[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 143 (Wednesday, July 27, 2005)]
[Pages 43462-43463]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-3995]



[Docket No. 50-261]

Carolina Power And Light Company, H. B. Robinson Steam Electric 
Plant, Unit No. 2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is 
considering issuance of an exemption from Title 10 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, section 68, ``Criticality 
Accident Requirements,'' subsection (b)(1) for Facility Operating

[[Page 43463]]

License No. DPR-23 issued to the Carolina Power and Light Company (the 
licensee) for operation of the H.B. Robinson Steam Electric Plant, Unit 
No. 2 (HBRSEP2) located in Darlington County, South Carolina. The NRC 
is issuing this environmental assessment pursuant to 10 CFR 51.21 and 
is making a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the licensee from the requirements 
of 10 CFR 50.68, ``Criticality Accident Requirements,'' subsection 
(b)(1) during the spent fuel pool activities related to the underwater 
handling, loading, and unloading of the dry shielded canister (DSC) 
NUHOMS -24PTH as described in proposed Amendment No. 8 to Certificate 
of Compliance No. 1004 listed in 10 CFR 72.214. The proposed action is 
in accordance with the licensee's application dated February 22, 2005, 
as supplemented on May 10 and July 6, 2005.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    In 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1), the Commission sets forth the following 
requirement that must be met in lieu of a monitoring system capable of 
detecting criticality events:

    Plant procedures shall prohibit the handling and storage at any 
one time of more fuel assemblies than have been determined to be 
safely subcritical under the most adverse moderation conditions 
feasible by unborated water.

    Section 50.12(a) of 10 CFR allows licensees to request an exemption 
from the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50 if the application of the 
regulation is not necessary to achieve the underlying purpose of the 
rule and special conditions are met. The licensee stated that 
compliance with 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) is not necessary for underwater 
handling, loading, and unloading of the DSC NUHOMS-24PTH in the HBRSEP2 
spent fuel pool to achieve the underlying purpose of the rule. The NRC 
has completed its safety evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that the underlying purpose of 10 CFR 50.68(b)(1) will still 
be satisfied if the exemption is granted. The details of the NRC 
staff's safety evaluation will be provided in the exemption that will 
be issued as part of the letter to the licensee approving the exemption 
to the regulation.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    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 the amount of any effluent released off site. There is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological 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 does 
not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological 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.

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 
HBRSEP2 dated April 1975, and the Final Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (NUREG-1437 Supplement 13) dated December 2003.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    On July 11, 2005, the staff consulted with the South Carolina State 
official, Mr. Michael Gandy of the South Carolina Department of Health, 
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 set forth above, the 
NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant 
effect on the quality of the human environment and is therefore issuing 
this FONSI. 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 letters dated February 22, May 10, and July 6, 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 at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, or send an e-mail to 
[email protected].

    Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of July, 2005.

    For The Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Chandu P. Patel,
Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate II, Division of 
Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-3995 Filed 7-26-05; 8:45 am]