[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 36 (Thursday, February 24, 2005)]
[Pages 9114-9115]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-3487]

[[Page 9114]]



[Docket No. 72-2]

Virginia Electric and Power Company (Dominion); Notice of 
Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant 
Impact for License Renewal of the Surry Independent Spent Fuel Storage 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental Assessment.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary Jane Ross-Lee, Senior Project 
Manager, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Materials Safety 
and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555. Telephone: (301) 415-3781; fax number: (301) 415-8555; e-mail 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC 
or the Commission) is considering renewing Virginia Electric and Power 
Company's (Dominion's) (the applicant's) License No. SNM-2501 under the 
requirements of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 72 
(10 CFR Part 72) authorizing the continued operation of the Surry 
Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) located at the 
Surry Power Station in Surry County, Virginia. The Commission's Office 
of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards has completed its review of 
the environmental report submitted by the applicant on April 29, 2002, 
in support of its application for a renewed materials license. The 
staff's ``Environmental Assessment related to the renewal of the Surry 
Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation'' has been issued in 
accordance with 10 CFR Part 51.

I. Summary of Environmental Assessment (EA)

    Description of the Proposed Action: The proposed licensing action 
would authorize the applicant to continue operating a dry storage ISFSI 
at the Surry site. The purpose of the ISFSI is to allow for interim 
spent fuel storage and, indirectly, power generation capability, beyond 
the term of the current ISFSI license to meet future power generation 
needs. The current license will expire July 31, 2006. The renewed ISFSI 
license would permit 40 additional years of storage beyond the current 
license period. The current ISFSI employs five different cask systems 
licensed for the Surry ISFSI. These cask systems include the General 
Nuclear Systems, Inc., (GNSI) CASTOR V/21 and CASTOR X/33, the 
Westinghouse MC-10, the NAC INTACT 28 S/T, and the Transnuclear, Inc., 
TN-32. Currently, the facility is licensed to store spent fuel storage 
casks on three reinforced concrete pads that are 230 feet long, 32 feet 
wide, and 3 feet thick. Two of the three storage pads have been built. 
Each pad is designed to accommodate 28 casks.
    Need for the Proposed Action: The Surry ISFSI is needed to provide 
continued spent fuel storage capacity so that the Surry Power Station 
can continue to generate electricity. This renewal is needed to provide 
an option that allows for interim spent fuel storage and, indirectly, 
power generation capability, beyond the term of the current ISFSI 
license to meet future system generating needs. The renewed ISFSI 
license would permit 20 additional years of storage beyond the current 
license period. An exemption would allow 20 years of storage beyond the 
renewal period.
    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: The NRC staff has 
concluded that the license renewal of the Surry ISFSI will not result 
in a significant impact to the environment. The Surry ISFSI will 
require one additional storage pad during the license renewal term. The 
pad would be built on previously disturbed ground adjacent to the 
existing pads. Construction impacts of the third storage pad of the 
ISFSI will be minor, and limited to the approximately 800 feet by 800 
feet ISFSI site. No areas designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service as ``critical habitat'' for endangered species exist at the 
site. The only terrestrial community at the site consist of remnants of 
mixed pine-hardwood forest that were used for timber production prior 
to the site's acquisition by Dominion. Thus, the staff does not expect 
the ISFSI to impact any threatened or endangered species. The 
Environmental Assessment for the ISFSI construction acknowledged that 
although the station was located in a historic region, no historical 
resources were identified within the boundaries of the site. During the 
Surry Power Station license renewal process, Dominion commissioned a 
cultural resource survey of the property. The survey identified one 
previously recorded archaeological site on the west side of the 
property and classified the remainder of the property into one of three 
categories, based on the potential for archaeological resources. The 
ISFSI, because it rests on previously disturbed land, was classified as 
having no potential for cultural resources.
    There will be no significant radiological or non-radiological 
environmental impacts from routine operation of the ISFSI. The staff 
evaluated radiological impacts from operations to ensure that the 
radiation dose to both workers and the public is as low as reasonably 
achievable (ALARA). The Surry Power Station ALARA program, including 
ISFSI operations, complies with 10 CFR Part 20, Radiation Protection 
Programs, and is consistent with Regulatory Guide 8.8, ``Information 
Relevant to Ensuring That Occupational Radiation Exposures at Nuclear 
Power Stations Will Be As Low As Reasonably Achievable.''
    There are several parks and preserves in Surry County, primarily 
along the south bank of the James River. Immediately adjacent to the 
Surry Power Station is the Hog Island tract of Hog Island Wildlife 
Management Area (HIWMA) (zoned A-R), at the north end of the peninsula 
on which the Surry Power Station is located. In addition, south of the 
Surry Power Station are the Carlisle and Stewart tracts of HIWMA. West 
of the Surry Power Station, bordering the James River, is Chippokes 
Plantation State Park, and further west are Swanns Point and Pipsico 
    The ISFSI licensing basis for the annual dose to the nearest 
permanent resident, located 1.53 miles from the ISFSI, was based on 84 
GNSI CASTOR V/21 casks. The annual dose calculated for that case was 
6.0x10-5 mrem, which is well below the 10 CFR 72.104 and 10 
CFR 20.1101 limits. The revised calculations based on 84 TN-32 casks 
results in a dose of 5.6x10-5 mrem per year, which is less 
than the original licensing basis. The staff reviewed the calculations 
and assumptions provided by Dominion. Based on these results, normal 
ISFSI operations will not have a significant offsite radiological 
impact and will remain well within the 10 CFR 20.1101 and 72.104 
limits. The staff also evaluated radiological consequences of a release 
of the entire gaseous inventory of a cask and found that Dominion's 
calculated dose to an individual at the nearest site boundary is 84 
mrem, which is well within the 5 rem criteria of 10 CFR 72.106.
    The annual collective dose from 84 TN-32 casks to 48 residents 
within a two-mile radius of the ISFSI is calculated to be 
2.7x10-6 person-rem, which is several orders of magnitude 
less than the collective dose from natural background radiation.
    Radiological decommissioning of the ISFSI would be complete when 
the last cask is removed from the site. Small occupational exposures to 

