[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 11 (Wednesday, January 16, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00781]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 50-302; NRC-2013-0005]
Florida Power Corporation, Crystal River Unit 3, Draft
Environmental Assessment Related to the Proposed License Amendment To
Increase the Maximum Reactor Power Level
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Draft environmental assessment and finding of no significant
impact; opportunity to comment.
DATES: Comments must be filed by February 15, 2013. Any potential party
as defined in section 2.4 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (10 CFR), who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified
Non-Safeguards Information and/or Safeguards Information is necessary
to respond to this notice must request document access by January 28,
ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publically available,
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2013-
0005. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0005. Address
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules,
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration,
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington,
Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
For additional direction on accessing information and submitting
comments, see ``Accessing Information and Submitting Comments'' in the
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Siva P. Lingam, Project Manager,
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-1564; email:
I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments
A. Accessing Information
Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2013-0005 when contacting the NRC
about the availability of information regarding this document. You may
access information related to this document by any of the following
Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2013-0005.
NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ADAMS accession number
document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in
ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The
application for amendment, dated June 15, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No.
ML112070659), contains proprietary information in Attachment 5 of the
amendment and accordingly, those portions are being withheld from
public disclosure. A redacted version of the application for amendment
is available electronically as Attachment 7 of the amendment under
ADAMS Accession No. ML11207A444.
NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
B. Submitting Comments
Please include Docket ID NRC-2013-0005 in the subject line of your
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact
information that that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove
identifying or contact information.
If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to
remove such information before making the comment submissions available
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering
issuance of an amendment for Facility Operating License No. DPR-72,
issued to Florida Power Corporation., (FPC, the licensee) for operation
of the Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Power Plant (CR-3), for a license
amendment to increase the maximum thermal power level from 2,609
megawatts thermal (MWt) to 3,014 MWt. In accordance with section 51.21
of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), the NRC has
prepared this Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) documenting its
finding. The NRC concluded that the proposed actions will have no
significant environmental impact.
The proposed power increase is 15.52 percent over the current
licensed thermal power. In 2002, the licensee received approval from
the NRC to increase its power by 0.9 percent, and another approval in
2007, to increase its power by 1.6 percent to the current power level
of 2,609 MWt.
The NRC staff did not identify any significant environmental
impacts associated with the proposed action based on its evaluation of
the information provided in the licensee's application and other
available information. For further information with respect to the
proposed action, see the licensee's application dated June 15, 2011
(ADAMS Accession No. ML112070659). The draft EA and draft FONSI are
being published in the Federal Register with a 30-day public comment
period ending February 15, 2013.
III. Draft Environmental Assessment
Plant Site and Environs
The CR-3 site is located in Citrus County, Florida on 4,738 acres
(ac) (1,917 hectares (ha)), approximately 80 miles (mi) (129 kilometers
[km]) north of Tampa, Florida. The plant is part of the larger Crystal
River Energy Complex (CREC), which includes the single nuclear unit and
four fossil-fueled units, Crystal River 1, 2, 4, and 5 (CR-1, CR-2, CR-
4, and CR-5). CR-3 is adjacent to Crystal Bay, a shallow embankment of
the Gulf of Mexico, and is midway between the mouths of two rivers: the
Withlacoochee River, about 4.5 mi (7.2 km) to the north, and the
Crystal River, about 2.5 mi (4 km) to the south. The Tampa-St.
Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area is approximately 60 mi (96.5
km) south of Citrus County. CR-3 includes a pressurized light-water
reactor (PWR) supplied by Babcock & Wilcox with a net electrical power
output of 903 megawatts electric (MWe). FPC owns and operates CR-3. In
this EA, the applicant is referred to as FPC or the licensee.
Crystal Bay, located in the Gulf of Mexico, is the source for
cooling water for the main condensers at CR-3 and the other units at
the CREC. CR-3 has a once-through heat dissipation system that
circulates water through CR-3 in one of two modes of operation: open
cycle (once-through cooling with no cooling towers in operation) and
helper cycle (once-through cooling with mechanical draft cooling towers
in operation). The CR-3 cooling water system consists of the intake
canal, intake structures and pumps, circulating water intake piping,
condensers, circulating water discharge piping, outfall structure,
discharge canal, and cooling towers. CR-1 and CR-2 share the intake
canal, discharge canal, and cooling towers with CR-3. CR-4 and CR-5
also share the discharge canal, which is lined with four permanent
helper cooling towers. These helper cooling towers are operated during
warmer months to allow CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 to meet their combined
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharge limit
of 96.5 degrees Fahrenheit ([deg]F) (35.8 degrees Celsius ([deg]C))
(Permit No. FL0000159). The licensee also regulates discharge
temperatures by reducing power at CR-1 and CR-2, if necessary. To avoid
having to rely on this rate-reduction method, in 2006, the licensee
installed 67 State-approved additional temporary modular cooling towers
for use as needed.
The intake canal, which extends into the Gulf of Mexico, is 14 mi
(22.5 km) long. Current velocities at the mouth of the intake canal
range from 0.6 to 2.6 feet per second (ft/s) (0.2 to 0.8 meters per
second [m/s]). CR-3 withdraws cooling water from the Gulf of Mexico
through its cooling water intake structure, located near the eastern
end of the intake canal. Water from the Gulf is drawn into the intake
canal and to the four intake pumps that circulate the non-contact
cooling water through the plant. Water passes through eight external
trash racks made of 3.6-in (9.2-cm) spaced vertical bars and seven
0.38-in (1-cm) mesh size traveling screens where it is pumped to a
circulating-water system and an auxiliary cooling water system. The CR-
3 system has a design intake volume of 680,000 gpm [gallons per minute]
(42,840 L/s), with a combined condenser flow limit for all three units
(CR-1, CR-2 and CR-3) of 1,897.9 million gallons per day (gpd) (4.9
million liters per minute [L/min]) from May 1 to October 31, and
1,120,000 gpd (2,912 L/min) from November 1 to April 30.
The heated water from the cooling water systems flows to a
discharge canal shared with CR-1 and CR-2, and then back to Crystal
Bay. The discharge canal extends west about 1.6 mi (2.6 km) to the
point of discharge in Crystal Bay, and extends an additional 1.2 mi
(1.9 km) beyond the discharge point. This discharge canal is the source
of cooling system makeup water for CR-4 and CR-5. When CR-1, CR-2, and
CR-3 are operating at maximum pumping capacity, the velocity in the
discharge canal is about 2.4 ft/s (0.7 m/s) at low tide.
Background Information on the Proposed Action
By application dated June 15, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No.
ML112070659), the licensee requested an amendment for an extended power
uprate (EPU) for CR-3 to increase the licensed thermal power level from
2,609 MWt to 3,014 MWt for CR-3, which represents an increase of 15.52
percent above the current licensed thermal power. This change requires
NRC approval prior to the licensee operating at that higher power
level. The proposed action is considered an EPU by the NRC because it
exceeds the typical 7-percent power increase that can be accommodated
with only minor plant changes. An EPU typically involves extensive
modifications to the nuclear steam supply system contained within the
The planned physical modifications to the plant needed in order to
implement the proposed EPU would take place inside of existing
buildings and previously-disturbed areas on the CR-3 site. The
modifications were scheduled to be implemented over the course of two
refueling outages, the first of which was completed in 2009, with the
second phase scheduled for 2013. The 2009 outage produced a small
increase in electrical output with no change in rated thermal power.
