[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 111 (Wednesday, June 9, 2004)]
[Pages 32372-32373]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-13021]



[Docket No. 50-327 and 50-328]

Tennessee Valley Authority; Sequoyah Nuclear Plant; Environmental 
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption from the requirements in Title 10 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, Appendix G, ``Fracture 
Toughness Requirements'' for Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-77 and 
DPR-79, issued to Tennessee Valley Authority (the licensee), for 
operation of the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant (SQN), located in Hamilton 
County, Tennessee. 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 exemption would allow use of the methods described in 
WCAP-15984, Revision 1, ``Reactor Vessel Closure Head/Vessel Flange 
Requirements Evaluation for Sequoyah Units 1 and 2,'' instead of the 
requirements in 10 CFR Part 50,

[[Page 32373]]

Appendix G, footnote 2 to Table 1, ``Pressure and Temperature 
Requirements for the Reactor Pressure Vessel,'' for the SQN.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated September 6, 2002, as supplemented on December 19, 
2002, March 28, June 24, September 3, October 22, and December 18, 
2003. The supplemental letters provided clarifying information that did 
not expand the scope of the original request.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The licensee's exemption request was made in support of an 
associated licensing action, submitted in the same letter, to adopt a 
Pressure-Temperature Limit Report for SQN, Units 1 and 2. Section 
50.12(a) of 10 CFR allows licensees to apply for an exemption from the 
requirements of Part 50 if, (1) the exemption will not present an undue 
risk to the protection of public health and safety and common defense 
and security and (2) the application of the regulation in the 
particular circumstances is not necessary to achieve the underlying 
purpose of the rule. The licensee has stated that compliance with the 
reactor pressure vessel (RPV) flange minimum temperature requirements 
of Appendix G to 10 CFR Part 50 is not necessary to meet the underlying 
purpose of the rule (i.e., to provide adequate margins of safety with 
regard to pressure boundary integrity for any condition of normal 
operation for the service life of the RPV).

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that the exemption described above would continue to satisfy 
the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1). The details of the 
staff's safety evaluation will be provided with the letter to the 
licensee approving the exemption to the regulation.
    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 off site. 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 resources than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2 dated February 13, 1974.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On April 28, 2004, the staff consulted with the Tennessee State 
official, Elizebeth Flannagin of the Tennessee Bureau of Radiological 
Health, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The 
State official had no comments.

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 the 
licensee's letter dated September 6, 2002, as supplemented on December 
19, 2002, March 28, June 24, September 3, October 22, and December 18, 
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, 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 at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or send 
an e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of June, 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William F. Burton,
Acting Chief, Section 2, Project Directorate II, Division of Licensing 
Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 04-13021 Filed 6-8-04; 8:45 am]