[[Page 9115]]

could occur during decontamination activities, but these exposures 
would be much less than those associated with cask loading and transfer 
operations. Due to the design of the sealed surface storage casks, no 
residual contamination is expected to be left behind on the concrete 
base pad. The base pad, fence, and peripheral utility structures are 
defacto decommissioned when the last cask is removed.
    Alternatives to the Proposed Action: The applicant's Environmental 
Report and the staff's EA discuss several alternatives to the proposed 
ISFSI license renewal. These alternatives include shipment of spent 
fuel off-site, and other methods to increase on-site spent fuel storage 
capacity, as well as the no action alternative. In the first category, 
the alternatives of shipping spent fuel from Surry to a permanent 
Federal Repository, to a reprocessing facility, or to a privately owned 
spent fuel storage facility were determined to be non-viable 
alternatives, as no such facilities are currently available in the 
United States, and shipping the spent fuel to other power stations is 
impractical because the receiving utility would have to be licensed to 
store the Surry spent fuel, and it is unlikely that another utility 
would be willing to accept it, in light of their own limitations on 
spent fuel storage capacity. Another off-site alternative is to 
construct an ISFSI at a site away from the Surry Power Station. 
However, it was concluded that this alternative does not offer net 
environmental benefits
    Other on-site storage alternatives considered by the applicant 
included increasing the capacity of the existing spent fuel pools by 
re-racking or spent fuel rod consolidation, or construction of a new 
spent fuel storage pool. Dominion has already increased the original 
capacity of the existing pool and cannot increase it further. Although 
the applicant could construct an additional spent fuel pool, the high 
cost associated with constructing and maintaining such a facility and 
all of the necessary support equipment, coupled with the significant 
occupational exposures resulting from the extensive fuel handling 
operations, make this alternative impractical. Modifying operations of 
the plants was also considered such as extending fuel burnup or 
operating at reduced power. However, such operational changes may alter 
the amount of fuel to be stored, but they do not eliminate the need for 
storage. Also, consideration of researching other technologies for 
interim disposal was determined non-viable because of additional doses 
associated with repackaging.
    The no action alternative could result in the extended or permanent 
shutdown of the Surry Power Station. The fuel currently stored would 
have to be removed. The electrical generation capacity lost would 
likely negatively impact the local economy and infrastructure of the 
area. For these reasons, the ``no action'' alternative is not 
considered a practical alternative.
    As discussed in the EA, the Commission has concluded that there are 
no significant environmental impacts associated with renewing the 
license of the Surry ISFSI, and other alternatives were not pursued 
because of significantly higher costs, additional occupational 
exposures, and the unavailability of offsite storage options.
    Agencies and Persons Contacted: Officials from the Virginia 
Department of Emergency Services, the Virginia Department of Historic 
Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Virginia 
Department of Environmental Quality, were contacted in preparing the 
staff's environmental assessment. The conclusions by all agencies 
consulted were consistent with the staff's conclusions.

II. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The staff has reviewed the environmental impacts of renewing the 
Surry ISFSI license relative to the requirements set forth in 10 CFR 
Part 51, and has prepared an EA. Based on the EA, the staff concludes 
that there are no significant radiological or non-radiological impacts 
associated with the proposed action and that issuance of renewal of the 
license for the interim storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Surry 
ISFSI will have no significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.31 and 51.32, a finding 
of no significant impact is appropriate and an environmental impact 
statement need not be prepared for the renewal of the materials license 
for the Surry ISFSI.
    Supporting documentation is available for inspection at NRC's 
Public Electronic Reading Room at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ADAMS.html. A copy of the license application, dated April 29, 2002 as 
supplemented October 6, 2003, and the staff's EA, dated February 2005, 
can be found at this site using the ADAMS accession numbers 
ML021290068, ML032900118, and ML040560156. Any questions should be 
referred to Mary Jane Ross-Lee, Spent Fuel Project Office, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, Mailstop O13D13, telephone 
(301) 415-3781; fax number (301) 415-8555.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of February 2005.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mary Jane Ross-Lee,
Senior Project Manager, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 05-3487 Filed 2-23-05; 8:45 am]