[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 205 (Monday, October 25, 1999)]
[Page 57486]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-27762]



[Docket No. 72-29]

PECO Energy Company; Issuance of Environmental Assessment and 
Finding of No Significant Impact Regarding the Proposed Exemption From 
Certain Requirements of 10 CFR Part 72

    By letter dated May 27, 1999, PECO Energy Company (PECO) requested 
an exemption, pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7 from the requirements of 10 CFR 
72.72(d) for the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (Peach Bottom) 
Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). PECO is seeking US 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or Commission) approval to maintain 
a single set of spent fuel records at a records storage facility 
qualified to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) N45.2.9-1979.

Environmental Assessment (EA)

    Identification of Proposed Action: PECO is seeking Commission 
approval to maintain its Peach Bottom ISFSI records by keeping them in 
an ANSI N45.2.9-1979 qualified records storage facility. The 
requirements of 10 CFR 72.72(d) state in part that ``Records of spent 
fuel and high-level radioactive waste in storage must be kept in 
duplicate. The duplicate set of records must be kept at a separate 
location sufficiently remote from the original records that a single 
event would not destroy both sets of records.'' The proposed action 
before the Commission is whether to grant this exemption under 10 CFR 
    Need for the Proposed Action: The applicant states that, pursuant 
to 10 CFR 72.140(d), the Peach Bottom Quality Assurance (QA) Program 
has been applied to the ISFSI activities. In that program, quality 
assurance records are maintained in accordance with the commitments to 
ANSI N45.2.9-1979. PECO requests the exemption from 10 CFR 72.72(d) to 
allow ISFSI records of spent fuel in storage to be stored in the same 
manner as Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station records; i.e., as a single 
set of records stored in accordance with ANSI N45.2.9-1979.
    ANSI N45.2.9-1979 provides standards for the protection of nuclear 
power plant QA records against degradation. It specifies design 
standards for use in the construction of record storage facilities when 
use of a single storage facility is desired. It includes specific 
standards for protection against degradation mechanisms such as fire, 
humidity, and condensation. The requirements in ANSI N45.2.9-1979 have 
been endorsed by NRC in Regulatory Guide 1.88, ``Collection, Storage, 
and Maintenance of Nuclear Power Plant Quality Assurance Records,'' as 
adequate for satisfying the recordkeeping requirements of 10 CFR Part 
50, Appendix B. ANSI N45.2.9-1979 also satisfies the requirements of 10 
CFR 72.72 by providing for adequate maintenance of records regarding 
the identity and history of the spent fuel in storage. Such records 
would be subject to and need to be protected from the same types of 
degradation mechanisms as nuclear power plant QA records.
    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: Elimination of the 
requirement to store ISFSI records at a duplicate facility has no 
impact on the environment. Storage of records does not change the 
methods by which spent fuel will be handled and stored at Peach Bottom 
and the Peach Bottom ISFSI and does not change the amount of any 
effluents, radiological or non-radiological, associated with the ISFSI.
    Alternative to the Proposed Action: Since there is no environmental 
impact associated with the proposed action, any alternatives with equal 
or greater environmental impact are not evaluated. The alternative to 
the proposed action would be to deny approval of the exemption and, 
therefore, not allow Peach Bottom to store ISFSI records in an ANSI 
N45.2.9 qualified facility. This alternative would have no 
environmental impact as well.
    Agencies and Persons Consulted: On September 7, 1999, David Ney 
from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of 
Radiation Protection, was contacted about the Environmental Assessment 
for the proposed action and had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR part 51. Based 
upon the foregoing EA, the Commission finds that the proposed action of 
granting an exemption from 10 CFR 72.72(d), so that PECO may store 
records of spent fuel stored at the ISFSI in a single record storage 
facility which meets the standards of ANSI N45.2.9-1979, will not 
significantly impact the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, 
the Commission has determined not to prepare an environmental impact 
statement for the proposed exemption.
    For further details with respect to this exemption request, see the 
PECO exemption request dated May 27, 1999, which is docketed under 10 
CFR Part 72, Docket 72-29. The exemption request is available for 
public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, 2120 L 
Street, NW, Washington, DC 20555 and the Local Public Document Room 
located at the State Library of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of October 1999.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
E. William Brach,
Director, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material Safety 
and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 99-27762 Filed 10-22-99; 8:45 am]