 CFR Part 50 Section 75(h)(2) for Facility Operating License Nos. 
NPF-10 and NPF-15, issued to Southern California Edison (SCE, the 
licensee), for SONGS, Units 2 and 3, located in San Diego County, 
California. The licensee requested the exemptions by letter dated 
February 13, 2014, and supplemented its request by letter dated March 
12, 2014. The exemptions would allow the licensee to use funds from the 
SONGS Units 2 and 3 Trusts for irradiated fuel management and site 
restoration activities. Consistent with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC has 
reviewed the requirements in 10 CFR 51.20(b) and 10 CFR 51.22(c) and 
determined that an EA is the appropriate form of environmental review. 
Based on the results of the EA, the NRC is issuing this final FONSI.

II. Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt SCE from meeting the requirements 
set forth in 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 10 CFR 50 75(h)(2). The 
proposed action would allow SCE to use funds from the Trusts for 
irradiated fuel management and for site restoration activities not 
associated with radiological decontamination and exempt SCE from 
meeting the requirement for prior notification to the NRC.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated February 13, 2014, as supplemented by letter dated 
March 12, 2014.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    By letter dated June 12, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML131640201), 
SCE informed the NRC of its decision to permanently cease operation of 
SONGS Units 2 and 3 effective June 7, 2013.
    As required by 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A), decommissioning trust 
funds may be used by the licensee if the withdrawals are for legitimate 
decommissioning activity expenses, consistent with the definition of 
decommissioning in 10 CFR 50.2. The definition of ``decommissioning'' 
in 10 CFR 50.2 does not include activities associated with irradiated 
fuel management or site restoration. Similarly, the requirements of 10 
CFR 50.75(h)(2) restrict the use of decommissioning trust fund 
disbursements (other than for ordinary and incidental expenses) to 
decommissioning expenses until final decommissioning is completed. 
Therefore, exemptions from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) and 10 CFR 
50.75(h)(2) are needed to allow SCE to use funds from the Trust for 
irradiated fuel management and site restoration activities.
    The licensee states that the Trusts contain funds for 
decommissioning comingled with funds intended for irradiated fuel 
management and other site restoration activities not associated with 
radiological decontamination. The adequacy of funds in the Trusts to 
cover the costs of activities associated with radiological 
decontamination through license termination is supported by the Nuclear 
Decommissioning Trust Funds Annual Cost and Contribution Cash Flows 
submitted by SCE in the March 12, 2014, letter. The licensee needs 
access to funds in the Trusts in excess of those needed for 
radiological decontamination to support irradiated fuel management and 
other site restoration activities not associated with radiological 
decontamination.
    The requirements of 10 CFR 50.75(h)(2) further provide that, except 
for decommissioning withdrawals being made under 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8) or 
for payment of ordinary and incidental expenses, no disbursement may be 
made from the Trusts without written notice to the NRC at least 30 
working days in advance. Therefore an exemption from 10 CFR 50.75(h)(2) 
is needed to allow SCE to use funds from the Trusts for irradiated fuel 
management and site restoration without prior NRC notification.
    In summary, by letter dated February 13, 2014, as supplemented by 
letter dated March 12, 2014, SCE requested exemptions to allow Trust 
withdrawals, without prior written notification to the NRC, for 
irradiated fuel management and site restoration activities.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action involves an exemption from requirements that 
are of a financial or administrative nature which do not have an impact 
on the environment. The NRC has completed its evaluation of the 
proposed action and concludes that there is reasonable assurance that 
adequate funds are available in the Trusts to complete all

[[Page 42839]]

activities associated with decommissioning, site restoration, and 
irradiated fuel management. There is no decrease in safety associated 
with the Trusts being used to fund activities associated with 
irradiated fuel management and site restoration activities. In the 
March 12, 2014, letter, the licensee confirmed its understanding that 
the limitations on the use of radiological decommissioning funds remain 
in effect, limiting access to those portions of the funding in the 
Trusts. 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(v) requires licensees to submit a financial 
assurance status report annually between the time of submitting its 
decommissioning cost estimate and submitting its final radiation survey 
and demonstrating that residual radioactivity has been reduced to a 
level that permits termination of its license. If the remaining balance 
plus expected rate of return plus any other financial surety mechanism 
does not cover the estimated costs of completion of decommissioning, 
additional financial assurance must be provided. These annual reports 
provide a means for NRC to monitor the adequacy of available funding. 
Since the exemption would allow SCE to use funds from the Trusts that 
are in excess of those required for radiological decontamination of the 
site and the adequacy of funds dedicated for radiological 
decontamination are not affected by the proposed exemption, there is 
reasonable assurance that there will be no environmental impact due to 
lack of adequate funding for decommissioning.
    The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability 
or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of 
effluents that may be released offsite. There is no significant 
increase in the amount of any effluent released offsite. There is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have any foreseeable impacts to land, air, or water 
resources, including impacts to biota. In addition, there are also no 
known socioeconomic or environmental justice impacts associated with 
such proposed action. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the application would result in no change in current 
environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action 
and the alternative action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resources than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
SONGS Units 2 and 3, dated May 12, 1981.

Agencies or Persons Consulted

    The staff did not enter into consultation with any other Federal 
Agency or with the State of California regarding the environmental 
impact of the proposed action. On May 22, 2014, the California state 
representatives were notified of the EA and FONSI.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The licensee has proposed exemptions from 10 CFR 50.82(a)(8)(i)(A) 
and 10 CFR 50.75(h)(2) which would allow SCE to use funds from the 
Trusts for irradiated fuel management and site restoration activities, 
without prior written notification to the NRC.
    The NRC decided not to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement 
for the proposed action. On the basis of the environmental assessment 
included in Section II above and incorporated by reference in this 
finding, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have 
significant effects on the quality of the human environment.
    Other than the licensee's letters, dated February 13, 2014, as 
supplemented by letter dated March 12, 2014, there are no other 
environmental documents associated with this review. These documents 
are available for public inspection as indicated above.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of July, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Douglas A. Broaddus,
Chief, Plant Licensing Branch IV-2 and Decommissioning Transition 
Branch, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2014-17218 Filed 7-22-14; 8:45 am]
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