[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 29 (Monday, February 14, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7525-7527]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-2783]



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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 50-443]


FPL Energy Seabrook, LLC, Seabrook Station, Unit No. 1; 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an amendment to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) Section 50.90 for Facility Operating License No. NPF-86, 
issued to FPL Energy Seabrook, LLC (FPLE Seabrook or the licensee), for 
operation of the Seabrook Station, Unit No. 1 (Seabrook), located in 
Seabrook Township, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Therefore, as 
required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is issuing this environmental 
assessment and finding of no significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would allow FPLE Seabrook to increase the 
maximum reactor core power level from 3411 megawatts thermal (MWt) to 
3587 MWt, which is an increase of approximately 5.2 percent of the 
rated core thermal power for Seabrook.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated March 17, 2004, as supplemented by a second letter 
dated March 17, 2004, and letters dated April 1, May 26, September 13 
(two letters), and October 12, 2004.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action permits an increase in the licensed core 
thermal power from 3411 MWt to 3587 MWt for Seabrook and provides the 
flexibility to increase the potential electrical output of Seabrook.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    This assessment summarizes the non-radiological and radiological 
impacts on the environment that may result from the proposed action. 
The NRC staff based its conclusions on an analyzed core power level of 
3659 MWt (3678 MWt Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS) power level). A 
power level of 3659 MWt is used based on the guaranteed core thermal 
output of 3587 MWt plus a 2-percent uncertainty allowance for 
calorimetric measurements.

Radiological Environmental Assessment

Radwaste Systems
    Seabrook uses waste treatment systems designed to maintain normal 
operation offsite releases and doses within the requirements of 10 CFR 
Part 20 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I. Regulatory guidance relative to 
the methodology used to determine if the radwaste effluent releases 
from a pressurized-water reactor meet the requirements of 10 CFR Part 
20 and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix I is provided in NUREG-0017, Revision 
1, ``Calculation of Releases of Radioactive Materials in Gaseous and 
Liquid Effluents from Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR-GALE Code).'' The 
proposed power uprate will not change existing radioactive waste system 
design, plant operating procedures, or waste inputs as defined by 
NUREG-0017. As a result, the impact of the proposed power uprate on 
radwaste releases and Appendix I doses can be estimated using the 
methodology and equations found in NUREG-0017, Revision 1.
    The reactor coolant contains activated corrosion products, which 
are the result of metallic materials entering the water and being 
activated in the reactor region. Under power uprate conditions, the 
feedwater flow increases with power and the activation rate in the 
reactor region increases with power. Additionally, non-condensible 
radioactive gas from the main condenser, along with air in-leakage, 
normally contains activation gases (principally N-16, O-19 and N-13) 
and fission product radioactive noble gases. This is the major source 
of radioactive gas. The proposed power uprate will increase the 
activity level of radioactive isotopes in the primary and secondary 
coolant. Due to leakage or process operations, fractions of these 
fluids are transported to the liquid and gaseous waste systems where 
they are processed prior to discharge. As the activity levels in the 
primary and secondary coolant are increased, the activity level of 
inputs into the waste systems are proportionately increased.
    The methodology used for the processing of radioactive waste at 
Seabrook will not be impacted by operation at the proposed uprated 
power level, and the slight increase in activity discharged would 
continue to meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 20, 10 CFR part 50, 
Appendix I, and the annual doses projected in the Seabrook Final 
Environmental Statement (FES), NUREG-0895, dated December 1982. The NRC 
staff concludes that the proposed power uprate will not affect the 
ability to process liquid or gaseous radioactive effluents and the 
environmental impacts of the proposed power uprate are bounded by the 
impacts previously evaluated in the FES.
Occupational Dose
    Occupational exposure from in-plant radiation primarily occurs 
during routine maintenance, special maintenance, and refueling 
operations. An increase in power at Seabrook will increase the activity 
inventory of fission products in the core by approximately the 
percentage of the power uprate. As a result, the radioactivity levels 
in the primary coolant, secondary coolant, and other radioactive 
process systems and components will also be impacted. Based on an 
uprate from the current licensed core power of 3411 MWt to the analyzed 
core power level of 3659 MWt (3678 MWt NSSS power level), normal 
operation radiation levels in areas near the reactor vessel are 
expected to increase but the annual average collective occupational 
dose after the power uprate is implemented would still be well below 
the value expected when the FES was published and as set in 10 CFR Part 
20. In addition, plant programs and administrative controls such as 
shielding, plant chemistry, and the radiation protection program will 
help compensate for the potential increase in occupational dose. The 
proposed actions does not involve significant increases in the offsite 
doses to the public from noble gases, airborne particulates, iodine, 
tritium, or liquid effluents.
    The NRC staff concludes that doses offsite will continue to be 
within the limits of 10 CFR Part 20, and the slight potential increase 
in occupational exposure are bounded by the impacts previously 
evaluated in the FES.
Postulated Accident Doses
    The licensee's uprate analysis program included a reanalysis or 
evaluation of all aspects of large-break loss-of-coolant accident 
(LOCA), small-break LOCA, non-LOCA accidents, and NSSS and balance-of-
plant (BOP) structures, systems, and components. Major NSSS components 
(e.g., reactor pressure vessel, pressurizer, reactor coolant pumps, and 
steam generators); BOP components (e.g., turbine, generator, and 
condensate and feedwater pumps); and major systems and sub-systems 
(e.g., safety injection, auxiliary feedwater, residual heat removal, 
electrical distribution, emergency diesel generators, containment 
cooling, and the ultimate heat sink) have been assessed with respect to 
the bounding conditions