The 2013 outage would increase the reactor thermal power and increase
the electrical output to 168 MWe, however, the concrete containment at
CR-3 delaminated in October 2009 during activities to create an opening
in the containment for steam generator replacement. After replacing
steam generators during 2009 outage, the licensee encountered
additional containment delaminations during containment repair
activities. The licensee is still in the process of determining further
actions, and the plant is still in an outage. As a result, NRC
suspended the review of the license renewal application temporarily
(ADAMS Accession No. ML11112A122) until the licensee provides a
concrete plan to repair the containment to original condition or
Approximately 760 people are currently employed at CR-3 on a full-
time basis. For the recently completed 2009 outage, this workforce was
augmented by an additional 1,000 EPU and steam generator replacement
workers on average, with a peak of 1,800 workers. For the scheduled
2013 EPU-upgrade outage, the licensee estimates an average of 1,350
EPU-related construction workers on site. The increase of workers would
be comparable to the number of workers required for a routine outage
(typically 1,300 workers) and the peak construction workforce would be
smaller than the FPC-reported peak workforce for the 2009 outage, which
involved the replacement of major components, including the steam
The Need for the Proposed Action
As stated in the licensee's application, the proposed action is to
provide the licensee with the flexibility to increase the potential
electrical output of CR-3. The proposed EPU will increase the output
for CR-3 by about 405 MWt, from about 2,609 MWt to about 3,014 MWt.
Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action
As part of the original licensing process for CR-3, the U.S. Atomic
Energy Commission published a Final Environmental Statement (FES) in
1973 (ADAMS Accession No. ML091520178). The FES contains an evaluation
of the potential environmental impacts associated with the operation of
CR-3 over its licensed lifetime. In May 2011, the NRC published a draft
supplemental environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for CR-3 (ADAMS
Accession No. ML11139A153). The 2011 draft SEIS evaluated the
environmental impacts of operating CR-3 for an additional 20 years
beyond its then-current operating license, extending the operation life
until 2036. The NRC determined that the overall environmental impacts
of license renewal were small. This NRC evaluation is presented in
NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License
Renewal of Nuclear Plants, Supplement 44, Regarding Crystal River Unit
3 Nuclear Generating Plant (Draft Report for Comment)'' (draft SEIS-
44). The NRC used information from FPC's license amendment request for
the EPU, consultation with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS),
the FES, and SEIS-44 to prepare the EA for the proposed EPU.
The licensee's application states that it would implement the
proposed EPU without extensive changes to buildings or to other plant
areas outside of buildings. Plant modifications required to implement
the EPU would occur in two phases. Phase One was completed during a
steam generator replacement refueling outage in the fall of 2009. Plant
modifications made during this first phase were intended to make the
secondary side of the plant more efficient. Phase Two, which is
scheduled for the spring of 2013, would include the necessary hardware
changes to accommodate the higher operating temperatures of the EPU.
Plant modifications to accommodate a power increase include CR-3
switching to a more highly enriched uranium fuel, an operational change
in reactor thermal-hydraulic parameters, and upgrade of the Balance of
Plant capacity by component replacement or modifications. With the
exception of the high-pressure turbine rotor replacement, the required
plant modifications would be generally small in scope. Other plant
modifications include replacing selected feedwater heaters; providing
additional cooling for some plant systems; upgrading various electrical
equipment/components to accommodate higher currents; accommodating
greater steam and condensate flow rates; and upgrading instrumentation
to include minor items such as replacing parts, changing set points,
and modifying software.
Increasing the plant's rated thermal power to 168 MWe would also
increase the amount of steam generated and the temperature of the
circulating water. In order for the licensee to comply with the plant's
NPDES thermal limits, two mitigation options are currently being
considered: a newly constructed helper cooling tower, or seasonal load
reduction. If the first option were selected, a new mechanical-draft
cooling tower would be installed on a previously disturbed site,
currently occupied by the CREC percolation clarifier pond and south of
the existing helper cooling towers. The cooling tower would operate as
a once-through cooling tower and, if selected, the licensee would need
to apply to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
for a modification of their current NPDES permit. FDEP would determine
the actual operating procedures, discharge locations, and timeframes of
the new cooling tower option during this permit modification process.
Under the second option of seasonal load reduction management, the
licensee would manage the discharge canal water through the operation
of the existing cooling towers. This strategy has been used at CREC
(particularly for CR-1 and CR-2, the fossil fuel units) in the past
when the existing cooling towers have been insufficient in meeting
NPDES discharge limits due to climatic factors. Under EPU conditions,
the licensee anticipates that using this option would require the
existing helper cooling towers to operate more frequently and over a
longer seasonal period. The potential environmental impacts of both
of these cooling options are evaluated and discussed in this
The sections below describe the potential nonradiological and
radiological impacts to the environment that could result from the
Land Use and Aesthetic Impacts
Potential land use and aesthetic impacts from the proposed EPU
include impacts from proposed plant modifications at CR-3. While the
licensee proposes some plant modifications, all plant changes related
to the proposed EPU would occur within existing structures, or within
previously disturbed areas on the CREC site. In the 1960s, the
developed area of the CREC site underwent clearing, filling, and
grading during this original construction, including being covered with
a three to five foot layer of fill. Consequently, there are no
undisturbed land areas within the developed CREC site. During the 2009
steam generator replacement outage, a 1 ac (0.4 ha), previously
disturbed area was converted into a permanent operational material and
equipment lay-down area. An additional 3.5 ac (1.4 ha) was converted to
overflow parking, and will likely be used as overflow parking again for
the 2013 outage.
If the licensee decides to construct a helper-cooling tower, the
new mechanical draft-cooling tower would be located on a small
previously disturbed parcel of land near the CREC percolation clarifier
pond. The construction and operation of the proposed 73.5 ft (22.4 m),
289 ft (88.1 m) diameter cooling tower would affect approximately 5 ac
(2 ha), some of which would be temporarily used as a construction lay-
If the load reduction management option were chosen, no land use
changes would occur.
Other than the activities described above, no new construction
would occur outside of the developed area of the CREC site, and no
expansion of existing buildings, roads, parking lots, or storage areas
are required to support the proposed EPU. Existing parking lots, road
access, equipment lay-down areas, offices, workshops, warehouses, and
restrooms would be used during plant modifications. In addition, there
are no planned modifications to transmission lines. Because land use
conditions would not change, and because any land disturbance has and
would occur within previously disturbed areas, there would be no
significant land use or aesthetic impacts from EPU-related plant
modifications at CR-3.
Air Quality Impacts
CR-3 is located within the West Florida Intrastate Air Quality
Control Region (AQCR). All of Florida, including the West Florida
Interstate AQCR, are designated as being in attainment or
unclassifiable for all criteria pollutants in the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations at 40 CFR 81.310. Orange County,
Duval County, the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough and Pinellas
Counties, and Southeast Florida including Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach
Counties continue to be classified by the FDEP as attainment/
maintenance areas for ozone and Tampa is a maintenance area for lead.
The closest non-attainment area to CR-3 is 275 mi (442.5 km) north in
Bibb County, Georgia. The entire State remains unclassifiable for
particulate matter, 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10),
based on the EPA not yet considering this pollutant for attainment
determinations. Unclassifiable areas are usually treated as attainment
areas. The nearest designated mandatory Class 1 Federal area, the
Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, is 13 mi (20.9 km) south of
The CREC qualifies as a major source under the FDEP Title V permit
program by virtue of the operation of the coal-fired units on
contiguous parcels all under the control of FPC and, therefore, is
required to obtain a Title V permit (Permit No. 0170004-004-AV).
