[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 137 (Tuesday, July 19, 2005)]
[Pages 41440-41441]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-3833]



[Docket No. 50-271]

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
Station; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
modifying previous approvals, granted pursuant to Title 10 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 20.2002 (previously 10 CFR 20.302(a)), 
for on-site disposal of slightly contaminated material at Vermont 
Yankee Nuclear Power Station (Vermont Yankee), as requested by Entergy 
Nuclear Operations, Inc. (the licensee). Vermont Yankee is located in 
Windham County, Vermont. 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 modify the previously-granted approvals 
for on-site disposal of slightly contaminated material to increase the 
current approved annual volume limit of 28.3 cubic meters of soil/sand 
to a new annual volume limit of 150 cubic meters of soil/sand. In 
addition, the licensee has requested a one-time approval for on-site 
disposal of the current backlog inventory of approximately 528 cubic 
meters of soil/sand.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated October 4, 2004, as supplemented on January 17, 2005.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to dispose of slightly contaminated 
soil/sand on-site. Current restrictions on the annual volume of 
slightly contaminated soil/sand that can be disposed on-site, coupled 
with several plant facility projects in recent years, have resulted in 
the accumulation of a backlog of slightly contaminated earthen material 
that is awaiting disposal by land spreading on previously-approved on-
site disposal areas. The current approved annual volume limit of 28.3 
cubic meters of soil/sand for disposal was based on licensee estimates 
of soil and sand collected from road and walkway sweepings inside the 
Protected Area following each year's winter cleanup (i.e., the current 
annual limit does not account for future site excavation and 
construction activities).

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its safety evaluation of the proposed action 
and concludes that the proposed action will be bounded by the 
conditions for the on-site disposals previously reviewed and approved 
by the NRC. The staff's safety evaluation will be provided as an 
enclosure to the letter to the licensee approving the proposed action.

[[Page 41441]]

    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. The licensee will continue to use the designated 
and approved areas of its property for disposal. Determination of the 
radiological dose impact of the new material to be disposed has been 
made based on the same dose assessment models and pathway assumptions 
used in previously-approved applications for Vermont Yankee. The NRC 
staff's review of the proposed action concluded that the bounding dose 
conditions for the previously-approved materials will not be exceeded. 
The maximum dose from the radionuclides in the material was determined 
to be less than 1 millirem per year to the maximally exposed individual 
and less than 5 millirem per year to an inadvertent intruder.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect 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). 
The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative 
action are similar. If the proposed action is denied, the licensee may 
be required to ship the material to an off-site low-level radioactive 
waste disposal facility. The costs associated with off-site disposal 
greatly exceed the cost of on-site disposal with no significant benefit 
to the environment.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resources than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
Vermont Yankee.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On April 25, 2005, the staff consulted with the Vermont State 
official, William Sherman, of the Department of Public Service, 
regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State 
official had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated October 4, 2004, as supplemented by letter 
dated January 17, 2005. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a 
fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White 
Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. 
Publicly-available records will be accessible electronically from the 
Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public 
Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to 
ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in 
ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-
397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 12th day of July 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Richard B. Ennis,
Senior Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate I, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-3833 Filed 7-18-05; 8:45 am]