[[Page 7526]]

expected for operation at the uprated power level. Control systems 
(e.g., rod control, pressurizer pressure and level, turbine overspeed, 
steam generator level, and steam dump) have been evaluated for 
operation at uprated power conditions. The results of all of the above 
analyses and evaluations have yielded acceptable results and 
demonstrate that all design basis acceptance criteria will continue to 
be met during uprated power operations.
    For post-accident conditions, the existing post-accident dose rate 
maps are adequate for power uprate conditions. The resulting radiation 
levels were determined to be within current regulatory limits, and 
there would be no effect on the plant equipment, access to vital areas, 
or habitability of the control room. The licensee has determined that 
access to areas requiring post-accident occupancy will not be 
significantly affected by the power uprate. The calculated whole body 
and thyroid doses at the exclusion area boundary that might result from 
a postulated design-basis LOCA at uprated power conditions were 
determined to remain below established regulatory limits. Therefore, 
the NRC staff concludes that, for the proposed action, potential 
increased doses from postulated accidents are not significant.

Non-Radiological Environmental Assessment

    In support of the proposed action, the licensee reviewed the non-
radiological environmental impacts of the power uprate based on 
information submitted in the Seabrook Environmental Report--Operating 
License Stage (ER-OL), dated June 29, 1981, the Seabrook FES, and the 
requirements of the Environmental Protection Plan. Based on this 
review, the licensee concluded that the proposed power uprate has no 
significant effect on the non-radiological elements of concern and the 
plant will be operated within the bounds of impacts previously 
evaluated in the FES. In addition, the licensee states that existing 
Federal, State, and local regulatory permits presently in effect 
accommodate the power uprate without modification.

Water Use Impacts

    The Atlantic Ocean serves as the normal supply of cooling water and 
as the ultimate heat sink for Seabrook. The cooling water is withdrawn 
from the Atlantic Ocean via a 17,000-foot long intake tunnel in the 
underlying bedrock, and is returned to the ocean through a similar 
discharge tunnel, approximately 16,500 feet long. The Circulating Water 
System (CWS) delivers cooling water from the Atlantic Ocean to the main 
condenser to remove the heat rejected by the turbine cycle and 
auxiliary systems and conveys the heated discharge water back to the 
Atlantic Ocean. CWS flow rate does not change for the power uprate. 
Additionally, groundwater is not used in current plant operations; 
therefore, there will be no additional impacts to onsite groundwater 
use as a result of the proposed action. The NRC staff concludes that 
the power uprate will not have a significant impact on water usage at 
Seabrook.

Thermal Discharge

    The licensee indicates that, at uprated power conditions, with 
normal CWS flow, the circulating water outlet temperature will increase 
approximately 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit from the temperature associated 
with the current power level. However, the maximum CWS outlet 
temperature associated with the proposed action will continue to be 
within system design parameters.
    The licensee evaluated the thermal impact associated with the power 
uprate relative to the Seabrook National Pollutant Discharge 
Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The New Hampshire Office of 
Ecosystem Protection issued NPDES Permit No. NH0020338 to the licensee 
for operation of Seabrook. The permit was last renewed on April 1, 
2002. The NPDES permit specifies that Seabrook shall not cause a 
monthly mean temperature rise of more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit within 
300 feet of the submerged diffuser in the direction of discharge. 
Historical data indicates that maximum monthly mean temperatures have 
been within all NPDES permit parameters. Projected maximum monthly mean 
temperatures predicted to occur in uprated conditions will continue to 
be below specified permit limits and bounded by the impacts previously 
evaluated in the FES. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that there are 
no significant impacts from the increased thermal discharge to the 
Atlantic Ocean as a result of the proposed action.

Noise Evaluation

    The noise effects due to operation of Seabrook at uprated power 
conditions were reviewed. The power uprate does not require any new 
motors or pumps. In addition, the turbine and the reactor building 
supply and exhaust fans will continue to operate at current speeds, and 
the associated noise levels will also be unaffected by uprated power 
operations. Consideration of other features affected by the power 
uprate did not reveal any new and significant sources of noise that 
would be expected to be noticeable at the site boundary. Therefore, the 
NRC staff concludes that the noise impacts of the proposed action are 
bounded by the impacts previously analyzed in the FES.
    The non-radiological environmental impacts related to the proposed 
power uprate at Seabrook have been reviewed and there are no adverse 
impacts or significant changes required to the current NPDES Permit or 
other plant administrative limits. No changes to land use would result 
from the proposed action, and the proposed action does not involve any 
historic sites. Therefore, no new or different types of non-
radiological environmental impacts are expected than those previously 
considered in the FES.

Summary

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action.
    The details of the staff's safety evaluation will be provided in 
the license amendment that will be issued as part of the letter to the 
licensee approving the license amendment.
    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 non-radiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It has a 
small affect on non-radiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    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.

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Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resource than 
those previously considered in the FES for Seabrook, NUREG-0895, dated 
December 1982.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On October 18, 2004, the staff consulted with the New Hampshire 
State official, Michael Nawoj of the New Hampshire Office of Emergency 
Management, and with the Massachusetts State official, James 
Muckerheide of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, regarding 
the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State officials 
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 
action.
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated March 17, 2004, as supplemented by a second 
letter dated March 17, 2004, and letters dated April 1, May 26, 
September 13 (two letters), and October 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]. (Note: Public access to ADAMS has 
been temporarily suspended so that security reviews of publicly 
available documents may be performed and potentially sensitive 
information removed. Please check the NRC Web site for updates on the 
resumption of ADAMS access.)

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of December 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Darrell J. Roberts,
Chief, Section 2, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing Project 
Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 05-2783 Filed 2-11-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P