Although none of the permit stipulations pertain directly to the
operation of CR-3, the existence of that permit nevertheless has an
indirect impact on the operation, monitoring, and recordkeeping
requirements for stationary sources of criteria pollutants affiliated
with CR-3. Specifically, drift from an auxiliary cooling tower shared
between CR-3 and two coal-fired units is addressed in the permit, and
three diesel-fueled emergency power generators affiliated exclusively
with the nuclear reactor are identified as unregulated stationary
sources. NRC expects no changes to the emissions from these sources as
a result of the EPU.
During EPU implementation, some minor and short duration air
quality impacts would occur from other non-regulated sources. Vehicles
of the additional outage workers needed for EPU implementation would
generate the majority of air emissions during the proposed EPU-related
modifications. However, this source will be short term and temporary.
If the new helper cooling tower option were selected, the effects of
additional workers and associated vehicles during the 18-month
construction period would be similarly short term and temporary. In
addition, the majority of the EPU activities would be performed inside
existing buildings and would not cause additional atmospheric
If the new helper cooling tower option were selected, a new cooling
tower onsite would result in added particulate matter (PM) emissions.
FDEP regulations limit PM emissions to 25 tons per year, and
PM10 emissions to 15 tons per year. Potential PM and
PM10 emissions from the new cooling tower were evaluated by
the licensee in 2007 and the cooling tower design was subsequently
modified to meet PM emission thresholds by reducing the flow rate
through the tower. The predicted emissions from the modified design are
91.2 tons PM per year and 5.5 tons PM10 per year. PM
emissions from the cooling tower would be confined to the CREC
property, with minimal visibility impacts.
Therefore, the NRC staff expects no significant impacts to regional
air quality from the proposed EPU beyond those air impacts evaluated
for draft SEIS-44, including potential minor and temporary impacts from
worker activity and impacts from a possible new cooling tower.
Water Use Impacts
Groundwater at the CREC is drawn from the Floridian aquifer system,
which is a thick, vertically continuous sequence of Tertiary-age
carbonate rocks (limestone and dolomite) with high relative
permeability and regional extent. Although the CREC currently maintains
14 onsite production wells completed in the Upper Floridian aquifer,
CR-3 draws its water only from the south treatment plant, which is
supplied by three wells. Groundwater is used at CR-3 for boilers and
steam generators, ash processes, fire protection, and drinking water.
CR-3 currently uses approximately 0.73 million gallons per day (gpd)
(2.8 million liters (L) per day) of freshwater per day, which is well
below the 2 million gpd (7.6 liters per day) authorized by the
Southwest Florida Water Management District water use permit (Permit
No. 20004695.004). This amount represents approximately three percent
of the total groundwater consumed in Citrus County. The facility's
individual wastewater facility permit administrated by the FDEP
regulates the percolation ponds onsite
and specifies the site's groundwater monitoring requirements.
Under the EPU, the licensee does not expect to significantly change
the amount of freshwater use or supply source. With an expected
increase of 1,350 workers supporting 2013 EPU construction activities,
NRC expects potable water use to increase during the outage and return
back to the regular operating levels after EPU implementation. It is
unlikely this potential increase in temporary groundwater use during
the EPU construction activities would have any effect on other local
and regional groundwater users. This was demonstrated during the 2009
outage, which had a larger increase of onsite workers (a peak of 1,800)
and caused no public water supply shortages. Based on the 2009 outage,
the NRC staff expects no significant impact on groundwater resources
during proposed EPU construction activities or following EPU
FDEP regulates the Florida Surface Water Quality Standards through
a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, which
also establishes the maximum area subject to temperature increase
(mixing zone), maximum discharge temperatures, and chemical monitoring
requirements. CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 are currently operating under NPDES
Permit No. FL0000159. CR-4 and CR-5 operate under a separate NPDES
permit. The intake structure for the CR-3 main condenser uses four
circulating water pumps, which provide a total flow capacity of 680,000
gpm (42,840 L/s). Two of the pumps are rated at 167,000 gpm (10,521 L/
s) and two are rated at 179,000 gpm (11,277 L/s). Service pumps
withdraw an additional 10,000 to 20,000 gpm (630 to 1,260 L/s),
depending on system demand. The NPDES permit limits the combined flow
for CR-1, CR-2, and CR-3 to 1,898 million gpd (4.9 million liters per
minute [L/min]) from May 1 to October 31, and 1,613 million gpd (4.2
million L/min) from November 1 to April 30.
Cooling water for all CREC units is discharged back to the Gulf
through a common discharge canal, located north of CR-1, CR-2, and CR-
3. The site discharge canal extends about 1.6 mi (2.6 km) west into the
Gulf to the point of discharge in Crystal Bay, and then another 1.2 mi
(1.9 km) beyond the discharge point. The helper cooling towers withdraw
water from the discharge canal when needed to comply with the NDPES
thermal discharge limit of 96.5 [deg]F (35.8 [deg]C).
The NPDES permit stipulates that prior to the use of any biocide or
chemical additive used in the cooling system or any other portion of
the treatment system, a permit revision from the FDEP is required. As
regulated by the current CR-3 NPDES permit, the plant periodically adds
chlorine in regulated quantities to control biofouling organisms.
Because FDEP regulates discharges and requires chemical monitoring, NRC
expects that the authorized discharges will not exceed the NPDES permit
maximum total residual oxidant (chlorine) concentration at the unit
outfall of 0.01 milligrams per unit (mg/L) after EPU implementation.
To accommodate the increase in thermal output as a result of the
EPU, the licensee has defined two cooling options: A new helper cooling
tower, or load reduction management. The helper cooling tower option
would utilize a mechanical draft cooling tower designed to operate in a
once-through mode, discharging either to the intake or discharge canal,
as is necessary. If this option is selected by the licensee, some of
the current modular cooling towers could be discontinued. The new
cooling tower would not require the use of any chemicals or biocides to
control biofouling organisms and would not significantly increase total
dissolved solids concentrations in the cooling water discharge. The
actual operational procedures of the new cooling tower would be defined
during the NPDES permit modification process, which would be required
and administered by FDEP. If the load reduction management option were
selected, the temporary modular towers, as well as CREC's permanent
cooling towers, would continue to operate. Discharge canal temperatures
would be moderated by reducing power at either CR-1 or CR-2 in order to
comply with the site's NPDES permit. This second option would also
likely extend the length of time per season that the current cooling
towers are used.
As part of the proposed EPU, the licensee consulted with the
Florida Department of Community Affairs for a review of coastal zone
consistency. Currently, FDEP has the authority to review all Federal
licenses for coastal zone consistency with Section 307 of the Coastal
Zone Management Act. For CR-3, CR-4, and CR-5, the coastal zone
consistency certification is documented by the FDEP in Section XXV,
``Coastal Zone Consistency,'' of the licensee's Conditions of
Certification, updated most recently on August 1, 2012.
Aquatic Resource Impacts
The potential impacts to aquatic resources from the proposed action
could include impingement of aquatic life on barrier nets, trash racks,
and traveling screens; entrainment of aquatic life through the cooling
water intake structures and into the cooling water systems; and effects
from the discharge of chemicals and heated water.
