[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 102 (Wednesday, May 26, 2004)]
[Pages 29983-29984]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-11854]



[Docket No. 50-263]

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

    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 revised environmental assessment and finding of no 
significant impact.

Revised 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:
     Long-term containment response to the design-basis loss-
of-coolant accident (LOCA).
     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 
pumps following a LOCA, reactor vessel isolation, or Appendix R fire.
    In addition, NMC intends to use these analyses to justify revising 
the service water temperature licensing basis. NMC administratively 
limits the service water temperature to 85 [deg]F, instead of its 
current licensing basis value of 90 [deg]F, because the results of 
analyses of a new scenario (reactor vessel isolation with high-pressure 
coolant injection unavailable) showed that the design temperature for 
the piping attached to the wetwell would be exceeded. A license 
amendment is required since NMC used different methods of evaluation in 
the updated containment analyses from those currently described in the 
Monticello USAR and previously approved by the NRC. NMC's submittal of 
December 6, 2002, demonstrates acceptable results for the long-term 
containment LOCA response with a service water temperature of 94 
[deg]F. The NPSH analyses were performed using a service water 
temperature of 90 [deg]F. The lower service water temperature, 90 
[deg]F, would be operationally controlling. That is, exceeding a 
service water temperature of 90 [deg]F would exceed the Monticello 
licensing basis since the NPSH calculations would no longer be valid.
    The proposed action is in accordance with NMC's application of 
December 6, 2002, as supplemented September 24, 2003, and March 12, 

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

[[Page 29984]]

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, and 
March 12, 2004. 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 
[email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of May 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. 04-11854 Filed 5-25-04; 8:45 am]