[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 82 (Wednesday, April 28, 2004)]
[Pages 23229-23230]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E4-955]



[Docket No. 050-206, 050-361, and 050-362]

 Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding 
of No Significant Impact for an Exemption From Certain Control and 
Tracking Requirements in 10 CFR Part 20 Appendix G Section III.E for 
the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County, CA

I. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the 
issuance of an exemption from certain control and tracking requirements 
in 10 CFR part 20 for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station 
(SONGS). The SONGS site consists of two operating reactors and a 
permanently shutdown nuclear reactor facility located in San Diego 
County, California. Inherent to the decommissioning process, large 
volumes of slightly contaminated rubble and debris are generated and 
require disposal. On January 26, 2004, Southern California Edison (the 
licensee) requested an exemption from the requirements in 10 CFR part 
20, appendix G section III.E to investigate and file a report to the 
NRC if shipments of low-level radioactive waste are not acknowledged by 
the intended recipient within 20 days after transfer to the shipper. 
This exemption would extend the time period that can elapse during 
shipments of low-level radioactive waste before the licensee is 
required to investigate and file a report to the NRC from 20 days to 35 
days. The exemption request is based on a statistical analysis of the 
historical data of low-level radioactive waste shipment times from the 
licensee's site to the disposal site using rail or combination truck/
rail shipping methods. The NRC staff has prepared an environmental 
assessment (EA) in support of this action, in accordance with the 
requirements of 10 CFR part 51. The conclusion of the EA is a Finding 
of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed action.

II. EA Summary

    The proposed action would grant an exemption to extend the 20-day 
investigation and reporting requirements for shipments of low-level 
radioactive waste to 35 days. Since 1999, the licensee has made over 
150 shipments of low-level radioactive waste as part of the 
decommissioning efforts at the facility. MHF Logistical Solutions (MHF) 
is the rail broker company used by the licensee to perform these 
shipments. MHF

[[Page 23230]]

Logistical Solutions has a tracking system that monitors the progress 
of the shipments from their originating point at SONGS until they 
arrive to their final destination at Envirocare in Clive, Utah. The 
shipments are made by either rail or combination truck/rail. According 
to the licensee, the transportation time alone by either rail or 
combination truck/rail took over 16 days on average, with one shipment 
taking 57 days to arrive at Envirocare.
    In addition to this time, administrative procedures at Envirocare 
and mail delivery could add up to 11 additional days. Based on 
historical data and estimates of the remaining waste at SONGS Unit 1, 
the licensee could have to perform over 100 investigations and reports 
to the NRC during the next five years if the 20-day shipping criteria 
is maintained. The licensee affirms that the low-level radioactive 
waste shipments will always be tracked throughout transportation until 
they arrive at their intended destination. The licensee believes that 
the need to investigate, trace, and report to the NRC on the shipment 
of low-level radioactive waste packages not reaching their destination 
within 20 days does not serve the underlying purpose of the rule and it 
is not necessary. As a result, the licensee states that granting this 
exemption will not result in an undue hazard to life or property.
    The NRC has examined the licensee's proposed exemption request and 
concluded that it is procedural and administrative in nature. There are 
no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with this 
exemption, and it will not result in significant nonradiological 
environmental impacts.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    NRC has prepared the EA (summarized above) in support of the 
licensee's application for an exemption request. 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 action.

IV. Further Information

    The EA and the documents related to this proposed action, including 
the request for the exemption, are available for inspection at the NRC 
Public Electronic Reading Room at the following address: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/pdr.html. The ADAMS accession number for the 
licensee's exemption request letter dated January 26, 2004 is 
ML040330945. The ADAMS accession number for the EA is ML040780782. 
Persons who do not have access to ADAMS, or who encounter problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS, should contact the NRC Public 
Document Room (PDR) reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or 
301-415-4737. They can also be reached via e-mail at [email protected]. 
Documents may also be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC 
PDR, located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 
MD 20852. Any questions with respect to this action should be referred 
to Mr. William C. Huffman, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and 
Safeguards. He can be reached at (301) 415-1141.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 21st day of April, 2004.
Daniel M. Gillen,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning Directorate, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
 [FR Doc. E4-955 Filed 4-27-04; 8:45 am]