Because the proposed EPU will not result in an increase in the
amount or velocity of water being withdrawn from or discharged to the
Gulf of Mexico, NRC expects no increase in aquatic impacts from
impingement and entrainment beyond the current impact levels.
Currently, all organisms impinged on the trash racks and traveling
screens would be killed, as would most, if not all, entrained
organisms. If the licensee selects the cooling tower option, a portion
of the discharge would be routed to the site intake canal in late fall
and winter, which would reduce the amount of withdrawal from the Gulf
of Mexico. Reducing the amount of water withdrawal could reduce
entrainment effects during cooler months. Under either cooling option,
the licensee would continue its mitigation and monitoring program,
developed in conjunction with NMFS, for the capture release and
protection of sea turtles that enter the intake canal.
Regardless of which cooling option (helper cooling tower or load
reduction management) is chosen, FPC will comply with its NPDES
discharge limit of 96.5 [deg]F (35.8 [deg]C). If the cooling tower
option is selected, the mechanical draft cooling tower would be
constructed to accommodate the increase in thermal loads, as well as
allowing the licensee to retire a portion of its 67 temporary modular
towers. If the load reduction management option were selected, the
temporary towers as well as CREC's permanent cooling towers would
continue to operate. Discharge canal temperatures would be moderated by
reducing power at either CR-1 or CR-2 in order to comply with the
site's NPDES permit. This second option would extend the length of time
per season that the current cooling towers are used, as necessary.
Because NRC expects the surface water, temperature not to exceed 96.5
[deg]F (35.8 [deg]C), as a result of the proposed EPU, the NRC staff
concludes that there are no significant impacts to aquatic biota from
the proposed EPU.
Essential Fish Habitat Consultation
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
(MSA) identifies the importance of habitat protection to healthy
fisheries. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) is defined as those waters and
substrata necessary for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to
maturity (Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 USC 1801 et seq.). Designating EFH
is an essential component in the development of Fishery Management
Plans to minimize habitat loss or degradation of fishery stocks and to
take actions to mitigate such damage. The consultation requirements of
Section 305(b) of the MSA provide that Federal agencies consult with
the Secretary of Commerce on all actions or proposed actions
authorized, funded, or undertaken by the agency that may adversely
affect EFH. On June 1, 2011, an EFH assessment for the proposed
operating license renewal was sent to the NMFS under separate cover to
initiate an EFH consultation (ADAMS Accession No. ML11140A100). The EFH
assessment for license renewal also discussed the proposed EPU and the
potential new cooling tower option. The submitted EFH assessment found
that continued operation of CR-3 would have no adverse effects to EFH
for two of the species of concern (Seriola dumerili and Epinephelus
adscensionis) and minimal adverse effects for the remaining 17 species.
The EFH assessment for license renewal discussed the proposed EPU
conditions, stating that the effects of impingement, entrainment, and
the thermal plume would not be increased by the EPU due to the fact
that flow rates will not be increased from current operating levels,
and any increase in thermal output will be mitigated, potentially by an
additional cooling tower. Therefore, the EFH issued for license renewal
is also valid for NRC's requirements under Section 7 of the Endangered
Species Act (ESA) for the proposed EPU.
NMFS responded to NRC's EFH assessment on July 25, 2011 (ADAMS
Accession No. ML11216A130). In their letter, NMFS stated that the
agency currently had insufficient staffing resources to review the
draft SEIS, and that it should be noted that NMFS position is neither
supportive of, nor in opposition to, the proposed relicensing
activities. This letter fulfilled the NRC's requirements under Section
7 of the ESA with notification to NMFS.
The following table identifies the species that the NRC considered
in its EFH assessment.
Table 1--Species of Fish Analyzed in EFH Assessment
Fishery management plan Scientific name Common name
Red Drum............................. Sciaenops ocellatus.......... red drum.
Reef Fish............................ Mycteroperca bonaci.......... black grouper.
Lutjanus jocu................ dog snapper.
Diplectrum bivittatum........ dwarf sand perch.
Mycteroperca microlepis...... gag grouper.
Lutjanus griseus............. gray snapper.
Seriola dumerili............. greater amberjack.
Lachnolaimus maximus......... hogfish.
Lutjanus synagris............ lane snapper.
Epinephelus striatus......... Nassau grouper.
Epinephelus morio............ red grouper.
Epinephelus adscensionis..... rock hind.
Lutjanus apodus.............. schoolmaster.
Rhomboplites aurorubens...... vermilion snapper.
Ocyurus chrysurus............ yellowtail snapper.
Coastal Migratory Pelagics........... Scomberomorus maculatus...... Spanish mackerel.
Shrimp............................... Farfantepenaeus duorarum..... pink shrimp.
Litopenaeus setiferus........ white shrimp.
Stone Crabs.......................... Menippe mercenaria........... Florida stone crab.
Terrestrial Resources Impacts
CR-3 uses approximately 27 ac (11 ha) of previously disturbed land
within the 1,062 ac (430 ha) developed portion of the 4,738 ac (1,917
ha) CREC. The remainder of the CREC site has been left undeveloped,
providing a buffer zone containing 3,676 ac (1,488 ha) of primarily
hardwood hammock forest and pineland, salt marshes, small tidal creeks,
and freshwater swamps, protected against encroachment from any other
coastal development. As previously discussed, there remain no
undisturbed areas and no native solids or vegetation communities within
the developed CREC site. Within the disturbed facility areas, small
strips of vegetation occur on roadsides, and open lawn areas are
dominated by grasses. After September 11, 2001, a 0.9 ac (0.4 ha),
which was previously mixed-hardwood wetland, was altered for security
reasons. All trees in this area were cut to accommodate construction of
new security facilities. This area was later converted into a permanent
lay-down area during the 2009 steam generator replacement outage. An
additional 3.5 ac (1.4 ha) grass area was converted to overflow
parking, and will likely be used as overflow parking again for the 2013
If the helper cooling tower option is chosen, the new mechanical
draft cooling tower would be constructed on a small parcel of land
which was formally salt marsh, but was filled in 1970 by the site's
previous owners. This area, approximately 3,600 ft (1,097 m) west of
CR-3 was also the site of the former CR-3 meteorological towers (which
is now relocated) and is currently occupied by the CREC percolation
clarifier pond. The proposed 73.5 ft (22.4 m) cooling tower would have
a diameter of 289 ft (88.1 m) and would require approximately 18 months
to build. The previously disturbed areas affected by construction of
the new tower would total approximately 5 ac (2 ha), some of which
would be converted to an additional construction lay-down area.
Because the new cooling tower option would only impact previously
disturbed areas onsite, impacts that could potentially affect
terrestrial resources would include disturbance or loss of habitat,
construction and EPU-related noise and lighting, and sediment transport
or erosion during the 2013 outage and the 18-month construction period
for the new cooling tower. Noise and lighting would not adversely
affect terrestrial species beyond effects experienced during previous
outages because EPU-related construction modification activities would
during outage periods, which are typically periods of heightened
activity. Noise and lighting impacts from the possible construction of
a new cooling tower would only affect terrestrial species temporarily
during the construction period. If the load reduction management option
is selected, there would be no construction-related impacts to
terrestrial species beyond those related to the 2013 outage. Also,
during the 2009 outage, prior to the grading or grubbing conducted for
the lay-down areas, the licensee performed a survey of the areas in
accordance with the licensee's conditions of site certification under
FDEP and followed best management practices to ensure that any
ecological resources were protected. No changes to transmission lines
or right of way (ROW) maintenance practices are required for the EPU.
