[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 14, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54310-54311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-18192]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 14, 2005 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 54310]]


10 CFR Part 54

[Docket No. PRM-54-03]

Joseph Scarpelli, Mayor of Brick Township, NJ; Receipt of 
Petition for Rulemaking

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt.


SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing for 
public comment a notice of receipt of a petition for rulemaking, dated 
July 20, 2005, which was filed with the Commission by Michele R. 
Donato, Esquire, on behalf of Mayor Joseph Scarpelli of Brick Township. 
The petition was docketed by the NRC on July 25, 2005, and has been 
assigned Docket No. PRM-54-03. The petitioner requests that the NRC 
amend its regulations to provide that a renewed license will be issued 
only if the plant operator demonstrates that the plant meets all 
criteria and requirements that would be applicable if the plant was 
being proposed de novo for initial construction.

DATES: Submit comments by November 28, 2005. Comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the 
Commission is able to assure consideration only for comments received 
on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. 
Please include PRM-54-03 in the subject line of your comments. Comments 
on petitions submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made 
available for public inspection. Because your comments will not be 
edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC 
cautions you against including any information in your submission that 
you do not want to be publicly disclosed.
    Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
    E-mail comments to: [email protected]. If you do not receive a reply e-
mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us 
directly at (301) 415-1966. You may also submit comments via the NRC's 
rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Address questions 
about our rulemaking Web site to Carol Gallagher (301) 415-5905; e-mail 
[email protected]. Comments can also be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
    Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852, between 7:30 am and 4:15 pm Federal workdays. (Telephone (301) 
    Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 
(301) 415-1101.
    Publicly available documents related to this petition may be viewed 
electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR), Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. The PDR reproduction contractor 
will copy documents for a fee. Selected documents, including comments, 
may be viewed and downloaded electronically via the NRC rulemaking Web 
site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.
    Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after 
November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic 
Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this 
site, the public can gain entry into the NRC's Agencywide Document 
Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image 
files of NRC's public documents. If you do not have access to ADAMS or 
if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, 
contact the PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by 
e-mail to [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rules and 
Directives Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of 
Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, Telephone: 301-415-7163 or Toll Free: 800-368-5642.


The Petitioner

    The petitioner is the Mayor of Brick Township, New Jersey. Brick 
Township is situated in the northern part of Ocean County, directly on 
the border of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Brick Township is located 
approximately 18 miles north of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station. The petitioner states that Brick Township experienced great 
growth over the past four decades. Today, Brick Township is home to 
over 77,000 residents. In 1970, Brick Township had 35,057 residents.
    The petitioner states that Ocean County is located on the Jersey 
Shore, approximately 50 miles south of New York City and 50 miles east 
of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ocean County encompasses nearly 640 
square miles. The petitioner states that its location on the Atlantic 
Ocean makes Ocean County one of the premier tourist destinations in the 
United States.
    The petitioner states that Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, 
which is located in Lacey Township, became operational in 1969. In 
1970, one year after Oyster Creek began producing electricity, Ocean 
County, New Jersey had 208,470 residents. The petitioner also states 
that according to the 2000 Census, Ocean County today has 510,916 
residents, a growth of over 245 percent.


    The petitioner submitted two letters dated July 7, 2005, and July 
13, 2005, respectively. These letters are being treated as one 
petition. The petitioner also included letters from the New Jersey 
Chapter of the Sierra Club and the New Jersey Environmental Federation 
in support of the petition.
    The petitioner states that there have been numerous incidents that 
have occurred since Oyster Creek began operating that have raised 
concerns among many people about using nuclear power to generate 
energy, particularly in densely populated areas. The petitioner states 
that the near catastrophe at Three Mile Island, the realized 
catastrophe at Chernobyl, the controversy about Yucca Mountain and the 
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, have raised concerns about the 
safety and security of nuclear power plants.
    The petitioner believes that the evacuation of the communities

[[Page 54311]]

surrounding Oyster Creek is of particular concern and requires 
extensive review and consideration. The petitioner states that traffic 
congestion is a growing concern in Ocean County as the infrastructure 
has not kept up with the population growth. Any large scale evacuation 
would likely be fraught with difficulties that would endanger lives.

