[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 20 (Friday, January 30, 2004)]
[Pages 4542-4543]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-1943]



[Docket No. 72-39]

Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company, Haddam Neck Plant; 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) is 
considering issuance of an exemption to Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power 
Company (CYAPCO or licensee), pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, from the 
specific provisions of 10 CFR 72,212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(2)(i)(A), 
72.212(b)(7), and 72.214. The licensee is using the NAC Multi-Purpose 
Cansiser System (NAC-MPC), Certificate of Compliance (CoC) No. 1025, to 
store spent fuel under a general license in an independent spent fuel 
storage installation (ISFSI) associated with the operation of the 
Haddam Neck Plant (HNP), located in Middlesex County, Connecticut. The 
requested exemption would allow CYAPCO to use vacuum drying 
enhancements prior to completion of the proposed NAC-MPC CoC amendment 

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt CYAPCO from the requirements of 10 
CFR 72.212(a)(2), 72.212(b)(2)(i)(A), 72.212(b)(7), and 72.214 for 
using the NAC-MPC at HNP. These regulations specifically require 
compliance with the conditions set forth in the CoC for each dry spent 
fuel storage cask used by an ISFSI general licensee. The NAC-MPC CoC 
provides limiting conditions for operation (LCO) requirements in 
Appendix A, Technical Specifications, and Appendix B, Approved Content 
and Design Features. The proposed action would allow CYAPCO to deviate 
from (1) the vacuum drying, water cooling, and forced air cooling time 
limits in LCO 3.1.1 of Appendix A, (2) the canister in transfer cask 
time limits in LCO 3.1.4 of Appendix A, (3) the fuel cooldown 
requirements in LCO 3.1.7, (4) the canister removal from concrete cask 
requirements of LCO 3.1.8, (5) the surface contamination removal time 
limits in LCO 3.2.1, and (6) the allowable contents fuel assembly 
limits in Table B2-3 of Appendix B. The proposed action would implement 
the vacuum drying enhancements requested by NAC International in the 
NAC-MPC CoC amendment request currently under staff review.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated August 28, 2003.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed because CYAPCO plans to initiate the 
transfer of the HNP spent fuel pool contents to the independent spent 
fuel storage installation in December 2003. The fuel transfer campaign 
is scheduled to begin immediately following the transfer of Greater 
than Class C (GTCC) material stored under CYAPCO's 10 CFR Part 50 
license. The licensee has stated that the exemption is requested to 
significantly reduce the time required for vacuum drying and to 
significantly improve loading operations. Additionally, eliminating 
unnecessary cooldown cycles and cask handling activities reduces the 
potential dose to workers consistent with good ALARA practices. 
Prolonged loading operations are not desired because it would result in 
delays in the schedule, delays in decommisioning activities, and 
associated resource impacts due to the delays. The proposed action is 
necessary because the 10 CFR 72.214 rulemaking to implement the NAC-MPC 
CoC amendment is not projected for completion until Spring 2004, which 
will not support the HNP fuel transfer and dry cask storage loading 

[[Page 4543]]

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that there is no significant environmental impact if the 
exemption is granted. The staff reviewed the analysis provided in the 
NAC-MPC amendment application addressing vacuum drying enhancements. 
The safety evaluation performed by the staff concludes that the NRC has 
reasonable assurance that the vacuum drying enhancements have no impact 
on off-site doses. The potential environmental impact of using the NAC-
MPC System was initially presented in the Environmental Assessment (EA) 
for the Final Rule to add the NAC-MPC System to the list of approved 
spent fuel storage casks in 10 CFR 72.214 (64 FR 12444, dated March 9, 
2000), as revised in Amendment No. 1 (66 FR 58956, dated November 20, 
2001), in Amendment No. 2 (67 FR 11566, dated March 15, 2002), and in 
Amendment No. 3 (68 FR 55304, dated September 25, 2003). The vacuum 
drying enhancements do not increase the probability or consequences of 
accidents, no changes are being made in the types of any 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.
    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.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    Since there is no significant environmental impact associated with 
the proposed action, alternatives with equal or greater environmental 
impact were not evaluated. As an alternative to the proposed action, 
the staff considered denial of the proposed action. Denial of the 
exemption would result in no change in current environmental impact, 
but would result in a potential dose increase to workers involved in 
cooldown cycle cask handling activities.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On December 31, 2003, the staff consulted with Mr. Michael Firsick 
of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, regarding 
the environmental impact of the proposed action. He had no comments. 
The NRC staff has determined that a consultation under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act is not required because the proposed action will 
not affect listed species or critical habitat. The NRC staff has also 
determined that the proposed action is not a type of activity having 
the potential to cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no 
further consultation is required under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act.

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 
on the foregoing Environmental Assessment, the Commission finds that 
the proposed action of granting an exemption from 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2), 
72.212(b)(2) (i) (A), 72.212(b)(7), and 72.214 allowing CYAPCO to 
deviate from the current vacuum drying time limits and incorporate 
other vacuum drying enhancements, 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 action.
    For further details with respect to this exemption request, see the 
CYAPCO's letter dated August 28, 2003. The request for exemption was 
docketed under 10 CFR Part 72, Docket 72-39. The NRC maintains an 
Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which 
provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. These 
documents may be accessed through the NRC's Public Electronic Reading 
Room on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. 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, or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail 
at [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of January, 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
L. Raynard Wharton,
Project Manager, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 04-1943 Filed 1-29-04; 8:45 am]