[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 9 (Wednesday, January 14, 2004)]
[Pages 2163-2164]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-789]



[Docket No. 50-263]

Nuclear Management Company, LLC, Monticello Nuclear Generating 
Plant Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-22, 
issued to Nuclear Management Company, LLC (NMC), for operation of the 
Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant (Monticello), located in Wright 
County, Minnesota. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is 
issuing this environmental assessment and finding of no significant 

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would revise the Monticello operating license 
to change the Monticello design bases and the Updated Safety Analysis 
Report (USAR). The proposed action would revise the existing analyses 
for the following:
    [sbull] Long-term containment response to the design-basis loss-of-
coolant accident (LOCA).
    [sbull] Containment overpressure (the pressure above the initial 
containment pressure) required for adequate available net positive 
suction head (NPSH) for the low-pressure emergency core cooling system 
(ECCS) pumps following a LOCA.
    NMC intends to use these analyses to justify restoring the service 
water temperature to its licensing-basis value of 90 degrees F. NMC 

[[Page 2164]]

limits the service water temperature to 85 degrees F because the 
results of previous analyses of a scenario (reactor vessel isolation 
with high-pressure coolant injection being unavailable) showed that the 
design temperature for the piping attached to the wetwell would be 
exceeded. NMC's revised analyses shows the design temperature is not 
    The proposed action is in accordance with NMC's application of 
December 6, 2002, as supplemented September 24, 2003.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    NMC needs this license amendment because it has determined, in 
accordance with 10 CFR 50.59(c)(2)(viii), that the updated containment 
analyses involve different evaluation methods from those currently 
described in Monticello's USAR and previously approved by the NRC.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff reviewed NMC's amendment request and will issue a 
safety evaluation documenting its review. The NRC staff has reviewed 
NMC's calculation of the mass and energy releases that are used to 
determine containment pressure response, including the methods and key 
underlying input assumptions (e.g., decay heat generation).
    NMC used conservative assumptions in its reanalyses which 
underestimate the containment pressure and overestimate the suppression 
pool water temperature. Some overpressure is necessary to ensure 
sufficient available NPSH. The conservative assumptions used in NMC's 
calculations and the cautions in Monticello's emergency operating 
procedures are intended to ensure that this pressure will be available.
    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes, as set forth below, that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed changes to the 
Monticello design basis and USAR. The details of the NRC staff's review 
of the amendment request will be provided in the related safety 
evaluation when it is issued by the NRC.
    The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability 
or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types or 
amounts of effluents that may be released off site, 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.
    With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect nonradiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant 
nonradiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
    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 resource than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
Monticello dated November 1972.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On January 6, 2004, the staff consulted with the Minnesota State 
official, Nancy Campbell of the Department of Commerce, regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see NMC's 
letter of December 6, 2002, as supplemented September 24, 2003. 
Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area 
O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. 
Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the 
Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public 
Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to 
ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in 
ADAMS, should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-
800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of January 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
L. Raghavan,
Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate III, Division of Licensing 
Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-789 Filed 1-13-04; 8:45 am]