The Proposed Amendment

    The petitioner requests that the NRC amend its regulations to 
provide that a renewed license will be issued only if the plant 
operator demonstrates that the plant meets all criteria and 
requirements that would be applicable if the plant was being proposed 
de novo for initial construction. The petitioner also requests that 
Sec.  54.29 be amended to provide that a renewed license may be issued 
by the Commission if the Commission finds that, upon a de novo review, 
the plant would be entitled to an initial operating license in 
accordance with all criteria applicable to initial operating licenses, 
as set out in the Commission's regulations, including 10 CFR parts 2, 
19, 20, 21, 26, 30, 40, 50, 51, 54, 55, 71, 100, and the appendices to 
these regulations. The petitioner requests that corresponding 
amendments be made to Sec. Sec.  54.4, 54.19, 54.21, and 54.23, and 
that Sec.  54.30 be rescinded. The petitioner states that the criteria 
to be examined as part of a renewal application should include such 
factors as demographics, siting, emergency evacuation, site security, 
etc. The petitioner believes that this analysis should be performed in 
a manner that focuses the NRC's attention on the critical plant-
specific factors and conditions that have the greatest potential to 
affect public safety.

Problems With the Current Process

    The petitioner believes that the process and criteria currently 
established in part 54 is seriously flawed. The petitioner states that 
the process for license renewal appears to be based on the theory that 
if the plant was originally licensed at the site, it is satisfactory to 
renew the license, barring any significant issues having to do with 
passive systems, structures, and components (SSCs). The petitioner 
states that the regulations for license renewal should be broadened and 
sufficiently comprehensive to cover all of the facets (including 
consideration of a worst-case scenario) that were considered for 
initial construction. Alternatively, the petitioner states that the 
license renewal process should examine all issues related to the plant 
and its original license, and then concentrate on any issues that are 
new to that plant or have changed since the original license was issued 
or that deviate from the original licensing basis.

Key Renewal Issues

    The petitioner states that as Oyster Creek approaches the end of 
its 40 year operating license, it is necessary to answer important 
questions about the plant. The petitioner states that these questions 
are specific to the Oyster Creek plant and those who live near the 
plant deserve to have these questions reviewed. These questions include 
the following:
     Could a new plant, designed and built to current 
standards, be licensed on the same site today? With the growth of Ocean 
County, which continues today, it is not certain that a nuclear plant 
would be permitted there today.
     The design of Oyster Creek's reactor has been prohibited 
for nearly four decades. Does that reactor conform to today's 
standards? Would Oyster Creek receive a license today with that 
     In light of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, 
would Oyster Creek's storage system, which is located close to Route 9, 
be acceptable today?
     Is the evacuation plan realistic in today's Ocean County? 
Would the tremendous growth of Ocean County over the past four decades, 
and the failure of Ocean County's infrastructure to keep pace with this 
growth, inhibit Oyster Creek's likelihood of receiving an operating 
     Would a license be permitted in light of the public 
opposition to the plant? To date, 21 municipalities in Ocean County, as 
well as Congressmen Smith, Saxton and Pallone, New Jersey Department of 
Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley, and the Ocean County 
Board of Chosen Freeholders, have expressed either their concern for a 
thorough review and/or their opposition to the re-licensing.
     In recent weeks, two studies released by the National 
Academy of Sciences have raised serious concerns about nuclear plant 
security and the health effects of low-level radiation upon people who 
reside near nuclear plants. Should these two scientific studies and 
other relevant scientific data regarding human health and anti-
terrorism be taken into account when considering Oyster Creek's license 
renewal application?


    The petitioner states that many key factors that affect nuclear 
plant licensing evolve over time: Population grows, local/state Federal 
regulations evolve, public awareness increases, technology improves, 
and plant economic values change. The petitioner believes that all of 
these factors should be examined and weighed in the formal 10 CFR part 
54 relicensing process. Accordingly, the petitioner requests that the 
NRC amend its regulations related to license renewal as described 
previously in the section titled, ``The Proposed Amendment.''

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of September, 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 05-18192 Filed 9-13-05; 8:45 am]