Thus, NRC expects no significant impacts on terrestrial resources
associated with the proposed EPU.
Threatened and Endangered Species Impacts
Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended
(ESA), Federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Marine Fisheries Service (as
appropriate), must ensure that actions the agency authorizes, funds, or
carries out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any
listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of
A number of species in Citrus County are listed as threatened or
endangered under the ESA, and other species are designated as meriting
special protection or consideration. These include birds, fish, aquatic
and terrestrial mammals, flowering plants, insects, and reptiles that
could occur on or near CR-3 facility areas and possibly along the
electrical transmission line ROWs. The most common occurrences of
threatened or endangered species observed within the CREC boundary are
five species of sea turtles: loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta),
Atlantic green turtles (Chelonia mydas), Kemp's ridley turtles
(Lepidochelys kempii), hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), and
leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). FPC has a mitigation and
monitoring program, developed in conjunction with NMFS, in place for
the capture-release and protection of sea turtles that enter the intake
canal. The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris), a
subspecies of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), also has
been documented at CREC. Designated critical habitat for the Florida
manatee is located in the Crystal River and its headwaters, adjacent to
the southern boundary of the CREC. The NRC assessed potential impacts
on the Florida manatee from operation of CR-3 in the draft SEIS-44.
Three additional federally protected animals have been observed within
the CREC site boundary, including American alligators (Alligator
mississippiensis), wood storks (Mycteria americana), and bald eagles
(Haliaeetus leucocephalus). No other critical habitat areas for
endangered, threatened, or candidate species are located at the CREC
site or along the transmission line ROWs.
The following table identifies the species found on or near the
CREC site or the transmission line ROWs that the NRC assessed in draft
Table 2--Federally Listed Species Assessed in Draft SEIS-44
Scientific name Common name \(a)\
Aphelocoma coerulescens.... Florida scrub-jay..... T
Charadrius melodus......... piping plover......... T
Grus americana............. whooping crane........ E/XN
Haliaeetus leucocephalus... bald eagle............ T
Mycteria americana......... wood stork............ E
Acipenser oxyrinchus gulf sturgeon......... T
Pristis pectinata.......... smalltooth sawfish.... E
Trichechus manatus Florida manatee....... E/CH
Drymarchon corais couperi.. eastern indigo snake.. T
Caretta caretta............ loggerhead turtle..... T
Chelonia mydas............. green turtle.......... E
Dermochelys coriacea....... leatherback turtle.... E
Eretmochelys imbricata..... hawksbill turtle...... E
Lepidochelys kempii........ Kemp's ridley turtle.. E
Alligator mississippiensis. American alligator.... T/SA
Bonamia grandiflora........ Florida bonamia....... T
Campanula robinsiae........ Brooksville bellflower E
Chrysopsis floridana....... Florida golden aster.. E
Dicerandra cornutissima.... longspurred mint...... E
Eriogonum longifolium var. scrub buckwheat....... T
Justicia cooleyi........... Cooley's water willow. E
Nolina brittoniana......... Britton's beargrass... E
\(a)\ E = endangered; T = threatened; T/SA = threatened due to
similarity of appearance; EXPN, XN = experimental, nonessential; CH =
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
NRC has consulted with NMFS since 1982 regarding sea turtle kills,
captures, or incidental takes. A 2002 NMFS biological opinion concluded
that operation of the CREC is not likely to jeopardize the continued
existence of the five sea turtle species (ADAMS Accession No.
ML022460361). The 2002 NMFS biological opinion provides for limited
incidental takes of threatened or endangered sea turtles.
Correspondence between the licensee, FWS, and NMFS in connection with
the 2011 license renewal environmental review indicated that effects to
endangered, threatened, or candidate species, including a variety of
sea turtles and manatees, would not significantly change, as a result
of issuing a license renewal for CR-3.
Because any increase in thermal output, as a result of the proposed
EPU will be mitigated either by a new cooling tower option or load
reduction management, the EPU will not increase thermal exposure to
aquatic biota at the site. NRC expects the licensee capture-release and
monitoring program for sea turtles and NRC interactions with NMFS
regarding incidental takes to continue under the terms and conditions
of the 2002 biological opinion. Therefore, NRC expects the proposed EPU
would not change the effects of plant operation on threatened and
endangered aquatic species.
Planned construction-related activities associated with the
proposed EPU primarily involve changes to existing structures, systems,
and components internal to existing buildings and would not involve
earth disturbance, with the exception of the construction of the new
helper cooling tower, if selected. Traffic and worker activity in the
developed parts of the plant site during the 2013-outage modifications
would be somewhat greater than a normal refueling outage. During the
18-month construction period of the new helper-cooling tower, impacts
that could potentially affect terrestrial resources would include
disturbance or loss of habitat, construction and EPU-related noise and
lighting, and sediment transport or erosion. As described in the
``Terrestrial Resource Impacts'' section, any potential impacts from
cooling tower construction would only affect terrestrial species
temporarily during the construction period. Any ground disturbing
activities would require the licensee to conduct a survey and follow
best management practices to ensure that any ecological resources were
protected. No changes to transmission lines or ROW maintenance
practices are required for the EPU.
The NRC concluded in draft SEIS-44 that the continued operation of
CR-3 was not likely to adversely affect terrestrial wildlife. In
general, the effects of changes to the terrestrial wildlife habitat on
the CR-3 site from the proposed EPU should not exceed those potential
effects on terrestrial wildlife evaluated in draft SEIS-44, including
potential minor and temporary impacts from EPU-related worker activity
and any impacts from the construction of a new mechanical draft-cooling
tower. Implementing the EPU would not change water withdrawal or
discharge rates or effluent temperatures outside of those in the
present NPDES permit. Due to the lack of such changes, the NRC staff
concludes that the incremental effect of the EPU would have no
additional effect on endangered aquatic species beyond those already
addressed in the 1998 biological assessment and NMFS 2002 biological
opinion (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12009A034 and ML022460361,
Historic and Archaeological Resources Impacts
A 1973 archaeological survey (conducted on the recommendation of
the Florida Division of Historical Resources) identified 20
archaeological sites within the CREC property boundaries, consisting of
18 prehistoric sites, one prehistoric site with historic components,
and one of unspecified affiliation. Records at the Florida Master Site
File in the Florida Division of Historical Resources confirm that these
are the only recorded archaeological sites within CREC. These sites
have not been evaluated for listing on the National Register for
Historic Places (NRHP) and they remain potentially eligible until a
formal evaluation is conducted. In addition, there are 63 recorded
archaeological sites along the transmission line ROWs. Most of these
archaeological sites have been determined ineligible for listing on
NRHP, but nine have not been formally evaluated.
As previously discussed, all plant modifications related to the
proposed EPU would occur within existing structures, or within
previously disturbed areas on the CREC site. The developed area of the
CREC site underwent clearing, filling, and grading during power plant
construction, including being covered with a three to five foot layer
of fill. Consequently, no areas remain undisturbed within the developed
portions of the CREC site. Any potential ground disturbances would
occur within this area. The licensee also has corporate procedures for
the protection of archaeological resources, including consultation with
the Florida State Historic Preservation Office, in place that apply to
any ground disturbing activities within the CREC and along transmission
lines. The 2009 EPU and steam generator replacement-outage did not
adversely impact any archaeological sites on historic properties in the
vicinity of CR-3, because all of the outage activity took place away
from known archaeological sites within the previously disturbed
developed portions of the plant site. Because no ground disturbance or
EPU-related construction activities would occur outside of previously
disturbed areas, there would be no significant impact from the proposed
EPU-related modifications on historic and archaeological resources at
the CREC site.
Potential socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU include
increased demand for short-term housing, public services, and increased
traffic in the region due to the temporary increase in the size of the
workforce at CR-3 required to implement the EPU. The proposed EPU also
could generate increased tax revenues for the State and surrounding
counties due to increased power generation.
Approximately 760 full-time employees work at CR-3. For the
recently completed 2009 outage, this workforce was augmented by an
additional peak of 1,800 workers. For the upcoming 2013 outage, the
licensee estimates a peak of 1,350 EPU-related workers, which is only
slightly higher than a typical outage peak of 1,300 workers. Once EPU-
related plant modifications have been completed, the size of the
refueling outage workforce at CR-3 would return to normal levels and
would remain similar to pre-EPU levels, with no significant increases
during future refueling outages. The size of the regular plant
operations workforce would be unaffected by the proposed EPU.
Based on the 2009 outage, NRC expects most of the EPU plant
modification workers to relocate temporarily to the Tampa-St.
Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area during the upcoming 2013
outage, resulting in short-term increased demands for public services
and housing. Because plant modification work would be temporary, most
workers would stay in available rental homes, apartments, mobile homes,
There were no housing or public services shortages during the 2009
outage, which employed a significantly
larger number of workers than is expected during the upcoming 2013
outage. Therefore, the increase in plant employment during the 2013
outage would have little or no noticeable effect on the availability of
housing in the region.
The additional number of refueling outage workers and truck
material and equipment deliveries needed to support EPU-related plant
modifications could cause short-term level of service impacts
(restricted traffic flow and higher incident rates) on secondary roads
in the immediate vicinity of CR-3. The licensee expects increased
traffic volumes during the upcoming 2013 refueling outage. However,
based on a 2007-traffic study commissioned by the licensee, and the
results of the 2009 refueling outage (which the study showed had a
greater potential for impact to transportation in the region than the
2013 outage), only small traffic delays are anticipated during the 2013
outage. For the 2009 outage, the licensee successfully established a
temporary offsite parking area, using shuttle buses to transport
workers on and off the site to mitigate congestion at the intersection
of US-19/US-98 and West Power Line Road. Because fewer workers will be
required for the 2013 outage, offsite parking may not be used, however,
the licensee recognizes that a similar approach to the 2009 outage
could be utilized, if necessary.
CR-3 currently pays annual real estate property taxes to Citrus
County, the Board of County Commissioners, the Citrus County School
District, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Citrus
County Hospital Board, the Homosassa Special Water District, mosquito
control, and the county's municipalities to fund their respective
operating budgets. The annual amount of future property taxes CR-3
would pay could take into account the increased value of CR-3, as a
result of the EPU and increased power generation.
Due to the short duration of EPU-related plant modification
activities, there would be little or no noticeable effect on tax
revenues generated by additional temporary workers residing in Citrus
County. In addition, there would be little or no noticeable increased
demand for housing and public services or level-of-service traffic
impacts beyond what is experienced during normal refueling outages at
CR-3. Therefore, there would be no significant socioeconomic impacts
from EPU-related plant modifications and power plant operations under
EPU conditions in the vicinity of CR-3.
Environmental Justice Impact Analysis
The environmental justice impact analysis evaluates the potential
for disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental
effects on minority and low-income populations that could result from
activities associated with the proposed EPU at CR-3. Such effects may
include human health, biological, cultural, economic, or social
impacts. Minority and low-income populations are subsets of the general
public residing in the vicinity of CR-3, and all are exposed to the
same health and environmental effects generated from activities at CR-
NRC considered the demographic composition of the area within a 50
mi (80.5 km) radius of CR-3 to determine the location of minority and
low-income populations using the U.S. Census Bureau data for 2010 and
whether they may be affected by the proposed EPU.
According to 2010 census data, an estimated 1,039,919 people live
within a 50 mi (80.5 km) radius of CR-3. Minority populations within 50
mi (80.5 km) comprise 20 percent (approximately 207,470 persons). The
largest minority group was Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
(approximately 92,015 persons or 9 percent), followed by Black or
African American (approximately 80,979 persons or 8 percent). The 2010
census block groups containing minority populations were concentrated
primarily east of CR-3. Minority populations within Citrus County
comprise 10.6 percent of the total population, with the largest
minority groups being Hispanic or Latino (of any race) with 4.7
percent, followed by Black or African American with 3 percent.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates
data, 17.3 percent of the total population and 12.3 percent of families
residing in Citrus County were considered low-income, living below the
2010 federal poverty threshold. The 2010 federal poverty threshold was
$11,139 for an individual and of $22,314 for a family of four.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey 1-Year census
estimates, the median household income for Florida was $53,093, while
12.0 percent of families and 16.5 percent of the state population were
determined to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. Citrus
County had a lower median household income average ($43,791) and
slightly higher percentages of families and individuals living below
the poverty threshold, respectively.
Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations would
mostly consist of environmental and socioeconomic effects (e.g., noise,
dust, traffic, employment, and housing impacts). Radiation doses from
plant operations after implementation of the EPU are expected to
continue to remain well below regulatory limits.
Noise and dust impacts would be temporary and limited to onsite
activities. Minority and low-income populations residing along site
access roads could experience increased commuter vehicle traffic during
shift changes. Increased demand for inexpensive rental housing during
the EPU-related plant modifications could disproportionately affect
low-income populations; however, due to the short duration of the EPU-
related work and the availability of housing, impacts to minority and
low-income populations would be of short duration and limited.
According to the 2010 census information, there were approximately
14,722 vacant housing units in Citrus County.
Based on this information and the analysis of human health and
environmental impacts presented in this EA, the proposed EPU would not
have disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental
effects on minority and low-income populations residing in the vicinity
Nonradiological Cumulative Impacts
The NRC considered potential cumulative impacts on the environment
resulting from the incremental impact of the proposed EPU when added to
other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions in the
vicinity of CR-3. For the purposes of this analysis, past actions are
related to the construction and licensing of CR-3, present actions are
related to current operations, and future actions are those that are
reasonably foreseeable through the end of station operations, including
operations after implementation of the EPU.
The NRC concluded that there would be no significant cumulative
impacts to air quality, groundwater, threatened and endangered species,
or historical and archaeological resources near CR-3 because the
contributory effect of ongoing actions within the region are regulated
and monitored through a permitting process (e.g., NPDES and 401/404
permits under the Clean Water Act) under State or Federal authority. In
these cases, impacts are managed as long as these actions comply with
their respective permits and conditions of certification.
Surface water and aquatic resources were examined for potential
cumulative impacts. For both resource areas, the geographic boundary
for potential cumulative impacts is the area of the post-EPU thermal
mixing zone. If the proposed EPU is approved and is implemented, CR-3's
mixing zone will not change from pre-uprate conditions during full flow
and capacity because any increase in thermal discharge temperature will
be mitigated either by a new cooling tower option or by load reduction
management. The NRC anticipates that CR-3 will continue to operate
post-EPU in full compliance with the requirements of the FDEP NPDES
permit. FDEP would evaluate the licensee's compliance with the NPDES
permit and take action, as required, to ensure compliance.
Cumulative socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU and
continued operation of CR-3 would occur during the spring 2013
refueling outage. The increased demand for temporary housing, public
services, and increased traffic from the EPU-related outage workforce
would have a temporary cumulative additive effect on socioeconomic
conditions in local communities. However, these cumulative effects
would be similar to those experienced during normal refueling outages
at CR-3 caused by current operations.
Nonradiological Impacts Summary
As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any
significant nonradiological impacts. Table 3 summarizes the
nonradiological environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at CR-3.
Table 3--Summary of Nonradiological Environmental Impacts
Land Use.......................... No significant impacts on land use
conditions and aesthetic resources
in the vicinity of CR-3.
Air Quality....................... No significant impacts to air
quality from temporary air quality
impacts from vehicle emissions
related to EPU construction
Water Use......................... No significant changes to impacts
caused by current operations. No
significant impacts on groundwater
or surface water resources.
Aquatic Resources................. No significant changes to impacts
caused by current operation due to
impingement, entrainment, and
Terrestrial Resources............. No significant impacts to
Threatened and Endangered Species. No significant changes to impacts
caused by current operations.
Historic and Archaeological No significant impacts to historic
Resources. and archaeological resources onsite
or in the vicinity of CR-3.
Socioeconomics.................... No significant socioeconomic impacts
from EPU-related temporary increase
Environmental Justice............. No disproportionately high or
adverse human health and
environmental effects on minority
and low-income populations in the
vicinity of CR-3.
Cumulative Impacts................ No significant changes to impacts
caused by current operations.
Radioactive Gaseous and Liquid Effluents and Solid Waste
CR-3 uses waste treatment systems to collect, process, recycle, and
dispose of gaseous, liquid, and solid wastes that contain radioactive
material in a safe and controlled manner within NRC and EPA radiation
safety standards. The licensee's evaluation of plant operation under
proposed EPU conditions predict that no physical changes would be
needed to the radioactive gaseous, liquid, or solid waste systems.
Radioactive Gaseous Effluents
The gaseous waste management systems include the radioactive
gaseous system, which manages radioactive gases generated during the
nuclear fission process. Radioactive gaseous wastes are principally
activation gases and fission product radioactive noble gases resulting
from process operations, including continuous cleanup of the reactor
coolant system, gases used for tank cover gas, and gases collected
during venting. The licensee's evaluation determined that
implementation of the proposed EPU would not significantly increase the
inventory of carrier gases normally processed in the gaseous waste
management system, because plant system functions are not changing, and
the volume inputs remain the same. The licensee's analysis also showed
that the proposed EPU would result in an increase (a bounding maximum
of 15.5 percent for all noble gases, particulates, radioiodines, and
tritium) in the equilibrium radioactivity in the reactor coolant, which
in turn increases the radioactivity in the waste disposal systems and
radioactive gases released from the plant.
The licensee's evaluation concluded that the proposed EPU would not
change the radioactive gaseous waste system's design function and
reliability to safely control and process the waste. The existing
equipment and plant procedures that control radioactive releases to the
environment will continue to be used to maintain radioactive gaseous
releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302 and the as low as is
reasonably achievable (ALARA) dose objectives in 10 CFR Part 50,
Radioactive Liquid Effluents
The liquid waste management system collects, processes, and
prepares radioactive liquid waste for disposal. Radioactive liquid
wastes include liquids from various equipment drains, floor drains, the
chemical and volume control system, steam generator blowdown, chemistry
laboratory drains, laundry drains, decontamination area drains, and
liquids used to transfer solid radioactive waste. The licensee's
evaluation shows that the proposed EPU implementation would not
significantly increase the inventory of liquid normally processed by
the liquid waste management system. This is because the system
functions are not changing and the volume inputs remain the same. The
proposed EPU would result in an increase in the equilibrium
radioactivity in the reactor coolant (15.5 percent), which in turn
would impact the concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the waste
Because the composition of the radioactive material in the waste
and the volume of radioactive material processed through the system are
not expected to significantly change, the current design and operation
of the radioactive liquid waste system will accommodate the effects of
the proposed EPU. The existing equipment and plant procedures that
control radioactive releases to the environment will continue to be
used to maintain
radioactive liquid releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302
and ALARA dose objectives in 10 CFR part 50, Appendix I.
Radioactive Solid Wastes
Radioactive solid wastes include solids recovered from the reactor
coolant systems, solids that come into contact with the radioactive
liquids or gases, and solids used in the reactor coolant system
operation. The licensee evaluated the potential effects of the proposed
EPU on the solid waste management system. The largest volume of
radioactive solid waste is low-level radioactive waste, sources include
resins and charcoal, sludges and spent filters from water processing,
and dry active waste (DAW) that result from routine plant operation,
refueling outages, and routine maintenance. DAW includes paper,
plastic, wood, rubber, glass, floor sweepings, cloth, metal, and other
types of waste generated during routine maintenance and outages.
The licensee states that the proposed EPU would not have a
significant effect on the generation of radioactive solid waste volume
from the primary reactor coolant and secondary side systems because
system functions are not changing, and the volume inputs remain
consistent with historical generation rates. The waste can be handled
by the solid waste management system without modification. The
equipment is designed and operated to process the waste into a form
that minimizes potential harm to the workers and the environment. Waste
processing areas are monitored for radiation, and safety features are
in place to ensure worker doses are maintained within regulatory
limits. The proposed EPU would not generate a new type of waste or
create a new waste stream. Therefore, the impact from the proposed EPU
on radioactive solid waste would not be significant.
Occupational Radiation Dose at the EPU Power Level
FPC stated that the in-plant radiation sources are expected to
increase approximately linearly with the proposed increase in core
power level of 15.5 percent. For the radiological impact analyses, the
licensee assumed an increase to the licensed thermal power level from
2,609 MWt to 3,014 MWt or 15.5 percent. To protect the workers, the
licensee's radiation protection program monitors radiation levels
throughout the plant to establish appropriate work controls, training,
temporary shielding, and protective equipment requirements so that
worker doses will remain within the dose limits of 10 CFR Part 20 and
In addition to the work controls implemented by the radiation
protection program, permanent and temporary shielding is used
throughout CR-3 to protect plant personnel against radiation from the
reactor and auxiliary systems. The licensee determined that the current
shielding design, which uses conservative analytical techniques to
establish the shielding requirements, is adequate to offset the
increased radiation levels that are expected to occur from the proposed
EPU. The proposed EPU is not expected to significantly affect radiation
levels within the plant and, therefore, there would not be a
significant radiological impact to the workers.
Offsite Doses at the EPU Power Level
The primary sources of offsite dose to members of the public from
CR-3 is radioactive gaseous and liquid effluents. The licensee provided
a comparison of historic offsite dose levels at CR-3 with the projected
post-EPU dose levels (bounded by a factor of two) and the Appendix I
ALARA guidelines, as shown below in Table 4. The doubled post-EPU does
levels remain less than one percent of the Appendix I ALARA guidelines.
Table 4-- Historic and Projected Post-EPU Offsite Doses Compared to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I ALARA GUIDELINES.
Historic CR-3 EPU offsite Appendix I ALARA
offsite doses doses (x2 guidelines Units
(200 to 2008) scaling)
Total Body................. 9.39x10-5 1.88x10-4 3 mrem/yr.
Maximum Organ.............. 3.65x10-3 7.30x10-3 10 mrem/yr.
Gamma Air Dose............. 2.69x10-3 5.38x10-3 10 mrad/yr.
Beta Air Dose.............. 1.95x10-2 3.90x10-2 20 mrad/yr.
Total Body................. 5.61x10-3 1.10x10-2 15 mrem/yr.
Maximum Organ.............. 1.68x10-2 3.36x10-2 15 mrem/yr.
As previously discussed, operation at the EPU power level will not
change the ability of the radioactive gaseous and liquid waste
management systems to perform their intended functions. Also, there
would be no change to the radiation monitoring system and procedures
used to control the release of radioactive effluents in accordance with
NRC radiation protection standards in 10 CFR Part 20 and 10 CFR Part
50, Appendix I.
Based on the above, the offsite radiation dose to members of the
public would continue to be within NRC and EPA regulatory limits and,
therefore, would not be significant.
Spent Nuclear Fuel
Spent fuel from CR-3 is currently stored in the plant's spent fuel
pool, however, the licensee has initiated the construction of an
independent spent fuel storage installation to provide additional dry
storage of spent nuclear fuel at the CR-3 site. CR-3 is licensed to use
uranium-dioxide fuel that has a maximum enrichment of 5 percent by
weight uranium-235. The average fuel assembly discharge burnup for the
proposed EPU is expected to be limited to 50,000 megawatt days per
metric ton uranium (MWd/MTU) with no fuel pins exceeding the maximum
fuel rod burnup limit of 60,000 MWd/MTU. The licensee's fuel reload
design goals will maintain the CR-3 fuel cycles within the limits
bounded by the impacts analyzed in 10 CFR Part 51, Table S-3--Uranium
Fuel Cycle Environmental Data and Table S-4--Environmental Impact of
Transportation of Fuel and Waste to and From One Light-Water-Cooled
Nuclear Power Reactor, as supplemented by NUREG-1437, Volume 1,
Addendum 1, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License
Renewal of Nuclear Plants, Main Report, Section 6.3--Transportation
Table 9.1, Summary of findings on NEPA [National Environmental Policy
Act] issues for
license renewal of nuclear power plants'' (ADAMS Accession No.
ML12111A162). Therefore, there would be no significant impacts
resulting from spent nuclear fuel.
Postulated Design-Basis Accident Doses
Postulated design-basis accidents are evaluated by both the
licensee and NRC to ensure that CR-3 can withstand normal and abnormal
transients and a broad spectrum of postulated accidents without undue
hazard to the health and safety of the public.
The licensee performed analyses according to the Alternative
Radiological Source Term methodology, updated with input and
assumptions consistent with the proposed EPU. For each design-basis
accident, radiological consequence analyses were performed using the
guidance in NRC Regulatory Guide 1.183, ``Alternative Radiological
Source Terms for Evaluating Design Basis Accidents at Nuclear Power
Reactors'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML003716792). Accident-specific total
effective dose equivalent was determined at the exclusion area
boundary, at the low-population zone, and in the control room. The
analyses also include the evaluation of the waste gas decay tank
rupture event. The licensee concluded that the calculated doses meet
the acceptance criteria specified in 10 CFR 50.67 and 10 CFR Part 50,
Appendix A, General Design Criterion 19.
NRC is evaluating the licensee's EPU applications to independently
determine whether they are acceptable to approve. The results of the
NRC evaluation and conclusion will be documented in a Safety Evaluation
Report that will be publicly available. If NRC approves the EPU, then
the proposed EPU will not have a significant impact with respect to the
radiological consequences of design-basis accidents.
Radiological Cumulative Impacts
The radiological dose limits for protection of the public and
workers have been developed by the NRC and EPA to address the
cumulative impact of acute and long-term exposure to radiation and
radioactive material. These dose limits are codified in 10 CFR part 20
and 40 CFR part 190.
The cumulative radiation doses to the public and workers are
required to be within the regulations cited above. The public dose
limit of 25 millirem (0.25 millisieverts) in 40 CFR Part 190 applies to
all reactors that may be on a site, the storage of low level
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and includes any other nearby
nuclear power reactor facilities. No other nuclear power reactor or
uranium fuel cycle facility is located near CR-3. The offsite dose
analysis data demonstrate that the dose to members of the public from
radioactive effluents is well within the limits of 10 CFR Part 20 and
40 CFR Part 190. The projected post-EPU doses remain well within
regulatory limits. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that there would
not be a significant cumulative radiological impact to members of the
public from increased radioactive effluents from CR-3 at the proposed
EPU power level.
As previously discussed, the licensee has a radiation protection
program that maintains worker doses within the dose limits in 10 CFR
Part 20 during all phases of CR-3 operations. The NRC expects continued
compliance with regulatory dose limits during operation at the proposed
EPU power level. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that operation of
CR-3 at the proposed EPU levels would not result in a significant
impact to worker cumulative radiological dose.
Radiological Impacts Summary
As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any
significant radiological impacts. Table 5 summarizes the radiological
environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at CR-3.
Table 5--Summary of Radiological Environmental Impacts
Radioactive Gaseous Effluents..... Amount of additional radioactive
gaseous effluents generated would
be handled by the existing system.
Radioactive Liquid Effluents...... Amount of additional radioactive
liquid effluents generated would be
handled by the existing system.
Radioactive Solid Waste........... Amount of additional radioactive
solid waste generated would be
handled by the existing system.
Occupational Radiation Doses...... Occupational doses would continue to
be maintained within NRC limits.
Offsite Radiation Doses........... Radiation doses to members of the
public would remain below NRC and
EPA radiation protection standards.
Spent Nuclear Fuel................ The spent fuel characteristics will
remain within the bounding criteria
used in the impact analysis in 10
CFR Part 51, Table S-3 and Table S-
Postulated Design-Basis Accident Calculated doses for postulated
Doses. design-basis accidents would remain
within NRC limits.
Cumulative Radiological........... Radiation doses to the public and
plant workers would remain below
NRC and EPA radiation protection
Alternatives to the Proposed Action
As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC considered denial
of the proposed EPU (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). Denial of
the application would result in no change in the current environmental
impacts. However, if the EPU was not approved for CR-3, other agencies
and electric power organizations may be required to pursue other means,
such as fossil fuel or alternative fuel power generation, in order to
provide electric generation capacity to offset future demand.
Construction and operation of such a fossil-fueled or alternative-
fueled facility could result in impacts in air quality, land use, and
waste management greater than those identified for the proposed EPU at
CR-3. Furthermore, the proposed EPU does not involve environmental
impacts that are significantly different from those originally
indentified in the Crystal River Unit 3 FES and draft SEIS-44.
Alternative Use of Resources
This action does not involve the use of any different resources
than those previously considered in the FES or draft SEIS-44.
Agencies and Persons Consulted
In accordance with its stated policy, on November 6, 2012, the NRC
consulted with the State of Florida official regarding the
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no
IV. Draft Finding of No Significant Impact
Based on the details provided in the EA, the NRC concludes that
granting the proposed EPU license amendment is not
expected to cause impacts significantly greater than current
operations. Therefore, the proposed action of implementing the EPU for
CR-3 will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human
environment because no significant permanent changes are involved, and
the temporary impacts are within previously disturbed areas at the site
and the capacity of the plant systems. Accordingly, the NRC has
determined it is not necessary to prepare an environmental impact
statement for the proposed action.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of January, 2013.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Jessie F. Quichocho,
Acting Chief, Plant Licensing Branch II-2, Division of Operating
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2013-00781 Filed 1-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P